Well, here in this guide, we will talk about everything you need to know about Australian Retrievers. From how energetic he is (and a head’s up … he is very energetic!), to how well he gets along with children and other family pets. You’ll also find out how much grooming you’re in for, as well as how to find a breeder and what to expect when paying for a puppy.
Before we get into the details of the Australian Retriever, we need to take a closer look at each of his parents. This will help you to understand what he will be like as a family pet and what your life might look like should you welcome an Australian Retriever into your home.
The Australian Shepherd isn’t actually Australian, he is technically American. Bred from a mix of European herding dogs, his Australian owners set sail to the east coast of America with them in tow. So impressed by their herding abilities, American cowboys refined the breed, and the Australian Shepherd that we know today was born. Ever since then, he has been a big part of cowboy culture.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), in 2020, he is the 17th most popular dog breed in America. He is described as smart, work-oriented, and exuberant. Being so energetic and focused on work, this guy can often be too much for the novice dog owner to handle. But for those who can offer him a job or serious exercise, he is a loving and affectionate dog in the home. Aussies are becoming increasingly popular designer dog parents. Two of the more popular Aussie mixes are the Aussiepoo and the Australian Shepherd Husky mix.
The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in almost every country across the world. Typically thought of as the classic family pooch, he is described as friendly, intelligent, and devoted. They are very energetic, but much less intense compared to the Australian Shepherd.
The Golden Retriever was created in Great Britain when his creator, Lord Tweedmouth, desired the perfect gun dog. He will retrieve anything that you ask him to, be that a stick or your hunt. He will crave your company and just likes to spend time with his family, whether that’s goofing around or chilling. Because of their sweet nature, Goldens are often the perfect parent breed for just about any mix. Other popular Golden Retriever mixes include the Goberian and the Beago.
After learning a little bit more about both of his parents, it’s time to take a look at the Golden Retriever Australian Shepherd mix. The Australian Retriever is a mixed dog who is likely to be a first-generation pup. He could be an equal split of both parents or more like one breed over the other.
So, you need to be sure that no matter the outcome, you like all of his genetic possibilities. With that being said, there are also some “standard” behavioral traits that you can expect from the Australian Retriever. Let’s dive in and take a look at everything you can expect from your Australian Retriever.
Okay, first things first, the Australian Retriever is super active, and he needs to be placed with an equally busy family. He isn’t likely to be as intensely energetic as his Aussie parent. But he will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to keep him happy and healthy. Thanks to his Golden genes, he will usually inherit an ‘off-button’, and he’ll happily snooze with you in the evening in front of the telly. But prepare for a full-on daily schedule with the Aussie Retriever.
The Golden Retriever Australian Shepherd mix is also very devoted, and nothing will compare to the love of his owner, not even the biggest of threats. With this comes plenty of affection and love, as well as the chance of being a really obedient pooch. But this also brings about the potential for separation anxiety. Ideally, he should be placed with a family that can provide him with lots of company and love.
Thanks to his genes from his Golden parent, he is super sociable with his family’s friends and guests. Equally, thanks to his Aussie parent’s more suspicious genes, he will not be a too-in-your-face pooch. He is likely to be aloof with strangers at first, but then warm up to them quickly when his master reassures him that all is good in the world.
There is a high chance that the Australian Retriever will make an excellent herding dog or cowboy colleague. There is also the chance that he might bring these herding tendencies into the home, which needs to be discouraged. Hopefully, if entertained well, he shouldn’t resort to these behaviors.
Size & Appearance
The Australian Retriever is a medium-sized dog who will weigh between 50 and 65 pounds, and measure between 19 and 23 inches from paw to shoulder. He will be thickset like the Golden, but slimmer and slenderer like the Aussie Shep. Usually, the females are smaller than the males.
He could inherit the dark brown and black colored eyes of the Retriever, or the bright blue eyes of his Aussie parent. It is more than likely that his nose, lips, and other features will be black in color, but they could also be light brown in color too.
Overall, most Australian Retrievers are an equal blend of both parents. The unique features of his Australian parent, with his merle coat and bright or different colored eyes, are becoming increasingly popular. Therefore you can expect them to be more in demand and more expensive.
Coat & Colors
The coat of the Australian Retriever is a thick and dense double coat that is designed to keep him warm in cold weather. It is also likely to be a little wavy and feathery around his ears, neck, belly, and tail. You can expect his coat to shed moderately all year round, and he will blow his coat during the shedding season. So, if you aren’t a fan of dog hair, you might want to choose another canine altogether.
He can inherit the coat of either parent. This means your Australian Retriever could take the gold, black, brindle, brown, and merle colors, or a combination of them. This mix can also carry a red coat if their Golden Retriever parent has a redder shade to their fur. If coat color is a factor in your decision-making process, be sure to speak with your breeder. Although they might pair you with a different pup based on personality suitability instead.
Exercise & Living Conditions
As you already know, the Aussie Retriever needs a lot of exercises – but how much is a lot? Well, it depends on which parent he takes after. But you should expect to schedule a minimum of 60 to 90 minutes every day. This is without fail, come rain or shine, and without it, he will become unhappy, unhealthy, and behavioral problems will start. So, if you cannot guarantee him this, then he is not the breed for you.
As he is a super-intelligent dog, it is advised that you mix up his activity schedule each week to keep him interested. He makes a great jogging partner, agility course participant, ball retriever, and flyball pro. Basically, anything you like doing, he will too.
