Mini Australian Shepherd for Sale: Energetic Working Dog in a Manageable Package
A Mini Australian Shepherd for sale is exactly what its name suggests. Playful and alert, Mini Aussies are like Australian Shepherds in a smaller package. They have the same balance, athleticism, and work ethic with less spatial, exercise, and training requirements. Mini Aussies thrive best in active families with more than one person and have a gregarious nature that is welcoming to children and other pets.
History of Mini Australian Shepherd for Sale
Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd is largely a product of America. They were developed in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and California in the 1800s to herd sheep in dry conditions at high altitudes. Among the dogs with probable influence were English collies (Border and Scotch) and shepherds, German Tiger Dogs (herding dogs that were the foundation of the German and subsequently Australian Koolie), and Spanish or Basque herding dogs that formed indigenous packs in New Mexico and other parts of the West. German dogs, especially, were thought to have traveled from Europe to Australia with a new and improved Merino sheep before eventually migrating with flocks and shepherds to North America. Regardless of their ancestry, Aussies became known for their unusual color patterns and naturally bobbed tails. Many of these early dogs were merle and had blue or mismatched eyes.
Creation of the Mini Aussie
Australian Shepherds were down-sized to create the mini. Breeders selected unusually small individuals over several generations. Specifically, Doris Cordova started breeding smaller Aussies, and her agenda was to create a more portable dog for the equestrian show and rodeo circuit. The Mini Australian Shepherd size also made it a more manageable house pet. The Miniature Australian Shepherd officially separated from the Australian Shepherd in 1911.
How do you know which breed?
You may run into confusion when you begin your search for a Miniature Australian Shepherd for sale. The Australian Shepherd prototype splits into three separate breeds, although the lines between two of them are sometimes vague. The Australian Shepherd is the original working dog of a standard size. It is a medium-sized dog ranging from 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing between 40 and 65 pounds. A full grown Mini Australian Shepherd for sale has a shoulder height of 14 to 18 inches and weighs between 20 and 40 pounds. An AKC-registered Miniature Australian Shepherd is officially a Miniature American Shepherd. Sometimes, the term North American Shepherd is used to refer to a Miniature Aussie, whether it is registered with the AKC or not.
Why So Many Names?
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is known by many names, only a few of which are official.
- Miniature Australian Shepherd
- Miniature American Shepherd
- Mini Aussies
- Mini American Shepherd
- North American Shepherd
When the Miniature Australian Shepherd initially separated from the standard in the 1970s, it was a rare breed. The American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) would not register it under the same name as an AKC dog. Once the Australian Shepherd became AKC-recognized in 1993, the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA) changed the name of their breed to the North American Shepherd. However, the ARBA later relaxed its regulations. The mini Aussie’s parent club, now the North American Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA, changed the dog’s name to the North American Miniature Australian Shepherd in 1998. A final name change occurred with AKC’s acceptance of the dog as part of its Foundation Stock Service in 2011. The breed became the American Miniature Shepherd and in 2015 achieved full AKC recognition. Its parent club became the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA).
The Australian Shepherd Mini Dilemma
Many breeders and fanciers do not subscribe to the name of the American Miniature Shepherd. They have a few options. They can refute AKC registration and compete and breed their dogs under the sanction of the clubs that still recognize Miniature Australian Shepherds. Miniature Australian Shepherd breeders can also register and show their dogs under the AKC umbrella. Interestingly, the AKC has a preferred but not disqualified size for Aussies. As long as dogs are conformationally correct and balanced, they can fall under the size standard, although they may be at a slight disadvantage in the show ring. These dogs are Australian Shepherds with no recognition as a miniature variety. Of course, dogs that deviate sharply from the size standard have no chance of performing well in conformation classes. The AKC considers the American Miniature Shepherd a distinct and separate breed from the Australian Shepherd.
Mini Australian Shepherd puppies for sale will not exhibit advanced personality traits until they are eight months or older. Like their larger counterparts, Mini Aussies are active, vibrant, and friendly. They are extremely smart and loyal. Despite their independence and high energy, Mini Aussies are responsive and thus, reasonably easy to train. They get along well with other animals, including dogs, cats, sheep, goats, and horses. Miniature Australian Shepherds also like children and have a frame that is robust enough to handle long and rough play sessions. The one caution you should have is to curb your dog’s strong instinct to herd smaller kids. Mini Aussies make great watchdogs but should not be excessive barkers nor should they bite.
