The Ausky is a designer dog that is a cross between the intelligent Blue Heeler (also known as the Australian Cattle Dog) and active Siberian Husky, two of the most energetic dog breeds known. The result of this mix is a dog that is very active, smart, and good at socializing.
Huskies are incredibly active and not suited for many households, especially those with sedentary lifestyles. Both parent breeds are tremendously active breeds that need loads of exercise each day.
Inadequate exercised Auskies can become disobedient and willful and develop other behavioral issues down the road.
To understand the Ausky, first, we need to understand both the parent breeds.
History of the Blue Heeler
The history of the Blue Heeler, also called Australian Cattle Dog, can be traced back to the 19th century. The Australian ranchers did a lot of breeding and crossbreeding before finally developing a dog suited to work in partnership with them herding cattle.
They were considered integral to cattle ranching then and played a significant part in expanding the beef industry in Australia.
Blue Heelers were bred from the native Australian wild dogs, Dingoes, and other herding breeds. Bred to withstand the extreme heat of the Australian outback, they possess a high level of intelligence but can be willful and stubborn. They are fiercely loyal, independent, and can work with minimal instructions.
Blue Heelers are known as “shadow dogs” because they are so attached to their owners that they “shadow” them all day. Because of this strong attachment, they can be prone to separation anxiety.
History of The Husky
In the early twentieth century, Huskies were native to Northeast Asia and were brought to America through Alaska. They are classified as working dogs and were initially used as sled dogs by the Chukchi people.
They have incredible stamina; although they can run fast, their optimal gait is more like a loping run. Besides being a sled dog, the Siberian Husky was also a protective family dog, helping keep the Chukchi children warm during the winter. In summer, they were released to hunt alone and independently.
Huskies became famous from the story, and movie, Balto. During the diphtheria outbreak, Huskies were used as the only way to transport the anti-toxin to Nome, Alaska. This extreme sled route is still honored today by teams of dogs running the biggest dog race globally, the controversial Iditarod.
Today, the prey drive is still present in Huskies, and although they are unlikely to hurt a smaller animal, they love a good chase.
They are escape artists that will find a way to get free if you let them. Huskies have been known to jump six-foot fences and squeeze through gaps to get free and run off. They enjoy exploring on their own and chasing stuff, so they should always be leashed on walks.
The Ausky, also known as the Aussie-Siberian Husky or Siberian Australian Shepherd, is a cross between the Blue Heeler and the Siberian Husky. The earliest record of this breed’s existence was in 1990, and since then, many people have been fascinated by them and want to own one of their own.
This breed is a more recent mix, and while they are not nearly as popular as other mixes such as the Pomsky, they continue to gain fans worldwide due to their adorable appearance and intelligence.
The Ausky comes in various colors, including blue merle (a color pattern often found in Australian Cattle Dogs), black and white, brown and white, red and white, or black.
They also have physical traits of both breeds that they are bred from, such as the Blue Heeler’s signature speckled coat coloration or the Husky’s wolf-like appearance with pointy ears and a long muzzle.
The Ausky Temperament
An Ausky’s temperament varies depending on the dog’s genetics, but one thing’s for sure, they are canine brainiacs. They can be great family pets, as they love human attention and bond closely with their owners. However, their high energy levels and potential stubbornness make them unsuitable for specific households, including inexperienced owners and owners with sedentary lifestyles.
They are persistent, intelligent, upbeat, and protective. All of these strong personalities traits that allowed them to be self-sufficient in the wild are now traits that might be challenging for some owners, especially those with little experience with stubborn breeds.
Training needs to be done thoroughly as a mentally unstimulated Ausky can lead to behavioral problems such as separation anxiety, willfulness, disobedience.
Dog personalities vary, but training and early socialization can influence a dog’s character development. Auskies do not enjoy being confined and are ill-suited for apartment living.
Both the Blue Heeler and the Australian Cattle Dog are breeds that are used to running many miles a day, constantly on the move with great physical activity.
The Ausky will suit the very active owner who wants a hiking, running, or biking companion. A mere 30-minute walk a day might not be enough for an Ausky, depending on age and the individual dog’s requirements.
An excellent activity for an Ausky is agility training. Their pure athleticism and lean, muscular bodies were built for the agility course!
In general, Auskies are healthy dogs, inheriting the best of both worlds from Siberian Huskies and Blue Heelers. In addition, mixed breed dogs are less likely to develop genetic diseases than purebred dogs.
Auskies have a lifespan of 11 to 15 years and are genetically predisposed to a few health problems of the two parent breeds, like:
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Corneal dystrophy
While a minor concern is a visual and auditory impairment, routine eye examinations and hearing tests are still necessary to monitor the possibility of developing eye and ear problems.
Feed them 2-3 cups of high-quality large-breed dog food to keep them healthy. Don’t overdo the treats, and use only high-quality treats. Treats should not exceed 10% of their daily food intake.
If you are unsure how much to feed, consult a veterinary professional.
Avoid feeding cheap dog food containing low-quality fillers like soy and grains and sacrifice essential nutrients like protein and carbohydrates. Protein sources from high-quality food can be derived from plant and animal sources.
You can give your Ausky food and snacks made of lamb, pork, chicken, fish, vegetables, and fruits. A diet rich in protein and omega-3 is essential for maintaining healthy skin and coat. Add probiotics to improve Ausky’s liver and kidney health. Adding carrots, a rich source of vitamin A can also help keep dental teeth and reduce plaque and tartar.
The Ausky Appearance
An Ausky’s body is lean, muscular, and athletic, with a body slightly longer than tall.
