The Australian Shepherd (sometimes known as the Aussie Dog) was first seen the 19th Century in South Western America.
Their misleading name comes from their origin, as the ancestors of this breed came to America via Australia.
A favorite of ranch workers, these working dogs are incredible herders as their drive to work is unrivaled.
As well as making superb working dogs, this breed has succeeded at various pursuits:
- They make world class agility and obedience championships
- An Aussie won Best in Show at the internationally recognized dog show “Crufts”, in 2006
- This breed has even been seen on the big screen as the canine star of several movies including The Fantastic Five
They have also found their way into homes as companion dogs, making excellent pets for active owners.
As a result of their growing popularity, more and more Australian Shepherd mix breeds have appeared, here is a list of nine of our favorites. Let’s begin…
9. Border Aussie (Australian Shepherd x Border Collie)
What happens when you mix all the joy of the Australian Shepherd with the brilliant Border Collie? The Border Aussie of course!
These energetic dogs are best known for their unrelenting energy.
Workaholic is the best word to describe these active dogs, they function best when they have something to do.
To this Australian Shepherd mix, anything can be a job; after a long session of play, they are even happy to clean up their own toys too.
Both the Aussie and the Border Collie can be found in the show-ring, playing sports like flyball and completing agility courses.
As a result, it makes sense that this may be something the Border Aussie may also enjoy, and it is not unusual to find this dog as the star of the local league.
While the Border Aussie is very friendly and owner-oriented, they can be somewhat weary of strangers and so socialization from puppyhood is vital.
A well socialized Border Aussie is fun, friendly and loves to play.
These happy-go-lucky dogs are the life and soul of the party, their loyal personalities are a firm favorite of those who meet them.
8. Bossie (Australian Shepherd x Boston Terrier)
The Bossie is a hybrid dog that is ever growing in popularity.
Although very little is known about this mixes history, it is widely thought that they are a result of recent designer breeding.
They are bred by crossing a female Aussie with a male Boston Terrier.
These funny little dogs stand between 15 and 23 inches high, and weigh between 25 and 40lb with males being slightly larger than females.
Theis medium sized dog has a square body, square ears and a corkscrew tail. His fur can be black and white like the Boston Terrier or merle like the Australian Shepherd.
Both parent breeds are very intelligent and aptitude for training, however, because of the Boston Terrier they may have a stubborn streak.
This combination means that this little dog can be quite the challenge for first time owners!
Thanks to their intelligence, the Bossie can grow bored very quickly and so they need an owner who can keep up with them.
Combined with their high activity requirements of between 60 and 90 minutes a day, these dogs equate to the most pleasurable challenge their owners will ever encounter.
7. Aussiedor (Labrador x Australian Shepherd)
The Labrador Australian Shepherd mix, or Aussiedor, is another Australian Shepherd Mix breed dog which is growing in popularity.
These two parental breeds couldn’t be more different from each other in personality.
An easy-going Labrador is the complete opposite of the reserved and protective Australian Shepherd. Despite this, the Aussiedor is a protective yet friendly family favorite.
Like the Bossie, the Aussiedor is not a dog for first time owners, instead being better suited to experienced owners who are used to a highly intelligent dog.
They are highly trainable dogs, needing daily physical and mental stimulation, who are recommended for homes with older children as occasionally their herding instincts may result in them attempting to herd younger children.
One thing to note about the Aussiedor is their high shedding coat. These dogs are heavy shedders and consequently are not suitable for allergy sufferers.
As a result, these dogs need brushing every other day to give your furniture and clothes a chance!
Their coat can come in a variety of colors including black, yellow, red or chocolate like a Labrador or merle like the Aussie.
Overall, the Aussiedor is an intelligent mix who would make an excellent addition to an active household.
Happiest when out walking or working, this breed is a perfect match for anyone looking for a slightly more challenging canine companion.
6. Texas Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Australian Shepherd)
The Texas Heeler is a mix between an Australian Cattle Dog and an Australian Shepherd.
Their name comes from their place of origin (Texas) and the nickname given to the Australian Cattle Dog (Heeler) due to their habit of herding cattle by nipping at their heels.
First seen in 1970, this breed will be celebrating their 50th birthday next year.
An interesting quirk of the Texas Heeler is how their herding nature presents itself with their desire to protect their owners. Texas Heelers may attempt to herd strangers into the corner to defend their owners.
This can be funny and harmless but may result in a nasty nip due to their heeler instincts if left to go on for too long. Consequently, it is important to socialize this breed with new people from a very young age.
Designed to work on ranches in Texas, like their parents, Texas Heelers are loyal and dedicated workers.
Their drive is at the forefront of their temperament, these dogs are known for their desire to complete tasks. They are highly intelligent and their natural desire to please their owners makes them very trainable.
To truly see the Texas Heeler in their element, in the absence of a job, take them to a large open area where they can run free.
Hiking is often a hit with this breed, but even trips to the dog park where they can play at their own leisure will result in pure happiness for the breed.
5. Dalshep (Dalmation x Australian Shepherd)
The Dalmation Australian Shepherd mix, or Dalshep, is another new crossbreed. It is though that, like the Bossie, these dogs are a result of the designer dog breeding movement.
