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Breed: Australian Shepherd Red Merl by Mike McCartney
  • The Australian Shepherd is AKC's 135th breed.
  • The Aussie as we know it today developed in the US.
  • The Aussie probably originated in the Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains, but it was dubbed the Australian Shepherd because of its association with Basque shepherds who arrived in the United States from Australia in the 1800's.
  • Previous names of the Aussie include Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail, Blue Heeler, New Mexican Shepherd, and California Shepherd.
  • The Aussie's popularity boomed with Western culture and horse-riding after WWII and was often featured in rodeos, horse shows, movies, and TV.
  • The Aussie is a favorite of ranchers, who use the breed for its inherent trainability and herding ability. It is a loose- to medium-eyed dog ("eye" being a general term referring to the way a dog controls stock via gaze).
  • The Australian Shepherd is not registered in Australia as a native breed, although it has been registered by other registries since the 1950's.

Australian Shepherd Red Merl by Mike McCartney Designs

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