Australian Shepherd
Shih Tzu
The Auss-Tzu, a cross between a Miniature Australian Shepherd and a Shih-Tzu, is a small friendly dog with a thick, silky coat, which requires daily grooming. They are active dogs who require a high fat, high protein diet for optimal health. They were developed as companion animals, and are typically unsuited to guard work; however, they are well suited to many other activities, such as flyball, agility training, and trick training. They are better suited to a house, preferably with at least a small yard than an apartment but they are not particularly noisy or messy animals, so if given enough exercise and attention they can successfully reside in an apartment.
Date of Origin
Australian Shepherd, Shih Tzu

Auss-Tzu Breed History

The Auss-Tzu is a recent designer dog, a mix between a Miniature Australian Shepherd and a Shih-Tzu. The Shih-Tzu is a very old breed that hails from China. It is believed to have been developed from the Lhasa Apso, a tiny guard dog from Tibet, that was bred with small Chinese dogs, such as the Pekingese. Designed to be a companion and a watchdog, the Shih-Tzu was favored by Chinese royalty for many centuries because of its flowing, hypoallergenic coat and its friendly personality. The Australian Shepherd as we know it today was actually developed in the United States, mostly by cattle and sheep herders in the mid to late 19th century, although much of their early history is from Basque shepherding dogs that traveled from Australia to America in the early 1800’s. These dogs, most likely Pyrenean Sheepdogs that had been crossed with a Collie type breed are believed to have been crossed with other hard working stock dogs in order to develop an agile and enduring herding animal. The miniature Australian Shepherd was developed in the 1960’s to create a smaller version of these energetic and versatile dogs. Cross breeding the brachycephalic Shih-Tzu to the longer muzzled Australian Shepherd usually increases the length of the muzzle, which makes it easier for these dogs to breathe and prevents brachycephalic syndrome from developing. In some cases, the addition of the hypoallergenic Shih-Tzu to the Miniature Australian Shepherd can produce a hypoallergenic animal; however, the majority of Auss-Tzu dogs are not hypoallergenic.

Auss-Tzu Breed Appearance

There is no current standard for this particular crossbreed, and there can be a great deal of variation between Auss-Tzus, even within the same litter. They tend to be small dogs, around nine to eleven inches in height and In most cases, the skull is rather broad, and the face has a slightly rounded shape with moderately sized ears that tend to flop forward or to the sides, although some of these dogs have ears that hang down from the side of their heads. They generally have large, rounded eyes with an expressive and alert expression and the majority of Auss-Tzu dogs sport a thick silky coat that can be either straight or wavy and comes in many different colors and patterns. With various shades and patterns of black, brown, tan, gray, and white, their coat can run from medium-length to long and generally requires daily grooming in order to prevent unsightly and uncomfortable tangles and matting.

Auss-Tzu Breed Maintenance

The required maintenance for this crossbreed can vary due to differing coat lengths and textures that may emerge. They typically require more maintenance than most Australian Shepherds but less than the average Shih-Tzu. Weekly or twice monthly bathing is generally sufficient, but brushing and combing should be a daily activity as their silky coats are frequently prone to tangles and mats that if left untended may cause damage to the underlying skin. Although dental care is important for all canines, smaller dogs and dogs that have shortened muzzles like the Shih-Tzu are more likely to develop dental problems than others, so dental hygiene may be especially important for many of these dogs.

Auss-Tzu Activity Requirements

The Auss-Tzu is a lively and friendly little dog, a trait that it shares with both of its parent breeds. They tend to be playful high energy dogs, with an outgoing nature. This friendliness and their small size make them generally unsuited to the job of guard dog, although the more protective nature of the Australian Shepherd may come through on occasion. Both the Miniature Australian Shepherd and the Shih-Tzu are typically considered to be good companions for children when properly socialized, and the same holds true for the Auss-Tzu. They are usually friendly and sociable with other animals as well, but some of these dogs may have the tendency to try and herd smaller animals and fast moving children by nipping at their heels. Although they are very intelligent, they can also be quite stubborn and occasionally difficult to train, particularly if their training is delayed until after their adolescence.

Auss-Tzu Owner Experiences

9 Weeks
2 People
House & Yard
We just brought her home yesterday. She cried all the way home in the car and was shaking and didn't want to get out of my lap when we got home. After about an hour she was better. She slept beside our bed in her dog bed really well. She's very sweet.
7 months, 2 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd