Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix: The Ultimate Guide

Published: 01/25/23 •  12 min read

The Pitbull Australian Shepherd mix is a medium-sized dog combining the ever-active Australian Shepherd with the guarded, intimidating presence of the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix
Photo: Instagram

The Shepherd Pitbull, it is otherwise known, is most at home on a farm or with an active family. The Aussie Pit hasn’t been around that long, but this designer breed is fast becoming one of the most popular mixed-breed dogs for those looking for a spry companion pet.

Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix – At a Glance

Weight:30 – 85 pounds
Height:17 – 23 inches
Lifespan:10 – 16 years
Coat Colors:Blue merle, red merle, black, and cream, or a mix thereof
Temperament:Loving, sometimes aggressive and protective, energetic, active
Most Suitable For:Families with or without children, active single individuals

What Does a Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Look Like?

Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix
Photo: Instagram

Like all mixed-breed dogs, the Shepherd Pitbull mix will borrow its physical appearance from both parent breeds. It will likely have a slightly less intimidating figure than your traditional Pitbull, and largely physically resemble the Australian Shepherd. Alternatively, it could also have a shorter, stockier figure, like the American Pit Bull Terrier.

It will likely have a double-layer coat, like the Australian Shepherd. If it inherits this coat type, it will likely be a medium-length coat. However, it may inherit a shorter coat, similar to the American Pit Bull Terrier. The Shepherd Pitbull mix will likely have an eye anomaly known as heterochromia. In either case, you can expect the Shepherd Pitbull mix to have triangular, forward-folded ears.

In either case, like both parent breeds, your Aussie Pit will have muscular hind quarters and a long snout.

The History of the Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix

Unfortunately, there is little available history of the Aussie Pit. Despite being bred from two of the most popular dog breeds in the country, their breeding likely took place fairly recently. Likely sometime in the 1990s or early 2000s, when crossbreeding dogs became more common in the U.S.

To learn more about the history of the Shepherd Pit, we’ll take a look into the histories, temperaments, popularity, and suitability of the Australian Shepherd parent and the American Pit Bull Terrier.

The History of the Australian Shepherd

The History of the Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a misnomer as the breed was originally developed in California. Created by crossbreeding various types of sheepdogs from Australia and New Zealand. The ancestors of those dogs are thought to be shepherds from the Basque region, along with a variety of Pyrenean Sheepdogs.

The Australian Shepherd’s ancestral lineage could date back to the 16th century, when Spanish flocks roamed North America. Outside of the livestock industry, Australian Shepherds went virtually unknown for the best part of a century. Beloved by farmers for their herding instincts, these faithful herding dogs had a strong prey drive and high energy levels.

They are still used as a herding breed on many United States farms, but they are also beloved family pets, renowned for being hardy breeds.

How Popular Are Australian Shepherd in the United States?

Australian Shepherds are among the most popular herding dogs in the United States. Up there in popularity with other active breeds such as the Border Collie. Given that their primary instinct and role is to be farming dogs, they are classified in the working dog category.

In 2021, the Australian Shepherd ranked as the 12th most popular dog in the United States.

Who Are Australian Shepherds a Good Dog For?

Given the dynamic nature of the Australian Shepherd, they are best suited for families with plenty of land or in an active role on a farm. Their double coats help them deal with extreme weather, so don’t worry about them being outside on colder days!

Outside of this environment, such as in an apartment building, they are more likely to become bored – which could lead to destructive behavior as they attempt to amuse themselves.

Their activity levels and need for daily exercise aren’t suitable for the elderly. Thus, they need to be with an active family unit. Given their herding history, keep an eye on them around younger children.

How Did Australian Shepherds Come About?

Australian Shepherds were created in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries as a herding breed, to compliment or replace the shepherding dogs that had already been imported. This was done through breeding together various sheepdogs from Australia and New Zealand.

Despite its breeding history, Australian Shepherds have also been popular show dogs, given that they’re a very intelligent breed, this isn’t surprising.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Australian Shepherd?

Australian Shepherds are often a popular crossbreed, mostly due to their energetic, active nature and loving and loyal temperament. Its genes are either used to make a breed more active or for aesthetic reasons (they are mighty pretty pups!).

Likely, the Australian Shepherd was originally crossbred sometime in the 1990s and early 2000s, when crossbreeding first became popular in the United States.

Several popular Australian Shepherd crossbreeds include:

The History of the Pitbull

The History of the Pitbull

The Pitbull, or to give it its proper name, the American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized dog that had an unfortunate history up until it arrived in the United States between 1845 and 1860. Prior to this, the Pitbull Terrier was bred in England in late 18th and early 19th centuries from the Olde English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier, otherwise known as the English White Terrier.

Unfortunately, the Pitbull Terrier (or simply Pitbull) was bred for blood sports that were popular during this time. These involved dog fighting and bull-baiting – a ‘sport’ where a Pitbull, or other terrier breed such as Boxers – would be placed in pens with angry bull cows and made to outrun the cow.

The ‘game’ would end when the cow collapsed from exhaustion or the Pitbull was killed. In 1835, the British Government outlawed bull baiting and a host of other blood sports in which the Pitbull Terrier took part. This led to an almost immediate decline in the popularity o the Pitbull among the English.

Sometime between 1845 and 1860, the Pitbull arrived in the United States and once again entered the throes of dog fighting. Dogfighting would continue to the legal in the U.S. until 1976! However, Pitbull Terriers (although they were still used in this capacity), would soon find a home among many modern American families, after being recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1934 – naming it the American Pit Bull Terrier.

The American Kennel Club continues not to recognize the Pit Bull, given its unfortunate history of violence, it has led to aggressive incidents, biting and mauling by certain Pit Bull dogs throughout the decade. This has led to some American cities banning the ownership of the American Pit Bull Terrier.

