Is a Miniature Australian Shepherd/Miniature American Shepherd the right Breed for You?
You can read here all about the Miniature Australian Shepherd ( Mini Aussie ) History, Health, etc.
Enjoy reading about these wonderful dogs to be your next Forever Friend.
History...The Miniature Australian Shepherd was developed directly from the Australian Shepherd. Throughout the history of the Aussie, small (under 18") dogs can be seen in historical photographs. Many believe that the original Aussie was selectively bred larger as sheep ranching decreased and cattle ranching increased. Cattle ranchers preferred a larger dog to work the larger stock. Some Aussie owners have continued to prefer the smaller sized Aussie while others prefer the larger.
In 1968 a horse woman in Norco, California, began a breeding program specifically to produce very small Australian Shepherds. Her name was Doris Cordova, and the most well known dog from her kennel is Cordova’s Spike. Spike was placed with Bill and Sally Kennedy, also of Norco, California, to continue to develop a line of miniature Aussies under the B/S kennel name. Another horseman, Chas Lasater of Valhalla Kennels soon joined the ranks of mini breeders.
Cordova, Lasater and the Kennedy’s together attempted to form the first parent club for the miniatures. Although the club never quite got off the ground, their stated purpose for developing the miniatures was to produce an Australian Shepherd under 17" who had the heart, intelligence and drive to work stock, and yet be small enough to travel easily to stock shows and be a "house" dog.
Cordova’s dogs were registered through the National Stock Dog Registry (NSDR) and eventually NSDR came to be the first registry to recognize and register the mini as a size variety of the Australian Shepherd.
Originally recognized in (1989 - 1990) they were shown with the RBKC of Southern California (Rare Breed Kennel Club) as Miniature Australian Shepherds. The miniature gained in popularity and the owners and breeders missed the cohesive nature of a parent club dedicated to the miniature, so in 1990, the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA) was formed. Kathy Croswhite (Munson), Jeanine Perron, Florence Toombs, Susan Sinclair and Richard VanBurkleo served as the first Board of Directors, and one of MASCUSA’s most notable early achievements during that time, was to gain recognition of the miniature by the American Rare Breeds Assc. (ARBA) to provide a Nationally recognized conformation show venue.
Now with the recognition of the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) the Miniature Australian Shepherds showed along side the Australian Shepherd until 1993, when the AKC officially recognized the Australian Shepherd. The American Rare Breed Association's policy at that time was not to allow any breed of dog to show with them (except in exhibition) that had the same name as an AKC affiliated breed and suggested that we change our name. Amid mixed reactions MASCUSA opted to change the name of our dogs from Miniature Australian Shepherd to North American Shepherd, for the sole purpose of keeping ARBA as one of our main show venues. At the same time, the club amended its name to North American Miniature Australian Club, USA, while also retaining the name Miniature Australian Club, USA as an a.k.a. The breed flourished over the next five years and grew under this name both in the US and Canada.
In the beginning of 1998, ARBA changed their breed name policy and through much consideration and discussion on the part of our club members and the Board of Directors of NASCUSA, formerly MASCUSA, Miniature Australian Shepherd was incorporated back into the name of our dogs, thus becoming the North American "Miniature Australian Shepherd".
Today, breeders of the Miniature Australian Shepherd continue to strive to produce Aussies of a smaller stature. Preservation of the herding instinct as well as the intelligence and athleticism of the mini is a priority in breeding programs, as well as continuing the reputation for health and easy companionship that the mini enjoys.
Miniatures are quickly gaining in popularity among Agility, Flyball and Disc competition enthusiasts as their attributes of small size and amazing athletic ability makes them very competitive and easy to travel with. In the suburbs and cities, families wanting a big dog are attracted to the "big dog" qualities of the miniature Australian Shepherd, in a smaller package.
Vive la miniature!
About...Miniature Australian Shepherds are easy going, perpetual puppies that love to play. Courageous, loyal and affectionate, they are excellent children's companions that are great with active children. A devoted friend and guardian. Very lively, agile, and attentive, they are eager to please with a sixth sense about what the owner wants. Miniature Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and easy to train. They can become nervous and destructive if left alone too much without enough mental and physical exercise. They need a job to do, as the breed is very intelligent, active and easily bored. Socialize them well when they are a puppy to avoid them becoming suspicious of strangers. Some like to nip peoples heels in an attempt to herd them. They need to be taught herding humans is not acceptable. A fine companion, it also enjoys working small stock. They are quiet workers. This breed is not usually dog aggressive. Make sure you are this dog's firm, confident, consistent pack leader to avoid Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behavior problems. Always remember, dogs are canines, not humans. Be sure to meet their natural instincts as animals.
The Miniature Australian Shepherd will do okay in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. They are moderately active indoors and will do okay with a small yard. This breed will do well in cold climate.
Health...Australian Shepherds of the miniature variety suffer from relatively few genetic disorders. However, defects recognized in the Australian Shepherd can also occur in its smaller counterpart. The Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of America is working to preserve the health of the mini Aussie and strongly encourages breeders to clear eyes and hips on all breeding stock.
To read more about Eye Clearances & Hip Clearances click on the link below:
"The Miniature American Shepherd was recently recognized in May of 2011 by the American Kennel Club. The breed was formed by a split of the Australian Shepherd breed in AKC, and the incorporation of dogs previously known as Miniature Australian Shepherds and also known as North American Shepherds. The Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA) is the parent club for the Miniature American Shepherd and was originally known as the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA, and then the North American Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA, and was founded in 1990 as the original parent club for the Miniature Australian Shepherd. The move to have these dogs recognized by AKC and to be further developed as Miniature American Shepherds is a monumental era in the history of these dogs. They will have a bright and permanent future in AKC and can compete alongside their fellow herding breeds in AKC Herding events and will be a big influence in both the performance and companion events offered by AKC. The Miniature American Shepherd will now be seen at many different AKC venues and will be working toward the day they are to be fully recognized and entered in the AKC Conformation shows.
aka: Miniature American Shepherd
Toy Height: 10-14 inches
Toy Weight: 12-18 pounds
Miniature Height: 14-18 inches
Miniature Weight: 20-40 pounds