When you combine two shepherd breeds, you can already prepare for a dog that is brainy and energetic. This is certainly true for the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix, who comes from the powerful German Shepherd and Aussie.
Though he may not be the most well-known hybrid in the canine kingdom, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix is rising at a steady pace when it comes to popularity in the United States.
Of course, this dog may not be the ideal dog for everyone, and it’s going to take a specific type of owner who is willing and able to commit themselves to raising this incredible crossbreed.
Do you have what it takes to take on a German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix? Join us today and find out!
Table of Contents
Introducing The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix!
The German Shepherd Aussie mix is a unique and beautiful hybrid.
Other Names: The German Australian Shepherd, The German Aussie
Height: 20 to 23 Inches
Weight: 46 to 65 Pounds
Temperament: Intelligent, Work-Oriented, Affectionate, Devoted
Best Suited For: More Experienced Dog Owners
Energy Level: High
Average Cost Through A Breeder: $500 to $2,000
The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix Overview:
Are you in the market for a canine companion that could outwit many humans? Then look no further than the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix. This dog combines everything an ambitious dog lover could want in a hybrid, including intelligence, adoration, devotion, and energy.
German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix dogs are also known to have quite entertaining personalities. They are excellent problem-solvers and will enjoy learning new tricks and showing them off.
Working dogs at heart, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix is not the ideal dog for more laid-back dog owners. This medium-sized crossbreed can be challenging to novice dog owners, especially if they aren’t prepared for his exuberant energy, zest for adventure, and propensity for getting into things he shouldn’t should he become bored.
Of course, if you’re ready for a dog that’s more like a furry Einstein, then keep reading. We’re about to dive in and learn all about the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix.
Where Does The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix Come From?
This is a crossbreed and the offspring of two intelligent herding dogs.
As his name suggests, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix is a cross between the purebred German Shepherd and the purebred Australian Shepherd.
Although both of these breeds are famous working dogs, they’re quite unique in their own way. This means that their hybrid offspring could also be unique, and maybe more like one parent breed over the other.
In order to get a better idea of what the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix might be like, it’s important to look into the histories of his purebred parent breeds.
Let’s start with the German Shepherd.
Meet The German Shepherd
The German Shepherd came about in Germany during the early 1880s, when shepherd dogs were greatly needed to not only help herd flocks but also protect them from dangerous predators.
German Shepherds are considered one of the most intelligent dogs in the world. This purebred is so beloved throughout the world, in fact, that he has made a name for himself as a police dog, military dog, search and rescue dog, therapy dog, and, of course, beloved family companion.
Though sometimes stubborn, the German Shepherd is a highly trainable breed that enjoys having a job to do. He is best suited for experienced dog owners who make time for training, exercise, and socialization.
On average, German Shepherds stand between 22 to 16 inches tall and weigh between 49 and 88 pounds. They have thick, double-coats that shed year-round and come in a variety of colors including black, sable, black and tan, black and silver, and red and black.
Meet The Australian Shepherd
Though his name may suggest otherwise, the Australian Shepherd is actually not considered an Australian dog. Instead, this beautiful and brainy purebred is an American dog at heart. Though his origins tie him to the Land Down Under, the Aussie was perfected as a ranch and herding dog by Californians during the 19th century.
Australian Shepherd dogs are incredibly popular and some of the most prominent dogs shown in Western movies and TV shows. This is because they were often considered a cowboy’s best friend.
Today, Australian Shepherds are still some of the most popular ranch dogs in the United States. They can also make incredible companions to the right owner. Though they are very energetic and can be considered high-maintenance to the novice or unprepared dog owner, the experienced Aussie enthusiast knows this dog is a true gem.
Standing between 18 and 23 inches in height and weighing 35 to 70 pounds, the Aussie is a shedding breed that comes in a variety of coat colors and eye colors.
What You Should Know About The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix And The Crossbreed Controversy
Considering how amazing both the German Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd are on their own, it’s no surprise that their crossbreed offspring would also be quite a popular canine.
