australian shepherd french bulldog mix

The Rare Australian Shepherd Frenchie Mix: How to Best Enjoy

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Do you ever think it ironic that there could be such a demand for mixed-breed dogs?

After generations of careful selection to create widely popular and distinctive blue-blooded German Shepherds, Poodles, and Labrador Retrievers, these same purebreds now inspire a new generation of sought-after designer dogs.

The original designer dogs aimed to provide a hypoallergenic solution to people’s pet needs by introducing the Poodle’s low-shedding hair.

Breeders experimented with Cocker Spaniels before the Labradoodle took the world by storm in the 1980s.

The Doodle craze inspired a stream of hybrid crosses, with French Bulldogs and Australian Shepherds recently gaining popularity as alternative breed choices.

An Australian French Bulldog mix sometimes called a French Bull-Aussie, is a fairly rare hybrid. What you will often see with an Aussie-Frenchie is a small dog who is an affectionate and loyal family companion.

Their activity level is moderate, as are many of their needs, such as grooming and medical attention. They are friendly with guests and accepting of other dogs.

History is not always in the name

French Bulldogs received their name from the French, but have deep roots in England. The Bulldog gave rise to three different types around 1835 when England finally enforced an 1802 law that banned bull-baiting.

Standard Bulldog to appeal to pet owners – A less athletic dog was born from a focus on a “more bulldog” appearance such as making the muzzle shortening more pronounced, widening the jaws, flattening the head, and increasing body mass.

Bulldog-Terrier – Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls resulted from attempts to create more athletic dogs to hunt vermin and populate a thriving dogfighting culture. Bull and terrier fighting rings were smaller and less detectable by law enforcement in the UK than bull- and bear-baiting arenas.

Toy and Miniature Bulldogs – Increasingly, pet owners sought miniature versions of the Bulldog. The Toy Bulldog was the result of crossing the standard Bulldog with small ratting dogs similar to rat terriers and possibly Pugs.

Further development of Toy Bulldogs continued in France with the displacement of lace workers and among prostitutes. The French Bulldog received widespread acknowledgment of its distinct name in 1906, per Ranker.com.

Australian Shepherds, like the French Bulldog, have a misleading name. Unlike the Frenchie, however, they did not originate nor develop in Australia. The continent down under never claims the Australian Shepherd as a native breed, according to Thesprucepets.com.

However, it seems likely that Australian native dogs may have influenced the Aussie’s development in the United States along with herding canines the Basque brought from the Pyrenees Mountain Range of Spain and France in the 1850s.

The Australian Shepherd, again in contrast to the French Bulldog, featured breeders and owners who emphasized the working qualities of the breed rather than appearance.

Enthusiasts resisted many Aussie registries because they did not want to promote a breed standard that would encourage the selection of characters based on looks. Australian Shepherds finally gained entry into the AKC in 1991.

Frenchie-Aussie mixes are attractive

As is often the case with rarer mixed breeds, visualizing the two purebred contributors gives you the best idea of how the offspring might appear.

This video is a humorous take on intelligence, although the breeds are not too far apart in that aspect. However, other than short tails, they do not physically resemble each other.

The French Bulldog is brindle and the Aussie a blue merle. Note differences in shape. Although both dogs are compact, the Frenchie is more massive and has much shorter legs and flatter face.

Your dog will inherit qualities in variable degrees from both parents. Your dog will likely be compact, about 14 to 17 inches tall, and weighing 35 to 45 pounds.

She will have ears that fold forward a quarter of an inch from the base, or they may stand upright with a batlike shape. Her eyes can be blue, brown, green, or bi-colored.

Possible Coat Colors

  • Blue or red merle
  • Solid black
  • Tri-color
  • Black and tan
  • Cream
  • White and black
  • Brindle

Different physical traits dictate how the breeds withstand variations in the weather.

French Bulldogs, like other short-nosed breeds, suffer exacerbated respiratory difficulties in warm weather. With temperatures above even the mid-80s, Frenchies are at risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Without a nasal passage long enough to cool inhaled air, Bulldogs lose an important adaptive feature to prevent overheating.

Moreover, if they have additional features of the brachycephalic complex like an elongated palate, breathing obstructions add to the distress and elevated core body temperature.

Breathing difficulties and a shortened sinus also mean French Bulldogs are poorly adapted to cold weather, according to Frenchbulldogowner.com.

Moreover, their short and thin fur leaves them vulnerable to frigid temperatures. Their small body size causes them to lose heat rapidly.

Australian Shepherds tolerate both hot and cold weather moderately well. They become uncomfortable at temperatures over 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and below 32 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

An Aussie’s coat is similar to a Shepherd’s in its double-coat benefits but is less dense. An insulating undercoat makes the Australian Shepherd’s coat weather-resistant against rain and sleet and protective against heat and UV rays.

