The Australian Shepherd can be identified by its natural or docked bobtail. Males stand 20 to 23 inches tall; females 18 to 21 inches. Average weight is 40 pounds. The Aussie (common nickname) may be blue Merle, red Merle, liver Merle, red, liver, or black. Merle is described as any coloration with flecks of another color in it. Eyes are almond-shaped and may be any color. (Dogs with one blue and one brown eye are common.)
The Aussie is a well-balanced dog of medium size and bone. It’s attentive and animated, and shows strength and stamina combined with unusual agility. The dog should be slightly longer than it is tall. The coat should be of medium texture, straight to slightly wavy, weather-resistant, and of moderate length with an undercoat. The Australian Shepherd is intelligent, primarily a working dog, an exceptional companion, versatile, and easily trained.
The Australian Shepherd is commonly known as a general-use farm dog. It adapts well to small farms with limited work. As
with all working breeds, selection should be based on bloodlines and working style of the parents. The Aussie does not have the control- ling “eye,” but does have strong working instinct.
Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog was developed in Australia exclusively for working cattle in heavy brush or confinement. The breed is used in America to work cattle, hogs, and horses. Its primary style is “heeling,” defined as driving the animal by biting low on the heels.
The Australian Cattle Dog (also called the Blue Heeler) weighs approximately 33 pounds; males are 18 to 20 inches in height, while females are 17 to 19 inches. It may be blue-mottled, with or without black, or red-speckled with darker red markings on the head. A blue- headed dog may be marked with black and tan, with tan legs.
The Australian Cattle Dog has a moderately short coat, straight and medium textured, with a short, dense under coat. It’s a bold, strong, well-muscled dog that can withstand harsh conditions. A recognized American Kennel breed, it has specific standards for size, color, coat, and marketing. The breed usually is very aggres- sive and strong-minded, and has been bred to withstand a kick from cattle without backing off. A well- trained Australian Cattle Dog works effectively in stockyards and rough country. It can be difficult to handle with sheep, dairy, or poultry, and takes patience to train. The Australian Cattle Dog is well- known for its loyalty and protec- tive instinct. Australian Cattle
Dogs often become self-appointed guardians of their owners’ herds and property.
The Australian Kelpie is a lithe, extremely active, and intelligent dog with tireless gait and a strong instinct to work. It’s sometimes referred to as a “desert Border Collie.” It’s a short-coated, prick- eared dog that revels in difficult terrain. The Australian Kelpie was established specifically for desert or tough terrain where it could “muster huge areas under extreme conditions, often having to do without water for hours on end.”
It can be black, black and tan, red, red and tan, fawn-chocolate, or smoke-blue. Males are 18 to 20 inches in height; females 17 to 19 inches. The Kelpie weighs about 25 to 30 pounds. This breed is very sturdy and strong, but light boned. The Kelpie usually is found to have great endurance and energy and excellent working instincts. It works in an upright (standing) position, not flattened to the ground, and has a mild amount of controlling “eye.”
In the United States, well- trained Kelpies adapt to large herds of any type of livestock. Handlers must be aware of the Kelpies’ speed and endurance when select- ing the breed. Sometimes with small flocks, the dog tends to run circles around the flock, primarily because it was developed to work very large herds of sheep.
The Kelpie originated in Austra- lia in the mid-1880s, when three pairs of black and tan “working