Here comes best in the show, one beautiful showstopper – the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix. This unique designer breed is a mix between the high-spirited Australian Shepherd and the fiercely courageous German Shepard. This mixed breed is an active family’s dream companion and watchdog.
Both the German Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd share high IQs, and the combination of these two agile breeds could only create a smart, lustrous, and athletic mix. The hybrid is always keen to please its owner at every command. And speaking of commands, they pick those up faster than you can say, ‘Good boy.
So, if you’ve already set your sights on this handsome, active dog, you should know – you have good taste. Keep reading this guide to find out what it takes to raise this pup.
- 1 1. Origin Story of the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix
- 2 2. The Appearance of the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
- 3 3. Grooming the German Shepherd Aussie
- 4 4. German Shepherd Aussie Mix’s Temperament & Behaviour
- 5 5. Cost of a German Shepherd Aussie Mix
- 6 6. Training the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
- 7 7. Exercise for the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
- 8 8. Diet and Nutrition for the German Shepherd Aussie
- 9 9. Longevity of the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
- 10 10. Potential Health Issues of the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
- 11 Final Thoughts on the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
1. Origin Story of the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix
It might not be a shock to hear this about mixed breeds, but the origin story of the German Shepherd Aussie is rather unclear. What we do know about the German Shepherd Aussie is that the breed was developed sometime between the 1990s and 2000s.
However, like other mix-breeds the only way you can really decipher what this dog is all about is by understanding their purebred parents.
The German Shepherd
The brave and powerful German Shepherd was bred around the 19th century when the German officer Captain Max von Stephanitz sought to create a German herding dog. Von Stephanitz did this by using a selection of the best shepherd breeds that were scattered around the German countryside.
The German Shepherd dog (also referred to as GSD), has quickly proved to be capable of far more than just herding. Nowadays, these dogs are synonymous with police work, bomb and drug detection, and personal protection. GSD’s are fiercely loyal, confident, and protective.
The Australian Shepherd
Despite their name, Australian Shepherds or Aussies aren’t actually from down under. While the breed was refined in the outback, this purebred got its actual start working the hills and countryside of Europe. In the last hundred years, the Aussie Shepherd transitioned to the American West. Rounding up livestock for farmers and ranchers.
The Australian Shepherd is just as smart as the GSD. They too are astute, and will often try to outsmart their owners. So, be prepared to remain on your toes at all times. Both the Aussie Shepherd and the GSD like to be kept busy and will become agitated if they don’t get enough exercise or mental stimulation.
The Aussie Shepherd is an affectionate dog, but can at times be reserved and independent. At heart, the Australian Shepherd loves the company of its owners.
2. The Appearance of the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
Whenever you get a designer pup, you can never fully predict what physical traits the dog will adopt from either parent. This couldn’t be any more true when it comes to the appearance of the German Shepherd Aussie.
These dogs are mostly well-proportioned with strong athletic bodies. Their sloping back and long legs give the German Shepherd Aussie the ambling gait of a GSD with the pep-in-step of the Australian Shepherd.
This hybrid is most likely to have a fluffy, plumed tail that can be long or short. This will be dependent on which parent breed they take after.
The German Shepherd Aussie can have a range of ear shapes. Usually ranging from a triangular ear shape with rounded tips, to upright and alert or floppy and folded. The muzzles on these dogs can be medium or long with a rounded tip.
Their almond-shaped eyes are very expressive. With these dogs, their eyes are truly the windows to their soul. Eye colors vary from dog to dog. Typically, you can see them with brown, blue, or hazel eyes. In some cases, the German Shepherd Aussie can inherit Heterochromia, a condition that causes two different eye colors.
Height and Weight
You can expect a fully grown German Shepherd Aussie mix to weigh anywhere from 45 – 80 pounds. Males tend to be at the heavier end of the scale. As for height, these dogs can vary anywhere from 19 – 26 inches tall.
When it comes to their coat, they generally have a straight to wavy double coat that’s short- to medium-length.
These dogs tend to sport a solid color, while a few might have a combination of colors. Some might even be tricolor or have tinges of silvery gray or brindle, with speckled or spotted markings.