How Popular Are Pitbulls in the United States?

Given their legal status in many American cities, Pit Bulls are often seen as being something of a mystery – a dog everyone has, but nobody admits to having! This, coupled with the AKC’s refusal to recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as a breed, population statistics have been hard to come by.

However, sources have indicated that the American Pit Bull Terrier may make up as much as 20% of America’s ‘strong’ dog population.

Who Are Pitbulls a Good Dog For?

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a powerful animal intended only for hands that are strong enough to handle their size and strength. This means they’re off-limits for the elderly and those who aren’t confident in their ability to walk them. They’re not recommended for first-time dog owners either.

They’re also not a good fit for apartment buildings, due to their propensity for separation anxiety and destructive behavior.

Despite all of this, American Pit Bull Terriers are wonderful companion dogs. Best suited for those who lead an active lifestyle, the Pit Bull also enjoys spending time with its human companion.

How Did Pitbulls Come About?

Pitbulls were originally bred in England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, from the Olde English Bulldog and White English Terriers. They were originally used as bull-baiting and fighting dogs until the practice was outlawed in 1835.

A decade or so later, the Pit Bull would be reborn in the United States as the American Pit Bull Terrier.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Pitbull?

As a way to circumvent the auspicious legislation surrounding Pitbull ownership, some people turned to crossbreeding. Over the years, this has created many different Pitbull mixes. Some of these mixes include:

How Important Is a Dog’s Temperament to Your Family?

One of the most important parts of your research before buying or adopting a dog is to research the prospective temperaments of the dogs you’re looking at adopting or purchasing.

The goal is to find a well-balanced dog that matches your family’s temperament. For example, if you are an active family that loves to hike or be outside, you’re going to want a dog that enjoys plenty of exercise.

Or, if you’re a mostly at-home family, then you’ll likely want a dog that’s going to be happy to be around the house.

Essentially, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re choosing a dog that matches the speed that your family lives life at so it doesn’t feel left out of activities and be in the proper living environment for the breed.

What is the Temperament of the Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix?

Like any designer breed, the Shepherd Pitbull mix adopts the different parts of the temperament of each parent. Aussie Pitbulls inherit their playfulness and energy levels from the Australian Shepherd, however, your Aussie Pit may also inherit the hyperactive streak of the American Pit Bull Terrier.

The Shepherd Pitbull mix is generally a very loving and loyal dog with a fondness for giving care and attention to its owners. It won’t be a lapdog, but your Aussie Pit will likely be very affectionate towards you and other family members.

Is The Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Friendly?

Unfortunately for some, the Shepherd Pitbull mix may display some aggression toward strangers. This should be addressed immediately with consistent training as early as possible.

Is The Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Easy to Train?

When it comes to training, the Shepherd Pitbull may be a little more stubborn than other dogs due to the stubborn genes of the Pit Bull. It may also be a little more hyperactive and distracted – Aussie Pits can inherit that trait from their Shepherd parent.

In general, it’s better (even for experienced dog owners) to begin your Shepherd Pitbull on positive reinforcement training as soon as possible. This will instill the rules in your Aussie Pit early on, and they’ll learn right from wrong much faster.

How Much Can A Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Weigh?

The average weight of a Pitbull Australian Shepherd is between 30 and 85 pounds.

How Tall Can A Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Get?

The average height of a Pitbull Australian Shepherd mix is between 17 and 23 inches tall.

Similar-Sized Breeds

There are a few similar-sized breeds to the Shepherd Pitbull. These include:

Does the Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Shed?

Depending on which genes the Aussie Pit inherits, it may either have a medium-length coat with a moderate shedding capacity or a short, dense coat with a low shedding capacity. The Shepherd Pitbull will likely need a weekly brush.

How Much Exercise Does A Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Require?

The physical attributes of the Shepherd Pitbull mean it needs a lot of exercise! If you’re looking for a hiking partner or a running buddy, the Aussie Pit may be it!

How Long Can a Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Live?

The average lifespan of a Pitbull Australian Shepherd mix is between 10 and 16 years.

What Health Conditions Could the Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Have?

How Can You Find a Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Puppy For Sale?

Before you start searching for an Aussie Pit puppy for sale, consider seeing if your local animal shelter or vet clinic has an Aussie Pit available for adoption.

Adoptions are common for Aussie Pit Bulls, as some breeders accidentally mate them, or others are put up for adoption by their owners. If you strike out in person, try checking out AdoptAPet.com, which will allow you to search for an Aussie Pit in your local area.

How Much Does a Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix Puppy Cost?

The average cost of an Aussie Pit is between $700 and $3000! This is at least double the cost of adopting a Pitbull Australian Shepherd mix!

If you’re still keen to buy a Shepherd Pit, you will want to find a reputable breeder, particularly among designer breeders – and avoid puppy mills! We’ve written this article to help you navigate the world of dog breeders. Consider reading it before embarking on this journey.

Is the Pitbull Australian Shepherd Mix the Right Breed For You?

The Pitbull Australian Shepherd might be the right dog for you if you’ve been searching for an active, healthy breed that’s happy to be your outdoor-adventure buddy and cuddle buddy all in one!

For those not sure that the Pitbull Australian Shepherd mix is the right breed for you, consider reading our other breed guides for more information on other breeds that might be better suited for you.

Nick Meagher

I'm Nick Meagher, a lifelong dog enthusiast and the voice behind this blog. Having grown up with dogs, I've developed a deep understanding and an unbreakable bond with these amazing companions. Through MyK9Life, I aim to share insights, tips, and heartwarming stories, celebrating the joy and journey of life with our four-legged friends.

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