The Idaho Shag is a relatively new dog breed that has been gaining popularity in recent years. This breed was developed in the United States, specifically in the state of Idaho, and is a cross between the Shih Tzu and the Miniature Schnauzer. The Idaho Shag is a small to medium-sized dog that is known for its friendly and affectionate personality, making it a great choice for families with children.

Idaho Shag Dog Breed:

One of the most distinctive features of the Idaho Shag is its unique coat. This breed has a shaggy, tousled coat that is soft and fluffy to the touch. The coat can come in a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, and gray, and may have different markings or patterns. Despite its shaggy appearance, the Idaho Shag's coat is relatively low-maintenance and only requires occasional grooming to keep it looking neat and tidy.

Overall, the Idaho Shag is a lovable and loyal companion that is well-suited for a variety of living situations. Whether you live in a small apartment or a large house, this breed can adapt to your lifestyle and make a great addition to your family. As more people discover the unique qualities of the Idaho Shag, it is likely that this breed will continue to grow in popularity in the years to come.

History and Origin

The Idaho Shag dog breed, also known as the Pahsimeroi Fuzzy, originated in the central region of Idaho, specifically in the Pahsimeroi Valley. The breed was developed by ranchers in the early 20th century to help with their daily tasks, such as herding livestock and guarding their property.

The exact origins of the Idaho Shag are not well-documented, but it is believed that the breed is a result of crossbreeding between various herding dogs, including the Airedale Terrier, Border Collie, and Kelpie. These dogs were chosen for their intelligence, agility, and working ability.

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The Pahsimeroi Valley, where the breed was developed, is a remote area with harsh weather conditions, and the dogs were bred to withstand these conditions. They have a thick, shaggy coat that provides insulation against the cold, and their sturdy build allows them to navigate rugged terrain.

Despite their usefulness on ranches, the Idaho Shag was not recognized as a distinct breed until recently. They are still relatively rare outside of their native region, but their popularity is growing as more people discover their unique abilities and charming personalities.

Breed Characteristics

Idaho Shag Dogs


The Idaho Shag Dog is a medium-sized breed, weighing around 40 pounds. They have a scruffy appearance with a shaggy coat that can be either wavy or curly. The coat colors can vary from black, brown, or white, and they have a sturdy body structure with a muscular build. The males are slightly larger than the females, but both genders have a similar appearance.


Idaho Shag Dogs are known for their friendly, loyal, and intelligent temperament. They are fearless and protective of their owners, making them an excellent choice for a working dog. However, they can be aggressive towards strangers if not trained properly. It is essential to socialize them from a young age to avoid any behavioral issues.


The Idaho Shag Dog is generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they are prone to certain health problems. Regular visits to a veterinarian are necessary to ensure that they are healthy and free of any diseases. Some of the common health issues that the breed may face include hip dysplasia, allergies, and ear infections. Proper care and nutrition can help prevent these problems.

Working and Herding Abilities

Idaho Shag Dogs

The Idaho Shag is a versatile and athletic working breed that excels in herding and working with cattle and sheep. This breed is known for its stamina, grit, loyalty, and biddability.

Herding Instinct

The Idaho Shag is a natural herding breed with a strong herding instinct. This breed has been used for centuries to herd and manage livestock. The Idaho Shag's herding instinct is an innate ability to control and move livestock in a specific direction. This breed is known for its ability to work independently and make decisions on its own.

Working Traits

The Idaho Shag is a working breed that is known for its versatility and endurance. This breed is highly athletic and excels in various working environments. The Idaho Shag's working traits include its ability to work long hours, its willingness to take on challenging tasks, and its adaptability to different situations.

The Idaho Shag is a cow dog that is highly skilled in working with cattle. This breed has a natural instinct to control and move cattle in a specific direction. The Idaho Shag's working traits make it an ideal breed for ranchers and farmers who need a reliable and efficient working dog.

In addition to its herding and working abilities, the Idaho Shag is also a loyal and affectionate companion. This breed is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and trainability. The Idaho Shag's working traits and herding instinct make it an ideal breed for those who need a reliable and efficient working dog.

