Australian Shepherd: A Puppy You’ll Forever Love

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a herding dog from the working group of purebreds. This blue-eyed, energetic beauty isn’t the breed for everyone. Known as being smart, work-oriented, and exuberant, Australian Shepherd are America’s #1 cowboy, rodeo, and livestock-herding dog for almost as long as the American west has existed. Is an Australian Shepherd a puppy […]

The Australian Shepherd is a herding dog from the working group of purebreds. This blue-eyed, energetic beauty isn’t the breed for everyone. Known as being smart, work-oriented, and exuberant, Australian Shepherd are America’s #1 cowboy, rodeo, and livestock-herding dog for almost as long as the American west has existed. Is an Australian Shepherd a puppy you’ll forever love?

Read on to learn everything there is to know about Australian Shepherds!

An adult Australian Shepherd herds sheep on a farm under a dark blue sky.


The first thing to know about Australian Shepherds is that their name is a little misleading. Technically, these beautiful working dogs aren’t from Australia. Rather, they’re from the Basque region of Spain. Basque shepherds, who raised livestock, developed the Australian Shepherd dog breed to help them corral livestock. And the Basques didn’t stay in Spain. They traveled with their dogs and livestock to Australia and also to America. It was in America that the Australian Shepherd breed solidified due to continued breeding. In this sense, the Australian Shepherd dog breed has been and always will be considered an American dog. 

In America, cowboys and ranchers nearly always chose Australian Shepherds to help them on their farms and at their rodeos. Soon this medium-sized, intelligent, and energetic dog became so tightly associated with the cowboy and rodeo lifestyle that it was impossible to go to a rodeo and not see Australian Shepherds. Their high intelligence and steadfast, fearless dedication made them dependable and trustworthy to herd rodeo bulls. This was not a job that other dog breeds could naturally accomplish!

Throughout the development of the American west, as Europeans came to the country, populating the land as they migrated west, their Australian Shepherds made a significant impression on the Native Americans. Many Native American tribes quickly regarded this unique dog breed as sacred. They referred to Australian Shepherd dogs as “the ghost eye,” thanks to this breed’s haunting, milky blue eyes. The history and facts about the Australian Shepherd go far beyond the highlights mentioned here.  

An obedient Australian Shepherd lays poised to receive the next command from its owner, because Australian Shepherds are easy to train.


Australian Shepherds are medium-sized, lean dogs. They have medium-length fur that can be straight or slightly wavy. What’s most unique to Australian Shepherds are their otherworldly blue eyes, which are sometimes mismatched with one blue and one green eye, as well as their distinct color patterns and fur markings. Known as “blue or red merle,” the color patterns of this beautiful purebred dog includes black and white speckled markings down its fluffy back, a proud white-colored chest, a light brown mask across its eyes, and a huge fluffy pipecleaner tail. No two Australian Shepherds look alike, that’s how unique their colored fur patterns are. 


Australian Shepherds are very intelligent dogs. This is the primary reason that this dog breed isn’t suitable for everyone, and oftentimes isn’t a good match for first-time dog owners. The intelligence of an Australian Shepherd must be put to work. This dog will strongly test its owner to see if they are a worthy leader. The Australian Shepherd will lose respect for owners who stop training after the basic commands are learned. If an Australian Shepherd looks to its owner to get direction, and doesn’t receive it, this dog will proceed to do what it thinks is best. 

A medium-sized Australian Shepherd happily plays with its owner during a fun training session because Australian Shepherds for sale near me love to learn.

Australian Shepherds are happiest and best behaved when they are obeying their owners and working for their owners. This doesn’t mean that you have to own a farm to have an Australian Shepherd, but it does mean that as you go about your activities, you should include your Aussie by telling him what to do for you. For example, on a walk, direct your Aussie as you go with “heel,” “sit,” “up,” and even “left” and “right” to tell your dog to walk on either the left or right side of you. 

Aussies are smart enough to learn directions, spatial commands, and even to fetch a thrown object by running in an arc that curves left-ward or right-ward. Their instinct is to herd and corral livestock, which involves running along the periphery of dispersed livestock to urge the livestock to tighten up into a herd. But the Australian Shepherd won’t make a move until its owner tells it which direction to run in order to herd the animals in question.  

