The Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix, also known as the Aussie Chi or Aussie Huahua, is an intriguing crossbreed due to the size disparity of its parents. However, you will be amazed at the potential of this hybrid!
Like most designer breeds, what is exciting about the Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix is its unpredictability. Depending on the more dominant gene, it can carry different physical and behavioral traits.
If you have a certain liking for the Australian Shepherd and the Chihuahua breeds, the Aussie Chi might fascinate you. Reading this article will help you gain more knowledge about this unique mixed breed. Read on!
|Height:||10 – 16 inches|
|Weight:||8 – 30 pounds|
|Lifespan:||12 – 17 years|
|Coat Colors:||Black, blue, merle, red, white, tan, brown|
|Temperament:||Energetic, inquisitive, intelligent, playful, attention-seeker, stubborn|
|Suitable for:||Active individuals, families with older children, apartment or small house dwellers|
What Is an Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mix?
An Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix, also called the Aussie Chi or Aussie Huahua, is a hybrid produced by mixing the tiny Chihuahua with the medium-sized Australian Shepherd. Its appearance is a fusion of the looks of both parents. It is also known to be energetic, curious, playful, and stubborn.
As a crossbreed, there is no standard look or behavior for the Aussie Chi. This means that even littermates may display different traits, depending on whether they take after the Chihuahua or the Aussie more.
Further, as mixes, they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Still, they can be registered under clubs that cater to hybrids, like the Designer Breed Registry (DBR) and the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA).
Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Origin and History
Something common to most designer dogs is that they do not have a clear record of their history and origin. However, we can get to know them better by looking into their parents’ roots.
Its Australian Shepherd parent is a descendant of the Pyrenean Shepherd, which is the herding dog of choice of the European Basques.
As the Basques moved further to California, their herding dogs were mistaken to have an Australian origin, hence their name.
On the other hand, Chihuahuas have a very ancient history, going back to the old kingdoms of pre-Columbian times. This makes them one of the oldest breeds in the Americas.
It descended from the larger Techichi, a breed of choice of the Mexican Toltecs. As the Aztecs conquered them in the 12th century, these dogs were refined into smaller and lighter dogs.
The Americans took an interest in the breed in the 1800s, and it was eventually recognized by the AKC in 1908.
This gives the Aussie Chi a rich and profound heritage. It is indeed a unique fusion of European herding dogs with Mexican lap dogs, making it a very fascinating designer breed.
Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Appearance
The physical appearance of an Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix is not standard and will depend on whether they take after their Chihuahua or Aussie parent more. It could also be an equal mix of both parents’ traits.
However, Many Aussie Chis sport the tall and sleek body structure of the Australian Shepherd but still retain the small size of the Chihuahua. Most pups also feature the Chi’s bulging eyes, big and erect ears, and small faces.
The length of its coat can be medium to long, but it can also be a bit shorter if bred with a smooth-coated Chihuahua. However, they can also have thick double coats if they inherit this trait from the Aussie.
The coat colors of the Aussie Huahua can include merle, black, blue, red, white, brown, and tan, and mostly in bi-color or tri-color combinations of these shades.
Expect a lot more color possibilities for this designer breed, brought by the wide variety of coat colors worn by both purebred parents.
Aussie Chis can also have erect or curled tails. If they inherit the tail of the Aussie, it may also appear droopy or bobbed.
Watch this video to appreciate the gorgeous look of the Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix:
Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Size and Weight
Though the Aussie Chihuahua mix does not have a standard size, expect it to be a small to medium-sized dog. It can weigh anywhere between 8 and 30 pounds and stand about 10 to 16 inches at the shoulder.
The size and the structure of the Aussie Chi make it an ideal dog for apartment dwellers or for those living in small spaces. They can even meet their daily exercise needs just by running around the house.
Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Temperament and Personality
Like how it is for appearance, the temperament and personality of Aussie Chi mixes also vary depending on which parent influences them more. Environment and training are also key factors that determine their behavior.
Generally, the Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix is more likely to be very energetic and loves to spend time and play with its owners. Given its Aussie parent’s herding background, it thrives on outdoor activities.
They also love to please and seek the attention of their owners, making them loyal and protective. This makes them both reliable pets and effective watchdogs.
However, given its size and fragile body, it may not be a good choice for families with toddlers. If not handled well, the Chihuahua tendency of this mix can make it bite back, especially during rough play.
Further, their herding background can also make them nip younger children. Hence, it is critical that these dogs are monitored closely when around small kids.
It will also help if they undergo obedience training and socialization to address this behavior early. This may not be too easy, though, as the intelligent nature of these dogs can make them stubborn at times, too.
Additionally, if not addressed early, Aussie Chis may carry the aggressive tendencies or dominant behavior of their Chihuahua parent. Hence, it may also not be a good option for first-time pet owners.
Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Lifespan and Health Issues
Usually, smaller breeds have longer life expectancies than their larger counterparts. With the Chihuahua’s influence, the lifespan of the Aussie Chi can be anywhere between 12 and 17 years.