Training and Exercise

Idaho Shag Dogs

Training Requirements

The Idaho Shag dog breed is highly intelligent and responsive to training. It is important for owners to provide proper education and training to their dogs from a young age. Early socialization is crucial for this breed to develop good behavior and adaptability in different situations. Owners should use positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards and praise to encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior.

Idaho Shags are known to have high energy levels and require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Owners should provide regular training sessions to keep their dogs mentally engaged and focused. Consistency and patience are key when training this breed as they can be stubborn at times.

Exercise Needs

Idaho Shags are an active breed and require daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. Owners should provide at least 30-60 minutes of exercise per day, such as brisk walks, runs, or playtime in a fenced yard. This breed also enjoys playing fetch and other interactive games that provide mental stimulation.

It is important for owners to note that Idaho Shags are not suitable for apartment living or inactive lifestyles. They require ample space to run and play, and regular exercise to prevent obesity and other health problems. Owners should also be aware of the weather conditions and adjust their exercise routines accordingly.

In summary, Idaho Shags require proper education and training from a young age, as well as daily exercise and mental stimulation to maintain their health and well-being. Owners should be patient, consistent, and provide a variety of activities to keep their dogs engaged and happy.

Breed Integration

Idaho Shag Dogs

The Idaho Shag is a loyal, friendly, and loving breed that makes an excellent family companion. They are known for their gentle nature and are great with kids, making them an ideal choice for families looking for a new pet.

Family Life

Idaho Shags thrive in a family environment and are happiest when they are around their owners. They love to be included in family activities and will often follow their owners around the house. They are also great with children and make excellent playmates.

Working with Livestock

Idaho Shags were originally bred for herding and working with livestock, and they still have a strong herding instinct today. They are often used by ranchers to help with herding cattle and other livestock. They are also great with horses and can be trained to work alongside them.

Compatibility with Other Animals

Idaho Shags are generally friendly with other animals, but they may be wary of unfamiliar dogs. They are known to get along well with other pets, including cats and other small animals. However, it is important to introduce them to other animals slowly and carefully to ensure that they get along well.

Overall, the Idaho Shag is a great choice for families looking for a loyal and loving companion. They are great with kids and other animals and have a strong herding instinct that makes them ideal for working with livestock. Whether you are looking for a family pet or a working dog, the Idaho Shag is a breed worth considering.

Breed Specific Considerations

When considering the Idaho Shag dog breed, there are several breed-specific considerations to keep in mind. These considerations include weather adaptability and special care.

Weather Adaptability

The Idaho Shag breed is known for its tough nature and ability to adapt to harsh weather conditions. This breed can handle cold temperatures and snow with ease, making it an excellent choice for those living in colder climates. However, it is important to ensure that the dog has proper shelter and bedding during extreme weather conditions.

Special Care

Due to the Idaho Shag's tough nature, it is important to take special care when handling and training this breed. Breeders and owners should be aware that the Idaho Shag can be difficult to train and may require more patience and persistence than other breeds. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that this breed has a tendency to chase after small animals, and may be at risk for injuries from porcupine quills or electric fences.

Overall, the Idaho Shag is a unique and hardy breed that requires careful consideration and attention from breeders and owners. By standardizing the breed and providing proper care, the Idaho Shag can continue to thrive and be a valuable addition to the dog community in the state of Idaho.

Cultural Impact

Idaho Shag Dogs

In Idaho Culture

The Idaho Shag dog breed has played a significant role in the state's culture, particularly in farming and ranching communities. These dogs are known for their unique traits, including their ability to hunt and protect livestock from predators like coyotes.

Henry’s Fork Ranch, a guest ranch in Idaho, has been known to use Idaho Shag dogs for hunting and branding purposes. Cowboys and ranchers have also relied on these dogs to help them with their daily tasks.

In addition to their practical uses, Idaho Shag dogs have become a symbol of the state's heritage and identity. They represent the hardworking and resilient spirit of Idahoans and their connection to the land.

Beyond Farming and Ranching

While the Idaho Shag dog breed has a strong association with farming and ranching, they have also made an impact beyond these industries.

These dogs have been featured in various art forms, including paintings and sculptures. They have also been used in advertising campaigns to promote Idaho tourism and products.