However, there is some controversy surrounding the idea of hybrid dogs, especially when they are newer generation hybrids and are being sold to owners at premium prices.
And on that note, let’s take a moment to discuss the crossbreed controversy.
Crossbreeding dogs has been ongoing for centuries. In fact, crossbreeding is primarily how we have come about most of the breeds we know and love today. Most purebred dogs are products of generations of careful breeding and crossbreeding to hone in on certain traits, characteristics, temperaments, and skills.
It takes generations for dogs to be bred and perfected enough to be considered purebred by most major breed clubs, and it wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that the buying and selling of first and second-generation crossbreed dogs became very popular.
The term “designer dog” was coined to describe this recent trend and to give a name to dogs that have been specifically “designed” by breeding two different purebreds.
The controversy with this is that newer generation crossbreed dogs are considered less predictable than their purebred counterparts in terms of temperament, appearance, and even health.
However, there are some pros that can come from crossbreeding.
Because purebred dogs have long been overbred for centuries in an effort to maintain their breed standard, their gene pool has begun to shrink, making them more susceptible to genetic health issues than ever before.
This is where the idea of hybrid vigor comes in.
Hybrid vigor is the idea that crossbreed dogs have a widened gene pool thanks to being the offspring of two different parent breeds. Thus, they may have a better chance of avoiding certain health issues.
Of course, this concept is not widely accepted by everyone. Furthermore, we should note that genetics are genetics and your dog, regardless of if he is a crossbreed, purebred, or mutt, could be susceptible to any of the same genetic health issues as his parents.
Should this stop you from getting a crossbreed? We don’t think so! And if you’re in the market for a dog, why not learn a bit more about the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix.
Let’s talk about training!
Is The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix Easy To Train?
Though highly intelligent, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix will need a patient and dedicated owner.
German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix dogs are famous for their intelligence, but intelligence doesn’t always mean these dogs are going to be a breeze to train.
Very clever dogs have a way of also being a bit stubborn. This is true for the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix, who is known to be a self-thinker and may not be as keen as some dogs to please you just for the sake of it.
In order to win a German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix over when it comes to training, you’ll need to be well-armed with wit, patience, and treats.
This is a dog that does best with positive reinforcement training techniques, so it’s best not to scold or punish your dog for disobeying you. This could actually lead to your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix shutting down, and it could even harm the bond being built between the two of you.
Instead, focus on encouraging your dog and providing him with high-value training treats like the treats listed below.
Zuke’s Training Treats
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We like to recommend Zuke’s training treats when it comes to training clever dogs like the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix, as these treats are low in calories, very smelly, small, and chewy. All of these qualities are what help make training treats high value, and high-value training treats will help ensure you hold your dog’s attention.
It’s also important to try and keep training short and game-like. The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix can become bored easily, so hold his attention by making training fun.
Once you build a strong rapport with your dog and a good bond, training should become an easy and joyous experience for you both!
Along with basic queues, don’t be afraid to branch out with your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix and give him jobs to do around the house.
This is a dog that will enjoy learning how to help out with routine chores like laundry, loading the dishwasher, bringing in the mail, and more.
Does the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix Do Well With Children and Other Pets?
When properly trained and socialized at an early age, this hybrid can do well with children and other pets.
If you have a family, you’ll be happy to know that the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix can do very well with children and pets, so long as he is properly raised, trained and socialized.
With that note, keep in mind that this is a herding dog with potential protective guarding instincts, so he could be prone to trying to herd youngsters and smaller pets around the home. He could also be prone to territorial behaviors and could even be wary of strangers or company if he is not brought up correctly.
And this is where early socialization comes in.
The Importance Of Early Socialization:
As with training, it’s never too early to begin socializing your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix. Like all dogs, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix should be trained and socialized beginning during puppyhood and introduced to as many new and positive experiences as possible.
Help your dog experience the world by gently encouraging him with treats and praise, but avoid forcing your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix into experiencing something he is clearly frightened of.
