One of the most important things to consider when getting a new dog is how big it will be. You don’t want to get a dog that will be too large for the space you have, or they won’t be happy. Australian Shepherds are a very popular dog breed right now, so you are likely wondering how big these dogs get.
When you hear the word Shepherd, it is easy to think that the Australian Shepherd is a big dog like German Shepherds. This is not quite the case, as Australian Shepherds are usually smaller than a German Shepherd.
Australian Shepherds are adorable, so how do you know if they are a good size for you? Keep reading to learn all about how big Australian Shepherds get and what you can do to help them reach their full potential.
How Tall Do Australian Shepherds Get?
Australian Shepherds will grow to stand somewhere between 18 and 23 inches to their shoulders. Female dogs will usually stay between 18 and 21 inches, while males will stand between 20 and 23 inches.
How Much Do Australian Shepherds Weigh?
Australian Shepherds will reach between 40 and 65 pounds when they are fully grown. Females won’t weigh as much as males, typically ranging between 40 and 55 pounds. Males will usually weigh somewhere between 50 and 65 pounds.
When Do Australian Shepherds Reach Full Size?
Australian Shepherds will usually reach their full size by the time they are 16 months old, but it can vary by dog. The best way to determine if your dog is finished growing is by taking them to their vet. The vet will be able to x-ray the dog and see if their growth plates are closed.
Growth plates are soft areas at the end of the long bones in the legs. They become filled with cells that help the puppy bones grow longer and stronger. When the Australian Shepherd reaches full size, the growth plates will become a stable part of the bone.
What are the Different Stages of Growth Australian Shepherds Go Through?
Puppies go through different stages of growth, just like humans do. As they grow, they go through several different developmental phases where they learn the world around them and the skills they need to get through their lives.
The first years of an Australian Shepherd’s life are extremely important. As an owner of an Australian Shepherd, it is just as important to understand what happens during each stage of their development. Once you understand, you will know if your pup is on track or not.
Every stage of development for a puppy is critical, but there is a significant emphasis on the first twelve weeks of their life. During this time, they can be taught skills that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. It is important to focus on training. The first twelve weeks can make or break how the Australian Shepherd behaves as an adult.
Birth to 2 Weeks
During the few couple weeks of your Australian Shepherd’s life, they will have completely developed their senses of taste and touch. Their other senses will not be very strong at this point. During the first two weeks, the pup will be completely dependent on its mother to care for its needs.
During these first two weeks, the puppy will still have their eyes and ears closed. They also will not be able to control their own body temperature. It is extremely important that the pups stay close to their mother during this time, as her body heat will warm them to survive.
By the end of the first week of life, the pup should double its birth weight. During the second week, their eyes will open, but they will not be able to see yet. Their legs will start to become stronger to hold their weight.
2 to 4 Weeks
During these two weeks, the pup is going through what is referred to as the transitional stage of their puppy development. They will start to develop the ability to hear and smell, their eyes will open, and their teeth will start to come in.
Also, during this time, the Australian Shepherd will learn how to stand, bark, wag its tail, and interact with siblings. Around the fourth of the fifth week of life, the pup will have eyesight that is developed enough to explore the world around them.
3 to 12 Weeks
This is when the puppy will start to socialize and interact with other species, like humans, cats, and other household pets. Play will start to become more important during this time because play is how they learn vital skills.
By week four or five, the dog will have completely developed eyesight. They will be able to see pretty clearly. This is also the time that Australian Shepherds will start to get their back teeth, and they will start to wean from their mother’s milk. They can begin to get their nourishment from puppy food.
Through play, the Australian Shepherd will improve their physical coordination, learn social boundaries, and learn when it is appropriate to bite. The puppy will also begin to be aware of the hierarchy of their pack.
Australian Shepherd puppies are usually completely weaned by the end of the sixth week of life. At this time, they should be eating five to six small-sized portions of puppy food a day. This will prepare them for when they leave to be with their forever families.
Between seven and nine weeks, the puppy will have fully developed senses and can even learn how to be house trained. During this time, they will also become easily frightened by common items, and they will need positive reinforcement to stay calm and learn that the item won’t hurt them.
At eight weeks of age, the pups are at the peak of puppy life. They will be ready to leave their siblings and mother and move in with their forever puppy. Approaching the twelve-week mark, you will need to socialize your pup with other people and other animals properly.
4 to 6 Months
At this point, the Australian Shepherd will completely understand the hierarchy of their pack. The owners will be included in this hierarchy and are thought of as the very top level, or leaders, of the pack. The teething process and excessive chewing will start here, so make sure there are plenty of toys.
Play will also start to develop more during this period. They will want to start playing with you and might even try to play tug—the more play interaction you can give your pup during this time, the better. Four months brings another fear stage, which requires positive and supportive attention.
This period is still a great time to work on training with your dog. They might get distracted easily but remain consistent with them. As they reach five months of age, they will be able to handle going on short walks. This is a great way to practice leash training, but don’t let them overwork themselves.
At about six months, the dog will roughly be 2/3 of its adult weight. This is also when they start their adolescent period. You will notice their adult coat beginning to grow in and increased independence. Continue to play and socialize with the pup.
7 to 9 Months
The Australian Shepherd will continue to grow and gain strength. During these months, you can expect the dog to begin challenging you while they explore where they stand in the pack. Remain consistent and positive with discipline.
