Complete Guide of Mini Australian Shepherd – Facts You Need to Know

Is this breed active and intelligent? Are they also loyal and hard-working dogs? Well, the Mini Australian Shepherd is quite popular for these very reasons. The lively energy of this particular breed is why you’re seeing them everywhere.

Originally bred for the purpose of farming, Mini Shepherds were high-spirited companions for many families in America. And they still are, but not for farming anymore.

It’s a herding breed that’s very fond of human attention, interaction, and appreciation. The dogs are full of joy while also being easy to maintain and care for.

If you’ve read this far, then you’re obviously considering adopting a Miniature Australian Shepherd. I say you adopting because it’s the more responsible and even humane thing to do in this day and age. And here’s why adopting pets is a better idea.

Mini Australian Shepherd – What Is It?

It’s a little known fact that Mini Aussie Shepherds are also called Miniature American Shepherds. Whatever you wish to call them, the breed is incredibly athletic, loyal, and smart. And it’s only for the past few years that these herding canines have become very popular as pets.

In comparison to a full-sized Australian Shepherd, the mini version is way smaller. The former has a height of 18 inches and weight between 40 and 60 pounds. Sometimes even higher! As for the miniature kind, these dogs are between 14 and 18 inches in height. And their weight is not more than 40 pounds maximum.

What’s more is that the color of the mini breed’s eyes varies a great deal. Their eyes can also be marbled and mismatched in the shades of brown, hazel, and bright blue. As for the color of the mottled coats, this includes white, black, blue-gray, or red.

Mini Australian Shepherd Origin

The breeding of Mini Aussie Shepherds started in North America around 1968. The program included small Australian Shepherds. Mini Australian Shepherd breeders, back in the days, bred the Aussie Shepherds down in size. And this gave rise to the smaller version, which continues to exist in the 21st century.

And even after so many decades, the Miniature Shepherds look like their larger, original Australian ancestors. Without sacrificing their true character, instinct, and ability.

It’s the Miniature Australian Club of the United States of America that is the major organization or community, whatever you call it, that petitioned the AKC to include this particular breed in their list. And the petition was accepted on the condition that the miniature dog changes its name with no reference to its native Australian Shepherd history.

So this means that the official name of the breed by the AKC is Miniature American Shepherd.

Mini Australian Shepherd Short Description

The coat is of medium-length and the color red or blue merle/black or red tricolor. However, in every scenario, the dog has white markings. Sometimes tinged with tan as well.

On closer inspection, the hair present around the canine’s ears is never white. Their coat is either slightly wavy or straight. Along with feathering behind their legs as well as a mane plus frill circling around his/her neck.

What about the fur on the dog’s head? It’s shorter over here and over at the front of the forelegs and the outside of the ears. Then comes the length of the forelegs and hindlegs. Both lengths are the same. With a clean-cut, flat skull shape and compact, oval feet. With lips that don’t hang loose over their lower jaw.

Also Known As…

  • Miniature Aussie Shepherd
  • Miniature American Shepherd
  • Mini Australian Shepherd
  • Mini Aussie
  • Teacup Aussie Shepherd
  • Teacup Australian Shepherd
  • North American Miniature Australian Shepherd
  • North American Shepherd
  • Mini Aussie Shepherd

Mini Australian Shepherd Temperament

Probably what you might want to know first and foremost is if the breed’s easygoing? The answer, fortunately, is a big, fat YES. Mini Aussie Shepherd puppies are perpetually fun-loving little creatures. They’re also affectionate, loyal, and courageous. And with active kids, they make excellent companions.

You can view them as devoted guardians and furry friends. And look forward to their very attentive, agile, and lively nature. Also, the breed is extremely eager to sweep you off your feet, metaphorically of course. They love to please. And have a 6th sense when it comes to finding out what you, as his/her owner, really want.

Since these North American Shepherds are so intelligent, training them is an incredibly easy task. But please note that the breed becomes destructive, anxious, and nervous when left alone too many times or too much.

