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Is A Sheltie Aussie Mix The Right Dog For You? Pros & Cons

Sheltie Aussie Mix

So, the lovely Sheltie Aussie mix caught your eye.

And now, you’re thinking of getting this pooch…

But their appearance isn’t enough to help you decide.

Luckily, you came to the right place.

Here you’ll get to know the Sheltie Aussie Mix.


Continue reading to find out:

  • The possible different looks of a Shel-Aussie.
  • 5 pros and 5 cons of owning a Sheltie Aussie mix.
  • What type of temperament to expect from this hybrid.
  • And so much more…

What is a Sheltie Aussie mix?

A Sheltie Aussie mix is a cross between a Shetland Sheepdog and an Australian Shepherd. This dog is also called Shel-Aussie for short. This hybrid is an intelligent dog that loves to please their owners. Moreover, Shel-Aussies can also inherit the natural herding skills of their parents. 

Sheltie Aussie mix: Appearance

Like most hybrids, Shel-Aussies share mixed traits with their mom and dads.

But since the parent breeds already have a lot of similar features…

This mix almost looks identical to their parents. 

Height and weight

Shel-Aussies can be between medium and large in size. They also have a long body build and deep, square chests.

Now, here’s a quick glance at how big they can grow:

30 to 65 lbs (13 to 29 kg)16 to 23 inches (40 to 58 cm)

However, if one of the parents is a miniature Australian Shepherd…

Then some Shel-Aussies can be much smaller in size.

Coat type and colors

This pooch has a long and straight coat. Usually, their thick coat texture is rough to the touch. And that’s because both of their parents have the same type of fur. 

Also, Shel-Aussies have different coat colors, and they are:

  • Blue.
  • Gray.
  • Fawn.
  • Black.
  • White.
  • Brown.
  • Cream.
  • Brindle.
  • Tri-Color.

Head and face shape

The head of this pooch has the shape of an apple. This means they’re long and round. 

And as for their ears, these Fidos have two possible looks.

For one, their ears can be triangular and erect like a Shetland Sheepdog. Or, they can be set high while drooping down, like Australian Shepherds. 

Other than that, Shel-Aussies have long and narrow snouts.  

Eye shape and colors

The eye shape of this hybrid also depends on the dominant parent genes. 

With that said… 

Shetland Sheepdogs have round eyes. Meanwhile, Australian Shepherds have almond-shaped ones. So, your Shel-Aussie could have either one of them.


This pooch can have different eye colors. And these hues are brown, blue, and amber. 

Fun fact: Sheltie Aussie mixes can be born with heterochromia. This means their eyes can have 2 different colors.

Tail length

Lastly, this hybrid can either have a long tail or a very short one.

If you’ve seen photos of Shel-Aussies…

Some of them look like they don’t have a tail at all.

But there’s an answer for that. It’s a trait they inherit from the Australian Shepherd.

Trivia: Aussies have a naturally bobbed tail, according to the AKC.

But is there a reason for that? 


Breeders wanted to keep their short tails for a purpose. And that’s because it makes herding much safer for the animals.

Sheltie Aussie mix: Temperament

The Sheltie Aussie mix is active and playful. They could spend their day running around and having fun.

This makes them a good exercise buddy. So, fur parents who love jogging and hiking can bring them along.

Also, Shel-Aussies are easy to train.

And that’s because they’re obedient. They enjoy pleasing their fur parents.

Moreover, this dog is very loyal. And that’s why they can be protective of their family. 

Thus, they tend to be alert. Sometimes, they’re even wary of strangers. But this only makes this pooch a great watchdog.

And while they’re loyal to their families…

This Fido might not do well with young kids. To fix that, they need proper training at an early age.

But that aside…

Shel-Aussies are generally friendly. So, they’ll get along well with most animals. Though, small critters may not like them.

And that’s due to their herding instincts. As a result, this hybrid might chase them around. 

Moreover, their prey drive is low. But the way they play can be too much for other little dogs.

All in all…

This Fido is ideal for fur parents who want an active and intelligent dog.

5 pros of owning a Sheltie Aussie mix

#1: Great watchdogs 

A Sheltie Aussie Mix Makes A Great Watchdog

As I mentioned before…

The Sheltie Aussie mix is an observant pooch. With that, they make an excellent watchdog.

And this is all thanks to the instinct of their parents.

“What do you mean by that?” 

As herding dogs, they pay great attention to their surroundings. Plus, there’s a good reason for this behavior. 

