How Big Do Australian Shepherds Get?

I have been thinking about getting a second dog, and I like the way the Australian Shepherd looks.  While I don’t know much about the breed, I have some details that I want to know before I decide if they are suitable for me.

Digging around today on my day off, I figured I would investigate how big this dog breed can get to give me an idea if they would be a good fit.

How big do Australian Shepherds get?

Australian Shepherds get as big as eighteen to twenty-three inches tall to their withers, depending on the gender of the dog.  When it comes to weight, they can reach forty to sixty-five pounds in weight, with the females weighing slightly less than the males. 

While in recent years, the idea of owning a smaller dog, including the Australian Shepherd, appeals to some people, breeders of this dog breed do not recognize them. Still, the American Kennel Club does recognize them.  Therefore, Australian Shepherds may be smaller, like the teacup or toy, but the American Kennel Club does not recognize them.   

Another option is what is known as the miniature Australian Shepherd. For those potential pet parents who wish to have a smaller Australian Shepherd, this smaller version of the standard-sized dog can weigh approximately twenty to forty pounds.  Their height can be thirteen to eighteen inches to their withers. 

While they don’t get as big as the standard-sized Australian Shepherd, they have the same qualities as this breed in a smaller and more compact size.  How big an Australian Shepherd gets, whether they are the standard size or the miniature, will also depend on what gender they are. 

Females are usually a bit smaller in height to their withers and bigger in weight.  However big the Australian Shepherd gets; they can make a great family dog that will enhance the lives of everyone they know when placed in the right family.

The Australian Shepherd is a purebred dog that is a great working dog, often thought of as the All-American Dog, where they can be found helping out on ranches, working at rodeos, and being assistance dogs.  The entertainment industry loves this breed for when they need a four-legged friend to act too.

These dogs, which were initially used for herding and working, are tough and reliant.  Aside from being a great working dog, they make great companions and family members to active families that love getting out and having fun or working.

They boast a high level of intelligence, and often, Aussies, as they are sometimes known, are not the best dog for everyone due to their high intelligence and trickster ways.  They are best for individuals and families that have already had the experience of owning a dog.  They don’t always make a great dog for everyone but still have a lot to offer those seeking a dog with lots of energy and intelligence.

How big the Australian Shepherd gets, depends on various factors, one of which is most importantly their breeding and ancestral background.  While there is a guideline to follow where most dogs of this breed in the standard or miniature size will fit into, each dog is an individual and will be such in their weight and height and other physical qualities.

Generally speaking, the standard size will be anywhere from eighteen to twenty-three inches to the withers, with slight variations based on gender and who they are as a dog.   When it comes to weight for the Australian Shepherd dog, they can generally weigh between forty and sixty-five pounds. Still, again there can be variances due to gender and individuality.

When it comes to the miniature Australian Shepherd dog, the sizes are twenty to forty pounds for weight and thirteen to eighteen inches for height to the withers depending on gender and individuality.

While the term toy or teacup exists in the dog world, these labels are not accepted as part of the American Kennel Club’s recognition of this breed.  They only recognize the miniature and the standard-sized Australian Shepherd dog breeds.

This doesn’t mean that a potential pet parent who is looking for this size Australian Shepherd can’t find them.   Some potential pet parents may not care about recognition, and in this case, they can be found in the following size, twelve to seventeen pounds and ten to fourteen inches to the withers in height.

This height and weight can vary from one dog to the next in the toy category as with the other sizes, and gender does play a part in how big they get.  Teacup and toy are often names for miniature versions of a dog breed that can sometimes be used interchangeably.

What else determines how big an Australian Shepherd gets?

The other things that determine how big an Australian Shepherd gets include their diet and how much food they eat in a day.  The type of food they are fed also plays a part in how big or small the Australian Shepherd gets in weight; therefore, offering a nutrient-dense diet recommended by their veterinarian is best.

Other facts determining how big or small an Australian Shepherd is regardless of what type, standard, miniature, or toy is how physically active they are.  While this dog breed is a very physically active dog breed, some dogs may not be as active as others.

Their environment and who they are as a dog will determine their energy, physical endurance, and abilities.  If they live in a home that is primarily one of rest, relaxation, and not a lot of activity, they will be less active and heavier or may likely act out their frustration at times which can cause them to eat more, gain weight or misbehave.

Regardless of what type of Australian Shepherd they are, if they live in a home environment with much activity and physical movement, they will be leaner and more athletic and less heavy than another Australian Shepherd.  This is the best possible outcome for this dog breed as they like to be athletic and work or play hard.

An Australian Shepherd’s health can also affect how big they are in weight.  If they suffer from health issues, they might be heavier or even lighter than other dogs of this breed.  These health issues and weight struggles need to be addressed with their veterinarian.

Other factors that affect the weight of an Australian Shepherd include their home life and stress level.  Dogs that live in stressful households and environments can show this in how big or small they are in weight.  Overstress might make them eat more or eat less, depending on how they handle these situations individually.

The best way to ensure that a standard, toy, or miniature Australian Shepherd is of the correct weight is to make sure that they are eating a healthy diet recommended by their veterinarian.  They should also have daily exercise, get adequate sleep and live in a home that is as stress-free as possible and loving.

They should live a healthy lifestyle that includes regular veterinary visits and social time and time for affection, work, and play.  This will promote a healthy Australian Shepherd regarding how big they are in height and weight and enhance their overall health.

Is my Australian Shepherd unhealthy if they don’t fit into any weight and height guidelines?

No.  If your Australian Shepherd doesn’t fit into any of the weight and height guidelines, it doesn’t mean they are unhealthy.  Not all dogs are created equal and therefore cannot be placed into a box or category.

Suppose your Australian Shepherd has regular veterinary visits, and they are not suffering any health issues. In that case, there is no need to worry if they don’t fit into the guideline or box.  Health and wellness are not measured solely by a chart on weight and height.

Is there a way to tell how big an Australian Shepherd will be when they are a puppy?

No, there isn’t a way for a pet parent to tell how big an Australian Shepherd will be as an adult when they are a puppy.  Breeders can sometimes get a clue as to how big their puppies will be based on how they look like a puppy, but there can still be variances even then.

If an Australian Shepherd puppy appears to be the biggest of the litter, they may be bigger than their litter mates and other dogs in this breed category.  If they are the runt, they may be smaller.  But on the same token, this may not always be the case.  Later in life, as diet, exercise, and genetics play a role and their lifestyle, the runt may grow bigger, and the biggest dog may thin out.

Australian Shepherds in the same litter can vary in size because they will not all inherit the same traits from their parents.

Closing Points

How big a dog gets can be based on many factors, one of which is its diet and lifestyle.

Determining how big they will get, can be hard as no two dogs are alike, even in the same breed and litter.

Embracing who your dog is and who they will become is the best thing that each of us can do.  Love them as they are, no matter if they fit in the guideline or not, and they will give back an abundance of love, affection, devotion, and a life filled with happiness!