When considering an Australian Shepherd, one of the most frequently asked questions from potential owners is how big the breed usually gets. Australian Shepherds are medium-sized herding dogs. However, factors like nutrition, genetics, gender, and their parents' height and weight influence an Aussie puppy's adult size. The majority of the time, you can look at a pup's parents to get an idea of how big your puppy might become, but there is no guarantee they will reach the same size.
Average Australian Shepherd Size & Weight
Australian Shepherds are slightly longer than they are tall and feel muscular in nature due to their herding instincts. Male Australian Shepherds are larger than females, but the size difference is less pronounced than with many other breeds.
Males stand between 20 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder, with females being slightly shorter, at 18 to 21 inches. Mature adult male Aussies range between 50 to 65 pounds, whereas females range from 40 to 55 pounds on average.
At What Age Are Aussies Full-Grown?
Some Australian Shepherds take 16 months to achieve full adult size and weight, but most reach their full size by 12 months old.
One way to tell if your Aussie is done growing is by taking a look at their paws. If their paws look oversized compared to the body, they aren't finished growing.
Approximate Size Chart by Age
If you're wondering how big your Aussie will be at each stage of life, this size chart should help:
|Lifestage||Weight: Female (lbs)||Height: Female (inches)||Weight: Male (lbs)||Height: Male (inches)|
Keep an eye on your puppy's diet. Feeding the wrong diet could cause them to grow too quickly and can affect their health later in life.
Factors That Affect Your Dog's Weight
Aussies are fit, active dogs, and their adult weight typically won't vary too much, as long as their diet is healthy. Overweight Aussies typically aren't getting enough exercise. There are several other factors that could affect your dog's weight.
Nutrition plays a huge role in not only your puppy's health and growth, but also whether they'll grow up with weight problems. If a puppy isn't receiving adequate nutrition, their growth could be stunted. Lack of quality milk from their mother and early weaning can also affect puppies.
Typically, larger parents produce larger puppies. It just depends on how big your dog's sire and dame are. Alternatively, both parents could be large, but the genetic lottery means your pup could still be smaller, on average. However, most of the time, you should be able to get a good idea of how large your Aussie puppy will be by finding out how large their parents are.
In some litters, you might find one puppy who is extra small compared to their brothers and sisters. Australian Shepherds can have litters with "runt" puppies who often stay small throughout their lives.
Male Aussies are known to be larger than females. They stand taller, and some males have broad shoulders compared to females. Individual dogs will vary, of course, so you could end up with a particularly small male, or a larger female.
FAQ's About the Australian Shepherd
Dog lovers also have the following questions about the Australian Shepherd's size and weight:
Is My Aussie Underweight?
Feel your dog's ribs and spine. You should be able to feel their ribs but not see them. If you can see their ribs, your dog may be too thin. However, because Aussies have longer coats, you may not be able to see their ribs, even if they are underweight, so be sure to check their ribs by touch every so often. If your dog is underweight, they could be in danger of developing health problems. If you are concerned, it's important to take action right away to ensure your pup stays healthy and happy.
Is My Aussie Overweight?
You should be able to feel each rib with your fingers when you run them down the length of your dog's body. If you can't feel them, your dog may be overweight. Also, your Aussie may have a plump or rounded appearance. If your dog is overweight, the first step is to determine whether the extra weight is fat or muscle. If you can feel that your dog has an excess of fat around their waistline, they may be overweight. Fixing the problem means controlling your Aussie's diet more closely within the feeding guidelines, and making sure they're getting at least 1 hour a day of intensive exercise.
What About the Mini Australian Shepherd?
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is actually called the Miniature American Shepherd and is a breed on its own. They're much smaller than traditional Aussies, with males weighing in between 20 to 40 pounds with a height of 13 to 18 inches.
Learn More About the Australian Shepherd
An appropriate diet and regular exercise routine will help your dog grow as they should. Don't panic if your dog doesn't meet the guidelines set above. These are just that, guidelines. Every dog is an individual, even within the same breed. Their size and weight may vary slightly with age, but as long as they are happy and healthy, that's perfectly acceptable.