Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are widely known for their intelligence and friendly demeanor. When the two breeds are cross-bred, the world is blessed with a puppy that is bound to inherit some of the intelligence and good looks from his parents. Also known as an ‘Aussiedor’, the Australian Shepherd Lab Mix has a solid stature with a broad face and incredibly expressive eyes. The Aussiedor is a relatively newer breed and makes for a sweet and loving companion.
Where Does The Breed Come From?
The Australian Shepherd Lab is a designer dog. The relatively new breed is quickly gaining popularity. Unfortunately, there are no clear details of how, why and when the cross was made. Mixed breeds tend to take on the appearance of either parent or are a mixture of both. Therefore, it is difficult to predict what the cross-breeding result will look like. To know what you can expect from ‘Aussiedors’, it is crucial you take a look at the history and traits of the purebred Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers.
The Aussiedor is a working dog breed at heart and is happiest when he has been given a job to do. Australian Shepherds make for wonderful family companions and are energetic. Dog owners may challenge their pet’s energies in competitive sports or other activities. Intelligent and hardworking, Aussies do not enjoy lazing around at home and have a no-nonsense attitude. They thrive in homes where their brains and energy are put to good use or else they tend to get bored and destructive.
Or they might take the opportunity to invent their own games, such as herding children or chasing cars, hence if you do not have enough time to entertain or look after the Australian Shepherd, it is probably not the best breed for you. The agile and medium sized dogs also have successful canine careers and make great police dogs, hearing dogs and search and rescue dogs.
The Labrador Retriever is another hardworking breed that makes for a friendly companion. Over the years, the dog breed has helped countless fishermen is hauling nets and fetching tropes across the North Atlantic. Today, Labrador Retrievers are one of America’s most popular breeds and are just as good natured and intelligent as their ancestors. These days, Labs can be found providing assistance to the disabled or helping in search and rescue operations with the police.
Muscular and athletic, the Labrador Retriever are built for sports and excel in a variety of canine sports and competitions. Labs make for great pets and are generally people oriented and enjoy serving their families. Because of their sweet and loving demeanor, Labs make excellent therapy dogs for visiting the elderly or weak in nursing homes and hospitals. Additionally, their intelligence makes them the ideal assistance dog for the disabled.
Aussiedors – Temperament
Aussiedors are kind, gentle and loving to the people they know. Because of their loving nature, they tend to form close bonds with their family members, especially their owners. This, however, causes the breed to feel neglected and bored when left alone. Aussiedors may come off as reserved and aloof in front of strangers. Due to their protective nature, they might show caution around strangers and are known to produce warning calls to alert their owners of danger.
Aussiedors have sharp shepherding instincts. It is quite difficult to assess the characteristics of the offspring since the dog is prone to take on the qualities of both parent breeds. If trained properly, these furry friends can spend hours with children and generally enjoy playtime.
Australian Shepherd Lab Mix With Children
First off, pets, especially medium to large sized dog breeds, should not ever be left alone with children. Despite the Aussiedors’ friendly nature and patient attitude, their herding instincts may take over at times, making the dog a little overbearing with young children or other small pets, such as hamsters rabbits and cats in the household.
Always monitor your dog’s playtime with children. Younger children are prone to pull the dog’s tail or roughhouse. Teach your children not to disturb the pet when he is eating or sleeping and soon enough, these smart animals will learn to get along with children without chasing or pushing them around.
Aussiedors are quick learners and generally enjoy training sessions. Like other pets, it is advised you begin training your puppy when he is still young. Training sessions should be short and enjoyable. You may use a variety of dog toys and treats to motivate your dog to do their best. All dogs must respond to fundamental commands, such as stand, drop, stop, heel and stay. You can teach your dog other simple tricks, such as fetching different articles, including newspapers, the TV remote or tennis balls.
Since these dogs are highly energetic, their level of activity and play acts a decisive factor for the amount of food they should be fed. An adult Aussiedor should typically be fed around 3-4 cups of dry food divided into two meals every day. Invest in high quality dry food that will keep your canine friend’s teeth clean and healthy.
You may also opt for a commercial frozen diet that contains a combination of raw meat and healthy vegetables. Keep in mind that all dogs are generally carnivorous animals and do not require a diet rich in carbohydrates. Additionally, their digestive systems are not designed for starchy foods, such as leafy greens and plants. You may consider making your pet a nutritious meal at home if you have the time and are willing to put in the effort.
Like other pets, Australian Shepherd Lab Mixes need to be exposed to socialization as early as possible to improve how they get along with other people and pets around the house. Take your Aussiedor out for walks in busy parks or simply take them out for leisurely strolls around the block to introduce them to new faces around the neighborhood. Early socialization will also improve the dog’s interaction with children, teaching them to be gentle and compassionate towards smaller creatures and pets as well.
