As the name might suggest, the Miniature American Shepherd is a pint size version of its predecessor, the Australian Shepherd. But compact as they might be, this breed is every bit a Shepherd as its larger relatives.
Energetic, intelligent, and self-motivated, these dogs are an excellent choice of herder for those that travel, and they also make loving and loyal companions. These dogs are an excellent choice for those looking for an adaptable and hardy four-legged friend. Read on to learn more about the Miniature American Shepard.
Description of the Miniature American Shepherd
Originally called the Miniature Australian Shepherd, this breed became its own when they were shrunk down even further to be used as rodeo workers.
While they may be small in size, the Miniature American Shepherd sure makes up for it in heart. These lively and devoted dogs are affectionate family members and dedicated workers. They adapt well to many situations, and their travel-ready size makes them a convenient dog for people who live in smaller spaces, or are often on the go.
With a well-proportioned body that is slightly longer than it is tall, the Miniature American Shepherd excels in agility, strength, and endurance. Their small size is no drawback, as this breed is just as sturdy as its larger cousin, just with the added fun of being mini!
Their bright eyes are always alert and ready for action. The high-set ears of this dog fold over to frame his adorable and keen face. But, the real showstopper on the Miniature American Shepherd is its coat. These dogs are uniquely colored, making for some beautiful and individual pups. The standard colors are black, blue merle, red merle, and red. Their medium-length coats can come in any combination of these colors.
Life Expectancy and Size
These small herders are a resilient and hardy breed. Most live an average of 12 – 13 years. They can be prone to certain health conditions and genetic diseases that may shorten their life, so work with a reputable breeder who screens his or her stock to ensure you can get the healthiest puppy, and be prepared for potential health problems.
These small dogs are a perfect size for those looking for a versatile pet. Males stand 14 – 18 inches tall, females stand 13 – 17 inches tall, and they weigh 20 – 40 pounds.
Bred to be a herder and guardian, the Miniature American Shepherd will be protective over his family but still good-natured. They are always on the lookout, and make great watchdogs. This breed tends to be reserved with strangers, but should never be shy or timid. They are bold guardians and will do everything they can to protect their families.
Eager to learn and extremely intelligent, the Miniature American Shepherd is a trainer’s dream. These dogs love to work, and training will be a blast for them and you if you make it fun and interesting. Using treats is a great way to keep your dog motivated and engaged. Rewards are the best way to success, but be sure to use in moderation, and adjust their feed as necessary, as your dog can become overweight if fed too many treats.
Canine sports are also a great way to train you dog and provide him with exercise, mental stimulation, and some quality bonding time with you! Your pup will be in doggy heaven when he can do all these things at once.
Using positive, consistent, and patient training will make things smooth for you and your dog. Always come fresh to training sessions so that you can have the most productive time with your dog.
The Miniature American Shepherd is an athletic and energetic dog, but they can also be quite adaptable to their family’s lifestyle. Moderate exercise is usually enough to keep these dogs fit and happy. The best way to work out your dog’s energy is through canine sports, backyard games with you, and long walks.
But, your Mini American will also love to lounge around with you. Whether it is snuggling up next to you on the couch, or keeping you company while you do chores, these dogs just love to be close with their families and will be happy so long as they get to be where you are.
What Living with a Miniature American Shepherd is Like
This is an all-around kind breed. Adaptable and good-natured, they can take pretty much anything in stride and are easygoing. So long as you give them exercise and affection, they will be truly happy.
As such a versatile breed, the Miniature American Shepherd will be equally happy in a home with outdoor enthusiasts, as he would be living in the city. What matters to him is that he gets to be a part of the family.
Care of the Miniature American Shepherd
Adaptable is the true nature of this breed. They do well anywhere as long as they are given enough physical exercise and plenty of time with you.
The Miniature American Shepherd is a hardy dog that can deal with most weather. Their thick double coat is weather resistant, and provides nice insulation from colder climates. But they can adapt to heat as well. Just be sure to monitor them in extreme weather as they may become too cold or hot.
As a herding breed, the Miniature American Shepherd is no stranger to hard work. These dogs are used to long days where they must use agility, strength, endurance, and their smarts to get the job done. They will still be more than up to any task you give them, but are an adaptable breed that will do well with moderate exercise. A few nice walks a day, backyard playtime, and canine sports are a great way to get your dog moving and keep him engaged.
Shedding and Grooming
The medium-length double coat of the Miniature American Shepherd does shed and will require at least weekly brushing to keep it looking healthy and mat-free. These dogs go through shedding season once or twice a year, and daily brushing will be a must during these times. But other than that, their coats are low-maintenance, and only need to be washed occasionally.
This breed sheds moderately.
Regularly trim you dog’s nails and clean their ears to keep them as healthy as possible.
Ideal Home Environment
This breed can do well in pretty much any home. He just needs a family that is loving and will provide him with lots of daily attention. They do well with kids, and are protective over their families.
The Miniature American Shepherd can do well with dogs and other pets he is raised with. Start introductions early to provide plenty of socialization for your dog.
These dogs can be prone to health problems, so be sure you are prepared to deal with financial and time constraints if your dog becomes sick.
While often a healthy breed, the Miniature American Shepherd is susceptible to certain health issues. These include hip dysplasia and eye problems. They can also have genetic problems in their DNA so always work with a reputable breeder who screens for these issues.
This breed is generally good-natured and outgoing. They tend to be reserved with strangers, but should never be shy or timid. Be sure to start socialization early to make sure your sweet dog doesn’t become wary or nervous around other people or dogs.