I'm a lover of all things 'dog' (particularly the exploration of cross breeds - and just like to write about man's best friend.
Should you ever be in the mood to bring a dog into the family, then you will know yourself just how many breeds of dog exist.
Naturally, this can make keeping up with all of the dogs that you may wish to own quite tough.
One particular breed is becoming very popular at the moment, though, and it is a mix of the Australian Shepherd and the Pitbull.
This is, as you might imagine, known as the Australian Shepherd Pitbull Mix.
This is the kind of dog that, if you spend enough time around it, can make you feel very secure and safe indeed.
Having the combination of genetics that comes from these two proud, powerful dog breeds will ensure you are left with a dog that is very much easy to spend some time around and enjoy looking at and seeing.
However, these are not always an easy mix of dog to own.
They are frequently going to need your attention.
More importantly, they are going to need you to put in a huge amount of time to help them become the kind of dog that their high potential allows them to become.
The one thing about this kind of dog that you should immediately note is that, at least from the start, they can be quite aggressive and destructive.
If you are worried about coming home to a family heirloom trashed, an important set of paper chewed up, or a new expensive sofa torn to shreds, then you might want to consider a different breed!
If you are happy to put up with the early growing pains of owning such a dog, though, the rewards are worth it.
You would have to travel quite far to find a dog quite as enjoyable as this gorgeous cross breed.
What Do they Look Like?
When you choose to get a dog into the family home, one of the first things that you should do is evaluate how it is as a dog.
One thing that you will find with the Australian Shepherd Pitbull Mix is that it can be quite a powerful wee dog.
Despite only getting around 14-23” in size, they are often very powerful and dense little dogs.
This means that they can be as much as 75lbs in weight, meaning that one slamming into you at fast pace would be quite sore!
Therefore, given their aggressive nature (at least until it gets to know you), you might wish to keep this in mind.
They tend to have a rich variety of coat colourings, ranging from passionate red shades to simple blacks, browns, whites, and greys.
Not only that, but it’s a dog with a habit of having two, even three, shades and tones in the coat.
This double-layered coat type is very much one that will be prone to shedding, too, so keep that in mind.
They can be quite heavy shedders, so you might find the whole place getting a lot busier in terms of the sheer mess that lies around the place on a daily basis.
If you are willing to put up with that, though, you will get a very enjoyable dog to spend some time around.
While they can be a bit much at first, most of the time you should be able to grasp their personality quick enough to make a lasting connection.
So, keep this in mind. If you are someone who finds it tough to get a dog that’s powerful but also adorable, they are well-worth considering!
What is their Personality and Temperament Like?
The Aussie Pitbull is a very impressive kind of dog, not least the fact that they are so loving.
Some people can find them quite hard dogs to spend time around at first, as they can be quite snappy and aggressive with people they do not know.
It does not take long for a dog like this, though, to grow accustomed to spending time with you.
It tends to be the kind of dog that makes a really positive impression on you, and it will often be the perfect example of a dog that becomes part of the family.
However, please keep in mind that they are probably the most bark-specific dog you will ever find.
Put bluntly, they can be hard to keep quiet when they get going.
At night, especially, they look to bark away.
So, if you are someone who worries about the family dog ruining sleeping time, keep this in mind.
Around kids, too, you have to be quite strict.
They are often quite aggressive with children, which could lead to a young child reacting in a way that might startle or scare it.
When they are around any children, be sure to keep a very close eye on how it reacts.
Even when it knows the children well, they can become a breed of dog that does not know when it should stop.
As such, it could pose a risk to the child in a way that you would not have expected.
Therefore, we suggest that you look to help out by making sure it sticks around in your sight.
Be a dominant owner, too; these mix breeds respect confident owners.
Eating Habits & Diet
- Food can be a hard thing to get right with a Australian Shepherd Pitbull Mix. It is, though, very much an important thing to look at. Why? These dogs have a poor tendency to eat too much.
- If you worry that you could be seeing a dog that is eating to excess, you have to control its portions. You also need to give it plenty of protein and calcium-rich foods.
- Feed it with the best raw meats and the finest quality of dog food that you can afford.
- When it comes to eating, training your dog not to be greedy is just as important as helping your dog to maintain a healthy diet. Avoid letting it sneak food, and make food hard to find.
