Australian Shepherd Size Guide: How Big Does an Australian Shepherd Get?

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Love long walks on the beach, in the forest, just about anywhere, and looking for a little company? An Australian Shepherd could very well be your new best friend. These sensitive, affectionate sweeties with their working-dog hearts need tons of exercise and games to keep them entertained. If you’ve got the time and energy to take on one of these loveable canines, you won’t regret it.

However, if you’ve never seen an Aussie up close and personal before, you may be thinking that they must be pretty big to be able to keep an entire herd of sheep in line – right? Actually, the American Kennel Club (AKC) lists them as medium-sized dogs, but what does that really mean?

Here we will take a look at breed information for Australian Shepherd size to see just how big you might expect your Australian Shepherd to get. We will also provide you with some top tips for calculating precisely where on the scale your dog might end up when they finally reach their adult height and weight.

australian shepherd
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Our handy interactive puppy growth chart and calculator takes all the hard work out of predicting your puppy’s potential adult size. This helps you to know exactly what you are in for.

Australian Shepherd Size Predictions by Age

Smart, hard-working, and exuberant Australian Shepherds have a sweet nature and a distinctive appearance – these guys are real lookers. Despite their name, they actually hail from the western United States. The breed emerged some time around the Gold Rush of the 1840s.

Their cleverness makes Aussies super easy to train, so these pups may seem like the perfect companions – and they totally are… for someone with plenty of canine experience. Newbie owners beware, though, these dogs really do have some serious smarts, and they’re not above playing tricks to get their own way.

Generally, Aussies are happiest when they’ve got plenty to keep them busy – some fun toys, an obliging human to play with, a tasty bone to get stuck into. If left idol, though, they will find their own entertainment, which could involve herding the kids around or a little light destruction. On the plus side, you may be able to train them to help out around the house!

Australian Shepherd
Photo by Bertrand Bouchez on Unsplash

So, let’s take a look at some all-important size standards. Here is what you can expect at some key milestones.

Age3 months6 months1 yearAdult
Weight14 – 26 lbs26 – 49 lbs34 – 65 lbs40 – 65 lbs
Height9 – 11 inches13 – 15 inches18 – 23 inches18 – 23 inches  

*Keep in mind that a dog’s height is measured to its withers. This is the space between the shoulder blades.

Australian Shepherds reach around 50% of their adult height at 3-4 months and 75% at 5-6 months. Their adult height is often established at around a year, but they will continue to gain weight until they are about 16 months.

Are there different sizes of Australian Shepherds?

As an old and established breed, Australian Shepherds are generally relatively standardized when it comes to their size. There are, however, noticeable differences between males and females. Boy Aussies are usually 20 to 23 inches and 50 to 65 pounds, while girls are 18 to 21 inches and 40 to 55 pounds.

A recent trend in seeking out smaller versions of distinctive dogs has led to the creation of a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd, which the AKC distinguishes from the Aussie by calling it the Miniature American Shepherd. These cute pooches are 13 to 18 inches tall and weigh 20 to 40 pounds but are the same as the Australian Shepherds in just about every other way.

australian shepherd
Photo by Maud Slaats on Unsplash

Australian Shepherd Growth Patterns

As a larger breed, Aussies need a little time to grow into their good looks. However, you’ll be amazed at how much of their growing occurs in just the first 6 months of their lives. Don’t worry though, this is perfectly normal and honestly the same for most dogs. After this time, your pal’s growth rate will slow significantly.

Additionally, this is why it’s particularly important that your Australian Shepherd puppy gets the correct nourishment he needs to grow that adorable little body into a healthy adult one. Check out these guides on best dog food for puppies here.

Although your Australian Shepherd may reach their adult height around their first birthday, they will continue to increase in weight beyond this for approximately another four months until their joints and muscles are fully formed.

How Big is a Full-Grown Australian Shepherd?

Australian Shepherds are medium dogs that will grow to somewhere between 18-23 inches in the first year of their lives. They can weigh up to 65 pounds. While there may be some variation depending on their gender and the size of the parent animals, your dog is unlikely to grow significantly larger than this.

Australian Shepherds tend to get to half their full weight between 4.5 and 6 months, and their adult weight between 12.5-16 months.

You can calculate their potential adult weight at 23 weeks by taking what they weigh at that age and multiplying it by two.

A different formula you could use is:

  1. Growth = current weight / current age in weeks
  2. Adult weight = Growth x 52 (number of weeks in one year)

So, for example, if your 12-week old pup weighs 18 pounds. You simply divide the current weight by their age in weeks and multiply the result with 52:

18/ 12 = 1.5
1.5 x 52= 78 pounds

78 pounds would be the expected weight of your adult-sized Australian Shepherd.

At What Age is an Australian Shepherd Considered Fully Grown?

Your Australian Shepherd is likely to reach their full height somewhere around 12 months of age. However, they might not get to their full size until 16 months. The larger the dog is going to be, the longer it will take. Growth will occur rapidly at first and gradually slow once they are past the 6-month mark.

australian shepherd
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Australian Shepherds, as working dogs, are intelligent and energetic animals that make great pets for people and families that are always on the go. These medium-sized dogs need some space of their own and should definitely have daily access to a garden. Hopefully, details given here about height and weight standards, growth patterns, and how to approximate an Aussie’s future size proves useful in helping you to decide whether or not to adopt one of these charming dogs into your household.