For example, if you can tell your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix is hesitant about water, avoid forcing him into a pool or lake, as this could exacerbate fears and lead to greater anxiety down the road.
It’s also important to introduce your dog to as many new people, places, sights, sounds, and other animals as early as possible to reduce fear and anxiety.
If you’re raising your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix around children, get him used to being around children.
On that same note, it’s equally important to work with young children and teach them how to respectfully interact with the family dog. Avoid leaving small children alone and unsupervised around your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix, and teach children that dogs don’t like hugs, kisses, roughhousing, or being teased.
We like to encourage families to take time to learn about basic canine body language as well. Working with youngsters, family members, and friends on how to read your dog’s subtle queues is a great way to avoid a potential dog bite in the future.
What Are The Exercise Needs Of A German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix?
Without proper exercise and mental stimulation, this mix can become quite destructive.
Considering both the purebred German Shepherd and the purebred Australian Shepherd are ranch and herding dogs at heart, it may come as no surprise that your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix is going to be energetic and adventurous.
This is a dog that will require at least an hour or more of dedicated exercise each day, as well as some free playtime in a dog run, at a dog park, or in a securely fenced backyard.
When properly trained and socialized, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix does well with other dogs and may enjoy having a canine companion. However, this is a dog that is much more job-oriented than anything else, which means that both physical and mental exercise is going to be key in ensuring your dog is not only happy and healthy but also ensuring he does not become destructive.
The best exercise for a German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix could include jogs, runs, swims, hikes, and games of fetch or chase in the backyard.
When you are walking your dog outside, we suggest investing in a quality leash and harness. The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix is a strong dog and may be prone to pulling. Instead of choosing aversive training equipment like a choke chain or prong collar to stop the pulling, we recommend using a no-pull dog harness.
Easy Walk No Pull Dog Harness
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The Easy Walk Front Clip Harness is one of our go-to harnesses when it comes to reducing pulling and teaching dogs good walking manners. We like this harness because it clips in the front of your dog’s chest as opposed to the back, which wears more comfortably for your dog and allows him to walk more naturally.
This also reduces your dog’s natural urge to pull, but if he does pull ahead the front clip harness will lead him gently back to your side.
You might also consider building your dog a fun obstacle course that not only challenges his mind but helps keep his body fit.
Last, it’s very important that you’re not only exercising your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix dog’s body, but also his mind. As we mentioned, without mental exercise, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix can become anxious, bored, and destructive.
To avoid coming home to chewed furniture or shoes, we suggest investing in puzzle toys that help keep your dog’s attention using food. You can also invest in KONG toys, which allow you to provide your dog with some of his favorite treats but will encourage your dog to work for those treats.
Nina Ottosson Puzzle Toy
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One of our favorite puzzle toys for smart breeds like the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix is the Nina Ottoson Puzzle Toy listed above. We like that you can order these toys at different levels depending on your dog’s age and problem-solving ability.
We also like that these toys encourage your dog to think, which can help make him feel satisfied and give him a purpose.
How Do I Groom The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix?
These dogs are shedding dogs that shed heavily year-round.
Both the German Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd have dense, double-coats that shed heavily and year-round. This means you can expect your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix to also have such a coat.
Because he is a shedding dog, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix may not be the best dog for allergy sufferers. Thankfully, however, this dog’s coat is relatively self-cleaning and weather resistant. That means he only needs to be bathed once every six weeks or so unless he gets particularly dirty in the meantime.
When you’re bathing your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix, we suggest using a shampoo that is specified for dog use and is free of parabens, alcohols, dyes, or other additives that could harm your dog’s coat or strip his coat of the natural oils his body produces.
Along with routine bathing, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix should also have his nails trimmed down about once every two weeks to keep them from cracking or splitting during play. His coat should be brushed twice a week or so using a deshedding brush and an undercoat rake, and his teeth should be brushed once a day using a dog-safe toothbrush and quality toothpaste safe for canine consumption.
