Australian Shepherds are a medium-sized and marvelous dog breed. Whether you own an Australian Shepherd or are just curious about them, it’s interesting to know how much they usually weigh and what to expect from his growth.
Australian Shepherds’ size and weight are determined by their gender. Male Australian Shepherds generally weigh from 55 to 70 pounds and can grow up to 32 inches. Females’ weight varies from 35 to 55 pounds, and their height can reach up to 29 inches.
Always remember that this data is just an average. It doesn’t mean all Australian Shepherds should measure the same way. If your Aussie presents different values, that’s not a reason for immediate desperation.
Australian Shepherds’ Typical Growth Curve
The growth curve is a critical data chart to illustrate a dog’s anticipated weight by age. It allows owners to check if their dog is meeting the expectations easily. The Australian Shepherds’ average growth curve looks like this:
|Age (Months)||Female Weight (lbs)||Male Weight (lbs)|
Australian Shepherds stop growing at 16 months of age. At this stage of their life, males should weigh a pretty solid 64 pounds on average. Females, on the other hand, are lighter. Aussie girls weigh 45 pounds in general when fully grown up.
Length and Height of an Australian Shepherd
If you want to know exactly how massive your Aussie is going to be in adulthood, it’s also essential to consider his length and height.
As I previously mentioned, Australian Shepherds are medium-sized breeds. So don’t expect to see a huge dog roaming around your house.
Male Australian Shepherds commonly hit heights ranging from 28 to 32 inches when adults. Their withers height varies from 20 to 23 inches. Boys measure from 31 to 36 inches in length when they reach their maximum growth stage.
As you probably expect, female dogs are smaller than males. Their height can vary from 25 to 29 inches when standing, with the withers ranging from 18 to 21 inches. Their length can fluctuate from 28 to 31 inches.
Obese and Overgrown Australian Shepherds
Aussies are incredibly active and playful dogs. Due to that, it isn’t common to find a fat Australian Shepherd. However, that doesn’t mean you’re never going to face this problem. Once you know your furry friend suffers from obesity, you must act rapidly.
Obesity is highly dangerous for dogs because it can generate several illnesses:
- ACL Tearing
- Breathing issues
- Skin diseases
Arthritis: If your dog is obese, the excessive weight puts more pressure on his joints. This leads to a disease called Arthritis, which is an inflammation on these parts of his body. Consequently, it causes terrible pain and stiffness.
ACL Tearing: The anterior cruciate ligament, also known as ACL, is an important ligament on your dog’s knee. Obesity is a serious risk factor for tearing this member. In addition to the awful pain, your Australian Shepherd will probably need to undergo surgery to repair it.
Tumors: Similarly to what occurs on humans, fat dogs also have a higher tendency of developing severe tumors. The most common ones are benign fatty tumors, also known as lipomas, breast and bladder cancer.
Breathing issues: Mass gain is also linked to serious breathing problems. Fat dogs have a higher possibility of developing problems such as collapsing trachea and laryngeal paralysis. These diseases can lead to a respiratory crisis and may be deadly.
In addition to it, your dog’s veins can become obstructed thanks to the fat stockpiled on them. This increases the difficulty for his heart to pump blood, affecting the respiration. In the worst-case scenario, it can even lead to a heart attack.
Skin diseases: Fat creates skin folds on obese Australian Shepherds which can cause irritation. Therefore, your dog will scratch and hurt it, allowing bacterial infections to occur.
In summary, all these problems ruin the health of your dog and lead him to live less. However, another extremely significant issue related to dog obesity is damaged appearance.
A fat body severely ruins a dog’s look. Not only will you be dissatisfied with your dog’s aspect, but also other people won’t appreciate it. In addition to it, the unhealthy coat will make it harder for you to groom him. As a consequence, it will also look messy.
RECOMMENDED READING: How to Take Care of an Australian Shepherd?
How to Identify an Overweight Australian Shepherd?
Knowing if your furry friend is above or below a healthy mass is not as easy as what you would do for a human. Only really huge differences will allow you to tell when he is overweight. However, even if he looks ok, you should pay attention to possible signs of obesity.
