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Saussie Breed Information

Paws Pattern

The Auss-Tzu, also known as the Saussie, is an endearing and versatile hybrid dog breed resulting from the cross between the Miniature Australian Shepherd and the Shih Tzu. This delightful mix combines the intelligence and agility of the Australian Shepherd with the affectionate and playful nature of the Shih Tzu, creating a well-rounded companion that excels in various settings. 

Auss-Tzus are typically small to medium-sized dogs, making them suitable for both apartment living and homes with yards. Their charming personality and adaptability make them ideal pets for families, singles, and seniors alike. Known for their loyalty and friendly demeanor, these dogs quickly form strong bonds with their owners, providing endless love and companionship. 

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


  • Size: Typically weigh between 10 to 20 pounds and stand around 10 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder, suitable for various living situations. 
  • Coat: Medium-length with a soft, wavy texture. Colors can vary widely, including black, white, brown, blue merle, and combinations. 
  • Intelligence: Highly intelligent and quick learners, inheriting the sharp mind of the Australian Shepherd. They thrive on mental challenges and interactive activities. 
  • Affectionate Nature: Form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy spending time with family members. Known for their friendly disposition towards children and other pets. 
  • Playfulness: Energetic and playful, they love participating in games and outdoor activities but also appreciate downtime and cuddles. 


The Auss-Tzu, or Saussie, boasts a charming and unique appearance that reflects its mixed heritage. These dogs typically possess a combination of features from both the Miniature Australian Shepherd and the Shih Tzu, resulting in a distinctive and appealing look. 

Auss-Tzus are small to medium-sized dogs, usually weighing between 10 to 20 pounds and standing about 10 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. Their compact size makes them adaptable to various living environments. One of the most striking features of the Auss-Tzu is its coat, which can vary in length and texture. The coat is often medium-length, soft, and slightly wavy, combining the silky quality of the Shih Tzu's fur with the more rugged look of the Australian Shepherd. 

The color of an Auss-Tzu's coat can be quite diverse, including shades of black, white, brown, blue merle, and various combinations of these colors. This variety adds to their unique appeal and ensures that no two Auss-Tzus look exactly alike. Their expressive eyes, often dark and round, exude warmth and intelligence, while their ears can range from floppy like the Shih Tzu's to more erect or semi-erect, reflecting their Australian Shepherd lineage. 


The Auss-Tzu, or Saussie, is celebrated for its affectionate and friendly temperament, making it an ideal companion for various types of owners. These dogs are known for their strong attachment to their families, often forming deep bonds with their human companions. They thrive on social interaction and love being at the center of family activities. 

Auss-Tzus are playful and energetic, bringing a lively spirit into the home. They enjoy engaging in games and outdoor activities, making them great playmates for children. Their playful nature is balanced by their loving and gentle disposition, which makes them equally happy to cuddle up with their owners and enjoy quiet moments together. 

In addition to their affectionate nature, Auss-Tzus are known for their intelligence and curiosity. They are quick learners and enjoy mental stimulation, which makes training a rewarding experience for both the dog and the owner. Their friendly demeanor extends to other pets and strangers, making them sociable and adaptable in various environments. 



Grooming an Auss-Tzu, or Saussie, is essential to keeping their coat and skin healthy and looking their best. Their grooming needs can vary depending on which parent breed they take after more, but regular care is necessary for all Auss-Tzus. 

The Auss-Tzu’s coat is typically medium-length and can be wavy or slightly curly, requiring regular brushing to prevent tangles and matting. Brushing your Auss-Tzu three to four times a week helps keep their coat smooth and free of debris. Using a good-quality slicker brush or comb can make this task easier and more effective. 

Bathing should be done once a month or as needed, using a gentle, dog-specific shampoo that won’t irritate their skin. Over-bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils, so it's important to find a balance that keeps them clean without drying out their skin. Ensure thorough drying after baths to prevent any moisture-related skin issues, especially if your Auss-Tzu has inherited the Shih Tzu's dense undercoat. 

Regular ear cleaning is crucial, particularly if your Auss-Tzu has floppy ears, which can trap moisture and debris and lead to infections. Check and clean their ears weekly to keep them healthy and infection-free. 

Dental hygiene is another important aspect of grooming for Auss-Tzus. Regular tooth brushing and providing dental chews can help prevent tartar buildup and gum disease. Small breeds like the Auss-Tzu are prone to dental issues, so maintaining good oral hygiene is essential. 

Nail trimming should be done every few weeks to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, it's time for a trim. Keeping their nails short helps maintain good foot health and comfort. 

Exercise Needs

The Auss-Tzu, or Saussie, is an energetic and active breed that thrives on regular physical and mental exercise. These dogs benefit from the active and intelligent nature of both the Miniature Australian Shepherd and the Shih Tzu, making exercise an essential part of their daily routine. 

Auss-Tzus require a moderate amount of exercise, typically around 30 to 60 minutes per day. This can include a combination of walks, playtime, and interactive activities. Daily walks are important not only for physical fitness but also for mental stimulation. Exploring different routes and environments keeps them engaged and prevents boredom. 

In addition to walks, Auss-Tzus enjoy a variety of play activities. Games of fetch, tug-of-war, and agility exercises are excellent ways to keep them physically active and mentally sharp. These dogs also excel in obedience training and puzzle toys, which challenge their intelligence and keep them entertained. 

Auss-Tzus also benefit from socialization with other dogs. Trips to the dog park or playdates with other pets can provide valuable social interaction and additional exercise. Their friendly and sociable nature means they typically enjoy these opportunities to interact with other dogs and people. 

