Skip to main content

Why is the Australian Shepherd Called Australian?

As an Amazon Associate, The Autralian Shepherd Blog earns from qualifying purchases via links on this blog—at NO extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

A fluffy Australian Shepherd dog

The Australian Shepherd is a breed of herding dog described, in terms of temperament, as intelligent, affectionate, good-natured, active, and protective. When I first heard the name, I thought the dog was from Australia. However, to my greatest surprise, the Australian Shepherd is said to be from the United States. This begs the question of why Australian Shepherds are named after Australia if they did not originate from the country. Below is what I found, according to my research.

The breed's name is a misnomer

The name "Australian Shepherd" is technically a misnomer because, according to the breed's history, it was developed in California in the 19th century. Ancestors of the Australian Shepherd probably came from the Basque region of Spain. According to the American Kennel Club, Basque immigrants from the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain first took their dogs with them to Australia and then to the United States. 

In the US, it is believed that Basque immigrants' Pyrenean shepherds crossbred with other working dogs, including collies, to create the Australian Shepherd. So Americans named the breed "Australian Shepherd" solely because its ancestors were brought from Australia.

Today, the Australian Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds, not only in the United States but in many other countries around the world.

Are Australian Shepherds Popular in Australia?

The Australian National Kennel Council officially recognized the Australian Shepherd on January 1, 1994, four years after the breed was reintroduced into the county in 1990, when the Ford family emigrated from England. The breed, as we know it today, is considered rare in Australia, selling for around $1,000–$2,000 AUD.

The top ten most popular dog breeds in Australia, according to Nine.au, include the following:
  1. Cavoodle
  2. Miniature dachshund
  3. Golden retriever
  4. French bulldog
  5. Labrador retriever
  6. Border collie
  7. English Staffordshire bull terrier
  8. German shepherd
  9. Maltese dog breeds
  10. Goldendoodle

Top 8 dog breeds originating in Australia

  1. Australian Cattle Dog: A medium-sized, short-coated dog developed in Australia in the 1880s and 1890s for droving cattle over long distances across rough terrain.
  2. Australian Cobberdog: Developed in Australia by the Rutland Manor with the sole objective of having the ideal characteristics to serve as therapy and service dogs, Australian Cobberdogs are derived from a combination of at least eight existing breeds in order to achieve the desired temperament.
  3. Australian Kelpie: A medium-sized Australian sheepdog that comes in a variety of colors and is capable of mustering and droving with little or no guidance.
  4. Australian Silky Terrier: A small dog breed of the terrier dog type, the Australian Silky Terrier was developed in Australia during the late 1800s and early 1900s by crossing the Yorkshire Terrier and the Australian Terrier.
  5. Miniature Fox Terrier: Developed as a hunting dog and vermin router in Australia, the Miniature Fox Terrier is a balanced, smoothly-muscled dog breed that comes in only three permitted color combinations: black and white, tan and white, and black, tan, and white.
  6. Koolie: The Koolie (also known as the Australian Koolie) is an Australian working or herding dog that has proven its worth in many other fields where it is renowned for its sensitivity, athleticism, and obedience.
  7. The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog: Commonly known as the Stumpy, the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog was first recognized as a breed in its own right in 1963 by the Australian National Kennel Council.
  8. Tenterfield Terrier: Developed in Australia, this breed of dog is deemed an 'easy care' family companion due to its smooth, short coat.
Although the above dog breeds originated in Australia, none of them has been listed among the country's top ten most popular dog breeds in recent years.

Conclusion

The Australian Shepherd is not native to Australia. The breed was first developed in the United States in the mid-19th century, when Basque people came to the United States from Australia to herd sheep and bring dogs with them. When their dogs crossbred with other herding dogs in the US, Americans called the offspring Australian Shepherds.

Sources:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What 2 Breeds Make an Australian Shepherd?

MOST dog breeds, including the Australian Shepherd, were not originally created by crossing two different breeds. In Australian Shepherds' case, their origin is rather uncertain. By all accounts, the Australian Shepherd, aka Aussie, was developed in the United States but was so named by observant Americans who believed the dog's ancestors came from Australia. As I mentioned earlier, there are no two dog breeds that make up the modern Australian Shepherd breed. The Aussie is believed to have been developed by mixing various herding dogs. According to legend, Australian Shepherds' ancestors were brought, along with sheep, to the United States by Basque shepherds from Australia. The exact combination of sheepdogs used to create the Australian Shepherd we know today is unknown. However, two breeds are believed to be among the breeds involved in the Australian Shepherd's development. These include the Collie and the Pyrenean Shepherd . Collies, which form a distinctive typ

Australian Shepherd vs Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Shepherd and Australian Cattle Dog are both medium-sized breeds of herding dogs bred for droving cattle over long distances across rough terrain. However, though both dogs belong to the same group, they differ in terms of intelligence, characteristics, and origin. If you’re looking to bring home a smart dog with a strong herding instinct, these two dog breeds are worth considering. Origin Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd did not originate from Australia . It was developed in California, United States, in the late 1800s and was so named by Americans who believed the breed's ancestors came from Australia. Australian Shepherds' ancestors are believed to be sheepdogs that Basque immigrants brought with them to the US from Australia. On the other hand, the Australian cattle dog is native to Australia. The first Australian cattle dog was created in the 1880s by Jack and Harry Bagust of Sydney. Australian cattle dogs' ancestors are believed to be Halls Heel

7 Celebrities Who Own Australian Shepherd Dogs

According to a recent survey by Forbes, the Australian Shepherd, or Aussie is America's most favorite dog breed . The breed is winning hearts and souls with its smarts, playful nature, and gorgeous look. Speaking of gorgeous looks, Aussies arguably have the most beautiful coat and prettiest face. Plus, they are heartbreakingly cute as puppies, albeit insanely cute as adults, too.  Initially bred and used as farm dogs, Aussies, as well as other herding dogs,  have found their way into family homes instead of out in the fields, as the traditional livestock industry dwindles. That includes celebrities' homes as well. In this article, we will look at a few celebrities who have welcomed Australian Shepherds into their homes. 1. Amanda Seyfried Actress Amanda Seyfried owns an adorable Red Bi Australian Shepherd that is almost as famous as her. She regularly shares pictures of her and her Aussie, named Finn Seyfried, with her millions of followers on Instagram. What's more, Finn h