United States
Australian Shepherd
Flat Coated Retriever
The Aussie-Flat, a combination of Australian Shepherd and the Flat Coated Retriever, is a personable new hybrid that is not yet registerable with either The American Canine Hybrid Club or with the National Hybrid Registry. These large sized dogs are friendly, bright animals which are frequently employed as guide dogs for the blind. They are good with children and small animals, and the herding tendency of the Australian Shepherd is somewhat mitigated by the general retriever personality. The relatively easy to groom Aussie-Flat is also a responsive and high energy companion that will require plenty of exercise to keep happy and healthy.
Companion, security
Date of Origin
Australian Shepherd, Siberian Husky

Aussie-Flat Breed History

The new hybrid that is known as the Aussie-Flat is either so new or so rare that is not yet registerable with either The American Canine Hybrid Club or with the National Hybrid Registry. The modern Australian Shepherd was actually developed in the farmlands of the United States in the late 19th century rather than in Australia, as the name would suggest. This breed was developed by cattle and sheep herders, most likely from Basque shepherding dogs that traveled from Australia to America in the early 1800’s. The herding dogs developed by the Basque people, 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 America in order to develop an agile and enduring herding animal. The Flat Coated Retriever, like most retriever breeds, was developed as a gun dog, employed to flush birds and retrieve them when shot. The original “retriever” was a large Newfoundland-like canine mixed with Setters, Spaniels, and water dogs. It wasn’t until the mid to late 1800’s that a distinction was made between a curly and a flat coat, known then as smooth coated. The Flat Coated Retriever was recognized by the Kennel Club of England in 1874, and by the American Kennel Club in 1909. The mix between the Australian Shepherd and the Flat Coated Retriever is frequently bred for and well-suited to the job of guide dog for the blind. The Australian Shepherd tends to be an efficient guide dog moving quickly with little hesitation, and the Flat Coated Retriever is a more careful and deliberate guide. In most cases, the Aussie-Flat is an F1 cross, meaning that the parents are both purebred rather than hybrid dogs being bred to other hybrids of this type. At this point, breeding only F1 crosses may help to avoid many of the problems like blindness and deafness that are associated with a dog that has a double copy of the Merle coloration gene. Canines of this variety that are not used as guide dogs may make suitable hunting partners, and will definitely make a companionable and somewhat protective family dog.

Aussie-Flat Breed Appearance

The Aussie-Flat crossbreed of dog is so new that no standard for appearance has been set, and there can be many variations even within the same litter of puppies. They are fairly large dogs, typically between 20 and 24 inches tall and weighing in at between 40 to 75 pounds. The structure of the top of the head is most often relatively flat, although some Aussie-Flats may have slightly rounded skulls. The muzzle, eyes, and ears of these hybrids could vary quite a bit. The muzzle itself can range from the powerful, broad muzzle of the Retriever to the more tapering muzzle of the Australian Shepherd, but the lips should be close-fitting rather than pendulous. Both parent breeds have almond shaped eyes, and this is typically what we see for the hybrid as well, and they can come in brown, hazel, and blue. Their ears tend to sit high on their head, but they may fold forward like the Australian Shepherd, or they might hang from the side like the Flat Coated Retriever. Both dogs have a somewhat waterproof, medium length coat that is either straight or with a slight wave to it. The Australian Shepherd, however, has a thick undercoat that is not present in the Flat Coated Retriever so the Aussie-Flat may have either the double or the single coat.

Aussie-Flat Breed Maintenance

The grooming involved for this particular crossbreed is relatively simple, but regular grooming should never be neglected. Bathing is typically an as needed exercise, and overly frequent bathing may strip these dogs of much-needed oils to coat their fur. Both parent breeds shed moderately during most of the year and will require a thorough brushing at least once a week. In the spring and fall, the amount of shedding increases significantly and brushing sessions should occur several times a week to remove the dead hair and prevent tangling. Although Aussies are unlikely to drool in great quantities, Retrievers can sometimes be heavy droolers. Fortunately, the Flat Coated Retriever does not have this tendency, and the Aussie-Flat remains a relatively drool-free companion.

Aussie-Flat Activity Requirements

These dogs are typically friendly, alert, and intelligent animals that are exceptionally responsive to their owners. They are typically bred for the qualities that make a good guide dog, and if properly socialized these dogs should be confident and attentive animals with a keen awareness of their surroundings. The prey and herding drive of the Australian Shepherd may make an appearance, but it is more likely to be moderated by the nature of the Flat Coat. Both breeds are highly intelligent and can be trained for many situations, however, they may tend toward stubbornness if their early training was neglected. They tend to be patient and companionable with kids and smaller animals, and most are outgoing with strangers. This combination of breeds tends to be both vocal and mouthy and may try to lead their owners or other family members around by the hand. If this behavior is not desired, it should be addressed early; if these behavior traits become ingrained when the canine is young, it may become very difficult to train them out of it.

Aussie-Flat Owner Experiences

Mallakai aka Mally
8 Months
8 People
House & Yard
Strange at first, but now loving member of family, very loyal and very protective
11 months ago
5 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Very loving dog with entire family. And Louie his pack brother.
1 year ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd