10 Wild Facts About Australian Shepherds - Pet Hub USA

10 Wild Facts About Australian Shepherds

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Australian Shepherds are popular dogs due to their strength, intelligence, loyalty, and beautiful fur patterns. If you’re looking to adopt an Australian Shepherd or you’re just a fan of the breed, these ten fun facts are sure to make your day.

Not from Australia

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Photo by Jeremy Tremblay on Unsplash

Let’s get the big one out of the way first: Australian Shepherds are definitively not from Australia. This confusion is compounded by the host of other regional names they’ve been called over the years, including Spanish Shepherd and New Mexican Shepherd. In reality, Aussies are likely descended from European herding dogs and became a distinct breed in North America.

Natural Herders

closeup photo of Australian shepherd near green leafed plant
Photo by Tomas Dolezal on Unsplash

As their name implies, these astute dogs are excellent at herding. And that’s not just limited to animals: parents of young children have remarked on Aussies’ ability to keep the kids together, away from danger, and on the right path. Just make sure you train them not to nip at your kids’ heels. Old habits die hard!

Unparalleled Athletics

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Photo by Couleur on Pixabay

Owing to their long-standing job as herders, Aussies have remarkable strength and endurance. This makes them a ton of fun for active owners. If you want a dog you can take to the park and run with for hours, an Aussie will make a stellar companion. It also means you need to have a plan for getting them plenty of exercise to help them burn off all that energy, too.

Rodeo Dogs

Day 59 – Blue Merle Australian Shepherd” by MissTessmacher is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

In addition to their role as herders, Aussies are well known among rodeo fans as iconic show dogs. They can herd bulls with ease, perform crowd-pleasing tricks, and can be organized into complicated shows. In fact, Aussies may have been popularized in the 20th Century due to their appearance in traveling rodeo shows around the country.

Well-Suited for Work

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Photo by Melissa Keizer on Unsplash

Beyond starring in rodeo shows, Aussies are capable dogs suited for a variety of jobs. They take well to becoming seeing-eye dogs, therapy dogs, and even rescue workers. Their keen senses and penchant for vigilance make them extremely dependable in these high-pressure roles.

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Photo by alles-so-schoen-bunt-hier on Pixabay

Aussies’ high chances for heterochromia might be their most recognizable feature. In simple terms, heterochromia is when an animal has two differently colored eyes. This can be especially striking in Aussies because they can have bright blue eyes paired with dark brown or even green eyes.

Sacred to Native American Cultures

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Photo by Amber Mayo on Unsplash

Aussies have a deep connection to North America. They were first identified as a recognizable breed here, for one thing. For another, they’re sacred to many Native American cultures. Their aforementioned striking eyes have been described as “ghost eyes,” and their role in various American cultures can be described as spiritual.

Variable Size

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Photo by hettyvanderzanden on Pixabay

Aussies aren’t just medium-sized dogs. Breeders have successfully selected for a few size variations in these dependable, athletic pups. You can find Standard Aussies, Mini Aussies, and even the adorably tiny Toy Aussies. Toy Aussies often weigh less than around 20 pounds.

Read More: The 10 Worst Dogs for Kids 

Short Tails

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Photo by Fotoshautnah on Pixabay

You might have heard Aussies called “bob-tails” before. This can sound odd since most Aussies have normal-length tails. However, roughly one in five Aussies are born with a short tail! These variations only add to the breed’s charm and are prized by some enthusiasts.

Read More: The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Empty Nesters

Constant Companion

brown and white long coated dog sitting on white table
Photo by Pavel Herceg on Unsplash

Aussies have a reputation for being somewhat shy and bonding very closely with one person. This makes them unerring and constant companions to their chosen ally. If you’re looking for a pet who will bond deeply with you and be your constant companion over hills and through valleys, look no further than the steely-eyed Australian Shepherd.

Read More: The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Empty Nesters

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