Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix: Origin, Features, and Care Requirements

Are you a dog lover looking for a loyal, intelligent, and energetic canine companion? Look no further than the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd mix, a unique blend of two of the most popular and beloved dog breeds.

Envision a creature that combines the renowned intelligence and loyalty of the German Shepherd with the agility and vivacious spirit of the Australian Shepherd.

It’s a fusion that brings together the best attributes of two legendary herding dogs, creating a companion that’s as suitable for active lifestyles as it is for providing loyal company. However, they’re not a breed for everyone. Their unique characteristics present a set of challenges as rewarding as they are demanding.

Let’s explore the remarkable traits, personality, and care needs of the Australian German Shepherd. Prepare to be captivated by this extraordinary breed!

An Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix

Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix Quick Breed Summary

Other NamesGerman Australian Shepherd, Australian German Shepherd, German Shepherd Aussie Mix
Size20-25 inches
Weight50-80lb
Lifespan12-15 years
CoatMedium length (double coat)
ColorMany different mixes of whites, blacks, tans, silvers blues, and grays
Shedding TendencyModerate
TemperamentEnergetic, eager to learn, and family-oriented
IntelligenceHigh
SocializationAloof of strangers but overall a confident breed
Destructive BehaviorCan be destructive if left alone too long, or when bored
People SkillsHighly social and willing to please their family
Good with ChildrenYes
Activity LevelsVery high

Origin of the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix

This mix isn’t just a casual blending of traits; it’s the result of a deliberate effort to merge the herding brilliance and loyal companionship of two distinct breeds.

The German Shepherd: A Legacy of Intelligence and Loyalty

The German Shepherd’s story starts in the late 1800s in Germany. Bred for intelligence, strength, and obedience, these dogs quickly became renowned for their versatility.

Max von Stephanitz, often hailed as the father of the breed, had a vision of creating the ultimate working dog. His success is evident in the global reputation of German Shepherds, particularly in their roles within police and military units.

This breed’s hallmark is their unwavering loyalty and adaptability, making them a cornerstone in the world of working dogs.

The Australian Shepherd: Energy and Agility Embodied

Contrary to their name, the Australian Shepherd’s origins are rooted in the Western United States. They were developed from dogs associated with Basque shepherds who migrated from Australia to America in the 1800s.

Known for their incredible herding skills, Australian Shepherds are bundles of energy, marked by their intelligence and agility. Their prowess in obedience and agility competitions is a testament to their spirited nature and quick learning abilities.

The Birth of the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix

The convergence of these two distinguished breeds likely happened in the late 20th century, born from a desire to blend the best traits of both. This mix represents more than just a physical combination; it’s a fusion of rich histories and distinct legacies.

The first time I encountered this mix, I was captivated by their impressive presence and the harmonious blend of the shepherding spirit with a strong protective instinct.

Australian German Shepherd Physical Appearance

Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix

This breed is a visual treat, blending the best physical traits of its parent breeds. As someone who’s seen many of these mixes, I can tell you, each one is as unique as they are beautiful.

Size, Build, and Height

These dogs typically weigh between 50 to 80 pounds, showcasing a robust and muscular frame that comes from their German Shepherd lineage. Yet, they also possess the agility and leanness that are characteristics of the Australian Shepherd. It’s this blend that makes them incredibly versatile, equally adept at sprinting across a field as they are at lounging by your side.

In terms of height, they generally stand between 20 to 25 inches at the shoulder. This height, coupled with their muscular build, gives them a commanding presence, reflective of their strong herding and working dog heritage.

Coat and Colors

The coat of the Australian German Shepherd Mix is nothing short of a visual treat. Most inherit the dense, double coat (often with a medium length) from the German Shepherd side, making them well-suited for cooler climates.

But it’s the array of colors and patterns, a gift from their Australian Shepherd ancestry, that makes their coat fascinating. From rich blacks and tans to the mesmerizing merle and even striking tri-colors, their coats are a canvas for a wide array of beautiful patterns.

Other Features

The face of an Australian German Shepherd Mix is where their expressive nature shines through. One of my personal favorite features in some of these dogs is their eyes – the Australian Shepherd’s influence can gift them with stunning blue eyes that are simply captivating.

