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Mini-Australian Shepherds ~ The Good and The Bad

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  • Mini-Australian Shepherds ~ The Good and The Bad

    I am looking at getting another dog. I currently have a 10 year old Border Collie that is a really good dog. I would like to get a puppy now so that it will hopefully pick up some of the wonderful qualities of my current dog. I want a bit smaller dog than my current one so that I can easily take to horse shows and in our motorhome.

    While I obviously have experience with high energy herding breeds I have no experience with mini-austrailian shepherds so I would like to hear the good and bad about them and what to look for when purchasing one.

    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

  • #2
    Mini Aussies? Like tea cup Poodles? If so there is no such breed outside of the purposeful breeding of/for runts.

    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    • #3
      well, be careful- there are REAL mini-aussies, that are just small aussies, and then there are many other ones that appear to be Pomeranian mixes or other toy dog mixes that are being called mini-aussies.

      If you want a small herding dog, I'd suggest just checking out your local border collie and aussie rescues and see if they have any smaller ones. Many of the working line border collies are quite small, and many of the working line aussies are on the small side too.

      these people are trying to get the breed recognized by the AKC, note they've changed the name to Minature American Shepherd:


      You might want to contact them for suggested breeders if you don't want to go the rescue route.


      • #4
        This breeder is a town away from me in NJ. Their mini aussies were featured on an episode of Too Cute! on Animal Planet (LOVE that show).


        There is an adult available right now.


        • #5
          Parent club: MASCA.

          Whenever considering a purebred and buying from a breeder, make sure that the breeder does at least the minimal as far as recommended testing for inherited disorders. And since you've owned a BC, I would recommend something that is either versatility or working bred.

          BTW, I've definitely seem some small BCs and Aussies at my local rescues.


          • #6
            The old style Aussie is usually considered a mini by today's standards. I ethically disagree with miniaturizing a breed but man I have met a few awesome toys in agility class.


            • #7
              I would also describe myself as someone who ethically disagrees with the miniaturizing of a breed. I raise an eyebrow at the responsibility of any breeder who participates in that sort of thing.

              What are you looking for in a dog, in terms of both size and temperament? There are plenty of small-ish Aussies out there that would fit the bill. Or have you considered a Sheltie?


              • #8
                That one is not a mini at 50 lbs!

                When you buy a mini aussie, you never know what you will get unless it is an adult.
                I have seen many, many get a mini that ends up on the larger end of standard aussies anyway and others end up looking like an oversized pomeranian, very few look like a small aussie, that is what most think that want a mini aussie.

                There are many very small border collies, if that is what you want, more in the sheep working lines and the roughs, the smooths and cattle lines tend to be larger.

                I don't think that real mini aussies are standardized enough to know yet what you are getting as far as size.
                Any breeder that tells you so is not being quite truthful.

                If you get a mini aussie, just be prepared to love it, no matter what you end up with once grown.
                That is what everyone that has one did.
                Any dog with aussie in them are wonderful dogs anyway.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                  That one is not a mini at 50 lbs!
                  That's what I was thinking!!

                  I actually saw some advertised for sale just recently so went to look at their website (I am NOT interested...more like I was irritated at the thought of a "mini aussie") and some of them were going for $1500!!! For an unregisterable dog? No way......


                  • #10
                    A lot of the mini's I have seen (only in pictures on websites) look like they have strabismus. I am not a vet and this is not a diagnosis, just an observation that some 'mini aussie's' look cross eyed.

                    My Aussie's dad was average sized ( roughly 23"), and her mom was littler (19", thin boned). My aussie came out to be 18" (on a good day). She was no smaller than anyone else in her litter. She weighed 35lbs at her last vet visit. I guess I share this because I think you can find a nice well bred aussie that meets your size needs/ wants.

                    Her little-ness has been as blessing as any more surface area on this dog would just track that much more dirt into the house.


                    • #11
                      I purchased a mini from an area breeder. I had owned two standard aussies prior. Getting a little older and when my last standard aussie(who tipped the scale at 55lbs) passed away, I decided to see if I could find a smaller version. I consider my girl to be medium energy. She likes to run, will go on trail rides with me, but also likes to cuddle on the couch or sleep on the end of my bed. We did give sheepherding a try, but she liked to chase rather than herd. She does some therapy visits and I am considering trying some agility lessons with her to see if she would like that activity. I haven't measured her height recently, but I would guesstimate her to be about 18 inches and she weighed about 31 lbs at last vet visit. She is the sweetest dog. An internet friend and I met at a camping trip a couple of years ago. She liked my dog so much that she bought a puppy from the same breeder and has been very happy with her.
                      Here are a couple of pictures of her when I first got her.
                      Here she is trying sheepherding http://www.flickr.com/photos/simbalism/7063787343/
                      Here's a picture of her last winter http://www.flickr.com/photos/simbalism/6689100637/
                      Her visit with Santa this past Christmas..http://www.flickr.com/photos/simbalism/8286638647/
                      A pic of her doing her favorite job-riding shot gun http://www.flickr.com/photos/simbalism/7794267228/
                      Last edited by Simbalism; Mar. 4, 2013, 01:38 AM.


