Australian Shepherds are amongst the favorite dog breeds of all time, thanks to their intelligence, friendliness, and beautiful appearance. Chow dogs are pretty much miniature bears, sturdy with a big head, and incredibly fluffy!
But what happens when you mix both of these dog breeds into one? The result, of course, is a unique-looking crossbreed!
A designer dog, the Australian Shepherd and Chow mix is highly sought after and it combines the best traits of both parent breeds, resulting in a cute-looking mixture of the two.
But appearance isn’t everything when it comes to dogs. If you’re thinking of getting this crossbreed, you first need to ensure it’s the right kind of dog for you.
From the temperament to the physical traits, to the different training or grooming needs, to the health…we can tell you everything you need to know and more so that you’re well versed in all of the basics about this crossbreed dog.
Let’s get right into it!
Australian Shepherd and Chow: History of the breed
Designer dogs, such as the crossbreed between the Australian Shepherd and the Chow, are usually developed out of desire, as crossbreeds are very sought after and they combine desirable traits from two different breeds.
However, the parent breeds will have been originally bred for a purpose, and this can define some of the basic characteristics, both in temperament and physical traits.
It’s important to understand the origin and history of the breeds, in order to better grasp the disposition of the dog in question, and as crossbreeds inherit these traits from their parents, that’s where you should start!
History of the Australian Shepherd breed:
The Australian Shepherd is a highly popular breed of dog, beloved by many. It was first developed in the United States, specifically in California, during the 19th century.
The name doesn’t, therefore, come from its place of origin. Instead, it comes from the herding dog breeds that it was developed from, and the sheep that were imported from Australia that it was known for herding.
As a working dog, this breed was developed to be highly intelligent and obedient, loyal and friendly. They are excellent with families and children, and they also get along really well with other dogs and animals.
They are loving and affectionate, and super easy to train, which is a trait that makes them very desirable.
The downside is that the Australian Shepherd requires a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, and is prone to getting bored if not given the necessary attention.
History of the Chow breed:
The Chow dog was originally bred in the North of China, well over 2000 years ago. In fact, it is one of the oldest dog breeds known to us and is known for being well-suited to colder regions, hence the thick and long coating of hair.
They were often used to pull sleds, thanks to how strong and powerful they are. However, Chows were also massively used as war dogs, thanks to their size and sturdiness, and how intimidating they can be.
But that’s not all. Chow dogs are pretty multi-faceted, and they were also used for herding animals and as watchdogs, as well as being used to guard territories and homes.
However, they very quickly became popular as house companions, and nowadays they are mainly used simply for companionship and as big fluffy pets.
They still have a huge thick coating of long hair, so they are very much suited to colder regions and you should double-think your choice of having one if you live somewhere too warm.
History of the Australian Shepherd and Chow Mix:
The crossbreed between an Australian Shepherd and a Chow dog doesn’t really have a concrete origin, as it is a bit of a mystery where this designer mix comes from.
However, they are not common to find and are therefore very sought after and considered to be of very high quality.
With a combination of the athletic prowess of the Australian Shepherd and the strength and stamina of the Chow, the crossbreed is an impressive dog full of amazing physical traits, most definitely suited to an outdoor lifestyle in a colder region.
Personality and Temperament of the Australian Shepherd and Chow Mix:
Every single dog is unique, and over time they develop their own quirky personalities and behavioral tendencies.
However, there are some personality and temperament traits that are more prevalent in certain breeds, so depending on the breed of your dog, it will be more prone to being one way or another.
A crossbreed, it can go in many ways. They can take after one parent or the other, or they could end up with a mixture of both.
Usually, breeders will have developed the best traits of both parent breeds, in order to get the best possible dog. (Although all dogs are the best!)
Personality and temperament of the Australian Shepherd:
Australian Shepherds are one of the friendliest and pleasant dogs to be around. They get along with everyone, including children of all ages and other dogs and animals. They are outgoing and active, and they love to play and interact with everyone around them.
As highly intelligent dogs, they are always eager to learn, so they love performing tricks and being challenged by new activities. They are also very obedient and loyal, making them great working dogs and companions.
They love attention and need to feel like they are part of the group. The downside is that they can get bored very easily if not given enough attention and time, and they need to exercise very regularly or else they will become a bit of a handful at home.
Personality and temperament of the Chow:
Chow Chow’s are very often compared to cats in regards to their personality and temperament. They are described as being aloof and independent, pretty stubborn, and with a strong sense of individuality.
Basically, they’re completely fine with being left to their own devices.
However, Chow dogs are also full of love and will enjoy playing with their family. What is important to remember is that they need a lot of socialization training from a very young age, especially towards strangers.
