The Mini Australian, American Shepherd Guide and Facts

One of the most unusual and unique dog breeds in existence, these pups are intelligent, loyal, outgoing, fun, and loving. The Miniature Australian Shepherd is the smaller version of the Australian Shepherd dog breed.

Mini American Shepherd

It’s also known as the Mini American Shepherd dog breed. The mini and toy versions of Australian Shepherds were derived in America. They share the same qualities as their larger counterparts but in a more manageable size. 

Mini Australian Shepherd wearing a tie

If you’re ready to bring one of these highly loving companions to your home, here’s what you need to know before doing so.  

Mini Australian Shepherd History

Even Though the names suggest Miniature Australian Shepherd, the breed is actually from the United States. In 1968 a lady named Doris Cordova decided to shrink the Australian Shepherd to a more compact size, but without compromising the qualities it already had.

Two Miniature American Shepherd (Mini-Aussie) dogs, blue merle and black bi-color

With the help of a veterinarian, she decided to do this using smaller breeds from the regular Australian Shepherd. However, it is also said that she made some crosses with other breeds too. Unfortunately, the breeding program wasn’t an immediate success. The breeder needed to wait a while for the desired outcome.

After the program became a success, it soon got the attention of many other breeders, and from then on, the Miniature Australian Shepherd was everywhere. 

Mini Australian Shepherd Appearance

Mini Australian Shepherd Running

A Miniature Australian Shepherd compared to the regular Australian Shepherds is virtually indistinguishable except for the size they come in. 

Smaller Dogs

There are several sizes of Australian Shepherds. All of these sizes are measured at the withers or shoulders:

  • Standard Australian Shepherd (Taller than 18 in, 46 cm)
  • Mini Australian Shepherd (14 to 18 in, 36 to 46 cm)
  • Toy Australian Shepherd (10 to 14 in, 25 to 36 cm)

Miniature Australian Shepherds will not grow more than 18 inches tall, and both males and females will weigh around 20 to 40 pounds. However, males grow a tad bigger than females.  Any Aussies shorter than 14 inches are considered to be Toy Australian Shepherds.


These small dogs have a wavy double coat with a thick outer layer and a downy undercoat, and it’s gorgeous. When it comes to colors, those include blue Merle, black and tan, red Merle, and black. 

Mini Australian Shepherd Personality And Temperament

This is a loving and affectionate breed that is lively and playful but also very obedient. These dogs strictly need plenty of mental stimulation, as well as physical exercise to stay happy.

Herding Dog

In addition, the Mini Australian Shepherd is extremely intelligent, which can make training a challenging task. These dogs are herding dogs. They stay active and pay close attention to their surroundings.

Herding dogs are very attentive to their owners and are problem solvers which means they like plenty of activity and complex tasks.

The Mini Australian Shepherd does not like to be stuck inside all day long! These dogs have a lot of energy. Without proper exercise, they’ll become destructive. So it’s up to you to keep them busy. 

Working Dog

The Mini Australian Shepherd is not up to par with the regular Australian Shepherd when it comes to fieldwork. They are energetic but don’t have the size to herd cattle. They will however try herding children and smaller animals like cats, chickens and ducks.

These smaller-sized counterparts are also skittish and fearful of strangers and new places, suffer separation anxiety a lot and tend to bite through fear without warning.   

Other than that, they are equally as good as their larger counterparts and love to spend time with their family and do exceptionally well with kids.    

Mini Australian Shepherd Grooming

Due to the Mini Australian Shepherd’s double coat, they do shed but not a lot, probably not as much as the dogs with similar coats. However, expect more shedding during the spring season. Either way, these dogs need to be brushed regularly, and tangles, knots, must be carefully removed if present.  

A mini Australian Shepherd with dirty fur

Mini Australian Shepherd Training And Exercise

Training a Mini Australian Shepherd is easy but requires more patience than most other breeds due to its high intelligence. He will not respond like a typical dog until he has learned all the nuances of your particular training system because he wants it done right!

Use positive reinforcement training techniques with your Mini Aussie for best results! It’s also important to start training them at a young age. 

Mini Aussie Standing

Herding Dog

These dogs are smaller versions of the Australian Shepherd. Australian Shepherds were bred to be herding dogs. As herding dogs they are very energetic and pay constant attention to their surroundings.

As a herding breed, these dogs need to have physical exercise, as well as mental stimulation in order to stay active. So, you will need to provide them with a 30 min long walk and at least an hour and a half of good exercise every day.

If you do not provide them with enough exercise, they will be mischievous at home and invent ways to entertain themselves. 

Mini Australian Shepherd Health Issues

Australian Shepherds are susceptible to a variety of health problems similar to the regular Aussie Shepherd, and some of them include: 

  • Luxating Patella
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Spinal defects

Other than this, there is another big problem, which is the dog’s Merle coloration. The genes which are responsible for this color are also the genes that provide hearing and eyesight. As a result, most of the Merle-colored Mini Australian Shepherds suffer severe vision and hearing conditions.     

Even though these dogs suffer a variety of health problems, they can live up to 12 to 15 years if they are provided with a proper diet and exercise. 

Australian Shepherd Dog

How Much Does a Mini Australian Shepherd Cost?

Expect to pay around $600 to $1000 for a Mini Australian Shepherd from a reputable breeder. Female dogs are less expensive than males.

Merle-colored dogs tend to be much more expensive. By the way, don’t even think of getting a Mini Australian Shepherd from Unlicensed breeders and puppy mills. These breeders mate genetically faulty dogs, which often lead to deaf and blind Mini Aussies puppies.

Also, Avoid getting a Mini Aussie if they’re white. These puppies, too, tend to have severe visual and auditory problems most of the time. So it’s crucial to be extra careful when purchasing a Mini Aussie. 

Interesting Facts About The Mini Australian Shepherd

  • The Mini Australian Shepherd was recognized by AKC in 2015 surprisingly in the name of “Miniature American Shepherd.” 
  • The breed has been called a lot of different names over the years, California Shepherd, Spanish Shepherd, and New Mexican Shepherd.
  • Australian Shepherds are believed to have descended from Border Collies.
  • These dogs have many names: Mini American Shepherd, Mini Australian Shepherd, Mini Aussie Dog, Minnie Aussie, or MAS.

Pros And Cons Of Owning A Mini Australian Shepherd

Beautiful Puppy Of Mini Australian Shepherd


  • Great exercise companions.
  • Can be trained to perform a wide variety of duties.
  • Easy to train.
  • Adaptable to any type of climate.
  • Loyal and devoted to their family.


  • High-energy dogs are meant to be exercised daily.
  • A profound predatory drive and inclination to chase.
  • Prone to some severe eye conditions.
  • Destructive if bored.

Final Thoughts

The Australian Shepherd is one of the smartest breeds of dogs. They are intelligent and easy to train. Mini Aussies are very friendly and make great pets for families with children. 

They are also energetic and need to be taken on a lot of walks. This type of dog requires an owner who can capitalize on its intellectual prowess and if you’re that person and if you think you can provide what it takes, then look no further.   

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