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Breed Characteristics

The Australian Shepherd is a medium sized dog with a coat of medium length. To the untrained eye the Aussie resembles a Border Collie, but is slightly larger and has a wider range of coat colours.


The Australian Shepherd is well balanced, slightly longer than tall of medium size and bone, with colouring that offers variety and individuality.  He is attentive and animated, lithe and agile, solid and muscular without cloddiness.  He has a coat of moderate length and coarseness.  He has a full or natural bobbed tail.


The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent, active working dog with strong herding and guarding instincts with an even disposition, he is good natured, seldom quarrelsome. He is a loyal companion and has the stamina to work all day. They may be somewhat reserved in initial meetings.


Is straight or naturally bobbed.

The club has produced the ASCV NBT Brochure to help answer questions regarding the Natural Bobtail characteristic of the Australian Shepherd.


Hair is of medium texture, straight to wavy, weather resistant and of medium length.  The undercoat varies in quantity with variations in climate.  Hair is short and smooth on the head, ears, front of forelegs and below the hockjoints.  Backs of forelegs and britches are moderately feathered.  There is a moderate mane and frill, more pronounced in dogs than in bitches. Moderate, weekly brushing will keep the double coat clean and shiny. Seasonal shedding will occur but is limited if the coat is brushed regularly.


Blue merle, black, red merle, red all with or without white markings and/or tan (copper) points, with no order of preference.  The hairline of a white collar does not exceed the point of the withers at the skin.  White is acceptable on the neck (either in part or as a full collar), chest, legs, muzzle underparts, blaze on head and white extension from underpart up to four inches measuring from a horizontal line at the elbow.  White on the head should not predominate and the eyes must be fully surrounded by colour and pigment.  Merles characteristically become darker with increasing age.


Solidly built with moderate bone.  Structure in the male reflects masculinity without coarseness. Bitches appear feminine without being slight of bone. The height for males is  51-58.5 cm (20-23 ins) and females  45.5-53.5 cm (18-21 ins)


Extremely healthy breed. Some inherited conditions of hips and eyes can occur. Ensure that parents of any pup have been tested for Hip Dysplasia and that both parents and pups have clear eye certificates. Life Span is between 12 to 15 years approximately.

It is important to watch the weight of an Aussie as they are good doers and can become overweight quickly.

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