How Long Do Australian Shepherds Live? Australian Shepherd Lifespan Facts

Whether you are planning to get an Australian Shepherd, it is important to know their average lifespan. So what is an average Australian Shepherd lifespan?

The average life expectancy of an Australian Shepherd is 13-15 years. However, what initially seems like a long period of time often passes very quickly. Some Australian Shepherds live longer, some shorter, depending on their living conditions and health.

Australian Shepherd Lifespan

If you and your beloved Australian Shepherd are lucky and avoid serious illness, your dog is likely to live around 14-15 years. That is why it is important to have a good time with your dog and enjoy every second of it. Fortunately, as a good owner, you can also do a lot for the happy and long life of your Australian Shepherd.

What Affects The Life Expectancy of an Australian Shepherd?

The life expectancy of an Australian Shepherd is determined by many factors:

  • Environment & Lifestyle
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Exercise & Activity
  • General health and diseases
  • Inherited genes

Similar Breeds Life Expectancy Comparison

Usually larger breeds have a slightly shorter lifespan, and smaller breeds – a longer one. Below is a comparison chart how Australian Shepherds compares to other popular breeds.

BreedLife Expectancy
Australian Shepherd13-15 years
German Shepherd9-13 years
Doberman10-13 years
Border Collie10-17 years
Labrador10-13 years
Golden Retriever10-12 years
Jack Russel Terrier13-16 years
Rottweiler8-10 years

Of course, the lifespan of dogs depends not only on the ratio of height to weight. However, heavy and large breeds usually live the shortest. This is due to the rapid growth of these dogs during the first 1-2 years of life. This is often at the expense of the musculoskeletal system, and signs of joint and bone wear appear earlier. Of course, the above mentioned age groups are only averages. Some Australian Shepherds will certainly live longer than the age of 15, while others may die before the age of 13.

What Is Important For a Long Life For The Australian Shepherd?

1.     Choose a reputable Australian Shepherd breeder

For an Australian Shepherd puppy to start a healthy life well, you should only buy from reputable breeders. This ensures that the puppy‘s parents are checked, healthy and free of genetic diseases.

Do your own research about breeders, make sure they have all the necessary documents, as that is the only chance to get a puppy without hereditary or other serious diseases. Some people choose the cheaper option, believing that documentation is unnecessary thus encouraging illegal breeding. In this case, little attention is paid to breeding and after a while it becomes clear that the dog may be a non-purebred or have certain genetic diseases.

2.     Sufficient exercise and mental activity

Australian Shepherds was and will be a herding dog. He wants to work and be needed. It is a dog that needs to move, as well as constant mental tasks.

3.     Prevention at the vet is important

The dog must be vaccinated with all the necessary vaccinations. In general, you should check your dog daily for various parasites. After walks, check the coat for ticks, fleas and any other parasites. This is necessary not only for the dog itself but also for other residents of the house.

Also pay attention to other changes in your dog. In case of wounds, hair loss, sticky eyes, as well as unusual behavior, you should consult a veterinarian for a serious examination.

4.     Dangers in household

There are plenty of sources of danger in the household that need to be defused. For example:

  • Poisonous plants
  • Cleaning agents
  • Power cables
  • Garbage cans

The best thing to do is to prepare your home before the getting an Aussie and make it suitable for dogs.

How Do You Know If Your Australian Shepherd Is Getting Old?

Your dog doesn‘t suddenly get old overnight. It is a gradual process and not all of the characteristics of an aging dog appear together. Here are some traits that indicate that your Australian Shepherd is aging:

  • Your Aussie sleeps more than before and needs longer rest periods
  • The level of activity slowly decreases
  • Sometimes dogs tend to get weight due to decreased activity
  • The opposite can also be the case – reluctance to eat and, as a result, some dogs lose weight
  • An increasing number of health problems
  • The dog no longer hears so well, and vision also deteriorates

Simple Tips on Keeping Your Australian Shepherd Healthy

Usually Australian Shepherds remain very active dogs even at old age. However, you should take into account his age and adjust his activity level, workload and maybe even give up some activities.

  • An older Australian Shepherd sleeps and rests longer than before. Therefore, the dog blanket should be replaced with a padded pillow. This protects against pelvic ulcers and is milder for the joints.
  • Adjust diet according to your dog‘s activity level. Reluctance to move sometimes leads to obesity. In this case, adjust your dog‘s diet with fewer calories, of course after consulting with your veterinarian. Also, there are special foods in the market. Special for seniors, easy to digest and low in calories. Instead of eating one or two large meals a day, you can switch into a few small meals throughout the day to help solve potential digestive problems.
  • Try to accept the dog as it is. His hearing may be impaired in old age, so don‘t be surprised or angry if he doesn‘t hear right away.
  • In rare cases, dogs with age do not hold urine. Help your dog and go outside with him for a few minutes more often. If you live in a private house, let him go in the garden more often. Also, if there is a need, you can try to use special absorbent mats or dog diapers.

What‘s The Oldest Australian Shepherd Alive?

Really interesting question what age is the oldest Australian Shepherd? Or from history, how long has the Australian Shepherd lived the longest? After some research, we found that there was an Australian Shepherd, named Bluey, who lived 29 years and 5 months. (source).

Of course, that is a record (according to Guinness), and most dogs of this breed still have a standard life expectancy after all.

What Do Australian Shepherds Usually Die From?

Unfortunately, most common cause of death for Australian Shepherd is cancer or cancer related problems as well as for other breeds. Aside from cancer, issues like heart disease, chronic allergies, epilepsy, arthritis are also common for Australian Shepherds that are in their senior years.

Final Thoughts

Typical Australian Shepherd lifespan is 13-15 years. Of course, much is influenced by his inherited genes, living conditions, activity, and more various things.

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