The Aussiepoo or Aussiedoodle is the Doodle cross between the Poodle and the Australian Shepherd. They are largely considered to be a medium-sized dog but some Standard Aussiedoodles grow enough to fall into the large category.
Often known as the ‘Einstein” breed, they are super intelligent, fun-loving, and loyal. They make excellent family pets as well as therapy dogs. Let’s take a look at everything Aussiepoo from their breed history to their nutritional needs.
AUSSIDOODLE QUICK FACTS
|Parent Breeds:||Poodle and Australian Shepherd|
|Height:||15” – 23” (Standard)|
|Weight:||45lbs – 70lbs (Standard)|
|Temperament:||Playful, intelligent, loyal|
|Best suited to:||Active families, homes with a backyard|
Table of Contents
Aussiedoodle Breed History
Whilst there is much debate as to whether the Poodle originated in Germany or France, it is most likely that Germany was where the Poodle first hailed from. France is then responsible for developing them into the breed we know and love today.
It is widely believed that a series of water dogs were used in their development. The Russian, Hungarian, German, French, Portuguese, and Spanish water dogs are all thought to have played their part in the growth of the Poodle. This would explain not only their love for the water, but the qualities that their coats have in enabling them to be good swimmers.
Bred originally as a retriever and hunter of ducks and other waterfowl, they have also contributed to the development of many other breeds long before the Doodle revolution.
Their agility, low to non-shedding coat, and intelligence are just some of the desirable traits’ breeders wish to pass down to the next generation of hybrid pooches, hence the Poodle being such a popular purebred to use.
Our epic Doodle guide will give a further insight into the Poodle.
- Foo Foo belonged to Miss Piggy. Intriguingly, during the run of The Muppet Show Foo Foo was played by a Teacup Poodle of which the puppet it eventually became was designed around. Foo Foo’s dislike of Kermit sadly found her being rehomed by Miss Piggy
- Charley was the best friend of “Of Mice and Men” author John Steinbeck. Charley accompanied Steinbeck on his quest to rediscover America and was documented in the travelogue ‘Travels with Charley’
- Boye was a white hunting Poodle who was gifted to Prince Rupert of the Rhine as a companion during his incarceration of the Thirty Years War. Prince Rupert went on to be a prominent Royalist during the English Civil War. The first dog to serve in the British Army, Boye often accompanied him into battle. Parliamentarian propaganda depicted Boye as possessing dark magical powers, even suggesting they were the devil in disguise. Boye was killed in 1644 during the Battle of Marston Moor
The Australian Shepherd
Despite its name, there is no documented evidence that the Australian Shepherd originated in Australia. There is the possibility that they may have eventually reached the US via Australia from Europe. There is also a suggestion that the name came about due to the fact they were used to herd Australian sheep. However, both theories remain unsubstantiated.
The altitude of the Rocky Mountains barely affected the Australian Shepherd and they worked assiduously herding their flocks. Buyers from as far afield as California would descend on Colorado to purchase this popular and distinguished sheepdog.
The Australian Shepherd was in fact developed throughout the 1800s on ranches in the United States. As the second World War came to an end, a rise in the popularity of Western Riding brought with it a surge of interest in the Australian Shepherd as the general public witnessed their skills at rodeos and horse shows.
Being raised on ranches and working close by their masters makes them needful of human contact. They are often referred to as ‘Velcro dogs’ and form strong bonds with their owners. They are loyal and protective but only to those that they know and trust – strangers are likely to be given the cold shoulder.
The Australian Shepherd is a high energy, high intellect dog and as such needs to have these needs met through physical and mental exercise. They love to work, whether that be through fun activities like learning new tricks or in a more formal capacity competing in agility competitions or, like they were originally bred for, being active in ranch life.
Comparable in looks to both the Border Collie and the English Shepherd, they are a medium-sized breed who range, on average, between 18” and 23” in height and 35lb to 75lb in weight. Colors in the breed standard recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) are solid red (liver), solid black, red / liver merle and blue merle.
FAMOUS AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS:
- The 2012 German production of the film ‘The Famous Five’ based on the books by Enid Blyton, stars Coffey, the Australian Shepherd as Timmy the dog
- Henry, the Dog with No Tail is a popular children’s book by Kate Feiffer featuring the Australian Shepherd
- Jay Sisler is largely credited with the introduction of the Australian Shepherd outside the rodeo. A rancher from Idaho found himself bored after breaking his ankle and taught two of his young Aussies a few tricks. Escalating to a full rodeo show the public was captivated watching these agile pooches perform a host of tricks. Stub and Shortie, two of his ensemble went on to start in a number of Disney movies.
