The Siberian Husky and the Australian Cattle dog are working dogs. Sometime in the late 1990s, breeders started to blend the two breeds, resulting in the trendy designer dog, the Australian Shepherd Husky. What is the result, besides being adorable, of mixing the two breeds?
The Husky-Cattle Dog mix is a mix of a purebred Australian Cattle Dog and Siberian Husky. It is also known as the Australian Shepherd Husky, and Aussie Siberian among other nicknames. It should be noted that the traits they inherit will not be a 50/50 split. One parent’s traits will be dominant, and as such, how they look and act can only be determined upon birth.
The Australian Shepherd Husky is a beautiful, intelligent, active dog. If you have an active lifestyle, this cross-breed may be the perfect companion. Read on to see what other traits make this breed special.
The Australian Shepherd Husky
The Australian Shepherd Husky is a mix of two purebred dogs, an Australian Cattle Dog and a Siberian Husky. This hybrid breed is medium-sized and has tons of energy. They are also extremely loyal and protective.
Designer dog breeds, such as the Australian Shepherd Husky, are gaining popularity due to the allure of passing down the best traits from more than one breed. Sometime in the 1990s, breeders began mixing two distinct official breeds to create new hybrids with each parent’s best traits (source).
Currently, the American Canine Hybrid Club contains the largest hybrid registry, listing the Australian Cattle Dog and Siberian Husky mix as the “Ausky” (source).
This hybrid has many nicknames, including, but not limited to, the following: Aussie Husky dog, Aussie Husky mix, Aussie Husky, Australian Husky, Australian, Husky Sheppie, and Aussie Siberian (source).
Breeding the Australian Shepherd Husky
When breeders began breeding the hybrid Australian Shepherd Husky, they hoped to combine each breed’s best traits such as their loyalty, gentle nature, intelligence, and high energy. As such, this hybrid is passionately protective of their human companions. Now, let’s take a quick look at the parents of this adorable hybrid.
Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog, known today as the Queensland Heeler or Heeler (blue or red), is not only muscular with unparalleled agility, but they may also outsmart you. Of course, it is imperative to keep this breed working as they are happiest when they have a job; otherwise, you may come home to pillow stuffing everywhere (source)!
The Australian Cattle Dog is a result of the careful breeding by George Elliot of the Australian Dingo, a Smithfield, and other working dogs, such as the Scottish Highland Collie.
However, the breed was not yet perfected. Two brothers, Jack and Harry Bagust, wanted to produce a protective breed that was not afraid of horses. They bred their Dalmations with Elliot’s Australian cattle dogs, as well as a Black and Tan Kelpie, to produce the hardworking, loyal breed we know today.
Being a highly active dog, it is essential to be sure they are getting adequate nutrition. These dogs are prone to weight gain, so always seek your veterinarian’s advice regarding their individual needs.
While having a double coat protects them from the elements, shedding season may be a bit of a nightmare. However, giving them a good brushing two to three times a week during this season will cut down on the shedding and the fur piling up around the house.
The fur comes in various colors and combinations such as black, black tricolor, red merle, red tricolor, blue merle, and tan.
It is important to make time to take them outdoors for a lot of exercise and socialization. You may even consider entering agility contests, which will be fun for both of you.
There have been several hybrids emerge from the Australian cattle dog, including a mix with a dachshund.
The Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is not a half-wild wolf, half dog breed as those with no knowledge of the breed might believe. Instead, the Siberian Husky was originally bred by the Chukchi people from Northeast Asia as a sled dog. The Chukchi people bred them to pull light loads, plus handler, over very long distances on relatively little food (source).
They were first introduced into America in Alaska when they entered into the 1909 long-distance All-Alaska Sweepstakes races. Sneered at by Alaskan drivers at first, those same drivers were soon forced to recognize their abilities.
It was the Siberian Husky that saved the Alaskan town of Nome during a diphtheria epidemic. Without the relay teams of Huskies, Nome would have never received the precious life-saving serum. Although smaller than the traditional sled dog, the Siberian Husky can go the distance, even when exhausted and hungry.
Today, Siberian Huskies make lovely family dogs and are especially good with children, most likely due to the Chukchi people. They are not aggressive, so don’t expect to make them into a watchdog.
They are independent and intelligent, versatile, alert, and eager to please. They are wonderful companions to people of all ages and interests.