- Watch what your dog eats, and when it eats, and you should soon get a much clearer idea of the kind of dog that you are raising. Do this for long enough, and you’ll ‘get’ its eating needs.
- Despite being a big dog, it has plenty of natural energy. Therefore, make sure it concentrates on eating high-quality, raw foods with high fatty acids to support its development.
- Younger Australian Shepherd Pitbull Mix dogs will need lots of protein, and lots of Omega-3 fatty acids, so make sure you get it foods – and dog foods – to match this need.
- Extra fiber in the diet will help it go to the toilet easier, too, and will ensure that your dog gets an easier chance to maintain a healthy digestive tract.
When you own a dog like this, you have to be prepared for the expense of caring for it.
Despite being able to live as long as 16 years in many cases, these are dogs that can be quite ill a lot of the time.
Although the fact it comes from two durable and strong breeds, these are dogs that can often suffer from a variety of poor health issues.
Some of the most common problems include:
- Problems with vision or hearing, cause your dog to lose sense and awareness over time.
- Eye problems could also include serious issues such as cataracts, causing pain.
- Another retinal issue could include a problem known as Collie eye anomaly; rare, but dangerous.
- Mental issues including epilepsy and a condition known as cerebellar ataxia.
- Physical limitations including hip dysplasia, causing your dog to suffer poor balance.
These are all common problems that could spring up in a Australian Shepherd Pitbull Mix.
It also carries some more minor concerns, such as skin problems and allergies.
Therefore, if you notice your dog struggling to breathe at home, is coughing a lot, or appears to have irritated skin, find the source of the issue.
Lastly, be sure to keep an eye on any signs of bloating: this is a life-threatening condition that needs immediate, active attention.
Exercise & Training
As you might imagine, a dog mix like this needs a large amount of regular exercise.
One hour per day is enough, but you should be looking to use high-intensity exercises.
These are dogs that are quite aggressive naturally; this can make it hard for them to get around the place, and it can make it harder for them to burn off their aggression and upset.
Take it to a coach and make sure that you confidentially tell it what to do.
Remember, you are the boss.
Use a coach to help show you how to discipline the dog whilst earning its respect. If you do that, you will be much more likely to make it easier for your dog to use all of its excess energy up when you go for exercise
At the same time, never tie up your dog as a form of discipline.
Many people do this when they go into the store, for example, your dog will just get angry at this, and will often undo a lot of the discipline training done through coaching and exercise.
With these dogs, respect is two-way: don’t leave it tied up, or it will lose respect for you quickly.
While they can be tough dogs to raise, the humble Aussie Pitbull is definitely a dog worth persevering with.
A bit of confidence and a hint of vigilance is a good idea: make sure you follow the way that your dog acts and reacts.
Once you start to see it calming down, you are well on your way to owning a tremendous dog.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2019 Harry Sheen
Samara Brendmoen Zitnik on May 24, 2020:
We just rescued a beautiful boy from a kill shelter who Embark identified as 50/50 Australian Shepard/ Amercian Pittbull Mix. He is about 4 years old, had kennel cough, giardiasis and Heartworm. His kennel cough and giardiasis were treated and now going through the Heartworm treatment. He is the sweetest boy who cannot get enough love and attention. We have had him 6 weeks and he has not barked once. He is a large dog though was emaciated when we got him. He gained 5 pounds and is now 145. His coat is mainly black with some white ticking. The black is almost a sable and about the length of a labrador. He is smart but was definitely abused. He fears men especially if wearing a hat. My husband is doing his best to approach him in a non threatening manner and being patient while JoJo gains trust and confidence. This is one smart dog! He had no training so I just started with "sit". I asked him to sit and he had no idea what I wanted so I put one hand under his chin and lightly tapped his back just above his tail as I said "sit". He sat and every time I have asked him to sit since then, he sits! One time and he's got it. We are not doing any training or activity until after his Heartworm treatment is complete but I am confident that we are going to be a happy threesome and he will have a lot of mental and physical stimulation which will allow him to blossom. He gets along well with other dogs and cats. He loves people but also fears men which we hope he can overcome.
Ellison Hartley from Maryland, USA on June 11, 2019:
Definitely a cool looking mix of breeds!