Nikki is an Australian Shepherd. Interestingly, the Australian Shepherd (or Aussie) as we know it today developed exclusively in the United States. It probably originated in the Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France, but was called the Australian Shepherd because of its association with Basque shepherds who came to the United States from Australia in the 1800's. Like many working breeds, Australian Shepherd was initially known by many names, including Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail, Blue Heeler, New Mexican Shepherd, and California Shepherd.
Aussies are known as truly versatile dogs, easily adaptable to various situations. Many of them serve as working ranch dogs, guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, pet therapy dogs, drug detectors, and search-and-rescue dogs.