Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Average Age of Australian Shepherd Breed

by Gail

My Aussie is almost 12-1/2 years old and starting to show his age. He's still pretty happy, but has arthritis in his hind legs and now the vet wants to remove some of his teeth. I'm wondering what the average age is that this breed can live. I've heard between 11-13 years is about average. I want to prepare myself as much as possible for that day! Thanks.

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14 years old
by: Lisa

I have two friends that each had Aussies that lived to be 14. i have had othet Aussie owners tell me that was about the average age as well. I have two myself.

Average age of australian shepherd breed
by: Kathy

The average age for Australian Shepherds is 12-15 yrs old however some live shorter/longer lives. My female aussie is 13 yrs old and is pretty healthy and peppy for her age... she keeps up pretty good with my 8 yr old male aussie.

Life Expectancy
by: Harley's mom

We just lost our 10 year old male Aussie. Apparently he was suffering hymotoma from a tumor which caused his heart to fail.

We thought our wonderful dog had a few more years.

My best friend
by: Anonymous

My best friend Milo is an aussie, he is going to be 15 years old in June 2014. He is hard of hearing and cant see real well. The tragic thing with him is his hip displeasia. Its taking its toll. I go to the vets to get cordisone shots every other month, along with anti-inflammatory pills. Sad to say his quality of life is slipping. Am in a quandry as to what to do for him. I will miss him when he is gone. Greg.

15 1/2 years old and counting….
by: Anonymous

Our female Aussie will be 16 in summer 2014. Her mother lived to be a few months shy of 20 years. They both were standard AKC Aussies, but on the small side. We've been told larger sized Aussies don't tend to have the longevity of smaller ones. Our senior girl is hard of hearing and sleeps a lot, but she still enjoys walks. She was an avid frisbee catcher until she was 14+ years. Good luck to you with your senior dog!

15 and counting
by: Anonymous

My Aussie Bosco turned 15 on Sept 2nd, 2014. He was going strong until last yr. and could no longer hike with me or go on long walks. We still walk a slow mile everyday and everything else is o.k. He is also the smartest dog I have ever known.

Slowing down baby
by: Anonymous

We lost our first Aussie when 9, due to tumor. The blood line. Our current baby is 13.5 and seems to be slowing down. Much sleeping. Eating & pooping, stellar. loves to go out. BUT, is losing bladder control. Any thoughts?

My Baby
by: Anonymous

I am trying desperately not to cry while I write this. My baby girl was just shy of her 15th birthday and we put her down 3 days ago. Worst day of my life. For the person who posted about losing bladder control, she had that problem for years. Proin from the vet controlled it awesomely the entire time. The dosage is something we adjusted continually to fit the problem. Keep it in her system and she'll be fine. Our baby girl was getting too weak and in pain. We made the hard decision. She broke a leg when she was 8 and broke 2 teeth (loved to chew on ice!), but we overcame that with glucosamine chondroitin and fish oils. I swear that gave her all the more years that we had. For the last year or so she was either getting hip dysplasia or degenerative myelopathy, her back legs were almost useless, her front legs began giving out, we had to help her up stairs. She could no longer go on walks and she cried constantly. I am thankful for the 15 wonderful years she gave me and I will miss her for the rest of my life. But again, for those out there with Aussies, please remember not to keep them alive for you, when you know they are tired. They will stay here for you, they will fight through their ailments because of their sense of duty. It will be up to you to let them know it's okay to go, that they can rest until you meet again. Hug your Aussie tight- time goes by faster than you can imagine.

Dusty my 14 1/2 year old
by: Anonymous

I have a great Australia Shepard and he is almost 14&1/2 years old he has been the best dog ever but he has become a little slower with his age now but when it snows he still acts like a puppy. I have been a single mom all of his life and he is our protector and the man of our home losing him will kill me. I would recommend this breed to anyone!!! They are loving, caring, & loyal dogs with an awesome temperament with kids of all ages!!!

Happy Senior
by: Shell

My Aussie just turned 16. She has bad arthritis due to her younger years of playing frissbie and sleeps quite a bit. But I must say she is doing pretty good for her age and I am grateful for every day! She even underwent major surgery for a mass on her spleen at 14 yrs of age that was predicted might be cancerous, but it was benign. Sophie is my miracle baby and I'm so lucky to still have her!

Unusual eye problem in 13 yr old Aussie
by: Valerie

My dog, Skydog, is going to be 13 this month. He has blue eyes and has been pretty healthy, except for occasional limping and weakness in back legs. His blue iris on rt eye has turned outward and has adhered to itself. All you can see now is the black pupil. He does not seem to be in pain, yet has started to yelp on occasion. The eye specialist wants to remove his eye as there is nothing else to do to see what is causing the problem. They cannot see a tumor in the eye. Has anyone elses dogs had this type of problem? Has any one had to have their dogs eye removed? I am extremely reluctant to have this done.