Their gaze, often reminiscent of the keen, intelligent look of the German Shepherd, seems to pierce right through you. It’s a look that speaks of their alertness and readiness to engage.

The shape of their ears varies – some inherit the German Shepherd’s erect ears while others show a slight bend or flop, giving them a softer, more approachable aspect.

Every interaction I’ve had with these dogs has been met with an expressive face that seems to convey a deep understanding and curiosity. Whether it’s the attentive tilt of their head or the way their eyes light up during play, their facial expressions are a window into their intelligent and affectionate nature.

Personality and Temperament of the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix

Australian Shepherd

Getting to know the personality and temperament of an Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix is like opening a book filled with fascinating chapters. I’ve witnessed firsthand the intriguing and diverse personalities they possess.

The Intelligence and Loyalty Blend

One of the most striking traits of the Aussie-German mix is their intelligence. It’s not just about learning tricks or commands; it’s their ability to understand and respond to their environment. This intelligence, inherited from their German Shepherd lineage, is complemented by a deep sense of loyalty. They form strong, lasting bonds with their families, often becoming an integral and devoted part of the household.

Their loyalty isn’t just about being protective. It’s about forming a deep, meaningful connection. They often show a level of empathy and understanding that’s rare, making them exceptional companions.

Energy and Playfulness

When it comes to energy, the Australian Shepherd side shines through in these mixes. They are bundles of joy and energy, always ready for a game or an adventure. I’ve spent afternoons with these dogs where their zest for life and play was infectious, turning even a simple game of fetch into an exciting event.

But it’s not all about physical activity. Their playfulness often extends to mental games as well. They enjoy challenges and puzzles, and engaging them in such activities is a great way to keep their minds active and happy.

Sensitivity and Trainability

The emotional intelligence of the German and Australian Shepherd Mix is something that always amazes me. They’re not just smart; they’re intuitive. They can pick up on subtle cues and emotions, making them highly sensitive to their surroundings and the feelings of their owners.

This sensitivity is a boon when it comes to training. They’re not only eager to learn but also eager to please. Positive reinforcement works wonders with them, and consistency in training helps them understand expectations clearly. I’ve found that they enjoy the process of learning, making training a great bonding experience.

Socialization Needs

Finally, it’s crucial to address their socialization needs. The Aussie-German mix benefits immensely from early and consistent socialization. They can be a bit reserved at first, especially around strangers, a trait they may inherit from the German Shepherd side. But with regular exposure to different people, animals, and environments, they learn to be more adaptable and sociable.

Regular walks, trips to the dog park, and social interactions play a key role in their development. I’ve observed that well-socialized Aussie-German mixes are more confident and well-adjusted, able to navigate various social situations with ease.

One thing to keep in mind with this breed is that they need huge amounts of both mental and physical stimulation.

Caring for an Australian German Shepherd

German Shepherd Aussie Mix

Raising an Australian German Shepherd Mix is an engaging journey, brimming with unique aspects that cater to their specific needs.

Grooming Needs

They possess a thick double coat that undergoes moderate shedding throughout the year, and it intensifies during seasonal changes. Regular brushing, ideally a few times a week, is key to managing this shedding and maintaining the health of their coat. It also significantly reduces the amount of hair you’ll find around your house.

During the shedding seasons, usually in spring and fall, you might want to step up the brushing routine. Using a de-shedding tool or an undercoat rake can be particularly effective in removing loose fur.

As for bathing, these dogs don’t require frequent baths, but a monthly bath can help keep their coat clean and somewhat reduce shedding. Remember, too many baths can strip their coat of essential oils, so moderation is important.

Exercise Requirements

The exercise needs of an Australian German Shepherd Mix are quite substantial. This may be a mixed-breed dog but for the most part, they are still working dogs. Hence, regular exercise is non-negotiable.

They inherit the high energy levels of both the Australian Shepherd and the German Shepherd, making regular and varied physical activity essential. They thrive on a mix of physical exercises such as walks, runs, and games like fetch, along with mentally stimulating activities.

Ideally, they should get at least an hour of exercise daily. However, more is often better for this active breed. Activities that challenge them both physically and mentally are particularly beneficial. They’re not the type of dog that will be content with a short walk; they need space to run and explore to keep them happy and healthy.

