The Australian Shepherd is a medium sized North American dog breed which has been recognised by the FCI since 1996. The FCI leads the Australian Shepherd in group 1, i.e. among the herding dogs. Australian Shepherds are lively, persistent and agile. In addition, their protective instinct is quite strong.Characteristics of the Australian ShepherdThe life expectancy of the Australian Shepherd is between 13 and 15 years. It has a half-long, very dense fur, which makes it insensitive to cold and wet..