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Dog Breed Highlight: Australian Shepherd

Australian-ShepherdsOriginally bred for livestock herding, the Australian Shepherd ( or “Aussie” ) is an extremely lively and animated breed, with an intelligence to match. Loyal and protective, the Aussie is wonderful with children and extremely obedient with high intelligence and desire to please its owner. Given the Aussie’s playful and working nature, this is not a dog that will do well indoors or even with a small backyard. The Aussie needs significant mental and physical exercise to prevent behavior problems and destructive tendencies.

Despite its misleading name, the breed as we know it today probably developed in the Pyrenees Mountains somewhere between Spain and France. It was called the Australian Shepherd because of its association with Basque shepherds who came to America from Australia in the 1800s.

The Aussie has a beautiful medium, wavy coat that is water resistant. Coat colors can include blue and red merle (patches of color in an otherwise solid coat), the gene for which can also result in bright blue or marbled-colored eyes. However, if two merle dogs are mated there is a chance that any offspring will develop blindness and/or deafness, so pet parents should take extra care to inquire into the genealogy of puppies.

Active and playful dog with a luxurious coat, this breed requires top quality nutrition. Diets should be rich in protein for energy, and high quality, vitamins and minerals to support a healthy, shiny coat. With lean, 100% all-natural buffalo, Aussies will love treats like lean and tasty Pure Buffalo treats to keep them active and healthy from the inside out. The Aussie requires daily and vigorous exercise and full grown, this breed ranges in size from 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder.