If you have ever had the highly adored Australian Shepherd as a pet, you will surely approve of its smaller version, which is the Mini Australian Shepherd. This particular breed is best for people that tend to have that special liking for the original breed, yet have very little room to have them at home as a pet.
Given the fact that it is a small breed, one needs to invest less in terms of food and lodging inside the house. Not just that, its small stature with that distinctive Australian Shepherd look makes it all the more adorable options for pet lovers.
So, here is a complete guide that explains everything about this wonderful dog breed.
Mini Australian Shepherd
Quick Summary Table of Mini Australian Shepherd
|Height||14 to 18 Inches (Male) and 13 to 17 Inches (Female)|
|Weight||20 to 40 Pounds|
|Lifespan||12 to 13 Years|
|Colors||Red, White, Brown, Black, Tan, & Merle|
|Breed Type||Australian Shepherd|
|AKC Breed Popularity||34|
|Temperament||Loyal, Hard-working, Lovable, Helpful, and Eager|
|Daily Food Consumption||800 to 1200 Calories Daily|
|Common Health Issues||PRA-prcd
Facts about Mini Australian Shepherd
Here are some quick facts about the Mini Australian Shepherd for you to know.
- This particular toy breed was initially bred in the state of California contrary to its name, which states its origin to be from Australia.
- The Mini Australian Shepherd has been recognized and listed under the American Rare Breed Association.
- The dog breed comes in 4-different colors and is listed under small or medium-sized pooches.
- A Mini Australian Shepherd can sell for a price tag that ranges between USD 800 to USD 1500.
- This breed loves to be outside, especially amid the green fields and enjoys the warm sun.
- The Mini Australian Shepherd flaunts a fluffy and soft double hair coat.
About the Mini Australian Shepherd
Most people love the hard-working and full of life Australian Shepherd. However, not everyone is blessed enough to deal with this energy-packed breed that can weigh anywhere from around 40 pounds to 65 pounds.
To tackle this issue, breeders came up with the miniature version of the original Australian Shepherd. This happened in the late half ofthe 1960s,and they were evidently named as the Miniature Australian Shepherd, given its small stature.
Alternatively, they were also termed as the Mini American Shepherds, given the fact that they were bred in the American soil. Although there is a slight confusion between the two names, they belong to the same breed. The name Mini Australian Shepherd denotes its genetic pool while the name Mini American Shepherd denotes the place it was bred to be marketed as a pet.
The Mini Australian Shepherds are now considered a pedigree breed of their own. The techniques used to breed the Minis are crossbreeding, which is the best and healthiest one yet. However, it might lead to the loss of some of the prime features that are found in the main breed.
Apart from this, the Mini Australian Shepherd might also be bred from runts. However, this doesn’t introduce the physical features and traits that are similar to your Australian Shepherd.
Appearance of Mini Australian Shepherd
Also known by the name North American Miniature Australian Shepherd, this particular dog breed flaunts a beautiful coat of medium length. The entire length of the coat is decked with a plethora of colors that come in red merle, blue, black tricolor, red, or complete white + tan markings.
In case the hair of the dog around eyes and ears are white, it cannot be considered as Mini Australian Shepherd. The hair coat tends to be completely straight or a bit wavy in nature. One can also observe slight feathering of the coat towards the back half of the pooch’s legs. This includes slight feathering seen on the frill and mane of the dog breed.
When observed carefully, the head hair, forelegs, as well as the hair outside the ears tends to be a tad bit shorter as opposed to the entire coat. The Mini Australian Shepherd is also noted to have its hindquarters similar to that of the forequarters in terms of length.
The dog’s top section of the skull can be defined as a flat surface with a clean cut. Apart from this, the feet of this breed is compact and oval, while the lips tend not to hang over its lower jaw.
In general, this toy breed has a height ranging from 14 to 18 inches in case of a fully adult male while an adult female grows anywhere between 13 inches to 17 inches. In terms of weight, the pooch can have a healthy weight of 20 to 40 pounds depending upon its age and diet.
