The Australian Shepherd Bloodhound Mix: A Unique and Challenging Hybrid

This unusual mix blends the Aussie’s sharp mind and herding drive with the Bloodhound’s incredible tracking talent and gentle spirit. This isn’t a dog for beginners. It demands an owner with extensive experience, unwavering dedication, and a lifestyle that can accommodate its unique energy and instincts.

Understanding the Parent Breeds

Australian Shepherd: Medium-sized, athletic dogs known for their boundless energy, high intelligence, and strong herding drive. They excel in agility sports and need substantial physical and mental stimulation.

Bloodhound: Large, floppy-eared scent hounds with an unparalleled sense of smell. They are independent, sometimes stubborn, and famously devoted to following a trail.

Appearance: An Unpredictable Blend

Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mixes often inherit the Bloodhound’s droopy ears and wrinkled face but might have a shorter coat in Aussie colors (merle, black, red). Size is unpredictable, ranging from medium to large.

Temperament: Where Drive Meets Determination

Australian Shepherd Bloodhound Mix
Image Credit: Irene Soxsmith/gettyimages

This is where things get interesting! Expect a high-energy dog with a powerful nose. Here’s what to anticipate:

  • Intelligence: Both breeds are smart. Your mix will be quick to learn but may be easily bored.
  • Tracking: The scent hound instinct is likely to be strong. This dog will follow its nose – secure fencing is a MUST.
  • Trainability: Patience is key. Positive reinforcement works best, but their independence and focus on scent can make training difficult.
  • Stranger Danger: Early socialization is crucial. Bloodhounds tend to be aloof, and Aussies can be wary of strangers.
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Health Considerations

Joint Issues: Both parent breeds can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Ask breeders for health testing proof and be vigilant for signs of joint problems in your mix.

Bloat: Deep-chested dogs are at risk of bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus), a life-threatening stomach twist. Know the signs and be prepared for emergency vet care.

Eye Conditions: Certain eye problems might occur due to genetics. Regular vet checkups can catch issues early.

A Word of Caution: This Hybrid is NOT for Everyone

The Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mix is a rare breed for a reason. These dogs demand an extraordinary level of exercise, mental stimulation, and consistent training. They are easily bored and may become destructive if not sufficiently challenged. Finding a reputable breeder with specific experience raising these mixes will be very difficult.

Could This Mix Be Your Next Working Dog?

Australian Shepherd Bloodhound Mix
Image Credit: David A. Northcott/gettyimages

If you are seeking a dog for advanced training and working roles, this hybrid might have the potential. With the right guidance, their intelligence, drive, and scenting ability could make this mix suitable for:

  • Search and Rescue: Their tracking skills and ability to focus could be incredibly valuable.
  • Scent Work/Nose Work competitions: This provides a supervised, fun outlet for their drive to follow a scent.
  • Advanced Obedience/Agility: These dogs can excel, but only with owners who fully understand their unique temperaments.

Is This Mix the Right Fit? An Owner’s Perspective

Sarah M., owner of a 2-year-old Aussie/Bloodhound mix named Scout, shares her insights:

“Scout is the most challenging and most rewarding dog I’ve ever owned. He’s incredibly smart but gets bored in a second. We do nose work twice a week, plus long hikes where he can follow trails. Our fence has to be Fort Knox because he WILL escape to track. I wouldn’t trade him for the world, but this mix is definitely not for everyone. It’s a full-time lifestyle commitment.”


The Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mix offers an intriguing combination of traits, but it demands a highly knowledgeable and dedicated owner. If you can handle the challenge, this intelligent and powerful dog can be an extraordinary companion.

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The photo featured below the post headline is Credit: Jacqui Sjonger/gettyimages

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Frequently Asked Question

Are Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mixes good family dogs?
Not usually, due to potential herding behavior and high exercise needs.

Can these dogs live in apartments?
No, they need substantial space and are not suited to city life.

Where can I find an Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mix?
This is a rare mix, so specialized rescues or responsible breeders specializing in hybrids are your best bet. Always thoroughly research any breeder before committing.

Are Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mixes prone to barking?
Both parent breeds can be vocal, so expect the potential for barking.

Can this mix live with other pets?
With careful introductions and training, it’s possible, but their herding instincts may be an issue with small animals.

How much exercise does an Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mix need?
These dogs require several hours of daily exercise, including both physical and mental stimulation.

Are Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mixes difficult to train?
Training an Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mix can be a challenge. While incredibly smart, these dogs have a powerful instinct to follow scents, which can easily derail training sessions. Consistency is key – focus on short training bursts with lots of positive rewards. If you find yourself struggling with their independent streak, consider working with a professional trainer who understands the complexities of working breed dogs.

How do I groom an Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mix?
Grooming needs depend on their coat type. Some may need regular brushing and professional grooming, particularly if they inherit the Bloodhound’s wrinkles.

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Do Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mixes shed a lot?
Shedding will vary, but be prepared for a moderate to potentially heavy shedder.

What is the temperament of an Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mix like?
Expect a dog that is highly intelligent, energetic, independent, and strongly driven by scent.

Are Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mixes good with children?
Not typically. They may try to herd children and require close supervision due to their size and energy levels.

Are Australian Shepherd Bloodhound mixes prone to any specific health problems?
They can inherit health issues common to both parent breeds, including hip dysplasia, bloat, and eye conditions.