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Saussie Breed Information

Paws Pattern

The Auss-Tzu, also known as the Saussie, is a delightful hybrid breed resulting from the mix of an Australian Shepherd and a Shih Tzu. This unique combination brings together the intelligence and energy of the Australian Shepherd with the charming and affectionate nature of the Shih Tzu. Perfect for families and individuals alike, the Auss-Tzu is known for its playful demeanor, loyalty, and adaptability to various living environments. 

The Auss-Tzu inherits the best traits from both parent breeds, making it an excellent companion. Whether you're looking for a dog that's great with kids, friendly with other pets, or simply a loyal friend, the Auss-Tzu fits the bill. This breed is relatively new but has quickly gained popularity due to its adorable looks and friendly personality. 

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


  • Intelligent: Thanks to its Australian Shepherd lineage, the Auss-Tzu is quick to learn new commands and tricks. 
  • Playful: This breed has a playful nature, making it a great companion for families with children or other pets. 
  • Affectionate: The Shih Tzu's influence brings a strong affectionate side, and Auss-Tzus love to cuddle and be close to their human companions. 
  • Loyal: Auss-Tzus are incredibly loyal and form strong bonds with their owners, often becoming very protective. 
  • Adaptable: Whether you live in a house with a yard or a small apartment, the Auss-Tzu can adapt to various living situations, as long as it gets enough exercise. 
  • Energetic: With the high energy levels of the Australian Shepherd, this breed needs regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. 
  • Friendly: Auss-Tzus are typically friendly with strangers, making them great pets for social environments. 
  • Alert: They are always alert and make good watchdogs, often barking to alert their owners of any unusual activity. 
  • Good with Kids: Their playful and gentle nature makes them great companions for children. 
  • Low Shedding: Thanks to the Shih Tzu's influence, Auss-Tzus tend to have a coat that sheds minimally, making grooming easier. 


The Auss-Tzu (Saussie) boasts a unique blend of features from its Australian Shepherd and Shih Tzu parents. This mix results in a charming and distinctive look that’s sure to turn heads. 

Auss-Tzus are generally small to medium-sized dogs. They typically weigh between 15 to 30 pounds and stand around 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder. 

Their coat can vary significantly, often a mix of the Australian Shepherd’s medium-length, straight to wavy fur and the Shih Tzu’s long, flowing locks. Auss-Tzus can have either a double or single coat, which can affect their shedding patterns. The coat colors of Auss-Tzus are quite diverse, reflecting the wide range seen in both parent breeds. Common colors include black, white, brown, blue, red, and merle patterns. They might also have distinctive markings or patches. 

Auss-Tzus often have expressive, almond-shaped eyes that can come in a variety of colors, including brown, blue, or even one of each (heterochromia), a trait inherited from the Australian Shepherd. Their ears are typically medium-sized and can either stand erect or flop down, adding to their endearing appearance. 


The Auss-Tzu (Saussie) is a delightful mix of spirited energy and loving affection, which makes it a wonderful companion for a variety of households. This breed combines the best of both parent breeds' temperaments in a beautiful dog that is both playful and gentle. 

Energetic and Playful: With the Australian Shepherd’s zest for life, the Auss-Tzu loves to play and can keep you entertained for hours. These dogs thrive on activities that engage their minds and bodies, such as fetch, agility courses, and interactive toys. 

Affectionate and Loving: The Shih Tzu’s influence brings a deep affectionate side to this breed. Auss-Tzus love to snuggle and be close to their human family members. They are known for forming strong bonds and often follow their owners around the house. 

Friendly and Social: Auss-Tzus are typically friendly with strangers and other pets, making them great for social environments. Their outgoing nature means they enjoy meeting new people and making new friends, both human and animal. 

Loyal and Protective: While they are generally friendly, Auss-Tzus are also very loyal and can be protective of their family. They often develop strong attachments and are known to be vigilant, alerting their owners to any unusual activity around the home. 

Intelligent and Curious: Thanks to the Australian Shepherd’s intelligence, Auss-Tzus are curious and eager to learn. They enjoy problem-solving activities and benefit from regular mental stimulation to keep them from getting bored. 

Adaptable and Easygoing: This breed’s adaptable nature means they can thrive in various living situations, whether it’s a bustling city apartment or a quiet country home. They adjust well to changes in their environment as long as they receive enough attention and exercise. 



