Miniature American Shepherd Dog Breed Information


 What's the difference between an Australian shepherd and an American shepherd?

The Miniature American Shepherd, Miniature Australian Shepherd or Mini Aussie, as it is also known, is a small dog that originated from Australian Shepherd dogs. If we go back to the origin of their main ancestors, the Australian Shepherds, we see that they are a creation of European dogs, especially the Spanish. Due to the tremendous similarity between both dogs, the Mini Aussie is often thought of as a variety of the Australian Shepherd breed, however, various zoological organizations, such as the International Federation of Pathologists (FCI), register them as completely independent breeds.

The Miniature Australian Shepherd is an affectionate, active, and highly intelligent dog that loves spending time with his handler, as well as playing outside or playing sports. Want to learn more about this inquisitive breed? Continue reading this DOG57 article to learn about all the characteristics of the Miniature American Shepherd, more details about its origin, its character shape, points to consider when breeding and caring for it, and its potential health problems.

The Origin of the Miniature American Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd was developed from the smallest of the Australian Shepherds to produce an equally active and intelligent herding dog, but much smaller than its parents to handle smaller livestock such as sheep or goats.

According to the data provided by the official organizations concerned with dogs, such as the FCI and the American Kennel Club (AKC), breeding of the breed began in California at the end of the sixties, however, this was not the case. It was officially registered as an independent breed by the National Cattle Dog Registry until 1980.

Originally, the breed was known as the 'Miniature Australian Shepherd' due to its great similarity to its predecessors, however, over time the name changed to 'Miniature American Shepherd' which is why we can now find it with both names. Likewise, since its ancestor is the Australian Shepherd, which was developed from European Shepherd dogs, especially Spanish (perhaps it is the Leonie Carya and the English Shepherd), we can say that these dogs are also among their ancestry.

Despite being a breed that has been with us since the 20th century, it was not officially recognized until 2011, while the FCI entered in 2019. Currently, it is one of the most popular dog breeds, not only among shepherds, but also among riders , on the face of especially, because they are excellent travel companions, and of course among all those who are looking for a loyal, affectionate and active companion.

Miniature American Shepherd Dog Breed Information

The Miniature Australian Shepherd is taller than he is tall and has strong muscles. It is a small dog that weighs from 9 to 14 kg and has a height at the shoulders of 30-43 cm for females and 35-45 cm for males. The outlines of his entire body are stylized.

The Miniature American Shepherd has a strong neck, folded belly, and broad chest. Being longer, the limbs are shorter in this breed than in the previous breed. Likewise, it is strong and balanced.

Naturally, the tail of this breed is long and looks like a duster due to the amount of hair that is concentrated on it. However, unfortunately, she was amputated for many years, which today is banned in many countries for being a cruel and unnecessary practice.

Continuing the characteristics of the miniature Australian Shepherd, the head of this dog is small, with a nose that matches his hair, black in dark-colored specimens, and red liver color.

The ears are medium in size, high and triangular, fold to the sides or forward. The eyes are almond-shaped and can be amber, blue, hazel, spotted, and even veined, as they usually match the coat color.

mini Australian shepherd colors

Mini Aussie hair is double-layered, medium length, straight or wavy, thick, and plentiful. It is characterized by the introduction of more volume in the legs and tail. As for colors, allowed in this breed:


blue blackbird



red blackbird

blackbird liver

These shades can be presented in different styles and combinations among themselves, so there are many colors that we can see in Miniature American Shepherd. For example, blackbirds can appear in a marble pattern, with small spots or dots, and the rest of the colors can be solid or fused, providing a two-tone or three-colored coat. Likewise, all of the listed colors can appear combined with white spots, although this last color should not be the dominant color.

The abundant white in these dogs may be associated with genetic issues such as deafness or small eyes, so it is not a good idea to combine two Miniature Australian Shepherds because they are both white.

mini American shepherd figure

The Miniature Aussie is a social, active, intelligent, emotional, friendly, and hard-working dog. He is also very energetic and does not tolerate prolonged inactivity or inactivity very well, so he needs an active caregiver who will give him daily walks and make time for games in the park or nature trips.