Smart, loyal, loving and playful the Aussiedoodle make great family pets. Early socialization and a committed and consistent obedience training program make for a perfect, well-rounded companion. Ensuring that smaller children understand boundaries and are taught how to interact appropriately, the Aussiedoodle is generally good-natured around them. Other pets shouldn’t cause issues providing that introductions are slow, early, and calm. However, the inherent sheepdog in them may lead to them attempting to heard smaller animals and even the children.
They are known for making special bonds with chosen humans, this may be their master or another household member. However, this trait does mean that they are exceptional therapy dogs as they appear to tune in to those with specific or additional needs.
They are loving and crave human interaction. The history of both the Poodle and the Australian Shepherd places them at the side of their masters and this need for companionship filters through. They are extremely affectionate and outside the burning off of their abundant energy resources will love nothing more than curling up for cuddles. They don’t do well on their own and separation anxiety is a real risk if left for too long.
Super smart, we have already mentioned that they are often known as the ‘Einstein’ breed. This intelligence will need to be nurtured and embraced. Learning and performing new tricks, interactive games, and toys designed to hide food and treats will all be perfect ways of keeping your Aussiedoodle’s mind active.
Don’t always assume that their intelligence will make your life a breeze. The Australian Shepherd is that smart it’s entirely possible that they will pick up on any uncertainties or novice moves that you make. That leaves the owner wide open to be tricked by this clever pooch. Coupled with the intelligence of the Poodle, it is not entirely unreasonable to suspect that your Aussiedoodle can follow the same independent and mischievous route. Consistent training and a patient approach is important to maintain the right balance of master and pooch.
A contented state of mind, achieved by meeting their physical and mental needs will prevent a bored dog. A bored dog can cause considerable damage as they make mischief in an attempt to entertain themselves. This will also be a significant factor in making a special bond with your dog and their overall happiness and wellbeing.
There is a huge size range for the Aussiedoodle and this is because like their Poodle parent there are three alternatives. The toy is the smallest of the Poodles’, the Miniature is the ‘middle child’ and the Standard Poodle is the largest of the three. Their average ranges are as follows:
|Miniature Poodle||11” – 15”||16lbs|
|Standard Poodle||Up to 22”||Up to 70lbs|
As you can see from the above table the size varies greatly between the three standards. However, the Australian Shepherd will, on average, stand between 18” and 23” tall, measured from paw to shoulder. Their weight will range, on average, between 40lbs and 65lbs.
All these combinations make for some very different sized Aussiedoodles and ‘How big will my Aussidoodle be’ is a question that cannot be answered with any guarantee. It’s a wait and see answer, and although you can make an estimated assumption based on the size of mom and dad, nature sometimes has a sneaky way of throwing you a curveball.
All that said we can provide you will the average stats for the three sizes of Aussidoodle which are as follows:
|Toy Aussiedoodle||<10”||10lbs – 15lbs|
|Miniature Aussiedoodle||10” – 15”||15lbs – 45lbs|
|Standard Aussiedoodle||>15”||45lbs – 70lbs|
Females will typically be slightly smaller than their male counterparts and all will generally reach their full adult height between 6 and 12 months of age. The smaller the dog, the sooner they are likely to reach this height. They will then spend the next 12 to 24 months filling out. Typically, they will complete their growing at around 1 to 2 years of age.
Aussiedoodle Coat Type and Maintenance
Whilst the Poodle has a tight curly, low to non-shedding coat, the Australian Shepherd is the opposite. Their thick double coat is of medium length and is usually straight although they can also be wavy.
The combination of the two often results in a soft, fluffy, and often disheveled looking coat which is going to take lots of maintenance. They can also present with a shorter, curlier coat which is more likely to shed less and be more suitable for those with allergies.
Grooming is down to personal preference as long as you take care of their basic hygiene needs, such as brushing away any dirt and bathing when required. The Teddy Bear look is a particular favorite for the Aussiedoodle.
The ability to tolerate the elements is going to be specific to each dog so don’t presume that they will automatically be able to handle any inclement weather. Be prepared to deal appropriately with both the colder winter months and the warmer summer days should your Aussidoodle not be able to adequately cope with one or both.
On paper, the possibilities are almost endless. The Poodle has an epic 28 recognized colors. In comparison, the Australian Shepherd has a meager 4 although there are a further 3 pattern markings recognized. However, the combinations of the two breeds are eclectic and abundant.
