There are two main theories with regards to the origin of the Australian Shepherd, and as yet no one theory can be proved or disproved.
Although the Australian Shepherd is called Australian it is in fact a bred that has been mainly developed in America, the origin of this breed goes back to the Basque/Spanish sheepdogs. It was in the late 1800's when the Basques emigrated to Australia to find work taking their sheepdogs with them, undoubtedly during the time in Australia some interbreeding took place.
One of the most frequent reasons Aussies require rehoming is because their owners didn't realize how much energy the breed has, and weren't willing to channel that energy through training. Aussies are also quite demanding of their owners’ time and attention and want to be constantly with them, following from room to room in the house and go along in the car on errands. They can be highly territorial and protective of their masters' possessions, which can cause serious difficulties unless controlled with proper training. Therefore it is recommend that you enrol with your local dog training club as soon as your Australian Shepherd is brought home.
The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent, medium sized dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. He can also be a delightful and loyal companion and great family dog. He loves to be part of the daily bustle, and enjoys riding in the vehicle just to be with his beloved master. As a farm dog, he diligently carries out his responsibilities, be they bringing in the stock or finding a stray one that got tangled in the brush. He is easy to train, easy to housetrain and eager to please but can be quite verbal at times.
Aussies have been used as Guide Dogs for the Blind, SARDA Search and Rescue dogs, dogs for the physically handicapped and many go to do valuable work as PAT dogs in hospitals and homes. Truly, the Australian Shepherd is a highly versatile dog.
The Aussie (as he is lovingly nicknamed) is a very active dog that needs a great deal of exercise on a daily basis to prevent him from becoming bored or frustrated and developing destructive habits. Because of their high energy level, combined with high intelligence, Aussies need to be given a "job" to perform.
ASCUK is the foundation Australian Shepherd Club in the UK and was formed in 1986 by a few dedicated breed enthusiasts.
If you would like to become a member, please download a membership form or fill in the contact form on the Membership page on the 'About ASCUK' tab.