The Miniature American Shepherd is a herding dog that ranges in size from small to medium. This breed has a vast list of names for such a small dog: Miniature American Shepherd, Miniature Australian Shepherd, Mini American, and Mini Aussie. Whatever you call it, this breed is a devoted and endearing family member. The Miniature American Shepherd is extremely adaptable, happy to fit into whatever lifestyle you offer.
Today’s Miniature American Shepherd is equally at ease herding goats, sheep, or cattle on a ranch or farm, hanging out in the backyard with the family in the suburbs, or even living in a high-rise apartment in the city. The Miniature American will thrive and provide you with an unlimited source of affection and stimulation as long as you provide appropriate attention, daily exercise, and mental stimulation.
The Miniature American is friendly and adventurous, and it is absolutely portable, happy to accompany you in anything and everything you do, from the kids’ soccer games to camping trips to beach outings and more. Miniature American Shepherds get along well with children, especially those who are trained to appreciate them.
The Miniature American Shepherd’s origins are intertwined with those of its larger cousin, the Australian Shepherd. Both breeds first appeared in California in the 1960s. Both breeds descended from a type of herding dog from Australia that has a number of other breeds in its pedigree, including the Pyrenean Shepherd, Border Collies, Collies, and others.
Australian immigrants introduced these exceptional herding dogs to California. The dogs were rapidly sought after by California ranchers and cowboys, who helped to establish them as a breed, dubbed “Australian Shepherds,” or “Aussies,” after the nation from whence they originated. Australian Shepherds come in a variety of sizes, but in general, Aussies are medium- to large-sized herding dogs.
At the same time as Australian Shepherds were being developed in California, some people began purposely breeding dogs that looked like miniature Australian Shepherds. These smaller dogs possessed the athleticism, stamina, and superior herding abilities of their larger ancestors, but were more portable and well-suited for indoor living as well as ranch activity.
These dogs were formerly known as Miniature Australian Shepherds. Years later, when breed enthusiasts approached the American Kennel Club to request that their breed be recognized, some believed that calling the breed a Miniature Australian Shepherd was problematic because it was (and still is) a distinct breed from the bigger Australian Shepherd.
The name Miniature American Shepherd was eventually chosen in recognition of the breed’s birthplace. The American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club officially recognized the breed as the Miniature American Shepherd. In 2015, the AKC and UKC accepted the breed for full registration as part of the Herding Group.
The Miniature American Shepherd has a double coat that is medium in length, with a short, dense undercoat and a longer, weather-resistant outer coat. Fur might be straight or wavy, with a medium texture and a medium length. Despite having a very long and dense coat, this dog simply requires periodic brushing and combing to avoid matting and remove loose hairs. The average weight ranges between 17 and 30 pounds.
- Weight: 8 to 15 kg
- Coat length: Medium, straight or wavy
- Amount of shedding: Medium
- Color: Black, blue merle, red and red merle
- Pattern: With or without tan and/or white markings
The Miniature American Shepherd is a loving and lively breed with boundless energy and a want to please. These dogs are excellent family companions since they are devoted to their owners and get along well with children. Miniature American Shepherds are naturally suspicious of strangers, but they are not shy and will not become aggressive.
To prevent the development of undesirable behaviors in this breed, early socialization and training is recommended. The Miniature American Shepherd is a very active and energetic breed that demands a lot of exercise on a daily basis. In addition to long daily walks, this breed performs admirably when trained in various dog activities such as fly ball, disc dog, agility, and obedience.
This exercise gives the dog valuable mental and physical stimulation while also keeping him in shape. This breed is prone to behavioral issues if not provided appropriate daily exercise and mental stimulation.
- Lifespan: 11 to 13 years
- Active: High
- Intelligence: High
- Vocalize: High
Responsible breeders have strived to maintain the highest quality breed standards as set by kennel clubs such as AKC. Dogs bred according to these standards tend to inherit genetic diseases. Among the diseases that need to be considered include:
- Progressive retinal atrophy: An eye condition characterized by retinal degradation that causes reduced vision and, in severe cases, blindness.
- Hip dysplasia is a disorder in which the hip sockets do not form properly
- Patellar luxation is the dog’s kneecap may dislocated from its normal location
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