Description Miniature American Shepherd
Bright, intelligent, eager to move
You probably know the Miniature American Shepherd by its synonyms Miniature Australian Shepherd or Minie Aussie. What makes this small, agile working dog so special? What distinguishes it from its big brother, the American Shepherd?FCI Group: Herding Dogs – Cattle Dogs
- Size: Small
- Weight: 9-14kg
- Life expectancy: 13-15 years
- Coat Type: Medium Hair
- Colours: merle colours, red, black
Character Miniature American Shepherd
The Miniature American Shepherd does not differ from the American Shepherd except for its size. At first glance, you recognize the dogs as miniature versions of the American Shepherd.
As typical herding dogs, the animals are alert, intelligent and enthusiastic about movement. Despite the strong physique, their movements are smooth and agile.
Bred purely as a working dog, your Miniature American Shepherd brings a lot of willingness to work.
He learns quickly and wants to be challenged. Don’t underestimate these dogs. Just because they’re small doesn’t make them lap dogs. Miniature Aussies have just as much temperament and urge to move as their big brothers.
Training your Miniature American Shepherd for a dog sport is ideal.
The selection is now large, try out which sport suits you best and is fun for both of you. Many Minie Aussies are enthusiastic agility athletes and very successful there. Or you can try your hand at dog dancing or obedience.
The small herding dog is suitable as a family dog if it accepts that its mistress or master is in the lead.
Your fur nose feels most comfortable in a house with a yard or garden.
You can keep the little bundle of energy in a city apartment if you keep him mentally and physically busy. Take long walks, ride a bike and play fun games with him. Then his pleasant nature will enrich your life.
Males should have a height at the withers of 35 to 46 cm. Bitches stay a little smaller.
Their medium-length to long, sometimes slightly wavy fur comes in many colors. Underneath is a dense undercoat. This double coat protected the animals in Australia from the blistering heat, drought and cold at night.
You will find the colors Red and Black, both partly with copper-colored and/or white markings. The merle colors, blue merle and red merle are popular, although they are caused by a genetic defect.
The same defect sometimes causes differently colored or two light eyes of the same color. These eyes are one
fad. In the blazing Australian sun, light-eyed dogs were at a disadvantage. The eyes became easily ill and the animals went blind.
Never choose your puppy based on coat color.
See if the little rascal is healthy, the rearing conditions at the breeder’s are right and if his character suits you.
Diet Miniature American Shepherd
Because the Miniature American Shepherd is an active dog, they need good quality food. Especially if you exercise, jog or bike with him a lot. Make sure he gets enough protein-rich food. It doesn’t matter whether you give your dog dry or wet food. Some fur noses develop a preference for a certain food early on.
There are specific foods on the market for each stage of your Miniature American Shepherd’s life. Whether you have a puppy, an adult dog or a senior by your side, give him the food he needs right now.
For the amount of food, follow the information on the pack. This information is a guide, every dog uses the food differently. What is too much for a cozy couch potato can be too little for a little whirlwind.
Your dog is in the right shape when you can just feel the back rib cage and the waist is clearly visible. If you can no longer feel your ribs and your waist is slowly disappearing, it is time for your four-legged friend to lose weight. Being overweight is just as bad for a dog as it is for a human. It not only puts a strain on joints, tendons and circulation, it also shortens the life expectancy of your little friend.
If a diet change is necessary, proceed slowly.
Replace a larger portion of the old food with the new each day.
Grooming your Miniature American Shepherd is not difficult, you should brush it once a week. The fur does not become matted and dirt falls off by itself.
The little fur noses are very sociable. That’s why many owners keep two or three of the lively companions. If it is not possible for you to keep more than one dog, visit dog clubs with your protégé.
Or start looking for a suitable dog club. Here your four-legged friend will find playmates and you will get help with his upbringing. In addition, most clubs offer one or more sports that you can train with others.
Your Miniature American Shepherd is in its element on the herding trail. Herding sheep, driving them into a pen, that’s what he was bred for, that’s his world.
Originally, the small dogs were only used to herd smaller animals such as sheep or goats. The little guy still dares to approach big animals with self-confidence. With all his physical effort, he gets her to go exactly where he wants her.
Besides dogs, do you love horses and do you like horseback riding? Your Miniature American Shepherd is the ideal riding companion. He gets along well with horses.
In the USA, he is a popular rodeo companion dog and often works in shows at events.
Do a lot with your dog, spend as much time with him as possible. It doesn’t matter what you do together. The main thing is that you both have fun. This is how you develop a strong bond over time.
The Mini Aussie is not necessarily a dog for beginners. He is open, intelligent and has a lovable nature. Nevertheless, you need a lot of patience and consistency with a lot of empathy for his upbringing. It is good if you have already gained experience in handling dogs.
Your Miniature American Shepherd behaves cautiously towards strangers, he is always loyal and affectionate to his people.
He works eagerly in training, always trying to do everything right.
Sometimes his herding instinct, which he has cultivated, comes to the fore. Then he can’t help himself and has to look after the children in the yard or the joggers who come by. A lot of educational work is needed to prevent him from using his teeth.
The Miniature American Shepherd has an exciting history. His roots are in Australia. British and Basque immigrants brought their herding dogs along with their sheep. Crossing Border Collies, Collies and Great Pyrenees resulted in dogs that were well adapted to the Australian climate.
Drought, extreme heat during the day and freezing cold at night made the dogs robust.
The appearance was diverse. Color or size didn’t matter, only the work performance counted. Ranchers who had large cattle preferred the larger dogs, while sheep and goat farmers preferred the smaller specimens.
These herding dogs came to the American Southwest with Australian sheep. This is where the Australian Shepherd breed came from.
As sheep farming declined in these areas, dogs almost completely disappeared as well. Until they celebrated a comeback as a show star. Because of their intelligence and their willingness to work, they quickly learned tricks and shows. It wasn’t long before the Aussie became fashionable in the United States. In addition to the big dogs, there was always the slightly smaller Mini Aussie.
In 1968, some dog lovers in the USA began purposefully breeding the small Miniature American Shepherds. In 2015, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club. The FCI, the international breeding association, does not recognize the autonomy of the breed. That is why there is no uniform breeding goal for these great dogs in Germany.
Miniature American Shepherd Accessories
The basic equipment for your Miniature American Shepherd includes a feeding bowl, which you must clean every day. There is at least one water bowl. Constant access to fresh water is extremely important for your dog, and not just in summer. Distribute several water bowls for your furry friend in the apartment, in the yard or in the garden.
Whether your mini Aussie lives indoors or out in the yard, he needs a resting place to retreat to.
A basket with a cozy blanket, a pillow or a comfortable bed belongs in his relaxation zone. Once your four-legged friend has gone to sleep, you should only disturb him if there is no other option. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, build him a weatherproof, well-insulated kennel. Although your Miniature American Shepherd is hardy by nature, he will need protection from the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter.
A collar or harness and a short, solid leash are suitable for normal walks and work.
If you want your fur nose to have a little more freedom when going out, you can use a flexible leash. A transport box comes in handy when you want your little friend to ride in the car.
And then very important: toys! Let your dog decide which toys he wants to have. There are the hunters, who tirelessly chase every projectile, be it a ball, Frisbee or whatever, and there are the pullers. Tugs love to grab and fling anything they can get their teeth on.
If you have a tug, give it lots of toys to chew on. This also protects your furniture.
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