The History of the Aussie Shepherd

Aussie ShepherdThe Aussie Shepherd has been a favorite among American dog lovers for many years. Formally known as the Australian Shepherd, these beautiful and protective herding dogs with thick coats make excellent companions, and are ideal for rural settings with wide open spaces. The origin of this breed is unclear, however the dog was first recognized with the formation of the ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America) in 1957.

Where Did the Australian Shepherd Originate From?

Shepherds, sheep dogs and herding dogs arrived in the United States from Australia, however it is believed that the ancestors of these dogs come from either the Basque Region of the Pyrenees Mountains or from Germany. There were shepherds and Spanish sheep shipped to Australia from Spain, and then to America, that could have been ancestors to the present day Aussies. While it is believed that Basque shepherds are connected, these dogs seem to have several differences when compared to the Aussie Shepherds we know and love today.

The Characteristics of the Aussie Shepherd

The Aussie Shepherd is naturally playful and affectionate which makes it the ideal family dog or farm dog. They are easy going creatures that love to play, and require plenty of room to run around. They are perfect for active children and will be a dedicated friend and protector of their owners.

These canines tend to have a sixth sense when it comes to recognizing what their owner wants and expects of them. They are lively, agile and highly intelligent. Even though they present themselves as approachable beings to most humans, these dogs can be aggressive when they are working with livestock, which proves that they are hard workers.

Even though this breed is generally pleasant to be around, they are not for everyone. Due to their high levels of energy, Aussie shepherds need to get plenty of exercise throughout the day. This is easy to achieve if the dog lives on a farm where livestock is present, however other living situations may require the owner to take their shepherd on a walk or a visit to a nearby park in order for the dog to burn off their energy and remain content.

Aussie shepherds have been bred to guard livestock and their protective nature may be threatening to strangers, children, or small animals. They are known to bark and provide warnings to their owners if they notice unusual activity in the neighborhood, however they are not the type of dog that barks obsessively for no reason and will work quietly if they have something to keep them occupied.

Regardless of their origin, these dogs have always been admired here in the United States for their high quality sheep herding skills and guarding instincts. In fact, since the Aussie Shepherd breed arrived in the U.S. during a time when farming and raising livestock was a popular and more demanding way of life, the Aussies have been bred for their functional abilities. This makes their breed name a bit of a misnomer since the dog was “made” by the early American Stock-men.