Miniature Australian Shepherd Puppies Near Me
When you begin your search for a Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy, make sure you know what you will get. Besides learning the normal data such as health, screenings, and cleanliness, you need to research a breeder thoroughly if pedigrees are important to you. Work with reputable and knowledgeable breeders who know the difference between a Miniature Australian Shepherd and a Miniature American Shepherd. The breeder should help you get the correct and relevant paperwork. If your potential puppy is not registered already, find out what your options are. Such questions are mute if you do not care about having a registered dog. Registration, however, is key to tracing family lines and tracking genetic health issues.
Miniature Australian Shepherds live an average of 13 years.
The Miniature Aussie or Mini American Shepherd standard is based on the Australian Shepherd model. Mini Aussies have a strong head without wrinkles. the top of the skull can be rather flat or slightly rounded, and the eyes are almond-shaped. The ears are medium-sized, triangular, high-set, and folded over. Miniature Australian Shepherds have a medium-long neck that is strong and well-arched. Adding to the balance of the dog are hind and forequarters of the same stance, angulation, and musculature. The shoulder blades are long and lay flat against the body. A Miniature Aussie is slightly longer than tall and has a level topline. The tail should be a natural bobtail or docked to no more than three inches long at adulthood.
Mini Australian Shepherd vs Standard
Mini Australian Shepherds should look almost identical to the standard other than size. The upper range of the height may overlap with the larger dog, but the size breakdown clearly distinguishes the two varieties by weight. Mini Aussies are under 40 pounds. Miniature Australian Shepherds that are not registered with the AKC can vary from the standard because working performance takes precedence over appearance. Some fanciers also recognize a Toy variety that is 12 to 14 inches tall and weighs 10 to 20 pounds. Such specimens can be particularly vulnerable to liver shunts, kidney failure, and persistent low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
Australian Shepherds of all sizes have a medium-long, slightly wavy, double coat. The underfur is soft, woolly, and insulating against both the cold and heat. Aussies shed moderate amounts the entire year with an uptick in hair loss in the spring and fall.
A Miniature Australian Shepherd for sale shows the same color limitations as the Aussie.
- Solid black – can have minor white markings or tan or copper points (above eyes, on chest, under the tail, on legs or paws)
- Solid red (liver in other breeds) – like black, can have tan points or white markings
- Blue merle – a misnomer because the color involves black and white swirled hairs that have a bluish appearance; can have tan points
- Red merle – red and white hairs swirled; sometimes also see spots and flecking
Black or red dogs with both tan points and white markings are tricolors. Colors should be bold and vibrant. Aussies should not have white body splashes, nor should they have solid white around the eyes or ears.
Care of Mini Australian Shepherd for Sale
Miniature Australian Shepherds have moderate demands. They are easier to own than standard Australian Shepherds because of their smaller size.
- Exercise – Mini Aussies are active and intelligent dogs that require a lot of mental stimulation and interactive games included in their 60 to 90 minutes of exercise; exercises should include romping, running, walking, playing games, and training
- Training – Miniature Australian Shepherds can be independent but are above average in working intelligence or obedience and learning commands; puppies require early and consistent training with sessions of both training and exercise limited to 5 minutes apiece per month of age
- Socialization – Young Mini Aussies need early socialization to avoid shyness and skittishness
- Types of food – Miniature Australian Shepherds, like other dogs, need a meat-based diet with fats, vitamins, and minerals; plant materials like wheatgrass, berries, and greens are also felt to be beneficial
- Feeding amounts – Miniature Aussies need 28 to 32 calories per pound per day; puppies require 56 to 90 calories per pound of body weight depending on activity levels and growth rate
- Nail trims – every 6 to 12 weeks
- Brushing – twice weekly, every other day in the spring and autumn
Aussies have a dirt-resistant coat, but you should consider bathing them every eight to twelve weeks. Brushing helps stimulate circulation in the skin and the distribution of coat oils. Miniature Australian Shepherds excel at agility, flyball, and herding trials.