The best ways to discover weight anomalies are:
- Going to a veterinarian
- Analyzing your Aussie’s body
- Breathing problems
- Digestive problems
Visiting the vet: The easiest way to confirm that your Australian Shepherd is obese is by meeting the veterinarian. This professional has extensive knowledge with dogs and will give you the diagnosis result in a few minutes.
In addition to it, he will also help you to treat your dog. He knows exactly what to do and is your best advisor in this situation.
Analyzing your dog’s body: This is the technique your dog’s veterinarian uses to tell if your Aussie is healthy or not. This can also be used to identify if a pet is underweight.
This process is as simple as identifying an obese person. The difference is that, in this case, the aspects to watch for are distinct.
Look at your furry friend from above, the ideal silhouette is a wider body in the areas close to his head, with the mass narrowing a bit until the last sets of ribs. You should be able to see their outline, and then his body must widen a little bit again.
In other words, the dog’s body should look similar to an hourglass, with the part closer to his head being a bit longer and wider. However, if the narrow part is excessively thin, it may be a sign of underweight.
If you can visualize this picture in your head, knowing if your Aussie is fat is simple. If his mass is equally distributed along his body, this means he is overweight.
In addition to this verification, you can also check him from the side. His belly should never shake for him to be considered in ideal weight. This doesn’t mean you need to see all his ribs, however. You should be able to spot a reasonable situation.
Laziness: As I previously mentioned, Australian Shepherds are energetic dogs. It is very rare to see a dog from this breed being lazy and performing slow movements. If your furry friend acts like that, it may be another index of obesity.
Weight causes an obnoxious feeling when a dog walks. It may even be painful for him. If your Aussie seems a bit sluggish recently, excess of weight may be the cause.
On the other hand, this attitude can also be a consequence of various other illnesses. So make sure to visit the vet before any precipitated conclusions.
Breathing issues: Remember when I said that fat in excess could harm your Aussie’s breathing? So, if you know he is suffering from this problem, it’s time to lose some weight.
Mass overdose puts more pressure on his circulatory system as a whole. Your pet’s heart and lungs will struggle to work correctly, which means he is going to breathe more vigorously.
Again, I advise you to schedule a checkup with your veterinarian first. Breathing issues can be caused by many other disorders, as well.
Digestive problems: Nightmares involving your friend’s digestive system may also be a result of obesity. Problems such as constipation, gas, acid reflux and other gastrointestinal troubles aren’t common among healthy dogs.
Ordinary digestive issues can be considered normal. However, if your Aussie suffers from more serious complications, it’s time to concern yourself.
How to Help Your Australian Shepherd Lose Weight?
If your furry friend is overweight, you need to start a plan to turn him into a fitness pet as soon as possible.
The usual procedure to make him lose some pounds is very similar to what humans do. It is composed of a balanced diet, adequate periods of exercise and a lot of determination.
Before starting anything, I need to repeat: take your Australian Shepherd to the vet. He needs to confirm that your dog suffers from obesity for you to start worrying about it. If the suspicion is validated, the vet himself will give you some initial recommendations.
To start reducing your furry friend’s weight, let’s talk about the most obvious thing you should change in his life: food. Begin by checking what the necessary components of a good diet for your Aussie in particular are.
An excellent start is completely or almost completely removing fatty foods from his meals. Meat should be put aside a bit. This ingredient is often considered unhealthy due to its high concentration of saturated fats.
However, that doesn’t mean you should entirely remove this kind of food from your pet’s diet. Meat still remains a crucial source of protein. The quantity must only be balanced.
The fat meats provide fatty acids to your dog. But, it can be replaced by other healthier food that also supplies fatty acids. They are much healthier than standard animal fats.
The good part is that you don’t need to look for something exotic to find this type of fat. Omega 3 is a familiar yet outstanding example. It can be easily found on fish products. Flaxseed and canola oils are also excellent options.
Prioritize more natural foods for your Australian Shepherd. Some kibble brands, for example, include a lot of preservatives in their products, which can be harmful to him.