If we take a look at this breed’s body structure, it is suggestive of strength, and in no way does it represent bulkiness. Although the white fur markings are classic to this breed, the permissible percentage in any competition is just 25 percent and nothing more.
History and Origin of Mini Australian Shepherd
If you are wondering how the Mini Australian Shepherd came to be, here is a quick history and origin of this beautiful breed. The Mini Aussies were developed back in the 1960s in the state of California. The breeders were involved in the mass breeding of unregistered and small dogs that were often confused with the majestic Australian Shepherds.
This particular dog breed was actually bred with the goal to keep their size small, retain the genetic intelligence of the Australian Shepherds, as well as the active character. In the year 1983, this breed was initially registered by the National Stock Dog Registry. It was initially named as the Miniature Australian Shepherd. However, today, the breed is rather popular by the name Mini American Shepherd. As the world entered the year 1990s, this breed went on to attain nationwide popularity. Multiple clubs started promoting miniature breeds, and the Mini Australian Shepherd was among the noted breeds.
The Mini Australian was registered under various dog-related clubs and listed among the rare breeds, which made them all the more desirable. For the Mini Aussies, the very first club denoting its parent breed registration was with the MASCUSA. It was formed back in 1990 & incorporated 3 years hence in the year 1993.
In the month of May, in 2011, the breed secured an entry into the popular AKC Foundation Stock Service under the name Miniature American Shepherd. MASCUSA or the Miniature American Shepherd Club located in the United States of America is the official parent club for the kennel club in the country. If you happen to live in the United Kingdom, the official sister club of the MASCUSA is termed as the UKMASC. This kennel club came into being in the year 2011. However, the UKMASC hasn’t yet recognized this breed as an official one given the fact that they are known to practice responsible breeding and promote healthy breeding stances for dogs.
Mini Aussies have been used in the past for herding of the smaller stocks like goats and sheep. Although the breed has the activeness and heart to handle larger stocks, it was strictly kept to the smaller ones. The small built served as a favor for the pet owners, given the fact that they could easily be doubled as playful, household pets. The breed gained especial popularity when dog owners traveled to the horse shows, given the fact that they made up for an amazing travel companion.
Packed with features such as loyalty, small size, as well as intelligence, this breed is loved and adored by all. Today, this breed has been acknowledged and kept as a pet all over the United States as well as internationally. The Mini Australian Shepherd is an amazing breed with unique features and identity that fits in well within a household as well as a ranch-like environment.
Further, the Mini American/Australian Shepherd has also been listed as an amazing herding dog that is a part of the American Kennel Club’s herding group.
Is Mini Australian Shepherd Dog Good with Children?
The Mini American Shepherd is known for its undying loyalty, which is why they make up for an absolutely amazing family dog. In simple words, they tend to be better for big families as opposed to solo dwellers. So, you can undoubtedly be assured that they are perfect with children.
Care of Mini Australian Shepherd
Food and Nutrition Requirements
Now, with the Miniature Australian Shepherd, the food and nutrition might get a tad bit confusing. With the range of activeness exhibited by this breed, you might assume that they would require a lot of food and nutrition. However, you also need to keep the fact in mind that they are a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd.
On average, an adult Mini Australian Shepherd required 2 complete cups of the kibble on a daily basis. It should also be paired with 1 full cup of meal. In case you wish to give the dogs wet food, you need to replace the kibble with wet food can.
Both the wet as well as dry food needs to be made with the use of raw meat along with little to no fillers or additives. Apart from this, protein is something your dog needs in the highest amount, which is why meat needs to make up for a good part of the pooch’s diet.
Along with natural healthy fats, your dog also needs grains and carbs in small portions to ensure a well-balanced diet. On average, a full-size Mini Aussie would require 800 to 1200 calories on a daily basis. This should be distributed in three parts to ensure there is no overflow of nutrition, and everything is well-balanced.
