Breed: Richard's Australian shepherd
Age: 11 Weeks Old
Australian Shepherd, a lean, tough ranch dog, is one of those 'only in America' stories, a European breed perfected in California by way of Australia. Fixtures on the rodeo circuit, they are closely associated with the cowboy life.
Australian Shepherds need roughly 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day, preferably with high-energy activities like playing Frisbee. They need a job to do as well, such as daily obedience training or competing in herding and agility trials.
Australian Shepherds can be very destructive and bark for long periods if they're not getting the exercise and mental stimulation they need.
Aussies will alert bark to warn you if they see or hear something suspicious, and will protect their family and home with a surprising fierceness.
Although Australian Shepherds have the reputation for needing wide-open space, they do just fine in cities if they get enough stimulation and exercise.
They're not good apartment dogs, though. You'll want at least a small yard to help them get out some of their high energy.
This herding dog's pushiness with livestock can carry over into the home and, with a timid or inexperienced owner, he may assume the dominant role in the family.
The breed needs a firm and confident owner — Aussies probably aren't a good choice if you've never had a dog before.
Australian Shepherds are average shedders, and their coat needs regular maintenance, including weekly brushing to keep it clean and prevent matting, and possibly trimming to keep it looking tidy.
Aussies enjoy the company of their family and prefer to stick close to their human pack. They don't do well stuck in the backyard by themselves for long periods.