However, it should be noted that a dog’s lifespan can also be greatly influenced by factors such as its living environment, genetics, and overall health condition.
Speaking of genetics, the Aussie Chihuahua is also subject to some hereditary illnesses passed on to it by its parents.
Below are some of the common health issues an Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix may be prone to:
- Patellar Luxation: Patellar luxation in a dog occurs when its kneecap moves out of location. This may be indicated by a skipping or limping movement in your dog. Depending on the severity of the condition, this can be corrected through medication, physical therapy, or surgery.
- Elbow and Hip Dysplasia: Another bone and joint problem that an Aussie Chi can develop is elbow and hip dysplasia. This happens when the ball and socket joints of the hips and elbows do not grow at the same rate, making them loose and unstable. This is a painful condition that may be treated with anti-inflammatories or surgery.
- Allergies: With both parents being prone to allergies, this condition in the Aussie Chihuahua mix can be triggered by proteins from plants, insects, other animals, or food. A dog suffering from allergies may experience itching, redness, inflammation, and hair loss.
Aside from these conditions, your Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix may encounter other health issues throughout its lifetime.
Hence, to ensure that it reaches its optimum life expectancy, it is important to have regular vet check-ups for your dog, along with proper nutrition and physical and mental stimulation activities.
How to Take Care of Your Aussie Chihuahua Mix
Part of responsible pet ownership is giving your dog the proper care it deserves. This includes providing it with the right diet, a healthy daily routine, and the appropriate training and exercise it needs.
The next few sections should assist you in delivering the best care possible for your Aussie Chihuahua mix:
Food and Diet
Without a standard size and weight to follow, determining the right amount to feed your Aussie Chi might be tough. This is where you would need to partner with your vet to ensure that your dog meets its nutritional needs.
However, regardless of your dog’s size, giving it high-quality dog food that is nutritionally balanced and complete should help with its daily energy requirements.
Given the Aussie Chi’s susceptibility to allergies, you may also select dog food brands that are formulated to be hypoallergenic. This will help prevent the breakout of allergies in your pet.
You can also give supplements that will support this active hybrid’s bones and joints, such as glucosamine and chondroitin.
Cleaning and Grooming
With its tendency to inherit its Aussie parent’s double coat with medium to long fur, expect the Aussie Chi to shed all year round and blow its coat twice a year.
You must brush your Aussie Chi’s coat 3 to 5 times weekly to keep your home and furniture free from hair all over. Further, occasionally trimming your dog’s coat will also help manage its shedding.
On the other hand, bathing must be done only once a month or just when necessary. This will prevent stripping them of natural body oils that keep their coat and skin healthy.
Training and Exercise
With the intelligence of the Aussie Chi and its natural tendency to please its owner, training it is easy, especially if done with positive reinforcement.
However, the same traits also make them stubborn as well. In this case, they also need a leader that they will listen to and obey. Training them early for obedience and socialization is also preferred to manage this behavior better.
As an energetic mix, these dogs also need a lot of physical and mental exercise to stay happy. Even with their small size, Aussie Chis would enjoy about 30 minutes of outdoor walks and playing games with their masters.
Additionally, toys are a great way to keep their minds stimulated, preventing them from being bored and developing destructive behaviors.
How Much Does an Aussie Chihuahua Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
If you are getting an Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix from a reputable breeder, you should prepare around $750 to $1,000. This will also depend on your pup’s gender, age, location, and the breeder’s reputation.
Further, you must also embed the initial costs of owning an Aussie Chi in your budget. These are critical to ensuring the health and maintenance of your puppy.
Here are some of the items you need to prepare as you bring home your new Aussie Chihuahua:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$30 – $110|
|Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toys||$20 – $60|
|Beds||$30 – $200|
|Collars and Leashes||$15 – $50|
|Crates and Carriers||$30 – $370|
|Grooming Essentials||$50 – $160|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $500|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$50 – $300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$40 – $300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Microchipping||$40 – $60|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Other Essentials||$20 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$495 – $2,710|
For one-time purchases, like bowls, beds, and crates, selecting those made of high-quality materials might seem more expensive at the onset, but it is more economical in the long run as they can last the dog’s lifetime.
Places to Find Aussie Chihuahua Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Since the Aussie Chi is not as common as other mixed breeds, searching for one may be challenging. Still, it is wise to deal only with reputable breeders to end up with a healthy puppy that is of good quality.
Here are some reputable sources of Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mixes:
- AKC Marketplace – With the AKC’s reputation as the country’s premier breeding organization, you can be sure that all breeders posting in its marketplace uphold ethical breeding practices. However, since the organization focuses on purebred dogs, you can check with breeders of Chihuahuas and Australian Shepherds if they also have Aussie Chis available. You can also get reliable referrals from them.
- Keystone Puppies – Keystone Puppies is a legitimate online advertising source for both pure and mixed breed dogs, including Aussie Huahuas. It implements a strict breeder screening process while ensuring that each pup advertised on its site is well-socialized and has a health guarantee.
