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Miniature American Shepherd

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa


Are you looking for a fun-loving and loyal companion?

You have come to the right place!

Say hello to the Miniature American Shepherd!

This breed was once known as the Mini Australian Shepherd.

The mini American shepherd was selectively bred for his small size.

Loyal to a fault, this pup is a perfect companion.

He is known especially well in the equestrian world.

The mini is a perfect friend for both horses and their riders.

 

This breed falls into the herding group.

They may be small, but minis are not afraid to work hard!

Don’t be surprised if your mini tries to herd you or your children.

They’ve even been known to herd robotic lawn mowers and vacuums!

His compact build means this pup can be a working dog or a house-pet.

Be prepared to spend a lot of time outdoors with your mini.

His energy and stamina need an outlet if he isn’t working.

 

Excited to learn more?

This article will explain the breed’s appearance, temperament, and history.

In addition, learn what to expect when caring for a mini, and what possible health issues might pop up.

Buckle up and join me as we dig deeper into the Mini American Shepherd!

 

Appearance

This handsome dog is bound to turn heads wherever he goes.

The mini stands between 13-18 inches tall.

A healthy weight for this breed is 20-40 pounds.

A mini’s eyes are bright and expressive.

He is always checking in with his owner or family, making sure everyone is safe.

Your mini will often have a happy expression on his face.

 

The mini is readily recognizable by his beautiful coat.

His coat is double and is a medium length.

The breed comes in black, blue and red colors.

Often the color also includes merle and, occasionally, tan points or white markings.

Make sure you are prepared to spend some time brushing your mini.

Because he loves being outdoors, your mini might need extra grooming.

Built for hard work on rough terrain, this dog rises to every challenge.

This means you need to make sure there are no ticks or other bugs hiding in his coat.

This breed will follow you to the ends of the earth if you maintain his coat properly.

 

Personality

The best way to describe this breed is: Love, loyalty, and hard work!

Once you assimilate a mini into your family, he will do anything to protect you.

This pup is one of the best if you have children in the house.

A mini will adore your kids with all his heart.

And he will do everything in his power to prevent anything from happening to them.

He also might try herding them!

 

Speaking of herding, the mini was bred for activity.

His stamina is legendary.

Remember that the mini is descended from Australian Shepherds.

The ability to traverse difficult terrain while herding livestock is hardwired into your mini.

Don’t be surprised if your pooch perks up in the presence of livestock.

This breed is happiest when given mental and physical stimulation.

 

The mini has been called a perpetual puppy.

Your pooch will love playing and have endless energy.

If you aren’t at home a lot, this might not be the breed for you.

The mini will become destructive if left alone for long amounts of time.

The same goes for if your pooch doesn’t get enough exercise.

Your mini just wants to spend time with you.

Be prepared to have your pup be involved in every family event.

 

Exercise

 

This breed has a strong work-ethic.

The mini American shepherd, while small, loves herding.

He is known for having a lot of energy and stamina in large quantities.

This small pup is quite athletic.

Your mini will require a moderate amount of exercise every day.

Going on walks and running in a fenced-in area will give your pooch the physical exercise he needs.

If you have kids, your mini will love playing with them.

Just don’t be surprised when your pooch starts trying to herd the children.

It’s in his blood!

 

The mini is also an incredibly intelligent breed.

This dog loves puzzles, hard work, and mental stimulation.

It is best for your mini if you are able to work on continuing training.

This will give him a creative outlet so he doesn’t get bored.

A bored mini American shepherd is a sad and destructive dog.

If you notice your pup exhibiting bad or destructive behaviors, you might need to exercise him more.

Or spend time with him challenging his training and comprehension.

This pup exists to be with his family and make everyone happy.

Before you choose this breed, make sure it will be a good fit with your family and lifestyle.

Grooming

Curious dog

This handsome pup is known for his beautiful coat and coloring.

His appearance does require some regular attention.

The mini has a double coat.

This means he has a wool-like bottom layer and a longer top layer of hair.

Your mini will shed throughout the year.

He will need a thorough weekly brushing.

In addition, a short daily brushing will help make sure your pup’s coat doesn’t get out of hand.

Since the mini is an active dog and loves the outdoors, you never know what you might find in his coat!

Twice a year, your pup will go through a proper shedding.

This will require a thorough, daily brushing.

 

As with any dog breed, make sure to keep your pup’s nails trimmed.

If you can hear them clicking on a hard floor, they are too long!

Since your mini loves exercise, taking him for runs on asphalt can help to wear down his nails.

Take the time to brush his teeth regularly.

In addition, check your pup’s ears periodically for dirt and any other build-up that may cause irritation.

Making sure your mini is well-groomed and looked after will benefit both you and your dog!

 

Training

Mini American Shepherds love to take a job head-on.

In addition, they are very intelligent.

This breed loves a challenge and will thrive if you give them the opportunity to prove it.

As with any breed, begin socialization training early.

This will ensure that your puppy will be comfortable in a variety of situations with other people and dogs.

Because of how smart the mini is, he picks up new training very quickly.

If you don’t plan to use your pooch as a working dog, make sure that you include mentally stimulating training for him.

A lot of a mini’s excess mental and physical energy is used up in working as a herding dog.

So you will need to supplement in order to keep your mini challenged and happy.

 

As mentioned above, miniature American shepherds are herders at heart.

