The Australian Shepherd is another breed that is close to my heart. Our black and white Aussie was smart, highly active, a great watch dog and one of our many pets that truly tested my patience.
As a puppy, he was great at playing games to get your attention. One example is yard work; no matter what I was doing outside, he’d steal my stuff. Gloves, weeding tools, fencing material, everything. Biting your feet as you walk was another trait he was well-known for. A bit annoying when wearing flip-flops, but I still miss him every day!
The Australian Shepherd, known as the Aussie, is a medium size breed of dog that was developed on ranches in the western United States. It is believed by some that the breed has Basque origins in Spain and was used there by shepherds. What is known is that it developed in western North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Aussies are highly valued for their versatility and trainability.
They have a similar look to the popular English Shepherd and Border Collie. Aussie colors are black, red (liver), blue merle (marbled black, white and gray), and red merle (marbled red, white and buff), each of these colors may also have copper (tan) points or white markings in various combination on their face, chest, and legs.
A hallmark of the breed, some Aussies are born with naturally bobbed tails (NBT). Others may have full long tails, and still others with natural partial bobs, where the tail appears stubby. Breeders have historically docked the tails when the puppies are born, but in Europe, some countries have banned docking tails.
The Australian Shepherd is intelligent, learns quickly, and loves to play. Because of their considerable energy and drive they often excel at dog sports such as agility, Flyball, and Frisbee. Aussies are also highly successful search and rescue dogs, disaster dogs, detection dogs, guide dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs.
The Aussie is often called “Velcro Dogs” for their strong desire to always be near their owners and for their tendency to form intense, devoted bonds with select people. My Rudy was exactly that!