Likewise, the Mini Aussie is a very affectionate dog and loves to be petted by its caregivers. They get along well with children and adults, however, they are somewhat distrustful of strangers at first, although they are not too shy about it. Like any sheepdog, he is extremely protective, loyal, and gentle, has an incredible guardian instinct, and learns quickly.

Miniature American Shepherd Education

This large dog's intelligence, attitude, and energy make his education and training very simple. Of course, as with any dog, the American Miniature Shepherd needs to be socialized since he is a puppy to ensure he learns to communicate with all kinds of people, animals, and environments thus avoiding fearful or aggressive behavior into adulthood.

Likewise, it is necessary to accustom him to different types of activities and environments so that he does not become an unstable dog or with a difficult character, although by nature he does not have one.

On the other hand, the puppy should start by teaching them using positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement consists of rewarding desirable behaviors with food or foreplay, without the use of punishments of any kind when the desired behaviors are not performed or the undesirable behaviors are implemented.

This way, learning is less painful, more fun, faster, and more effective for the dog and us. In this article we explain how to properly teach a puppy, so don't miss it!

Due to the strength of the sheepdog's instinct, that is, guarding, protection and activity, it is also very important to conduct training sessions outside, as well as to do various exercises with it. Not only this will stimulate your brain, but it will also allow us to strengthen the bond.

Miniature American Shepherd Care

The Miniature Australian Shepherd dog needs proven hair care which consists of brushing it several times a week and bathing as necessary, to keep the hair clean and untangled and to avoid the buildup of dirt and debris that can predispose to infection, inflammation, and other problems . Skin problems.

Cleanliness of the ears, eyes, and teeth is essential to keep these structures in good health and prevent infections, infections, or diseases such as otitis, conjunctivitis, gum disease, tartar, or cavities, among others.

As mentioned, the Mini Aussie has a lot of energy and energy and doesn't like being quiet for long, so he needs human companions to keep him active through games, walking, exercise, and outdoor where he can release all his activities energy.

For this reason, it is advisable to exercise agility or simply make routes through the mountains. Likewise, it is desirable to introduce an appropriate environmental enrichment in the home through a variety of games, among which are games of intelligence and aroma.

Finally, about food, the American Miniature Shepherd must follow a complete and balanced diet, based on the quality of food through which they get all the nutrients in the right proportions to maintain their health and quality of life. The daily amount should be adjusted according to the individual circumstances of each dog involved, but it depends on its age, activity level, physiological condition, climate, or diseases, among others. Depending on the type of diet you want to follow, we recommend consulting these articles:

Mini American Shepherd Dog Health

Miniature Australian Shepherds are healthy dogs that can live up to 14 years as long as they are properly cared for, controlled by veterinary checks and proper preventative medicine is done through vaccination, deworming, and spaying. However, they appear to be predisposed to the following diseases that should be considered:

Von Willebrand disease: There is a deficiency of Von Willebrand factor which is a glycoprotein responsible for prolonging the life of clotting factor VII, binding to it and allowing platelets to adhere to exposed surfaces after blood vessel damage.

This leads to failure of primary hemostasis, resulting in bleeding gums, nosebleeds, blood in stool or urine, and vomiting blood.

Collie's eye anomaly - this breed can also suffer from this disease in which eye damage occurs. It can appear mild, as small changes occur in the vascular layer of the eye (choroid) that will not affect the dog's vision much, or it can appear more serious where the following changes can occur: choroidal underdevelopment, coloboma, or optic disc defect or adjacent to it, a cluster tumor or thinning of the sclerotic layer adjacent to the choroid, or retinal detachment.

Progressive retinal atrophy is a disease in which the photoreceptors of the retina (cones and rods) in both eyes gradually deteriorate, resulting in blindness.

Where to adopt a miniature Australian Shepherd?

The American Miniature Shepherd is common on the American continent, and adopting it is not very difficult. It may be more complicated on other sites, but all you have to do is ask and investigate protection agencies or rescue associations.

Likewise, it is possible to find bred samples at these adoption centers, which are equally valid and worthy of your company, so we encourage you to visit them to choose the best mate regardless of whether it is a pure breed or not.

Keep in mind that these dogs require committed and active caregivers to be happy and release all their energy without getting bored or discouraged. If this is not the case, it is better to choose another breed or a more inactive mestizo.

You may also be interested in Spanish Mastiff


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