Hybrid dogs have become very popular over the past couple decades, and one of the lesser known hybrids is the Australian Shepherd Beagle mix. A cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Beagle, this mix can be very energetic and full of personality. While they have the potential to make great pets, they may not be the right mixed breed for every family. Here’s a closer look at this hybrid, it’s origin, temperament, appearance, grooming needs, health, and other essential information that you can use to decide if the Australian Shepherd Beagle mix is the right choice for your next pet.
Origin and History
No one is quite sure when the Australian Shepherd Beagle mix was first created, although the hybrid was probably created sometime within the past 20-30 years. We don’t know why or where it got its start, but we can learn a bit more about the mix by looking more closely at the history of the hybrid’s parent breeds: the Australian Shepherd and the Beagle.
The Australian Shepherd is thought to have got it’s start in the Basque region of the beautiful Pyrenees Mountains located between France and Spain. When these dogs ended up in Australia, they were likely crossed with different kinds of Collies. Later they’d come to the United States with herds of sheep in the 19th century. American ranchers continued to develop the breed to be great stable stockdogs with easy trainability and great endurance. They were often used to move large herds of cattle and sheep, and they were especially good at dealing with livestock in tight areas. After World War II, these dogs became very popular through their appearances in movies, tv programs, horse shows, and rodeos. While they have become popular companion dogs through the years, they’re still used today by many ranchers as herding dogs.
Beagles have a history that’s a bit more obscure, although it’s thought the breed traces back to hounds used long before Roman times for hunting in Britain. The modern Beagle was refined in the 1800s by Parson Honeywood, and all of the Beagles in the world today trace back to his line. Later, in the Southern states of the U.S., smaller dogs called Beagles were used with hunting. They’d later be bred with hare hounds that had been brought over from England, which created what we know of as the American Beagle today. In 1885, the American Kennel Club recognized the Beagle as a part of the Hound Group.
The appearance of the Australian Shepherd Beagle mix can vary depending on which parent breed the puppy takes after. Usually the dogs have a combination of traits from both of the parents. Beagles are smaller dogs, while the Australian Shepherd is a bit larger. These dogs may grow to be anywhere between 13 and 23 inches at the shoulder, and they can weigh anywhere between 20 and 65 pounds.
While a Beagle has a short, sleek coat, the Australian Shepherd has a thick, medium-length coat. The hybrid may have one type of coat or the other, or they may have a combination of the two. Hair can be wavy or straight, and the coat can come in many different patterns and colors, including black, tri color, blue merle, red merle, red, red and white, or some combination of these colors. Beagles usually have a white tipped tail, a characteristic that your Australian Shepherd Beagle mix may inherit as well.
Both the Australian Shepherd and the Beagle are very smart, so expect your Australian Shepherd Beagle mix to be very intelligent. These dogs will also be very loyal to their families and they love human companionship. If your dog takes after the Beagle parent, they’ll probably be very playful and curious, but in some cases an Australian Shepherd can be a bit shy, so it’s possible to get a shy hybrid as well. Both breeds have a lot of energy, so the Australian Shepherd Beagle mix is sure to have a lot of energy, which means they’ll need plenty of exercise. These dogs are perfect for active families, and they need walks and runs, plenty of playtime, and they love to play games.
The grooming needs for your Australian Shepherd Beagle mix will depend on the exact coat your dog has. Both the Beagle and the Australian Shepherd tend to shed a lot, so you’ll probably want to brush your dog’s coat daily to prevent a big mess in your home and to prevent tangles and matting. Usually you’ll only need to bathe these dogs as needed. It’s also important to check and clean their ears regularly, especially if they have the drop ears of a Beagle. You can get an approved ear cleanser from your vet. If your dog isn’t wearing down his nails naturally, they’ll need trimmed monthly. You’ll also need to brush his teeth several times a week to prevent doggie breath and tooth decay.
Usually the Australian Shepherd Beagle mix is not used in any working roles, although they can make wonderful pets that the entire family can enjoy. However, some of these dogs may have strong herding instincts, which may make them suitable work dogs for farms or ranches.
The Australian Shepherd has an average life span of between 12 and 15 years, while the Beagle has a similar average life span of between 12 and 14 years. You can probably expect the Australian Shepherd Beagle mix to have an average life span of somewhere between 12 and 15 years. Hybrids are usually quite healthy, and they are often much healthier than their pure-bred parents. However, you still have to consider the potential hereditary disorders and defects of the parent breeds, which may include:
- Pituitary dependent hyperadrenocorticism
- Beagle pain syndrome
- Invertebral disk disease
- Chinese Beagle syndrome
- Corneal dystrophy
- Ear infections
- Pulmonic stenosis
- XX sex reversal
- Cherry eye
- Persistent papillary membrane
- Patellar luxation
- Dental problems
- Autoimmune diseases
- Iris coloboma
- Patent ductus arteriosus
- Hip dysplasia
- Osteochondritis dissecans