How big do australian shepherds get?

How Big Do Australian Shepherds Get? A guide to Australian Shepherd sizes

Choosing the right dog for you is a big decision to make. One factor that may influence your selection is the size of the canine. While the Australian Shepherd is on your shortlist, you know these aren’t very small dogs. This article will answer: how big do Australian Shepherds get?

The Australian Shepherd can grow between 20 and 23 inches tall at full maturity if they’re a male. Females are 18 and 21 inches tall. These are relatively heavy dogs as well, with males weighing 51 to 64 pounds and females 31 to 44 pounds max.

Curious if that makes the Aussie bigger or smaller than some other common dog breeds? Want to learn more about miniature Australian Shepherds in case they’re the better pick for you? Then keep reading, as we’ll talk about all that and more in this article! 

Australian Shepherd pups, Three Australian collie in winter on snow

Size and Weight Expectations for how big Aussies get

Everyone has different thoughts on what constitutes a large dog. For some, if they can’t hold the dog in the palm of one hand, then it’s too big. Others might consider a pup large if it’s nearly as tall as them or is of a certain weight.

However, those are just opinions, so they’re not the same for everyone. Dog breeders use measurable information to determine whether a dog fits into the small, mid-sized, or large categories. There are also categories toy for the smallest four-legged friends and giant for, well, huge dogs. 

Under these breeder rules, your dog is large if they weigh more than 50 pounds. That’s it. If they exceed 100 pounds, then they’d be a giant dog. 

Knowing that, let’s look again at the sizing of the Australian Shepherd. In dogs, males will almost always outsize females, and that’s true here, too. Male Australian Shepherds weigh 51 to max 64 pounds with a height of 20 to 23 inches. 

If you opt for a female Australian Shepherd, she’d be a smaller dog. Females will weigh 31 to 44 pounds and are 18 to 21 inches tall. 

Male Australian Shepherds would be large dogs due to their sizing, but females would fit more into the classification of medium-sized. 

will my australian shepherd get big?


How Do These Dogs Size up to Other Bigger Dog Breeds?

We’ve established that Australian Shepherds are pretty big dogs, but for other pups in the large class, how does the Shepherd measure up?

Basset Hound

The droopy but loyal Basset Hound is 12 to 15 inches tall and weighs 55 to 75 pounds for males. Females weigh 44 to 64 pounds with a height of 11 to 14 inches. That makes the Australian Shepherd bigger by a decent margin. 

Australian Bulldog

The Australian Bulldog is not your average bulldog! The female is quite weighty at 50 to 61 pounds and maybe 17 to 19 inches tall. Males can weigh 60 to 78 pounds and stand at 18 to 20 inches high. That makes these dogs much closer in size to the Australian Shepherd. 


Beautiful and agile, the Collie has an average height of 19 to 22 inches and weighs 44 to 75 pounds. In other words, they’re about the same size and weight as a female Australian Shepherd. 

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is often used as a sled dog, so it has to be big and strong. That’s why females weigh about 75 pounds and males up to 85 pounds. These dogs can also grow 24 inches tall at most for females and up to 26 inches for males. Australian Shepherds are not as tall or heavy. 


Compared to a Weimaraner, Australian Shepherds measure up about the same. A male Weimaraner grows between 24 and 26 inches tall, weighing 71 to 82 pounds. Females are 55 to 71 pounds and about 24 inches tall on average. 


The Japanese mountain dog Akita strikes a pretty imposing figure. Females can stand as high as 24 inches and males about 27 inches. These are hefty dogs as well, as the female weight varies from 51 to 64 pounds and the males between 71 and 86 pounds. 


Fluffy and acclimated to very cold temperatures, Samoyeds are somewhat taller than Australian Shepherds. They grow up to 21 inches tall for females and 24 inches for males. The males also weigh 45 to 66 pounds and the females 35 to 45 pounds. 

Airedale Terrier 

The Airedale Terrier with its structured, refined shape is about as tall as an Australian Shepherd, with females 22 to 23 inches in height and males 23 to 24 inches. There’s barely a height difference between Airedale Terrier genders. The weight is more defined, with females weighing on average 44 pounds on the heavier end and males up to 64 pounds. 


Yes, Poodles are classified as large dogs. That’s because females weigh up to 60 pounds and males up to 70 pounds, with the height of both genders 15 to 22 inches. That makes the Poodle on par with the Australian Shepherd in both size and weight. 

German Shepherd 

The German Shepherd fits nicely into the large classification, as males weigh up to 88 pounds and females up to 71 pounds max. They outweigh many other breeds considered large, including the Australian Shepherd. 

