Are you looking to add a new four-legged member to the family? What breed should your next dog be? While many owners have their favorites, consider the relatively new designer breed, the Auss-Tzu, which is a blend of the most favorable traits of two purebred dogs.
The Standard Auss-Tzu, also known as the Miniature Auss-Tzu, is a mix of the trainable but determined Miniature Australian Shepherd and the stubborn but sociable Shih-Tzu breeds. This designer breed is a great companion animal. The Auss-Tzu is family and kid-friendly, has lots of energy, and can be taught basic commands with persistence. Although sufficient daily exercise and maintenance are required for this breed to thrive, the loyalty it exhibits to its owner and its inherent playfulness will prove worth the effort.
What Is the Auss-Tzu?
Quick Facts about the Auss-Tzu:
The Auss-Tzu is a medium-sized, solid dog who makes an excellent choice for active families with kids and other pets. It enjoys daily walks, can take in long hikes with ease, and thrives best in a home with a fenced yard where it can run and be active. However, it can reside comfortably in an apartment as long as sufficient outdoor play time is provided.
The Auss-Tzu is an intelligent dog and a quick learner. Many owners have reported only one training session is needed to teach a command. For the best results, training should begin early while the dog is still in adolescence.
Because of its designer breed status, the Auss-Tzu is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, it is recognized as a member of the following clubs:
- American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC)
- Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA)
- International Designer Canine Registry® (IDCR)
- Designer Breed Registry (DBR)
Otherwise, it is difficult to know with certainty which of the original breeds’ known physical and personality traits will dominate over the other. Your Auss-Tzu may exhibit the willfulness or fierce loyalty of the Shih-Tzu or the outgoing and playful nature of the Australian Shepherd or any combination of those traits.
The Auss-Tzu’s coat color is also non-standard. It can range from white to brown to black. The fluffy, long hair may be straight, curly or a combination of both. Daily brushing will keep the dog’s coat shiny and free from tangles. Regular trimming once or twice a month is also necessary to keep the coat from getting matted and the skin under the coat healthy.
Auss-Tzu Health and Care Routine
Auss-Tzu Temperament and Personality
The Auss-Tzu is a playful and energetic dog. The designer breed gets along easily with kids and other pets. It loves to play and run in the yard, it enjoys long walks and rigorous hikes, and it will settle down to snuggle at night. The Auss-Tzu does not bark frequently, which the neighbors will appreciate. Occasionally, the herding instinct of the Australian Shepherd causes the dog to herd children and other pets. This characteristic can be trained out with early socializing and keeping the dog active.
Auss-Tzu Best Training Techniques
The headstrong, stubborn DNA of the Shih-Tzu may make training more of a challenge than with other breeds.
Rewards-based training with patience and consistency is going to be your best approach. Make use of training treats and lots of praise as your companion learns new commands. The option to call in a professional trainer or sign up for obedience classes can always be exercised if training on your own does not lead to your desired results.
Auss-Tzu Basics of Grooming
The Auss-Tzu should be bathed at least a couple of times per month, if not weekly, and brushed daily or at least four times a week. The soft, thick coat will present with either the Australian Shepherd’s moderate shedding or the Shih Tzu’s low shedding. The length and waviness of the hair will be determined by which breed is dominant. The Shih-Tzu tends to have longer, wavy hair while the Australian Shepherd’s hair is medium length and straight. Though the Shih Tzu breed is known for its hypoallergenic fur, most Auss-Tzus do not retain the hypoallergenic trait.
In addition, the designer breed typically has floppy ears that fall forward. They require regular inspection and cleaning to avoid possible infection.
Auss-Tzu Essential Grooming Accessories
Since the Auss-Tzu requires regular brushing, it is a good idea to invest in the proper tools to avoid matting. A pin brush can be useful for long coats. The long pins with rounded tips can easily brush through the top and undercoats simultaneously. A slicker brush is ideal for shorter hair. The pins are shorter and are generally set wider apart. A bristle brush can be used at the end of brushing to make your dog’s coat shine. Like human hair, it leaves the coat smooth and silky.
Clipping your Auss-Tzu’s nails can also be done at home with the proper tools. A good set of guillotine nail trimmers will work better than regular nail clippers. The guillotine trimmers are easy to maneuver and are strong enough to easily cut through thick nails. When trimming, cut little bits of nail at a time, examine the middle after each trim, and stop cutting when the color of the nail looks different in the center. This means you’re close to a nerve and that’s close enough.
Auss-Tzu Feeding and Dietary Requirements
The Auss-Tzu requires a healthy diet of nutrient-rich food without excess fillers. This breed is prone to gain weight, so it is important to offer food two to three times a day rather than leave food out for grazing.
How to choose an Auss-Tzu breeder
Finding a reputable breeder can be tricky. Anyone can host a website and claim they practice good breeding techniques. Genuine breeders care more about the condition and pedigree of their dogs than they do about making a sale. Some clues to look for when researching breeders are:
- The breeder is not concerned about making a profit,
- The breeder focuses on the dogs, their litters and their pedigrees,
- The breeder’s website will contain detailed information about their practices,
- The website will also contain many pictures of the dogs and their pups.
What to look for when adopting from a rescue or shelter
If your preference is to locate an Auss-Tzu from a shelter or rescue program, it is best to contact your local rescue group and ask for referrals. They may also have information on local breed clubs and responsible breeders.
Auss-Tzu Owner Experiences
Share your best stories and feedback for other owners of the Auss-Tzu to provide the best owner experience.
The designer Auss-Tzu breed is an excellent choice for companionship. Its friendly disposition and active nature will complement all the members of your household for many years. A measure of care is needed to make sure this breed thrives, but your Auss-Tzu will adore the attention from you while you enjoy its company.