The average height for female Ausky is 17 to 20 inches with a weight of 35 to 65 lbs. For male Ausky, the average size is 17 to 25 inches with a weight of 35 to 65 lbs.
Their skull shape is generally broad, with a medium-length snout. Auskies have almond-shaped eyes and have two possible colors, blue or brown. There is a chance that they are heterochromatic, meaning they have one blue eye and one brown.
Their ears are shaped like an upright triangle pointing upwards, with heavy fur on the insides. The nose can be black or brown, and their short to medium coats are thick and double-coated. The coat texture is straight and heavily furred. Auskies tend to shed heavily, especially during the warmer months when they start to blow off their undercoats.
Possible coat colors are black, blue, brown, cream, gray, red, silver, and white. Merle is also typical in Auskies. Merle refers to their coat’s mottling or speckling pattern rather than being an actual color.
The Ausky Grooming and Maintenance
Grooming needs differ between individual dogs. If an Ausky inherits the Blue Heeler coat, they will shed significantly less and require less brushing. However, Siberian Huskies are notorious shedders, so a daily brush might be needed if the Ausky inherits the Husky coat.
Auskies will shed heavier in spring and fall and require more frequent brushings.
Bathe only when an Ausky starts to get dirty, as bathing too frequently can strip the coat of natural oils and cause dry or flaky skin. An alternative to bathing can be using deodorizing wipes. We like these mild wipes from Nature’s Miracle.
When using a shampoo, use a natural shampoo free of any harmful chemicals that might irritate the skin. This organic oatmeal shampoo for Pro Pet works wonders for dogs with sensitive skin.
Unless an Ausky frequently runs on hard surfaces like asphalt and naturally wears their nails down, they will need their nails trimmed to avoid any discomfort.
Brush their teeth daily with a canine toothbrush and some meat-flavored toothpaste to reduce the risk of dental, mouth, and gum disease.
Clean their ears with a natural ear cleaning solution to remove any wax or dirt buildup and reduce the risk of ear infections. This natural ear cleaner by Vet Organics works wonders to remove wax.
Their eyes can be wiped with an eye cleaner like this one from Amazon to remove any buildup of debris and prevent tear stains.
How Much Do Auskies Cost
Being a rare and relatively new designer dog breed, prices of Ausky litters can vary wildly, depending on geographical factors, bloodline, and the quality of a breeder.
While the average price is $1,000 to $3,000, Auskies bred from two show-quality purebred parents can cost up to $5,000.
In addition, Auskys with heterochromatic eyes are much rarer and usually sold at a higher price.
The Ausky requires training from a young age because their two parent breeds, although highly intelligent, can be stubborn and willful.
You’ll need to teach an Ausky boundaries from an early age. Introduce them early to household members such as babies, small children, or your other pets, especially those smaller than them. They inherit hunting and herding instincts from their parents, and socialization is needed so that they can distinguish between pets and prey.
As always, use positive reinforcement and be firm and consistent in your rules. Auskies are intelligent dogs who will understand and take directions quickly but always push their boundaries to see what they can get away with.
Always make training fun and upbeat. Any negativity or punishment can cause an Ausky to become bored and disinterested and merely ignore you or walk away.
Agility training is an activity made for Auskies. Their pure athleticism and agility make them naturals, and they will excel at the course.
It is always a good idea to enroll a dog in an introductory obedience course, and Auskies are no exception. Their keen intellect and need for mental stimulation will enjoy themselves, fulfilling their need to experience new things.
Can An Ausky Be A Good Family Dog?
Again, this depends on where you live and the training you give them. An Ausky is not the type of dog that will like to be confined, making them unsuitable for an apartment dweller. They will suit households with large yards or high-energy family members. They will want to go out and play or run and need loads of physical activity every day.
However, Auskies are loyal, affectionate family members that are highly attached to their pack. If the family is an active one that is constantly outdoors playing or exploring, an Ausky might be a good fit.
Early socialization and training can make an Ausky a good family dog. Their protective and loyal nature can also make them reliable guard dogs. They can be very warm and affectionate towards their family, but their hunting drive makes them prone to be suspicious of strangers.
They are not prone to aggression and suitable for children if properly introduced and socialized.
Exercise and Strength
Their agile and athletic nature requires high levels of physical activity every day to keep an Ausky happy. A mere 30-minute stroll around the block is not nearly enough.
Running or biking a good hour or a two or three-hour hike might be enough to tire these canine athletes out. Their high exercise requirements make them unsuitable for seniors or folks with sedentary lifestyles who don’t leave the house.
Just like any dog, if an Ausky does not get enough adequate exercise, it can lead to a whole host of behavioral problems. Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog!
If you cannot provide adequate physical activity outdoors during the day, you can try puzzles or games. Auskies are mischievous, playful dogs that love playtime. Interactive dog toys such as this treat-dispensing ball or this treat-dispensing slow feeder will keep them occupied and mentally stimulated for a while.
When all else fails, stuff the Classic Kong with peanut butter and freeze it for hours of fun.
When allowing your Ausky to run and play in the yard, keep in mind these cheeky guys are escape artists. Check your yard frequently for gaps in the fence or any potential escape opportunity. Once an Ausky escapes, it will be a pain in the butt to get him back!
Auskies are beautiful, loving dogs that make excellent companions and pets. However, because of their extreme athleticism and high levels of intelligence, they may not be a pet for everyone.
Prone to separation anxiety and constantly needing attention, they will do best in an active household with a family member around all the time. Thanks for reading, and good luck to you and your pooch!