Overall, the Idaho Shag dog breed has left a lasting impression on the state of Idaho and its people. Their unique characteristics and contributions to farming and ranching communities have made them an important part of Idaho's cultural heritage.

Notable Idaho Shags

The Idaho Shag is a relatively new dog breed that has gained popularity in recent years. Here are some notable Idaho Shags and their contributions to the breed.

Famous Dogs


Mackay is a champion Idaho Shag who has won multiple awards in dog shows. He is known for his beautiful coat and friendly personality. Mackay has been an inspiration to many breeders who strive to produce dogs with similar qualities.


Fritz is a therapy dog who has brought joy to many people in hospitals and nursing homes. He is known for his calm and gentle demeanor, which makes him a perfect companion for those in need. Fritz has also participated in obedience competitions and has won several awards.


Chester is a search and rescue dog who has helped locate missing persons in the wilderness. He is known for his strong sense of smell and his ability to navigate through difficult terrain. Chester has saved many lives and is considered a hero by his handlers.

Influential Breeders

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Susie Morton

Susie Morton is a breeder who has been instrumental in the development of the Idaho Shag breed. She has worked tirelessly to produce dogs with excellent temperament, health, and conformation. Susie's dogs have won numerous awards in dog shows and have become popular pets.

Bill Fuchs

Bill Fuchs is a breeder who has also contributed to the development of the Idaho Shag breed. He has focused on producing dogs with a strong work ethic and a desire to please their owners. Bill's dogs have excelled in obedience competitions and have become popular among hunters and outdoors enthusiasts.

Veterinary Contributors

Dr. Andrea Clifton is a veterinarian who has been involved in the care and treatment of many Idaho Shags. She has worked closely with breeders to ensure that the dogs are healthy and free from genetic disorders. Dr. Clifton's expertise has been invaluable in maintaining the health and well-being of the breed.

Overall, the Idaho Shag is a versatile and intelligent breed that has made a positive impact on the dog world. With the help of dedicated breeders, veterinarians, and owners, the Idaho Shag will continue to thrive and bring joy to many people.


In conclusion, the Idaho Shag, with its distinctive shaggy coat and amiable temperament, is a breed that has carved its niche in the hearts of dog lovers, particularly within Idaho's rugged landscapes. Developed from a blend of hardy herding breeds, this dog is celebrated for its versatility, intelligence, and loyalty, making it an ideal companion for both work and family life.

As the Idaho Shag continues to gain recognition beyond its origins, its unique characteristics and adaptability promise to solidify its place in the diverse world of canine breeds, appealing to a wide range of enthusiasts seeking a devoted and capable companion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is the typical lifespan of an Idaho Shag dog?
    • The average lifespan of an Idaho Shag dog is 10-12 years. However, with proper care, some Idaho Shags have been known to live up to 15 years.
  • How trainable are Idaho Shag dogs in comparison to other breeds?
    • Idaho Shag dogs are highly trainable and intelligent. They are known for their ability to learn quickly and adapt to new situations. However, like all breeds, some individuals may be more difficult to train than others.
  • What are the common characteristics of Idaho Shag and Australian Shepherd mixes?
    • Idaho Shag and Australian Shepherd mixes, also known as Pahsimeroi Fuzzy dogs, are typically energetic, intelligent, and loyal. They may have a thick, shaggy coat and come in a variety of colors. These dogs are often used for herding and make great family pets.
  • How tall can Idaho Shags typically grow?
    • Idaho Shags are medium-sized dogs that typically stand between 18-22 inches tall at the shoulder. They can weigh anywhere from 30-60 pounds, depending on their gender and build.
  • What are the main uses of Idaho Shag dogs in herding?
    • Idaho Shag dogs are known for their herding abilities and are often used to move and control livestock. They are particularly well-suited for herding sheep and cattle in the rugged terrain of Idaho.
  • Where can one find Pahsimeroi Fuzzy dogs for sale?
    • Pahsimeroi Fuzzy dogs can be found through breeders who specialize in this mix. It is important to do research and find a reputable breeder who health tests their dogs and provides proper care for their puppies. Adoption or rescue may also be an option for those interested in this unique breed mix.