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Aussie

Confident / Intelligent / Energetic

The Aussie dog, more commonly known as the Australian shepherd or the Aussie is a hardy, intelligent working dog who is loyal and always up for an adventure. Great for highly active families, Australian shepherds are confident and collected with a more reserved nature. 

Medium breed, aussie shepherd with white and black coat and brown spots laying on the grass

Health

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Personality

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Lifetime Care

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Breed Profile

Height

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  • 18 - 23 Inches

Weight

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  • 40 -65 lbs

Lifetime

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  • 12-15 Years

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.

My dog’s name is*

Dog
Female

Health

Rx Icon

Hip Dysplasia

What is it?

A dog with hip dysplasia has a malformed hip joint and socket.

% Dogs affected:

3% of dogs get diagnosed.

Clinical signs:

Exercise reluctance, prone to falling, struggling to get up, limping, resistance to climbing stairs or jumping, reduced activity, hip area sensitivity.

Treatment:

Hip replacement surgery, femoral head ostectomy. 

Health risks:

An Aussie with hip dysplasia shouldn’t over-exercise. Aussies with hip dysplasia shouldn’t under-exercise, either.

Average Vet Bill

$1200

Reimbursements*


90% = $1080

80% = $960

70% = $840

Arthritis

What is it?
Canine arthritis causes pain and swelling in a dog’s joints.

% Dogs affected:
About 25%

Clinical signs:
Discomfort, trouble exercising, stiffness, lameness, limping, reluctant to walk stairs, jumping, physical activities, behavior and mood changes.

Treatment:
NSAIDs, physical therapy, diet changes, weight loss.

Health risks:

There is a link between canine arthritis and obesity. Arthritis in dogs is more common later in life.

Average Vet Bill

$300

Reimbursements*


90% = $270

80% = $240

70% = $210

Epilepsy

What is it?
Epilepsy is a condition that causes seizures in dogs.

% Dogs affected:
Less than 1%

Clinical signs:
Violent shaking, Disorientation, Loss of motor function, Vocalizing, Muscle twitching. Drooling, Loss of bowel and bladder control.   

Treatment:
Potassium Bromide, Levetiracetam, Phenobarbital, Zonisamide

Health risks:

Dogs with epilepsy need to be monitored after seizures.  

Supervise an epileptic dog when walking up and down stairs

Average Vet Bill

$500

Reimbursements*


90% = $450

80% = $400

70% = $350

Personality

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Smart 

Australian shepherds are fast learners, so make sure you teach them new behaviors often. .

Energetic 

They need lots of exercise. You can take this breed on long walks and hikes. 

Active 

This working breed is extremely active. After all, they needed to keep one step ahead of the animals under their care. 

Obedient 

You can (and should) provide obedience training for your Aussie. 

Confident 

Australian shepherds are confident and collected. They need to be in order to guide a herd. 

Lifetime Care

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Coat 

Their double coats are also waterproof and weather resistant. 

Colors 

Red, Black, Blue merle, Red merle. Black and white. Black, white, and tan. Red, white, and copper. 

Hypoallergenic 

Yes 

Grooming 

You should brush them much more often. 

Training 

Aussies are well suited for dog sports like flyball, thanks to their high energy level and need for mental stimulation. 

Lifetime Care Cost:

$22000 (Reviews from dog breed-specific parents)

My dog’s name is*

Dog
Female

Aussie Dog: Dog Breed Information Guide 2022

The Aussie dog, more commonly known as the Australian shepherd or the Aussie, comes from the ranches of California. Not to be confused with the Australian cattle dog, these pups descend from sheep herding dogs in the Spanish region of Basque. They came to America after spending some time in Australia.

These hardy, intelligent working dogs are loyal and always up for an adventure, and maybe you are, too. You may be thinking about adopting an Australian shepherd, but you aren’t sure what an Aussie needs for a happy life. We’re here to help.

At Spot Pet Insurance, we care about you and your pup. We want you both to have the best possible life together. To ensure you can provide for an Australian shepherd’s needs, we’ve collected the information you need before adding a new member to your family.

Aussies: An introduction to the breed

As a pet parent interested in an Aussie for your home, the best introduction to the breed is doing your research to ensure that when you adopt a pet, it’s a good match for both of you. Every person and every pet is different.

Two important things to consider are an Aussie's physical characteristics and personality. Will your living situation be a suitable size? Do you mind having a fur-filled home? These are important questions to have answers to before you take steps to welcoming an Aussie into your home.

What are the origins of the Australian shepherd?

Aussies grew in popularity after being introduced to the general public through a rodeo trick show. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized them as an official AKC breed in 1993.

Aussies are herding dogs. They are medium-sized dogs of about 18-23 inches and 40-65 pounds, depending on gender. Their medium build allows them to move quickly and with agility as they herd livestock.

What are the health risks for Aussies? 

While they are overall healthy, active dogs in most cases, Aussies have some genetic predispositions to illness. They are more prone to epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and arthritis than some breeds. 

 

Other potential health concerns for Aussie dogs 

Other health concerns for an Aussie are: 

 

  • Cancer, usually lymphoma or hemangiosarcoma 
  • MDR1, a genetic condition that causes sensitivities to certain drugs 
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis, a form of thyroid disease 
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) 
  • Allergies 
  • Cataracts 

What is the personality of an Aussie like?

Personality is one of the biggest factors that will affect whether an Aussie is right for you.

