While there are many theories as to the origin of the Australian Shepherd, the breed as we know it today was developed exclusively in the United States. The Australian Shepherd was given its name because of their association with the Basque sheepherders who came to the United States from Australia in the 1800's. The Aussie rose rapidly in popularity with the boom of western riding after World War II, becoming known to the general public via rodeos, horse shows, movies and television. Their inherent versatility and train ability made them useful on American farms and ranches. The American stock men continued the development of the breed, maintaining the versatility, keen intelligence, strong herding instinct and eye-catching appearance.
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.”
The ideal Miniature Aussie is the mirror image of the "Standard Australian Shepherd," only in a small package. Size ranges from 14" to 18" tall, measured at the top of the withers. Minis move with the smooth and agile step of a dog built for hard work on punishing terrain. It is in the "Herding Group" and is seen in the Breed and Obedience Ring, as well as in the home as a supremely devoted companion and pet.
A Miniature Australian Shepherd has all the attributes of the larger Aussie but the advantages of a smaller dog, weighing between 15 to 35 pounds at maturity. They come in coat colors of blue merle, red merle, black or red tri or bi. All come with or without copper/tan and white trim. Their eyes maybe blue, brown, hazel (amber) or one blue, one brown, and flecked or marbled. He traditionally has a docked or natural bobtail.
The Miniature Aussie's temperament is that of the larger Aussie - sensitive, easily trained, excellent natural guardians of the home and possessing herding instincts. They are calm and confident, but can be suspicious of strangers. They are entirely devoted to their master and will go to great lengths to please. Their unique size makes them great travelling companions and housemates.
Today, the Mini Aussie serves humanity in every imaginable way: as a working stock dog, guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, therapy dogs, search and rescue, drug detection, bomb detection, alert dogs, not to mention they are one of the greatest all time family and children dogs. Their devotion and loyalty to their families is unsurpassed. They are truly magnificent dogs. Once you have owned an Aussie, you’ll never own another breed.
Did you know?
The breed was first registered with the National Stock Dog registry in 1980 and was called the Miniature Australian Shepherd. There is no " American Shepherd"; they are miniatures of the Australian Shepherd, which is actually an American breed, hence the name 'Miniature American Shepherd".
In 2012 the breed received AKC recognition under the name of 'Miniature American Shepherds'. They entered the AKC Herding Group July 2015 and the UKC Herding Group Jan. 2015.
Titan's first show
The Mini American Shepherd maintains the Aussie's attentive, energetic temperament, high intelligence and slight reserve towards strangers. The Miniature Americans eager attitude means that working with them is a joy, but their intelligence means that obedience training is highly recommended. The ownership of any dog, especially one of an intelligent breed, should not be taken lightly. Because the Aussie was developed both to herd and guard the flock. The mini Americans are entirely devoted to their family and make excellent watch dogs and companions. As with all breeds, early socialization is crucial.
He is well balanced, slightly longer than tall, of medium size and bone, with colouring that offers variety and individuality. He is attentive and animated, lithe and agile, solid and muscular without cloddiness. He has a coat of moderate length and coarseness. He has a docked or natural bobbed tail.
STANDARD: Preferred height (male and female) is 18 inches up to 23 inches at the top of the withers.
MINIATURE: Preferred height (male) is 14 inches up to 18 inches at the top of withers. Female is 13-17" at withers.
TOY: Preferred height (male and female) is 10 inches up to 14 inches at the top of the withers.
Hair is of medium texture, straight to wavy, weather resistant and of medium length. The undercoat varies in quantity with variations in climate. Hair is short and smooth on the head, ears, front of forelegs and below the hocks. Backs of forelegs and britches are moderately feathered. There is a moderate mane and frill, more pronounced in dogs than in bitches. Non-typical coats are severe faults.