This particular breed is known to love long walks,which comes down from its genetic history of living in farmlands. It’s why you should surely take your Mini Aussie for at least an hour of a hike on the road or close by the park if feasible. You can also split this exercise or walk session into 2 brisk walks of 30 minutes in the morning as well as in the evening.
Apart from that, you should keep the Mini Aussies on a leash when going out on a walk as they tend to be a tad bit jumpy and might scare the passerby. Moreover, they might try to chase an animal that is in the same area as your pooch. This habit comes from its lineage of being a herder. This is why it is important that you keep them on a leash when out on a walk.
Moreover, the Mini Australian Shepherd is known to be hyperactive in nature and would love to help you out in any manner it can. So, keeping them busy with certain fun tasks could be something you should definitely try out.This is especially true if you happen to live in farmland and need someone to keep an eye on the herd.
Training the Mini Australian Shepherds can be fairly easy as compared to any other breed. Their sole goal is to please the owners, and they can go to great lengths to get things done just the way you want. However, training them to this perfection can take a subsequent amount of time.
This training session should be something like a team-building effort between your pooch and you. You should start building these training sessions for your pup right from the beginning. Your pup is generally smart enough when it comes to picking up the attitude of the owner. Now, keep in mind that your pup might become discouraged in case you seem angry, distant, or even irritable during the training sessions.
Further, your dog needs to learn the best ways to respect the owners. More than owners, you need to be a good mentor and a friend to your dog. They should know that they have all your support, especially when trying to achieve a feat.
Praise and love is the best thing you can give to your pooch to help them learn fast and easily. Whenever they get things right, it is important that you show that you are proud of the effort they have been putting in.
One thing you need to keep in mind with the Mini Aussie is the fact that they tend to shed massively. This happens especially during fall and spring shedding seasons. You will also be required to brush the dog on a daily basis & check the fur for fleas, dirt, as well as ticks.
Special combs and brushes can be made use of for complete control of the shedding issue. These brushes can easily reach the deeper layers of the fur coat. Apart from that, you can make use of the fine-toothed brushes and combs that help pick out the bugs and dirt that might be hiding within the fur.
It is highly likely that the Mini Aussie will experience a wear down of the nails in a natural manner as they tend to run and prance around a lot. In case your dog’s paw nails have started to curl, it might be time for you to trim them right away.
Another thing you need to keep in mind that in case you do not have the time to groom your Mini Australian Shepherd, they can be taken to the local groomer. However, you need to make sure that your pooch is comfortable with the groomer.
Common Health Issues
The Mini Aussies are known to have a good long life expectancy of 12 to 13 years, depending on how they are brought up and groomed by their owners. Their overall life also depends on their nutrition diet and any underlying health ailments.
This particular breed is known to have different variants of chronic diseases as well as detrimental genetic issues. These ailments tend to exist in the primary MAS genetic pool. The commonly occurring issues with the Miniature American Shepherd include the PRA-prcd or Progressive Retinal Atrophy, hereditary cataracts, microphthalmia, iris coloboma, MDR-1 or multi-drug resistance gene, degenerative myelopathy, or hip dysplasia.
In general, the Mini Aussies are a healthy breed. When bred by responsible breeders, they do not retain the genetic disorders that might be found in their parents. This is why when looking for a Miniature Australian Shepherd dog; you need to check whether the breeder is a reliable group or person.
Apart from this, regular vet visits for checkups and vaccination is mandatory to ensure that your pooch is healthy and happy at all times. The most vulnerable part of your Mini Aussies’ body is their eyes. They are prone to a range of disorders. Vision issues and blindness can be fairly common in this particular breed.
If you are looking for a wonderful pet to be added to your family, there could be no better choice than the Mini American/Australian Shepherd. If you have all the energy that is required to keep up with this active breed, you should surely bring them to your home. If you happen to have the Border Collie breed at home or similar herding breeds, the Mini Aussies will surely gel well.
However, if you are apartment dwellers or someone who doesn’t like to go out a lot, you should try and avoid getting a Mini Aussie as a pet as they require a lot of effort, given their active temperament.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.