Annibelle of Willow Creek - Aka Annie
Our Australian Shepherd Annie, is a triple registered red merle (AKC, NSDA, and ASDA). Annie has been working on her Agility training and she is showing great interest and willingness to learn, hopefully she can start competing at a amateur level.
A Little Information on the Australian Shepherd Breed
Australian Shepherds are an amazing breed -- intelligent, clever and devoted. Though not for every household, Aussies are extremely smart (often smarter than their owners -and the owners know it) and love to be with people. They enjoy having a job to do, even if it is just to walk their owners daily. Australian Shepherd‘s are devoted, loyal and love to please their owners. They are very easy to train and fun to work with.
While there are many theories as to the origin of the Australian Shepherd, the breed as we know it today developed exclusively in the United States. The Australian Shepherd was given its name because of their association with the Basque sheepherders who came to the United States from Australia in the 1800's. The Aussie rose rapidly in popularity with the boom of western riding after World War II, becoming known to the general public via rodeos, horse shows, movies and television. Their inherent versatility and train ability made them useful on American farms and ranches. The American stock men continued the development of the breed, maintaining the versatility, keen intelligence, strong herding instinct and eye-catching appearance.
About the Breed
The Australian Shepherd are an intelligent, medium-sized dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. They are also delightful and loyal companions and great family dogs. They love to be part of the daily hustle and bustle, and enjoy riding in the vehicle just to be with their beloved master. As farm dogs, they diligently carry out their responsibilities, be it bringing in the stock or finding the stray one that got tangled in the brush. They are easily trained, easily housebroken, because they are intelligent and eager to please. Aussies have been used as seeing-eye dogs, as utility dogs to the physically handicapped, hearing aid dogs, police and narcotics dogs, and search and rescue dogs. In the northern areas they have also been used as sled dogs. Many go with their masters as volunteers to children's homes and nursing homes to do therapy work. Truly, the Australian Shepherd is a highly versatile dog.“Aussies” (as they are lovingly nicknamed) are very active dogs that need a great deal of exercise on a daily basis to prevent them from becoming bored or frustrated and consequently developing destructive habits. Because of their high energy level, combined with high intelligence, Aussies need to be given a "job" to perform, be it shepherding the children, protecting the house, herding livestock or competing in dog events. One of the most frequent reasons Aussies get turned over to rescue groups is that their owners didn't anticipate how energetic these dogs are and weren't willing or able to constructively channel that energy through training. Aussies want to be with their owners all the time, which is why they insist on following their owners from room to room in the house, and love nothing better than going along in the car or truck on errands. They can be highly territorial and protective of their masters' possessions, potentially causing serious difficulties unless this behavior is controlled with proper training.
If dog hair bothers you, you might want to consider another breed. Australian Shepherds are a double-coated breed and they do shed. Their coat is medium texture and can be straight to slightly wavy. Twice a year, each dog will blow their undercoat and basically “molt”. They need to be brushed at this time. The rest of the time, they don’t require a lot of grooming.
The Australian Shepherd comes in four acceptable colors: Black, Blue Merle - a marbling of gray/silver and black, often creating a “blue” effect, Red - ranging from light cinnamon to liver, and the - a marbling of red and silver or buff. A variety of white and tan markings may appear on the face, chest, front and rear legs. The outer coat is of moderate length, with a texture that is straight to wavy and weather resistant. The undercoat is soft and dense, and the amount varies with climate. Tails are either naturally bobbed or docked. Ears are moderately sized, and should break forward and over, or fall to the side as rose ears.The eyes of the Australian Shepherd come in a wide variety of colors, making this one of the most notable features of the breed. They may be any color or combination of colors from glassy blue, amber, hazel, to all shades of brown. As a result Aussies can be encountered that have, for example, a blue eye and a brown eye. With the merles, it is not uncommon to see both eyes “marbled” with two different colors.
Aussies and Kids
Australian Shepherds are easy going and they love to play. They are great with kids – if they have been properly socialized and introduced. They are naturally protective, devoted, affectionate, and very loyal.
Aussies Size and Longevity
Average Height for males are 20-23 inches and females are 18-21 inches. Males weigh approximately 50 to 65 pounds, measuring from 20 to 23 inches, and females weigh about 40 to 55 pounds, measuring from 18 to 21 inches. Aussies typically live 12 to 15 years so buying a puppy is a long-term commitment.
Multi Drug Sensitivity in Aussie
In some instances, Aussie have been known to have sensitivity to certain drugs, such as Ivermectin (for Heart worm control). If you live in an area prone to Heart worm, please do not use any heart worm preventative containing Ivermectin as the active ingredient.
Aussie the Breed for you?
You should do your homework before purchasing a dog or puppy by reading up on the breed and talking and visiting with various breeders. And most importantly, by seeing the dogs. This can either be done at dog shows, performance events or by visiting a breeder’s home or kennel. The Aussie has a rich and loyal following. People who love Aussies for all the reasons the breed is famous for, usually do so for life! Once you have determined what you want in a dog and evaluated your lifestyle, make sure you have the desire and ability to commit to the lifetime of the dog.
The Aussie is the most loyal of all the breeds and they deserve only the best!