Australian Shepherd Rottweiler MixI was recently asked by a friend to help her evaluate a dog from adoption.

The young dog she fell in love with was an Australian Shepherd Rottweiler mix.

Either pure-breed alone can be a real handful. So what did I think about putting them together and adopting the result?

Whew!!

Here’s the process of thinking I shared with my friend:

  1. These are two strong-minded, highly protective breeds bundled into one powerful body.
  2. My friend did not have knowledge of either parent’s temperament or treatment–or health issues.
  3. My friend had no knowledge of the early months of this young dog’s life, and therefore no knowledge of treatment or socialization.
  4. This pup’s health check showed no issues.
  5. Upon testing this dog’s temperament, she was playful and happy, and showed no signs of resource guarding.
  6. As would be expected for this mix, she demonstrated that she was very trainable.
  7. My friend has had experience with herding dogs, but not with Rottweilers.
  8. My friend has a fenced yard and is home most of the day.
  9. My friend has no young children.

There are no guarantees  with how any dog is going to turn out, but you can significantly up the odds of having an awesome dog by starting with good breeding and temperament, and finishing with great socializing and training. And providing lots of leadership, love, and exercise for the rest of its life.

So while I had to nix the “good breeding” from the mix, temperament appeared solid and stable. And since my friend was an experienced dog owner who knew what she was potentially getting herself into, and was still willing to go ahead–I helped her pack up her new puppy to head home to a new happy life.

If this puppy had showed any instability of any kind, such as resource guarding, or lack of a good bite inhibition, or was easily spooked, I would have told my friend to keep on looking. Forget the cuteness factor–this breed combination is no joke, and should only be taken in by experienced dog owners.

There is no question–both Australian Shepherds and Rottweilers can make for incredible dogs. They can also easily spin out of control in the wrong hands. If you are thinking of adopting a Rottweiler Australian Shepherd mix, do yourself a favor and have someone who knows both these breeds evaluate the dog for you.  You could be saving yourself some major heartache.

Conversely, if the dog passes an evaluation with flying colors, you could have the dog of a lifetime!