The Miniature American Shepherd resembles a small Australian Shepherd. True herders in spite of their compact size, Minis are bright, self-motivated workers and endearingly loyal and lively companion dogs who have an affinity for horses. The Miniature American Shepherd shares many physical traits with its forebear the Australian Shepherd, only on a smaller scale. Despite their size, Minis are every inch a true herding dog: energetic, versatile, rugged, and extremely bright. The eye-catching coat comes in black, blue merle, red, and red merle. Minis move with the smooth and agile step of a dog built for hard work on punishing terrain.
In the 1960s, small-size Australian Shepherds found working the U.S. rodeo circuit were selectively bred to further reduce their size. The new breed was originally called the Miniature Australian Shepherd. “They became especially popular with equestrians traveling to horse shows, as their intelligence, loyalty, and size made them an excellent travel companion,” the experts at the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA say. “In this way their popularity spread across the country.”
AKC Breed Standards:
14-18 inches (male)
13-17 inches (female)
Miniature American Shepherds (Mini Aussies) have a double coat, with a longer outer coat and a wooly undercoat. The breed sheds a fair amount, even more so during shedding season, which can occur once or twice a year. Weekly brushings and daily during shedding season will help to remove dirt and loose hairs and keep the dog looking it's best. Mats or tangles can be worked out with a slicker brush or metal comb.