Mini Australian Shepherd Breed Guide

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7 Minute Read
Updated September 1, 2023

Small in Size, Big in Personality: Discover the Magic of the Mini Australian Shepherd!

Meet the pint-sized powerhouse of intelligence and charm – the Mini Australian Shepherd! Don't let their compact size fool you, these small herding wonders pack a whole lot of energy, agility, and loyalty into their tiny bodies.

From dazzling coat colours to boundless enthusiasm, get ready to discover the captivating world of the Mini Aussie that's sure to steal your heart and keep you on your toes!

The Miniature Australian Shepherd, often affectionately referred to as the "Mini Aussie," is a compact and versatile herding dog that has rapidly gained in popularity due to its intelligence, nimbleness, and charmingly cute appearance.

However, don't let its small size fool you. The Mini Aussie retains many of the same characteristics as its standard-sized counterpart - it might be a smaller dog but has a big heart and a friendly disposition.

 

Miniature Australian Shepherd Characteristics

The Mini Aussie is known for its distinctive physical appearance and vibrant personality. The dog stands between 13 to 18 inches (33 centimeters to 45 centimeters). The dog's small size is perfect for apartment dwellers and seniors.

The coat of the Miniature Australian Shepherd comes in a variety of colours, including black, blue merle, red merle, and red, often with white markings and copper points. The coat is medium-length and can be straight or wavy.

It does require regular grooming to keep it looking its best, remove knots, and loosen the undercoat. Daily brushing of problem areas is ideal, but a full body brush once or twice a week is recommended.

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History of the Mini Australian Shepherd

Despite its name, the Mini Australian Shepherd did not originate in Australia. The breed actually traces its roots back to the United States, where it was developed to work on ranches and farms.

In the 1960s, the Mini Australian Shepherd gained recognition and a great deal of notoriety. The dogs were used to work the U.S. Rodeo Circuit and quickly became associated with everything ‘Western.’

The dog's small size made it an excellent travelling companion. This herding breed was often favoured by equestrians as both companions and working dogs.

The Miniature Australian Shepherd was bred down in size from their larger counterparts to create a more compact herding dog that could efficiently manage livestock while taking up less space.

Their herding instincts and agility made them excellent at controlling and moving livestock, earning them a reputation as skilled working dogs. However, the dog's small size has made it a valued companion first and foremost.

 

The Playful Personality of the Mini Aussie

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In addition to being one of the cutest dog breeds, Mini Australian Shepherds are renowned for their high intelligence and boundless energy. The little dog wants to have fun, fun, fun. His quick intelligence makes him a natural, soaking up new tricks and commands.

They are incredibly agile and excel in various dog sports such as agility, obedience, and even herding trials.

Due to their herding heritage, they have a natural tendency to be alert, watchful, and protective of their families. They are loyal, affectionate, and thrive on companionship.

These dogs are known for forming strong bonds with their human families and can be excellent family pets when given proper training, socialization, and outlets for their energy.

A Mini Australian Shepherd may be wary of strangers but are generally not aggressive unless they perceive a threat to their loved ones.

The breed does enjoy barking, so you’ll want to consider that if you live in an apartment or have young children that require daily naps.

    • Affectionate 
    • Highly trainable
    • Intelligent
    • Pet friendly
    • High energy level

Even though the Mini Aussie is diminutive in size, it does require regular exercise, so if you are seeking a couch potato breed, then you'll want to forgo this rambunctious pup.

Mini Aussie's high energy levels necessitate regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and potential behavioural issues. Daily walks, interactive play sessions with toys and chews, and engaging training activities with tasty treats are essential to keeping them happy and well-adjusted.

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Mini Aussie: Pros and Cons

As with any breed, there are pros and cons to owning a Miniature Australian Shepherd. Any dog you choose to welcome into your family is going to have some traits that will require your patience, diligence, and understanding. 

This overall cute and family-friendly breed has several positive traits, but before you decide on a mini Aussie, it's important to learn everything you are signing up for so that you can provide them with the safest, healthiest, and happiest life.