This doesn’t only apply to these food products. Be it kibble, dry or raw food, and you need to check each one’s specifications indicated on the package.
After providing your dog with an adequate kind of food, you need to focus on the quantity now. As you may imagine, if he overeats, he will quickly gain a lot of unwanted mass.
The amount of calories an Australian Shepherd requires varies a lot. Many factors need to be considered when calculating the ideal meal size. As a general rule, a male dog weighing 50 pounds needs around 1,350 calories a day.
However, your Aussie’s age influences this quantity. Puppies and senior dogs demand different amounts of food. Besides that, also consider your dog’s activity levels. More energetic pets obviously require more food than less active ones.
Thankfully, most companies include the recommended amount of calories per pound in their packages. You just have to follow the instructions provided by them, no matter your Aussie’s age or gender.
The last thing you must focus on to allow your pet to lose weight is to increase his exercise time. It doesn’t matter if you make an effort to maintain a proper diet if he remains sedentary. Fortunately, this shouldn’t be a big issue for Australian Shepherd owners.
Aussies are working dogs that love to exercise. In fact, lack of this practice may be even more responsible for his obesity than food. A healthy Australian Shepherd will always want more and more playtime. If you allow, he will play for really extended periods.
I guarantee you will get exhausted much earlier than your dog. Although you can’t let him play the entire day long, I recommend providing him with at least one or two hours of daily activity. That’s a reasonable amount of time for both of you.
Underweight Australian Shepherds
So, what if the problem is a lack of mass? It is not that rare to find dogs with low weight problems. If you find your Aussie in this situation, you should also act as soon as possible.
Poorly nourished pets may develop many health issues. They can be as bad as the problems caused by overweight. Inadequate nutrition means your dog’s organism will have fewer resources to supply his needs. Therefore, serious diseases may be developed.
Some of the reasons for an Australian Shepherd to be underweight include:
- Bad diet
- Excess of activity
You need to analyze these possible underweight triggers the same way as you would do in an overweight situation. Again, my top recommendation is to bring your Aussie to a vet to examine him. The results will be disclosed instantaneously.
The professional will thoroughly examine your dog and will ask you some general questions. He will want to know more about the typical foods your furry friend consumes. In addition to it, be ready to give him all the information regarding his lifestyle and activity.
Don’t think right after one visit to the vet everything will be perfect. You must frequently bring your Australian Shepherd for new appointments.
His weight needs to be carefully monitored by the professional. Depending on the progress, your pet’s veterinarian may recommend changes in the treatment.
Diseases and parasites, for example, require an extra layer of attention. The procedure to eliminate them is more complicated than just changing your Aussie’s meals. If you don’t examine them thoroughly, they may turn into a deadly threat for your furry friend.
Illnesses are also more expensive for you to treat, so be prepared. Taking care of an intestinal parasite can demand around US$300 from you. More severe problems, however, have an even higher cost for treatment. Diabetes, for example, may require, on average, US$3,000!
My Final Thoughts
Even though many owners don’t pay too much attention, it’s essential to master the Australian Shepherds’ average growth curve and their expected weights. Maintaining your dog in good shape is not only crucial for appearance but also for his health.
Both over and underweight dogs can develop bad medical status. If you think you find your furry friend in any of those situations, consult a veterinarian and react as soon as you can.
If you don’t believe your dog is in a poor situation, the information present in this article may still be helpful for you. It’s never a bad time to take extra precautions and change your friend’s routine and diet.
Take his essential requirements into consideration again and think about what you can do to ensure he is living happily.
That way, both of you are going to be able to enjoy comfortable and healthy life!
People Also Ask
How often should my Australian Shepherd see the vet?
It depends on his age. Puppies up to 16 weeks of age should go to the doctor once every 3 or 4 weeks. Adults should be yearly checked, and seniors, twice a year.
Can this data be used for Miniature Australian Shepherds?
No. Even though Miniature and standard Australian Shepherds share the same name and some other characteristics, they are distinct breeds and have very different sizes.