  • Number of Walks Per Day: 2+
  • Total Exercise Needed Per Day: 90+ minutes

Feeding Guidelines

Proper nutrition is vital for the health of an Australian German Shepherd Mix. They require a well-balanced dog food that suits their size, age, and energy levels.

A high-quality, nutrient-rich dry kibble formulated for medium to large breeds is usually a good choice. It’s important to pick a food that matches their life stage – whether they’re a puppy, adult, or senior.

Portion control plays a crucial role in their diet. These dogs can be prone to weight gain if overfed, particularly if they’re not getting enough exercise. Splitting their food into two meals per day can aid in digestion and maintain steady energy levels. Always be mindful of adjusting their food intake based on their activity level.

And, of course, access to fresh water is essential, especially after exercise and during warmer weather.

  • Calories Per Day: 1000
  • Cups of Kibble Per Day:  ~2

Grooming and Shedding

Grooming and shedding are also important things to consider when getting an Australian German Shepherd mix.

They will have a medium-length double coat that will require at least weekly brushing throughout the year. This mix will shed moderately all year long therefore if you suffer from pet allergies this will not be an ideal dog for you.

Twice a year (in the spring and fall) they will shed their entire undercoat which will require daily brushing to avoid matting. At this time, you should expect to rake large clumps of undercoat from this dog.

Their ears stand upright and naturally collect a lot of dust and dirt. This can lead to ear infections therefore it is crucial to clean their ears at least once a week as well.

Bathing should be done as needed to avoid irritating the skin.

The Most Common Health Problems in Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix

This is normally a healthy mix but like any dog, issues can still arise. Below are the most common health issues that can affect the quality of life of a German and Australian Shepherd mix.

Hip Dysplasia

Prevalent in many large dog breeds including the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix, hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint fails to develop correctly. This improper development often leads to arthritis or lameness, impacting the dog’s mobility and quality of life.

The symptoms, like difficulty in rising, reluctance to climb stairs, or a noticeable limp, can become more pronounced as the dog ages.

It’s typically a hereditary condition, though factors like obesity or rapid growth in puppyhood can exacerbate it.

  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce joint stress.
  • Engage in regular, moderate exercise for muscle strength.
  • Consider supplements like glucosamine, with veterinary advice.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups for hip health.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia in the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix is a developmental disorder affecting the elbow joints, leading to pain, discomfort, and mobility issues. This condition is often evident through symptoms like limping, stiffness (particularly after resting), and limited motion in the front limbs.

Like hip dysplasia, it is primarily genetic but can also be influenced by rapid growth or improper nutrition during the dog’s developmental stages.

  • Ensure balanced nutrition to avoid rapid growth.
  • Limit strenuous exercise for puppies.
  • Regular veterinary visits for early detection.
  • Use orthopedic beds for joint support.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can affect the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix, leading to recurrent seizures. These seizures are characterized by symptoms such as uncontrollable shaking, loss of consciousness, and temporary confusion.

Epilepsy in dogs can be hereditary, but it may also be triggered by external factors like exposure to toxins or severe head injuries.

  • Regular veterinary check-ups for neurological health.
  • Keep a detailed seizure diary for treatment efficacy.
  • Administer vet-prescribed medications consistently.
  • Maintain a stress-free environment to avoid trigger seizures.

Allergies

These allergies can be environmental, like pollen or dust, or food-related. Symptoms often include persistent itching, skin rashes, recurring ear infections, and gastrointestinal problems, which can significantly affect the dog’s comfort and well-being.

  • Identify and eliminate allergy triggers, possibly changing diets.
  • Bathe regularly with hypoallergenic shampoos.
  • Follow vet recommendations for medications.
  • Regular grooming to reduce skin irritation and remove allergens.

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How To Train German Shepherd Aussie Mix

German Australian Shepherd

Dog training is a rewarding experience that requires a blend of patience, consistency, and understanding. These intelligent and energetic dogs respond well to the right training approaches, as I’ve seen through various interactions and observations.

Start Training Early

Beginning training early is crucial with a German Shepherd Aussie Mix. Puppies are like sponges, eager and ready to absorb new information. Starting from the puppy stage, it’s important to introduce basic commands and establish house rules. I’ve noticed that pups of this mix tend to pick up commands quite quickly. Consistency in training sessions helps reinforce these commands, ensuring that the lessons stick.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a highly effective training method for this breed mix. They respond exceptionally well to rewards such as treats, praise, and play. I remember watching a training session where a German Shepherd Aussie mix was learning a new trick. The trainer used treats and verbal praise, and the dog’s enthusiasm and willingness to learn were evident. This approach not only strengthens the dog’s skills but also fosters a positive bond between the dog and the trainer.

