Miniature American Shepherd
Miniature American Shepherd resembles the Australian Shepherd in a smaller size. They share many traits with their Australian cousin. These dogs are extremely bright, versatile, energetic, and are real herd dogs. What every person notice first is their stunning coat that comes in black, red, blue, and red merle. Although they are small to medium dog breed they were bred for hard work on many different and difficult terrains. These dogs will adapt to any living condition as long as you provide them with enough exercise, both physical and mental. They will happily join you in everything you do.
13-18 in (33-46 cm)
20-40 lb (9-18 kg)
History of Miniature American Shepherds dogs is closely tied to the development of the Australian Shepherd. Australian Shepherds became quickly popular and at that time some people started purposely bred dogs to create a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd. They called them Miniature Australian Shepherds. These dogs had better stamina and athleticism than their larger cousin- Australian Shepherd and because of that, they were praised for ranch work.
Years later a new name was chosen – Miniature American Shepherds, because people thought it was the same breed as Australian Shepherd, and because they wanted to acknowledge their country of development and so this new name was chosen and accepted.
FUN FACT: AKC officially recognized Miniature American Shepherd in 2015.
Dog Breed Characteristics
Standard describes these dogs with extreme stamina and strength. Highly versatile and with superior intelligence these dogs can work on a variety of terrains. Both loyal companions and tireless workers make this dog ideal if you search for a family or working dog. These dogs are accepted in many cynology unions in the world including AKC (American Kennel Club) and the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale)
- Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle dogs (except Swiss Cattle dogs). Section 1 Sheepdogs. Without working trial.
- Height at the withers: males: 14-18 in (35 - 46 cm), females: 13- 17 in (33- 43 cm)
Miniature American Shepherd Grooming
These dogs have one of the most beautiful coats in all the dog kingdom. Miniature American Shepherd has a long outer coat and wooly undercoat. If you are thinking about getting this dog be prepared for a fair amount of grooming sessions, especially during shedding season, when your dog will shed heavily (twice a year). Outside of the shedding season be prepared to brush your dog weekly to be sure that his coat will be healthy and clean. One of the main problems that can occur if you don’t brush your dog daily is tangles.
Bathing is only required when your dog gets dirty. The rest is basic care – trim his nails when they get too long, regularly brush his teeth to prevent bacteria development and gum diseases, check his ears for any sign of infection.
Miniature American Shepherds are very energetic and active dogs so you will need to secure them with enough daily exercise in order for them to be happy and healthy. The good thing is that these dogs are very adaptable and can very well adapt to apartment living as with living in a house with a big yard. These dogs love to be challenged mentally and they love to have a job to do. They enjoy learning games as well as learning new tricks.
These dogs excel in canine sports such as agility, tracking, and obedience.
Since these dogs are highly intelligent, training them should be easier compared to many other dog breeds. They will enjoy learning new stuff and because they are willing to please their owner training them should be a breeze. If your dog doesn’t pick up your command from the first time, be calm and patient and never use hard training methods, because you will not get anything done. During training sessions always use positive training methods for the best results.
Although Miniature American Shepherds are great dogs they will still have to be socialized. The best time to start the socialization process is when your new puppy arrives at your home. Try to expose him to many different situations, people, other animals so he will learn how to behave in many different situations he finds himself later in life.
FUN FACT: Miniature American Shepherds are great watchdogs, but some can develop problems with extreme barking.
Miniature American Shepherd and kids
Miniature American Shepherds loves kids and will get along excellent with them. They will be very protective of kids from his own family but will also get along well with everybody. It is very important to teach your kids what is the right way for them to play and interact with the dog, so both dogs and kids will enjoy each other's company.
Miniature American Shepherd and other pets
These dogs get along well with other animals and dogs. Since they are very playful in some cases they will chase smaller animals such as cats but in a nonaggressive way.
This is a generally healthy dog breed, but like most dogs, they are prone to certain problems. Since they are similar to Australian Shepherd they have similar health problems and the ones that occur the most are: hip dysplasia and a few eye diseases (including PRA- progressive retinal atrophy). The best way to be sure that you will get the best possible dog there is to find a good and responsible dog breeder. Responsible dog breeders will take good care of their breeding dogs and their puppies and they will perform tests to be sure that they are healthy. That still doesn’t guarantee that your dog will not develop some health problems but it’s the best you can get.
There are a few recommended health tests if you want to be sure that your Miniature American Shepherd is healthy: ophthalmologist evaluation, hip evaluation, MDR1 DNA Test, PRA Optigen DNA Test.
Miniature American Shepherd Breeders
Miniature American Shepherds are excellent companions and family dogs and you will for sure not make a mistake if you decide that you want this dog. If you are able to provide your dog with the proper and required amount of exercise and care you can be sure that both you and your dog will enjoy life together. When you decide it's time to search for Miniature American Shepherds breeders always be careful and try to find good and responsible dog breeders. There are many backyard and puppy mill breeders who only care about profit and not well being of the dogs. When talking to the breeder if you notice anything shady it's time to move. Good breeders will answer all of your questions and will gladly show you all you ask including health certificates because it is in their interest that their puppies goes into a well family.
Photo by: Tam White
World Dog Finder team