The Top 10 Adventure Dogs

Australian Shepherd
12
Maria Itina / Getty Images4/12

Australian Shepherd

This American breed — that's right, it's not from Australia — developed on the vast ranches of the West, where shepherds bred together the best bobtailed herding dogs until they'd created a new one that thrived in the high altitudes. Thus Aussies are comfortable in all types of weather.

Weight: 40-65 lbs.

Best Qualities: These are highly intelligent, motivated dogs that can run for hours, and are so good with kids that farmers have trusted them as babysitters. "These dogs have a high desire to please," says Colorado breeder Carol Ann Hartnagle.

Drawbacks: Aussies have energy to burn, so they need to run. They also shed their undercoat regularly, so you'll need a good vacuum.

What to Do With Them: Just about anything outdoors.

Buyer's Guide: The Australian Shepherd Club of America is generally where you go for working dogs, while the United States Australian Shepherd Association specializes in show dogs.

Back to Top