Colors typically seen in the Australian Shepherd and therefore in turn the Aussiedoodle are often black and tan, parti, sable, blue merle, red merle, or black and red tri. They are sometimes also solid in color but this is much less common. It’s extremely difficult to predict what color your Aussiedoodle is going to be but an educated guess can be made based on the color of their parents.
The merle gene is a dominant gene meaning that only one copy needs to be inherited for the trait to occur. The merle coloring that the Australian Shepherd brings to the Aussidoodle is in fact a pattern rather than a color. It presents in random sections across the coat making it lighter in patches, not dissimilar to spilling bleach over a dark-colored cloth.
A black Aussiedoodle with the dominant merle gene will be known as a blue merle and a brown pooch will be referred to as a red merle. The merle gene can present in various patterns which can be solid, parti, phantom, and tri color.
There is no doubt that the merle gene results in the most spectacular look but it can come with major health implications which we will discuss further in our health section of the guide.
Maintenance Guide and Recommended Products
Maintenance of the coat will be dependent on its type. The key is all in the curl. If the coat is more of a loose wave, then it will typically need to be brushed a couple of times a week. This type of coat is more likely to shed so brushing will help to minimize the amount of lost hair that you will find around your house.
A tighter curl that favors the Poodle genes will need to be brushed more regularly, even daily to keep it at its best. Brushing will keep the coat free from knots and tangles and help to expel dirt which may have got trapped within it. It’s also a great way of spending quality time with your pooch and can even help with your initial bonding.
Grooming again will be dependent on their coat type and personal preference. You may choose to keep your Aussiedoodle quite short or you may prefer the Teddy Bear look for them. This can be done at the groomers or you can attempt it yourself. There are lots of YouTube tutorials available, but you do need to be careful. Should you wish to shave them, be mindful of the weather. Dogs can be as vulnerable to the heat and cold as we are.
If your Aussiedoodle has furnishings, then these may need extra attention. Long eyebrows can restrict their vision leaving them open to accidents. Their beards and mustaches will attract lots of excess food and water when they have their heads in their bowls. Not only can this be unsightly and become smelly, but it will make a huge mess in their eating area.
Bathing should be introduced when your Aussidoodle is a puppy. In fact, the sooner the better in order to make this a normal procedure for them. If you leave it too late you may find that they hate tub-time. They shouldn’t need to be bathed too regularly unless they are particularly dirty or smelly but anything from bimonthly to quarterly should be sufficient from a hygiene perspective. Our article how often should you bathe a Cavapoo will teach you all the steps you need to follow to achieve a fun and effective bath time.
Make sure you give your Aussiedoodle’s ears a weekly check. The hair should be kept from becoming too long and potentially blocking the inside. Keep them clean by using a damp towel but be careful to not be poking around inside as this can do more harm than good. It’s important to keep them dry too and a clean towel is enough to do this. If they have been swimming, got caught in the rain, or just had a bath ensure that their ears are dried afterward.
Aussiedoodles need their teeth brushing just like humans do. This is important to promote oral hygiene and to keep their teeth and gums healthy. You can buy specific canine toothpaste which will keep their teeth clean and they breath smelling fresh and sanitary.
Some dogs will need their nails trimming more often than others and it can depend on the type of ground they spend the majority of their time walking and running on. You can choose to trim their nails yourself or you can have them trimmed at the groomers or vets. Should you take on the task be sure not to cut down to the quick as this will be painful for your Aussiedoodle.
All of these tasks need to be started early with the possible exception of grooming. Cutting your Aussiedoodle’s fur before the age of 6 months can dramatically change how they look. It won’t do them any harm, but it is very much personal preference. Early introduction of all these practices will ensure that your pooch sees them as normal and even fun and enjoyable.
Here are some great products that we have come across that will be helpful with the washing, scrubbing and trimming you will need to provide your Aussiedoodle:
- The fine, wire bristles on self-cleaning slicker brushes are great for removing matts and tangles
- Combs are also helpful in removing tangles but they also double up to keep those furnishings looking slick and tidy
- Professional grooming clippers don’t need to be expensive if you decide that you are going to take on this task yourself. They come with scissors for trimming those furnishings, combs, and blades in various sizes
- This vet formula, medicated shampoo is a best seller and has some great online reviews
- A good doggy toothpaste with help to reduce tartar and prevent a buildup of plaque. They even come in poultry flavor to keep your Aussiedoodle interested
- Nail Grinders are a great alternative to clippers and may reduce the risk of catching the quick. As these are motor operated choosing a quieter one will make the process less stressful for your pooch
Aussiedoodle Exercise Needs
This bouncy and energetic pooch needs lots of exercise to keep them fit, healthy, and out of trouble. Ideally, you will have an enclosed yard for them to run around in, but they can adapt to apartment living if you are able to provide them with a good hour of daily exercise.