The Golden Retriever Australian Shepherd mix will prefer to live in a medium to large-sized home. Being used to the cowboy and ranch life, he’d appreciate living somewhere with access to a backyard to roam, play, and snooze to his heart’s content. Unfortunately, he is not suited to apartment living.
He makes an excellent match for families with young children because he is loving and gentle. He also likes the company of other dogs, and he isn’t that concerned by cats or other animals, so he would be suited to a multi-pet household. But, if allowed, he can find himself in the habit of herding children and smaller pets. Which can become annoying and uncomfortable if you don’t train this out of him. This is something to bear in mind and learn how to handle if it does become a problem.
The Australian Retriever needs to be socialized well from the get-go. Not only will this increase his confidence, but it will also ensure that he learns polite doggy etiquette so that all the doggies like him. It will also help to lower his aloofness with strangers and prevent him from becoming too overprotective, or herding the smaller members of the family.
Crate training is always a good idea if there is any chance that the dog might suffer from separation anxiety, and this is a possibility for the Aussie Retriever. Although many owners don’t like the thought of putting their pup in a cage, dogs are known to feel safe in their own space. Be sure to get a dog crate that’s the right size for him.
Positive reward training is the best method to use when training him. Goldens are known to be sensitive when shouted at so he could become sulky. Plus, being so intelligent and driven by food, he will pick up tricks in no time. Just be consistent with your training and use plenty of squeaky voices, and he will get it almost instantly.
The Australian Retriever is a relatively healthy breed that will enjoy a lifespan of 11 to 14 years. Remember that because he is a mixed breed, he can inherit the health concerns of either parent.
Hip and elbow dysplasia: both of his parents are susceptible to both forms of dysplasia, so this is one to watch out for in your Australian Shepherd.
Eye concerns: This is another concern found in both of his parents. Common eye conditions to look out for are progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and collie eye.
Cancer: unfortunately, both of his parents have a higher rate of cancer compared to the general canine population. Goldens are one of the breeds with a higher rate.
The Australian Retriever will consume between 2 ½ and 3 cups of kibble every day. This is dependent on his size, which parent he takes after more and his energy levels. He will do well on a high-quality kibble that will provide him with a well-balanced diet. Focusing on a high amount of protein to keep his hardworking muscles energized and able to maintain themselves.
Thankfully the faster metabolism of the Australian Shepherd should mean that it is much less likely he will become overweight compared to his Retriever parent. But it is still a possibility. Always be sure to keep an eye on his weight, and if he starts to pile on the pounds, switch him to a weight management kibble.
The Australian Retriever needs daily grooming, and this is something that you will need to factor into your daily schedule for the next 11 to 14 years. Without it, his long feathery jacket will become matted and sore. You should invest in a slicker brush for day-to-day brushing and a de-shedding tool for weekly grooming.
Using a gentle doggy shampoo is your best bet for the Golden Retriever Australian Shepherd mix. His skin can be quite sensitive, and a natural sensitive skin shampoo will keep his beautiful coat soft and shiny. Aim to wash your pup once every 8 weeks at most. Try not to do it more than this otherwise, you risk damaging his natural skin oils.
Other grooming rituals, such as teeth, ear, and eye cleaning, should be completed weekly. If he has large dropdown ears, you may need to do this twice a week to clear out any gunk. Especially if he is working on a dusty ranch.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
The average cost of an Australian Retriever puppy from a reputable breeder will cost around $700 and up. This will be dependent on demand in your local area, the breeder’s reputation, and the lineage of the dogs. Remember that if the puppy has a merle coat, bright blue eyes, or multicolored eyes, this will bump the price up as it is a more desirable look.
As he is a rarer mixed hybrid, there is a chance that you will have to travel to find a reputable breeder. Begin your searching online and always look for a breeder who has their own dedicated website that gives you an insight into their breeding practices. Another great way is to look for online reviews from previous customers.
Never work with a puppy mill or a breeder that refuses for you to meet the puppies and parents. Or those who cannot show you their health clearances. If you ever get a bad feeling, walk away, and trust your gut. Saving a few dollars is not worth the upset and expense of inheriting a poorly pooch.
Rescue & Shelters
If you are thinking about rescuing an Australian Retriever head down to your local rescue center and speak to the staff. Although there may not be an Australian Retriever at that center, they may be in contact with other centers that do.
If this is not proving to be successful, head over to the Australian Shepherd rescue website or the Golden Retriever Club of America rescue committee. They also rescue mixes of their dedicated breed and are always happy to help those who want to rescue.
As Family Pets
- The Australian Retriever is an intensely energetic dog.
- Expect 60 to 90 minutes of vigorous daily exercise.
- The Australian Retriever is a highly intelligent mix.
- Australian Retrievers need interactive games to keep their brains busy.
- Golden Aussies are kind and affectionate.
- Larger yards are better for Australian Retrievers.
- He is an aloof dog at first, but will quickly warm up to everyone.
- Daily grooming is needed to prevent matted and dirty coats.
- The Australian Retriever loves children and is suited to families.
- Multi-pet households do well with Australian Retrievers.
So there you have it, everything that you need to know about the Australian Retriever and whether he is the right dog for you. Equally, you should now know whether you are the right family for him.
It’s always important, to be honest about what kind of life you can provide your dog. With the Golden Retriever Australian Shepherd mix, it is all about a lot of exercise, daily grooming, and lots of love. He is adorable and will return all the loyalty and love you can imagine.