Blue Heeler

More of a medium sized dog, a blue heeler is an Australian Cattle Dog, a herding breed bred in Australia for cattle. Blue Merle gives the breed its name. The breed nips at cattle’s heels to herd them, hence the term “heeler.” Intelligent, energetic, and diligent, Australian Cattle Dogs excel at herding, obedience, and agility. The blue heeler is loyal and affectionate to their owners and make terrific active companions.

Shiba Inu

The orange / red Shiba Inu is Instagram-ready. If you want a red dog, consider these. Friendly, energetic, and clean. Shiba Inu dogs have self-cleaning habits similar to cats. Weekly brushing removes loose or dead hair.

how big will my mini Aussie puppy get?



How Big Do Miniature Aussies Get?

When we compared Australian Shepherds to the above large dog breeds, we found that many of those other dogs were about the same size as the Shepherd. Some were even smaller! There were indeed a few breeds that outsized the Australian Shepherd, but not too many.

This tells us that, in the large dog classification, Australian Shepherds are on a bigger scale. What if you still want a Shepherd but not a big one? 

Then you may consider a miniature Australian Shepherd. Take everything you love about the full-sized Australian Shepherd and compact it into a smaller dog that’s 20 to 31 pounds. These dogs are classed as small to mid-sized. No, they’re not mini in the sense of a teacup pig, but they’re a lot smaller than your average Australian Shepherd.

If you have chronic pain and can’t walk a large dog, the miniature Aussie (or toy Australian Shepherd) is a nice compromise. They’re also a great choice if you’re an apartment dweller who doesn’t have a lot of indoor or outdoor space to spare.  (The toy Aussie is an even tiny, tinier version)

Another perk of the mini breed, besides being absolutely adorable, is that they live as long as full-sized Shepherds. You may have either size of Australian Shepherd for 13, maybe even 15 years. 

Red Merle Australian Shepherd

Should You Get an Australian Shepherd?

Are you still on the fence about whether an Australian Shepherd is right for you? There’s a lot to love with these dogs. We own six of them and have enjoyed every day with this breed!  

The Australian Shepherd exhibits a lot of wonderful traits. While not shy, per se, they don’t get overly excited around strangers. They display a lot of enthusiasm in everyday life, adding pep to your step even on those days that you don’t want to get out of bed. 

Training this breed isn’t too difficult, as they listen well. They’re also great at guarding due to their wild ancestry. Plus, did we mention the Australian Shepherd is seriously cute? Maybe we did, but the point still stands.  

If it’s the size that you’re worried about, that’s a rightful concern. You may wish to get a female Shepherd over a male because she won’t grow as tall nor will she weigh as much. If even the full-sized adult female Australian Shepherd is too big for you, then try a mini! They weigh no more than 30 pounds, making this type of Shepherd much more manageable. 

These dogs are considered a medium to large breed.


Quick Facts:

  1. An Australian Shepherd usually winds up being between 40 and 65 pounds. They are considered to be a medium sized dog.
  2. They have a double coat, with a soft, dense undercoat and a coarse topcoat.
  3. Aussies are known for intelligence and loyalty.
  4. They typically stand between 18 and 23 inches tall (but I have one that didn’t get over 16)
  5. They have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
  6. Australian Shepherds can be found in a variety of coat colors, including black, blue merle, red merle, red, and sable.
  7. Australian Shepherds are highly trainable and are often used as therapy dogs.
  8. The breed is prone to hip dysplasia, eye diseases, and epilepsy.
  9. Aussie momma’s usually give birth to between four and six puppies. (and each one will be super cute, guaranteed)

Want to know more about the breed?  Here’s an article I wrote about their breed characteristics, it’s full of useful info.


The Australian Shepherd is a large dog. Males stand at up to 23 inches tall and weigh nearly 65 pounds while females clock in at about 21 inches tall and 45 pounds. 

If you want something a little smaller, many dog owners have fallen in love with the mini Aussie. This tinier version of the standard Shepherd weighs 20 to 31 pounds, so they’re far less hefty. Either way, you can’t go wrong with an Australian Shepherd! 


Related Videos:


Ryan Wood

Over 20 years ago I got my first Australian Shepherd. Ever since then, my family and I have been constantly learning and immersing myself with these wonderful and intriguing dogs. Now with 6 Aussie's and a couple Australian Cattle Dogs (aka Blue Heelers) in the family tree, We've learned from on-the-ground experience what makes the Australian breeds different than "regular dogs" and what doesn't. This is the site where we share everything we've learned.

Recent Posts