Focus on Socialization

Socialization is a key component of training the German Shepherd Aussie Mix. Exposing them to various environments, people, and other animals from a young age helps them develop into well-adjusted adult dogs. A well-socialized German Shepherd Aussie mix I encountered at a dog park was friendly and confident, showcasing the benefits of early and consistent socialization.

Mental Stimulation is Key

Given their intelligence, German Shepherd Aussie mixes require ample mental stimulation. Puzzle toys, scent work, and interactive games are great ways to keep their minds active. A dog trainer I spoke with emphasized the importance of mental challenges for this breed mix, using activities like puzzle feeders and scent trails to engage their minds, which contributes significantly to their overall well-being.

Be Patient and Understanding

Patience is vital when training a German Shepherd Aussie mix. They may sometimes display a stubborn streak, possibly a trait from the Australian Shepherd side. In such moments, a calm and firm approach is effective. Understanding their unique personality and adapting the training to suit their needs can lead to successful and enjoyable training sessions.

The Cost of Owning a German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix

Owning a German Shepherd Aussie Mix involves various expenses that potential owners should be aware of. These costs can vary depending on several factors, including location, the dog’s needs, and the lifestyle you provide for your pet.

Initial Costs

  • Purchase Price: The cost of purchasing a German Shepherd Aussie Mix from a breeder can range from $300 to $900, depending on the breeder’s reputation and the dog’s lineage.
  • Initial Supplies: Setting up for a new puppy includes costs for a crate ($50-$200), bedding ($20-$50), toys ($20-$50), a collar and leash ($20-$50), and initial veterinary care including vaccinations and deworming ($70-$200).

Veterinary Care

  • Routine Check-ups and Vaccinations: Annual veterinary visits for routine check-ups and vaccinations can cost around $50-$300.
  • Flea and Tick Prevention: Monthly preventatives can range from $10-$50.
  • Emergency Medical Costs: These can vary greatly but having a budget of $500-$2,000 for unexpected health issues is advisable.

Food and Supplies

  • Dog Food: High-quality dog food for a medium to large dog like the German Shepherd Aussie Mix can cost about $40-$80 per month.
  • Grooming Supplies: Professional grooming services, if needed, can range from $30-$100 per visit, depending on the services required.

Training and Socialization

  • Training Classes: Basic training classes can range from $50 to $200 for a series of sessions.
  • Socialization Activities: Structured playgroups or doggy daycare, if utilized, can cost $15-$50 per session.

Pet Insurance

  • Pet Insurance: Monthly premiums can vary widely, typically ranging from $30-$70, depending on the coverage level and deductible.

Miscellaneous Expenses

  • Dog Walkers/Sitters: If required, dog walkers or sitters can charge $15-$50 per visit or walk.
  • Boarding Fees: For travel-related boarding, fees can range from $25-$50 per night.

FAQs: German Shepherd Aussie Mix

How long does a German Shepherd Aussie Mix live?

A German Shepherd Aussie Mix typically enjoys a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Proper care, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary check-ups contribute to their longevity. Their active lifestyle also plays a key role in maintaining their overall health.

Is the German Shepherd Aussie Mix a good family dog?

Yes, the German Shepherd Aussie Mix is an excellent family dog, known for its loyalty and affectionate nature. They are great with children and form strong family bonds when properly socialized. Supervision is advised with younger children due to the dog’s size and energy.

Can German Shepherd Aussie Mixes live in multi-pet households?

German Shepherd Aussie Mixes can adapt well to multi-pet households, especially with early socialization. They generally get along with other dogs and can coexist with cats. Individual temperament and previous social experiences play a crucial role in their compatibility with other pets.

Are German Shepherd Aussie Mixes easy to train?

German Shepherd Aussie Mixes are highly trainable, thanks to their intelligence and eagerness to please. They respond well to positive reinforcement and consistent training methods. Early training and socialization are key to their behavioral development.

