In the late 1800's and early 1900's, the Basque Shepherds brought the first ancestors of this
outstanding herding dog to the United States.  They were used as stock dogs to work with the
sheep imported from Australia.

The Australian Shepherd, as a breed, was actually developed in the United States and is the only
American produced herding breed.  Aussies are superior farm dogs, capable of doing the work of
several men when handling a variety of stock on all types of terrain.  They are loyal, obedient, and
incredibly agile.  They are intelligent and sharp with the senses, remaining always alert to sights and
sounds around them.

    These qualities have produced Aussies that serve as narcotics detection dogs, service dogs
    for the deaf and for the blind, and search & rescue dogs.
King's Gate Classy Red Lass (Watts)
Red Tri
King's Gate Redneck Merlie Gal (Reddick)
Red Merle
The Australian Shepherd is a medium sized, robust, well-balanced dog with pendant ears, an abundant, medium length coat and a
bobtail.  They are attentive, lively and agile with a body slightly longer than its height at the withers.  The Aussie has a strong, deep
chest and stands squarely on all fours with its front legs, chest and neck straight when at attention.  Front dew claw removal is
optional, although rear dew claws are generally removed.  The feet are compact and oval with arched toes for better maneuvering.  
The head has a moderate stop.  The teeth form a scissors bite.  The eyes come in many shades of blue, amber, and brown, often
mixed between the two eyes, with or without flecks.  The ears are set high on the head, are triangle shaped and tipped forward.  The
medium length coat comes in red, black, red Merle, and blue Merle, with or without white and/or copper trim.  The coat may be
straight but is often wavy with cowlicks on its back towards the hind quarters.  There should be feathering behind the forelegs, and
a mane or frill around the neck.  The tail is generally docked if it is long at birth, but many are naturally short.  The hair around the
eyes and ears should be predominately colored and not white.  The gene that gives Aussies the beautiful Merle coloring is also
responsible for a blind/deaf factor.  This only occurs when merles are bred with other merles.  Responsible breeders are aware of
this and would never cross Merle to Merle.  When selecting a puppy, make sure you know the sire and dam if they are not both on
premises.  
King's Gate Speckled Lil' Love (Lady)
Red Merle
King's Gate Wee Rouge of Kells (Celtie)
Blue Merle
In the show arena, Australian Shepherds have done very well in stock and agility trails, winning many championships.  On March 14,
2006, at the Cruft's dog show in Birmingham, England, Caitland Isle's Take a Chance, a five-year-old blue Merle, beat out 22,000
dogs from 32 countries, in six groups to win BEST OF SHOW!!!  Congratulations to Chance, the owners, and handler for a great show.

The Australian Shepherd is a working dog that loves to learn commands, and lives to please its owner by following orders.  Since
not all of us can live on farms, the Aussie is still a wonderful choice for families who enjoy outdoor activities.  Because of its speed,
agility, and intelligence, the Aussie is known as the best Frisbee dog in the world.  (OK, that's just my opinion.)  Their fun-loving
personality shows in their mid-air acrobatics as they jump to catch the Frisbee.  I know of Aussies that have been trained to
retrieve and return golf balls as the owner practices his chip-shot.  The bottom line is; the Aussie loves the companionship of its
owner, and loves to live with a firm set of rules.  For the sake of you and your dog, do not consider getting an Aussie unless you
are prepared to take the time to train it and make it a part of your life.  Without adequate training, the Aussie is perfectly capable of
making his own rules to live by, and their rules would most likely not be rules that the average family would appreciate.

Aussies are generally friendly by nature, but are somewhat reserved and suspicious of strangers.  As a herding dog, one of their
responsibilities is to protect the herd from predators.  They do this by barking out a warning to the rancher when a predator
approaches.  Well socialized puppies make better pets since they realize that not all humans are a threat.

Aussies are generally easy going, and can make excellent companions to children they grow up with.  They are devoted friends and
guardians, naturally protective, courageous, loyal and affectionate.  The Australian Shepherd is eager to please, with almost a
sixth-sense about what the owner wants.  They are highly intelligent and easily trained.  Aussies are active dogs, and tend to get
bored when left unattended for long periods of time.  This boredom usually leads to destructive behavior.  So, don't consider
getting an Aussie if your job keeps you away for the majority of the day.  

The best advice is to know your breeder.  Your breeder will help you in determining if an Australian Shepherd is right for you.
King's Gate Cowboy Blues
(Blue)
AKC - DN133155/01
Blue Merle Male
King's Gate Creme D' Kokopelli
(Koko)
APR - E08-WX-DR-20252F
Red-Bi Female
Lady in waiting - Future Breeder
A little bit about Aussie coloring...
Australian Shepherds come in  two basic colors; Red and Black.  From the red and black, they could be Solids (little or no
white), they could be Bi's (red with white trim or black with white trim) or Tri's (red with white and copper or black with white
and copper).  Then we introduce into the mix the "Merle" gene.  Merleing is the splotchy looking color pattern that is very
characteristic of the Australian Shepherd breed.  A Red Merle, like our Reddick and our Lady, is a genetic cross between a
Red with the Merle gene.  A Blue Merle, like our Blue & Keltie, is a genetic cross between a Black with the Merle gene.

Click on  "The Boys" & "The Girls"  tabs to see the different colors.

Since our "Lady", the dam of a past litter, is a Red Merle, and Beckham, the sire of that same litter, is a Black Tri, their
puppies were created from a gene pool that had a red gene, a black gene, a merle gene, and a Tri gene.  To mix it up even
more, Lady carries the merle "patch" gene.  The bottom line is, we knew that statistically, Lady and Beckham's pups could
represent the entire color spectrum of Aussies - and they did.  Pretty cool, huh?  Go to "Past Litters" to see their puppies.

In the world of Aussie genetics, the Black gene is dominant over the Red gene, and the Merle gene is said to be statistically
dominant over the Tri gene, which is dominant over the Bi gene, which is in turn dominant over the Solid gene.  This
explains why Blue Merles (Black with Merle gene cross) are the most common Aussie colors, and why Red-Solids are the
least common.  But, Mother Nature doesn't always look at the statistical charts at the moment of conception, therefore, it's
always a pleasant surprise to see the pups as they come into the world.
About the Breed