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Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd (or Aussie) was probably developed in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. It is called an Australian Shepherd because of its association with Basque shepherds who came to America from Australia in the 1800s.
This agile, highly intelligent breed lives for his job, which can range from an all-purpose farm or ranch dog to a herding dog to a wonderful companion for an active family. Aussies have a very high energy level and require daily vigorous activity to maintain physical and emotional health. They are good people dogs, though they tend to be wary of strangers. Their natural intelligence and energy allow them to excel in agility and obedience trials, as well as in herding and fly ball.
Despite their high levels of energy and intelligence, Australian Shepherds are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions which can adversely affect their health – not to mention your family vacation fund. Some of the conditions and illnesses Australian Shepherds are prone to include joint problems such as Legg-Calves-Perthes disease and elbow and hip dysplasia; eye conditions such as cataracts and persistent pupillary membranes; and thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Aussie inherits dad’s bad hips or mom’s poor eyesight, you’re covered.