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After several months of searching, I found the perfect dog listed on Petfinder.com, an Australian Shepherd Lab mix puppy we named Linus.
The Australian Shepherd Lab mix is a sought-after designer hybrid, a mix between the beloved Labrador retriever and hard-working Australian shepherd dog breeds.
If you are a fan of the Lab’s friendly and kind nature and also impressed by the Aussie’s impeccable work ethic, you’d love everything the Aussie Lab mix has to offer!
Medium in size and full of energy, this pup is sure to keep you on your toes and is best suited to homes with fenced yards or life on a farm.
Homebodies, be warned – the Aussiedor can’t sit still and will become depressed and destructive if cooped up at home.
This breed makes an amazing companion to active people or families with older kids who know how to interact and play with a dog. If you are active or are looking for a working dog to help around the ranch, the Australian Lab is a great choice!
Stay with me till the end of this article to learn everything there is to know about this gorgeous mix before you welcome one home.
Aussie Lab Mix Dog Overview
- Size – 18 to 25 inches high, weighs between 40 and 80 pounds
- Coat – Short to medium-long double coat, color varies
- Shedding – Heavy shedding
- Lifespan – 10 to 15 years
- Temperament – Energetic, friendly, loyal, protective
- Trainable – Highly trainable, but can become bored if not mentally stimulated
- Activity – Highly energetic (needs around two hours of moderate or vigorous activity every day)
- Best For – Active people, families with older children, large homes with fenced backyards, farms, and ranches
What Is An Aussie Lab?
Created by crossing a purebred Australian shepherd and a purebred Labrador retriever, the Aussie Shepherd Lab mix is a designer dog breed.
Australian Shepherd Lab mixes go by several names, including
- Australian Sheprador
- Aussie Sheprador
- Aussie Lab
Being a designer breed, this mix isn’t officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. However, Aussie Labs can be registered with:
- Dog Registry of America Club
- American Canine Hybrid Club
- International Designer Canine Registry
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club
Australian Shepherd Labrador Retriever Mix Appearance
When you mix two distinctive breeds such as the Labrador retriever and Australian Shepherd, there is no way of knowing exactly how their offspring will turn out to be.
The resulting puppies can be a perfect mix of both parent breeds. Or they can take more after the Lab, or be a perfect replica of an Australian shepherd parent.
The chance of predicting the exact appearance of a mixed-breed dog is like winning the lottery!
However, taking a closer look at both parents can give you some idea of what traits you can expect to see in your puppy.
As a cross between a Labrador and an Aussie shepherd, you can expect your Aussiedor to be a medium-sized dog. Most are between 18 and 25 inches high at withers and weigh between 40 and 80 pounds when fully grown.
While males tend to be slightly larger than females, that doesn’t always have to be the case.
Purebred Labrador retrievers have solid coats that can come in various shades of yellow, chocolate, and black.
On the other hand, Australian shepherds are never solid and their coats come in a variety of different colors, including merle, black, red merle, red tricolor, blue merle, red, and black tricolor.
Aussiedors often have brown, cream, black, tan, or brindle coats, but they can come in many other color combinations.
Both Labs and Aussie shepherds have double coats, so it’s safe to say your Aussiedor will also have a double coat. When it comes to length, this mix can have a short or medium-long coat depending on which parent it takes after more.
Being a double-coated breed, your mix will shed quite a bit all year long and blow their coat twice a year. If you suffer from allergies, the Australian Shepherd Labrador retriever mix isn’t an ideal dog breed to share your home with.
Also, if you like to keep your home tidy and can’t stand seeing dog hairs flying everywhere, this mix isn’t the right dog for you. But if you don’t mind vacuuming every day, step right up! The Aussiedor will keep you and your vacuum cleaner busy every single day of the year!
Australian Shepherd Lab Mix Character
It’s difficult to predict the exact temperament and character traits of any mixed-breed dog, and the Sheprador is no exception. Like any other designer hybrid, this mix inherits traits from two very different dog breeds.
To get a better idea of what personality traits you can expect to see in your pooch, take a closer look at both its parents – the Lab and the Aussie.
Since both Australian shepherds and Labrador retrievers are very active, intelligent, affectionate, and good-natured dogs, it’s safe to say their mix will exhibit these traits. Furthermore, being a mix of two working breeds, your Sheprador will have an impeccable work ethic with a strong desire to work.
Eager to please, protective, and friendly, the Aussie sheprador has an endless supply of energy and is always in the mood to play. Being a highly athletic breed, this mix is best suited for active families with older children who will know how to play and interact with a dog.
