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  1. #1
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    Apr. 26, 2008
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    Default Mini Australian Shepherds as Barn dogs? *UPDATED* Post 76 NEW PICS

    Okay I've dipped into the world of farm dogs, but I want a small, active, intelligent, trainable, watch dog type of dog. My parents have an australian cattle dog and I LOVE him, but I want something like him, in a smaller size. I've done some researching and have found out that there are toy australian shepherds. I realize if there are any standard aussie breeders on here that I may have started something (flame-suit activated). I have heard a lot of aussie breeders detest the toy/mini version for whatever reason. But the truth is, I really love the breed, but I need a smaller farm dog. So what do you guys thing? Anyone seen/have a toy aussie? Anyone breed them or know someone who breeds them? I realize I could have posted this on some other more dog related forum, but I'm looking for a horse-persons view.

    *I decided to get a mini*
    Last edited by RockingN; Apr. 24, 2009 at 07:40 PM.



  2. #2
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    Apr. 26, 2008
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    Default

    Oh, I wanted to add, I want a small dog 10-13 inch range (at shoulder). A durable dog. No I don't want a jack. My parents have one. I want something different. But it needs to have substance. Be able to go jogging with me, be around the horses and be active without being extremely fragile.



  3. #3
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    Jun. 7, 2005
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    Charleston, SC
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    Don't know anything about the toy aussies - I vote for Welsh Corgi. I love mine! He is small, quick, sturdy, smart and not afraid of a thing.
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  4. #4
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    Apr. 9, 2008
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    Alachua, Florida
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    Default

    Fox terrier.



  5. #5
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    Jul. 13, 2006
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    The woman that fixes all our horse blankets breeds mini aussies (I believe there is a difference between mini and toy, but I could be wrong). They are very similar to their larger counter parts but have some strong differences as well. The ones I've seen are not nearly as independent as the full size version, the tended to bark a bit more, and because of such specialized breeding (and its a newer breed compartively speaking) they tend to have more genetic issues, so choose wisely. But they are still quite barn savvy, loyal, and protective. I prefer the full size version (mine barely weighs 40# on a fat day) because I like that they have a bit more substance so they are a bit hardier. I have a aussie x kelpie boy that is 37# and medium height but very thin build, and when he had 4 legs was quite energetic. Maybe try looking for something like that.



  6. #6
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    May. 6, 2007
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    Napanee ON
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    WOW, I had a toy Aussie for 6 years and she was the love of my life!! She was an absolute angel, great around the horses, loyal and really easy to train. She never strayed, didn't bark much and was the cuddliest fluffiest thing ever. Some pics:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/p...1&id=510448702

    flip through the album

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...92&id=89904871

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...02&id=89904871



  7. #7
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    Apr. 26, 2008
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    Default

    Jealoushe- wow she is gorgeous! You have a PM

    Yes I am doing a lot of research looking for a good breeder so I stay away from heath issues. My brother had a corgi and I didn't really fall in love with him... He was cute and everything, but not for me. I travel a lot too so I am really looking for something in the 15 pound range.
    I have heard bad things about fox terriers.. anyone know? I've heard they're quite spazzy and not so easy to train.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2007
    Location
    Western Washington
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    2,924

    Default

    I'm sure you've already considered this, but .... training will be very important. As shepherds, their tendency will be to nip at heels, chase and herd. Not that it can't be dealt with through training, but that will be their tendency.

    My all-time favorite best dog was a greyhound/black lab mix. Smart, quiet, loyal and extremely clean. Probably about 30 pounds. She loved to run when I rode, but never chased.

    Good luck.



  9. #9
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    May. 22, 2002
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    somewhere between middleaged and dead
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    I was like you in looking for a new dog. I had had Dalmatians in the past, then a JRT.

    I looked into the smaller Australian Shepherds (I thought they were called minature, not toy but I'm probably wrong). I think they are probably a great dog but I ended up with a Border Terrier. I am so happy with that choice. Borders were bred to be fast enough (long legged enough) to keep up with the horses and hounds foxhunting then dog out the fox at the end. They are bred to 'get along' with other dogs and they don't seem to be as rodent-driven as my JRT was. They range from 11-18 pounds depending on sex. Hard coat (not furry to pick up burrs) which I like but I do the stripping to keep it short although even shaggy it is fine.

    You might want to look into them, go to the Border Terrier Club of America website and there are breeder/mentor referrals there that you can call and ask about the breed and if it would fit into your lifestyle. But great farm dog so far. They love the outdoors, they don't do as well in really hot weather though so not sure where you live.



