All About the Toy Australian Shepherd Dog Breed [2020]

Toy Australian Shepherd Head Tilted

Toy Australian Shepherds (also known as the Toy American Shepherd or Toy Aussie) are dogs that are not only adorably cute, but they are also energetic and intelligent dog breeds that still have many of the great qualities of there ancestor the Australian Shepherd in a smaller package.

This dog breed is also known as the following:

  • Toy American Shepherd
  • Toy Aussie


Toy Australian Shepherd Head Posing

The Toy Aussie is a very new dog breed. The breed was created by breeding Aussies with smaller dogs. For instance breeding creates a Toy Aussie by crossing a Standard or Mini Australian Shepherd with a Pomeranian, Sheltie, or Corgi for instance. The Breeders should be able to provide this information. We have no doubt this breed will become more popular over time!


It is not known where the first breed appeared as this dogs History is still unfolding! The Toy Australian Shepherd originates from Mini and Standard Australian Shepherds and is bred in the United States. Reportedly, the breed had no uniformity in appearance until 30 years ago.

What Were They Bred For

Toy Australian shepherd with Ball

These dogs were bred to maintain their small size but keep the best traits of herding, intelligence, and enthusiasm exhibited by the Australian Shepherd. Like their larger ancestor, these dogs still exhibit a strong herding instinct and can still herd smaller animals like ducks and geese!

Are Toy Aussie Dogs Pure Bred

The Toy Australian Shepherd is not currently recognized yet by the larger breed registries. There are however some breed registries here.

Toy Aussies at a Glance

Good For Families
Tolerates Other Pets
Prey Drive
Health Score
Energy Level
Space Needs
Good for New Owners

Physical Traits

A Toy Australian Shepherd looks similar to a mini or standard Australian Shepherd. However, the toy sized breed stands at a foot or less at the shoulder. Australian Shepherd breeders state that twelve inches is the ideal height for a toy breed. Toy Aussies are small but sturdy.


The coat of these miniature Australian Shepherds can be wavy or straight, medium length, and weather-resistant. Colors vary from red merle and red, black, or blue merle. Some have white markings and tan points. Their tails are either a natural bobtail or docked. Additionally, some Toy Aussies have blue eyes.

Full Breed Standard or any other large institutions have not officially recognized the Toy Australian Shepherd yet. This breed would qualify as a designer breed. Breeders currently document the Breed Standard for this dog.

The breed information varies slightly among breeders since this dog is a fairly new breed but it can be found at some of the following locations:

How big do Toy Aussies Get?

Toy Australian Shepherds are any Australian Shepherd Bred Dogs that are shorter than 14 in (36 cm) at the shoulder. They typically range from 10-14 in tall.

How much to Toy Australian Shepherds Weight?

Between 12-17 pounds.


Grooming these dogs is pretty easy. After all breeders created them to be companions!

Do Toy Australian Shepherds Shed a lot?

Even though these dogs have a double coat they are still fairly easy to care for. They shed their undercoat during the shedding seasons (spring and fall) and need frequent brushing during this time. All of the other times they shed a normal amount that can be handled with a weekly brushing. Bathe only when needed.

Other Care

During weekly brushings also make sure to check their nails and trim as needed. Trimming nails keeps them from cracking or breaking off which could lead to bigger issues.

How Much do They Shed?

Toy Australian Shepherds shed moderately. Spring and fall require extra brushing.

Do They Drool?

All dogs drool some when they are hot or hungry but these dogs do not drool very much.

Best Climate

This breed can tolerate cool or warm outdoor temperatures but because of their size a moderate temperature is recommended. Because of their need for constant socialization, they must be allowed indoors. These dogs will shed more in warmer weather.


This loving breed often behaves like puppies. They are energetic and happy. These dogs love herding animals when it gets the chance. This breed is a very friendly dog and loves to stay busy with complex tasks!

Like most intelligent dogs if they get bored They will start to misbehave. Keep them stimulated and active!

Are Toy Australian Shepherds Good Pets?

A Toy Australian Shepherd can be an excellent companion for other pets and children. However, they can be territorial by nature. They love constant stimulation and can be trained to do just about anything.

These dogs are bored by a sedentary lifestyle. This is not the breed of dog for someone who wants to plop on the couch with a remote in hand after working all day. A Toy Australian Shepherd would not be happy in a kennel.

Herding Dog Temperament

In addition to being good-natured and happy, the temperament and character of the Toy Australian Shepherd are that of a herding dog. They retain the instinct to herd, even if they have not come in contact with livestock. Some will even herd their owners.

Do They Tolerate Other Pets?