Aussiedors get bored if they are left to laze around at home. Your dog may exhibit behavioral issues if they are locked up in a tiny apartment. Such pets are more suitable for people who can devote enough time to their pets each day and indulge them in regular playtime and exercise. Aussiedors thrive when they are a part of large families with kids. It’s a bonus if your house has a spacious backyard where the dog can roam around and play with ease.
Coat and Grooming
Mix breeds generally take on the appearance of either parents or are a mixture of both. Therefore, your Australian Shepherd Lab Mix may be available in a variety of colors, featuring a medium density coat. The dog will need proper grooming every 4-8 weeks, with more frequent grooming during the shedding season, when animals shed their furs and change their coats. When the undercoat fur sheds, the outer guard will provide color to your dog.
Regular grooming is essential for your dog’s good health and overall appearance. Even if it seems as if your dog is tending to those needs by himself, as a responsible pet owner, you must step up to the tats and groom him regularly.
Combing and Brushing
Brush your dog’s coat every few days and more frequently during the shedding season. This will help in the matting process. Dogs naturally gather weeds, dirt and grass and other kinds of irritants in their fur. Brushing and combing your dog’s fur will keep its coat and skin clear and free from impurities. Invest in good grooming tools and brushes to detangle your dog’s fur.
- Start by using a soft bristle brush to loosen the dead skin cells and detangle the dog’s hair. For puppies, use a small brush, preferably made from rubber and plastic.
- Now use a stiffer brush to remove dead hair from the skin. Start from the head and move down the body. Be careful while brushing your dog as some areas, such as the ears and tail are quite sensitive. If you find a tangle or a knot, gently get rid of it using a soft brush. Be careful not to ‘brush burn’ your dog from combing and brushing him for too long.
- Use the brush to distribute oils throughout the skin for an even sheen.
- Use a chamois cloth and rub all around the dog’s body for an extra shine.
Vets and pet specialists recommend you bathe your dog at least 2-3 times a year. However, your Australian Shepherd Lab may require a bath more often especially if they have spent time outside. Be careful though. Bathing your pet too often can strip its coat off its natural oils. Invest in a mild shampoo specialized for dogs to avoid skin allergies and irritation. Before bathing your pet, place a non-slip mat on the bathtub to prevent your dog from slipping or falling down.
- Use lukewarm water to bathe your pet. Using hot water can damage your pet’s skin, especially if they are short-haired.
- Soak your dog thoroughly and then massage dog shampoo all over their coat, avoiding the area around the eyes. You may use a rake brush to detangle your dog’s fur and to evenly distribute the shampoo thoroughly. If your dog is afraid of running water, use a small bucket to pour water on them. Avoid pouring water near the ears to prevent the risk of ear infection.
- Once your dog is squeaky clean, use a soft towel to dry them off. It is best you dry them off when they are still in the tub to avoid a mess. Also, hold the towel next to your dog’s back, allowing them the freedom to shake the water off their body.
- Over time, your dog will learn the bath rules and will start enjoying bath time. Try to incorporate your dog’s favorite toys to make bath time more enjoyable if your furry friend is stressed or reluctant to take a bath.
This is probably the most dreaded part of grooming for both the dog and the dog owner. Before you begin the session, relax your dog by giving him a nice massage. Distract your pet and then gently begin trimming his nails using a nail clipper. We suggest you trim your dog nails every few weeks or as per required. If you do accidentally trim the quick, make sure you have a first-aid kit nearby so you can tend to the wound immediately. Use styptic power or cornstarch to control the bleeding.
While Aussiedors are generally healthy pets, they are susceptible to a few health conditions, particularly eye diseases, including cataracts, eye anomaly and progressive retinal atrophy.
Australian Shepherd Mix Dogs – Highlights at a Glance
- Average Height: 23 to 25 inches
- Average Weight: 40 to 80 pounds
- Coat Type: Medium length,
- Coat Appearance: Dense, water repellant, may be straight/wavy
- Coat Colors: Tri color, brown, black and brown, light brown, speckled, brindle
- Grooming Needs: Moderate
- Shedding: Moderate
- Brushing Requirements: Twice a week
- Very Sensitive to Touch: No
- Excessive Barking: No
- Good Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
- Good Pet: Yes with training and early socialization
- Safe for Children: Yes, with training
- Good with Other Dogs: Moderate
- Good with Other Pets? Moderate
- Suitable for Apartment? No, Aussiedors do not appreciate being cramped in closed spaces
- Suitable for First Time Dog Owners? Yes
- Training: Fast leaners
- Exercise Needs: High
- Tendency to Gain Weight: Normal
- Major Health Concerns: Eye problems including eye anomaly, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy
- Allergies: None
- Average Life Span: 10 – 13 years
The Australian Shepherd Lab Mix is an excellent choice for pet owners who are in search of a friendly and loving pet. However, adopt this pet only if you have enough time to take your pet out for long walks and strolls.