Labradoodle, Puggle, Pomsky, you may have come across these words while reading about celebrities and their lifestyle. These names sound like some strange lines of clothing or jewelry. The last thing you would expect them to be is a dog breed.
Surprise! That is what they are! These are what you call Designer Dog Breeds. They are the offspring of two purebred parent dogs, i.e. the Labradoodle is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. They are bred for cosmetic and utility purposes.
There is a Designer Dog that is joining the ever-growing list, and that is the Ausky. We will find out more about this cool new breed!
What is an Ausky?
As the name implies, an “Ausky” is a mix between the Australian Cattle Dog and the Siberian Husky. It is a new breed and it has been recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry for 20 years.
Both parent breeds are active, intelligent, and have a lot of stamina. The result of the cross is a dog that requires rigorous exercise and constant engagement. Let’s see what else we can find out about the Ausky!
The Appearance of the Ausky
The Ausky is a medium-sized dog that is typically athletic and well-muscled. They can be 17 to 23 inches tall and they can weigh up to 60 pounds. They usually come in White, Gold, Tan Brindle, Red-Black Brindle, Cream, Blue Merle, or Black. They have a dense coat.
They have sharp features; a broad skull, pointed triangular ears, and almond-shaped eyes. Their eye color can be brown, blue, or both resulting in heterochromia.
Auskies can also inherit the double coat of their parents. This is a dense undercoat covered by a protective layer of straight guard hair. The quality of the coat differs depending on which parent the puppy takes after, though.
The History of the Ausky
Since this is a new breed, there isn’t much information about when breeders first started developing them. However, there are many things we can learn through their parents!
The Australian Cattle Dog or Blue Heeler comes from Australia. It is a herding dog and they are one of the most intelligent breeds. They were bred to drive herds of cattle on long treks from the farmlands to the market.
The Siberian Husky comes from the other side of the globe. They come from Russia and they were bred by the Chuchki Indians around 3000 years ago. They were sled dogs that were used during World War II. You may recognize this breed from the movie “Balto” or “Eight Below”.
Both breeds have also left their mark on history and popular culture! The Guinness World Record for oldest dog goes to an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey. She lived to be 29 years and 5 months old. That is equivalent to 151 dog years!
Siberian Huskies are American Heroes. In 1925 they carried vital medicines to a secluded town that was suffering from diphtheria. The snow was so high that no other transport could reach the town except for the dogs. This story was the inspiration for the movie “Balto”.
It seems like the Ausky has very big shoes to fill! I am sure they will have their own epic stories though. They are already gaining popularity with owners.
The Ausky comes from very active parents. The Australian Cattle Dog is a herding dog while the Siberian Husky is a working dog. This means that your dog will be active, but the extent is not always the same.
The best way to determine how your Ausky will be is to look at all the breeds in the mix. Not all Auskies are 50-50. Multi-generational crosses are very common among breeders. It is also important to consider this when thinking about health issues.
The Ausky is a very healthy breed and can usually live up to 15 years. This is quite a long lifespan for a medium-sized dog. They also don’t have any common health issues.
If you couple their durability with a healthy lifestyle then maybe they could even live longer! Remember, the oldest dog comes from one of their parent breeds so you will be able to spend time more with your furry friend!
All designer breeds are usually on the pricey side. The term “designer” gives itself away. For the Ausky however, there is no fixed price range since they are a fairly new hybrid.
Australian Cattle dogs can range from $250.00 to $6,000.00. Siberian Huskies can range from $500.00 to $2,000.00. You can expect an Ausky puppy to fall somewhere within that bracket depending on pedigree and whether you buy it from a breeder or a shelter.
The Temperament of your Ausky
The Ausky comes from very active parents so they, in turn, need a lot of exercises. They need to keep themselves busy by doing something throughout the day. They don’t like being in enclosed places and you must engage them in activities.
They are also generally warm and friendly dogs that love to play. They must be trained early-on how to behave at home. Both parent breeds have an independent nature so it can result in your Ausky puppy being quite stubborn.
The Food and Diet Requirements of your Ausky
Cheaper brands of dog food must be avoided for your Ausky. These brands contain mostly grain and they may not provide your dog with the nutrients it needs. Make sure your kibble is of good quality and that has nutrients from plant and animal sources.
Auskies benefit from a high protein and omega-3 diet. Supplement your kibble with treats of chicken, fish, and even some fruits or vegetables! This will ensure the development of your puppy’s body.
Exercise is very important for the Ausky. They need regular mental and physical stimulation. Going on regular walks and playing outside are great ways to exercise your dog. If your dog cannot be outside then consider giving them a puzzle toy to keep them busy.
Auskies cannot stay in apartments. They prefer houses in the country or those that have a big lawn so that they have room to roam. If they are bored being in a small space they can become destructive or howl.
Grooming is also a very important aspect of Ausky care. They have the double coat of their parents but the thickness depends on which side they take after. If they follow the Australian Cattle Dog then their undercoat will be more kinky or coarse. If they follow the Siberian Husky their coat will be downier.
Those who lean on the Australian Cattle Dog side, only need occasional bathing and regular brushing with a bristle brush. For those that lean on the Siberian Husky side, brushing will need to be something done daily. They are also prone to shedding especially during Spring and Fall.
The Ausky is a very intelligent breed so they need to start training at a young age. They can be stubborn so house rules must be ingrained in them as early as possible. They could inherit the “escape artist” drive of the Husky or the nippy tendency of the Australian Cattle dog.
They must be socialized early on with small children and other, smaller pets. They have a herding and hunting instinct in them which may pose a threat to other pets belonging to the rodent family like rabbits.
Being strict and strong is the perfect way to train them. Just remember to keep it fun! Treat it as a game and always remember to be patient and kind with your Ausky.
Ausky Health Issues
Auskies are generally healthy dogs. This is in part due to their parents being strong breeds and also because mixed breeds are less likely to inherit genetic diseases than purebred dogs.
Auskies can have some rare health conditions like hip dysplasia, corneal dystrophy, cataracts, or progressive renal atrophy (PRA). They also carry the Merle gene so they can inherit the deafness complication that comes with this. These are very unlikely conditions though.
Is the Ausky a Good Family Dog?
The Ausky can make a great family dog with the proper training. They are very warm towards their family but they can be suspicious of strangers. That is why your playmate can also be a great guard dog!
Auskies go great with active, athletic families as they will gladly join in on your activities. They may even tire you out! Just remember that they should be trained on how to act around small children and other pets.
I think the Ausky is a great family dog! They are perfect for people who live in farms or suburbs. They may be a handful sometimes but they are going to add a lot of color to your life. Just remember that if you live in an apartment in a big city, you may want to reconsider having this breed.
Doing background checks on your Ausky is very important so that you know what to expect. That is what I find very exciting about having a Designer Breed, each dog has a unique personality. As long as you are willing to be patient and kind to your new buddy, you are gonna have several years of fun!