Miniature American Shepherd

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Miniature American Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd is a scaled-down variety of the familiar Australian Shepherd. In spite of their mini size, Mini Aussies are true athletes, strong and agile, able to maintain energy during long periods of herding or playing sports. They are popular working dogs or family pets in the US and in Europe since 1990.

Other Names Mini Aussie, Miniature Australian Shepherd, MAS
Color Black, Blue Merle, Red, Red Merle
Height Males: 14-18 inches. Females: 14-18 inches.
Weight Males: 20-40 pounds. Females: 20-40 pounds.
Life Span 12-13 years
Personality Good-Natured, Intelligent, Devoted
Exercise Energetic
Popularity #29
Groom Needs Daily
Kids Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Watch Dog
Family Dog
Litter Size 2-6

Miniature American Shepherd Pictures

Miniature American Shepherd Video


With a close resemblance to their Australian Shepherd ancestors, the Miniature American Shepherds are small herd dogs with a stature that appears to be quite longer than it is tall. They are friendly and hard-working dogs with extraordinary strength for their size. They are remarkably agile and sturdy, adapted for life on rugged plains and ranches. They have always served, primarily, as herd dogs, although they still make good companions at homes, even as guard dogs. Their thick, double coats come in a variety of colors, namely, blue, merle, black or red, and occasionally a blend of any two of these colors.

Both sexes may tip the scales somewhere between 25 and 40 pound-weight, depending on the stature of specific dogs. The males run a bit bigger than the females. Where a standard male measures around 14-18 inches, a female comes close at 13-17 inches from shoulder to paw. The Miniature American Shepherds are devoted to their task as herd dogs. They have an average lifespan of around 13 years.

Living with Miniature American Shepherd

Miniature American Shepherds have a medium-length coat with hair ranging from straight to wavy. They shed year-round, especially heavily in the spring and fall these shedding seasons, weekly brush and daily brush during shedding seasons could help remove dirt and loose hair to help prevent mats and tangles. Tools that you need can be a pin brush or a stiff bristle brush. 

A bath once a month is usually enough to keep them clean and smelling pleasant. This breed doesn’t need to be groomed for the most part, but you can choose to neaten his ears, feet, the long hair on the backs of the legs, and tail. 

Check the dog’s ears once a week and gently clean them with a mild cleanser to prevent wax buildup, which could cause infections, and brush their teeth every day to maintain fresh breath. 

Miniature American Shepherds have fast-growing nails that should be trimmed every few weeks to prevent splitting.

Miniature American Shepherds don’t need exercise as much as their bigger cousins Australian Shepherds, but they do need sufficient activity. They are active and energetic, and need a moderate amount of exercise but are also very adaptable to their family’s way of life.

A few long walks every day or playing games in the yard can keep Minis healthy and fit, also, they like to go outing with people, which will take up their body and mind. In addition to long daily walks, they could perform well in the canine activities, such as agility and obedience training, fly ball, disc dog, and tracking.

The Miniature American Shepherd is a relatively small dog, but it is not qualify as a toy breed, so please avoid preparing dog food which formulated for small-breed dogs. The amount of food for Minis should depend on their weight and activity levels, and some dogs are easy to get overweight, so you need to watch their calorie consumption and weight level all the time. 

Treats may be an important aid in training, but excessive intake can lead to obesity. Also, owners need to distinguish which human food are safe for dogs and which are not. If you have any problems about your dog’s weight or diet, just consult from your veterinarian. 

There should be clean fresh water at all times.

Some of the most common conditions affecting this breed include patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, collie eye abnormality, cataracts, spinal defects, and epilepsy. Regular visits to the veterinarian for physical examinations and parasite control will help ensure the dog’s health and longevity. In many cases, health problems are related to the genes that are responsible for the common merle coloration in this breed, especially diseases related to hearing and vision.

Suggested tests:

Hip Evaluation


PRA Optigen DNA Test

Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Total Annual Cost: $2889

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

Intelligent and eager to please, the Miniature American Shepherd is highly trainable. However, like many small breeds, it is more difficult to conduct housebreaking and training than their larger counterparts. The key to training this breed is to start early and maintain the firm and consistent hand in training, and they will reach his best potential as a companion after taught basic obedience.

Miniature American Shepherds like to learn and show off new skills to their owners, and they can learn the fundamentals and family train quickly.

Besides, the athletic, agile and lively Miniature American Shepherd dogs can benefit from advanced training to keep them physically and mentally active. They are excellent in agility courses, advanced obedience courses and various dog sports.

It is recommended to conduct socialization and puppy training classes as early as possible to ensure that the dog grows up into a well-adjusted and well-managed companion.


The history of the Miniature American Shepherd isn’t a long-winded story of conquests and wars, or seas and mountains. It was simply derived from the Australian Shepherd in the 1960s. The Australian Shepherds, themselves originated from northwestern America in California, around the mid-19th century. These Australian Shepherds were small dogs used for herding cattle, goats, sheep, and other livestock across a large expanse of fields. Over the years, they were cross-bred to improve the quality of the breed while maintaining the small size and instinctive capability for herding and driving livestock.

These little Australian Shepherds are believed to be the ancestors of the unregistered dogs which were later crossed around the middle of the 20th century. The Miniature American Shepherd emerged from this cross. And it yet maintained the small size, intelligence, and attitude of its antecedents, the Australian Shepherds. 

The first Miniature American Shepherd was registered into the National Stock Dog Registry in 1983, where it was formerly known as the Miniature Australian Shepherd. Later in 1990, a club was formed in the United States and it was named the Miniature American Shepherd Club of USA (MASCUSA), which was made an official, corporate body in 1993. The MASCUSA is the affirmed parent club for Miniature American Shepherds by the American Kennel Club. The official club of Miniature American Shepherds in the United Kingdom was established in 2011. That same year, the breed was registered by the American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service as a distinct breed. The Miniature American Shepherd has grown in popularity to become an easily recognized dog breed in many parts of the world. It is ranked 34th most popular breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

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