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 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 creating a lovely dog whose name proudly explains its ancestry. So, meet the Golden Retrievers.
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
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.
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, 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 with 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.