The Aussiedoodle, or the Aussiepoo, is bred by crossing the Australian Shepherd with the Poodle (Standard, Miniature, and Toy are all used). This creates an F1 (first generation) Aussiedoodle. Further generations can be bred by breeding 2 F1’s or backcrossing the F1 back to the parent breed.
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What is an Aussiedoodle?
The Aussiedoodle is one of the many Doodle mixes gaining rapidly in popularity. The Aussiedoodle, not to be confused with the Australian Labradoodle (you can read all about the difference in our article Aussiedoodle vs Australian Labradoodle), is a cross between a Poodle and an Australian Shepherd Dog.
Aussiedoodles can be found in a variety of sizes depending on which size Poodle parent was used. The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog, so it is perfectly feasible to use a Miniature Poodle as well as the Standard Poodle. You may even see Toy Aussiedoodles especially F1bs, where a Miniature Aussiedoodle has been back bred to a Toy Poodle.
As with all Doodle mixes there are Aussiedoodles of various generations and combinations:
- F1 – This is the first cross between a Poodle and an Australian Shepherd
- F1b – An F1b is an F1 Aussiedoodle that is bred back to a Poodle or Australian Shepherd (reverse F1b)
- F2 – This is a cross between two F1 Aussiedoodles
- F2b – A second generation (F2) Aussiedoodle bred back to a Poodle or Australian Shepherd (reverse F2b)
- Multigenerational – As you get further down the line and breed second-generation Aussiedoodles and beyond they are known as multigenerational.
What is an Aussiedoodle like? Let’s take a look at the Australian Shepherd to help us discover what sort of Doodle the Aussiedoodle is and why he is becoming so popular.
The Australian Shepherd Dog
As his name suggests the Australian Shepherd is a herding breed. However, he did not originate from Australia as one would think, but from the Western United States. He is a medium-sized, tough, working dog and is the choice of many ranch hands or cowboys.
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog standing 18” – 21” for females and 20” – 23” inches for males and weighing 40lbs – 55lbs for females and 50lbs – 55lbs for males.
Rugged and athletic looking, he is similar in appearance to a slightly larger Border Collie. The Australian Shepherd was customarily docked and occasionally can be born with a naturally bobbed tail.
He has a medium length, slightly wavy coat with feathering to the backs of the legs which comes in a wonderful array of colors and patterns. These include black and white, red and white, and merle, all with or without tan points. He can also sport brown, blue, or odd eyes. It is this striking color that has made him an obvious choice for creating beautifully marked Doodles, but this comes at a price (see ‘Can you breed two Aussiedoodles‘).
The Australian Shepherd is incredibly energetic and intelligent and for this reason, he is not always a great choice as a pet dog for the average family. He needs to live in the countryside ideally and requires a substantial amount of exercise with the opportunity to run off lead every day. This high energy level does mean that he makes a wonderful agility or obedience trial competitor for an owner who is able to provide him with the time, training, and stimulation he needs.
The Australian Shepherd whilst generally a healthy, hardy breed is prone to some breed-specific issues such as blindness, deafness, epilepsy (common sadly in herding/collie type breeds), and multi-drug resistance due to a genetic mutation. It is worth noting that many herding dogs are sensitive to Ivermectin (an anti-parasitic drug) so take great care when worming these dogs.
The Aussiedoodle is an incredibly attractive Doodle mix as you might expect. Bred specifically to combine the beautiful colors seen in the Australian Shepherd with the hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle he can be found in a variety of colors. Parti color (black, red, brown, blue and white) all solid Poodle colors, sable, phantom (black, brown or blue with tan markings) tri-color and merle. His coat is usually very soft and ranges from wavy to tight curls.
The Standard Aussiedoodle will stand between 15” and 23” measuring from paw to shoulder. Weight will average between 45lbs to 70lbs. Miniatures, by their very definition, will be smaller with an average weight between 15lbs and 45lbs and height of 10” and 15”.Most Aussiedoodles are between 25 and 70lbs and 10 -20inches tall but as with all mixed breeds, some are slightly outside of this size range as the averages show.
No matter what size he is the Aussiedoodle is extremely high energy and if you choose to share your life with this Doodle you will need to spend lots of time taking long walks, days out, and playing games with him.
He is also super intelligent so an ideal candidate for trick training or agility. He may also try to herd you and for this reason, is perhaps not the most suitable Doodle to be around cats or smaller pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs.
His bouncy nature may also make him unsuitable for small children although his boundless energy makes him a great playmate for older children or teenagers as he’ll happily play ball all day long. Like most Doodles, his crowning glory (coat) does require daily maintenance and regular trips to the salon unless you choose to clip or trim him yourself.
Can you Breed Two Aussiedoodles?
We talk a lot about generations such as F1, F2, and multigenerational when we are looking at breeding Doodles. Most people are aware an F2 is a Doodle bred from two Doodle parents. However, this is usually not the most desirable combination for most breeders because of the range that can be produced. This is due to something known as ‘the grandfather effect’).
This means that as most F1 Doodles carry one copy of the furnishing gene responsible for the beard and mustache and one copy of the non-furnishing gene (the smooth face of the Australian Shepherd, Golden Retriever, etc depending on which Doodle mix we are looking at) an F2 Doodle can inherit any combination of these genes from its parents.
For example, two copies of the F gene mean a furnished puppy, one copy each of the F and N gene also mean a furnished puppy but two copies of the N gene will produce a non-furnished or flat-coated puppy.
However, when it comes to Aussiedoodles there is a much more sinister reason that F2 is not commonly seen or sought after. This is because of the merle gene. Whilst merle is unquestionably a very beautiful and highly prized coat color it also comes with major health concerns.
The merle gene is responsible for a genetic mottled coat pattern. It is also responsible for skin pigment. However, this same gene is also responsible for genetic blindness and deafness. If a dog of any breed only inherits one copy of the merle gene, he will have the mottled pattern and merle coloring but is unlikely to be affected by eye and ear problems.
Sadly, if we then breed two merle dogs together each puppy has a 25% chance of inheriting two copies of the merle gene. If this happens the pups will often be predominantly white with one or two blue eyes and are highly likely to be blind, deaf, or both. For this reason, it is unacceptable in any purebred to mate two merle dogs and if done the pups can not be registered.
As Doodles cannot be registered it is even more important to take care not to breed two merle dogs or dogs that carry the merle gene to avoid puppies with seriously compromised health. You may think that it’s simple, so long as you breed a merle Aussiedoodle to a non-merle Auusiedoodle you’ll be fine right? Wrong! The merle gene can ‘hide’ so you may have an Aussiedoodle that appears tri-color, bicolor, phantom, or even solid colored but is actually carrying the merle gene.
This is known as cryptic or phantom merle. If you were to mistakenly breed a cryptic merle to a merle colored dog or another cryptic merle the resulting pups could still be affected by eye and ear problems. This means that whilst you can breed an Aussiedoodle to another Aussiedoodle under no circumstances should this be done unless both parents have been DNA tested for the merle gene.