How To Tell If An Australian Shepherd Is Purebred?

How To Tell If An Australian Shepherd Is Purebred

Identifying purebred dogs may be hard, especially if you adopted them.

Fortunately, if you are wondering if your Australian Shepherd is purebred, there are some things you can do to check.

The Australian Shepherd originated from the western United States and bred to herd livestock.

They are known to be the happiest when they are working and are loyal to their owners.

Want to know if your Australian Shepherd is purebred?

Read on to find out how you can tell!


To tell if an Australian Shepherd is purebred, there are multiple ways you can check, including:

  • Checking their pedigree papers
  • DNA Tests
  • Physical appearances


Knowing if your dog is purebred is important as it will help you know more about them such as their physical appearances, temperament, and potential health issues.


The Appearance of a Purebred Australian Shepherd

australian shepherd

As Australian Shepherds have strong herding and guarding instincts, they have distinct eyes and noses that can help determine if they are purebred.

Purebred Australian Shepherds have ears that fold down, while not looking floppy.

Their ears are triangular and sit high on their heads.

They also have large, multi-colored eyes.

Purebred Australian Shepherds can have a mix of any of these eye colors:

  • Brown
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Orange


While Australian Shepherds may have multi-colored eyes, not all of them do.

Their tails are bushy and bobbed. Typically, their tails rise to the same level as their head when upwards.

Look out for their tail when it is upright to determine if they are a purebred Australian Shepherd.

Australian Shepherds have recognizable heads that are proportionate to their bodies.

Their head is strong and clean-cut while their body is strong and sturdy.

When standing, their hind legs are typically extended slightly to the back of their body.


This breed can also be well defined through its fur coat.

Their coats are thick, varying according to the climate, and water-resistant.

Purebred Australian Shepherds also come in various colors, including:

  • Black
  • Red
  • Merle
  • Blue merle
  • Red merle
  • Red tricolor
  • Black tricolor


They also tend to have markings on their body, of any of the colors above. These markings include white markings, tan points, or both.



Learn More:

How Do I Know If My Shiba Inu Is Purebred



The temperament of an Australian Shepherd

You can know if your Australian Shepherd is purebred by looking at their behavior too.

As these dogs are bred to herd animals, they tend to have herding behavior.

This means that they are protective of other dogs and even people.


Australian Shepherds are also extremely energetic, needing more than 30 minutes of exercise a day.

Purebred Australian Shepherds need strenuous exercise and activities to help them be calm throughout the day.

Purebred Australian Shepherds also need early socialization and training.

This will help them be exposed to different people and environments to keep them feeling confident.


As mentioned, this breed loves to work and is highly intelligent, thus making them fairly easy to train.

Do note that the temperament and behavior of Australian Shepherds vary according to the individual dogs.

Temperament depends on their hereditary and training too.


The health of a Purebred Australian Shepherds

sick australian shepherd dog

While Australian Shepherds are generally a healthy breed, they are still prone to certain illnesses and health conditions.

While not all Australian Shepherds may get these conditions throughout their lifetime, it is important for you to be aware of them.


These conditions include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Deafness
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Distichiasis
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Persistent Pupillary Membranes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies
  • Drug Sensitivity
  • Cancer
  • Nasal Solar Dermatitis
  • Detached Retina


If you have identified that your Australian Shepherd is purebred, it is important that you take note of these potential conditions.



Other Ways to Check if Your Australian Shepherd is Purebred

While it is easy to check if an Australian Shepherd is purebred through their physical appearances, it may be hard if your Australian Shepherd is a puppy.

Checking if dogs are purebred through physical appearances may not be 100% reliable.

Thus, there are other methods which you can do for more accurate results.


One way is to see if your Australian Shepherd has a pedigree.

Pedigree papers help prove that dogs are purebred.

These papers also include the dogs hereditary, for you to know more about their ancestors.

If you have purchased an Australian Shepherd from a breeder, you should ask for their papers to find out more about them.

If your breeder is reliable, they will not have any problems showing these papers to you.

Do look out for fraudulent breeders as they may try to fool others with fake papers.


Alternatively, you can do a DNA test for your dog.

This method is promising, showing you not only their hereditary but also their potential physical appearance, temperament, and potential health conditions.

These DNA tests can be done both at home and by a vet.

If you are performing the test at home, remember to purchase a DNA kit from a well-recognized company to ensure that the tests are accurate.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, knowing if your Australian Shepherd is purebred is important to understand their needs better.

This information can help you know more about how they behave and what potential health conditions you may need to look out for.

There are multiple ways to check if your Australian Shepherd is purebred, from looking at their physical appearance to getting a DNA test.


Ultimately, whether your Australian Shepherd is purebred or not, you should love them the same.

Remember that not all Australian Shepherds are the same too!


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.