Belying his name, the Australian Shepherd is a breed developed in America as a sheepdog to work on the ranches. He has as his roots the Spanish Sheepdogs taken to America by Basque shepherds when they emigrated to America in the 19th century. Although blue dogs were originally most frequently seen, the breed is seen now in a variety of Merle patterns and tricolours. With the innate instinct to work still very much present the breed can still be seen in its original role. However, they have grown very popular in all canine disciplines, and their attractive colours and athletic movements have made them very successful in the show ring.