Skip to main content

Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company.

Australian Shepherds: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Sheep beware, Australian Shepherds have energy for days and they aren't afraid to use it! Learn more about these picture-perfect herding dogs and discover if they're a lifestyle fit for you.

Australian Shepherd gazing out window on rainy day while someone brushes him


Known for their working prowess, the Australian Shepherd, despite its name, actually originated in the United States. They were bred for herding and are often associated with cowboy culture, working alongside ranchers.

Australian Shepherd Breed Guide


Aussies are known for their stunning multi-colored coats, often a mix of blue merle, red merle, black, or red, all with or without white markings. Their expressive eyes can be blue, amber, or even one of each, giving them a unique and captivating look.

They’re known to have quite rounded derrières, think apple bottoms with fur, (no jeans). Many Australian Shepherd tails are docked at birth, though thankfully that practice is becoming phased out in favor of natural tails.

Similar breeds

Similar breeds include the Border Collie, English Shepherd, and Shetland Sheepdog. All share herding traits, intelligence, and an athletic build.


Energetic, intelligent, and loyal, Aussies are all about action. Whether it's herding, playing, or learning new tricks, they need mental and physical stimulation. They're affectionate with their families but might be reserved around strangers.

Are Australian Shepherds hypoallergenic?

Australian Shepherds are not considered hypoallergenic, and they do shed. Regular grooming is necessary to manage shedding and keep their coat healthy.

Looking for an allergy-friendly dog? We've got you covered with our guide to hypoallergenic breeds.

Health concerns

Common health issues include hip dysplasia, cataracts, and epilepsy. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet can minimize these risks.

How big do Australian Shepherds get?

Males usually weigh between 50-65 pounds, females 40-55 pounds. Height ranges from 18-23 inches, depending on gender.

A dog’s age, whether they’re male or female, and their activity levels can affect their size in adulthood. If they’re a mixed breed, this estimate can be a bit more complex.

Life expectancy

Aussies typically live around 13-15 years with proper care and a healthy lifestyle.

Expected lifetime cost

Expect to spend between $15,000 and $20,000 throughout the lifetime of an Australian Shepherd, covering food, training, health care, and more.

Estimated cost to insure

Insuring an Australian Shepherd might cost around $40 to $60 per month, depending on coverage, age, and health.

The good, the bad, the ugly

  1. Energy Overload:

    Aussies have energy for days. Without regular exercise and mental challenges, they can get bored, and trust us, a bored Aussie is a chaotic Aussie.

  2. Grooming Commitment:

    Their beautiful coat needs regular care. If grooming isn't your jam, this might be a deal-breaker.

  3. Herding Habits:

    It's cute until they try to herd small children or other pets. It's in their nature, but it might require training to manage.

  4. Stranger Danger:

    They might be reserved or even standoffish with strangers. Socialization is key to help them feel at ease.

  5. Health Checks:

    Regular vet visits are crucial to keep an eye on those common health issues.

So you want an Aussie..

Australian Shepherds are a vibe for those who are into an active lifestyle and are committed to training and grooming. They're not just a pretty face; they need work and love. If that's what you're all about, an Aussie might just be your next best friend. If not, it's cool; knowing what you can handle is just as important.

Pattern Blue

by you

Design your pet’s plan in less than 60 seconds!

medium sized cat illustration
medium sized cat illustration
Cat illustration
Cat illustration
Cat illustration
Your Pet's Type
Chat with an Expert