An American Family Dog: Australian Puppies for Sale
Australian Shepherds fit people with an active lifestyle. Similar to its close relative, the Border Collie, an Australian Shepherd or Aussie is an intelligent mid-sized herding dog with a friendly demeanor and enthusiastic and alert personality. Aussies are great family companions, best with active families or highly interactive singles. They do well with canine sports such as agility, flyball, and herding trials.
Overview of Australian Shepherd for Sale
An Aussie should present an impression of balance, intelligence, friendliness, and intensity.
The Aussie is a medium-sized dog that is 20 to 23 inches at the shoulder and weighs 50 to 65 pounds. Females are usually smaller, being about 10 pounds lighter and a couple of inches shorter than males. When you look at an adult Australian Shepherd for sale, there should be a readily noticeable difference between the genders, but a female should not look too fine of bone. An Aussie’s head appears in balance with the body and the muzzle and back skull are about the same length. The eyes are almond-shaped and can be any combination of blue, brown, or amber. Some dogs have each eye a different color. Others have eyes with flecks, or they can be two distinct colors. Your Aussie will have high-set ears that are either rose or semi-prick. An Aussie’s body is strong and slightly longer than tall with a short tail, either docked or a natural bob.
When you look at Aussie puppies for sale, you will immediately notice the limited colors but a wide range of patterns.
- Solid red – Color is liver, resulting from a gene that suppresses dark pigment or eumelanin; Dogs will have light-colored eyes
- Solid black
- Merle – Can be red or black; White hairs mingle with solid colors causing a swirled or marbled effect
Aussies have a double coat with an outer layer of semi-coarse, medium-length, weather-resistant fur. The undercoat is abundant in harsh climates but in mild regions is thin. An Aussie may have straight or wavy hair.
Your Aussie should be friendly if not particularly outgoing. It is not acceptable for them to be shy or timid. Other qualities of the Aussie are an alert and active mind, high intelligence and attentiveness, and exuberance.
Australian Shepherds are friendly but reserved about allowing strangers to pet them. They bark at intruders and will warn you of suspicious occurrences but are not ideal guard dogs. Socialization is important so you do not end up with a fearful dog.
Australian Shepherds remain playful well into their adult years, making them good companions for children over five years of age. The breed has a strong herding instinct and may nip at a child’s heels or herd him or her around the house. Part of your training will involve teaching your Aussie appropriate behavior around kids.
With some puppies, you may need to discourage herding as much as you do biting and mouthiness.
An Aussie tends to get along with other dogs. If they have no other outlet for their work drive, Aussies may try to herd your other pets. Australian Shepherds that grow up with cats can learn to coexist with them. The breed’s intensity and energy may be a dealbreaker for many felines.
An Australian Shepherd for sale will have one of the murkiest histories of any dog you are likely to meet. Despite their name, DNA links Australian Shepherds with British herding dogs. These working animals descended from landrace dogs and likely included ancestors of Scottish and Border Collies. Some of these herding dogs moved from the Eastern US to the Wild West with the gold rush. Sheep proved invaluable for feeding and clothing the explosion of workers. Other dogs that likely contributed to Aussie development in America were dogs that arrived with German-raised Merino sheep from Australia and herding dogs the Spanish herds may have brought with them from the Basque region. Some experts believe Basque Shepherds arrive in the US via California and proliferated from the 1870s through the 1960s and beyond. It is unclear whether the dogs came directly from Europe with their sheepherders or from Australia like the English Shepherds. Regardless, the United States developed the Australian Shepherd to herd sheep in the harsh arid climate and high altitudes of the West. The dog spread from California to Colorado, Idaho, and other states. Breeders mostly sought working qualities. A formal breed standard was not forthcoming until 1976. The Aussie did not join the AKC until 1993. Breeders of working dogs often enter their dogs into Australian Shepherd clubs and avoid the AKC as promoting appearance over ability.
Aussies can live 13 to 15 years and are usually extremely healthy dogs. Most health challenges are manageable. The AKC recommends checking the hips, elbows, and eyes on all breeding Aussies. Certifications are available through the OFA. You can also ask for such evaluations from breeders who do not register their dogs with the American Kennel Club. Working dogs may have higher standards than those required by the larger registries. The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) is a large source of Australian Shepherd puppies for sale.
Miniature Australian Shepherd
The Miniature Australian Shepherd, also called the Miniature American Shepherd, stands only 13 to 18 inches tall at the shoulders. It weighs between 20 and 25 pounds. Despite its size, the Mini Australian Shepherd should possess the same qualities as its larger counterpart on a smaller scale. Like the Aussie, the Miniature American Shepherd originated in California. Breeders selected the smallest Aussies to breed over several generations during the 1960s. The AKC recognized the Miniature American Shepherd as a separate breed in 2015. Your mini Aussie should receive the same care as a larger Australian Shepherd.
Care of Australian Shepherd Puppies for Sale near Me
Australian Shepherds are low-maintenance dogs except when it comes to attention and exercise. Knowing what care needs your dog will require will ensure a realistic assessment of any Australian Shepherd puppies for sale.
Training and Intelligence
Aussies are closely related to Border Collies, renowned as the smartest dogs in the world. It follows that Australian Shepherds are similarly blessed in the smarts department. The Aussie’s significantly lower ranking on Stanley Cohan’s working intelligence list than other herding breeds suggests your dog may be more independent and require more patience to teach obedience. However, Australian Shepherds are attentive and willing to please. They respond to positive reinforcement but may run rampant over owners who are unsure of themselves.
You can make training your Aussie much easier on yourself if you make sure it gets enough exercise. An Australian Shepherd requires 60 to 90 minutes of exercise every day. Some working dogs may act like two hours of play is nothing. At least 20% of your dog’s exercise should be strenuous while you dedicate the remainder to mental challenges, training, and socialization. Puppies cannot exercise or work to their full potential until they stop growing. You may have to limit your sessions for adolescent puppies, concentrating more on training.
Australian Shepherds need minimal coat care. You can usually get by with brushing twice a week and bathing every four to six weeks. You may have to bathe an allergy sufferer with medicated shampoo more frequently than usual. Aussies are moderate year-round shedders. In the spring and fall, they will require more brushing as they shed their undercoat. An Aussie’s dual coat will keep it warm and relatively dry in the winter and cool in the summer. Shaving is not a great idea because it disrupts the ability of cool air to circulate between the two coat layers. Moreover, you will remove your Aussie’s protection from harmful UV rays. On top of coat care are regular nail trims and teeth brushing.
Australian Shepherd puppies for sale will often come home with a sample of the food the breeder was using. This enables you to introduce your Aussie to its new food more gradually. Aussies require frequent feedings as puppies. Very young pups go from free choice to three or four times a day by the age of eight to twelve weeks. They require protein and fat, both ideally coming mostly from meat. Dogs do not require carbohydrates, but many diets provide at least some vegetables and fruits. Others use corn or other grains to supplement proteins and fats. If your dog has allergies, it may not be able to tolerate grains or even some meats. Many Aussies do well on limited-ingredient diets, novelty protein and carbohydrate sources, or homemade diets. Your veterinarian can guide you to ensure your Aussie gets a complete nutritional profile. Australian Shepherds are active members of the herding group and a 50-pound dog may need 1250 to 1400 calories or three to five cups of food a day. Working and growing dogs need more caloric intake as do dogs recovering from illness or surgery. If your Aussie is somewhat sedentary or seems to be gaining too much weight, it may require you to cut food amounts. Consult with your nutritionist to formulate a healthy reduction plan.