The Bossie is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Boston Terrier and Australian Shepherd dog breeds. Medium in size, energetic, and loyal, these pups inherited some of the best qualities from both of their parents.
The Bossie, also spelled Baussie, is an ideal pup. Despite their unfortunate status as a designer breed, you can find these mixed-breed dogs in shelters and breed specific rescues, so remember to adopt! Don’t shop!
These adorable pups make great additions to a large family or a single-person household. Just make sure they get plenty of attention and exercise. They should not be left alone in a yard because they may feel abandoned and become board and destructive. Read on to find out if this is the right dog for you!
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Health And Grooming Needs
If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards. To help keep your home a little cleaner, you can find a great de-shedding tool here!
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Mixed Breed DogsHeight:15 to 23 inchesWeight:25 to 40 poundsLife Span:12 to 15 years
More About This Breed
- Bossies are mixed breed dogs. They are not purebreds like their Boston Terrier and Australian Shepherd parents.
- The main colors of Bossies are black, red or brown, and white. Rarely solid they typically have two or three blended colors.
- They usually have short coats and are not considered to be a good choice for allergy sufferers. There are longer-coated Bossies, too. If they get their Aussie parent’s coat, they may require more brushing.
- Bossies are prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. Make sure your dog gets at least one to two hours of exercise per day. Boredom can lead to destructive behavior.
- These dogs are smart and can be quick learners, but they can also be stubborn and forget training just as quickly as they learn it. For an energetic, consistent owner, their loyalty will go far with positive reinforcement.
- Bossies are best suited for families with older children. The Bossie is from “herding dog” parentage, and if the Australian Shepherd parent DNA is strong, they may herd kids or other ppets. However, once they’re properly trained, Bossies make wonderful companions for families with kids.
The Bossie mixed dog breed may have existed naturally over the years, but designer breeders started intentionally mixing Boston Terriers and Australian Shepherds in the late 1990s, likely in North America.
Breeders wanted to mix the two parent breeds to minimize health issues that many pure breeds face. They continued to create Bossies as demand for the pups climbed. Even though the Bossie got its start as a designer breed, some have ended up in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the breed for you.
Check your local shelters, look up Bossie rescues, or check with breed-specific Australian Shepherd and Boston Terrier rescues, as they will often, take in and help to re-home these pups.
Bossies are recognized by:
- ACHC = American Canine Hybrid Club
- DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
As the Bossie is a relatively new mixed breed, there are few standards when it comes to size. That said, as a mix between Boston Terrier and Australian Shepherd parents, you can expect Bossies to be medium in size.
Most weigh in at 25 to 40 pounds and range in height from 15 to 23 inches at the shoulder. However, many can be smaller or larger depending on which parent’s genes are more dominant.
Bossie dogs did not get their name by accident. They can actually be very bossy. It’s your job as their parent to make sure they know that you’re the top dog. They’re very friendly dogs and, with their high energy levels, enjoy outings and walks and all sorts of different activities.
Some Bossies will have herding tendencies from their Australian Shepherd parent and may try to herd other pets and children. They may bark at another dog they don’t know but are not known to be yappy.
These dogs are smart and can be quick learners, but they can also be stubborn and forget training just as quickly as they learn it. For an energetic, consistent owner, their loyalty will go far with positive reinforcement.
Bossies will love all members of the family, especially those, who want to take them for walks and outings. Bossies may be best suited to large families with lots of people who are willing to give them plenty of love and attention.
The Bossie mixed breed is predisposed to some of the same conditions that the Australian Shepherd and Boston Terrier also face. While most are generally healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it is important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.
Some of the more common health problems Bossies suffer from include:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Bossie’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.
Bossies are prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. Make sure your dog gets at least one to two hours of exercise per day. Boredom can lead to destructive behavior.
Check their ears for debris and pests daily and clean them as recommended by your vet. Trim your dog’s nails before they get too long–usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer can help with this.
Another concern when it comes to your Bossie’s care will be maintaining their oral health. You should brush their teeth daily, all breeds are prone to dental issues. Your veterinarian can instruct you on how to brush your dog’s teeth properly. There are plenty of videos on YouTube, offering tutorials and tips. Teeth brushing is challenging, but necessary for your dogs overall well-being.
An ideal Bossie diet should be formulated for a medium-sized breed with high energy. They have a tendency to gain weight if they are overfed, so you should stick to a regular feeding schedule and not leave food out during the day. Limit their amount of treats, as well.
As with all dogs, the Bossie’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Bossie’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health–to make a specific recommendation.
Coat Color And Grooming
Bossie coats are often a mix of their Boston Terrier and and Australian Shepherd parents’ coats and colors. The main colors of Bossies are black, red or brown, and white. Rarely solid they typically have two or three blended colors.
They usually have short coats, and not considered to be a good choice for allergy sufferers. There are longer-coated Bossies, too. If they get their Aussie parent’s coat, they may require more brushing but would withstand extreme weather better. Luckily, both coats are fairly easy to groom. A good brushing per week should suffice, though it’s best to consult your groomer on your individual Bossie.
Shorter coated Bossies aren’t particularly suited for extreme weather. You’ll likely need a coat in the winter for your dog, and you may need to apply sunscreen to the ears, nose, and sensitive areas where there’s less fur coverage in the summer months.
Children And Other Pets
Bossies are best suited for families with older children. The Bossie is from “herding dog” parentage, and if the Australian Shepherd parent DNA is strong, they may consider kids part of their “flock,” so you’ll need to teach your Bossie that chasing and nipping at kids to herd them isn’t allowed. Once they learn this, Bossies make wonderful companions for families with kids.
Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while they’re eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
They can get along with other pets too, though watch out for herding behavior. This may not go over too well, especially with cats.
The best way to learn more about Bossies is to read about their Boston Terrier and Australian Shepherd parents!
It may be hard to find a breed-specific rescue for Bossies because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Boston Terrier or Australian Shepherd breed-specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:
- Australian Shepherd Rescue in Michigan
- Boston Terrier & Short Nose Rescue of Oklahoma