It is vital to know that while this is an easy-going breed, they love to hunt small animals, whether inside or outside your home. So it may be best if you don’t have pets such as rabbits or hamsters to avoid likely negative encounters.
One trait Siberian Huskies have is their love of running. It would be best if you kept them well-gated or leashed when outside the house. It is up to you to protect them from human-made dangers, such as cars.
The Siberian Husky is easy to care for, shedding their coat once a year. They do not require much food, but to be sure your beautiful Siberian Husky is receiving the proper nutrition, always consult your veterinarian.
The Siberian Husky comes in a mix of colors, such as solid black, silver, agouti, red, copper, brown, and piebald, or a mix of any of these colors. Huskies also come in white, but white huskies are rare. They all have beautiful, soulful eyes.
If you love dogs that are lovers, not fighters, are good with kids and other dogs, Siberian Huskies make for a wonderful breed for an interesting hybrid.
The Australian Shepherd Husky: Traits & Characteristics
Remember, the mix of traits and characteristics will never be 50/50. Mixed puppies will inherit the dominant traits from one parent with a few traits from the other.
As far as health is concerned, mixed-breed puppies tend to be heartier than their purebred parents. Introducing two breeds widens the gene pool and lessens the chances of inheriting the diseases that plague their parents.
Some diseases they tend to suffer from are hip dysplasia, blood disease, epilepsy, and elbow dysplasia (source). For instance, many Siberian Huskies suffer from a benign familial hyperphosphatasemia (BFH) detected by abnormal levels of their blood alkaline phosphatase (ALP).
This level is often typically high in puppies whose parents carry the abnormality, spiking at about 3 months and then normalizing around 15 months. While seemingly innocuous, it is something that needs to be monitored. High levels can indicate other diseases, such as bone cancer and Cushing’s disease (source).
Your Australian Shepherd Husky may also suffer from Progressive Retinal Atrophy. The retina slowly degenerates, and without early intervention, will cause blindness. They may also get cataracts.
Since both parents have a medium-length, thick double-coat, so will their puppies. The top layer is water-resistant, and the undercoat helps keep them warm. It is the undercoat you fight while they are shedding. Both breeds tend to be somewhat heavy shedders in general.
You cannot fully anticipate what they will look like before they are born. Both parents come in various colors, and, as such, you might expect the puppies to have tricolor, black, blue or red merle, white, silver, or tan coats.
Their eyes can be blue, brown, or silver, and they may even have one of each color. They will also have floppy ears, shaped like triangles with the tips being rounded. The tail will most likely be big and fluffy.
No matter their coat or eye color, cuteness is always something you can count on.
Needs and Disposition
An Australian Shepherd Husky needs lots of exercise; remember, they love to run and have an endurance level hard to keep up with. If you love the great outdoors, they will tirelessly and happily accompany you on any adventure, much like their Siberian Husky parent.
Along with boundless energy, they will be gentle, with the Australian cattle dog’s cautious nature. This trait makes them an excellent protective family pet. They want to please you and are obedient. However, you must provide adequate training.
You need to keep your Australian Shepherd Husky busy as they can get into trouble if left to their own devices. Give them a job and your expectations with firm set boundaries. They need to know what you expect of them so they don’t get into mischief.
As for essential grooming, you will want to brush them once or twice a week due to their double coat. Do not bathe them too often, or you risk disturbing the natural oils in their skin.
Brushing their teeth and clipping their nails is as important as regular brushing. When trimming their nails, be watchful not to cut the quick, but be sure they are not clicking on the floor.
Any grooming you do will be difficult at first, but the more you brush — both their coat and teeth — and trim, the faster your puppy will become accustomed to the ritual. Your puppy may even enjoy it. After all, while not pleasant activities from your dog’s point of view, they crave your time. Treats after won’t hurt either.
As a relatively new hybrid, Australian Shepherd Huskies have grand parentage. They will be loyal, loving, and bond with all family members and other dogs. All they ask for in return is a loving family to be their companions and keep them company.
They don’t like to be alone for long periods and do best when kept busy with clear boundaries and expectations and lots of exercise.
The Australian Shepherd Husky is a beautiful dog. If you love the great outdoors and going on lots of adventures — hikes, walks, running — this special breed is perfect for you. Even better, if you love Australian cattle dogs and Siberian Huskies but can only get one dog, this hybrid combination is the perfect solution — both breeds in one adorable package.