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10 Fun Facts About The Beloved Australian Shepherds

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Fallen suddenly and deeply in love with the Australian Shepherd? I get it. The Australian Shepherd is the most favored dog breed in America for a reason. Not only are Aussies gorgeous, they’re brainy as well! Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs, which also means they can’t hang out with just anyone. These smart and energetic dogs shine best if their owners are also the active and outgoing type. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve got what it takes to keep this dog healthy and happy.

Whether you’ve just welcomed home your own Aussie puppy or you're looking to brush up on the breed, here are some fun facts and information about the Australian Shepherd that are sure to blow your mind.

1. The breed's name is technically a misnomer

A misnomer is an incorrect or unsuitable name or term for a person or thing. One of Dictionary.com's definitions for misnomer is "the act of referring to a person by the wrong name." Notwithstanding their name, the Australian Shepherd is not an Australian dog breed. The breed was developed in the U.S. in the 19th century, which makes it an all-American dog breed. Popular accounts say the Australian Shepherd was so named by observant Americans who thought the dog's forebears were brought to the U.S. from Australia.

2. Australian Shepherds are deemed the best-looking dogs in the world

three merle Australian Shepherds
Source: Instagram

Australian Shepherds are just naturally beautiful dogs with captivating eyes and wonderfully unique coats. They come in four basic color variations including black, red, blue merle, and red merle. Literally, no other breed has the captivating eyes of an Australian Shepherd. Plus, Aussies are insanely cute as puppies, albeit equally handsome as adults. If you are an active person, do yourself a favor and get an Australian Shepherd. Not only are Aussies gorgeous dogs, but they're also extremely smart and loyal.

3. Australian Shepherds have the best smile in the dog world

A red merle Australian Shepherd smiling

Australian shepherds are known for conveying affection through smiling. In addition to being a common display of love, this behavior reflects Aussies' strong bond with their owners. Additionally, Australian Shepherds are known to bare teeth when they smile, something only a few breeds do. All things considered, I think Australian Shepherds have the most beautiful smile.

4. Australian Shepherds try to herd their owners sometimes

Australian Shepherds were originally bred and used solely as herding dogs. Consequently, many pet Aussies retain a strong herding instinct, though the modern breed is predominantly bred for pets. Therefore, Australian Shepherds with strong herding instincts may try to herd children or other pets in the household.

For example, your Aussie may nip at your heels and give you a mean side eye when you aren't moving fast enough on a walk. Because of this habit, many Aussies have ended up in rescue situations. To keep this instinctual behavior in check, the AKC recommends early socialization and obedience training as musts for Aussies.

5. The Australian Shepherd is one of the smartest dogs on earth

So, how smart are Australian Shepherds, really? The 42nd smartest, actually. According to Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs, Australian Shepherds are the 42nd smartest dog breed around. This rank was based on Aussies' ability to understand new commands and learn new tricks quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, to many Australian Shepherd owners, their dog is the smartest in the world.

6. Australian Shepherds are America’s Most Favorite Dog Breed

America's Favorite Dog Breeds chart

Forbes Advisor 2023 Pet Survey finds that Australian Shepherds are the most favored dog breed in America. Per the survey, the Aussie emerged as a favorite dog breed in several states, including Georgia, Arkansas, Arizona, Alaska, and Alabama.

7. Aussies are loved by many celebrities

The Australian Shepherd in the "The Noel Diary" movie

Yes, Australian Shepherds make the best family pets - but they’re also popular with celebrities. These include Amanda Seyfried, Paul Bettany, Alyssa Milano, Kellan Lutz, and Helena Christensen - to name a few! Also, Australian Shepherds are no strangers to the big screen. They have appeared in several famous movies and TV shows, including "100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd," "Strays," "Marmaduke," and "The Noel Diary."

8. Australian Shepherds tend to be "Velcro dogs"

The term "Velcro dog" refers to any dog that follows you more than your own shadow. Australian Shepherds were originally bred to follow and work alongside a master through thick and thin. As a result, most Australian Shepherds, when kept as pets, exhibit this instinctual behavior, following their owners from room to room. While this behavior can make your Aussie your most loyal pal, it can also be a nuisance if the condition is fueled by anxiety.

9. Australian Shepherds are (multiple) record breakers

The Australian Shepherd is not just America's most favorite dog breed, - they’ve secured permanent places in the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2023, one talented Australian Shepherd named Daiquiri broke the Guinness world record for the most socks removed by a dog in one minute.


So far, Daiquiri the Aussie has broken 12 records, including this recent one. In 2017, an Australian Shepherd named Leap broke the record for the longest jump by a dog. For your information, it was a remarkable 9.60 meters! In a slightly more bizarre claim to fame, one Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix named Sweet Pea broke a record by traveling 100m in just 2 minutes 55 seconds with a can skillfully balanced on top of her head. Australian Shepherds are a breed of many talents, to say the least.

10. Aussies were called "Ghost Eye Dogs" by Native Americans

a heterochromia Australian Shepherd

Legend has it that Australian Shepherds were called "Ghost Eye" dogs by Native Americans who revered the dogs as sacred. Many Aussies have pale blue, "ghostly" eyes or two different-colored eyes, aka heterochromia. Aussies might have one brown and one blue eye or even display more than one color within the same eye.

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