Aussie Food and Health
The Australian Shepard has a merle coat. They feature a mottled tri-color effect in a variety of colors including white, blue, black, grey, brown, and tan. The merle gene also affects eye color. It’s common for Aussies to have different color eyes. One eye may be blue and the other brown. Green and blue are also common color combinations.
There is a 25-percent chance that an Aussie pup is born a “double-merle.” This genetic condition creates spectacular colors in coats and marble effects in the eyes. However, double-merle Aussies are predisposed to a wide variety of genetic issues. It’s common for double-merles to be born blind and or deaf.
The double-merle does not come as a result of inbreeding. The condition affects any dog breed where the merle gene is present. The median lifespan of an Aussie is between 11 and 15-years, which is typical for a medium to large size dog.
The Aussie is predisposed to a range of eye disorders. The most common being cataracts, and conjunctivitis (pinkeye.) Aussies may also suffer from skin disorders like eczema, as well as elbow and hip dysplasia as they age. Thyroid disease is also a concern. Before breeding an Aussie, it must undergo DNA tests to determine its genetic viability.
Aussies are well-structured, with a slightly longer tail than other breeds of this size. The docked tail prevents injury to the joint and helps them maintain balance when turning sharply at high-speed. They do well as sports dogs and learn hand signals without much training.
This breed has a friendly personality, and they make wonderful family pets. Aussies take a protective role around children, and they will gravitate toward your kids when left to their own devices.