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Saussie Breed Information

Paws Pattern

The Auss-Tzu, also known as the Saussie, is a captivating hybrid breed resulting from the mix of the Mini Australian Shepherd and the Shih Tzu. This designer dog combines the best of both worlds, offering the intelligence and work ethic of the Australian Shepherd with the affectionate and playful nature of the Shih Tzu. Known for their versatility and charm, Auss-Tzus make excellent companions for families, singles, and seniors alike. They adapt well to various living situations, whether in an apartment or a house with a yard, making them a popular choice for dog lovers seeking a balanced, loving pet. 

The Auss-Tzu typically showcases a blend of the physical and temperamental traits of its parent breeds, resulting in a unique and adorable dog that's hard to resist. Their moderate exercise needs and friendly disposition make them suitable for a wide range of households. This breed is relatively new but has quickly gained popularity due to its appealing mix of characteristics. 

BREED TYPE / MIX Hybrid / Shih Tzu crossed with a Mini Aussie ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Minimal TRAINING Responsive TEMPERAMENT Sweet, Playful, Social ADULT WEIGHT 10-20 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 10-15 inches LIFE SPAN 12-15 yrs.


  • Intelligence and Trainability: Inheriting the sharp intellect of the Australian Shepherd, Auss-Tzus are quick learners. They excel in training sessions and can pick up new commands and tricks with ease. Their eagerness to please makes them responsive to positive reinforcement techniques. 
  • Affectionate and Loyal: From the Shih Tzu side, Auss-Tzus get their loving and loyal nature. They form strong bonds with their family members and thrive on human companionship. Expect plenty of cuddles and affectionate gestures from this breed. 
  • Energetic and Playful: Auss-Tzus are active dogs that enjoy playtime and physical activities. They have a moderate to high energy level, making them great companions for outdoor adventures, agility courses, and interactive games. 
  • Sociable and Friendly: This breed is typically friendly towards strangers and other animals, making them well-suited for households with other pets. Their sociable nature helps them adapt to various social environments with ease. 
  • Adaptable: Whether living in a city apartment or a suburban home, Auss-Tzus can adapt to different living conditions as long as their exercise needs are met. They are equally comfortable in both urban and rural settings. 
  • Protective Instincts: Auss-Tzus may exhibit protective behavior towards their family, thanks to their Australian Shepherd lineage. They can be alert and make good watchdogs, alerting you to any unusual activities. 


The Auss-Tzu boasts a unique and appealing appearance, showcasing a delightful blend of the Australian Shepherd and Shih Tzu traits. This hybrid breed often varies in looks, but some common features stand out. Typically, Auss-Tzus have a compact, sturdy build, making them well-suited for both agility and lap time. Their size can vary, often leaning towards the smaller stature of the Shih Tzu while occasionally exhibiting the more robust frame of the Australian Shepherd. 

Their coat is one of their most striking features, usually a beautiful mix of colors and patterns. You might see combinations of black, white, brown, and even blue merle, inherited from the Australian Shepherd parent. The texture of their coat can also vary, from the longer, flowing hair of the Shih Tzu to the denser, slightly wavy fur of the Australian Shepherd. Regular grooming keeps their coat looking its best, highlighting the blend of textures and colors that make each Auss-Tzu unique. 

Auss-Tzus often inherit the expressive eyes of both parent breeds, which can be brown, blue, or even one of each. Their eyes are typically bright and full of intelligence, giving them an alert and friendly expression. Their ears might be floppy like the Shih Tzu or stand slightly erect like the Australian Shepherd, adding to their distinctive look. 


The Auss-Tzu’s temperament is one of its most endearing qualities, blending the best of both parent breeds to create a loving, loyal, and lively companion. Here’s what you can expect from an Auss-Tzu’s personality: 

Friendly and Outgoing: Auss-Tzus are known for their friendly nature. They typically get along well with other pets and are welcoming to strangers. Their outgoing personality ensures they fit right into family life, becoming a beloved member in no time. 

Affectionate and Devoted: This breed thrives on human interaction and forms strong bonds with family members. They’re known to be particularly affectionate, often seeking out cuddles and companionship. Their devotion means they’re often happiest when they’re close to their loved ones. 

Playful and Energetic: With a zest for life, Auss-Tzus love to play. They’re energetic dogs that enjoy a variety of activities, from playing fetch in the yard to engaging in puzzle toys that challenge their intellect.  

Intelligent and Curious: Inherited from the Australian Shepherd, the Auss-Tzu’s intelligence is evident in their quick learning and curiosity. They enjoy mental stimulation and are often seen exploring their environment or mastering new tricks. Their inquisitive nature keeps them engaged and responsive to training. 

