Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Information

Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Information
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History

The Australian Shepherd comes from a line of the best shepherds in Europe. The Aussie’s world tour began in Europe, near the Pyrenees. It is here, on the border between France and Spain, that the indigenous peoples known as the Basques built their centuries-old reputation as world-class shepherds. Their favorite sheepdog was called the Pyrenean Shepherd, ancestor of our modern Australian.

In the early 1800s Anglo emigrants from Australia began a push into the vast interior of the continent in search of rich pastures for cattle ranching. Eventually, many Basques, with their loyal sheepdogs in tow, sailed east to try their luck on the pristine Australian continent, a wide open paradise for sheep herders.

During their long stay in Australia, the Basque Shepherd refined their dogs with judicious crosses to British imports from Australia, Collies and Border Collies, among them. After building up their herd, the fearless Basques left Australia for greener pastures – literally – and headed for California.

Californian breeders admired Basque Sheepdogs and assumed they were an Australian breed, hence the misleading name Australian Shepherd. Australians, still refined and perfected in America, have been an integral part of cowboy culture ever since. Many are still happy to herd their herd in the American West, others earn their food as rodeo performers, and still others of this extremely versatile breed work as therapy dogs, drug detectors, dog dogs. ‘assistance and search and rescue dogs. The Australian Shepherd joined the AKC Herding group in 1993.

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