Much like any other breed, Mini Aussie Shepherds demand a sufficient amount of physical and mental stimulation. Otherwise, they tend to get wreckful. It’s commonly known as separation anxiety.

The breed likes to be occupied and busy. All thanks to their active, very intelligent DNA. This implies that they get bored very easily. No wonder it’s so important to incorporate socialization skills into such breeds from puppyhood. It’s fundamental to keep them from becoming unnecessarily suspicious toward strangers.

Some Miniature Aussie Shepherds even nip the heels of unknown people just for herding them. So you have to train them to let them know that herding humans isn’t acceptable behavior.

As for those who allow their mini companions to work small stock, they’ll tell you how quietly they get the job done. So the breed, for the most part, doesn’t have a reputation for being aggressive.

As long as you stand your ground as the pack leader at all times. You don’t have to worry about behavioral problems taking control. This even prevents Small Dog Syndrome.

Mini Australian Shepherd Size – How Tall and Heavy Are They?

Weight and Height

  • Toy weight is between 7 and 20 pounds. That’s 3 to 9 kgs.
  • Miniature weight is between 15 and 35 pounds. That’s 6 to 16 kgs.
  • Toy height is between 10 and 14 inches. That is between 26 and 36 cm.
  • Miniature height is between 13 and 18 inches. That is between 33 and 46 cm.

A stocky Toy is more likely to weigh higher than a slender Mini. So there does exist an overlap in terms of weight.

But How Big Is A Mini Aussie Shepherd?

You already know that the miniature version is comparatively much smaller than the standard Aussie Shepherds, right? But how big is a Mini Australian Shepherd full grown? The answer is anywhere between 13 and 18 inches in height. That is the length from the ground to their shoulders. And the weight is around 15-35 pounds.

It goes without saying that males, no matter the breed, are larger in comparison to females. So it’s okay for me to claim that the breed isn’t so miniature after all. These herding canines are nearly 20 to 35 pounds smaller when compared to regular Aussie Shepherds.

As for the modern version of Miniature Australian Shepherds, the size varies. It all depends on how these creatures are bred. Speaking of which…

Miniature Australian Shepherd Appearance

The breed’s appearance, once again, is based on how the dog is bred. Puppies that come from Mini Aussie Shepherd’s ancestors are sure to look just like the smaller size of the original, standard breed.

Then there are those that are bred by using the method of dwarfism. With oversized heads and comparatively shorter legs.

The next is crossbreeding, where pups inherit a combination of physical characteristics from either the male or female parent.

Coat Color and Type

One of the things that this particular breed is so popular for is their beautiful coat. Many breeders strive to replicate this physical trait. But it’s only a part of the Mini American Shepherd.

As for Mini Aussie Shepherds, they can be red, black, blue merle, or red merle. On top of that, the gorgeous-looking dogs have white and/or tan markings.

Now let me disclose a fact that’s not quite known. Mini Aussies that don’t fall in the category of Mini American Shepherds also possess the distinctive colored coats I’ve just mentioned. With brown or blue eyes. And sometimes, you’re also likely to come across those that have one brown and one blue eye.

Common Health Problems Associated with Miniaturization

These are miniaturized canines after all, right? That means greater chances of developing the following medical conditions…

1. Disc Disease

Dwarfed or miniaturized dogs are naturally susceptible to Disc Disease. This condition causes the early deterioration of the spinal discs. That are responsible for absorbing shock. So, as the four-legged creature, grows older, the spinal discs fail to function properly. The outcome of this is the spine and neck losing their ability to absorb even daily activity-related impact.

Such a condition, needless to say, is very painful for dogs. That even moving the neck and body becomes an agitating experience. Hindleg paralysis is a common health concern among mini breeds. And now you know why.

2. Patellar Luxation

It involves kneecap dislocation, thus giving rise to a limp on either one or both legs. Mostly, it’s the affected leg.

