Imagine you were looking for a dog that was SUPER smart, EASY to train, and Loyal to a fault. If these were your three essential traits, you’d probably look sternly at adopting an Australian Shepherd or a Labrador Retriever. But what if you combined the two into one dog?
“Behold, we give you the Aussiedor!”
The Aussiedor is yet another example of a new trend in the “dog breeding” community where responsible dog breeders are choosing to “mix and match” some of the more common and popular dog breeds out there with each other.
Combining these different dog breeds isn’t simply to “have fun” and see what you can get; it’s to attempt to help specific species that, over time, have been “bred” to the point where the breed is becoming pretty “unhealthy” as a whole. Commonly referred to…
As “designer dogs” or “hybrid dogs,” these new breeds attempt to “capture” the best qualities of each breed while avoiding many of the common ailments that are known to be an issue with each species on their own. And while the result is a disaster in some cases, in the case of the Aussiedor, most Aussiedor owners couldn’t be happier. This is why the Aussiedor is experiencing quite a bit of success within the United States and is beginning to “pop up” just about everywhere.
But this doesn’t mean…
An Aussiedor will automatically be the right “type” of dog for you. This is why, in this article, we wanted to take a moment and describe some of the pros and cons of owning an Aussiedor so that by the time you’re done reading our article, you may have a better idea if this particular dog breed will be right for you. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
Aussie or Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Unknown
Original Purpose: Companionship
Height: Can vary but typically 22 to 25 inches tall
Weight: 40 to 80 pounds.
Category of dog breed: Not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC)… yet!
“Type” of dog: Hybrid or Designer dog.
Lineage: Australian Shepherd and Labrador Retriever.
Origin of the Aussiedor.
As the name suggests, this Australian Shepherd Lab mix is a mix between the Australian Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever. And since… the American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t officially recognize the Aussiedor as a separate dog breed (or any other hybrid or designer dog, for that matter), the “official” origin of this particular dog breed remains somewhat a mystery. We can assume, by its popularity within the United States, that the breed probably originated here. Still, until we know for sure, we don’t want to “ruffle any feathers” with any dog breeders worldwide who may or may not believe they were the first!
What we can tell you…
This “breed” is a relatively new one, so there’s a perfect chance that the “first” person who decided to “give it a go” is probably still out there creating more Aussiedors as we speak!
Describing any hybrid or designer dog’s characteristics can often be tricky. This is because the results can vary significantly when you take two different dogs and breed them together. Some Aussie pups with a straight, long coat may favor the Australian Shepherd. At the same time, other Aussies look more like the labs with shorter hair. That’s the thing with hybrid breed dogs; they can have genetic variations – but that’s what makes it interesting, right?!
That said, however…
By “mixing” these two breeds, you can assume your Aussidor puppy will probably grow to a height of approximately 22 to 25 inches tall and most likely weigh around 40 to 80 pounds. So they’re not going to be too BIG or too small.
(Because Australian puppies are so adorable, puppy mills are always in stock! If you decide to purchase an Australian puppy, you’ll need to be highly vigilant so you don’t buy one from an irresponsible breeder or an actual puppy mill! Usually, puppy mill dogs have many problems, so always choose a legitimate breeder. Besides, you don’t want to support the cruel industry of puppy mills!
Personality and Temperament
Now, it’s true that just about every dog will have a unique personality, and the environment in which this dog is raised will also play a HUGE role in your dog’s development. That said, however, there is a reason why dog breeders chose to mix Australian Shepherds with Labrador Retrievers… they’re both great dogs to own! So you can expect that your Aussidor will be a great family pet that will be very affectionate and extremely loyal. They generally love to be with people and don’t like being left alone for all that long.
They’re also going to want to live indoors with you and the family, and while they will exercise, they will not be happy for long if they are left outside all day. Abd Aussiedor puppies must be socialized and trained early on so that the information will “stick.” Otherwise, trying to get them to change later may be an uphill battle. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – you can’t teach an adult Australian dog how to behave, but it’s going to be WAY more DIFFICULT than it would be if you just started them off right as a pup!
Aussie Shepadors (as some people like to call them)….
They are active little puppies and stay that way into adulthood. This means that if you want a dog that mostly likes to hang at home on the couch doing not a whole lot of anything, this is not the dog for you! You will need to give your Australian Shepherd mix around an hour of exercise a day – and you’ll need to be involved. Throwing a ball, letting him run around, or any other standard dog exercise. It should be noted that despite these dogs being pretty active, they can still be mellow at some downtime times. But that “mellow” side usually only appears after you have given them a chance to blow off some steam!
Now, if you’re thinking…
You might not be able to provide your Aussiedor with all the exercise they need; consider this… Aussidors are not the only Lab or Shepherd mixes out there. So, if you are considering an Aussie Shepherd Lab mix but haven’t decided yet, you may want to look into other lab mixes like a Lab terrier mix or a Golden Shepherd mix (a golden retriever and a German Shepherd). There are a lot of combinations that involve either a shepherd or a lab!
Potential Health Concerns
Because this is a hybrid dog, this is a reasonably healthy dog with a low risk of severe health problems. Most can be avoided if you get a good breeder with the Australian puppy’s parents’ info. However, Aussiedors may still develop one of the medical problems common to Australian Shepherds or Labrador Retrievers since it’s in the genes. This is why you’ll want to be on the lookout for any one of the following conditions:
- Hip Dysplasia: Let us reiterate that this is a shallow risk. However, if your dog faces this, you’re looking at medical expenses of up to $6500.
- Autoimmune Thyroiditis: This is another low-risk health problem. Depending on how your vet decides to treat it, it could involve surgery, radiation, and a lifetime of medication. This dog’s life could cost as throughout your dog’s life much as $7000.
- Cataracts: How and if you treat cataracts in your dog’s eyes is up to you (but if you can, why wouldn’t you?). Some people choose to let a dog suffer with impaired sight, but if you’re on this page, we believe you probably aren’t one of those people! Fix cataracts could cost about $2000-3000 per eye.
As you can see, the cost of having an Aussiedor can add up before you even know it. You may be lucky and have a healthy pup, but what if you don’t? This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet always recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it would cost to purchase a pet insurance policy so that if anything goes wrong, you won’t be responsible for 100% of the costs associated with treating your new family member.
Now will a…
Pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone? No, of course not, but without knowing precisely what it would cost you, how will you know if you should or shouldn’t at least consider one?
For more information on who we believe currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies, we encourage you to check out our article Best Pet Insurance Companies.