Pros of the Miniature Australian Shepherd:

    • Size: Their smaller size compared to standard Australian Shepherds makes them suitable for small living spaces. 
    • Intelligence: Mini Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and trainable, excelling in various dog sports like agility and obedience. 
    • Versatility: They are versatile working dogs, capable of herding, agility, obedience, and more. These dogs genuinely want to please their owners. 
    • Affectionate: Mini Australians are very affectionate and form strong relationships with their owners.
    • Good with Families: They can be great family dogs and get along well with children and other pets.
    • Energetic: Their energy and agility make them excellent companions for active individuals or families if you enjoy hiking, camping, or water sports. Check out the dog gear at Homes Alive Pets, such as backpacks, harnesses, life vests, and more to make any outing safe and fun. 

Cons of the Miniature Australian Shepherd:

    • Energy Level: Their high energy levels require regular exercise and mental stimulation, or they can become bored and destructive.
    • Grooming: Their double coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and reduce shedding. You’ll want to invest in a dog deshedding tool, comb, brush and other grooming supplies to keep your pup’s coat looking amazing. 
    • Herding Instincts: Some Mini Australians might exhibit strong herding instincts, which could lead to nipping or herding behaviour around children or other pets. Obedience training can overcome the problem. 
    • Training Challenges: Their intelligence can lead to stubbornness if not properly trained. You'll want to enroll your Mini Australian Shepherd in obedience class and ensure the pup is well socialized. Stock up on training aids and supplies. 
    • Separation Anxiety: This breed bonds strongly with their owners and might develop separation anxiety if left alone, which can result in destructive behaviour.
    • Health Concerns: Like other breeds, they can be prone to certain hereditary health issues, so choosing a responsible breeder is important.

As with any dog breed, it's essential to consider your lifestyle, preferences, and ability to meet the breed's needs before bringing a Miniature Australian Shepherd into your home.

Proper training, socialization, and care can help overcome challenges and ensure a positive and rewarding relationship with this intelligent and active breed.

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Common Health Issues in Mini Australian Shepherd  

Miniature Australian Shepherds, like any breed, can be prone to certain health issues, especially as they age. Some of these issues have to do with breeding, while others can be mitigated or even avoided with proper diet, lifestyle, and regular health care.

Here are a few health problems associated with the breed include:

    • Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn't develop properly, leading to arthritis and discomfort. 
    • Eye Issues: Mini Aussies can be prone to various eye problems, including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and collie eye anomaly (CEA). 
    • Epilepsy: Epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by seizures, can affect Mini Australian Shepherds. 
    • Deafness: Some Mini Aussies can be born with congenital deafness, which might affect one or both ears. 
    • Allergies: Mini Australian Shepherds might develop allergies to certain foods, environmental factors, or allergens.
    • Autoimmune Disorders: Conditions like autoimmune thyroiditis can affect Mini Aussies, causing disruptions in thyroid function and potentially leading to various health problems.
    • Collie Eye Anomaly: CEA is an inherited eye disorder that can lead to vision impairment or blindness. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Mini Australian Shepherds

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What is the difference between a Mini Australian Shepherd and a regular Australian Shepherd?

The primary distinction between a Miniature Australian Shepherd and a regular Australian Shepherd lies in their size. Mini Aussies are bred to be smaller, standing at around 33 to 45.7 centimetres in height and weighing approximately 9 to 18.1 kilograms.

On the other hand, regular Australian Shepherds are larger, standing about 45.7 to 58.4 centimetres tall and weighing around 18.1 to 29.5 kilograms. Despite these differences, both breeds exhibit similar temperaments and traits.

How long do Mini Australian Shepherds live?

Mini Australian Shepherds typically have a lifespan of around 12 to 15 years. Proper nutrition, regular exercise, routine veterinary care, and a healthy lifestyle can contribute to helping them live a long and fulfilling life.

How much are Mini Australian Shepherd puppies in Canada?

The cost of Mini Australian Shepherd puppies in Canada can vary based on factors like locations, breeder reputation, lineage, and intended purpose. On average, you can expect to pay at least $800 to $1,500 CAD for a Mini Australian Shepherd puppy in Canada.

What is the average lifespan of the Mini Australian Shepherd?

The average lifespan of a Mini Australian Shepherd is typically around 12 to 15 years.

Is the Miniature Australian Shepherd good with children? 

Yes, Miniature Australian Shepherds are generally good with children. They are known for being affectionate, loyal, and playful, which makes them great companions for kids. However, as with any dog breed, it's important to teach children how to interact respectfully and safely with dogs.

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