Auss-Tzu

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
U.S.A. <> Tibet -> U.S.A.
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Auss-Tzu

The Auss-Tzu, a cross between a Miniature American Shepherd and a Shih Tzu, is a small, friendly dog with a thick, silky coat that requires daily grooming. They are active dogs that need a high-fat, high-protein diet for optimal health. They were developed as pets and are not generally suited to guard work, however, they are well suited to many other activities, such as flyball, agility training and figure training. They are better suited to a home, preferably with at least a small yard than an apartment, but they are not particularly noisy or messy animals, so if given sufficient exercise and attention, they can successfully reside in an apartment.

History of the Auss-Tzu

The Auss-Tzu is a specific cross-breed, a cross between a Miniature American Shepherd Dog and a Shih Tzu. Crossing the brachycephalic Shih Tzu with the longer muzzled American Miniature Shepherd generally increases muzzle length, making it easier for these dogs to breathe and preventing brachycephalic syndrome from developing. In some cases, adding the hypoallergenic Shih Tzu to the Miniature American Shepherd can produce a hypoallergenic animal, however, the majority of Auss-Tzu dogs are not hypoallergenic.
        

A little of the Miniature American Shepherd

        
The Australian Shepherd as we know it today was actually developed in the USA, mainly by cattle and sheep breeders in the mid-to-late 19th century, although much of their history is due to Basque sheepdogs that traveled from Australia to America in the early 1800s. These dogs, most likely Pyrenean sheepdogs that had been crossed with a Collie-type breed, would have been crossed with other hard-working stock dogs to develop an agile and durable herding animal. The Miniature American Shepherd was developed in the 1960s to create a smaller version of these energetic, versatile dogs.
Standard of the Miniature American Shepherd

A little of the Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is an ancient breed that originated in China. It is thought to have developed from the Lhasa Apso, a small Tibetan guard dog, which was crossed with small Chinese dogs, such as Pekingese. Designed to be a companion and guard dog, the Shih Tzu was favored by Chinese royalty for many centuries because of its flowing, hypoallergenic coat and friendly personality.
Standard of the Shih Tzu

Appearance of the Auss-Tzu

There is no current standard for this particular crossbreed, and there can be a lot of variation between Auss-Tzus, even within the same litter. They tend to be small dogs, around 23 to 28 centimeters in height, and in most cases the skull is rather broad, and the face has a slightly rounded shape with moderately sized ears that tend to hang forward or to the sides, although some of these dogs have ears that hang off the side of their head. They generally have large, rounded eyes with an expressive, alert expression, and the majority of Auss-Tzu dogs sport a thick, silky coat that can be straight or wavy and comes in many different colors and patterns. With different shades and patterns of black, brown, beige, gray and white, their coats can range from medium to long in length and generally require daily grooming to avoid unsightly and uncomfortable tangles and mats.

Temperament of the Auss-Tzu

They are generally friendly and sociable with other animals too, but some of these dogs may tend to try to herd smaller animals and fast-moving children by nipping at their heels. Although highly intelligent, they can also be quite stubborn and sometimes difficult to train, especially if their training is delayed beyond adolescence.

Needs and activities of the Auss-Tzu

The Auss-Tzu is a lively, friendly little dog, a trait it shares with both its parent breeds. They tend to be high-energy, playful dogs with an outgoing nature. This friendliness and their small size generally make them unsuitable for watchdog work, although the Miniature American Shepherd's more protective nature can come out on occasion. The Miniature American Shepherd and the Shih Tzu are generally considered good companions for children when properly socialized, and the same is true of the Auss-Tzu.

Maintenance of the Auss-Tzu

The maintenance required for this crossbreed can vary due to the different lengths and textures of hair that can appear. They generally require more maintenance than most American Miniature Shepherds, but less than the average Shih Tzu. A weekly or fortnightly bath is usually sufficient, but brushing and combing should be a daily activity as their silky coats are often prone to tangles and matting which, if left untended, can damage the underlying skin. While dental care is important for all dogs, small dogs and dogs with shortened muzzles like the Shih Tzu are more likely to develop dental problems than others, so dental hygiene may be particularly important for many of these dogs.

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