This is because Chow dogs were originally massively bred for guarding, and as such, they are distrustful of those they don’t know.
They aren’t aggressive in any way, they will likely just ignore strangers and show no interest (much like a cat). But if someone trespasses their home, and their owner shows no sign of knowing them, the Chow will get protective.
Personality and temperament of the Australian Shepherd and Chow Mix:
The crossbreed between the Australian Shepherd and the Chow can kind of go both ways, depending on which parent the dog takes after.
Usually, they will be very friendly and playful dogs when it comes to their owners, but they will remain aloof and distant when it comes to strangers. Of course, this can be trained with plenty of socialization, so that they get along with everybody.
The high intelligence combined with the guardian and protective instinct makes for a very loyal companion, full of affection and love.
Despite the independent streak of the Chow, these dogs will want to feel like they are part of the pack, so it is best not to leave them alone for too long.
The only thing to watch out for is if an Alpha streak has been inherited from the Chow side, in which case a firmer and stronger owner will be needed in order to establish proper authority.
Physical traits of the Australian Shepherd and Chow Mix:
Australian Shepherds and Chow Chow are pretty different in their appearance, so what does the crossbreed of these two dogs look like?
Well, the end result is pretty much a Chow with Australian Shepherd coloring and Australian Shepherd facial features. It’s like turning the Australian Shepherd into a cuddly bear, adding sturdiness and mass volume.
So basically, the result is super cute.
With both the Chow and the Australian Shepherd having long coatings of hair, the crossbreed has a thick and fluffy coating of hair that keeps them warm in the cold.
As for the coloring, it can be anything within the range from Chow to Australian Shepherd, but they will tend to have the freckles of color from the Australian Shepherd.
Both parent breeds are middle-sized dogs, so the crossbreed is the same. The Chow measures between 18 to 22 inches in height, and weighs between 44 to 70 pounds.
The Australian Shepherd, on the other hand, measures between 18 to 23 inches tall and weighs between 35 to 75 pounds. Overall, it’s a pretty similar size.
Depending on the parent that the crossbreed takes after, the dog will be more on the sturdy and heavy side or more on the athletic side.
Training and Exercise Needs of the Australian Shepherd and Chow Mix:
Both the Australian Shepherd and the Chow Chow are incredibly high-energy dogs, bred for working, and with huge amounts of exercise needed.
Australian Shepherds are athletic, fast, and agile. Chow dogs are strong, powerful, and have impressive levels of endurance.
If we pair all of this together, your dog is going to need very long walks, along with some high-intensity activities to make sure all the energy is used up.
As they are also very intelligent dogs, they will need mentally stimulating activities to avoid getting bored. If they do get bored they can become restless and can eventually develop bad behavioral patterns.
As for training, it can go one way or another. If the dog takes after the Australian Shepherd parent, then they will be super easy to train. If they take after the Chow…then they will likely be stubborn and headstrong, so a lot of patience and positive reinforcement will be required.
Grooming Needs of an Australian Shepherd and Chow Mix:
Australian Shepherds have long thick coats and are prone to shedding a lot. Chow Chow have very long thick coats and are very prone to shedding a lot.
So…the crossbreed between them results in a dog with a very long thick coating, and with a lot of shedding.
Basically, you’re going to have to be prepared to deal with a lot of dog hair. You will likely need to invest in a vacuum cleaner and a pair of sturdy brushes.
These dogs will need to be brushed regularly, to keep the fur detangled and to keep the shedding under control. Bathing them often is also a good idea to help keep the hair under control.
However, be careful not to dry out their skin by bathing them too often.
Longevity and Health of an Australian Shepherd and Chow Mix:
Australian Shepherds usually live up to between 13 to 15 years. Chow dogs usually live up between 9 to 15 years.
The crossbreed will depend on which parent they take after the most, as well as the quality of their lifestyle, the diet, the overall health, and many other factors that affect the longevity of a dog.
But usually, the lifespan for this crossbreed will average out at around 12 to 15 years.
As a crossbreed, the health risks that majorly threaten both the Australian Shepherd and the Chow will be significantly reduced, Crossbreeds are known to be healthier and to have fewer problems in that regard,
However, if they were to have any health issues, the most common are joint dysplasia, allergies, and eye problems.
Australian Shepherd and Chow Mix: is this the right dog for you?
Now that we’ve covered all of the basics about the crossbreed between the Australian Shepherd and the Chow, we’ve come to the important question: is this the right dog for you?
Well, first of all, do you live in a cold enough place? With all that hair your dog would suffer quite a bit in hot climates!
Second of all, do you have enough space and time to give this type of dog the amount of physical exercise that it requires?
They are best suited to an outdoor lifestyle, with plenty of hiking and adventuring out in the wild.