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Australian Retriever: The Unique Breed of Dog You Didn’t Know Existed



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Both the Australian Shepherd and the Golden Retriever are trendy dogs. They sit high at the popularity ranking scale, with the Aussie being 12th, while the Goldie is seated in the high 4th place. These are magnificent breeds.

Aussies were bred to herd, and the latter was created to retrieve the game during a hunt. However, both species make lovely home pets. They are intelligent, loyal, affectionate, and entertaining.

Now imagine if somebody was about to crossbreed these two beautiful dogs. Well, somebody already did. It resulted in the creation of a lovely dog whose name proudly explains its ancestry. So, meet the Golden Retrievers.

Key Takeaway

  • An Australian Retriever is a hybrid dog breed that’s a mix between an Australian Shepherd and a Golden Retriever, known for its intelligence, energy, and friendly nature.
  • An Australian Retriever is a hybrid dog breed that’s a mix between an Australian Shepherd and a Golden Retriever, known for its intelligence, energy, and friendly nature.
  • The Australian Retriever typically has a medium to large build, with a coat that can range from straight to wavy and varies in color, often featuring the merle pattern of the Australian Shepherd, and has expressive eyes that can be brown or blue.
  • The maintenance of an Australian Retriever involves regular grooming, which can cost around $30-$60 monthly, preventive medical care that ranges from $380 to $825 annually, and the initial purchase price for a puppy can range between $200 and $1,000.
  • Australian Retrievers are known for their friendly, intelligent, and energetic temperament, requiring daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

What’s an Australian Retriever?

As its name strongly suggests, the Australian Retriever is a mix of the Golden Retriever and the Australian Shepherd. American breeders created this hybrid pup around 2007. As soon as people discovered this furry delight, they wanted to buy them. Thus, breeders continued to produce them. 

Very little is known about the Australian Retriever history. Since it’s a new breed, its creators finalized the development in 2007. A breeder in the United States crossbred a male Aussie with three female Golden Retrievers. The initial litter had four puppies, with more following. They registered this hybrid breed with the Australian Canine Hybrid Club in 2008.  

Australian Retriever is the name that was given to the new dog. However, they are also known as Golden Shepherds. These dogs inherited the best from both breeds.

As both parents are working dogs, the Australian Retriever can herd and retrieve the game. Also, they are capable of doing a plethora of other jobs. These pups can be used as guide dogs, search and rescue dogs or service dogs.

Besides their working abilities, Golden Shepherds are also phenomenal home pets. They get along with everyone, including children and other animals.

However, the genes of the Australian Shepherd are still strong. Aussie Retrievers will also try and herd everything around them. Thus, there is a need for early training and socialization. On the plus side, they inherited the low soundness of the Golden Retriever so that they won’t bark as much as the Aussie Shepherd.

The Appearance of The Australian Retriever

Australian Retriever The Unique Breed of Dog You Didn't Know Existed

The Golden Shepherd comes in a variety of colors. Their coats can be merle, brown, white, black, golden, and light golden. The Golden Retriever inherited the broadhead, wide muzzle, and round black nose. However, the looks of the Aussie Retriever can vary from dog to dog. It all depends on how many genes the dog got from its parents.

These pups are bigger than their ancestors. Both Australian Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs, with a maximum height of 23 inches. However, their hybrid child stands about 30 inches tall.

This dog has an athletic body like the Aussie Shepherd, thus weighing around 60 pounds on average. Both parents of the Aussie Retriever have floppy ears. So, their hybrid child’s ears also hang. The eyes of this dog are small, round, and bright says DogLime.

Australian Retriever Maintenance and Cost

Australian Retrievers are high-maintenance dogs when it comes to their grooming needs. These pups have long, coarse fur. Same as its parents, the Aussie Retriever has a double-layered coat. The inner coat serves as an insulator, while the outer one waterproofs the dog. Because of this, Golden Shepherds do well in both summer and winter.

However, these dogs shed a lot. Maybe even more than their parents. They would shed throughout the entire year. A more excessive shedding occurs in autumn and spring. As a result, the Australian Retriever requires brushing to be done at least twice a week. However, you will need to brush your pup every day during shedding seasons.

You will need a slicker brush and a de-shedding brush as far as grooming tools go. Bathing the Aussie Retriever should be done once every six weeks or when the dog gets dirty. It would help if you cleaned the ears of this dog twice a week. Nail trimming is performed once a month.

