Australian Shepherd is not definitely known but despite their name, they were thought to have come from the Pyrenees region (between Spain and France). The local Basque herders migrated to other countries in search of work, Australia being one of these. In the early 1900's, Australia was exporting sheep to America by the boatloads and these little blue dogs acquired their name as they came off the boats with their masters.
These Basque dogs were similar to the dogs that traveled to the New World with the Spanish sheep and resembled today's Australian Shepherds. They were renowned for their herding ability, protective nature and intense devotion to their master.
As the Spanish expanded into the New World, so did their sheep and dogs. These dogs prospered in the American south west and became known as New Mexican Shepherds. They were larger than the little Basgue dogs. They remained isolated there until the Gold Rush and the rising American wool market when the wildly coloured dogs started to attract attention. These dogs bred true to type and in time were crossed with other good working dogs to develop the present day Australian Shepherds.
The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) was founded in 1957 and today they are a recognized breed in most countries.