Australian Shepherd Dog Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
The Australian Shepherd is, confusingly, an American breed; originally from the Basque region of Spain he was taken to Australia by his shepherding owners who then moved on to North America at the end of the 19th century with their dogs. The Australian Shepherd was first officially recognised in the United States in the 1950s and is a fairly new arrival in the UK.
A herding dog with guarding instincts, the Australian Shepherd is protective of the space he considers his own and has a tendency to be reserved with those he does not know and benefits from early socialisation. Very intelligent and agile he is devoted to his own family and is very keen to work, so ways must be found to occupy him. He will not be happy being a lazy housedog and agility and obedience both suit him well.
The Australian Shepherd is naturally bob-tailed, though not all are born tail-less, and comes in an unusual range of colours; blue, blue merle, black or red merle, all with or without tan points. All these colours may have white in addition according to strictly defined patterning. His eyes add to the unusual colouring – they can be brown, blue or amber or any combination including flecks and marbling. First sight of an Australian Shepherd is quite startling as so many aspects of him are unexpected.
There is currently a fashion amongst some to advertise Miniature Australian Shepherd Dogs. There is no such breed, it is not recognised by the US parent club and it is doubtful if dogs so described are purebred.
In the fairly short time the Australian Shepherd has been in the UK he has acquired considerable popularity although a limited gene pool has restricted breeding to a degree; however with the Pets Passport scheme it has become much easier to import new lines. Not a dog for the novice, they require an owner who can dominate him and offer him challenges for his considerable intelligence.
Rescue and Rehoming
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, or you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact the Breed Clubs for their assistance. It is always wise to speak to people who are expert in the breed so you can get the best possible help.