Keep in mind that your Sheprador might inherit a strong herding instinct from its Australian shepherd parent. If this happens, your pooch may try to herd smaller children during play and even nip at your children’s heels.
Please note, in this case, nipping isn’t a form of aggressive behavior; it’s simply a sign that your pup’s herding instinct is kicking in. Luckily, you can stop your dog’s nipping behavior by using positive reinforcement training techniques.
The Australian Shepherd and Lab mix is a people-oriented and outgoing dog that likes to be involved in all family activities. Although Aussie shepherds are often kept in barns to be close to cattle, the Aussiedor prefers human company and should live indoors, close to their family.
Since both Labs and Aussie shepherds are highly energetic working breeds, it should come as no surprise that the Australian Shepherd Lab mix is a bouncing ball of energy.
Aussiedors can’t sit still and can easily run or play all day long without getting winded or breaking a sweat. This mix needs around two hours of strenuous activity every day; otherwise, they will quickly become bored and destructive.
This mix loves any type of activity that can get them moving, so you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose. Running, swimming, cycling, hiking, and agility sports are all great ways to keep your pooch physically challenged and exercised.
Also, if you have a chance to put your dog to work, go for it! Being a true working breed at heart, your pooch will enjoy having a job to do and will happily complete whatever task you give them.
Caring For An Aussie Lab Mix
Like any other dog, the Sheprador requires proper care and attention to stay happy and healthy. You should develop a care routine as soon as you bring your Australian shepherd Lab mix puppy home, and keep up with it for the rest of your dog’s life. Here are a few things you should pay attention to:
As mentioned previously, Shepradors have high exercise requirements and need around two hours of vigorous activity every day. Due to this, this mix isn’t a good apartment dweller and won’t be able to stay cooped up at home all day while you are at work.
Ideally, you should walk your pooch two to three times a day and also let them blow off some steam with activities such as running, swimming, or agility. Additionally, games such as fetch, flyball, and Frisbee are ideal for this mix since they keep your pup physically and mentally challenged at the same time.
True to its parent breeds, the Sheprador is one smart canine! Without proper mental stimulation, these intelligent dogs can easily become bored and frustrated. When bored, the good-natured Aussiedor turns into a menace that will chew, dig, and destroy your home and furniture.
Aussie Labs are people-oriented and amiable dogs that crave human company. The one thing these dogs don’t like is being left at home alone for long periods of time. Without the companionship they need, Aussiedors can easily become depressed or develop separation anxiety.
Due to their high social needs, this mix is best suited for large families and homes that are never completely empty. If you live alone and have long working hours, you should rethink getting this mix and consider a more independent dog breed.
Australian Shepradors usually have short or medium-long double coats that shed quite a bit. In terms of grooming, this mix is a high-maintenance breed.
You should brush your Aussiedor five times a week to control the shedding and keep their coat clean and tangle-free. Bathe your dog once every two months or as needed using a mild, hypoallergenic dog shampoo.
Aussiedors have floppy ears that easily trap dirt and are prone to frequent and painful ear infections. To avoid ear problems, check your dog’s ears weekly, and clean as needed using cotton balls and an ear-cleaning solution.
To prevent plaque and tartar buildup, you should brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week using enzymatic dog toothpaste.
Also, don’t forget to trim your dog’s nails regularly. A sure sign your pooch needs to have its nails trimmed is if you hear it clicking on the floor. If clipping your dog’s nails seems like an impossible feat, your vet or a groomer will be more than happy to help.
Ideally, your Australian sheprador should eat food formulated for medium-sized breeds with high energy. Make sure the food you’re feeding your pooch is high in proteins and has all the essential vitamins and minerals your dog needs to stay healthy.
How much food your dog needs will depend on its size, age, activity levels, and metabolism. Considering that all Aussiedors are unique, you should talk to your vet or a canine nutritionist and ask them to design a feeding plan based on your dog’s dietary needs.
Known Health Problems
Although generally healthy Aussie Labs are predisposed to some of the same health problems that Labradors and Australian shepherds face. These include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia: These are very painful conditions caused by malformation of the hip and elbow joints. Affected dogs usually experience mobility problems, lameness, and arthritis and must take pain meds during their lives.
- Cataracts: In Australian shepherds, hereditary cataracts start forming after two years of age and are caused by a gene mutation. This type of hereditary cataracts leads to progressive vision loss.
Aussie Shepradors have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. With proper care and regular veterinary checkups, many Aussiedors stay completely healthy well into their senior years.
How To Train Your Australian Shepherd And Lab Mix
As an offspring of two highly intelligent and trainable dog breeds, the Aussiedor is a very smart breed with a huge training potential. Like all other dogs, this mix reacts well to positive reinforcement and reward-based training.
