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10 Things to Know about the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix

Here comes the best in the show, one beautiful showstopper – the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix. This unique designer breed mixes the high-spirited Australian Shepherd and the fiercely courageous German Shepherd. This mixed breed is an active family’s dream companion and watchdog.   

fun fact about German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds is their shared high IQ. So 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 beautiful dog breed with an active personality, keep reading this guide to find out what it takes to raise these intelligent dogs.

german shepherd and australian shepherd

1. Origin Story of the Aussie German Shepherd Mix

It might not be a shock to hear this about mixed breeds, but the origin story of the Australian Shepherd mixed with the German Shepherd is somewhat unclear. What is known 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.

german shepherd running

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.   

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This large-sized dog is fiercely loyal, confident, and protective, so don’t be surprised if your new pup likes you from the get-go.

german shepherd lying down

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 Australian West, rounding up livestock for farmers and ranchers.

australian shepherd

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. They have high energy levels and become agitated if they don’t get enough exercise or mental stimulation.

10 Things to Know about the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix 1

The Aussie Shepherd is an emotionally supportive dog but can, at times, be reserved and independent. At heart, the Australian Shepherd loves the company of its owners.

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2. Australian Shepherd and German Shepherd Mix Appearance

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 GSD Aussie mix.   

This hybrid breed are mostly well-proportioned with strong athletic bodies. Their sloping back and long legs give this half German Shepherd half Australian shepherd the ambling gait of a GSD with the pep-in-step of the Aussie.   

These large dogs will most likely have a fluffy, plumed tail that can be long or short. This will be dependent on which parent breed they take after.

australian shepherd german shepherd mix

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.

Australian German Shepherd Mix Height and Weight

You can expect a fully grown German Shepherd mixed with an Australian Shepherd to weigh anywhere from 45 – 80 pounds. Males tend to be at the heavier end of the scale. As for height, they’re not the tallest dog breed, as they vary anywhere from 19 – 26 inches.

German Australian Shepherd Coat

When it comes to their coat, they generally have a straight to wavy double coat that’s short to medium in length.   These dogs tend to sport a solid color, while a few might have a combination of colors. Some are even speckled or spotted dogs with a tricolor or tinges of silvery gray or brindle. It really depends on the parents and who has the dominant gene.

10 Things to Know about the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix 2

3. Grooming the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix

The German Aussie Shepherd mix inherits a double coat from both its 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 dog comb and a dematting brush 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 essential that you thoroughly and regularly clean these pups’ ears – especially if they are floppy and folded. Doing so helps them avoid ear infections.

australian shepherd german shepherd mix

And to finish off a full grooming program, keep their nails down with some quality dog nail clippers. 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.

German Aussie Mix Shedding

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 dog’s 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, so these dogs don’t shed all the time. This occurs in the Spring and Fall seasons when 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.

australian shepherd german shepherd mix

4. Australian German Shepherd Mix’s Temperament & Behaviour

The German Shepherd Aussies are hard workers and should be provided with entertainment to combat boredom. Because they’re a confident and smart dog breed, they excel in high-pressure jobs with proper training.   

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 work as police or service dogs.  

 German Aussie puppies have a very high energy level, and without consistent exercise, they will make their boredom and frustration known. They will bark all night and day, 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, though, so you can expect some barking from them when strangers approach.

australian shepherd german shepherd mix

Are They a Good Family Dog?

The German Shepherd and Aussie mix is a great addition to any family. 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. They will generally get along with all family members. 

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 correctly. If they don’t get socialized as a pup, they will become much more territorial and protective.

Don’t be worried about training this high-energy designer dog – in fact, according to this breed guide, their high energy makes them easier to train. As both parent breeds were bred to be obedient working dogs, their cross also has that focus and obedience during training.

5. German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix Price

A German Shepherd Aussie mix puppy will cost anywhere from $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,” thus the reason why they can be such expensive dogs. 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.

australian shepherd german shepherd mix

German Australian Shepherd Mix Breeders & Rescues

Picking a breeder is just as important as picking out your puppy and can be super stressful. 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 a whining puppy.   

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.

australian shepherd german shepherd mix

6. Training the German Shepherd Aussie Mix

Don’t be worried about training this high-energy designer dog – in fact, their high energy makes them easier to train. As both parent breeds were bred to be obedient working dogs, their cross also has that focus and obedience during training. With plenty of positive affirmations and repetition combined with their high intelligence, you will have a wonderful, well-trained dog in no time.

7.  Exercise for German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd Mix

As previously mentioned, this breed is highly energetic, so it needs 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 hiking, swimming, or just taking them to the dog park to play fetch a dozen times with their favorite rubber ball.   

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 its body and muscles strong and healthy.   

To satisfy the German Aussies puppies’ 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.

australian shepherd german shepherd mix

Other than your pet’s metabolism, look at 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. If you can’t feel their ribs, they may be overweight.   

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. German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix Lifespan

When you look at the mixed breed parents, you’ll learn that the German Shepherd’s lifespan is 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 breeds. 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 parents can contribute to a greater risk of hereditary conditions.   

Joint issues such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are possible in German and Australian Shepherds. However, below are some potentially serious health conditions affecting the half Aussie half German Shepherd breed.

australian shepherd german shepherd mix


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.


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. Your dog must be checked regularly for any sign of eye problems of this nature.

australian german shepherd

Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy is a 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 Aussie and German Shepherd Mix

The German Shepherd Aussie breed makes 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 particularly if they live in a small apartment.   

The primary consideration you must 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.   

If you’re looking for a German Shepherd mix and this one doesn’t make the cut, read up on all the other amazing options here:  

This article does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in this article and end up making a purchase, I may receive a small commission. It won’t affect the price that you pay. Just wanted to let you know.

australian shepherd and german shepherd

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