|Height:||20 – 23 inches|
|Weight:||46 – 65 pounds|
|Lifespan:||13 – 15 years|
|Colors:||White, blue, silver, red, brown, gray, black, sable, cream|
|Suitable for:||Active families and singles, those with large outdoor spaces|
|Temperament:||Loyal, happy, obedient, loving|
The German Australian Shepherd is a beautiful dog. These pups are a hybrid cross between the German Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd. Although both parents are classed as herding breeds, they have different physical builds and breeding histories. Combined, they create a beautiful, obedient, intelligent, and energetic dog.
These dogs are somewhat adaptable, but more than anything, they need plenty of exercise and prefer plenty of room to roam. That is why they are not good apartment dwellers. If they don’t get heaps of exercise but instead, stay cooped up in a small apartment, they are likely to become somewhat destructive.
Overall, these dogs make excellent pets, especially if you want to train a working dog. If you are interested in adopting a German Australian Shepherd, read on to learn all you need to know about the breed, their history, and caring for them properly.
German Australian Shepherd Puppies — Before You Get One
3 Little-Known Facts About German Australian Shepherds
1. The Australian Shepherd was not bred in Australia.
The name of the Australian Shepherd is quite deceiving because their history isn’t heavily associated with Australia at all. They were initially bred in the Wild West of North America. They worked with farmers, ranchers, and cowboys to herd cattle and other livestock across the prairie.
The only reason that Australian Shepherds have the “Australian” in their name is because of their original parentage. They were bred with other dogs, like Basque Shepherds. These dogs came from Australia to the U.S. in the 1800s. They were heavily associated with their home country. Thus, their hybrid dogs became associated with Australia as well, without ever having seen those shores.
2. German Shepherds were bred to be obedient.
German Shepherds have a name that is more indicative of where they come from. They were first bred in Germany. Breeders did not entirely standardize them until the late 1850s. They were essentially attempting to breed the perfect dog. They believed that the characteristics of a perfect dog were that they were strong, capable of work, and incredibly obedient.
As time went on, the breeders began to standardize the breed, coming out with easy-to-train, strong, and effective working dogs. German Shepherds have a high herding instinct because of this history.
Because of this tendency toward loyalty, intelligence, and trainability, German Shepherds were some of the first police dogs.
3. German Australian Shepherds have a high drive to herd.
The Australian Shepherd was meant to herd cattle by running about and around them while nipping at their heels to drive them one way or another. The German Shepherd was used for similar purposes all over Germany. They acted as shepherds for cattle, sheep, and other livestock.
Because both the parental lines for the German Australian Shepherd are herding dogs, this hybrid inherits many herding inclinations. You might need to watch out if you have kids because the dog might try to herd them when they want to go somewhere specific.
Temperament & Intelligence of the German Australian Shepherd
German Australian Shepherds are highly sought-after because of their great personality. They are energetic dogs but have down-to-earth personalities. That often translates into a sort of understanding of indoor and outdoor behaviors, knowing when to be rambunctious and lively and when to settle down.
These dogs are loyal and can be trained to protect if you need them to. They tend to be good around and accepting of strangers if they have been appropriately socialized.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
These dogs are excellent family pets. They have patience with most children as long as they aren’t cruel or violent. Since this dog is a medium to large breed, it is best to keep them around families without small kids, since their size alone can be damaging if they get rowdy.
Does This Breed 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 younger. If they were not socialized much, they are likely to be more protective and territorial.
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.
Things to Know When Owning a German Australian Shepherd
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Because of their high metabolism and high activity needs, the German Australian Shepherd requires quite a bit of food throughout the day. They need about 3 cups of food divided between three meals during the day.
It is best to find them food with a high protein level. This way, they can build muscle during their activities and stay in top shape instead of wearing out. You can get foods for active dogs, as these typically have higher protein levels, although you should check the ingredients to make sure, since the term “active” isn’t regulated.
This breed needs to get plenty of exercise. They are sweet and loving dogs, but they will become destructive or disobedient if you don’t exercise them enough.
The German Australian Shepherd is considered a high-energy breed. That means they will need about 2 hours of activity spread throughout the day. At least 25% of this time should be higher intensity. You can do things like go on walks with them, hike, swim, take them to the dog park, run, or work.
If you prefer to walk with your dog more often than any other activity, you should try to walk them for about 14 miles each week.
Training a dog as energetic as this one doesn’t have to be complicated. Another reason that they make such wonderful pets is their trainability. Both parent breeds were bred to be obedient working dogs. That makes their cross also easy to train. Use plenty of positive affirmation and repetition, and you will have a wonderful, well-trained dog.
Grooming these dogs can take time and concentrated effort. They have a double coat that they inherit from both of their parents. That means you will need to do plenty of grooming to keep their coats in healthy shape and mitigate the amount of fur that falls out.
Since their coats are primarily made up of straight hairs, you can use a wide variety of combs without worrying about curls getting stuck and causing them pain. We suggest using a comb and a de-matter at least twice each week. Try to get out both the shedding top hairs and the dense undercoat.
German Australian Shepherds will experience a seasonal phenomenon called “blowing their coat.” This happens as the seasons change during the spring and fall. They will lose gobs of hair and shed much more than usual. It is best to take them to a groomer at least once during this period to most effectively get rid of the shedding hair.
You also want to clean these pups’ ears regularly, especially if they fold forward. Use a damp, soft towel to get in their ear and clean out any dirt inside. Doing this helps them avoid ear infections.
Finally, keep their nails clipped down using a nail clipper. If your pup 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.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Crossing these breeds tends to enhance their health rather than detract from it. The German Shepherd in particular suffers from many bones and joint concerns, like hip dysplasia, because of their sloping back. Since the Australian Shepherd’s build is different, it helps temper these problems in the hybrid German Australian Shepherd.
There are still a few things that you want to watch out for, though.
Male vs. Female
There are no noticeable differences between the male and female dogs of this breed because they have not been bred long enough to establish a breed standard.
Other breeds that might interest you:
German Australian Shepherds make excellent family dogs, dogs for singles, or working dogs. The primary consideration that you need to make with these pups is their need for space. They will not live a happy life if they spend most of it cooped up without anywhere to go. As long as you have plenty of time and space for them, they will be an excellent addition to your home.
Featured Image Credit: Shannon A Moseley, Shutterstock