The Australian Retriever has inherited the love for food from the Aussie Shepherd. Therefore, they are prone to obesity. These dogs need a healthy diet. However, they also need caloric food to provide energy due to their high activity. Two to three cups of dry dog food should be enough. If you notice the food you feed your dog does not suit its needs, consult your veterinarian.

As far as it goes for the price of the Australian Retriever, expect to pay as much as $700. This is the average price. However, due to various factors, this price can be even higher. Monthly costs for having a Golden Shepherd pet should vary from $80 to $200 for an adult dog. However, higher expenditures during the dog’s first year are to be expected.

Temperament and Exercise Needs of an Australian Retriever

The Australian Retriever is a loving, affectionate, loyal, and playful dog, the same as its parents. These dogs get along well with humans and other animals. They are known to bond with their owners and stick to them at all times.

Aussie Retrievers don’t bark too much. However, they can be aloof with strangers. Early socialization is recommended. Also, they are known to be possessive of their belongings. This issue must be observed if the dog lives in a home with children.

These dogs are easy to train. They have inherited the high intelligence of both parents. Herding tendencies, obedience, and possessiveness should be resolved by training. Aussie Retrievers pups are also very energetic, thus requiring lots of activities.

At least 2 hours of daily exercise is needed for Aussie Retrievers. However, splitting these exercises into two daily sessions would be best. If not correctly worn out, Australian Retrievers tend to become destructive.

Some good exercises for an Australian Retriever include playing fetch, going on long walks or runs, and swimming. These activities help to keep your dog healthy and fit, and can also be fun bonding experiences for you and your pet.

Swimming is especially beneficial for Australian Retrievers as it helps to build muscle and keep their joints flexible. If you’re looking for a way to tire out your dog without spending hours at the park, consider teaching them how to play fetch with a Frisbee or other flying disc.

Another great exercise option for Australian Retrievers is agility training. This type of activity helps improve coordination and balance, while also providing mental stimulation. It’s a great way to bond with your dog while also getting some exercise yourself!

Health Issues and Lifespan

The Australian Retriever’s average life expectancy is somewhere between 11 to 14 years. However, some may live as long as 15 years with proper care. The oldest recorded Australian Retriever was 18 years old. In general, they are healthy dogs. However, there are certain health issues these dogs have inherited from their parents.

Similar to Golden Retrievers, they can be prone to developing cancer. Also, they took over some issues from the Australian Shepherd as well. So, these dogs can also suffer from eye issues, hip and elbow display, and obesity.


Q: How big do Australian Retrievers typically get?

A: Australian Retrievers are medium-sized dogs, usually standing between 18 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 45 and 65 pounds.

Q: What is the temperament of an Australian Retriever?

A: Australian Retrievers are known for being intelligent, loyal, and friendly. They are typically good with children and other pets, making them great family dogs.

Q: Do Australian Retrievers require a lot of exercise?

A: Yes, Australian Retrievers are an active and energetic breed, so they require daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They enjoy activities like playing fetch, going for walks, and participating in dog sports.

Q: How much grooming do Australian Retrievers need?

A: Australian Retrievers have a medium-length, water-resistant double coat. They require regular brushing to prevent matting and occasional bathing. Additionally, their ears should be checked regularly for any signs of infection.

Q: Are Australian Retrievers easy to train?

A: Yes, Australian Retrievers are highly intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. They excel in obedience training and can also participate in agility or other dog sports.

Q: Do Australian Retrievers have any health issues?

A: Like any breed, Australian Retrievers may be prone to certain health issues. Some common ones include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet can help minimize these risks.

Q: Are Australian Retrievers good with children?

A: Yes, Australian Retrievers are generally good with children. They are known for being patient and gentle, making them a suitable choice for families with young kids.

Q: How long do Australian Retrievers typically live?

A: Australian Retrievers have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, depending on various factors such as their overall health, diet, and exercise level.

Q: Where can I find Australian Retriever puppies for adoption?

A: You can find Australian Retriever puppies for adoption at local animal shelters, rescue groups, or through reputable breeders. It is important to do thorough research and choose a responsible source to ensure the well-being of the puppy.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, the Australian Retriever is a unique and loyal breed of dog that many people may not be aware of.

With its thick fur coat, strong build, and protective nature, this breed makes for an excellent companion and guardian.

Its intelligence also allows them to excel in activities such as agility training and hunting.

If you’re looking for a family pet or a hunting companion, the Australian Retriever is one breed you should strongly consider.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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