As an old and established breed, Australian Shepherds are generally relatively standardized when it comes to size. There are, however, notable differences between men and women. Australian boys are typically 20 to 23 inches and 50 to 65 pounds, while girls are 18 to 21 inches and 40 to 55 pounds.
A recent trend in the search for smaller versions of distinctive dogs has led to the creation of a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd, which the AKC distinguishes from the Australian by calling it the Miniature American Shepherd. These cute little dogs stand from 13 to 18 inches tall and weigh from 20 to 40 pounds, but they are equal to Australian Shepherds in almost every other way.
Miniature Australian Shepherds have a good life expectancy of 13-15 years. While they are generally healthy dogs, they can be prone to certain health problems as there are several chronic diseases and genetic traits in the gene pool.
Progressive retinal atrophy is a particular concern, as are hereditary cataracts, iris coloboma, and microphthalmia. All of this can make these dogs prone to vision problems in the future.
History of the Australian Shepherd
As we have briefly covered in our overview, the Australian Shepherd originated in Spain and was most commonly used as a herding dog. However, the breed was primarily developed here in the USA!
Australian Shepherds began using these dogs in the 19th century and they were originally called «blue dogs».
They were then transferred to America and renamed the Australian Shepherd, for obvious reasons!
Size and weight expectations of how big Australians get
Everyone has different ideas about what constitutes a big dog. For some, if they can’t hold the dog in the palm of one hand, then it’s too big. Others might consider a puppy big if he is almost as tall as they are or if he is a certain weight.
However, those are just opinions, so they are not one size fits all. Dog breeders use measurable information to determine if a dog fits into the small, medium, or large size categories. There are also toy categories for smaller four-legged friends and giant for, well, huge dogs.
Common Health Issues for Australian Shepherds
While Aussies are generally healthy, there are a few health related issues that Aussie owners need to be aware of when it comes to caring for these dynamos .
Allergies: One of the most common health problems Australian Shepherds face is allergies, especially skin allergies. The most common symptoms of allergies include excessive scratching and/or licking of paws, hot spots, paw and ear infections, and hair loss. These allergies can be caused by environmental factors (such as pollen or fleas) and food, so if your Aussie is experiencing any of these symptoms, see your vet to determine next steps for treatment.