11 yr old female
by: Anonymous

Our 11 yr old female started having issues a week ago and has quickly gone down hill. Started as loss of back limb control, so she would sit for a few mins and then be fine. That happened a couple of times, took to vet. Diagnosis of possible seizures. She has gotten weaker and was given heart meds for a faint murmur yesterday. Today she can not stand up, has voided on herself and is not eating or drinking. We have appt. In an hour. So heartbreaking.

Aussie three
by: Kim

Our Sadie will be 15 years old next month. She has been momma dog to all our kitten and puppy rescues. One of the best things we have done for her is add Dynovite to her meals and she gets 1,000mg of Glucosamine Sulfate. Her fur is beautiful again. She gets around good but we do help her get up do to her hips. She is a precious furry friend. We also have a six year old Aussie and knowing that our two older male guard dogs are slowing down, we added a young Aussie named "Chance" to the pack. Our two big boys and old Sadie are training him well. He is 64lbs of pure delight. This is a wonderful breed.

Our Zoe
by: tdl1501

She is 11.5 years now. Both hips taken out due to severe hip dysplasia as a pup, 6 and 9 months. She's 34 pounds, Aussie mix from a shelter in Texas. Probably some Border Collie and some happy Golden in her as she loves everyone.

I hope our herder lasts a few more years as she passed her ten year senior blood panel with honors, is on good food and sleeps well, at least 18 hours a day. She's always prettier than me, even wash and wear!

A wise Japanese woman petted her yesterday and said she was very soft, is old and treated well. Also that she is lucky. I consider that a sign for a long life with us.

Lost mine at 9
by: Anonymous

My Aussie lived a full and fun life. He loved to play with the squid key tennis ball. He would bounce it like a little basketball on the patio. He lived 9 years. He had cancer, kidney problems, and valley fever. He was always looking for a quick game of throw the ball or keep away. I miss him!

My wonderful, loving Aussie!!!
by: Bonnie Fields

My Chelsey is 10. And with all of her fur. I didn't notice she has lost weight. As I was petting her today, I really noticed that she is Skinner then She has been. Which prompted me to go on Google and see others comments. I have noticed she does sleep more. And isn't AS active as she use to be. Chelsey is ABSOLUTELY the most AWESOME, SMART, LOVING, KIND, SWEET, LOYAL dog I have ever had!!! And was wondering if there is something I can give her to pep her up?? I don't want her to get any health problems, if I can buy something to help her. Before she gets any kind of pain????

by: Mommy & Daddy of Reno

She almost made her 11th birthday. But she got tired. I feel like dying today myself as she was a VERY BIG part of our lives and of my (Mommy) wake up and go to sleep routine. We just let her go to Heaven yesterday so the wounds are still very open....I know we will get through this. We will always remember her from day 1.

Peanut Marie (Sissy) 11/4/2004 - 7/14/2015. RIP Sweet Baby Girl.

Chester Boy
by: Anonymous

My Chester is a sweet Black and White male Aussie. He loved is Frisbie and glowies and would play non stop with his toys and can identify all of his individual toys. The age has caught up with him, he has severe arthristis and has a bad problem with lifting his legs up from the back. I look at his eyes and tell him he still looks so cute and is still the man around here. My husband will fall apart when he does leave is and go to the angels. He is our best friend. He is a dog that does not give up and is as sweet as can be.
Rona NJ

by: Bill Fosbinder

My CJ is the best dog I have ever had. He is smart loyal and loving. people laugh when he walks by their chair he will give them a kiss on the hand or elbow as he goes by.He tells time better than my old alarm clock . CJ is 10 and has some stiff mornings, but he is happy happy. I cant imagine a morning without his routine. I make coffee and fill a pencil bag with treats. i let him out and when he is done he grabs the bag off the counter and takes it to my chair .we have coffee and treats like this EVERY day for 10 years. wish i could adopt every Aussie that is homeless, but the next best thing is to sing their praises and hope for them all.

