The Australian Shepherd is an extremely energetic, intelligent, and trainable dog. They make for a great family dog, assuming the family is an active one, otherwise this breed can become destructive if they are not adequately exercised. Although they make good family dogs, they should be socialized early to avoid discomfort around strangers. Because of their herding background, they may snap at, or nudge, children to corral them. They are also excellent guard dogs and perform very well in competitive training arenas.
The Australian Shepherd can come in a wide variety of colors, from red or blue merle, to black, red, and tricolor (both red and black). One constancy is the patches of white found on their chest, paws, and (almost always) down the center of their muzzle.