3. Grooming the German Shepherd Aussie
The German Shepherd Aussie mix has inherited the double coat from both of their parents. Therefore, grooming these dogs can take a bit of time and concentrated effort. Grooming this hybrid requires plenty of brushing, and trimming to keep their coats in top shape.
Since their coats are primarily straight hairs, you can use a comb and a de-matter at least twice each week. But you’ll want to brush your German Shepherd Aussie mix at least every week to keep matting at bay and to remove the extra dead hair in their undercoat.
Baths should only be given when necessary using a mild dog shampoo. This will help to avoid irritating the dogs skin or drying out their fur.
It’s also important that you thoroughly and regularly clean these pups’ ears – especially if they are floppy and folded. Doing so helps them avoid ear infections.
And to finish off a full program of grooming, keep their nails clipped down. If your dog gets enough exercise, it is less likely that they will need their nails clipped each month. If you run on asphalt or hike with them, their nails will naturally wear down.
For those of you, who have spent a couple of minutes cuddling an Australian Shepherd or a GSD, you usually walk away with half of the dogs’ coat on your clothes. This designer mix, however, is a moderate shedder with half the grooming needs of their parents.
German Shepherd Aussies will experience a seasonal phenomenon called, blowing their coat. This occurs in the Spring and Fall seasons, where the dog will lose clumps of hair and shed much more than usual. During this time, it is best to take them to a groomer to effectively get rid of the shedding hair.
Shaving is never the solution for dogs with a double coat. Shaving a double-coated dog can actually make it harder for them to cool off.
4. German Shepherd Aussie Mix’s Temperament & Behaviour
The German Shepherd Aussies are hard workers and should be provided with entertainment to combat boredom. Because of their confidence and smarts, they excel in high-pressure jobs.
This part of their personality is thanks to their German Shepherd heritage. However, both the German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd are amazing problem solvers and can be put to work as police dogs, or service dogs.
The German Shepherd Aussie mix has a very high energy level and without consistent exercise, they will make their boredom and frustration known. They will bark excessively, chew on things and dig, dig, dig. Essentially, all this dog wants is to play with its family.
They can be a little wary of strangers but are overall still very confident dogs. Their wariness of strangers makes them great guard dogs and you can expect some barking from them when strangers approach.
Are They a Good Family Dog?
The German Shepherd Aussie mix is a great family member addition. They adore human attention and would fit best in an active family – they are a breed that enjoys going on long walks or hikes with their owners.
Do They Get Along with Other Pets?
This breed can get along with other pets. The most significant factor in their acceptance of other animals is their socialization when they are puppies.
Both parent breeds are known for being quite relaxed as properly socialized dogs. They can even get along with cats and other small animals if introduced slowly and the right way. If they don’t get socialized as a pup, they will become a lot more territorial and protective.
5. Cost of a German Shepherd Aussie Mix
You can find German Shepherd Aussie puppies for $500 to $2,000. That’s quite a gap, right? Well, it all boils down to the breeding business. Some breeders are well-established and have pedigree dogs in their kennels. Breeding is an expensive business, and very few breeders make any profit at all. In fact, it’s usually the reverse.
Pedigree pups are regarded as being of “higher quality” and this allows the breeder to sell them at premium prices. But if you can find a decent, reputable breeder, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy a $500 pup as long as your German Shepherd Aussie is healthy and happy.
Breeders & Rescues
Picking a breeder is just as important as picking out your puppy and can be super stressful. But if you aren’t responsible, you risk funding a less-than-stellar breeding operation. To make matters worse, you could get your heart set on an unhealthy pup.
It is imperative that you request to check the hybrids’ parents’ medical records and obtain a health guarantee for the pup.
These documents should include more than a standard vet checkup. You’ll also need to see proof of thorough genetic testing. Run far away from any breeder who can’t provide the necessary paperwork. The best breeders care just as much about their puppies as their clients do.
When it comes to rescuing a German Shepherd Aussie mix, there are several benefits to adopting one. For starters, you can save quite a bit of money. You can also have the option of bringing home an older dog and avoid the highs and lows of potty training.
However, as you scour local shelters and larger rescue organizations, keep in mind that you may not find an Australian German Shepherd that’s a 50/50 split. One or two other breeds may be thrown into the mix.
