Australian Shepherd Myth Busting with Melissa Lambrecht
Myth: Australian Shepherds hail from ”Down Under”
Fact: The Australian Shepherd probably came from the Basque region of Spain. Basque shepherds first took their dogs with them to Australia and then to the United States, so Americans called the dogs Australian Shepherds. The breed is all American!
Myth: Blue-eyes in Australian Shepherds may go blind.
Fact: Blue-eyed Australian Shepherds are as healthy as their brown-eyed counterparts. It is the HSF4 gene or other underlying heath conditions that could result in blindness. We test for the HSF4 gene, ensuring that our dogs will not have inherited blindness traits.
Myth: All Australian Shepherds are born with tails
Fact: Some Aussies are born with natural docked tails — and can be 1/2 to 3/4 of a normal length tail. Aussies have a 1 in 5 chance of being born with a naturally-docked tail. A docked tail is the breed standard for an Aussie, and ensures a cleaner and more sanitary lifestyle for a dog. A docked tail is also safer for herding. WTM will leave a tail upon request for a non-working Australian Shepherd.
Myth: Aussies colors are Merle or Tricolor
Fact: There are two patterns to an Australian Shepherd: Solid or Merle
These words can be accompanied by Bi or Tri. White points are accent color. When copper is visible, it is a tricolor. When no copper is visible on an Aussie, it is called a bicolor. Merle is a mottled pattern with contrasting shades of blue or red.
Myth: Australian Shepherds are too active for condo or apartment owners
Fact: Every dog needs exercise! Aussies can acclimate to any home, but do need exercise. (And it's good for their owners too :). Aussies need both physical and mental exercise. This is a must for this breed. Aussies are a working breed so need a "job" to keep their mind busy. Without a designated job, they may make one up on their own. And it likely won't be one — and it likely won't be the kind of job you'd like.
Myth: Aussies are known to frequently snarl and bear their teeth at people
Fact: An Aussies’ ”smile” is actually a form of humble submission and respect, excitement, and happiness. This unique trait is seen more frequently in female Aussies. It is non threatening. Aussies are one of very few breeds that exhibit this behavior.