Male: 14-18; Female: 13-17 inches
Black, blue merle, red, red merle. May have tan markings.
The Miniature American Shepherd originated when Basque farmers brought ancestor dogs with them when they emigrated to Australia, then those ancestor dogs were brought to the United States during the time of the 1849 California gold rush. These ancestor dogs were then crossed with several breeds in an effort to produce a dog breed (the Australian Shepherd) that was able to deal with the harsh temperatures and demands of herding livestock in the American West. The abilities for the breed during this time were mainly focused on herding with speed, agility, and endurance. These dogs became popular for pets after they were featured as rodeos performers in the 1950's. In 1968, Doris Cordova, from Norco, CA, began a breeding program to produce the smaller sized Australian Shepherds. From her kennel, came a well-known dog named "Cordova's Spike". Doris Cordova (Cordova Kennel), Bill & Sally Kennedy (B/S Kennel), and Chas Lasater (Valhalla Kennel), developed the first miniatures of the Australian Shepherds that were under 17" who had heart, intelligence, and the drive to work stock, and be small for easy travel to stock shows and be a nice size for a house dog. In 1990, MASCUSA, the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA, was formed as the parent club to preserve, promote, and protect this lovely breed. This parent club is now the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA.
This breed is intelligent and a versatile working dog with strong herding and guardian instincts. It is an exceptional companion that is easily trained, performing the assigned tasks with style and enthusiasm. The Miniature American Shepherd is a relaxed, loyal, and devoted dog that bonds closely with family.
The Miniature American Shepherd is reserved with strangers but does not exhibit shyness. It is a great companion for children, especially if socialized as a puppy. This breed is affectionate, kindhearted, and attentive to their handler.
Grooming is minimal as this breed sheds the undercoat twice a year. Daily brushing will both help speed up the shedding as well as prevent mats from forming. The body coat should not be clipped. The hair may be trimmed only on the ears, feet, back of the hocks, the pasterns, and the tail. Untrimmed whiskers are preferred.
The Miniature American Shepherd has a moderate coat of a medium texture may be straight to wavy, weather resistant and of a medium length. The amount of undercoat will vary depending on the seasons and climate. Hair is short and smooth on the head and front of the legs. The back of the forelegs and breeches are moderately feathered.
Owners must devote time to socialization and training to direct this breeds strong working instincts and drive. The breed responds well to obedience training and has a natural sensitivity that makes it a good choice for therapy work, search and rescue, herding, flyball, disc dog, dock dog, and agility. An exceptional companion, he is versatile and easily trained, performing assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm.
The Miniature American Shepherd is ideal for an active family that loves to walk, hike, run and play. He is a resilient and persistent worker who adjusts his demeanor and arousal appropriately to the task at hand.
Help reduce the number of Miniature American Shepherd puppies in shelters by doing your due diligence. Many puppies are often purchased with little or no knowledge of what goes into parenting one. Uneducated decisions often leave the puppy in need of adoption and in the care of rescue groups. Bringing home a puppy into your family has many benefits but we first implore you to educate yourself. An informed decision will take into account the characteristics of the breed, your lifestyle, expected veterinary care, the demands and limitations of owning one, their activity requirements and levels of companionship required.
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