Your Frenchie Aussie mix will have a shorter muzzle than and thinner hair than an Australian Shepherd. Expect your hybrid French Bulldog to be moderately sensitive to the heat, especially if too active in humid conditions.

Moreover, the French Bulldog Australian Shepherd mix is not likely to tolerate temperatures below 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do you groom a Frenchie Aussie mix?

French Bulldogs have short and smooth hair. Most have a fine undercoat that they shed twice a year in the fall and spring, according to Thehappypuppysite.com.

Australian Shepherds have dense medium-long hair with a thick, soft undercoat they shed regularly.

Your Australian Shepherd mix will have medium-length fur that may be wiry or slightly wavy. Many French Bulldog crosses do not have an undercoat.

You should brush your dog at least once a week to ensure regular removal of dirt, debris, and dead hair. If your hybrid has extra folds on her face, you should wipe them gently every other day with a moist cloth.

Like all dogs, trim your French Bull-Aussie’s nails every six to eight weeks and check her ears every week or two. Keep baths to a minimum and use a gentle dog shampoo.

Exercise in moderation

French Bulldogs can be quite energetic, especially compared to their larger English cousins, but they are not very tolerant of long bouts of exercise.

Used to herd cattle or sheep at high altitudes from the Colorado Rockies to Nevada, Australian Shepherds have plenty of stamina.

According to Dogtime.com, Aussies need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day which is misleading because you also need to add 20 minutes or more of intellectual work and strenuous activity.

A perfect blend between French Bulldogs and Australian Shepherds will give you a dog who will probably need 45 to 60 minutes of exercise each day.

Relatively short legs and muzzles will require you to be careful when exercising your French Bulldog mix. Avoid hot conditions and long periods of activity.

If your mix is more like an Australian Shepherd, she will have large amounts of stamina and perhaps longer legs that will be able to sustain more exercise.

Is a French Bulldog Australian Shepherd mix smart?

It will be difficult for you to predict whether your Aussie Frenchie mix will be smart or readily trainable.

According to Thesmartcanine.com, renowned animal psychologist Stanley Coren ranked French Bulldogs along with Pugs and a few other breeds in the high 50s in intelligence based on obedience and proficiency at what founders bred them to do.

Coren considered the ability of a dog to learn on her own as well as commands from humans. While Frenchies scored as having fair working intelligence, again referring to companionship, Australian Shepherds were average at No.42.

Your Australian Shepherd Frenchie mix should be average in trainability. French Bulldogs can be willful and stubborn, and Australian Shepherds are independent. Your hybrid should be fairly intelligent and will learn best if you can find ways to hold his attention.

What are your most likely health concerns with an Aussie Frenchie mix?

Aussie Frenchie mixes luckily and does not exhibit the extremely flat face or short limbs of the French Bulldog. However, they may still have mild respiratory noise and obstructive abnormalities and may suffer from spinal abnormalities.

From the Australian Shepherd, the hybrid can inherit eye abnormalities such as iris coloboma (iris fails to develop properly), collie eye anomaly, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Common health problems in Australian Shepherd Frenchie mixes are as follows.

  • Cataracts (Australian Shepherd)
  • Sensitivity to Ivermectin (Collies, Australian Shepherds) – used in heartworm prevention and other modes of parasite control.
  • Skin allergies (French Bulldog)

Does French Bull-Aussies have good family dog qualities?

Australian Shepherd mixes are loyal and affectionate, bonding with multiple if not all members of the family.

Other pets

Frenchies get along with most other animals. With their background of hunting rats, an occasional French Bulldog may show prey-drive behavior towards smaller animals. Most French Bulldogs no longer have much of a prey drive.

Australian Shepherds also get along well with other dogs, often used to herd in pairs. However, they are eye herders, meaning they utilize various degrees of eye contact to herd livestock. Some dogs may find an Aussie’s direct stare confrontational or intimidating.

Your Aussie Frenchie mix should play well with other dogs. Socialization is a must to learn proper communication with unfamiliar dogs. Your dog may not be a good candidate for a household with cats.

However, French Bulldog Australian Shepherd mixes show individual responses to cats, and many who are raised with felines learn to get along with them.

Children

French Bulldogs enjoy children, but Aussies may try to herd them. With a mix, proper training will help deter your dog from herding or nipping children.

Strangers

Australian Shepherds are reserved but friendly with strangers that you accept. They are often watchful but unaggressive. French Bulldogs should be universally charming.

An Aussie Frenchie mix will be outgoing and an attention seeker. Good socialization is necessary to ensure your dog does not react from a place of fear.

Australian Shepherd French Bulldog mixes can be excellent watchdogs, at least warning you of any trespasses. However, your mix is not likely to be overly protective and probably will not be a good watchdog.