The Miniature American Shepherd developed in parallel with the Australian Shepherd. He is almost the same as his older brother, but much smaller. Despite its compact size, the Miniature American Shepherd is a robust herding dog that can also prey on cattle. Accordingly, you must challenge and encourage your four-legged friend!
Miniature American Shepherd – Intelligent Herding Dog From the United States
In parallel with the Australian Shepherd breed, the miniature American Shepherd appeared in California. While many ranchers preferred “real” Aussies for cattle herding, “miniature” ones were used for sheep and goat herding. Their small size also had the advantage that these dogs were easier to keep as pets. Their intelligence and devotion also quickly made them popular companions in equestrian competitions and rodeos.
The breed was originally called the Miniature Australian Shepherd. In May 2011, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed as the Miniature American Shepherd in the breed creation process, and in 2015 it received full recognition. In May 2019, the Miniature American Shepherd was also registered with the Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (VDH) and in September of the same year with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).
Miniature American Shepherd Traits & Personality
Small but mighty! Even if Miniature American Shepherds are significantly smaller than their relatives, Australian Shepherds, don’t underestimate the dog. It is a full-fledged and assertive herding dog that can also hunt cattle. The Miniature American Shepherd is smart and has a quick mind, is persistent, and can work with concentration for long periods of time. By virtue of the breed, he has a herding or hunting instinct. He also has a certain instinct to be alert and protective. He is reserved but not hostile to strangers.
The Miniature American Shepherd has a strong desire to please, which means he wants to please his people and work with them. But he was also chosen to act independently. Therefore, the Miniature American Shepherd needs your constant guidance. As a shepherd dog, you also need to offer him something meaningful.
Training & Keeping a Miniature American Shepherd
Despite its size, the Miniature American Shepherd is a working dog that needs reasonable and appropriate physical and mental exercise. Ideally, he finds them in the care of livestock. In addition, it is suitable for dog sports such as obedience, agility, or mantrailing. Even if the Miniature American Shepherd is a smart dog with a great “will to please”, you should give it a thorough upbringing and training: attend puppy classes and dog school with your animal. Part-time Miniature American Shepherds can find jobs around the house like herding children, cyclists, or joggers.
As with all herding dogs with a low threshold of irritation and high levels of energy, you should make sure that your animal rests and relaxes, even as a puppy. Finding the right balance of activity and rest for your Miniature American Shepherd is very important.
Miniature American Shepherds always want to be around, they are not suitable for purely kennel keeping. The Miniature American Shepherd is very sociable and compatible with other dogs of its species, most of all enjoying contact with dogs of the same breed. It is well suited for keeping multiple dogs.
Miniature American Shepherd Care
The coat of the Miniature American Shepherd consists of a longer top coat and a woolly undercoat. The breed sheds a relatively large amount of hair, especially during the shedding period, which occurs once or twice a year. Therefore, you should brush your dog once a week or daily during shedding seasons to remove dirt and loose hair. Remove tangles and knots with a brush or metal comb.
Miniature American Shepherd Health
The Miniature American Shepherd is considered a breed with good basic health. However, she is prone to the MDR1 defect, an inherited condition that leads to hypersensitivity to certain drugs.