                      • #12
                        Perhaps a corgi might suit your needs


                        • #13
                          Seeing as many of the working lines are quite small and from my reading there have ALWAYS been little Aussies, mini Aussies aren't a mini breed that "scares" me. But as many others have said, look closely at the breeder because there are many mini's that look quite like they have been crossed with Pomeranians or something--when I was looking I saw some looked more like cats than dogs.

                          I have a mini Aussie who looks just like an Aussie except she's only 26-28lbs. She is a wonderful dog and is always complimented on how well behaved she is.

                          She was potty trained in less than a week, will run 5 miles on trail rides but won't chase the horses, comes to the barn, stays out of the ring, goes everywhere with me, heels off leash, loves to play with her soccer ball, does lots of tricks and is fun to teach. When we're outside she is very high energy and go, Go, GO! But inside, she is either asleep or playing quietly with her toys.

                          A corgi might suit your needs, but they are not really a small dog, just a short one.


                          • #14
                            When I was looking for my current dog, I saw a few sites where toys and teacups were advertised. They definitely looked like Pomeranians. Almost looked deformed. My friend's mini (from same breeder I purchased from) is a bit smaller than my girl, but her dog is from different parents than mine. My dog is a happy sturdy little dog.


                            • #15
                              Funny this topic should come up, because in the last few weeks I've run into a Mini Aussie and a Toy Aussie. The Mini was a lovely young dog, already doing well with training, and he did in fact look exactly like a small version of a "regular" Aussie. His mom told me he is supposed to top out at 35 lbs. Now the so-called Toy, on the other hand, looked precisely like a long-haired Chihuahua, which is what I thought he was. I'm afraid I put my foot in it by saying to his mother, "Oh, what a nice little Chi-dog!" Fortunately she was not offended but carefully explained he was a Toy Aussie. I'm thinking, "Riiiiiiiiight. Wow, lady, did you ever get taken for a ride!" I mean, REALLY. The one and only thing that dog had in common with Aussiedom was maybe his color - mainly black with a couple of sprouts of tan and white on his head. I can't believe people have the nerve to even call them Aussies!
                              "Horses lend us the wings we lack." ~ Pam Brown


                              • #16
                                We adopted our mini Aussie from the humane society when she was dumped the day after Christmas on their front step. At the time we did not know she was a mini(didn't really matter). She's now 18 months old and a tad chunky at 22 lbs. When we first brought her home I took her to a couple of well known(and super picky) Aussie breeders to get their opinions(mostly for behavioral purposes) and they all said she was the closest to perfect for a mini they had ever seen. We knew we wanted an Aussie, and with the number of them that come thru the shelter I knew it was just a matter of time till we found her. We get at least 3-4 Aussies in a year(mostly minis), they are usually young and the owners dump them once they realize just how high energy that cute bundle of fur has become.

                                Personally I don't agree with breeding any animal strictly for size, so many more important things get ignored. But if another rescue were to happen to cross our path with the right personality I'd snatch him up in a heartbeat!

                                I'll try and attach links to pics....


                                We have had a very hard time housebreaking her, but I'm not surprised considering she spent the first 4 months of her life locked in a small crate.
                                Otherwise I wouldn't part with her for nothing! She's been one of the best dogs I've ever had. She is HIGH energy, sweet, eager to please, SMART, and just an absolute ham. She makes me smile every single day, even when she's frustrating the crap out of me!

                                Wanted to add, while doing detective work to try and see who dumped her(would possibly be charging abandonment) we were able to locate her breeder in KY. Nice website, but once we got her on the phone I was NOT impressed. After multiple exchanges of pictures she still wanted to believe the moron that dumped the puppy still had her(because he said so when she called ). All I wanted was a little background and to let her know the puppy was in a good home. I think her pride was hurt more then anything. Though what kind of breeder sells a guy a puppy that he wants for his daughter for Christmas, when the daughter doesn't even live with him and the childs mother is not aware??