Are German Shepherd Aussie Mixes good with strangers?

German Shepherd Aussie Mixes can be cautious and aloof around strangers, inheriting the protective nature of the German Shepherd. Proper socialization from a young age helps them become more comfortable and friendly around new people. Their reaction to strangers can vary based on individual personality and training.

So, Is the German Shepherd Aussie Mix Right for You?

Deciding if a German Shepherd Aussie Mix is the right dog for you depends on your lifestyle, experience with dogs, and what you’re looking for in a canine companion.

Let’s break down who this breed mix is ideally suited for and who might want to consider a different breed.

The German Shepherd Aussie Mix Is For

  • Active Individuals or Families: If you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy outdoor activities, this high-energy breed could be a perfect match. They thrive in environments where they can exercise and play.
  • Experienced Dog Owners: Those who have experience in training and handling dogs, particularly breeds that require firm yet gentle guidance, will find this mix manageable and rewarding.
  • People Who Want a Loyal Companion: If you’re looking for a dog that is deeply loyal and forms strong bonds with family members, the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd Mix is an excellent choice. They are known for their protective nature and affection towards their family.
  • Homes With Adequate Space: This mix is well-suited for homes with enough space for them to move around comfortably, including a backyard or nearby parks for exercise.

The German Shepherd Aussie Mix Isn’t For

  • First-Time Dog Owners: If you’re new to dog ownership, this mix might be challenging due to its high energy levels and training requirements. A breed that’s less demanding might be a better starting point.
  • Those Looking for a Low-Energy Companion: If you prefer a more laid-back, low-energy dog, the German Shepherd Aussie Mix might not be the best fit. Their energy and exercise needs are substantial.
  • Busy Individuals Without Much Time for Dog Care: This breed mix requires time and commitment, especially for training, exercise, and grooming. If your schedule is too busy to meet these needs, a less demanding breed might be a better match.

More Australian Shepherd and German Shepherd Mixes

Want an Australian Shepherd mix or German Shepherd mix but aren’t keen on the Australian Shepherd German Shepherd mix? Check out these other hybrid dog breeds:

Australian Shepherd Mixes

German Shepherd Mixes

 

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.

11 Comments

  1. We just rescued a 2 year old Aussiebeen dominates German shepherd . She wants to be alpha over our 7 year old rescue . Border collie and black mix . Today they had 2 terrible fights . Is this ever going to work out ? We only have had her 3 days. She has been dominant , aggressive to other dog . Very affectionate to us . No kids . 2retired adults . Can you help??

    • good question Wendy, my girlfriend wants to know the same thing..

      Anyone who might have this experience, please respond. Thank you.

      • My rescue is about half Aussie, maybe a third German Shepherd snd a bit of lab. She really wants to chase the cats but doesn’t see them as prey. They are a bit worried about her because she’s so fast, but she really will be fine once they get used to her. Has no intention of trying to eat them, just to play. Lol! They’re not sure they want to. Hope this helps!

      • I just had a litter they’re 2 months old have been raised around cats they like to play with them but do like to chase them but when they catch them they play they don’t try to hurt them it’s all on how you train them around them I make them stop when they try to chase them and they’re learning to listen

    • My dog was 11 when we got our cat. They played for a while until the cat got too brave with his claws. My German Aussie Molly wouldn’t stand up for herself and the cat being so fast (and evil) was impossible to discipline. We would hear Molly cry and find her with scratches on her pretty little nose. Only once did I find her with an additional tuft of cat furn in her teeth. We gave the cat to another home as he was too big a bully for my mild tempered doggy. As a gentile, people focused dog, she was easy prey for such a quick and naughty cat. Each dog has a personality and mine is a pushover, not compatible with mean cats.

    • Our German Aussie mix does well with cats, but her prey instinct is intense so if they run, she runs after them. Additionally, if she thinks they are in trouble or doing something naughty, she will use her nose to knock them over, she doesn’t hurt them, but still. Not sure if that’s a common thing or just her.

  2. How much energy play time do you suggest for a 10 year old. Our “new” rescue is very compliant – yet has energy. What games would be good.

    • I have a one year old mix & my sister got a kitten maybe 6 months ago they where curious about one another but, Then my dog started to chase/herd the cat playfully (only the kitten didn’t like it) now the kitten is afraid of the dog

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