Adaptable and Versatile: Whether it’s a bustling household or a quiet apartment, the Auss-Tzu’s adaptable nature allows them to thrive in various settings. They’re versatile dogs that adjust well to changes in their environment, provided their needs for companionship and exercise are met. 

Calm and Gentle: While they have their energetic moments, Auss-Tzus also know how to be calm and gentle. They can relax and unwind with their family, enjoying quiet moments just as much as playtime. This balance makes them suitable for both active and more laid-back households. 



Grooming an Auss-Tzu requires regular attention to keep their unique coat in top condition. Given the mix of the Australian Shepherd's dense fur and the Shih Tzu's long, flowing hair, grooming needs can vary but are generally more demanding than average. 

An Auss-Tzu's coat can range from medium to long, with some having a wavy or slightly curly texture. Brushing at least two to three times a week helps prevent matting and tangling, which are common issues due to their mixed coat. Regular brushing also helps manage shedding, keeping their fur healthy and shiny. During shedding seasons, daily brushing may be necessary to keep loose hair under control. 

Bathing should be done every four to six weeks, or as needed, depending on their activity level and coat condition. Use a gentle, dog-specific shampoo to avoid drying out their skin. Regular baths help maintain a clean coat and prevent any unpleasant odors. Make sure to thoroughly dry their fur after bathing to prevent any dampness that could lead to skin issues. 

Ears should be checked weekly for signs of infection or buildup. Clean them gently with a vet-recommended ear cleaner to prevent infections, especially if your Auss-Tzu has the floppy ears common to Shih Tzus. Regular ear care helps maintain their overall health and comfort. 

Nail trimming is another essential part of the grooming routine. Active Auss-Tzus might naturally wear down their nails, but it's still important to check and trim them regularly to avoid overgrowth, which can lead to discomfort or injury. 

Oral hygiene should not be overlooked. Brush your Auss-Tzu's teeth several times a week to prevent dental issues and maintain good oral health. Dental chews and regular vet check-ups can also help keep their teeth clean and healthy. 

Professional grooming every few months can be beneficial, especially for trimming and managing their coat length. A groomer can provide a thorough cleaning, ensure nails are properly trimmed, and maintain a tidy appearance. 

Exercise Needs

The Auss-Tzu is an active and energetic breed that thrives on regular exercise and mental stimulation. Combining the high energy levels of the Australian Shepherd with the playful nature of the Shih Tzu, Auss-Tzus need a well-rounded exercise routine to stay happy and healthy. 

Daily walks are essential for this breed. Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of walking each day to help burn off their energy and keep them physically fit. Walks not only provide physical exercise but also offer mental stimulation through exposure to different sights, sounds, and smells. 

In addition to walks, Auss-Tzus enjoy more vigorous activities. Interactive play sessions, such as fetch, tug-of-war, or agility courses, are excellent ways to engage their bodies and minds. These activities help channel their energy positively and prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors. 

Auss-Tzus also benefit from off-leash playtime in a secure area. A fenced yard provides a safe space for them to run and explore freely. If a yard isn't available, visits to a dog park can be a great alternative, allowing them to socialize with other dogs and burn off energy. 

Keep in mind that while Auss-Tzus are energetic, they also enjoy downtime. Providing a comfortable space for them to relax and unwind after exercise is important. Balance is key—too much exercise can be just as detrimental as too little. 


The Auss-Tzu is generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues. Among the most common concerns are allergies, ear infections, and dental issues. 

Allergies can manifest in Auss-Tzus in various ways, including skin irritations, itching, and digestive problems. These allergies can be triggered by environmental factors such as pollen, dust, or specific foods. Regular vet visits can help identify the allergens affecting your Auss-Tzu, allowing you to manage their environment and diet effectively to minimize allergic reactions. Maintaining a clean living space and using hypoallergenic products can also be beneficial. 

Ear infections are another common issue, especially if your Auss-Tzu inherits the floppy ears of the Shih Tzu. Floppy ears can trap moisture and debris, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Regular ear cleaning with a vet-recommended solution helps prevent infections. Be vigilant for signs of ear problems, such as redness, odor, or your dog scratching their ears frequently, and consult your vet if any symptoms appear. 

Dental issues are particularly important to monitor in Auss-Tzus. They may inherit the small mouth of the Shih Tzu, which can lead to overcrowded teeth and a higher risk of dental problems. Regular brushing of their teeth and providing dental chews can help maintain good oral health. Professional dental cleanings by a veterinarian are also recommended to prevent tartar buildup and periodontal disease. 


