The Australian Shepherd, often known simply as the "Aussie", is a medium-sized breed of dog that was developed in the United States, and identified as a breed in the early 20th century. The preceding forebears of the foundation dogs likely had several sources, but were primarily UK rural landrace herding collies of various types and/or regions. Other landrace types that oral histories commonly attribute to Australian Shepherd ancestry include herding farmcollies of the Iberian peninsula and German herding farmcollie types, with possible connections via travel to Australia prior to travel to the United States. (This last supposition is poorly supported by evidence, but is persistent in oral history traditions.) There is disagreement regarding the exact provenance of the breed's progenitures, prior to their arrival in the United States, and thus no official consensus on the origin of the breed name or association with Australia, or on exactly which landrace dogs contributed to the foundation dogs' gene pool.They are similar in appearance to the English Shepherd and Border Collie breeds, and research has found that Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are closely related to each other. This, and the current physical appearance of the Australian Shepherd, tend to support the oral histories, at least in regard that there is some inheritence from landrace farmcollie types of the European mainland. Australian Shepherds rose in popularity with a boom in Western riding after World War II. They became known to the general public through rodeos, horse shows, and Disney movies made for television. For many years, Aussies have been valued by stockmen for their versatility and trainability. While they continue to work as stock dogs and compete in herding trials, they have earned recognition in other roles due to their trainability and eagerness to please and are highly regarded for their skills in obedience. Like many working breeds, Aussies have considerable energy and drive. They often excel at dog sports such as dog agility and frisbee and are also highly successful as search and rescue dogs, disaster dogs, detection dogs, guide dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs. They are considered the 17th-most popular dog breed in the United States.
Also known as
This breed is also called Austrailian Shepard, Australian Shepard, Australian Shephard, Australian Shepherd as well as Australian Sheppard.
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