This instinct is so deeply ingrained in the Australian Shepherd breed that even people who get this dog breed as a companion quickly discover that their Aussie will corral their children, house guests, household pets like cats (not that cats appreciate this!), and the other dogs at the dog park. Give an Aussie a wide open field where other dogs are playing, and the Aussie won’t be able to resist running on the perimeter of the field in ever-closing circles to get the dogs into a tighter group!

An Australian Shepherd herds baby chicks on a farm of green grass.

Aussies are non-aggressive and exceptionally gentle, too! Their temperament and behavior proves that they care about the welfare of their families and the children or animals they’re protecting by herding them. One of the sweetest sights in the world is watching an Australian Shepherd corral a group of baby chicks towards a hen house. The Aussie will remain on its stomach on the ground and only inch towards the chicks to gently direct and drive them in the right direction! 

This dog is territorial yet reasonable and good-natured. As a non-aggressive breed, an Australian Shepherd will bark to alert owners of strangers on or near the property. This dog isn’t one to attempt to intimidate strangers into leaving the property. If a threat approaches the livestock that an Aussie is in charge of, the Aussies first priority will be to move the herd to safety. It will only turn and fight a threat if it’s left with no other choice. 


A majestic Australian Shepherd dog hikes the mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest.

As you might have gleaned by reading this far, Australian Shepherds have a lot of energy. There’s no denying that this breed belongs to the “working” group of canines. An Australian Shepherd can easily work for and with its own on a farm herding livestock from sun up to sundown. This doesn’t mean that the dog is running all day long, but it does mean that the dog is serving a meaningful purpose in its owner’s life, and remaining alert and mentally challenged throughout the day. This highlights what’s in the heart of this sweet-natured breed. It’s happiest when it’s serving an important purpose in the life of its favorite person.

An Australian Shepherd jogs around a herd of sheep to herd them on a sunny autumn day in rural Texas.

The exercise needs of the Australian Shepherd is the second reason why this purebred isn’t the dog for everyone. Australian Shepherds, even in non-working, domestic settings, require at least 2 hours of outdoor, athletic exercise every day. Petland Texas typically only recommends Australian Shepherd to people and families who not only lead a very active lifestyle, but who want a dog that will accompany them during their outdoor activities and exercising. 


A cute Australian Shepherd gives its owner a high five on a sunny spring day.

Australian Shepherds have moderate grooming requirements, which will also depend on how dirty they get outside. A true working Aussie will become dirty and perhaps muddy throughout the day, and will need to be hosed down and dried before coming in. A domestic, companion Aussie doesn’t need to be shampooed and bathed more often than once every 3 – 4 months. Twice weekly brushing will keep your Aussie’s coat tangle-free and healthy. And for nail clipping and other grooming, you won’t need to take your Australian Shepherd to the professional groomers more than once every 6 – 8 months. 

Australian Shepherds shed moderately and also seasonally, with their biggest shedding occurring in the springtime. Timing a trip to the groomers for a proper deshedding groom in May or June can greatly help the situation. Petland Texas doesn’t recommend Australian Shepherds to anyone who suffers from dog fur allergies or is sensitive to pet dander, as the Australian Shepherd has dander and sheds fur. 


Do you look forward to bonding with your new puppy by training him closely in more than the basic commands? Are you looking for a companion dog with an instinct to stick by your side, exercise with you, and even help you with your chores? Do you have the patience to satisfy the mental stimulation needs of a highly intelligent puppy who will test you to see what you’re made of? Answering “yes” to these questions indicates that you’ll probably be very happy sharing your life with an Australian Shepherd!

An Australian Shepherd puppy loves being held by its gentle owner.

If you’re someone who wants your new dog to come with you when you go out for long walks, jogs, hikes, and other outdoor adventures, then the Australian Shepherd is a great choice. An Australian Shepherd will also seek to assist you in your indoor and outdoor chores, even if it means getting all those unruly squirrels to stay in one corner of the yard! 

Petland Texas has Australian Shepherd puppies for sale. Petland Texas has a wide variety of purebred puppies for sale in Texas. The breeders we work with are humane puppy breeders and ethical breeders in Texas, and to all of our puppy owners we offer 6 weeks of free puppy training by our professional dog trainers to help ensure that you know how to raise a puppy you can live with! We hope to see you in our Texas locations.