May Dog of the Month – Australian Shepherd

Welcome to the dog blog of the month. This month we are featuring the Australian Shepherd. 

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Australian Shepherds are an extremely intelligent dog and have relatively high energy. They are definitely the happiest when they have a job to do and an owner to impress. Teaching your Australian Shepherd to do a new job or even several jobs is pretty easy as they are very smart! After a days work, the Austrian Shepherd is happy to cuddle up to their people and spend the evening with you on the couch. Australian Shepherds are extremely loyal, easily trainable, good watchdogs, and good with kids – the list goes on! They are pretty much perfect. 🙂

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Despite their name, the Australian Shepherd was not initially bred in Australia. They were in-fact bred in the borderlands between France and Spain to be a herding dog. They emigrated through Australia to the Western U.S. where these dogs made their way into the hearts of cowboys across the continent. They became an essential part of a ranchers team and are the dog of choice for their work line. Not much has changed over time for the Australian Shepherd – they were bred to be herding dogs and still do so in present day.

This double coated dog is equipped to head out for a day of work even in the coldest of months. Some have their tails docked at a young age while some Aussies are born with a naturally docked tail. The Australian Shepherd is a very adorable and unique dog seen in a range of colours from merle, red merle, red tricolour, black, black tricolour and blue merle. Their gorgeous coats do tend to shed a lot, and call for a decent amount of brushing. 

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The Australian Shepherd can range in size from 18-23 inches tall and weigh from 16-32 kilograms. Their general life span is 12-15 years. While Aussies are usually a generally healthy breed, some health problems that they may deal with are:

Colhbomas– commonly seen in merles, this is when the iris fails to develop, leaving part of the eye structure missing. Colobomas can be detected at birth by your veterinarian.

Cataracts– a common eye defect seen in Aussies, becoming present between the ages of 1 and 3 years of age.

MDS (Multiple Drug Sensitivities) – Australian Shepherds are one of the few breeds that suffer from this frustrating disorder. MDS is when the dog is hyper sensitive to ordinary medications and they are unable to pump the drugs out of their brain which causes neurological toxicity.

Hip and elbow dysplasia– This can be maintained with medication or supplements as recommended by your veterinarian.

While finding a reputable breeder for a purebred Australian Shepherd may be difficult, doing your research and asking a ton of questions about the puppy and their parents is always the best way to encourage responsible breeding. Better yet – adopting gives a second chance to forgotten dogs who need the love of a forever home! Here are some rescues who focus on Aussies.

http://www.ontarioaussies.ca,http://www.westernaustralianshepherdrescue.com, http://www.aroo.ca,

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Thanks for reading the May dog Blog of the Month about the adorable Australian Shepherds! See you next month for MINI SCHNAUZERS

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