The Australian Shepherd Mix is a robust, well balanced dog that loves to get down to mischief. The breed was originally bred for livestock herding and is still a hardworking breed. Also known as ‘Aussie’, these dogs thrive when they are assigned a task they can accomplish.
Where Does This Breed Come From?
Australian Shepherd Mixes make great companions. They are increasingly becoming popular today for their friendly demeanor and energetic personas. Despite its name, the breed originates from Western US and not Australia. It is believed that the dog was bred around the time of the Gold Rush in 1840s.
Special care must be taken while breeding dogs. Many irresponsible breeders have simply jumped on the trend to breed puppies but do not take the required measures to ensure their welfare since they are only interested in earning money.
The Australian Shepherd is an energetic breed that is a beautiful sight to see. Intelligent and hardworking, the breed is capable of completing any task that it has been assigned. Dog owners must thus find ways to keep their pets busy at all times. The highly energetic dog does do not like lazing around and requires plenty of exercise.
If you are interested in competitive sports, the Australian Shepherd Mix is most certainly the dog breed for you. The medium-sized and agile dog is a top candidate in all levels of obedience, flyball, herding tests and agility. Additionally, his heritage of a herding dog makes the Australian Shepherd Mix a loyal companion to have around the house.
By nature, the Australian Shepherd Mix is loyal to their family but may come across as aloof to strangers. These dogs require early socialization and need to be exposed to new people and surroundings from an early age. Socialization ensures the puppy grows into a friendly well-rounded dog. Dog owners may consider puppy kindergarten classes or simply devote time to the dog by taking him for regular strolls around the park or introducing him to neighbors.
The happy, easy-going dogs retain their friendly demeanor even in their adult years. The intelligent and keen dog breed makes a good watchdog for their house. Australian Shepherds are great with children and are naturally protective about their owners and friends. Australian Shepherds are quite easy to train and are generally quite affectionate pets.
However, keep in mind the breed has the tendency to get bored quite easily, hence they require tons of attention and mental stimulation in the form of exercise and playtime. If left alone for several hours, the Aussies are prone to exhibit several behavioral problems.
It is recommended you feed your pet at least 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high quality dog food every day, divided into two meals. The amount of food and nutrition your pet requires depends on their age, metabolism, level of activity and build.
Encourage good eating habits instead of leaving out food for your dog to eat whenever they want. Excess feeding can lead to obesity which can cause a number of health problems. Keep your pet in good shape by measuring his food and if you are unsure about whether or not he is getting enough nutrients, take him to the vet.
In order to stay in shape, the energetic working dog requires several hours of vigorous exercise. Australian Shepherd Mixes need to be taken out for long brisk walks that will keep them mentally and physically fit. The Australian Shepherd is active enough to become your fitness partner for your morning jogs.
If under-exercised, your pet can become restless and destructive. The dog breed is prone to suffering from behavioral issues if left alone for several hours, hence devote at least an hour of your day to exercising your pet.
Australian Shepherd Mix and Children
Rest assured, this dog breed is incredible with children and will grow to become affectionate with practically anybody it is exposed to. However, because some breeds retain their herding heritage, it is crucial to teach your pet not to chase and bother children. Once they get over this problem, Australian Shepherd Mix is sure to make a wonderful companion for tiny tots and families.
Additionally, teach your children to gently approach dogs and supervise their playtime with the pets. Young children should never be left alone with the dog, as they may bite or pull the dog’s ear or tail. Also, teach your children not to disturb pets while they are sleeping, eating or relaxing. While Australian Shepherd Mixes are great with children, keep an eye on them if you have other pets too. The dog breed may not get along with small pets, especially cats.
Training an Australian Shepherd Mix becomes quite easy when the dog learns you are the one in charge. These intelligent dogs generally enjoy training and will be thrilled if you allow them to roam around in the outdoors.
At first, keep the training sessions short to prevent your pet getting distracted. Be sure to pack lots of treats and rewards for your dog in the game. Before you initiate the training process, it is crucial you become familiar with your dog’s psychology or are at least able to determine what he likes or dislikes.
Coat Color and Grooming
The breed has a medium-length coat that will keep the dog comfortable during rainy and snowy days. Generally, species of the breed that live in areas with cold weather have a thicker undercoat. In addition, the coat of the Australian Shepherd Mix is resistant to water.
With medium to large sized bodies, this breed features straight and wavy fur that covers the entire body. Short and smooth hair can be found on the head and the ears. The breeds comes in a variety of colors ranging from red merle, tri color (black, white and tan) and blue merle. If you are wondering whether the breed is a shedder, the answer is yes. The Australian Shepherd sheds hair all year along but heavily during spring time as they need to get rid of their winter coat.
For a healthy and shiny coat, brush your beloved pet’s hair at least twice a week or perhaps more frequently during the time they are shedding, or else it will lead to matting. Before you begin brushing your pet, spray the dog’s coat with a minute amount of dog hair conditioner to keep the hairs from tangling. However, do dilute the conditioner with water before using it. Then, use a slicker brush to stroke the dog’s hair in the direction of the hair growth.
Do not simply run the brush on top of the dog’s coat. Rather, make sure it goes way down the dog’s skin. Mats are commonly found behind the dog’s ear, hence you may have to work through them by investing in a stripping comb. You may also purchase an undercoat rake that is handy for removing excess hair. This tool will especially come in handy for grooming your pet during springtime when they are shedding.
The Australian Shepherd Mix need only be given a bath if they are dirty or have gotten into a sticky mess. Use a shampoo that is specially designed for dogs. If the product is too expensive, you may opt for baby shampoo as well since it contains milder chemicals.
Adult human shampoo contains harsh chemicals that can damage and dry out your dog’s fur. In addition to brushing and bathing your pet, do not forget to trim their nails. Also inspect your dog’s coat for signs of rashes, sores or infections and take your pet to the vet immediately if they seem to be suffering from an illness.
While the Australian Shepherd Mix is generally a healthy pet, it is susceptible to a few illnesses, mainly hip and elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, deafness and allergies. Always ensure you contact a reliable breeder when adopting a pet and ensure the dog has received the proper vaccinations.
Australian Shepherd Mix is the perfect pet for energetic dog owners who enjoy taking their furry pals for long walks and are in search of a loyal and friendly companion. These dogs can be the liveliest and playful you have ever seen.
Australian Shepherd Mix– Highlights at a Glance
- Average Height: 20 to 23 inches
- Average Weight: 50 to 65 pounds
- Coat Type: Short to medium length,
- Coat Appearance: Straight or wavy
- Coat Colors: Blue merle, tri-color (tan, black and white) and black
- Grooming Needs: Moderate year around and heavy during springtime
- Shedding: High
- Brushing Requirements: Twice a week or daily
- Very Sensitive To Touch: No
- Excessive Barking: Rare
- Good Tolerance To Heat And Cold: Yes
- Good Pet: Yes with early socialization and training
- Safe For Children: Yes but supervise your pet
- Good With Other Dogs: Yes
- Good with Other Pets: Moderate, does not like cats and may have trouble adjusting with smaller pets such as hamsters, rabbits and birds.
- Suitable For Apartment: Yes
- Suitable For First Time Dog Owners: It is recommend the dog owner has experience dealing with energetic pets
- Training: Intelligent, quick learner
- Exercise Needs: Fairly high
- Tendency To Gain Weight: Moderate
- Major Health Concerns: Deafness, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Allergies: Yes
- Average Life Span: 12 to 15 years