We also suggest keeping an eye on your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix dog’s ears. While these dogs are not particularly prone to ear infections, they are energetic and playful, and debris and moisture can build up inside their ear canals, which can lead to infection.
Grooming will not only help ensure your dog is looking his best but feeling his best as well. And on that note, it’s time to talk about the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix dog’s health and lifespan.
Is The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix A Healthy Dog?
Like all dogs, this hybrid can be susceptible to genetic health issues.
The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix has a decent lifespan of between 12 and 15 years, though some of these mixed breeds have been known to live longer.
As we discussed above in our overview, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix does have the added benefit of hybrid vigor, although this does not guarantee that your dog is safe from health issues.
The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd can be susceptible to any of the same genetics health issues of his parent breeds, including but not limited to:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Chronic Allergies
- Hereditary Eye Disease
- Heart Disease
- And Bloat
You can combat some of these health issues in your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix by ensuring you follow the below basic care tips from our experts.
Ensure You Get Your German Shepherd Aussie Shepherd Through A Reputable Source
First and foremost, it’s important to go through reputable sources when looking to obtain a German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix puppy or rescue dog. Breeders who take care to use responsible breeding practices are often able to produce healthier litters, which can have a major impact on you and your dog down the road.
Stick To A Routine Grooming And Exercise Routine
As we mentioned above, grooming your dog not only helps him look his best but also helps him feel his best. Routine grooming also allows you to get a hands-on look at your dog so you’ll notice if anything has changed or looks concerning.
Exercise is also important and should begin early and continue throughout your dog’s life. Exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety, improves your dog’s heart health, joints, bones, and muscles, and can even boost his immune system.
Make Sure Your Dog Eats A Quality Diet
You are what you eat, and this is why it’s so important that your dog maintains a healthy diet. For dogs like the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix, the ideal diet is going to be dog food specified for his age, weight, and activity level.
It’s also best to invest in dog foods that are free of any byproducts, additives, corn, soy, wheat, or gluten and that instead contain vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, carbs, and a good source of protein and water.
A puzzle feeder may also help ensure your dog is healthy, especially considering that the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix can be prone to suffering from bloat.
Bloat is a life-threatening condition that can come on suddenly and is often caused when a dog eats too much too quickly or eats a poor diet.
Puzzle feeders can help slow your dog down while he eats and reduces the amount of air swallowed, thus reducing the chances of Bloat altogether.
Get Your Dog Health Screened
If you get your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix from a breeder, you’ll likely be provided with paperwork proving your dog has been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
However, you also have the option of having your dog’s health screened on your own by using a doggy DNA kit. These DNA kits can screen your dog for any potential illnesses he may be predisposed to and can also give you a wealth of other information that is both interesting and helpful in ensuring your dog lives his happiest, healthiest life.
Keep Up With Annual Vet Visits
Last, be sure to keep up with routine vet visits. Try and ensure your dog is seen at least once a year by his vet for wellness checks until he is the age of seven, and then he should be seen bi-annually thereafter.
If you’re concerned about affording medical care for your German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix, you always have the option of investing in pet health insurance.
Is A German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix Right For Me?
While this is an amazing dog for the right owner, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix is not the right dog for everyone.
Although the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix isn’t the right fit for every home or family, he may be the right fit for yours.
But how do you decide?
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of this amazing hybrid and to keep in mind that this is a dog that is highly intelligent and is going to take time and commitment from you to grow up happy and healthy.
The German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix does best with more experienced dog owners or at least dog owners who have a good understanding of working breeds. They can do well with children and other pets when well trained and socialized, but they may not be the best dogs for those who suffer from allergies.
This is also a crossbreed that is incredibly intelligent, and this can be a double-edged sword if you’re not prepared to match the German Aussie’s whit.
Long-lived and relatively healthy, the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix is a long-term commitment that is sure to make the right owner very happy.
Is that owner you? Tell us what you think about the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix in the comment section below.