Where Are Australian Shepherds From?
The Australian Shepherd, despite the name, is an American-bred dog developed in California for controlling large flocks of sheep. Another name for the breed is the Australian Shepherd Dog or the Aussie, for short. The breed came about when the Pyrenean Sheep Dog, which was taken to Australia by European Basque farmers to control large flocks of sheep, was crossed with the Collie in the mid to late 19th Century.
The breed was thought to be purely Australian, which inspired the name, although the true origin is European. The main development of the breed took place on American ranches over the following years, creating the modern animal we know today. The exact breeds that were used to develop the modern-day Australian Shepherd are unknown, but believed to be the Smithfield, Collie, and Border Collie.
In the 21st Century, Aussies are still used to herd flocks all over the world and have even branched out into field trial competitions, narcotics detection work, hearing service for the deaf, search and rescue work, and Frisbee displays.