- Greenfield Puppies – Created in the year 2000, Greenfield Puppies has successfully connected healthy purebred and crossbred pups with caring homes. This site does not tolerate illegal or inhumane breeding practices, so you can be assured that Aussie Chis advertised are healthy and of excellent quality.
If adopting an Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix is something that you are more interested in, you can check legitimate local shelters or rescue organizations to find one.
Adopting is not only cheaper, but it is also an act of kindness since it gives a dog in need another chance at having a better life.
Here are some recommended sources to find Aussie Chis for adoption:
- Australian Shepherds Furever (ASF) – ASF is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing Australian Shepherds and their mixes. Since its inception in 2013, it has successfully rehomed over 4,000 dogs. Their adoption fee is $415 for puppy mixes, while expect to pay $345 for adult mixes. You can check their site occasionally for available Aussie Chis for adoption.
- Chihuahua Rescue & Transport (CRT) – Placing thousands of Chihuahuas and their mixes in loving homes since 1996, you can check CRT if they have an Aussie Chi for you to adopt. This group is also very critical in educating the public about the importance of spaying or neutering, the high rates of Chihuahua abandonment, and shelter euthanasia, amongst others.
- Aussie Rescue SoCal (ARSC) – Based in Southern California, ARSC is dedicated to the adoption of homeless Aussies and their mixes, which may include Aussie Huahuas. Their adoption fee of around $300 to $450 includes vaccinations, microchipping, spaying or neutering, and other health care services for the rescued dog.
Even with the reputation of the breeders and rescue organizations listed in this section, it is best to research the particular puppy you are interested in thoroughly.
This will ensure that you end up with the best quality and healthiest puppy for your needs.
Pros and Cons of Owning an Aussie Chihuahua Mix
Like all other breeds, whether purebred or mixed, the Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix has its own share of advantages and disadvantages as well.
Here are the pros to raising an Aussie Chi:
- Fits most homes: With its small to medium-sized frame, the Aussie Chihuahua will fit any home, from smaller apartments to large houses. It is also easy to carry, so you can have it accompany you wherever you wish to go.
- Intelligent and trainable: With the intelligent nature of these dogs and their willingness to please their owners, training should be an easy task. Establishing their behaviors early using positive reinforcement techniques also prevents their stubborn streaks.
- Effective watchdogs: Aussie Chis are naturally loyal, protective, and curious about their surroundings. Hence, despite their small size, they can alert you of suspicious strangers around your territory.
Meanwhile, the list below shows the cons of owning an Aussie Chihuahua:
- Not suited for families with small children: The small, fragile bodies of Aussie Chis make them prone to injury when mishandled by toddlers. They also tend to bite back once surprised by sudden movements or even nip and herd small kids due to their shepherding background.
- Needs strong leadership: If not appropriately raised, Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mixes could inherit the aggression and dominant personality of the Chihuahua. Hence, they are better off with experienced dog owners.
- Prone to several health issues: Even as small dogs, the Aussie Chihuahua is prone to bone and joint diseases. It is also sensitive to a lot of allergens. Owning this breed would mean more regular veterinary visits to keep it healthy.
These pros and cons should help you make an informed decision on getting an Australian Sheperd Chihuahua mix. You can evaluate these factors against your own preferences, environment, experience, and lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an Australian Shepherd Breed With a Chihuahua?
Yes, an Australian Shepherd may be bred safely with a Chihuahua. However, this needs to be done in a way where the Australian Shepherd must be the female, and the Chihuahua must be the male.
In this case, the Aussie Shepherd can carry the pups safely and prevent the incidence of dystocia.
Are Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mixes Good Family Dogs?
If given the proper obedience training and socialization at an early age, along with the right type of leadership, Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mixes tend to be loyal, affectionate, and protective dogs for the family.
However, they might not be the right breed of choice for those with toddlers, given their fragile bodies, their likelihood to accidentally bite when surprised, and the tendency to nip and herd small members of the family.
Do Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mixes Shed?
If they take after their Australian Shepherd parent, Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mixes will have double coats with medium to long fur that is expected to shed all year long.
They may also blow their coats twice a year or during the shedding seasons. To avoid having hair all over your furniture and carpets, brush your dog 3 to 5 times a week and then daily when it blows its coat.
Are Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mixes Hypoallergenic?
Both the Australian Shepherd and the Chihuahua are not known to be hypoallergenic dogs. Hence, proteins in the skin, dander, and saliva of Aussie Chis may trigger reactions in allergy sufferers.
If you are fond of smaller dogs with a lot of personality and spunk, are intelligent and trainable, and would be an effective watchdog, look no further than Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mixes.
However, always remember that these designer dogs must have early training, socialization, and strong leadership. These will avert their inclinations of being stubborn, aggressive, and dominating.
Further, as you decide whether the Aussie Chihuahua is the best dog for you, always consider how it matches your preferences, lifestyle, environment, and expertise in handling dogs with strong personalities.
What interests you the most about the Australian Shepherd Chihuahua mix? We would be very interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!!