Grooming an Auss-Tzu (Saussie) requires regular attention to keep their coat healthy and looking its best. The combination of Australian Shepherd and Shih Tzu genes means their grooming needs can vary, but here are some general guidelines: 

Brushing: Auss-Tzus typically have a coat that can range from medium-length and wavy to long and flowing. Regular brushing, at least 3-4 times a week, helps to prevent tangles and matting. For those with longer coats, daily brushing is recommended to keep the fur smooth and free of debris. 

Bathing: Bathe your Auss-Tzu every 4-6 weeks or as needed. Use a mild dog shampoo to avoid skin irritation. Over-bathing can strip the natural oils from their coat, so it's essential to find a balance. 

Trimming: Regular trims are necessary, especially around the face, paws, and tail, to keep them looking neat. Depending on the coat length and type, you might need to visit a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks. 

Ears: Check their ears weekly for signs of infection, such as redness, odor, or excessive wax buildup. Clean their ears with a vet-approved ear cleaner to prevent infections, which are common in dogs with floppy ears. 

Eyes: Due to their Shih Tzu heritage, Auss-Tzus may have tear staining. Wipe their eyes daily with a damp cloth to keep the area clean and reduce staining. 

Teeth: Dental hygiene is crucial for the overall health of your Auss-Tzu. Brush their teeth several times a week using dog-friendly toothpaste. Regular dental check-ups with your vet can help prevent periodontal disease. 

Nails: Trim your Auss-Tzu’s nails every 3-4 weeks. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim. Regular nail care helps to prevent overgrowth and splitting. 

Coat Care Products: Consider using detangling sprays or conditioning treatments, especially for longer coats, to keep the fur manageable and reduce matting. 

Professional Grooming: Regular visits to a professional groomer can help maintain your Auss-Tzu’s coat and overall appearance. Groomers can also provide valuable advice on the specific needs of your dog’s coat type. 

Skin Checks: While grooming, check your Auss-Tzu’s skin for any signs of irritation, lumps, or parasites. Early detection of skin issues can help prevent more serious health problems. 

Exercise Needs

Auss-Tzus (Saussies) are active and energetic dogs that require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Their exercise needs are influenced by their Australian Shepherd heritage, known for its high energy levels and working dog capabilities. Here’s how to ensure your Auss-Tzu gets the exercise they need: 

Daily Walks: Aim for at least one long walk each day, ideally lasting 30 to 60 minutes. This helps burn off energy and provides mental stimulation through new sights and smells. 

Playtime: Incorporate interactive play sessions throughout the day. Games like fetch, tug-of-war, and frisbee are great for keeping your Auss-Tzu engaged and physically active. 

Agility Training: Given their intelligence and agility, Auss-Tzus excel in agility training. Set up a simple agility course in your backyard or join a local dog agility class to keep them mentally and physically challenged. 

Socialization: Regular trips to the dog park can help your Auss-Tzu socialize with other dogs. Social interaction is essential for their mental well-being and helps prevent behavioral issues. 

Puzzle Toys: Use puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys to keep their minds engaged, especially during indoor playtime. This can help reduce boredom and prevent destructive behaviors. 

Obedience Training: Regular obedience training sessions not only provide mental stimulation but also reinforce good behavior. Training can be incorporated into daily routines, making it both fun and educational for your Auss-Tzu. 

Off-Leash Time: If you have a safe, enclosed area, allow your Auss-Tzu some off-leash time to run and explore freely. This is particularly beneficial for their physical and mental health. 

Hiking: For more adventurous Auss-Tzus, hiking can be a fantastic way to exercise. The varying terrain and new environments provide both physical and mental stimulation. 

Swimming: Some Auss-Tzus may enjoy swimming, which is a low-impact exercise that's great for their joints and overall fitness. Always supervise them around water to ensure their safety. 

Indoor Activities: On days when outdoor exercise isn't possible, engage your Auss-Tzu with indoor activities like hide-and-seek, stair climbing, or a short indoor obstacle course. 


Auss-Tzus (Saussies) are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Understanding these potential concerns can help you provide the best care for your furry friend. Here are some common health issues and general health care tips for Auss-Tzus: 

  • Allergies: Auss-Tzus can suffer from allergies, which might manifest as skin issues or gastrointestinal problems. Identifying and avoiding allergens, whether they are food-related or environmental, is crucial. 
  • Dental Issues: Dental health is important for Auss-Tzus, especially considering the Shih Tzu’s predisposition to dental problems. Regular teeth brushing and dental check-ups are essential to prevent periodontal disease. 
  • Ear Infections: Auss-Tzus, especially those with floppy ears, can be prone to ear infections. Regular ear cleaning and keeping their ears dry can help prevent infections. 
  • Obesity: Like many companion dogs, Auss-Tzus can become overweight if not properly managed. A balanced diet and regular exercise are critical to preventing obesity and its associated health issues. 