Plenty of miniaturized dogs are more inclined to developing Patellar Luxation. But this is more common among inbred dogs. The practice of inbreeding, unfortunately, still exists. Just so that these breeders can achieve mini, hence “more adorable” and “cuter” specimens of larger canines.

3. Fragile Bones

In comparison to standard breeds, mini dogs have smaller, thus more fragile bones. This just means that you, as a caring and loving pet parent, should be extra careful. Especially when it comes to handling your Mini Aussie Shepherd.

You have to make sure that you don’t step on them accidentally. This means keeping them away from homes that have small children. Every member of the family should understand this fact about them. So they know how exactly to care for and handle the dog.

Even though the breed looks like cute, adorable, snuggly teddy bears. Know that they’re actually extremely delicate little creatures.

Miniature Australian Shepherd Grooming and Shedding

The dogs have a long, shaggy double-layered coat. And that paves the way for plenty of shedding. So during shedding season, make it a point to brush your pet on a daily basis. As for the rest of the year, brushing once a week should suffice. Meaning it keeps the double coat from matting or tangling.

And this double-layered coat of mini Aussie Shepherds is weather-proof. So they feel warm and comfortable, no matter the climate.

Here’s an interesting fact you might want to know. Miniature Australian Shepherds that come from Miniature Poodles tend to shed less. These dogs are popularly called Aussiedoodle.

Miniature Australian Shepherd Price

In the case of Mini Aussies Shepherd puppies, the price is anywhere between $600 and $900. The cost can reach $1200-$2000 as well, but that’s for show quality pups.

Generally speaking, the price factor is based on the following…

  • The value of the litter’s parents.
  • The availability of puppies where you live.
  • And the care those pups that are available have received. For example, the costs of vaccinations, registration, deworming, neutering/spaying, etc.

Just make sure you buy from a professional, reputable, and humane breeder. Avoid backyard breeders at all costs!

Miniature Australian Shepherd – Other Factors That Matter

Living Conditions

The breed can thrive in apartments as well. As long as he/she receives the daily share of physical exercise. The dogs are moderately active. And are quite satisfied running around in a small backyard.

Also, Mini Aussie Shepherds do quite well in colder weather conditions.


Daily walks are a must and long one at that. They are energetic four-legged creatures that love to be active. So you have to incorporate lots of vigorous exercise into their everyday routine. Particularly if you want your pet to be healthy and happy.

Well, to be honest, this is not optional but compulsory with all dogs, irrespective of the breed.

Life Expectancy

The straightforward answer – around 12 to 13 years.

Size of Litter

Anywhere between 2 and 6 puppies.

Miniature Australian Shepherds – Why You See Them Everywhere?

The thing about mini Aussie Shepherds is that they’re not so famous because of pop culture. As was the case with the dog breeds Dalmatian and Balto. Both of these breeds flourished after the release of movies like 101/102 Dalmatians (the first one came out in 1996 and its sequel in 2000). Along with Balto, which released in the year 1995.

As for the rise of Miniature Aussie Shepherds, it’s their exceptional looks and personality that is held responsible. Even the whole concept of dog breeding contributes to the popularity of this particular breed.

The name itself welcomes so much controversy and confusion. Miniature American and Australian Shepherds are one and the same. Did you know that? If not, then now you do. Many pet owners use the names interchangeably. And the distinction is only a matter of documents. Let me explain below.

Professional breeders who really care about keeping a check on the bloodline and ancestry of their dogs get them registered. However, not every one of these registries agrees on a single name for the dog. For instance, in America itself, AKC considers Aussie Shepherds as an entirely separate dog breed. And refers to them as the Miniature American Shepherds.

Now keep in mind that AKC is a genuine, purebred registry. One that sanctions canine events, such as National Dog Show as well as Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Then there’s another American dog registry that still refers to the breed as Miniature Australian Shepherds.

For entering the AKC, the breed should be represented by the club that’s in charge of its protection and preservation. When the ownership across the country hits a certain limit, then the breed passes through multiple membership phases.