Aussie 17 Going on 18
by: Aussie with an Aussie

Our Aussie, Kayley, is 17 going on 18 in December! We are so surprised. Four years ago, she began to lose hearing, and while she could still walk well, had trouble going up and down stairs. We took her on a three mile hike two years ago (aged 15) and she almost passed out, so we didn't do that again. Now, at aged 17, she cannot hear, has frequent accidents, and spends most of her day sleeping, or pacing back and forth through the living room or walking in circles. She is always smiling though. She has a hard, hard time standing up, but she is still aware and seems happy. Often I think, how is she still going? But somehow she is. We like to say that our Kayley still has a lot of fight left in her!

lazy, but still going strong
by: Ben

My grandfathers dog is named roscoe and is about 14 1/2, hes extremely sluggish but just lost 20lbs so we think he will be doing better soon. He doesnt have any issues other than weight and we both hope he will be around for many more years as he is a very funny dog and keeps my grandfather company.

My Girl
by: Anonymous

My Aussie was 14 in August slowing down with her arthritis lost her hearing but follows hand commands with ease and swear she reads lips on certain words like potty outside and TREAT she is the best loving dog we have owned hope to have her few more years love my girl

15 year old Aussi
by: Kim

My Aussi Sara turned 15 February 2015. She is from Heaven Sent Farms in Florida.. Sara has been a fun and energetic pup.. The last couple of years she has been on supplements for her hips and front legs.. We came home yesterday to her not being able to move much because her front leg is stiff.. Yesterday she layed under the oak tree at 6 pm and was in that same spot at 5am.. That is her favorite place.. Sara loves being outside, you bring her in and she sits at tbe door and cryes to go out.. So in order to keep her happy and outside my husband carried her to our screened in patio we have a large cushion and a fan on her.. She does not seem to be in pain.. She just seems tired.. We are taking her to the vet Monday, the last thing I want is to have her put to sleep in a steril exam room.. I know my sweet Momma Dog would love to fall asleep under her favorite oak tree.. Send a little prayer for our sweet girl..

Hardest Day
by: Deb

Our aussie Sydney is 16 and we are putting her to sleep today. She has had a great life but the last few years have been hard for her. 7 years ago she had surgery on her ACL. She recovered pretty well from that but we always worried about her. We have faithfully walked her 3 times a day since. A couple years ago now her other ACL went but we didn't do surgery as she was so old. She has been doing okay with pain meds and joint supplements. She lost her hearing awhile ago. She walks very, very slowly now and falls easily. She still eats okay some days but has started to skip meals and sometimes vomits up her food. 2 weeks ago we discovered a golf ball size, hard, immovable lump on her upper front leg. It has grown a little in size. As a family, we all decided it's time to end her suffering. It is getting harder to watch her decline. We know she's in pain even with all the medication she's on. This is so hard. She has been in our life for so long. My son can't remember life without her as he was 4 when we got her. She has been the best dog and friend. I am trying to think about her not suffering anymore. I know it's right to do this but it's so, so hard.

14 and a half.
by: Kim Iverson

Sabrina turned 14 on August 2015. Yesterday (December 1st, 2015) we chose to let her go. She had a tumor on her side, directly above her right leg. Her kidneys started to fail. She slept most of the day, couldn't see very well, and hadn't been hearing well for a few weeks. Her walking was difficult, she randomly fell at times, but she was incredibly happy and still going strong despite those setbacks. On her good days she ran with the younger dogs still. Sabrina was the "nanna" to all our dogs, cats, chickens, and parakeets that we had throughout her life. Her coloring was unique for an Aussie and she was a dog who I could trust the opinion of more than anyone else. She loved everyone but for those few people who she knew intended me harm, she went up there with a Doberman in terms of fierceness. The vet told us he could help make her comfortable so she could be with us for Christmas, but we chose to be selfless instead. As I told my older brother last night, I will have plenty of spontaneous combustion moments now, which I have. I think of her fur, I cry. I think of her hugs, I cry. So this one is gonna take me a few days to finally stop the tears. She was a once in a lifetime sort of pet.

My dear Crosley
by: Stew

Crosley was my running partner and companion. We had him put down at 11 and 1/2 years after a football size mass was discovered encompassing one of his kidneys. It has been close to a year since we lost him but we are still in the grieving state. He seemed to be in good health and was still at 80lbs which he was most his life. (yes he was a big Aussie and a pure breed) We miss him so much and are dealing with our first Christmas without him.

aussie - 15 years
by: Amy

My Australian Shepherd was over 15 years old when i made the decision to put her to sleep. She had congetive heart failure for the last 2 years which i never would have guessed but the symptoms started witha a cough. She also had some arthritis and stayed on Previcox which was a miracle pill along with the Theophylline for the heart. For over 2 years, this kept her going just fine. She had some teeth pulled over the years, but had a healthy appetite. She could still run when she heard the dog next door outside, liked walks and was a loyal companion. long story short, her cough got worse, and xrays revealed her heart had enlarged to the point it was pressing on her esophagus causing more cough and choking. The vet wanted to try lasiks to relieve fluid and a cough suppressant, but she indicated it was a short fix. Sometimes you just 'know' what the best answer is. I did not want her to choke and suffer at the end of her life. I never cried so much in my life. Missing her terribly

