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Saussie Breed Information

Paws Pattern

The Auss-tzu, also affectionately known as the Saussie, is a hybrid dog breed that brings together the charming Shih Tzu and the intelligent Miniature Australian Shepherd. This delightful mix results in a small-to-medium-sized dog that is both playful and affectionate, making it a perfect companion for various households. Known for their endearing personalities and distinctive looks, Auss-tzus are gaining popularity among dog enthusiasts who seek a loyal and loving pet with a touch of spunk. 

The Auss-tzu is a relatively new designer breed, but it has quickly made a name for itself due to its engaging temperament and adaptable nature. These dogs are known for their bright eyes, fluffy coats, and lively demeanor, making them a joy to have around. 

BREED TYPE / MIX Hybrid / Shih Tzu crossed with a Mini Aussie ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Minimal TRAINING Responsive TEMPERAMENT Friendly, Intelligent, Affectionate ADULT WEIGHT 10-20 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 10-15 inches LIFE SPAN 12-15 yrs.


  • Size: Auss-tzus are small to medium-sized dogs, typically weighing between 10 to 25 pounds and standing about 10 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. 
  • Coat: They have a soft, fluffy coat that can be straight or slightly wavy, often requiring regular grooming to keep it in good condition. 
  • Colors: Their coat colors can vary widely, including combinations of black, white, brown, blue, and merle patterns inherited from their parent breeds. 
  • Eyes: Auss-tzus usually have expressive, almond-shaped eyes that can come in a range of colors, including blue, brown, and sometimes a combination of both (heterochromia). 
  • Temperament: Known for their friendly and affectionate nature, Auss-tzus are great with families and tend to get along well with children and other pets. 
  • Energy Level: These dogs have a moderate energy level, enjoying both playtime and relaxation. They thrive on regular exercise but are equally happy lounging with their owners. 
  • Intelligence: Thanks to their Miniature Australian Shepherd heritage, Auss-tzus are quite intelligent and eager to learn, making them relatively easy to train. 
  • Lifespan: With proper care, an Auss-tzu can live a healthy and happy life ranging from 12 to 15 years. 


The Auss-tzu's appearance is a charming blend of its parent breeds, resulting in a unique and appealing look. Here are some key aspects of the Auss-tzu's appearance: 

Size and Build: Auss-tzus are small to medium-sized dogs, typically weighing between 10 to 25 pounds and standing about 10 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a sturdy build, with a well-proportioned body that reflects the robust nature of the Miniature Australian Shepherd and the compactness of the Shih Tzu. 

Coat: One of the most striking features of the Auss-tzu is its coat. Their fur is usually soft and fluffy, with a texture that can range from straight to slightly wavy. The coat length varies, often requiring regular grooming to keep it looking its best and to prevent matting. 

Colors and Patterns: Auss-tzus come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, thanks to the diverse coat options of their parent breeds. Common colors include black, white, brown, blue, and merle patterns. These unique and vibrant color combinations make each Auss-tzu distinct. 

Face and Eyes: The face of an Auss-tzu is typically expressive, with almond-shaped eyes that can be brown, blue, or even a mix of both. Their eyes often reflect their playful and intelligent nature. The breed may also inherit the Shih Tzu's characteristic short muzzle. 

Ears and Tail: Auss-tzus generally have floppy ears that add to their adorable look. Their tails can vary, but they are often fluffy and may curl over their back, a trait commonly seen in Shih Tzus. 


Auss-tzus (saussies) are friendly and sociable, making them great companions for families with children and other pets. They enjoy meeting new people and animals, and their gentle nature makes them well-suited for various social environments. 

Auss-tzus have a playful side that is sure to bring joy to any household. They love engaging in fun activities, whether it's playing fetch, going for walks, or participating in interactive games. Their moderate energy levels mean they enjoy both active playtime and quiet relaxation. 

Thanks to their Miniature Australian Shepherd lineage, Auss-tzus are quite intelligent and eager to learn. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and are quick to pick up new commands and tricks. This intelligence also means they can sometimes be a bit stubborn, so consistent training is key. 

While not typically aggressive, Auss-tzus are alert and can be protective of their families. They make good watchdogs, often barking to alert their owners of strangers or unusual activities. This trait adds an extra layer of security to their homes. 