The Aussiedoodle will love to walk, run, and swim. They may even accompany you on a jog as they love nothing more than being with their human companion. They will enjoy long hikes in the countryside just as much as sunny days at the beach where they can play Frisbee and splash around in the Ocean. Their energy, drive, and willingness to please make them shine in both agility and obedience trials.
In addition to a daily ‘long’ walk, you will also need to provide them with extra play sessions and shorter walks, especially if you don’t have any outside space for them.
The Miniature Aussiedoodle may not need quite as much exercise as their larger cousins but they are still an energetic breed. They may be more suited than the Standard Aussiedoodle to apartment living.
If you are not an energetic family with lots of time to devote to meeting their high energy needs, then the Aussiedoodle is probably not the pooch for you.
Your Aussiedoodle is a clever pooch and as such, it is not only their physical energy that will need attention. If you don’t keep their minds active and engaged, they will become bored. A bored dog can cause lots of trouble. Digging, barking, chewing and other destructive behaviors are all possible if your intelligent canine doesn’t have an outlet to keep their brains ticking over.
There are lots of ways that you can embrace their need for mental stimulation. This can be done with your involvement so, playing hide and seek or fetch. These kinds of games will also meet their physical needs.
Interactive games are available in their droves online. Spinning wheels, sliding puzzle games, and balls that light up and talk are just some examples of what is accessible. Other toys include treat dispensers and other interactive food games that encourage natural foraging skills and allow your Aussiedoole to use their intellect to work out how to get to their treats. Let’s face it, what dog doesn’t like treats.
Hybrid vigor should go some way to reducing common health issues found in both Australian Shepherds and Poodles. You can learn more about hybrid vigor in the article Cavapoo Generations Explained.
However, hybrid vigor doesn’t exclude your Aussiepoo from suffering from any problems altogether, it just reduces the risk somewhat. The benefits that hybrid vigor brings are also reduced with each generation of breeding making the F1 Ausssiepoo the generation to have the maximum advantage.
Once the Aussiepoo enters into the multigenerational stage then hybrid vigor will be practically non-existant.
Should you ever have any concerns about your Aussiedoodle’s health or they are behaving in an unusual way then you must speak with your vet. You know your pooch best and will be able to determine if they are not themselves.
To recognize what health issues your Aussiedoodle may be at a higher risk from then you need to look at the parent breeds.
Common Poodle Health Issues
The Poodle is generally considered to be a fairly robust pooch and has a respectable life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years. That said there a few health problems that they are prone to that you should familiarize yourself with:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Addison’s Disease
- Thyroid Issues
In addition to the above complications there are a few further issues that can relate more specifically to the Miniature and Toy Poodle:
- Luxating Patella
- Collapsed Trachea
- Overcrowding teeth causing dental issues
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
- Sebaceous Adenitis
Common Australian Shepherd Health Issues
The Australian Shepherd has a similar life expectancy to that of the Poodle and on average will live anywhere from 13 to 15 years. Again, like the Poodle they are a pretty healthy breed but as with all dogs, there will be certain conditions that they are more prone to. These include:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Colobomas, Cataracts, and Collie Eye Anomaly are all eye conditions that can affect the Australian Shepherd. Genetic testing is available for this Collie Eye Anomaly and whist often treatable in more severe circumstances CEA can lead to blindness
- Multiple Drug Sensitivity (MDS). Not many breeds are prone to MDS but regrettably, the Australian Shepherd is one. MDS is characterized by hypersensitivity to common drugs that are used by many vets. Unfortunately, this can have fatal consequences in some Australian Shepherd pups with MDS
The Double Merle Gene in the Aussiedoodle
There is no doubt that the merle gene brings something to the coloring of a dog’s coat that is striking to the eye. However, it can also bring with it disastrous consequences. The merle gene is dominant which means that only one copy needs to be inherited in order to display the trait. Should a dog inherit 2 merle genes, one from each parent, this can lead to both deafness and blindness.