Around seven months, a second chewing phase will start. Quickly correct the dog if they are chewing on something they shouldn’t have. During this time, if the dog hasn’t been neutered or spayed, you might notice they are starting into their first stages of sexual behavior.
As long as the dog is younger than nine months, exercise should be limited. They shouldn’t run or jump much, especially on hard surfaces like a floor. You should also avoid letting a puppy of this age walk up and down the stairs. Their bones are still in the developmental phase, and climbing stairs can damage joints and bones.
10 to 12 Months
Australian Shepherds will reach their sexual maturity between ten and eleven months. If you have a female that hasn’t been spayed yet, she will likely have her first heat. It is recommended to have your Australian Shepherd neutered or spayed between four and nine months.
At 16 months of age, your Australian Shepherd will be fully grown. As an adult, they are very high-energy, and they need to be kept busy. Give your dog a ton of exercise, as a walk around the neighborhood will not be anywhere near enough exercise.
If you have the interest, you can train your Australian Shepherd to compete in competitive sports. These dogs need to have a job, and if they are not trained properly or kept stimulated, they become extremely unhappy. They need social interaction and should not just be left in the backyard to play alone.
What Can Influence Your Aussie’s Size?
Several factors can influence how fast your Aussie grows and how big they will be when they are fully grown. Some of the factors can be controlled, while other factors are not controllable by the owners or the vet.
It is important to understand the factors that influence the growth of your Aussie. When you understand the factors, you can do everything you can to help your pup grow and reach its full growth potential.
Genetics play a major role in how fast your dog will grow and how big they get. Variation of genetics is important in a species of an animal because it enables each individual to be different. One genetic difference between dogs, even of the same species, is their size.
Genetics is always pre-determined. That means there isn’t anything you or your vet can do to change them. Genetics isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to size, but they play a pretty large role.
You can think of genetics as giving the Aussie the potential of reaching a certain size. Just like humans, some dogs will grow larger than others. To overcome genetics, you can maximize the other factors to help promote the healthiest and most natural development for your Aussie.
The diet a dog is fed is important no matter what the breed is. They need proper energy to be able to grow. A dog’s diet mostly consists of protein and carbohydrates, along with essential minerals and vitamins for a strong immune system.
Australian Shepherds are an extremely high-energy breed. This means they need energy for not only growth but for exercise. You will want to feed your Aussie the best puppy food you can find. It will need to be well balanced with all the micronutrients they need.
It is recommended to feed Australian Shepherds three to four times a day when they are puppies and can be reduced to fewer meals when they are fully grown. Avoid over-feeding your dog because more food does not equal a faster growth or larger dog.
Excess calorie intake for a dog will be converted to fat. This can lead the dog to be overweight and develop digestive problems. To help your dog grow, feed them the right type of food in the right amounts, not an excessive amount of food.
If you give your Aussie too much exercise at too young of an age, It can cause damage to their growth plates. As the dog grows, the growth plate eventually grows into the bone and becomes a permanent piece of their body.
The height of an Aussie will depend on how long their leg bones grow, which won’t be very long if the growth plates get damaged. The impact from excessive running or jumping can cause the growth plates to develop incorrectly, which can stunt the growth and result in joint disease in the future.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise your puppy at all. Let your puppy run and play like normal, as it is important for social development. However, you should avoid taking the dog for long walks or jogs until they are 16 months old.
If you have your dog spayed or neutered at too early of an age, that can influence how they grow. Fixing your dog too early can delay the closure of the growth plates, resulting in the dog growing larger than they are supposed to.
It is highly recommended to wait to fix an Aussie until they have reached a stable weight. You can fix them between four and nine months, but it is recommended to wait as long as possible. Monitor your dog’s weight and wait for a plateau; then, you can talk to the vet about spaying or neutering.
How Can You Help Your Aussie Reach Their Full Size?
Australian Shepherds are extremely active and have a lot of energy. The most important thing you can do for your Aussie’s growth is to feed them the proper amount of food for their age. You can get advice from your vet on the best way to give your pet the proper nutrition.
You can also avoid giving them too much exercise at too young of an age. You should wait until the pup is fully grown before taking it on long walks or even jogs. You should also avoid letting them walk up and downstairs before they reach their full growth.
What’s a Miniature Australian Shepherd?
A miniature Australian Shepherd shares several physical traits with the Australian Shepherd, just in a miniature size. Female miniature Aussies will only grow to be between 13 and 17 inches tall, while males will stand between 14 and 18 inches.
Their weight will fall somewhere between 20 and 40 pounds. Despite their miniature size, these dogs are still fantastic herding dogs. They still have the energy and intelligence of an Australian Shepherd. They also need a moderate amount of exercise to remain healthy and happy.
There is only one difference between Australian Shepherds and Mini Australian Shepherds, and that is their size. Other than that, the breeds are exactly the same. Miniature Aussies were first bred in the late 1960s and were created by breeding small Australian Shepherds together.
Want To Train Your Australian Shepherd With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your Aussie properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your Shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases, it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Australian Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
When you are considering getting a new dog, it is extremely important to understand how big it will get. When you think of Shepherds, it is easy to think that the Australian Shepherd will be a large dog like the German Shepherd, but they are actually considered to be medium-sized dogs.
Australian Shepherds only grow to be between 18 and 23 inches tall and 40 to 65 pounds. There are several factors that determine how large your Aussie will get. Some factors can be controlled, such as diet and exercise, while others can’t, like genetics.