region Pays Basque
cut male: 51.0 to 58.0 cm, female: 46.0 to 53.0 cm
weight 20 to 30 kg
hair Medium texture and length. straight to wavy
dress Blue-merle, black tricolor, red-merle, or red tricolor
head Skull as wide as it is long, moderate stop, well defined
eyes Almond: brown, blue or amber in color; any variation or combination of these colors permitted, including speckles and mottles
ear Drooping, set high, triangular
tail Long, naturally short or cropped
behaviour Intelligent, tough, attentive. Companion dog, guard/defense dog, shepherd dog, gifts in agility, beginning to be an assistance dog
federation FCI nomenclature group 1 section 1 no 342
The Australian Shepherd is a breed of herding dog. The International Cynological Federation has registered it under the name of Australian Shepherd, as a provisionally recognized breed since 1996 Health Several health problems can affect the Australian Shepherd, including back and hip problems and eye defects. The breed is also affected by epilepsy problems. Studies have shown that a merle x merle marriage will produce puppies with a 25% chance of being born blind and/or deaf. Mortality In 1998, an internet survey carried out on 614 Australian Shepherds estimated their average life expectancy at 12 and a half years, however this figure could drop in the future: according to another study carried out in the United Kingdom in 2004, the life expectancy life would be around 9 years, but the testimonies collected only concerned 22 dogs. The average lifespan for dogs of breeds similar in size to the Australian Shepherd is between 11 and 13 years. Therefore, assuming that the results of the UK study are not representative of the general population, the life expectancy of the Aussie would be consistent with that of dogs of same size. The leading causes of death listed in the UK study were cancer (32%), multiple causes (18%), and old age (14%). Diseases A survey carried out on 48 dogs made it possible to identify the health problems most frequently observed by owners: these are ocular defects such as red eye, epiphora, conjunctivitis or cataracts. Dermatological and respiratory problems are also prevalent. Collie eye anomaly (AOC) and cataracts are two real sources of concern6 for lovers of the breed. We can also cite iris coloboma, hip dysplasia, Pelger-Huet anomaly, hypothyroidism, and nasal dermatitis linked to solar radiation (also called “collie nose”). Before thinking about breeding, it is preferable to carry out screening x-rays for dysplasia of the elbow and hip, and to do DNA tests which will make it possible to determine whether the dog is affected by the mutation of the MDR1 gene, by the hereditary cataract, or by AOC. Among the examinations carried out should also be those which will diagnose a possible anomaly of the thyroid, or another of the ocular defects present in the Aussie, such as coloboma, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), or retinal dysplasia. Some Australian Shepherds may have a mutation in the MDR1 gene. This does not only concern the Aussie, but also affects the collie, the German shepherd and other breeds of sheepdogs. For dogs with this mutation, certain anti-parasitics such as Ivermectin, as well as other drugs, are toxic. There are tests that now make it possible to know whether the dog is a carrier of this mutation or not. Double merle It happens that some puppies are born "double merles", or homozygous merles, when the breeder carries out a merle x merle marriage, and that the puppies inherit the merle gene (the merle gene is dominant) from each of their parents. In general, the dominant color of double merle dogs is white, and they are prone to developing vision and hearing problems, due to the presence of two copies of the merle gene. Homozygous merles can be born deaf, blind, develop iris coloboma or microphthalmia. Homozygous merles are not all prone to these kinds of problems, but most are not immune to them, which makes the subject of merle x merle marriage very delicate. Breeders choose either to euthanize puppies with invasive white, or, in the case of unskilled breeders, to sell them as "rare" Aussies, without taking the trouble to warn the customer of the possible risks that this entails for the level of animal health. A large number of dogs sold in this way end up in shelters, given the family's lack of preparation for the burden of a deaf and/or blind animal. However, these dogs can make great family dogs when given to owners who are willing to take care of their unique needs. The term "lethal white" is used incorrectly when referring to Australian Shepherds born double merles: it is actually a term specific to lethal white syndrome which affects horses. Miscellaneous The ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America) was founded in 1957 to promote the breed. The National Stock Dog Registry became the breed's official registry, until the ASCA took over in 197211. The ASCA drafted a breed standard in 1975, outlining the appearance and morphology criteria that define Australian Shepherds (compliance with the standard). This made it possible to standardize the type and to make the race uniform. In the United States, the American Kennel Club has long been the main registry for purebred dogs. Many Australian Shepherd breeders, however, criticized the AKC for placing too much emphasis on conformance to the breed standard rather than performance, so the ASCA refused to join the club. Some breeders interested in the benefits offered by the AKC left the ASCA to form their own club, which they named the United States Australian Shepherd Association. The latter wrote their own breed standard, and joined the AKC in 1993. In 2007, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale allowed the breed to participate in international competitions, and classified it as breed number 342 in group 1 "Sheepdogs and of herdsman”. We can also note the participation of an Australian Shepherd from Latvia in the World Agility Championships of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in Helsinki (Finland) in 200812. Following the creation of the Miniature Australian Shepherd, breeders from Western from the United States are now working on creating an even smaller version of the breed, called the Toy Australian Shepherd. The males of this new breed weigh from 5.5 to 7 kg. The genetic consequences of breeding Australian Shepherds one-fourth their standard size have yet to be studied. Most breeders and handlers of mini and toy Australian Shepherds consider their dogs to be separate breeds, but others consider them to be miniature versions of one and the same breed. In contrast, the ASCA and AKC consider these varieties to be breeds in their own right.
Despite its name, this dog is actually from the Basque Country. Shepherds then emigrated to Australia, taking their dogs with them. Then some migrated from Australia to the United States. American farmers then developed this breed, immediately appreciated for its agility. As this dog came from Australia, they named it australian shepherd dog, often abbreviated as aussie. The breed returned to France in the 1980s and the Central Canine Society recognized its standard in 1996. Currently, it is a dog widely used in the United States for herding flocks, especially sheep. In France, the breed is developing and in 2000 there were more than 1700 individuals listed.
The Australian Shepherd is a lively dog, very suitable for sporting masters and known for its speed. These qualities make him a dog very suitable for driving herds (cattle, sheep, feathers, etc.) or for sports such as cani-cross or agility, as well as for digging or digging in rubble. . It is also a sociable dog, which tolerates its congeners very well and adapts well to family life with children. This is a very endearing dog that is not recommended for buyers of a first dog and also for people who are too sedentary. he's a very affectionate dog, and even downright "glue pot" (he hates loneliness) once he understands who has authority. Not recommended for people who are too sedentary, because he needs a lot of physical activity to be happy, that is to say that strolling in a garden as big as it is does not amuse him, on the contrary accompanying his master in his sports activities: trail running, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, horse riding with programs of several tens of km per week, for which he is really suitable.