Do Aussiedoodle Have Health Issues? What’s Their Lifespan?

Do Aussiedoodles Have Health Issues
Image courtesy of Cottonwood Creek Doodles

Every dog breed is prone to developing some health issues. Mixing two breeds together is often beneficial to the puppies because health conditions the mother might be prone to developing may not align with health conditions the father may be prone to developing. Unless both the mother and father have the same health disease tendencies, the puppies have the potential to have better health than the parents. 

So, do Aussiedoodles have health issues or problems? Aussiedoodles are a relatively healthy breed of dog, but like all dogs, they do have some conditions or diseases they’re more prone to developing. Even if both parents appear to be healthy, we’re never sure what health problems might crop up later in life.

They are most susceptible to diseases and conditions common to both the Poodle and the Australian Shepherd. Some of the health conditions include:

  • Cataracts
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Sebaceous adenitis

Finding a healthy and vibrant Aussiedoodle with a good lifespan isn’t difficult. It all starts with understanding the health issues their parent breeds are commonly stricken with, the impact of generational breeding, and knowing what a breeder can do to produce healthy puppies.

What Health Issues Come From Australian Shepherd Side?

As stated above, some of the health issues an Aussiedoodle may develop can come from the Poodle side, some can come from the Australian Shepherd side, and some may come from both sides if they’re issues that affect both breeds. Here are the health issues that come from the Australian Shepherd side. 

  • Hip dysplasia – the hip socket doesn’t cover the ball part of the upper thigh bone completely and causes a dislocated hip joint
  • Colobomas – a hole in the structure of the eye (choroid, retina, iris or optic disc) 
  • Detached retinas – when the retina becomes separated from the back of the eye
  • Persistent pupillary membrane – where parts of the membranes attach to the cornea and cause vision loss
  • Epilepsy – a neurological disorder that causes dogs to have seizures
  • Cataracts – cloudiness of the eye and can lead to blindness; may be hereditary or caused by trauma
  • Multiple drug sensitivity – Sensitive to various medications used by dogs

What Health Issues Come From Poodle Side?

Here are the health issues that can come from the Poodle size. 

  • Von Willebrand Disease – a genetic disease where the dog’s blood can’t clot properly due to a defective von Willebrand factor 
  • Gastric dilation-volvulus (bloat) – when the dog overeats and the stomach becomes extended and swollen; can be fatal if not treated
  • Luxating patellas – floating kneecaps
  • Sebaceous adenitis – causes skin problems and hair loss
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease – the disintegration of the thigh bone and reduced blood supply
  • Glaucoma – an eye disease that can lead to blindness 
  • Cancer (such as hemangiosarcoma and insulinoma) – various types of cancer

From looking at the lists, you can see that very few of these canine health issues are common with both dogs. This is a positive thing because it decreases the chances of a litter having these problems. When breeding two purebred dogs of different breeds, they get what is known as hybrid vigor, which results in a healthier breed of dog than each breed is on its own. 

What’s the Healthiest Generation of Aussiedoodle?

Experienced breeders often utilize generational breeding to help screen out “bad genes” or unhealthy traits and breed only the healthiest puppies possible. To fully understand generational breeding, it’s important to understand how the different generations are created. 

  • F1 Aussiedoodle – This is the mixture of a purebred Australian Shepherd with a Standard Poodle. The puppies are 50% Poodle and 50% Australian Shepherd.
  • F1b Aussiedoodle – This is the mixture of an F1 Aussiedoodle with a Standard Poodle. The puppies are 75% Poodle and 25% Australian Shepherd. This breeding is often done to improve on the coat and make a litter more allergy-friendly. 
  • F2b Aussiedoodle – This is the mixture of an F1 Aussiedoodle and an F1b Aussiedoodle. The puppies are also 75% Poodle and 25% Australian Shepherd. 

The main reason breeders use generational breeding is to improve on the dog’s temperament, behavior and coat qualities. Although generation breeding can improve on these things, it doesn’t necessarily improve on the dog’s health because you may be mixing two dogs that carry the same “unhealthy” gene, which can result in a litter of puppies that may also inherit those same unhealthy genes. Therefore, the healthiest of the Aussiedoodles are the F1 Aussies, which are 50% Poodle and 50% Australian Shepherd.

Getting a Healthy Aussiedoodle

Aussiedoodles are generally healthy dogs overall, but there are always exceptions. With both parents having health issues common to their breed, there are risks. Even with responsible breeding, breeders can’t predict the health of the puppies with 100% certainty any more than humans can guarantee the health of their children. However, there are certain safety measures buyers can take to have the best possible chance of getting a healthy Aussiedoodle puppy. 

If the breeder is responsible, he or she will have no problem being honest with you about any health issues common with this breed. If the breeder tries to tell you the breed will be 100% healthy, go to a different breeder because this cannot be guaranteed. However, if the breeder has had the parents screened against some of the more common diseases, he should be able and willing to give you a health guarantee on the puppies. 

A health guarantee for one year is quite common for breeders because when a health problem develops, it often happens within the first year of life. Most responsible breeders will have the parents screened for dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. They also won’t have a problem providing you with documentation that the parents have hip certifications from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and have certification of healthy eyes from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation. 

What is the Lifespan of an Aussiedoodle?

The lifespan of an Aussiedoodle is also something that the dog gets from both sides of the family. The lifespan of the Australian Shepherd is 12 to 15 years. Poodles have an even longer lifespan with the small Poodles typically living the longest. Standard Poodles have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years while Miniature Poodles have a lifespan of 14 to 17 years with some living even longer. 

With long lifespans like this, one would think that Aussiedoodles would have an equally long life as well. However, Aussiedoodles generally live to be about 12 years old. While 12 years does seem like a good amount of time, it is a few years younger than its parents. 

Related Questions

How much exercise should an Aussiedoodle get to stay healthy?

Aussiedoodles are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercise to keep them healthy, happy and out of mischief. If the Aussie is a puppy, he should get 5 minutes of exercise two times a day for every month of his life. In other words, a 4-month old pup would get 20 minutes of exercise two times a day. Adult Aussiedoodles should have 45 to 60 minutes of exercise per day. 

How often can you bathe an Aussiedoodle?

The Aussiedoodle may need bathing occasionally, but it’s important to not bathe them too often to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils. These natural oils are necessary to keep the skin moist and to prevent skin irritations. Most Aussie owners feel that every 8 to 10 weeks is sufficient time between bathing. If you’re lucky enough, you may have an Aussie that requires even less bathing. Often, a good brushing will get rid of a lot of the dirt.

That’s A Wrap

The lifespan of an Aussiedoodle is relatively long so it’s important to make sure you get an Aussie that’s as healthy as possible. When buying an Aussie, do your due diligence, and ask questions of the breeder and get as much documentation as possible regarding the dog’s past generations. This is the best way to prevent as many health issues as possible.

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