For the dog breed to be completely AKC recognized; a process that usually takes no less than 5-7 years. Anyway, for that, it gets sorted into 1 of 7 categories. This includes toy groups, sporting groups, etc. And for the Mini Aussie Shepherds, there’s the herding group of course.

The first official American club for this particular breed was the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA. And it started in 1990. The very first stage for AKC recognition began in 2012. And it was only in 2015 that the breed was officially recognized in the US.

The mere AKC certification itself was proof that Mini Aussie Shepherds were gaining momentum. And once fully recognized, its popularization grew by leaps and bounds. Thus, giving rise to many Mini Australian Shepherd breeders. But, unfortunately, this also includes those that are only concerned with making huge profits.

These are backyard breeders who don’t take into account pedigree. They simply want to climb on the financial bandwagon.

Moving on, with AKC certification, more and more Mini Aussie Shepherds started to make an appearance in popular dog shows and events. And with that grew their fan base. This saw an increase in the demand for miniature Aussies as high as 50-percent. And the trend, no doubt, has been upsurging ever since.

The simple fact that you can keep the mini version of large Australian Shepherds in an apartment is compelling enough for more and more pet lovers to choose this particular breed. As long as your dog is receiving his daily dose of exercise, mental stimulation, and attention. You can get one even if you’re living in a big city.

But it’s not just their apartment-friendly size that people find the most appealing. These dogs have strikingly good looks too. After all, the wide variety of colors Mini Aussie Shepherds come in is quite eye-grabbing. Even their eyes are distinctively colored. On top of that, their nature is heartbreakingly cute, loyal, energetic, and loving.

The dog breed, no doubt, is hyper-intelligent. Apart from being small-statured, adorable, and also easy to look after.

However, they are herding canines that demand a sufficient level of mental and physical stimulation. So buy or adopt a Mini Aussie Shepherd puppy only if you can dedicate time and energy. And also love and attention. Because if you do, these dogs are definitely going to love you the most. Along with bringing tons of joy into your life.

And if worried about training them, don’t be. Because the breed is very easy in terms of training. The dogs pick up on almost everything. You simply have to spend time with them. And they’ll do exactly what you do.

Owning A Mini Australian Shepherd As A Family Pet – Is It A Wise Decision?

Yes, they’re excellent family pets. There’s no doubt about that. You already know by now that the mini Aussie is available in all types of sizes. And that means you can choose one that’s the most suitable for your lifestyle, home, personal preferences, and the like.

Miniature Australian Shepherds are comparatively smaller-sized creatures. This makes the dog breed certainly more manageable. Than, for instance, a full-grown, full-sized Aussie. But don’t mistake that into thinking you can keep them as house dogs. Meaning you can just let them be without any form of physical and mental stimulation.

They are great with people only as long as they’re happy and healthy. Otherwise, every breed, not just this one, is bound to turn aggressive. So if you can’t make time for your pet. Then I highly recommend you select another more-manageable dog breed.

The End

Without the shadow of a doubt, Miniature Aussie Shepherds are loving, loyal creatures. When properly socialized, they’re not suspicious around strangers.

But keep in mind the health conditions often associated with such miniaturized dog breeds. There may be certain risks involved. And I’m not saying that to discourage you from getting this dog. But only so that you’re aware of the possible medical conditions. So you can care for your adorable, precious pet more responsibly.

Also, if this breed is not for you, meaning if it’s not small enough for you, then consider the following…

  • Chihuahua
  • Miniature Border Collie
  • Mini St. Bernard
  • Miniature Rottweiler

All in all, the Mini American or Australian Shepherd is a gorgeous and loving dog. It can be a purebred Aussie or an Aussie-cross. The former is a canine that has been bred selectively for being the miniature version of the original, standard Australian Shepherd size.

Emma Thompson

Hi, I'm Emma Thompson. Welcome to The Pet Town! I'm a Pet lovers like you and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Enjoy your stay!

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