Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd dog breed originated in the western United States, not Australia, during the 1840s Gold Rush. They were initially intended to herd animals, and they are still a working dog at heart.
These are exceptionally clever, active, and nimble ranch dogs with a strong desire to herd anything and everyone. Because of their herding instincts and proclivity to chase and nip, they should be kept away from small children and other animals. They can sometimes grow violent, especially towards strangers; thus, early socialization is essential.