International Aussie Tincup is 9 and going strong
by: Brent

My family has been blessed with the best dog ever and an amazing international life. We started our journey with our Australian Shepherd in Florida as a puppy, and he was a bit of a challenge with two small children under 5, but with training for both the children and Tincup we became a stronger family. In 2009 we moved to Switzerland on my expat assignment, and had a Swiss Chalet just above the town of Lausanne. Tincup was a constant in the children's lives and helped them adapt to their new surroundings. He also loved to chase the wild foxes up the mountain. We then went to part 2 of our adventure and moved to Sydney Australia in 2011. Luckily, because we started the Quarantine process prior to moving, Tincup only had to spend a month in Government Quarantine in Sydney, but we counted down each day like Christmas was approaching. Once he moved in to his new home in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, he learned to chase bush Turkeys and Bandicots. We lived 3 years in Sydney and taught many Australians what an Australian Shepherd was.. Actually not an Australian dog at all.. We now live back in Florida and also have a small farm in Alabama and have since adopted a Mexican street dog that appears to be an Australian Shepherd and Corgi mix...Tincup is older, and I don't do 5 mile runs in the outback, or climb Swiss Alps, but he lives a pretty charmed live and we love him very much!!

by: Anonymous

My aussie is almost 11, and was just diagnosed with dilated cardiomiopathy. I am devastated about it because he has always been so strong and healthy. He is a very large aussie, weighing in at 65 pounds, and is very talented. He swims every day in the summer, plays frisbee like a champion, has titles in AKC Rally, and Agility, loves riding my 4-wheeler, helps me teach Obedience classes, and is a trained Service Dog. I can't think of a whole lot that this dog doesn't do. His list of tricks is miles long. It breaks my heart to think he may only be with me for a few more months, but his life has been full, and I wouldn't trade this time for anything else in the world. I wish you could meet him. God love aussies!

My Baby is 13
by: Stacy

My Bogey is a 13 year old Aussie/Border Collie mix. He is the BEST dog. Unfortunately, his heath is deteriorating and I have made the decision to have him put to sleep this weekend. He shows no obvious signs of pain, but his back legs barely support him anymore and the light in his eyes is going out. He sleeps all the time and doesn't have the desire to go outside too much anymore. This is a dog that has been riding in the "Bogey Mobile" and hanging out at bonfires his entire life. We are having a farewell bonfire for him Friday night so all of his friends can come and say goodbye. He is loved by so many. Saturday we are having a friend that is a vet tech come out and put him to sleep (in the car, of course) before he takes his final ride to the vet's office for cremation. I don't want him to die in a clinical setting. I want my other dogs to be present when he takes his last breath. This has been the most difficult week of my life, but I plan to give him the best last few days. I love him so much, he is my true soulmate. Thank you for sharing your stories of love and companionship. This was very therapeutic for me.

Maxie girl 13
by: Anonymous

My Maxie girl turned 13 on March 24th unfortunately she passed away on 4-4-16. It was the saddest day ever. She was such a great and loyal dog. She was healthy and going strong until January . That's when things took a turn. She had a mass growing on her right shoulder which grew quite quickly . She stopped eating and did nothing but sleep . I took her to the vet and they did testing . Her red blood cells were very low. I chose to put her on antibiotics and steriods.... She was like a puppy again . I thought we had so much more time with her ..... A month later it started all over again . This time we went to bed and she passed in her sleep 💔 RIP my sweet baby

Our puppy boy
by: fiddlemom

We recently our beautiful puppy boy, Chief, on April 4th. He would have been 10 in August. He really lived life to the fullest almost every day. He loved to go for walks, hike in the woods and visit our little downtown area and restaurants. Everyone who knew him loved him. I always said Chief was so full of puppy joy. He was just romping and playing the evening before he died. We were devastated. He did have 2 autoimmune diseases, but they seemed to be under control. The next morning he just wasn't feeling well. Called the vet and was told to bring him in mid-afternoon. By early afternoon he was much worse. We rushed him to the vet and he died on the table 15 minutes after we got there. He will be missed and loved forever. Aussies are the best.

Best Dog Ever
by: Beth

We lost our beloved Aussie just before her 16th birthday. She was declining and had lost ability to use her back legs. She suddenly had a seizure, lost ability to stand and was suffering, so we had to put her to sleep. She was so affectionate, smart and would look at us with such loving soft brown eyes. We miss her terribly and know there will never be another dog like her.

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