The Auss-Tzu is a robust and generally healthy breed, with a lifespan typically ranging from 12 to 15 years. This longevity is a testament to their strong genetic heritage from the Australian Shepherd and Shih Tzu. To ensure they live a full, happy life, proper care and attention to their health needs are essential. 

Regular veterinary check-ups play a crucial role in monitoring your Auss-Tzu’s health over the years. Preventive care, including vaccinations, parasite control, and routine screenings, can help catch potential health issues early and manage them effectively. 

Diet and exercise are also key factors in promoting a long, healthy life. Providing a balanced diet tailored to their age, size, and activity level ensures they get the necessary nutrients. Regular exercise keeps them physically fit and mentally stimulated, reducing the risk of obesity and associated health problems. 

Maintaining a consistent grooming routine, including dental care, ear cleaning, and skin checks, helps prevent common health issues and keeps your Auss-Tzu looking and feeling their best. Early detection and treatment of health concerns can significantly impact their overall well-being and lifespan. 

Finally, the emotional and social needs of your Auss-Tzu should not be overlooked. A loving and stimulating environment, with plenty of interaction and mental challenges, contributes to their happiness and longevity. Building a strong bond with your Auss-Tzu and ensuring they feel secure and loved will enhance their quality of life. 


Training an Auss-Tzu can be a delightful and rewarding experience, thanks to their intelligence and eagerness to please. This breed benefits from the Australian Shepherd's sharp mind and the Shih Tzu's affectionate nature, making them responsive to positive reinforcement techniques. 

Starting early with puppy training sets the foundation for a well-behaved adult dog. Basic commands like sit, stay, come, and heel should be introduced gradually. Using treats, praise, and play as rewards helps motivate your Auss-Tzu and reinforces good behavior. Consistency is key, as this ensures your dog understands what is expected of them and helps establish a routine. 

Socialization is another crucial aspect of training. Exposing your Auss-Tzu to different environments, people, and other animals from a young age helps them develop into well-rounded adults. Puppy classes can provide structured socialization opportunities and allow your dog to learn appropriate behaviors in a controlled setting. 

Mental stimulation is essential for an intelligent breed like the Auss-Tzu. Incorporating puzzle toys, interactive games, and advanced training exercises keeps their minds engaged. Teaching new tricks or participating in agility training can provide both mental and physical challenges, making training sessions more enjoyable for both you and your dog. 

Patience and positive reinforcement are fundamental to successful training. Avoid harsh corrections or punishment, as these can damage your dog's trust and hinder the learning process. Instead, focus on rewarding desired behaviors and redirecting unwanted ones. 

Housebreaking should be approached with consistency and patience. Establishing a regular routine for feeding, potty breaks, and walks helps your Auss-Tzu understand when and where it is appropriate to relieve themselves. Accidents may happen, especially in the early stages, but maintaining a calm and consistent approach will lead to success over time. 

Obedience training can also include leash training to ensure your Auss-Tzu walks politely without pulling. Positive reinforcement and gradual exposure to different walking environments can help them become comfortable and well-behaved on a leash. 

Always remember to keep training sessions short and fun. Overloading your Auss-Tzu with long or repetitive sessions can lead to frustration. Short, frequent sessions are more effective and keep your dog eager to learn. 


The Auss-Tzu, a delightful crossbreed, is a relatively new addition to the world of designer dogs. This breed brings together the Australian Shepherd and the Shih Tzu, two breeds with rich and distinct histories. Understanding the lineage of the Auss-Tzu helps appreciate the blend of characteristics it embodies. 

The Australian Shepherd, despite its name, has roots in the Basque region of Spain and was further developed in the United States. Renowned for its herding capabilities, the Australian Shepherd became popular on American ranches and farms in the 19th and 20th centuries. This breed is known for its intelligence, agility, and work ethic, qualities that contribute to the Auss-Tzu's trainability and energy. 

On the other hand, the Shih Tzu boasts an ancient and noble history, originating in China over a thousand years ago. These small, affectionate dogs were bred to be companion animals for Chinese royalty, prized for their charming appearance and gentle demeanor. The Shih Tzu's lineage contributes to the Auss-Tzu's affectionate and loyal nature, making them excellent companion animals. 

The intentional breeding of the Australian Shepherd and Shih Tzu to create the Auss-Tzu likely began in the past few decades, as designer dogs grew in popularity. Breeders aimed to combine the intelligence and work ethic of the Australian Shepherd with the affectionate, easygoing nature of the Shih Tzu. The result is a versatile and appealing breed that fits well into various lifestyles and households. 

As a hybrid, the Auss-Tzu doesn't have the long-established history of purebred dogs, but its parent breeds' rich backgrounds contribute to its unique qualities. The Auss-Tzu continues to gain popularity among dog enthusiasts.