Australian shepherds are confident and collected. They need to be in order to guide a herd.

Are Aussie dogs intelligent?

This working breed is extremely intelligent. After all, they needed to keep one step ahead of the animals under their care.

Although their intelligence is usually a bonus, it can become a problem. Dogs can get bored just like us, especially intelligent, hardworking dogs. If an Aussie doesn’t receive enough mental exercise, they express their boredom through destructive behaviors, like tearing up your pillows or chewing up your shoes.

These can be easily prevented. You can train Aussie dogs in different fields, provide them a job to do, or both. We’ll discuss more of these ideas later.

Do Australian shepherds get along with other dogs?

Aussies love their families, but they typically have a more reserved nature. Although they don’t dislike strangers (human or dog), they are wary of them.

An Australian shepherd is typically good around other dogs if they are socialized properly. They may not immediately love another dog, but they will tolerate them. Their response could also depend on how reserved your Aussie is. Like us humans, some Aussies are friendlier than others.

Do Aussies get along with other pets? 

This type of shepherd may nip at smaller animals, but this may be their tendency to herd rather than an expression of aggression. To get cows or sheep to go where they needed to, an Aussie will sometimes need to nip at their heels.  

 

It likely came in handy for those Basque shepherds and is even useful for some ranchers today. However, this behavior should only be encouraged if you are training your Aussie to herd livestock. 

Do Australian shepherds get along with children? 

If you have a baby on the way, are adopting a child, or have small children that visit, you are probably wondering if your Australian shepherd will get along with them. 

Most Aussies are great with kids. They love playing and will be patient and gentle with your child.  

However, Aussies may nip at children for much the same reason they would other animals. It’s not intended to harm them; instead, it’s part of their herding instinct. Proper training can redirect their need to nip and manage other animals or people in a home if the Aussie is not intended to herd large groups of farm animals. 

If you’re adopting a rescue, their behavior towards children and other dogs can be affected by their former life situation, so these general rules may not apply to all Aussies. With a rescue, it’s best to learn as much about their previous history as you can to care for them in the way they need. 

Aussies are gentle dogs. They just need a lot of direction. They can be a great addition to your family, whether it consists of humans or pets. 

What is the Aussie’s coat like? 

Australian shepherds’ coat colors tend to be very distinctive. They have gorgeous coats with two layers, which means Aussies have a lot of fur. Their double coats are also waterproof and weather resistant. 

An Aussie with a merle coat will have a base color and then splotches of red or blue throughout, depending on whether they have a blue merle coat or a red merle coat.  

Aussies can also have white marks or tan points. Tan points will only appear on specific spots of a coat, usually on the face or the front legs. A common place for tan points is above the eyes. 

Are Aussie dogs Hypoallergenic? 

Aussies aren’t known as hypoallergenic dogs. Hypoallergenic classification is defined by how little a dog sheds lose hair that is often attached to dander, or dead skin cells similar to dandruff. The less shedding, the less effect it has on people with allergies. Dogs that are categorized as hypoallergenic, shed very little. 

What Is grooming an Aussie like? 

Because an Aussie’s medium-length coat is double-layered, those beautiful tricolor coats need to be brushed at least once a week. During shedding season, however, you should brush them much more often. Even with multiple brushings, you’ll probably end up vacuuming once a day to clean up the fur all over your house. 

 

Australian shepherds need occasional teeth cleaning and nail trimming like all dogs. 

How to be the best parent for an Aussie?

Here’s everything you need to know to give your Aussie a happy life.

How much does an Aussie puppy cost? 

Aussies usually range in price from $650 and $850. However, adoption should also be considered. To learn more about specific adoption prices, it is best to contact your local animal welfare, rescue, or shelter organization to understand rehoming fees and the care that these costs covers before you welcome your Aussie home. 

[Expense: first year, following years] 

Food: $310-$615, $205-$675 

Water/food bowls: $10-$40, N/A 

Treats: $125-$715, $125-$715 

Collars: $10-$40, $0-$40 

Leashes: $10-$30, $0-$30 

Dog bed and crate: $80-$275, N/A 

Toys: $50-$155, $0-$155 

Vaccines and routine care: $440-$1,755, $475-$1,025 

Microchip: $25-$50, N/A 

Heartworm and flea prevention: $175-$270, $350-$600 

Total: $1,235-$3,945, $1,235-$3,515 

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your Australian shepherd 

You can (and should) provide obedience training for your Aussie.  

  1. More intricate tricks can also provide the mental exercise Aussies need.  
  2. Australian shepherds are fast learners, so make sure you teach them new behaviors often.  
  3. They tend to respond best to positive reinforcement. 
  4. These dogs are best for active families who have a lot of time to invest in their dog’s training, especially if you get an Australian shepherd puppy. 

What foods should an Aussie never eat?

Aussies (and dogs in general) should never eat any of the following foods:

  • Avocado
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Yeast
  • Raw dough
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Too much salt
  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Dairy products

Exercising tips to keep your dog staying fit and healthy

Aussies are energetic dogs, so they need lots of exercise. You can take this breed on long walks and hikes.

They also need a lot of training to exercise their minds. You can combine these two activities by working on agility training, herding, or playing frisbee. Aussies are well suited for dog sports like flyball, thanks to their high energy level and need for mental stimulation.

Australian shepherd life stages

Puppy: 0 - 1 year | Adult: 1 - 7 years | Senior: 7 - 15 years

My dog’s name is*

Dog
Female
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