Contrary to its name, the Australian Retriever is not from Australia. It was developed in America in the early 1800s by farmers and ranchers. During the 1849 California Gold Rush, the demand for mutton and wool increased and so did the need for herding dogs. Breeders wanted a dog that was intelligent, hard-working, had excellent herding ability and could act as a guard dog. The Aussie Shepherd is an Australian shepherd-golden retriever mix. After the World War II, it gained popularity in horse shows, TV shows, and movies. In 1991, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized it as a breed.
Two versions of the dog have emerged namely, the Miniature Australian Shepherd who was recognized by the AKC in 2012 and the Toy Australian Shepherd. Both of them are smaller in size compared to the Australian Shepherd.
- Eyes of these Aussies can be mismatched
- Some of them have no tails
- 18th most popular dog breed in the United States according to the AKC
Temperament & Personality
Being an independent and bold dog, the owner must be confident and dominant. This dogs bonds well with family and adapts to surroundings very well but remains wary of strangers. It has a loving attitude but sometimes may stay reserved. It is useful for protecting and usually barks at strangers.
Without proper attention and exercise, it may behave rudely and have unnecessary habits like digging and scratching. They are not always good with young kids though, owing to their possessive nature. But with other pets with which they have been brought up, these dogs behave nicely. They are good friends to their owners and will do a lot of things to get attention and love.
An hour or two of proper training is required daily and it will happily join its owner in hiking, jogging, etc. A yard with proper fencing or a dog park is required in its playing area. Make sure the puppies are not over-exercised because their developing skeleton needs care. Avoid hard surfaces for puppies less than a year old.
The Australian Retriever has moderate to high needs of grooming because it sheds its coat the year round, especially during springtime. Regular brushing is required to keep up with the loose hair. For tangling hairs, use diluted hair conditioner and then brush.
Brush down to the skin to distribute the natural oils. Bathing should be done only when necessary to avoid the damage of the natural oils in the skin. Nails should be clipped once a week, brush their teeth twice a week and cut the nails when they are worn down naturall
The gene carries a deaf/blind factor. Checking of eyes and ears of the puppies must be done by a professional. Primary concerns are cataract and spinal defects, wherein minor concerns include nasal solar dermatitis, CHD and iris coloboma. Lumbar sacral syndrome, epilepsy and distichiasis are common in this breed.
Early training and socialization of the dogs are essential. Use positive methods, praise it, offer snacks as incentives and encourage it. The owner must be firm and in control because the dog needs a leader. Some dogs may be shy and timid and it is wise to avoid breeding them or socialize them in puppyhood to balance it.
Two to three cups of high-quality dry dog food, twice every day is recommended. The diet should be high in protein and the nutrition of puppies should not be compromised especially during their growing years. The diet of the dog will depend on its age, size and metabolism.