While Auss-Tzus are active, they also appreciate downtime and relaxation. Providing a balanced routine of exercise and rest ensures they remain happy and healthy. Monitoring their activity levels and adjusting as needed can help prevent overexertion and keep your Auss-Tzu in peak condition. 


The Auss-Tzu, or Saussie, is generally a healthy breed, benefiting from the genetic diversity of its Miniature Australian Shepherd and Shih Tzu parentage. However, as with all breeds, there are some health concerns potential owners should be aware of to ensure their pet leads a long, healthy life. 

One common issue in Auss-Tzus is allergies, which can affect their skin and cause itching, redness, and discomfort. These allergies can be managed with regular grooming, hypoallergenic shampoos, and by keeping their living environment clean. It's important to watch for any signs of allergic reactions and consult a veterinarian for appropriate treatments. 

Ear infections are another health concern, particularly due to the Auss-Tzu's potentially floppy ears, inherited from the Shih Tzu. These ears can trap moisture and debris, leading to infections. To prevent ear infections, regular ear cleaning and keeping the ears dry after baths or swimming are essential. 

Dental health is important for Auss-Tzus, as small breeds are prone to dental issues like tartar buildup and gum disease. Regular tooth brushing, providing dental chews, and routine dental check-ups with a veterinarian can help maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental problems. 

Additionally, while generally healthy, Auss-Tzus can be susceptible to certain inherited conditions from their parent breeds. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and maintaining an active lifestyle are crucial for early detection and management of any potential health issues. 


The Auss-Tzu, or Saussie, typically enjoys a long and healthy lifespan, generally ranging from 12 to 15 years. This longevity is attributed to the breed's hybrid vigor, which often results in fewer inherited health issues compared to purebred dogs. However, ensuring a long and healthy life for your Auss-Tzu requires regular care and attention to their overall well-being. 

To support their lifespan, regular veterinary check-ups are essential. These visits help catch and address any potential health issues early, allowing for prompt treatment and better management. Routine vaccinations, parasite control, and dental care are also critical components of their health regimen. 

A balanced diet tailored to their size, age, and activity level is important for maintaining their health. High-quality dog food, rich in essential nutrients, helps support their immune system, coat health, and overall vitality. Avoiding overfeeding and maintaining a healthy weight can also prevent common health problems associated with obesity. 

Exercise and mental stimulation play significant roles in the Auss-Tzu's longevity. Regular physical activity helps keep their muscles strong, their weight in check, and their mind sharp. Engaging them in interactive games and training sessions not only enhances their quality of life but also strengthens the bond between you and your pet. 


Training an Auss-Tzu, or Saussie, is an engaging process that leverages their keen intelligence and amiable disposition. These dogs benefit from the combined traits of the Miniature Australian Shepherd’s agility and the Shih Tzu’s affectionate nature, making them responsive to training efforts. 

Begin training your Auss-Tzu at an early age to set the foundation for good behavior. Early socialization is crucial, exposing them to a variety of environments, people, and other animals. This helps them develop into well-rounded, confident dogs. Puppy socialization classes are an excellent way to start this process, providing structured opportunities for your Auss-Tzu to interact with other dogs and people. 

Positive reinforcement is the most effective training method for Auss-Tzus. They respond well to rewards such as treats, praise, and playtime. Incorporating these incentives into training sessions encourages desired behaviors and fosters a positive learning environment. Training sessions should be kept short and varied to maintain the dog’s interest and prevent boredom. 

Due to their intelligence and curiosity, Auss-Tzus thrive on mental stimulation. Engaging them in activities like agility training, obedience exercises, and puzzle toys can keep their minds sharp and prevent behavioral issues related to boredom. Their Miniature Australian Shepherd heritage makes them particularly adept at learning complex commands and participating in dog sports. 

Consistency and routine are important in training an Auss-Tzu. Establishing a regular schedule for feeding, walking, and training helps them understand expectations and reduces anxiety. Crate training can be beneficial, providing a safe space for the dog and aiding in house training efforts. 

Auss-Tzus are also known for their playful nature, so incorporating play into training can be highly effective. Activities that combine physical exercise with mental challenges, such as hide-and-seek or fetch with a twist, can keep them engaged and reinforce training commands. 


The Auss-Tzu, also known as the Saussie, is a relatively recent addition to the world of designer dog breeds. This hybrid breed is a cross between the Miniature Australian Shepherd and the Shih Tzu, combining the best traits of both parent breeds. While the Auss-Tzu itself does not have a long history, its parent breeds boast rich and storied backgrounds. 

The Miniature Australian Shepherd, often simply called the Mini Aussie, originated in the United States in the late 20th century. Bred down from the larger Australian Shepherd, the Mini Aussie was developed to maintain the herding abilities and intelligence of its larger counterpart in a more compact size. This breed quickly gained popularity for its agility, trainability, and affectionate nature. 

The Shih Tzu, on the other hand, has a much older history, dating back over a thousand years to ancient China. Originally bred as companion animals for Chinese royalty, Shih Tzus were prized for their charming looks, friendly disposition, and loyal nature. Over the centuries, the Shih Tzu has maintained its status as a beloved companion dog, known for its affectionate and playful personality. 

The intentional crossbreeding of these two breeds aims to produce a dog that combines the Mini Aussie’s intelligence and agility with the Shih Tzu’s affectionate and friendly nature. As with many designer breeds, the Auss-Tzu was likely developed in the last few decades, gaining popularity as people sought out dogs that offered the best of both worlds.