Grooming an Auss-tzu requires regular attention to keep their coat healthy and looking its best. Their soft, fluffy fur can range from straight to slightly wavy, which means it can be prone to matting and tangles if not properly maintained. Brushing your Auss-tzu at least three to four times a week is recommended to prevent mats and to keep their coat clean and smooth. Regular baths, approximately once a month, will help maintain their coat's softness and luster. Using a mild dog shampoo will keep their skin from becoming irritated. 

In addition to coat care, other grooming tasks are essential for an Auss-tzu's overall health. Regularly check and clean their ears to prevent infections, trim their nails every few weeks to avoid overgrowth and discomfort, and brush their teeth several times a week to maintain good oral hygiene. 

Exercise Needs

The Auss-tzu has moderate exercise needs, making them adaptable to various living environments, from apartments to houses with yards. To keep your Auss-tzu healthy and happy, aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise. This can include walks around the neighborhood, playtime in the yard, or visits to the dog park. Regular physical activity helps maintain their fitness and prevents boredom-related behaviors. 

Auss-tzus thrive on interactive play and mental challenges. Engaging games like fetch, tug-of-war, and puzzle toys are excellent for keeping their minds sharp and their bodies active. These activities not only provide physical exercise but also offer mental stimulation, which is essential for this intelligent breed. 


Auss-tzus are generally healthy dogs, benefiting from hybrid vigor, which can reduce the likelihood of some genetic health issues common in purebred dogs. However, they can still be prone to some mild health problems. Dental issues are relatively common in smaller breeds, including the Auss-tzu, so regular dental care, such as brushing their teeth and providing dental chews, is essential to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent periodontal disease. 

Allergies can also affect Auss-tzus, manifesting as skin irritations, itching, or gastrointestinal issues. It's important to monitor their reactions to different foods and environmental factors and consult a veterinarian if any allergy symptoms appear. 


The Auss-tzu typically enjoys a long and healthy life, thanks to the benefits of hybrid vigor, which often result in fewer genetic health issues compared to purebred dogs. On average, Auss-tzus live between 12 to 15 years, making them a long-term companion for their owners. 

To maximize your Auss-tzu's lifespan, provide them with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary care. Keeping up with vaccinations, dental care, and annual check-ups will help detect and address any health concerns early on. 


Training an Auss-tzu can be a rewarding experience due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. These dogs often inherit the Miniature Australian Shepherd's sharp mind and the Shih Tzu's affectionate nature, making them responsive to positive reinforcement techniques. Consistency, patience, and plenty of treats will go a long way in training your Auss-tzu. 

Start training early with basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. Auss-tzus benefit from socialization from a young age, so exposing them to different environments, people, and other animals can help them grow into well-rounded adults. Obedience classes can be particularly beneficial, providing structured learning and socialization opportunities. Remember, keeping training sessions fun and engaging will help maintain their interest and ensure successful learning outcomes. 


The Auss-tzu, also known as the Saussie, is a relatively new designer breed that has quickly captured the hearts of dog lovers. This hybrid breed is a cross between the Shih Tzu and the Miniature Australian Shepherd, blending the best traits of both parent breeds to create a unique and endearing companion. 

Origins: The exact origins of the Auss-tzu are not well-documented, as is common with many designer breeds. However, it is believed that the breed began to emerge in the early 21st century in the United States, where breeders aimed to combine the playful, friendly nature of the Shih Tzu with the intelligence and herding capabilities of the Miniature Australian Shepherd. 

Parent Breeds: To understand the Auss-tzu's history, it helps to look at the backgrounds of the parent breeds. The Shih Tzu, an ancient breed, originated in China and was favored by royalty for its charming personality and adorable appearance. The Miniature Australian Shepherd, on the other hand, is a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd and was developed in the United States. Known for their herding skills and intelligence, these dogs have become popular for their versatility and trainability. 

Purpose of the Breed: The aim of creating the Auss-tzu was to develop a companion dog that combines the best features of both parent breeds. Breeders sought to create a dog that is small yet sturdy, intelligent yet playful, and friendly yet alert. The resulting breed has inherited the affectionate nature of the Shih Tzu and the keen intelligence of the Miniature Australian Shepherd, making it an excellent family pet and companion. 

Popularity: While still a relatively new breed, the Auss-tzu has been gaining popularity among dog enthusiasts. Their unique combination of traits makes them suitable for a variety of lifestyles, from active families to individuals looking for a loyal companion. As more people discover the joys of owning an Auss-tzu, the breed's popularity is likely to continue to grow.