In theory, the double merle should not occur in the F1 Aussiedoodle as the Poodle is not a carrier. However, as they are bred through the generations it does become a possibility as breeding occurs with Australian Shepherd genes being present in both parents.
Although rare, it has also been known for the merle gene to be bred into the Poodle for aesthetic reasons. This highlights the importance of genetic testing before breeding occurs. When speaking to potential breeders regarding an Aussiedoodle please ensure that you ask about the merle gene.
What to Feed your Aussiedoodle
Your Aussiedoodle will require a different feeding regime throughout the different stages of their life so we can only provide you with a guideline. When they are a puppy, they are likely to eat little and often. Once they are a little bigger then once or twice a day is most likely.
Many brands of bought food are tailored to your dog’s age meaning that all the right nutrients and supplements can be delivered at the stage they are required. Food needs to be nutrient-dense and not just full of ‘empty’ calories.
The average adult dog will need around 18% of their calories to come from protein. Puppies, pregnant or nursing bitches, and performance dogs will need more. Fat is also important to the diet as it helps to provide energy. The recommended intake is 9-15% and will ideally be in the form of omegas 3 and 6. Take time to read the labels on the packaging so you can ensure that you are feeding your pooch the best nutritionally balanced diet you can.
A good quality dog food is always recommended. There are many different varieties on the market and ultimately, you will choose the best fit for your pooch but let’s take a look at some of the options:
- KIBBLE – Kibble is a dry food and probably the most popular choice with dog owners. It comes in pellet form and contains meats, grains, and vegetables amongst some of its ingredients
- CANNED – Canned food is classed as a wet food and often contains more meat protein and fewer carbohydrates. Canned food contains more moisture so will be effective in helping to keep a dog that doesn’t drink much hydrated.
- RAW – Raw feeding can either be bought, usually frozen for you to thaw as you use, or homemade. It is important to research raw feeding thoroughly before undertaking this method as it is harder to get the correct balance of nutrients that dry or wet feeding. Speak to your vet for recommendations and guidance.
Dogs, like humans, will have individual needs with regards to what is the correct daily intake of food for them. This will be based on size, health, metabolism, and energy levels. Speak with your vet or a nutritionist to make sure that your Aussiedoodle is getting what is right for them.
Generally speaking, Aussiedoodles do have a propensity to pile on the pounds so it is important to find the correct balance for them. Treats should be kept to a minimum and make sure that food is always kept out of their reach. A juicy sausage cannot be resisted by even the most disciplined pooch.
There may sometimes be a reason to change the food that you give our Aussiedoodle. This may just be a brand change, or it may be a change in the type of food that you give them. In any instance, this should be done gradually to ensure a smooth transition. Transitioning gradually will help to prevent any sudden tummy upset or digestion issues. A good guide is as follows:
- Day 1 – 2 25% new food & 75% old food
- Day 3 – 4 50/50 ratio
- Day 5 – 6 75% new food & 25% old food
- Day 7 100% new food
Is the Aussiedoodle the Right Dog for me?
Only you can answer this question because here at Know your Doodles we don’t know you, but we know our Doodles. Our aim is to provide you with all the detail and knowledge that you will need in order to choose the right Doodle fit for you and your lifestyle.
The Aussidoodle is the perfect fit for those with an active lifestyle, a yard for playtime, and an abundance of love to give. You may be a family, or you may be a singleton but as long as your lifestyle means that there is a place by your side for this loveable and affectionate pooch then yes, the Aussiedoodle may just be the right dog for you.
One thing to remember is that despite their status as a ‘Designer Dog’ many Aussiedoodles do, unfortunately, find themselves in shelters through no fault of their own. Where at all possible please attempt to rescue first.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Aussidoodles Bark a Lot?
The Aussiedoodle isn’t known for its tendency to bark. However, a yappy dog isn’t just about genetics. Training, socialization, and how you treat your dog will all be factors in how their personality develops. If you don’t keep up to their physical exercise needs or provide them with enough mental stimulation to prevent them from being bored, then excessive barking can be a resulting issue.
Are Aussidoodles Aggressive?
Generally, no. Australian Shepherds, Poodles, and therefore Aussiedoodles are all known to be friendly and sociable dogs. However, it is important that they are socialized from an early age in order to nurture this trait.
Do all Aussiedoodles have Blue Eyes?
Some Aussiedoodles have blue eyes, some have brown eyes. They can also have hazel eyes and green eyes. Some Aussiedoodles even have one blue eye and one brown or marbled eye. There are a variety of variations.