Contrary to popular belief, the Australian Shepherd did not originate from the land down under, as the breed was originally conceived in the United States. The Australian Shepherd breed is known for their enthusiasm, friendliness, and energy. They were originally used for herding by Australian sheepherders that arrived in the United States during the 17th century. It was also during this period that American farmers were searching for a smart and highly-versatile canine breed that can control and manage their livestock.
The Australian Shepherd we know today is a cross between the Australian herding dog and American herding dog. The product of this mixed breeding is a hardworking and intelligent dog breed. The specific dog breeds that were used to develop the modern-day Australian Shepherd are still unknown. Australian Shepherds or Aussies are still used for herding all over the globe.
What Does an Australian Shepherd Look Like?
Aussies are medium-sized dogs with a relatively thin body structure. They feature medium-length coats that come in shades of black, blue, and red. White is a common marking in most Aussie mixes. They have waterproof coats that are excellent at retaining body heat, too. The hair coat is either straight or wavy. Their medium-sized ears are shaped like rosebuds.
Aussies showcase naturally bobbed tails. One of the most distinctive characteristics of Australian Shepherds is their eyes. They are either solid or a combination of amber, blur, brown, and hazel. They can weigh up to 60 pounds with standing height of up to 23 inches at the shoulder.
Aussies are known for their loyalty. They make for excellent watchdogs due to their strong guarding instinct. As they were originally developed for herding, most Aussies mixed breeds inherited instinctual herding skills which means they are most likely to nip at your heel during playtime and running.
Australian Shepherds are highly energetic dogs. They love working which means they might develop destructive behaviour when they are constantly indoors. They require regular exercise as well as lots of time and attention from their masters.
The strong herding instincts of Aussies tempts them to herd small children by nipping them at the heels. Dog owners need to understand that dog breed will always express their need to be included during activities. They are most commonly cautious around strangers but are very loving and loyal to their family.
Aussies are easy to train since they require a lot of time and attention. They will work for praise and positive reinforcement. They are highly agile dogs; hence they are excellent during obedience training, playing fetch and Frisbee among many others. In some countries, Aussies are also being used as sled dogs.
Let us now explore some of the most popular Australian Shepherd mixed breeds:
Augi (Australian Shepherd/ Pembroke Welsh Corgi)
Both Australian Shepherd and Welsh Corgi came from a bloodline for workaholics. Augis make excellent companions in a farm setting.
Augis will also thrive in an urban setting as they can be trained to herd children. Although it is not advised to go down this route, Augis will be dedicated babysitters and watchers for your children.
Australian Retriever (Australian Shepherd/Golden Retriever)
Australian Retrievers are moderately long-haired dogs boasting charming personality. They are obedient and hardworking in nature and are perfect for families with small children. They are easy to train and they love the water.
Aussiedoodle (Australian Shepherd/Poodle)
Aussiedoodles are undeniably adorable. This breed was specifically developed to be the ultimate canine companion. They are loyal and friendly and are at their happiest when given lots of love and attention.
Border-Aussie (Australian Shepherd/Border Collie)
Border-Aussies are known for their gentleness, beauty, and calm personality. They are notorious people pleasers and enjoy time spent with the family. It’s important not to leave this Aussie mix dog all alone for a long time as they might develop separation anxiety in the long run. Border-Aussies have luxuriously long and thick coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting and dullness.
Ausky (Australian Shepherd/ Husky)
The Ausky is a strikingly gorgeous animal with a piercing stare. This Australian Shepard mix is known for their authoritative demeanor and extreme intelligence. It is a must for an Ausky to undergo obedience training so pet owners can have full control over their behavior, otherwise they may develop disruptive personality.
Boxherd (Australian Shepherd/Boxer)
The Boxherd is a strong and sturdy Australian Shepherd mix that is extremely loyal and protective of his family. He can get aggressive if he senses his family is in danger. He has a big heart and will be ready to shower owners with hugs and kisses. They are very playful dogs that will require regular exercise and walks with his human companion.
Aussiepom (Australian Shepherd/Pomeranian)
If you are looking for a mini Aussie mix, the Aussiepom is perfect for your family! They are small, compact, and undeniably cuddly. This mixed breed makes for a very cute and loyal family companion. If you travel often, it is easy to bring an Aussiepom around for out-of-town getaways or even overseas adventures. The Aussiepom get along well with children. Due to their thick and luscious coat, Aussiepoms need regular grooming.
Dalshep (Australian Shepherd/Dalmation)
Dalhseps are known to be highly-energetic and workaholic dogs. These qualities are inherited from both Australian Shepherd and Dalmation breeds. A Dalshep is an agile dog that will be delighted to go on long walks and obedience training outdoors. Although considered excellent guard dogs for families, they are also extremely needy when it comes to attention. They behave poorly when left on their own and become depressed when ignored for extended periods of time.
Baussie (Australian Shepherd/Boston Terrier)
A cross between Australian Shepherd and Boston Terrier, the Baussie is a playful and energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise and loads of one-on-one attention, too. The Baussie are prone to separation anxiety when they are left alone or ignored by their family, hence you will need to allocate time for walks, training, and platy time. Unlike other Aussie mix, the Baussie are comfortable with indoor living.
Whatever breed they are crossed with, all Aussie shepherd mix breeds are all cute and cuddly. They are a combination of beauty and brains and make loyal companions to families who know how to treat their canine best friend with love and respect.