Good for Novice Owners:
- Average Size: Medium
- Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Australian Shepherd Mix Dog Breed Information
The Australian Shepherd Mix is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and another dog breed. This cross means that Australian Shepherd Mix puppies can have the traits of an Australian Shepherd, the other dog breed in the cross, or any combination of both of the parent breeds.
On the Australian Shepherd side, you have a loving, loyal, dedicated, and high-energy working dog that also makes a great pet for an active family. To get a full picture of what you could expect from your Australian Shepherd Mix puppy, it’s important to ask the breeder about the other parent breed in the mix. This, in addition to meeting the puppy and the mother dog in-person, will give you a good idea of what to expect in your puppy.
If the Australian Shepherd Mix takes after the Australian Shepherd, they will be a highly intelligent and highly active dog that loves to be doing things with their families.
Although Australian Shepherds are high-energy working dogs with herding instincts built-in, they tend to get along well with children and are highly protective of their families, which makes them good watchdogs and guard dogs.
They can be wary and suspicious of strangers and other dogs, but with socialization early and often, they can take on a more open and friendly nature. Asking the breeder about the other parent breed in the cross will give you a better idea of what temperament to expect in your Australian Shepherd Mix puppy.
Puppies raised in the same litter will often learn how to behave from their mother, so meeting the mother dog in-person will also give you a good idea of what sort of temperament your puppy might have.
Depending on the other dog breed in the cross, the Australian Shepherd Mix is likely to be highly adaptable. An Australian Shepherd can adapt to large homes with plenty of space to run as well as smaller apartments, as long as they are given plenty of exercise and attention.
They also do well in both cold and warm climates. This could change a bit depending on the other parent breed, but asking the breeder about the parents is a good way to determine what to expect.
A mixed breed can sometimes “win the genetic lottery” and will not be prone to develop any breed-specific health issues. The Australian Shepherd is a relatively healthy dog breed, but there are some potential health issues to be aware of.
These include deafness, allergies, cancer, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and sensitivity to certain drugs. Talking with the breeder about the genetic history of both of the parent breeds, any breed-specific issues with the other parent breed, and asking to see any health clearances can help allay several potential health concerns.
Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent, tend to be sensitive to their owners, and are innately eager to please. If the Australian Shepherd Mix takes after their Australian Shepherd parent, they will be a good fit for an owner of any experience level.
However, it will be important to ensure they don’t get bored; otherwise, they will find their own entertainment, which could result in undesirable behavior. The other parent breed in the cross could affect how easy or difficult training your Australian Shepherd Mix could be, so it’s important to talk to the breeder about both parent breeds.
The grooming level to expect in an Australian Shepherd Mix will depend heavily on the parent breeds in the cross. An Australian Shepherd does shed year-round with two heavier seasonal shedding sessions and will require regular brushing to maintain a healthy coat.
If kept groomed, they only need to be bathed when they are dirty, which keeps their bathing needs low maintenance. However, the other parent breed in the cross could have a big effect on the Australian Shepherd Mix’s coat and grooming requirements. You will want to ask the breeder about the other dog breed in the mix to get a better idea of what coat types you could expect.
In addition to coat maintenance, you will also need to trim your dog’s nails, check their ears, and brush their teeth. Usually, cutting your dog’s nails once or twice monthly is sufficient to keep them from growing too long and affecting your dog’s ability to move.
If the Australian Shepherd Mix has ears that flop over, they will be more prone to ear infections as their ears are more likely to trap moisture, dirt, and debris. Regardless of your dog’s ear type, you will want to check them regularly and carefully clean your dog’s ears as needed to keep them healthy. You may just need to check floppy ears more often.
Dental disease is one of the most common, and most preventable, health issues in dogs. Good dental care for your dog could include one or a mix of brushing their teeth daily, using enzyme toothpaste, dental chews, and more. Taking care of your dog’s teeth helps prevent the tartar buildup that causes gum disease and tooth decay.
It’s a good idea to get your puppy used to having their paws, ears, and mouth handled while they are young to make grooming a much easier process as they grow.
Because the Australian Shepherd has such a high energy level, you need to be prepared for an Australian Shepherd Mix to require a lot of daily exercise to stay happy and healthy.
Not only do Australian Shepherds need a job to do, but they also need to run and play a lot to expend energy. This could vary in an Australian Shepherd Mix depending on the other breed in the cross, but you will need to be prepared for the possibility of a high-energy working dog.
An Australian Shepherd usually stands 18 – 23 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 35 and 70 pounds. The size of an Australian Shepherd Mix can be greatly affected by the other parent breed in the cross.
Asking the breeder about the other parent breed and meeting the mother dog can give you a good idea of what size to expect in your Australian Shepherd Mix puppy.
Australian Shepherds generally live for 12 – 15 years. Although the other parent breed of an Australian Shepherd Mix can affect the average life expectancy slightly, you should be able to expect a similar life span from them.