Australian Shepherds are energetic and protective of their families. They’re hard workers and are often used as service dogs. They’re affectionately known as Aussies, and you might recognize them for their bright blue eyes.
But what can you expect as your puppy grows into adulthood? How big will this breed get, and how fast will it leave puppyhood behind? We’ve got all this information and more. A fully grown Australian Shepherd generally measures 20–23 inches and weighs 50–65 pounds. If you want a better understanding of how to keep track of your puppy’s growth rate, you can do that here!
Australian Shepherd Size and Growth Chart
These charts show, on average, how your puppy will grow. They include the average weight and height of an Australian Shepherd. Every puppy will grow at different rates, so don’t be worried if your puppy doesn’t fit into these categories. As long as you have been keeping up with your veterinarian visits and they are assured your puppy is healthy and happy, you have nothing to worry about.
Australian Shepherd Puppy Growth and Weight Chart (Male)
Australian Shepherd Puppy Growth and Weight Chart (Female)
When Does an Australian Shepherd Stop Growing?
Generally, Australian Shepherds stop growing around the 16-month mark. While they often reach their full height around one year old, they will fill out when they’re 16 months old, and you’ll still notice changes. You’ll see rapid growth at first, which will slow down when they are around 8 months old.
Males tend to be bigger than females, but certain factors affect the size of your dog, which we’ll go more into depth about next. You’ll find your Aussie will behave like a puppy until they’re a year old, they’ll start to mellow, and by the time they’re 2 years old, they will act like an adult.
Factors Affecting the Size of Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds differ in size for various reasons, like genetics, insufficient nutrition, not eating enough, too much exercise, breeding, and health issues.
There is also a difference between a dog that is small and one that is skinny. A small dog will be shorter in height and weight, but these two characteristics will be proportionate. A skinny Aussie is underweight for their age and height. If you suspect your Aussie is skinny, it could be that they’re not eating enough food. Food refusal or a dietary issue should always be taken seriously because lacking the proper nutrition can negatively impact their growth and development.
Their small size might also be a sign of a health problem. Australian Shepherds are prone to a genetic condition called Cobalamin malabsorption (vitamin B12 malabsorption). It is when vitamin B12 can’t be absorbed into the gut, which leads to weakness, blood problems, and poor growth.
While their size difference might be due to something completely innocent, there are other more worrying alternatives. If you are ever concerned, contact your vet immediately.
Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Starting with a high-quality puppy or adult food will ensure that your Australian Shepherd’s nutritional needs are met. Aussies are energetic dogs, and you must make sure you choose food that will keep up with them. Choose a brand that contains high fat and calorie content to fuel your Aussie’s energy and higher protein to support lean muscle mass.
Complement this information by using our dog calorie calculator tool here:
The exact amount of calories an individual animal needs to maintain a healthy weight is variable and influenced by many factors including genetics, age, breed, and activity level. This tool is meant to be used only as a guideline for healthy individuals and does not substitute veterinary advice
How to Measure Your Australian Shepherd
When you’re measuring a dog, it’s done from the ground to its withers, which is the highest point of a dog’s shoulder blades. You will have to get your Aussie standing steadily for this and try to get its stance as square as possible with its legs evenly spaced out.
Locate the withers behind the base of the dog’s neck.
This next part is easier if your dog is against a wall because you can use the wall as a reference. Using a level or a ruler placed on the dog’s withers, either mark the wall with a pencil or use your finger to mark where the bottom of your level or ruler is on the wall.
You can use tape to keep your spot if you’ve just used your finger because you don’t want to mark your wall. You can now allow the dog to move away and measure from the ground up to the mark. A tape measure or a yardstick would work.
Top 5 Facts About Australian Shepherds
1. The Australian Shepherd Isn’t Australian
This breed came from the Basque region of Spain. The name was developed when Basque shepherds first took the dogs to Australia, then the States. So, Americans ended up calling them Australian Shepherds.
2. The Dog of Many Names
Australian Shepherds have also been called Spanish Shepherds, Bob-tails, Pastor Dogs, California Shepherds, Blue Heelers, and New Mexican Shepherds.
3. They Became Popular Thanks to Rodeos
Australian Shepherds were great herders, which is what American ranchers loved about them. But their popularity with the general population grew because of their appearance in rodeos. Not only could they herd bulls, but they also performed tricks.
4. They Have Amazing Eyes
This is one of few breeds that commonly have two different colored eyes, which is known as heterochromia. Aussies can have any combination of blue, brown, hazel, green, or amber eyes. They sometimes even have more than one color in the same eye.
5. Native Americans Considered Them Sacred
Native Americans called Australian Shepherds “ghost eyes” and considered them sacred.
Tracking the growth of your young Australian Shepherd can be tricky. Keeping an excitable, energetic puppy in one place is not always easy. If it is something your puppy just won’t allow, you can get the information from your vet during one of your visits.
Remember, this information is based on averages, and just because your dog doesn’t fit into that neat average, doesn’t mean something is wrong. As long as you are maintaining your recommended visits with your vet, you can feel confident that your Aussie is healthy and happy.
Featured Image Credit: Eve Photography, Shutterstock