If you plan to train your mini as a working dog, he will eagerly pick up your commands.

Most importantly, check in with your breeder about your puppy’s personality.

It is best to choose a puppy who is predisposed to the kind of lifestyle you plan to lead.

That way, both you and your pooch will be happy and fulfilled!

 

Health

Miniature American Shepherds are generally a healthy breed.

However, there are some medical conditions that may pop up.

The merle coloring gene carries a deaf/blind factor.

If you are looking at a merle puppy, always double-check his hearing and sight.

Some herding dogs carry a gene called MDR1.

Simply put, this gene can misinterpret a drug and be lethal.

A drug that is harmless to other dogs can prove fatal if your pup has the MDR1 gene.

Keep an eye on your mini’s hip and eye health.

These are common health concerns for most dogs.

Staying aware of your mini’s overall mood and any change in routine can be key to catching problems.

You don’t want any health issues to get out of hand.

 

As always, asking lots of questions will lead to a better understanding of what your pup’s future health may hold.

Your breeder should be able to provide all necessary documentation for your puppy’s history.

Medical information is an absolutely necessary area to look at when picking out a puppy.

Making regular visits to the veterinarian will also help catch anything that may pop up.

This way you can be prepared and hopefully prevent any issues your mini may develop.

 

History

The mini American shepherd is a relatively new breed.

He has his beginnings in the 60’s.

Breeders in California started selectively breeding small Australian Shepherds.

This created a standard miniature of the breed.

Originally, these pups were referred to as Miniature Australian Shepherds.

This breed was entered into the American Kennel Club as the Miniature American Shepherd in 2011.

 

The goal of the creation of this miniature breed was to provide an ideal companion dog that was still hard-working.

The mini is often used to herd smaller livestock, like goats and sheep.

But this pup also doesn’t mind dealing with large livestock as well.

He isn’t one to back down from a challenge!

This breed also became very popular among equestrians.

The mini is the perfect size to take on the road for horse shows and races.

He thrives in the energetic and ever-changing environment of the equestrian world.

 

Over the years, the mini American shepherd has gained a loyal following.

He has proven himself over and over again as a steady, loyal companion.

Nothing can shake his undying devotion for his human friends.

This pup will go down in the annals of history as one of man’s best friends.

Where Can I Find Miniature American Shepherds?

As with any dog breed, make sure you find a puppy through a legitimate breeder.

Don’t fall prey to puppy mills and internet scams.

Our goal at VIP Puppies is to provide the best and safest experience in your search for the perfect puppy.

A reputable breeder will have documentation and good reviews.

You can ask any question and your breeder should be more than happy to provide answers.

Your pup’s breeding heritage, medical history, personality, and current shots are all pieces of information you need to make an informed decision.

Do not hesitate to ask those and other questions to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate breeder.

 

The Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA, Inc. (MASCUSA) was formed in 1990 and was originally called the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA.

This club is recognized by the American Kennel Club as it’s Foundation Stock Service for the Miniature American Shepherd.

The MASCUSA’s website has many resources for owners of minis and anyone interested in finding a mini.

They do have a breeders directory for you to browse, but specify that all listings are paid advertisements.

The MASCUSA does not endorse any single breeder.

As always, ask questions and don’t be afraid to request proper documentation when looking for the perfect puppy

 

FAQ

Q: Is the Mini American Shepherd a good apartment dog?
A: Yes, as long as you have outdoor space for him to run around in or are committed to giving him the daily exercise he needs.

Q: Is this breed good with kids?
A: Yes! Your mini will adore your children and will be both a protector and the perfect playmate for them.

Q: Are minis difficult to train?
A: No, they are very intelligent and want to please you. Just remember to provide lots of mental stimulation, or your mini may become bored and destructive.

Q: Do I need to brush my mini every day?
A: If you aren’t giving your mini a quick brush-over once a day, it’s imperative that you give him a thorough brushing at least once a week.

Q: Does this breed have a lot of medical issues?
A: This is generally a healthy breed, but make sure to ask your breeder about any history or signs of blindness, deafness, or the MDR1 gene in your puppy.

 

In Closing

Well I hope you enjoyed learning about the Miniature American Shepherd with me!

This energetic and loving pup will be an asset and loyal companion to you and your family.

Take a look at Miniature American Shepherd puppies today!

 

Until next time!

-Sara

 

References

American Kennel Club. (2021, 12 3). Miniature American Shepherd. Retrieved from American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/miniature-american-shepherd/

MASCUSA. (2021, 12 3). History. Retrieved from MASCUSA: http://mascusa.org/

Vet Street. (2021, 12 3). Miniature American Shepherd. Retrieved from Vet Street: http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/miniature-american-shepherd

Wisdom Panel. (2021, 12 3). Miniature American Shepherd. Retrieved from Wisdom Panel: https://www.wisdompanel.com/en-us/dog-breeds/miniature-american-shepherd

 

Picture of author Dr. Sara Ochoa in her scrubs with a cute dogSara Ochoa, DVM is an expert veterinarian ready to help you give your dog an amazing life. Stationed in East Texas, Dr. Ochoa specializes in small and/or exotic animals. She’s currently loving life alongside her husband Greg and their three fur babies: Ruby the Schnoodle, Monkey the tortoise, and Oliver James (affectionately dubbed “OJ”) the cat.

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