Breeders and rescuers should be knowledgeable about the German Shepherd Australian Mix’s personality and need for social interaction. Take the time to observe if the breeders or rescue staff, have an evident bond with their pups. If the adult dogs or puppies at one of these breeding or rescue facilities seem detached or fearful, this is a huge red flag.
6. Training the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
Don’t be worried about training this high-energy dog – in fact, their high energy makes them easier to train. Because both parent breeds were bred to be obedient working dogs, their cross also have that focus and obedience during training. With the use of plenty of positive affirmations and repetition, you will have a wonderful, well-trained dog in no time.
7. Exercise for the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
As previously mentioned, this breed is high energy so it needs to get plenty of exercise. These dogs are naturally sweet, loving companions but they will become destructive or disobedient terrors if you don’t exercise them enough.
The German Shepherd Aussie will need about 2 hours of activity spread throughout the day. At least 25% of this time should be high-intensity exercise like going on hikes, swimming, or just taking them to the dog park to play fetch a dozen times.
If you’re more of a low-intensity owner, walking is fine to do with them too. But you will probably have to walk with them twice a day to fulfill their exercise quota for the week.
8. Diet and Nutrition for the German Shepherd Aussie
As an active breed, your German Shepherd Aussie mix needs a diet high in protein to keep their body and muscles strong and healthy.
For a satisfied German Shepherd Aussies’ digestive system, owners should aim for 2.5 to 4 cups of high-quality dog food a day. This is an estimated 1,000 calories a day. Divide this amount into two meals to discourage overeating and bloating.
Other than your pet’s metabolism, look for a dry kibble appropriate for their weight, age, and overall health. Double-check with your local veterinarian if you’ve found the best food for your dog.
You should also check if your German Shepherd Aussie mix is gaining too much weight by doing a touch test. This is where you run your fingers through their coat and feel for their ribs. Being overweight can be a sign of illnesses like Insulinoma (a tumor of the pancreas) and Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid condition). So, it’s better to be safe than sad.
9. Longevity of the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
When you look at the mixed breeds parents, you’ll learn that the German Shepherd’s lifespan is at 7 to 10 years. As for the Aussie Shepherd, this dog enjoys a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years.
It is suggested that the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix could live for between 13 and 15 years, adopting its Aussie genetics.
10. Potential Health Issues of the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
Most mixed breeds tend to be rather healthy dogs and the German Shepherd Aussie mix is one of those healthy dogs. However, realistically it’s best to be prepared for the sometimes odd medical issues that could occur with your pet. Sometimes, unsound breeding practices in their parent’s early years can contribute to a greater risk of hereditary conditions.
Joint issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia are possible in both German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds. However, below are some of the potentially serious health conditions affecting German Shepherd Aussie Shepherd mixes.
An inherited condition that stops blood from clotting. Dogs with this condition can have prolonged, spontaneous bleeding from injuries, or even from the nose and eyes.
Seizures can be caused by trauma or sickness, but in many cases, the real reason is unknown. Luckily, this can be managed with lifelong medication to control it.
This is the change in the lens of the eye that causes cloudiness and impairs the dogs’ vision. A visit to the vet may prescribe eye drops to reduce inflammation, but surgery to remove the cataract is the most effective treatment.
Also known as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), this condition can be fatal. It usually occurs after the dog has eaten or drank excessively, often just before or after exercise. The stomach starts to fill up with gas, then twists around on itself, cutting off the blood supply to the organs and rupturing the stomach lining. Without emergency surgery, the dog will not survive.
Collie Eye Anomaly
This is actually a group of eye problems affecting Collie-type breeds. They range from mild to potentially fatal, and some can cause blindness in one or both eyes. It is vital that your dog is checked regularly for any sign of eye problems of this nature.
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This is the disease of the spinal cord that stops the brain from communicating with the hindquarters. It is a progressive disease that almost always results in complete paralysis of the back legs.
In many cases, their front legs are weakened and they become incontinent. The only good news here is that the dog is not in pain while experiencing this disease.
Final Thoughts on the German Shepherd Aussie Mix
The German Shepherd Aussie dogs make for excellent companions. They do, however, require a diligent owner. Novice pet parents or those with packed schedules should think twice before bringing one of these puppies home.
The primary consideration that you need to make with these pups is their need for space and attention. As long as you make the effort, they will be an excellent addition to your home.
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