  10. #10
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    Jan. 8, 2009
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    DC
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    Caveat: I breed and trial Australian Shepherds, but my current dogs all weigh in between 28 and 40 lbs, working weight.

    Quality really depends on the breeder and how much work they do to ensure that a cross will produce good quality offspring that meet the breed ideal in terms of temperament, drive, conformation, type, etc. All Aussies, regardless of size, can have hip dysplasia, various inherited eye disorders, epilepsy, wonky temperaments, etc. Smaller dogs, regardless of breed, also have a higher tendency toward luxating patellas.

    I wouldn't buy anything from a breeder that claimed that they "never had any problems" and didn't seem to understand the breed standard. At a minimum w/ Aussies, you want to see hip and eye clearances. Any good breeder will also be perfectly happy to discuss temperament, epilepsy, allergies, etc. w/ a prospective buyer.

    On a personal note, the majority (there have been a few exceptions) toys that I met didn't act like Aussies, IMO. But that didn't make them bad dogs.



  11. #11
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    May. 6, 2007
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    Napanee ON
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    There are both miniature and Toy to my understanding. I thought mine was a mini for the longest time but I was corrected.

    Mine definitly had an Aussie personality, but perhaps a little more like a person.



  12. #12
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    Nov. 5, 2002
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    Hometown: San Antonio, TX ; Current Location: Amarillo, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jealoushe View Post
    WOW, I had a toy Aussie for 6 years and she was the love of my life!! She was an absolute angel, great around the horses, loyal and really easy to train. She never strayed, didn't bark much and was the cuddliest fluffiest thing ever. Some pics:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/p...1&id=510448702

    flip through the album

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...92&id=89904871

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...02&id=89904871
    Your looks almost identical to mine!!!!! Mine is a mini, though, she has the longest legs.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...25&id=29605780

    Here is the album link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...d7&id=29605780
    RIP Kid Gloves (Holly) 1992 TBxHanv CCI*** mare.
    http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/holly
    New mare: Miss Bunny Express (Missy) 1995 AQHA Jumper mare.
    http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/missy



  13. #13
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    Nov. 5, 2008
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    North Georgia
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    Why not get an Australian Shepherd who was born smaller than breed standard but came from standard lines?

    I don't like any breeders that breed solely for size and color when it comes to dogs (those breeders wanting "pocket" versions or "rare colors"). With Aussies, the "breeding for color" tends to result in a high percentage of deafness.

    I <3 Aussie Shepherds. They are so intelligent!
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  14. #14
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    Apr. 4, 2007
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    Jasper, GA
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    2,148

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternMkt View Post
    Caveat: I breed and trial Australian Shepherds, but my current dogs all weigh in between 28 and 40 lbs, working weight.

    Quality really depends on the breeder and how much work they do to ensure that a cross will produce good quality offspring that meet the breed ideal in terms of temperament, drive, conformation, type, etc. All Aussies, regardless of size, can have hip dysplasia, various inherited eye disorders, epilepsy, wonky temperaments, etc. Smaller dogs, regardless of breed, also have a higher tendency toward luxating patellas.

    I wouldn't buy anything from a breeder that claimed that they "never had any problems" and didn't seem to understand the breed standard. At a minimum w/ Aussies, you want to see hip and eye clearances. Any good breeder will also be perfectly happy to discuss temperament, epilepsy, allergies, etc. w/ a prospective buyer.

    On a personal note, the majority (there have been a few exceptions) toys that I met didn't act like Aussies, IMO. But that didn't make them bad dogs.
    I agree completely. Most of the toys I have met, seem to look and act suspiciously like papilion mixes. Yep. They at fluffy and cuddley, have little herding instinct but come in BLUE MERLE! For the average suburban dog/horse lover, they are probably a great choice but they are NOT Aussies. They don't meet breed standard, they are clearly mixed and are generally scorned by the Aussie community.

    Some "miniatures" are pure Aussies, usually working lines because they tend to be smaller than the show lines. However, they also are NOT Aussies, can not be dual registered and are generally frowned upon also.

    Personally, I like a dog that offers what an Aussie has to offer. I like to trial, I like working dogs, I like a dog that is big enough to be resilant and herd something other than ducks and mini-sheep (hey, EasternMkt I lived in MD for years, do we know each other? I used to train with Dicky -sigh and trialed at his farm many times).

    But each to their own, I can understand wanting a less complicated dog than an Aussie, if you aren't into training. But size? The difference between 18" and slightly below seems like so little to sacrifice quality for. And yes, with the mini things (my friends would kill me for calling them miniature Aussies, B.T.W.), quality just isn't as good usually. To get them, they have used whatever runts they can get their hands on. And the "breed" is still a work in progress and has a limitied gene pool.