They want to make sure no animals get left behind in the group.

Not to mention…

Many studies prove that dogs have a great sense of smell. Paired with their keen eyes, nothing gets past a Shel-Aussie.

Aside from that…

Most people think that herding dogs are only chasing animals all the time.

But they actually have a protective nature inside of them as well.

A great example would be the German Shepherd. This breed was once used for herding animals.

But nowadays, they’re more known as guard dogs.

And with this example, you’ll know that Shel-Aussies are a lot like them.

Not only are they alert… but they’re also ready to defend their flock.

This means fighting off predators such as:

  • Bears.
  • Wolves.
  • Coyotes.
  • Stray dogs. 

As you can tell from this list…

Their common enemies are mostly fellow canines.

And this shows that they’re not only great watchdogs. But they can also become protective guardians.

Read also: 19 Signs Your Dog Is Protective Over You (Check Out #7)

#2: Playful and loyal 

Most fur parents want an active Fido.

And that’s exactly what the Shel-Aussie mix is.

This pooch has high energy levels. And it’s thanks to their natural body build.

Their long and lean legs help them move with ease. And these flexible dogs will enjoy a lot of physical activities.

So, if you love playing with Fido, this mix is great for you.

They’ll enjoy doing things such as:

  • Swimming.
  • Long walks.
  • Playing fetch.
  • Agility training.
  • Field challenges.

As you can tell from this list, this hybrid is quite adventurous.

All in all, this is what makes them great herding dogs. Their agility and love for fun get their job done.

But on top of that, Shel-Aussies are also loyal.

They can be too devoted, and they’ll follow you around as long as you let them. And that’s because both parents of this breed can be clingy.

While this is great for people who want to be with their pooch at all times…

Some would still want some space. 

So if that’s the case, make sure to train your Sheltie-Aussie pooch.

You’ll have to set boundaries to make them learn how to be less clingy.

#3: Easy to train

This hybrid is intelligent. And that makes them easy to train.

But what makes the Sheltie-Aussie so smart?

Well, they got it from their mom and dad.

Fun fact: Shetland Sheepdogs ranked as the 6th smartest dog in the world. This is based on Dr. Stanley Cohren‘s book. It’s called “The Intelligence of Dogs.”

To add more, Aussies ranked 42nd in that same book. 

So by combining these two smart breeds…

Then you get a bright pooch named the Sheltie Aussie mix.

But still, every dog can be unique. 

With that said, some Shel-Aussies can be stubborn too. Though, that only happens if they’re not trained at an early age.

You might also like: 27 Best Dog Trainers In The World

#4: Long life span

Another benefit of owning this pooch is having a lifetime companion.

While it’s known that bigger dogs have shorter lives…

Hybrids have the advantage of being healthier than their parents.

With that said… 

The Sheltie-Aussie’s lifespan is around 12 to 15 years. But some of them can also reach up to 16 or more.

As long as they’re well-taken care of, you won’t worry about their health that much.

Still, they can inherit some health risks from their parents.

You should watch out for problems such as:

  • Epilepsy.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Thyroid disease.
  • Nasal dermatitis.
  • Sheltie Skin Syndrome or dermatomyositis.

While most of these are preventable…

It’s best to always consult the vet in case of any concern.

#5: They can tolerate the cold

With this pooch’s thick coats…

They can handle the cold pretty well. Thanks to that, they can live in colder areas.

To tell you more, let’s talk about their parents.

For one, vets revealed that Aussies didn’t actually come from Australia. Instead, they’re said to originate from Spain. 


Shelties are from Scotland. And that place can also get cold.

Both places can have low temperatures. As a result, they have thick coats to protect them from the harsh weather.

With these two breeds combined…

The Shel-Aussie mix can easily handle the winter climates.

But of course, too much cold can still be unsafe. So, don’t let them sleep outdoors if the weather is too harsh.

5 cons of owning a Sheltie Aussie mix

#1: They don’t do well in hot weather

As the opposite of being fine with the cold…

Naturally, Shel-Aussies don’t do well with heat.

For one, they can be prone to heatstroke or even hot spots. VCA says the latter is painful skin problems in dogs.

And with their thick coats…

Shel-Aussies can end up with irritated skin during hot weather.

Now, to find out if your pooch has hot spots…

Here are the common symptoms of it:

Luckily, this issue can heal fast with proper and immediate treatment. 

Though, you’d need a vet’s guidance to get the best solutions.

After all, it’s not a good idea to give dogs any kind of medicine. Only an expert can help you with that.

