Sure to turn heads with a fox-like look and smooth gait is the Shiba Inu-Australian Shepherd mix, a designer dog breed that combines the winsome looks of two very popular breeds.
These sleek dogs are unique individuals who love a romp in the dog park, long walks, and playing with their families.
Boundless energy and comical expressions are just two things that make a Shiba Inu and Australian Shepherd mix dog a delightful addition to the family.
Personality of a Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd Dog Mix
When two quirky dog breeds combine, you can certainly expect more uniqueness. Shiba Inus are known to act as foxy or as catty as their facial appearance suggests.
They can be fiercely loyal but can sometimes show signs of aggression.
The Australian Shepherd has a more level disposition, is somewhat reserved, but extremely intelligent and devoted to the pack.
One can expect that a Shiba Inu and Australian Shepherd mix would normalize some of the Shiba Inu’s aggressiveness and possessiveness while upping the loyalty and friendliness present in both breeds.
Both breeds are rather sensitive when it comes to reprimanding, which may cause them to exhibit more anxiety than relaxed breeds.
Both parent breeds are normally good with behaved children.
You can also count on the Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd mix to be a wonderful watch dog, since both breeds are extremely vigilant and protective of their flock and pack.
The energy levels of a Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd mix have the potential to be quite high. Both dog breeds have a lot of energy.
While a purebred Shiba Inu will adapt well to apartment life, an Australian Shepherd will not.
Both dogs need ample space, but the Aussie needs open fields to run. The amount of stimulation required may either be lessened or heightened in the mixed breed puppy.
Daily walks, training, and games are crucial to making sure the Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd puppy or dog does not start digging holes, chewing or shredding furniture, and destroying shoes left around the house.
The impulse to wander in both breeds - especially the Shiba - is very high. Never let your Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd mix off the leash if the area is not enclosed.
Left: Australian Shepherd, Right: Shiba Inu
Physical Characteristics of a Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd Dog Mix
Though there is certainly no guarantee a Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd mix will have blue eyes, dark eyes, a wedge-shaped head, sleek or muscle body, or even pointed or floppy ears, it is definitely hard to give a definitive picture of what mix of these two breeds would look like.
Usually, these Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd mixes have red, white, black, or merle coats.
Body size will be around 15-25 inches, and the weight range will be anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds.
The size depends largely on how much Australian Shepherd features your dog exhibits, as the Aussie is larger than the Shiba Inu.
The Shiba Inu appearance tends to override the Australian Shepherd features, resulting in a dog with a narrower, sleek face than a Shiba Inu but with moderately pointed ears, a longer body, and aesthetically pleasing proportionality of muscle on the front and hind quarters.
Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd Mix From Twitter:
Neko, Shiba Inu/Australian Shepherd mix (16 m/o), Greene St., NYC • "She destroys fancy things. Anything fancy. She's against the economy." pic.twitter.com/rVPyy5CI4c— The Dogist (@thedogist) March 12, 2017
Some Shiba Inu and Australian Shepherd mixes keep the curled tail. Others have the Aussie tail.
The fur quality may either be coarse or smooth; there is a chance of it being medium length and water-repellent (due to the Australian Shepherd coat).
The Shiba Inu sheds a lot more than the Australian Shepherd, but nevertheless, the mix of these two will require routine brushing and hygienic maintenance.
Health Issues of Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd Dog Mixes
Both of the parent dogs live an average of 12 to 15 years of age. If you keep your Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd mix healthy, there is no reason they should not reach this age. Any dog can develop genetic issues, even the healthiest of breeds.
Common health issues that arise in both Shiba Inu and Australian Shepherd breeds are going to also be a possibility for their offspring. The following conditions could occur in a Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd mix:
Canine hip dysplasiaPelger-Huet Syndrome
Patellar luxation (knees that slip out of place)
Eye problems like Iris Coloboma or Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Allergies, especially atopy, which causes itching, redness, and/or hair loss
The Issues With Designer Dogs
First, what exactly is a designer dog? These hybrids are the result of controlled cross-breeding between two popular purebred dogs.
“Designer dog” is merely coinage by the media after celebrities began to show interest in such hybrids.
The reason designer dogs are different from mixed-breed is the fact that the parents are purebred, meaning that specific traits will always breed true, like temperament, fur quality, and other dominant traits.
You can check out the registry for hybrid dogs with the American Canine Hybrid Club. The American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club also have some hybrids listed.
However, even when breeding purebred dogs, like a Labrador and Poodle (to make the Labradoodle) for example, there is absolutely no guarantee that the offspring with develop the desired traits.
Sadly, a designer dog that does not have the size, coat, color, health, or temperament attributes of said hybridization are often seen as less desirable.
Many of these dogs are often abandoned at dog shelters.
Many designer dog breeds are bred solely for the look or the promotion of cute names, so the mated dogs may not have undergone health screenings and other necessary tests to make sure they are healthy enough to reproduce.
By far, the most serious issue with designer dogs is the fact that they are often bred by backyard breeders or puppy mill operations.
These types of breeders often solely breed for profit without regard to the well-being of the dogs - both parents and puppies.
Designer dog breeds do not have notable registries like the AKC to oversee both health and breeding standards.
Amateur and novice breeders take advantage of the fact that it is hard to judge the standards of their puppies being that they come from two entirely different dog breeds.
In short, a Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd mix puppy could develop all the issues - positive and negative - of both breeds.
Should I Get a Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd Mix?
By no means should anyone ever seek out a designer dog breed merely for looks and the hope that the positive traits displayed by both breeds will be present in the mixed offspring.
As with any dog, a Shiba Inu Australian Shepherd mix needs plenty of exercise, an assertive owner, and one who can stimulate the mental capabilities of a highly intelligent mixed breed.
For new owners especially, the Aussie Inu may be a challenging dog to both train and control, due to the free-thinking characteristics of the Shiba Inu personality and the sensitivity of the Australian Shepherd.
Only responsible owners with some experience raising and training a dog should opt for this mix.
Also, never go to a breeder who is solely after aesthetic appearances and does not have proper health records for their puppies. Always consider adopting or rescuing your next dog, no matter the breed.
We here at My First Shiba Inu never advocate for the "purchasing" of designer dogs. There are just too many of these types of mixes produced by backyard breeders and puppy mills.
However, we do advocate for rescuing dogs in need. We provide information on Shiba Inu mixes to those that already have this type of dog or are thinking about rescuing a Shiba Inu mix in need.