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What's an Aussiedoodle? She's a whip-smart crossbreed with Australian shepherd and poodle parents who's a bundle of energetic fun, devoted companionship, and glamorous good looks.
An Aussiedoodle's intelligence, loyal heart, and eagerness to please makes her a wonderful canine companion for families with children. Playful and outgoing, these genius pet pals need consistent positive reinforcement training and boundaries to ensure a happy, productive, and safe environment and a chance for them to live up to their potential.
If you're wondering what a full-grown Aussiedoodle might look like and how big she'll be, well, it might be anyone's guess! Truly one of the most diverse poodle crossbreeds, Aussiedoodles have numerous coat color and texture variations, mainly because of the merle qualities of their Australian shepherd parents and the range of solid colors from their poodle parents.
There's actually some science to help explain the good looks of an Aussiedoodle. For example, the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at UC Davis notes that some genes might prompt more fur curl, while other genes determine a bushy muzzle, fuzzy eyebrows, and the dominance of merle dappling.
So an Aussiedoodle dog might have more of a soft–but–scruffy tricolor coat with varying shades of white, beige, tan, blue, gray, red, brown, chocolate, and black. Or she may have tight, fluffy curls with more solid versions of those colors. Red merle and blue merle Aussiedoodles are usually the product of a white- or cream-colored poodle parent and a merle Australian shepherd parent because the merle gene is dominant.
Merle or piebald genes also play a part in the variance of eye color in Aussiedoodles. Their expressive round eyes are truly striking: They might be bright blue, soft green, light amber, or deep brown. Some dogs even have heterochromia, a condition that produces two eyes of different colors.
Although both Australian shepherds and poodles have long, narrow snouts, Aussiedoodles usually have round heads, short muzzles with occasional mustaches, and big, boopable noses. The best part is, their ears are always wooly and floppy!
This hybrid dog breed comes in varying sizes and weights because of her poodle parents. Toy Aussiedoodles are likely the offspring of toy poodles, for example, and can easily race around the coffee table. They're usually under 20 pounds and about 14 inches tall. If you'd like a miniature Aussiedoodle, find a breeder featuring a miniature poodle as a parent. She'll be a better running partner at about 30–40 pounds and 20 inches high. Many people search for Aussiedoodles with standard poodle genes, who tend to be much more athletic. She'll top out at around 75 pounds and 25 inches tall at her shoulder.
Ready to go? So is your Aussiedoodle dog! Whether to the park with the kids, on a hike with your camping buddies, or a simple but high-energy romp through the backyard, she's positively thrilled to be jumping, running, fetching, and any other "-ing" verb. Poodles are known for their love of water and retrieval, so it's possible your Aussiedoodle might also be an outdoor adventurer. Who knows? She might even be a good doga buddy, too!
An Aussiedoodle's temperament is loyal and loving, says Tracy, who owns Far Hill Aussiedoodles in southwest Iowa with her husband. They adore people of all ages, which is why they're such terrific family dogs, eager to please, and easy to train. Start Aussiedoodle puppy training early to bring out her optimal qualities.
"Always remember that you're training your puppy with every interaction. Having a plan to be intentional in training early on can lead to a fantastically well-rounded and well-behaved four-legged member of your family," Tracy says. "Select a breeder who strives for this, too, and uses their time during your puppy's first few weeks of life making the beginning concepts of training and socialization top priorities."
She suggests a combination of simple and complex tasks and playtime to keep Aussiedoodles occupied and engaged. "Otherwise, they'll find a job you'd prefer them not to do—like sort trash on the kitchen floor for you or show just how long the toilet paper roll is when unrolled!" she says.
Patrick Singletary, DVM, owns Good Dog Veterinary Care in Marietta, Ga. He says because these dogs are so intelligent, professional training is an essential investment. "Active owners who want to participate in something with their dogs would be well-suited for this breed," he says. "For instance, agility competitions are a great outlet and a wonderful way to bond with your Aussiedoodle."
Your pup would probably also respond well to the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Canine Good Citizen program: A 10-skill training opportunity open to both purebred and mixed breeds of all ages. Aussiedoodles are also top candidates for therapy and service dogs because of their tender people skills and need for purpose.
As the offspring of two highly intelligent breeds, an Aussiedoodle is happiest with a lot of social interaction and both physical and mental enrichment. Activities like rousing games of Frisbee and canine sports such as rally, obedience, and field events are great outlets to keep your Aussiedoodle engaged. If left home alone too long, especially with nothing to do, she might develop separation anxiety, so Singletary says Aussiedoodle owners should plan to train and entertain their high-energy companions.
Australian shepherds were originally bred to herd livestock, and these genetics could still be at play in your puppy. A positive reinforcement-based training plan should include redirection, teaching your dog to ignore fast-moving things, or better yet, come to you on cue when the urge to chase kicks in. As with any puppy, it's important to slowly introduce other small family pets and create opportunities for safe, appropriate introductions.