The herding breeds are a very healthy breed. Issues most comon are Eye defects of varying severity. The most common disorders in the Miniature Australian Shepherd:
1. PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)/Prcd (Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration): Hereditary – (0.13% of aussies are affected) Common in many breeds of dogs and has been identified in Australian Shepherds. It affects the entire retina and is the canine equivalent of retinitis pigmentosa. This disease is usually detectable at an early age (6 to 8 weeks). Carriers show no clinical symptoms. The genetic disorder Progressive Rod-cone Degeneration-Progressive Retinal Atrophy, causes cells in the retina at the back of the eye to degenerate and die, even though the cells seem to develop normally early in life. The result is declining vision and eventual blindness. . Night blindness results. Most affected dogs will eventually go blind. DNA testing will make the diagnosis, prior to the onset of disease. This disease would only occur if both parents were either carriers or affected. As a breeder, i can totally prevent this from ever happening.
2. Iris Colobomas: (0.27% of aussies are affected) are a cleft in the iris of the eye and will impair vision if large. A dog with a small IC may be sensitive to bright light.
3. Juvenile Cataracts: are a congenital opacity of the lens of the eye due to abnormal early degeneration of the lens tissue. They cause gradual, painless deterioration of sight, resulting in partial or complete blindness by 2 to 5 years of age.
4. Offset or Oval Shaped Pupils: : are usually due to multiple small iris colobomas. Impairment varies from mild light sensitivity to moderate vision loss.
5. CEA- Collie Eye Anomally: (0.22% of aussies affected) Common in rough coated collies.
6. Canine Hip Dysplasia: is the dislocation of the hip joint. The poor fit eventually results in the deterioration of the joint, with painful and possibly crippling results. OFA radiographs require that the dog be at least 2 years old to receive permanent certification. Because CHD is inherited polygenically, the best prevention is to continue to breed only those dogs that have been certified free of CHD. Occurs in >50% of the large dog breeds.
7. Luxating Patella: is characterized by lameness due to the kneecap slipping out of place. It is inherited.
8. MDR1 GENE: (AUSSIE DRUG TOXICITY). Certain dog breeds have reactions to certain drugs. Below is a list to take with you to your vet.
Remember to advise your vets that Aussies can be allergic to certain medications.
PROBLEM DRUGS FOR MINI AUSSIES
*IVERMECTIN (antiparasitic agent)
LOPERAMIDE (Imodium- over the counter human anti-diarrhea agent)
DOXORUBICIN (anti-cancer agent)
VINCRISTINE (anti-cancer agent)
VINBLASTINE (anti-cancer agent)
CYCLOSPORIN (immunosuppressive agent)
DIGOXIN (heart drug)
BUTAPHONAL (pain control)
POTENTIAL PROBLEM DRUG
I use REVOLUTION for broad spectrum control of all parasites internal and external. I now use K9 Advantix II for fleas and ticks. I have used Nexgard Spectra but am very skeptical still.
CERF (Canine Eye Research Foundation) :All of our dogs are tested and each of our dogs has continually tested clear for eye diseases! An eye exam is performed by a board certified" Veterinary Opthamologist". This exam looks for a multitude of eye diseases. Annual re-examination is recommended for all dogs.
PRA-Prcd(Progressive Retinol Atrophy-Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration) We are currently using PAW PRINT GENETICSS to do our DNA testing. Some of our dogs were tested with Genomia.
Hips (OFA-Orthopedic Foundation for Animals): Our dogs have their official OFA done at two years of age. (OVC= Ont. Vet College has also done some testing for me) The Orthopedic Foundation of Animals provides a database of inheritable canine diseases, including but not limited to hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiac, and thyroid disease. Hip testing is done via a radiograph that is examined by the specialists at OFA. The dogs with normal hips will be given a rating of Excellent, Good or Fair. Mini Aussie dysplastic rate is 8.6%.
Collie Eye Anomaly
Multidrug Resistance 1
Some of our dogs have full panel testing and some have specific testing.
Test results on their pages.
FOR A LIST OF RELEVANT TESTS AND AN EXPLANATION OF EACH, PLEASE REFER TO
Cailyn with Meera
WE HAVE PUPPIES NOW.
BORN FEB 4TH
ONE WILL BE AVAILABLE
PLEASE SEE THE PUPPY PAGE OF MINI AMERICAN SHEPHERDS.
NEXT LITTER DUE APRIL 3RD
DON'T FORGET, WE WILL HAVE A LITTER OF ENGLISH GOLDEN RETRIEVERS IN 2024