Aussie Labs are highly sensitive dogs, so yelling, punishment or any other form of harsh correction, or dominance training won’t get you anywhere. In fact, it can only make matters worse and cause your pooch to shut down and be afraid of you.
The people-loving and smart Aussiedor is eager to please and will learn obedience in no time with reward-based training. Start training your pooch as soon as you bring them home to help them grow into a well-behaved and obedient dog.
Besides training, you should also start socializing with your mix from a young age. If your mix takes more after its Australian shepherd parent, they might be wary of strangers. Exposing your pup to different people, sights, sounds, and smells from a young age will help them become friendlier and more accepting of other people and dogs.
Who Should Own An Australian Lab?
The Lab Aussie shepherd mix makes a wonderful pet for active people and outdoorsy families with older kids. Being a working dog breed, this mix is also suited for life on a ranch or a bustling farm.
Outgoing, loyal, and protective of their families, Aussiedors crave company and won’t sit idly at home while you’re at work. These highly energetic and athletic dogs need a job to do and prefer to be involved in all family activities.
If you are an active person who can keep up with such an energetic dog and give it a job to do, the Aussiedor might just be the pup you are looking for.
Buying An Australian Shepherd Lab Mix Puppy
Both Labrador retrievers and Australian shepherds are popular dog breeds, so you shouldn’t have problems locating reputable Aussiedor breeders in your area.
Before buying a pup, schedule an appointment to meet the mother and inspect the conditions the puppies are kept in. If the breeder isn’t keen on showing you their facilities, walk away and look for another breeder.
A reputable breeder won’t have anything to hide and will be more than happy to show you around and answer all your questions. They will also be able to show health certificates for both parents and puppies.
When purchased from a reputable breeder, the Aussie Lab mix puppies cost, on average, around $1,000. The exact price depends on a lot of factors including the breeder, your location, lineage, and coat color.
History Of The Breeds
Originally from Newfoundland, the Labrador retriever is America’s most popular dog breed. Used by fishermen to catch fish and ducks, the Lab evolved into a universally loved family dog.
Highly trainable and friendly, Labs make great service dogs for people with disabilities and are also used as search and rescue dogs, and therapy dogs.
Despite what their name might suggest, the Australian shepherd was developed in the United States. Originally bred to herd livestock, Aussies make great family pets although they remain working dogs at heart.
Loyal, protective, and smart, the Australian shepherd is one of the most energetic breeds you can find and is bound to keep you on your toes.
FAQs About Australian Shepherd And Lab Mix
Are Australian Shepherd Lab mix good dogs?
The Lab Aussie shepherd mix makes a great pet for active people and families with older children. Highly energetic and agile, they should live in a large home with a fenced backyard, ranch, or farm. Not the one to sit idly, this mix needs an active owner who will know how to challenge them both physically and mentally.
Our Australian Shepherd Lab Mix
If you’ve been following the dog for a while then you probably already know about Linus. He was my first puppy as an adult and as you might have guessed he was an Aussie Lab mix!
After everything we said about the Australian Shepherd Lab mix it’s time for me to say, that every dog is different. Linus showed some of the above traits, but not all.
Linus’s sister was tricolor (like an Aussie), but Linus was completely black (like a black lab) with a small white spot on his chest. He was 60 lbs and if you didn’t look closely or know any better you would think he was a Lab.
When you go closer that’s when you notice the differences. His coat was more reminiscent of an Australian Shepherd which was longer, more fine, and very soft. A big difference between Linus’s coat and a Lab coat was his fur was very fine and stuck to everything.
Another trait that was more Aussie than Lab was his tail, it curled up similar to what an Aussie’s tail looks like when not docked.
Linus was an amazing dog. He could run with the best of them, but could also be very calm and focused. He had the herding instinct as we caught him rounding up the kids from time to time.
All in all, Linus had many of the traits mentioned above. The one area that doesn’t quite match was his energy level. I would not have considered him a high-energy dog that required hours of exercise. He was fine and willing to run for hours, but also just as content curling up by your side while reading a book.
The Australian Shepherd Lab mix can be a great pet and companion to active families with older kids and outdoorsy people.
Highly energetic and smart, this mix will need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and thrive. If you think that the Aussiedor is the right dog for you, make sure you:
- Are able to exercise your dog at least two hours a day
- Won’t mind brushing your dog and cleaning dog hairs daily
- Won’t leave your mix at home alone for more than a few hours every day
Do you have an Australian shepherd Labrador retriever mix? If so, what is your pooch like?
Tell us more about your experiences owning this mix in the comment section below!
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