The Miniature American Shepherd was initially known as the Miniature Australian Shepherd (Mini Aussie) and first bred in California during the late 1960's by breeding of Australian Shepherds considered small for the breed. The goal was to maintain their small size, active character and keen intelligence. These smaller dogs continued to breed with larger Australian Shepherds to help maintain typ up until December of 2014.
The breed was first registered with the National Stock Dog Registry in 1980 as either Miniature or Toy Australian Shepherds depending on their height. By the early 1990's, they had attained nationwide popularity and several breeders in Canada elected to import these smaller dogs from the USA. Several clubs promoted and registered these small dogs, as they were shown in confirmation events with various rare-breed organizations. Under the parent breed club MASCUSA, the breed entered into AKC FSS in 2011 and received a new name, the Miniature American Shepherd.
The "Mini Aussie" as the Miniature Australian Sheperd is often referred to, has been used for herding smaller stock such as sheep and goats, though they have the heart to tackle larger stock as well. Their small size is favourable, as they easily doubled as a houehold pet. They are especially popular with equestrians traveling to horse shows, as their intelligence, loyalty, and size make them an excellent travel companion. In this way their popularity spread across the country.
Today, the Miniature American Shepherd is established across Canada, the U.S. and Internationally. It is a breed with a unique identity - an eye catching, versatile little herding dog, equally at home, on a ranch or in the city.
The Miniature American Shepherd has been accepted fully in the American Kennel Club in the Herding Group and in the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) the breed is listed and is part of the Miscellaneous Category.
BREED STANDARD FOR THE MINIATURE AMERICAN SHEPHERD
Size: Height for dogs is 14 inches up to and including 18 inches at the top of the withers. Height for bitches is 13 inches up to and including 17 inches at the top of the withers.
Proportion: Measuring from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks and from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the ground, he is slightly longer than tall.
Substance: Solidly built with moderate bone in proportion to the body height and size.
Head: The head is clean-cut, dry, and in proportion to the body.
Expression: Alert, attentive and intelligent.
Eyes: The eyes are set obliquely, almond shaped, neither protruding or sunken and in proportion to the head.
Ears: Are triangular, of moderate size, set high on the head. At full attention they break forward and over, or to the side as a rose ear.
Skull: The crown is flat to slightly round and may show a slight occipital protuberance. The width and the lenght of the crown are equal. The stop is moderate but defined.
Muzzle: The muzzle is of medium with and depth and tapers gradually to a rounded tip. Length is equal to the length of the crown.
Neck: The neck is firm, clean and in proportion to the body.
Topline: The back is firm and level from the withers to the hip joint when standing or moving.
Forequarters: The forequarters are well conditioned and balanced with the hindquarters.Shoulder blades are long, flat, fairly close set at the withers, and well laid back.
Hindquarters: Width of hindquarters is approximately equal to the width of the forequarters at the shoulders.
Coat: Hair is of medium texture, straight to wavy, weather resistant, and of medium length.
Color: Red Merle, Blue Merle, Red Tri, Black Tri. The coloring offers variety and individuality.
Gait: Smooth, free, and easy exhibiting agility of movement with a well-balanced, ground-covering stride.
Temperament: The Miniature American Shepherd (Miniature Australian Shepherd) is intelligent, primarily a working dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. An exceptional companion, he is versatile and easily trained, performing his assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm. Although reserved with strangers, he does not exhibit shyness. With his family he is protective, good natured, devoted and loyal.