But other than this…

A study says that Shelties are prone to collie nose. This condition is also called nasal solar dermatitis.

It’s when Fido gets an abnormal reaction to sunlight.

In most cases, it only affects the eyes and nose of a dog. And when it does, it can be very painful.

Moreover, experts say this issue is worse in summers. 

So, as a Sheltie mix, this pooch can be prone to collie nose. To prevent this, Shel-Aussies are best raised in colder climates.

And if your pooch gets the collie nose, it’s best to consult the vet. As treatment would depend on the main cause of the condition.

Related topic: 13 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Licking Their Base Of Tail

#2: Needs a lot of space

As herding dogs, these Fidos often live in huge open fields.

Moreover, Shel-Aussies are very active in nature. That’s why these furry pals love to play all day. 

Plus, they enjoy running a lot. After all, it’s part of their herding instincts. 

With that, they need the right place to spend all their energy.

In other words, they’re not suited for apartment living.

Instead, they’ll do better in homes with big yards. And if you don’t have one, a room with enough space to run in can work for them.

Remember, these are medium dogs. So, they need to stay healthy and fit by moving around.

And if they don’t get stimulated enough…

Dogs can actually become depressed. Just imagine yourself in their paws

Let’s say… you’re an outgoing person. Now, you’re stuck in one place all the time. 

You have so much energy. But now, you don’t even get the chance to use it. Isn’t that disappointing?

That’s exactly how a Shel-Aussie would feel without their freedom to move.

So, without enough space for their activities…

Shel-Aussies may not fit well in your home.

#3: Might not get along with small animals

Earlier, I mentioned that Shel-Aussies are friendly.

But it doesn’t mean they’ll get along with everyone.

For example…

Small animals might get annoyed with them. Why? The reason is simple.

As herding dogs, they tend to chase other animals. And for this hybrid dog, it’s all just for fun. 

It’s possible they don’t mean to harm or scare them away. But for these smaller animals, it can be a bad experience. 

In worse cases… 

Shel-Aussies can stress out those small critters.

Though, it doesn’t mean this will always be the case. Because with proper training, this hybrid can learn discipline.

In the end… 

Even if this pooch’s prey drive isn’t high, their chasing habits can still be intimidating.

So if you have other small dogs or animals at home… 

Shel-Aussies may not get along with them.

#4: High-maintenance grooming

When I mentioned this dog’s coat…

You must’ve wondered about one thing.

“How hard can it be to take care of their coat?”

Well, it’s not a surprise. Grooming them can truly take some patience.

After all, Shel-Aussies have thick coats. And with that, brushing them at least once a week is necessary. 

Moreover, it could take a couple of minutes to brush their whole body. At the same time, you’ll need to spray their coat wet whenever you groom them.

And there’s a reason for that. 

Brushing their fur when it’s dry can lead to damage.

Without regular combing…

This pooch can suffer from matting. 

And that problem can lead to hot spots, as I mentioned earlier.

All in all, this Fido can be high-maintenance when it comes to their coat. So if it’s easier, you can choose to go to a groomer regularly. 

Or, you can also try to learn how to groom their coat and body.

Don’t know where to start with that? I got you. Here’s a helpful video:

#5: They tend to bark a lot 

Remember when I said these Fidos are alert?

While it’s a good trait, it comes with a downside.

And it’s their habit of barking a lot.

Shel-Aussies inherit this from their Sheltie parent.

Apparently, the AKC says that Shelties are very vocal. So, expect them to bark even at the smallest things.

But again, they only do this as part of their protective nature.

Though, this trait can make them unfit for certain families.

For example, if you live in a quiet neighborhood…

They might not like a loud pooch. And the same logic applies if you live in apartments. Or, maybe your family doesn’t like that kind of noise.

All in all, this is an important trait to know. 

With this, you can decide whether you want a talkative pooch or not.

People also ask:

How big do Aussie Shelties get?

Aussie Shelties can get as big as 16 to 23 inches (40 to 58 cm) tall. Their weight can reach 30 to 65 lbs (13 to 29 kg). 

But if crossed with a miniature Australian Shepherd, they can be smaller. 

Specifically, the height would be around 14 to 18 inches (35 to 45 cm). Their weight should be about 19 to 30 lbs (9 to 14 kg).

Do Shel Aussies shed?

Shel Aussies shed throughout the year. That’s because both parent breeds have thick, double-layered coats. 

As a mix of both, expect this pooch to shed a lot of fur in your home.