    I should probably shut my mouth now...
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  15. #15
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    Jan. 8, 2009
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    DC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cielo Azure View Post
    I should probably shut my mouth now...
    Jill?!? Is that you? W/ the Perches and that cool red tri boy you had? Used to be in Frederick? It's Katherine... still in DC, still w/ the Aussies, sheep, and now a couple new horses to boot. ;-)



  16. #16
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    Jun. 19, 2008
    Posts
    417

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    I have 3 toy aussies! They are the best!! I was active in breeding and showing them for awhile, and can refer you to some great breeders if you're interested? You do have to be careful because some are breeding many of the aussie qualities, out in order to get a small size.

    Here's my Nemo after playing in the mud:
    http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t...7/100_1825.jpg

    His mom:
    http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t...27/nemomom.jpg



  17. #17
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    May. 6, 2007
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    Napanee ON
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cielo Azure View Post
    I agree completely. Most of the toys I have met, seem to look and act suspiciously like papilion mixes. Yep. They at fluffy and cuddley, have little herding instinct but come in BLUE MERLE! For the average suburban dog/horse lover, they are probably a great choice but they are NOT Aussies. They don't meet breed standard, they are clearly mixed and are generally scorned by the Aussie community.

    Some "miniatures" are pure Aussies, usually working lines because they tend to be smaller than the show lines. However, they also are NOT Aussies, can not be dual registered and are generally frowned upon also.

    Personally, I like a dog that offers what an Aussie has to offer. I like to trial, I like working dogs, I like a dog that is big enough to be resilant and herd something other than ducks and mini-sheep (hey, EasternMkt I lived in MD for years, do we know each other? I used to train with Dicky -sigh and trialed at his farm many times).

    But each to their own, I can understand wanting a less complicated dog than an Aussie, if you aren't into training. But size? The difference between 18" and slightly below seems like so little to sacrifice quality for. And yes, with the mini things (my friends would kill me for calling them miniature Aussies, B.T.W.), quality just isn't as good usually. To get them, they have used whatever runts they can get their hands on. And the "breed" is still a work in progress and has a limitied gene pool.

    I should probably shut my mouth now...

    My "toy" Aussie certainly acted similarly to my "full" Aussie. She was also a working dog - seen here:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/p...49&id=89904871

    Zoe, was registered also, I would have to check her papers as I didn't get her directly from the breeder.

    As for quality, if you click the facebook link above that is linked to what was Zoe's own profile...she was a high quality dog who had fans all over the horse show circuit. She was built nicely, had a beautiful coat and would definitly not include her in lower class of dog than full size aussies.

    I agree that YES a lot of people breed crap small dogs of ALL breeds, but not all mini and toy aussies are diminished in quality.



  18. #18
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    May. 6, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by tx3dayeventer View Post
    Your looks almost identical to mine!!!!! Mine is a mini, though, she has the longest legs.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...25&id=29605780

    Here is the album link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...d7&id=29605780
    They are actually so similar!



  19. #19
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    I can't see the pictures, they are password protected.

    I think that toys are crosses with pomeranians, not papillons.
    Pomeranians are very popular with puppy mills, as puppies in a window they are irresistible and they are good breeders, so much more accessible to those that like to invent crosses with cute names.
    Papillons are considerably more rare and expensive and have smaller litters, not as easy to use for odd crosses.

    I have a friend with a mini aussie, the same size but less substantial than her heeler.
    She got him in CO from a breeder that has both, standard and minis and her boy is a very neat dog and just like any other aussie, but half sized.

    I would be sure you check the breeder very good, because aussies tend to have their share of health problems.

    Our aussie was of pure herding lines and, being as tall as a standard sized one, for a female, was not as heavyset and hairy as today's aussies tend to be.



  20. #20
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    Dec. 4, 2007
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    If you look at the breed standard for Australian Shepherds it calls for dogs that are significantly smaller than the monsters most (BY) breeders are breeding now.

    For example, my female is 71lbs working weight.

    I was very suprised when I went looking for a second Aussie to see the dogs the professional breeders were breeding. I thought they were small, most ran 35 to 50lbs.

    Another thing to think about. A dog that travels well, it doesn't matter their size. I have a much easier time travelling with my 2 (65 and 71lbs) than my friend does with her 4lb yorkie! I worried a lot about that, because I travel quite a bit too, but it hasn't been a problem at all.

    I've known a couple minis and haven't been really impressed. But I'm not going to knock the breed because I really think it was more to do with their upbrining than anything that made them the way they were. (read cutsie yappy no brain dogs)
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