Mom gets stopped all the time by people wanting to take pictures of us, wondering what kind of breed we are, and if we will get any bigger. The answers are yes you can take our picture, we are toy Australian Shepherds, and we won’t get any bigger!
Now let’s play the question game about Australian Shepherds!
Q: What are the different sizes of Australian Shepherds?
A: There are three different sizes of Australian Shepherds: standard, mini, and toy.
Standard Australian Shepherds mature between 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder. Males typically weigh between 50 and 65 pounds; females generally weigh between 40 to 55 pounds.
Miniature Australian Shepherds mature at around 15 to 18 inches tall and typically weigh 25 to 40 pounds. Other than size, the mini Aussie is identical to the standard Aussie. Again, males are often larger than females.
The toy Australian Shepherd is the smallest version. They were created by a similar breeding-down process. Toy Aussies stand between 10 to 17 pounds and typically weigh less than 20 pounds. Toy Aussies have all the same characteristics as their bigger counterparts.
Q: What are the different colors of Australian Shepherds?
A: Blue merle, red merle, red tri, and black tri
Blue merle means that the coat has a marbling of gray/silver and black. This coloring creates a “blue effect.” Blue merle Aussies can have solid colored eyes (like Luna pictured to the left) or they can have “marbled” eyes flecked with different colors. Milo has one blue eye and one blue flecked brown eye. Blue eyes are more common in merles than solid colored Aussies. When solid Aussies have blue eyes they are often more expensive than other Aussies because this combination is rare among Aussies. Blue merles can be a solid blue merle color, blue merle and white (also called a bi blue merle), and blue merle, white, and copper. Milo and Luna are blue merles with white and copper. Casper (pictured below) is a bi blue merle because his coat has no copper. A solid blue merle dog is pictured below Casper.
Some of our favorite blue merle Aussie accounts to follow on Instagram:
Red merle means the coat has a marbling of red and silver. Red merles often have “marbled” eyes. Poppy, picture above, is a red merle female with liver red spots. Red merle is a combination of red spots: light cinnamon to dark liver color. These spots are on a background of white, buff, or silver. Red merles can also have white markings on their face, chest, legs, and under parts. Copper is commonly seen on the face and legs of the dog.
Some of our favorite red merle Aussie accounts to follow on Instagram:
Black tri is another basic coat color of Australian Shepherds. Sometimes black tris have white markings on their face, legs, chest, and under parts. Copper is also common in black tris face. Black tri Aussies can be black and white with copper, black and white (also known as black bi), and solid black. Black tris typically have dark colored eyes but sometimes they may have lighter eyes. Breeders generally price black tris with light eyes higher because it is rarer than the other Aussie combinations.
Some of our favorite black tri Aussie accounts to follow on Instagram:
Red tri Aussies can range from a light cinnamon color to a dark liver color. They can also have white markings. Red Aussies can be red and white with copper points (red tri), red and white (red bi), or solid red.
Some of our favorite red tri Aussie accounts to follow on Instagram:
Q: Can all the different colors of Aussies be bred safely together?
A: NO! It is very important to educate people on this topic. When two merles are bred together this can lead to what is called a double merle. A double merle is often born both blind and deaf. If you are planning to adopt an Aussie make sure to see its parents first if it is predominately white. Double merles are the result of irresponsible breeding.
Taking on a blind and deaf dog is a very big challenge and we applaud the people that do it! We’ve listed some of our favorite accounts on Instagram of rescued double merles if you want to follow them:
Q: Do Aussies shed a lot?
A: Yes, Aussies need to be brushed frequently. To avoid shed and still have the Aussie breed people often get Aussiedoodles (Australian Shepherd mixed with a Poodle). Aussiedoodles also come in all different sizes.
Q: Are Aussies a healthy breed?
A: Yes, Australian Shepherds are a pretty healthy breed. They have been known to get bad eyes when they get older.
Q: Do Aussies have strong instincts?
A: Yes, most Aussies are born with an instinct to herd. This instinct is stronger in some dogs more than others. For example, Milo has a very strong instinct to herd and is always nipping at the other dogs butts when running. Casper also likes to herd his toys in a pile.
Q: Are Aussies high energy dogs?
A: Yes. Aussies are very high energy dogs. They get bored easily if they do not exercise frequently. Luna is the most high energy of The Little Aussies and she needs lots of exercise each day. One of the reasons Aussies often get turned over to rescue shelters is that their owners don’t anticipate how energetic these dogs are. This energy needs to be constructively channeled through training and long walks/runs.
Q: Are Australian Shepherds a loyal breed?
A: Very. Australian Shepherds often follow their owners from room to room. If they could they would be with their owners 24/7. It’s important for them to feel like members of the family! They can be territorial and protective over their owner and their possessions.
We hope this answered most of your questions about Aussies!
Lots of love,
Luna, Casper , Milo (Porkchop), and Poppy