The Mini Australian Shepherd is a friendly and loyal dog, that makes a great pet for active families with young children. Australian Shepherd breeders first started a program to create a miniature version of their dog in 1968; the program was a success, but fans of the Miniature Australian Shepherd are continually working to breed smaller versions of the dog. This makes the breed a better pet for busy families living in cities and towns; the full size Australian Shepherd is more used to a very active lifestyle, working on farms, and would soon become frustrated by the restrictions of an urban garden.
The Mini Aussie was only recently admitted to the American Kennel Club as a separate breed (although under the name Miniature American Shepherd). For years, this breed was considered to be just a smaller version of the original Australian Shepherd; this meant that pedigree dogs had to be shown against much larger competitors at shows. Of course, this lack of recognition made little difference to those who had fallen in love with the Miniature Australian Shepherd as a playful family pet.
Key Facts about the Miniature Australian Shepherd
The Miniature Australian Shepherd usually lives to be between 12 and 15 years old, and grows to a maximum height of 18 inches, and maximum weight of around 30 lbs. As the Miniature Australian Shepherd is essentially a smaller version of a very active working dog, be aware that they need a great deal of exercise. At least two long walks a day, with plenty of games of fetch, should be enough to keep them entertained.
A slightly average shedder, the Miniature Australian Shepherd does need some grooming. The occasional bath and brush, depending on where you go walking, will be more than enough to keep their coat healthy. If you decide that you want to breed your Miniature Australian Shepherd, you can expect a litter of between 2 and 6 puppies.
Ideal Family Pet
Although they need a great deal of exercise, the Miniature Australian Shepherd does make an ideal family pet; especially if you have older children to whom you can delegate walking duties now and then. A very intelligent dog, used to being trained to carry out specific tasks on farms, they are easy to house train — and are happy to be taught new tricks. A very friendly, courageous and loyal dog, they are safe to have around even young children.
Because they are such an energetic breed, the Mini Aussies do need almost constant physical and mental stimulation. They can easily become destructive if they are not getting enough exercise, or if left alone for long periods of time. The Miniature Australian Shepherd is not a great pet for people who work a lot, unless you are willing to invest in a dog-sitter during working hours.
As with all dogs, it is important that they are socialized well while still a puppy, as this will avoid behavioral problems around other dogs as your Miniature Australian Shepherd grows. If you are keeping your dog as a family pet and not a working animal, you may need to do some work to teach your Miniature Australian Shepherd that humans are not for herding; some working dogs have been known to try to “herd” their humans by nipping at their ankles.
Miniature Australian Shepherd Appearance
The Miniature Australian Shepherd has a coat of medium length and has either red or blue merle or red or black tri-color as its main coloring, often with tan and white marking throughout the coat. While there is nothing wrong with Miniature Australian Shepherds crossbreeds, you shouldn’t be paying pedigree prices for one and it is always worth knowing what type of dog the Miniature Australian Shepherd has been bred with, so that you can be prepared for any behavioral problems associated with the other breed.
The coat of the Miniature Australian Shepherd is often slightly wavy, with a frill of hair around the neck and some feathering on the legs.
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is a wonderful breed of dog for families but you have to be prepared to take on a dog that will be a bundle of energy well into old age. Keep your Miniature Australian Shepherd physically and mentally stimulated and challenged and you can expect few behavioral problems.
While they are great pets for families with children of all ages, it is worth considering just how much exercise and attention this breed needs. If you are a busy family, with full-time jobs and outside activities, then you may not have enough free time to ensure that your Miniature Australian Shepherd is kept entertained. It is not fair to make such an energetic and happy dog live trapped in a small urban garden, developing destructive habits out of boredom.
Give the Miniature Australian Shepherd the attention they need, however, and you will have a loyal and loving pet for years to come.