While the Aussie is a herding dog, the Dalmation has had many roles through the years.
The Dalmation dog began as a hunting dog from Croatia, they have been seen as circus performers and even have been tasked with running alongside the carriages of royalty.
Consequently, it stands to reason that the Dalshep will be a highly intelligent breed that thrives when working.
Both parent breeds are incredibly active, so like the Texas Heeler this mix will be happiest when outside.
Perhaps the most interesting and notable part of the Dalshep will be their coat:
- Australian Shepherds are instantly recognizable by their long merle coats
- Dalmations are recognizable by their short, stiff, spotted coat
Consequently, Dalshep coats are often a tapestry of color, with hues of gray, black, brown, blue, red and black spots!
Unfortunately, 30% of Dalmations are deaf or have auditory issues. As a result, this is prevalent in the Dalshep population too.
This was due to a misunderstanding during early breeding, breeders assumed Dalmations that weren’t responding were stupid, when in fact they couldn’t hear them!
The condition is genetic and as a result it is possible to test for this in the parents.
However, Dalsheps are very adaptable and they are perfectly capable of living long happy lives even with auditory processing issues.
4. Ausky (Australian Shepherd x Husky Mix)
Auskies, or Aussie Husky mixes, were first seen in 2004 and have been a hit ever since.
This energetic crossbreed is a combination that really packs a punch.
They are often found outside on hiking trails, running rings around their tired owners. This is unsurprising as these canines need around 90 minutes of exercise each day (not one for the faint hearted).
Their relentless energy and reserved nature around strangers makes them excellent guard dogs.
The Husky’s natural desire to protect their pack means they can often be found patrolling properties and scaring off the mailman.
Unlike other dogs on this list, the Ausky does very well with younger children, and will happily let them throw a ball for hours.
The Australian Shepherd Husky mix is very intelligent and makes an excellent obedience companion.
However, they are also known to be very stubborn and not play ball if they are not in the mood.
It is important to get them interested before training sessions, they are much less likely to be enthusiastic if you wake them up from a nap.
3. Cotralian (Cocker Spaniel x Australian Shepherd)
Often called the Aussiel, the Australian Shepherd Cocker Spaniel mix is a medium to large dog that is always in the mood for adventure.
Standing between 16 and 22 inches (regardless of sex), the Cotralian has a long shaggy coat that often resembles the Cocker Spaniels with the coloring of the Australian Shepherd.
This being said, the coat can be many colors, including black, brown, grey, red, silver and white. This coat needs a weekly brush to remove all the tangles in the hair and stop matting.
Even within litters, each Cotralian puppy is different, making it very difficult to predict what they look like. In general, they have ears like a Cocker Spaniel, bright blue eyes, and an athletic body.
While they have a sweet and loving personality, this is not a first time pet.
Like the other mixes on this list, not only are these canines intelligent but also stubborn. A patient but consistent hand is needed to train these dogs, with lots of positive rewards when the correct behaviour is shown.
Other than this, this canine is a happy-go-lucky type-of-dog.
They are not often found barking so are a great choice for those who have neighbors close by. Their active nature is well suited to someone who is often outside and active.
2. Auberman (Doberman x Australian Shepherd)
Potentially the largest Australian Shepherd Mix on this list standing at around 24 inches tall, the Auberman is a cross between the Aussie and a Doberman.
Despite their larger appearance, these dogs are known to be very friendly and loving.
Like all the crossbreeds on this list, this is an incredibly active breed, needing around 60 to 90 minutes of exercise daily with games and training on top.
When it comes to training, like the Aussie, this dog needs a firm hand when training. However, dominance training or physical correction is a poor idea.
This dog can be sensitive and will feel betrayed if forced or intimidated.
Owners often describe this breed as a total sweetheart, never putting a paw out of line. They are great match for families, getting along well with young children.
Like the Texas Heeler, these dogs have a unique quirk. Often, Aubermans like to sit with their head in between their owner’s knees, their whole body leaning on their owner’s legs!
1. Aussiedoodle (Australian Shepherd x Poodle)
An Aussiedoodle is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle.
With a Poodle parent, they come in three sizes including: standard, miniature and toy, meaning there is an Aussiedoodle for everyone!
The Australian Shepherd x Poodle mix inherit the grace and charm of their poodle parents with the strong-willed independence of the Aussie.
They are very affectionate dogs and may grow destructive and have something of a temper tantrum if they feel they are not being given enough attention (the same is true if they are not exercised enough).
Unlike other mixes on this list, thanks to the Poodle coat there is a chance that an Aussiedoodle puppy may be hypoallergenic!
Poodles have a very low shedding coat causing them to be hypoallergenic, making this mix suitable for allergy sufferers.
As you can see, there are many different Australian Shepherd mix dogs, but there are some similarities between them.
Their drive to work makes them excellent for canine sports and their natural intelligence makes obedience training a cinch.
However, some of these mixes have a stubborn streak, making the Australian Shepherd better suited to more experienced owners.
Despite their shared heritage, these dogs come in many different shapes and sizes, meaning there really is a pooch for everyone.
Do you have an awesome Aussie at home? Leave us a comment on these breed mixes below.