According to Tracy, because a full-size Aussiedoodle can get rather large (up to 75 pounds!) people typically think that an ample yard or acreage is a must. "However, families who live in apartments can do well with them, as long as they have a good plan for plenty of exercise every day," she says.
How much exercise is too much? This is rarely an issue with an Aussiedoodle. "They can be great companions and handle more strenuous activity than a lot of dogs can, as they have a good amount of energy," Tracy says.
Singletary agrees. "Exercise is of utmost importance for Aussiedoodles. It prevents health issues down the road when they're older and less active," he says. "Make sure to go on walks regularly, have routine playtime, and [play with] mentally stimulating toys to ensure their minds are continuously moving."
Many people choose Aussiedoodles and other poodle hybrids because they’re eager to reduce shedding and have less fluff to clean up.
Generally, Aussiedoodle shedding is relatively minimal—to a point. Because there's no sure way of knowing what traits came from which parents, you'll have to be prepared for at least some floof.
Here's another crossbreed science lesson: According to the Continental Kennel Club, mating a seasonal-shedding dog with a sleek coat like a purebred Australian shepherd with a low–shedding, curly-haired poodle maintains a 50/50 cross, creating an F1 Aussiedoodle dog. If you have an F1b Aussiedoodle, this means you have offspring from one of the purebred parents and a F1 dog.
Depending on what type of F1 or F1b fur consistency your Aussiedoodle inherited, you might only have to groom her once a week or so with a slicker brush to remove loose hair, but probably twice a week during spring and fall because of the floof. If your dog's fur has more of a poodle vibe, professional grooming is probably a better option to keep her looking spiffy. Plan for Aussiedoodle haircuts every couple months.
Tracy says an Aussiedoodle’s coat is prone to developing mats. “Regular brushing between official grooming sessions is a must to avoid them. The amount of time needed between brushing depends on your particular dog’s hair.”
Now, the big question: Are Aussiedoodles hypoallergenic? The Mayo Clinic reinforces that no dog is truly hypoallergenic, regardless of the type of coat. It really depends on how much Can f1 protein is present in an animal’s dander, saliva, and urine, and how a person’s immune system reacts to it. A veterinarian can test your Aussiedoodle for this protein level and provide recommendations. Tracy also suggests spending quality time with another Aussiedoodle to see how you react before making one part of your family.
RELATED: 20 Dog Breeds That Don't Shed (Much)
When you choose a hybrid breed like an Aussiedoodle, she’s likely to be your cuddly furball for 10–14 years. Knowing a little about her purebred parent lineage helps you create a better long-term health care plan with your veterinarian.
Australian shepherds and poodles are both relatively healthy dogs, but here are some key aspects to watch out for:
Proper weight management and appropriate levels of exercise for an Aussiedoodle can help prevent hip dysplasia, though it can also be an inherited condition. Tracy recommends selecting a puppy from a breeder who's mindful of these issues and is conscientiously testing to avoid them.
For Aussiedoodles specifically, Singletary says that while many doodle breeds are somewhat low-allergen for humans, these dogs have a higher propensity for allergies themselves.
"You should be aware of food allergies and environmental allergies, especially if you live in the southeastern United States," he notes. "Additionally, regular flea and tick prevention is important to prevent flea allergy dermatitis for any dog, but especially in a dog with a higher risk for allergies in general."
RELATED: Testing Your Dog for Allergies
The Aussiedoodle's origin story is a mystery, but like many poodle crossbreeds, they've grown in popularity since the 1990s, probably riding on the cute little tails of:
Why all the interest? In addition to other attractive characteristics Aussiedoodles inherit from their parents, poodle genes might help some people enjoy a snuggly canine friend while reducing their reaction to pet allergens.
One important point to keep in mind: Some hybrids such as Aussiedoodles are often the product of puppy mill schemes. Unfortunately, when particular dogs are in high demand, there's a greater chance they're not born into a healthy environment with a focus on their well-being, so it's essential to carefully research any pup you want to bring home. Here are some ways to spot a potential puppy scam:
- A breeder offers multiple mixed breeds for sale.
- A website states specific wait times for puppies.
- A breeder offers to ship puppies.
- A website has vague contact information, such as no phone number, no email, doesn’t offer video or in-person previews of your pup and her environment, and so on.
- Other monikers for this lovable hybrid are Aussiepoo, Australian Shepherd Poodle, or Aussiepoodle.
- A popular Instagram page is Aussiedoodles Daily, where you can see the extraordinary range of colors, faces, and personalities of these dogs!
- Why is an Australian shepherd named as such when she’s not from Australia? Just a little mixup when the breed immigrated to the U.S. with ranchers.