Regular Vet Check-ups: Routine vet visits are essential to monitor your Auss-Tzu’s health, catch any potential issues early, and keep their vaccinations up to date. 

Healthy Diet: Feeding your Auss-Tzu a balanced, high-quality diet tailored to their size, age, and activity level is crucial for their overall health. Consult your vet for dietary recommendations. 


Auss-Tzus (Saussies) typically enjoy a long and healthy life, thanks to their mixed breed heritage. Understanding their lifespan and factors that can influence it helps in providing the best care for your pet. 

The Auss-Tzu generally has a lifespan ranging from 12 to 15 years. This can vary depending on factors such as genetics, overall health, diet, and lifestyle. Being a hybrid, the Auss-Tzu benefits from the genetic diversity of its parent breeds, often resulting in a lower likelihood of inheriting breed-specific health issues.  


Training an Auss-Tzu (Saussie) can be a rewarding experience, thanks to their intelligence and eagerness to please. However, their independent streak, inherited from the Shih Tzu, can sometimes make training a bit challenging. Here are some tips to effectively train your Auss-Tzu: 

  1. Start Early: Begin training as soon as you bring your Auss-Tzu home. Early training helps establish good habits and prevents unwanted behaviors from developing. 
  2. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and affection. Auss-Tzus respond well to rewards and are more likely to repeat good behavior when it's positively reinforced.
  3. Consistency: Be consistent with commands and rules. Ensure that all family members use the same commands and follow the same rules to avoid confusing your Auss-Tzu.
  4. Short Training Sessions: Keep training sessions short and engaging, around 10-15 minutes each. This helps maintain their attention and prevents them from becoming bored or frustrated.
  5. Socialization: Expose your Auss-Tzu to various environments, people, and other animals from a young age. Proper socialization helps them become well-adjusted and confident adults.
  6. Obedience Classes: Consider enrolling your Auss-Tzu in obedience classes. Professional training can provide valuable skills and help address any specific behavior issues. \
  7. Basic Commands: Focus on teaching basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and leave it. These commands form the foundation for more advanced training.
  8. Crate Training: Crate training can be beneficial for house training and providing a safe space for your Auss-Tzu. Ensure the crate is comfortable and never use it as a punishment.
  9. Leash Training: Teach your Auss-Tzu to walk nicely on a leash. Start with short walks and gradually increase the distance. Use treats and praise to encourage good leash behavior.
  10. Patience and Persistence: Training can take time, so be patient and persistent. Celebrate small successes and remain calm and positive throughout the process.
  11. Problem-Solving Skills: Given their intelligence, Auss-Tzus enjoy activities that challenge their problem-solving skills. Incorporate puzzle toys and interactive games into their training regimen. 


The Auss-Tzu (Saussie) is a relatively new designer breed, combining the best qualities of the Australian Shepherd and the Shih Tzu. Understanding the history of the parent breeds helps to appreciate the rich heritage and characteristics of the Auss-Tzu. 

Australian Shepherd: Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd was developed in the United States. This breed was bred for herding livestock and is known for its intelligence, agility, and high energy levels. They became popular with American ranchers and cowboys in the 19th century and are still widely used as working dogs today. The Australian Shepherd's strong work ethic and trainability make it a favorite in various dog sports and as a loyal companion. 

Shih Tzu: The Shih Tzu, on the other hand, has a much older and more regal history. Originating in China, this breed was cherished by Chinese royalty, especially during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Known for their affectionate nature and distinctive appearance, Shih Tzus were bred as companion dogs for royalty and nobility. Their history as lap dogs has made them adept at forming close bonds with their human families. 

Creation of the Auss-Tzu: The Auss-Tzu likely emerged in the last few decades as part of the growing trend of creating designer breeds. Breeders aimed to combine the intelligence and energy of the Australian Shepherd with the affectionate and sociable nature of the Shih Tzu. The result is a hybrid that is versatile, friendly, and well-suited for both active and relaxed lifestyles.