These dogs can be great companions for other pets. They tend to bond best with animals it grew up with from young. Larger dogs can injure Toy Aussies because of their size.

Good For Families?

oy Australian Shepherd

This dog is eager to learn and intelligent. Devoted, loyal, and relaxed, these dogs bond closely with families. On the downside, some develop separation anxiety due to their relentless devotion. This dog loves being part of family activities and loves constant stimulation.

The dogs want to be your ‘partner.’ They make ideal house dogs if provided with appropriate exercise and social interaction with their owners. Many live on ranches or farms where they thrive on the physical and mental stimulation of helping with chores.

Do They Have a Strong Prey Drive?

These dogs can tend to have a moderate to high Prey drive. It’s best to keep these dogs on a leash when outdoors.

Are They Social With Other People?

These dogs are sometimes shy around strangers. Socializing them as puppies can help lessen this behavior. In general they bond very closely with other people.

Are they doog for New Owners?

People that have never owned a dog should not get a Toy American Shepherd. Toy American Shepherds require a lot of attention and energy. Although we do recommend this dog for families that have never owned a dog because of the added stimulation.


Puppy Australian shepherd

In general Toy Aussies can live a long healthy life! They are moderately healthy but this depends greatly on the breeder. Unfortunately, some underlying health deficiencies to be aware of. Health Issues can be avioded with Genetic Testing. For being a smaller dog their lifespan is not very long but they still make great companions!

How long do they Live?

  • 12-13 years

Health Issues

Common health issues include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Some may be born deaf.
  • Other Eye Diseases


These dogs are very intelligent and require a lot of stimulation. Some good news for these dogs is they are fairly small and taking them on a good long walk gives them plenty of exercise!

Toy, Mini, and Standard Aussie Differences

The differences between a Toy, Miniature, and Standard Aussie is all based on their size. The Mini and Standard Australian Shepherd are recognize as a breed by The differences of the breeds are listed below:

  • The Toy Australian Shepherd is between 10 and 14 inches Tall
  • The Miniature Australian Shepherd is between 14 and 18 inches Tall
  • The Standard Australian Shepherd is greater 18 inches Tall

Check out this youtube video explains the differences between the Toy, Mini, and regular Australian Shepherd.

Toy Australian Shepherds for Sale

This is a very popular dog and luckily there are many different breeders to choose from if you are looking for a Toy Aussie no matter where you are! These dogs can be pricey.

A Toy Australian Shepherd puppy can cost anywhere from $1800 to $2500 from a good reputable breeder.

You can’t typically take puppies home until they are around 8 weeks of age. If you aren’t breeding your puppy you should consider getting them neutered or spayed. Neutered males are much less aggressive and tend to mark territory less.

When working with a breeder make sure they do the following to ensure their dogs are healthy:

Toy Australian Shepherd with Toy
  • The CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) Testing is done Anually. See for more details on this test.
  • PRA-Prcd Testing. This is a genetic disorder called Progressive Rod-cone Degeneration-Progressive Retinal Atrophy, causes cells in the retina at the back of the eye to degenerate and die, even though the cells seem to develop normally early in life. It takes 2 Aussies with this genetic disorder to create a puppy that has this issue. If you are only looking for a companion dog then make sure both parents did not have this disorder. If not then your puppy should not!
  • MDR1 testing – Dogs with MDR1 have a compromised blood brain barrier. This means they can have adverse reactions when given certain drugs such as ivermectin or loperamide. Make sure your puppy does not have this issue or you will need to avoid giving your dog certain drugs.

Search for Breeders Here:

Toy Australian Shepherd Rescue

Because the Toy American Shepherd is relatively new, there are not many rescues that exist for these dogs yet. However luckily since rescues have big hearts, Mini Australian Shepherd Rescues will usually take these. For some great places to start try the following:

3 thoughts on “All About the Toy Australian Shepherd Dog Breed [2020]”

  1. Pingback: Australian Shepherd: How to Plan For the Best Family Dog | Anything German Shepherd

  2. This is not factual information. Toy aussies were bred same way most pure bred breeds are when creating smaller sizes including poodles, Huskies etc. They take the smallest of a litter and breed them to another smallest litter members until they have enough small size to breed within that size group. You can get a registration pedigree that goes back for many generations. A true toy aussie does not have the characteristics of a pmeranian or other small breed. My toy aussies are very much like my mini and standard in looks, conformation and personality. My pomeranian is nothing like my toy aussies. Im sick of this mis information being spread. There is a differrnce between cross breeding and pure bred!

    1. Thanks for the comment Laura. I feel like we researched this well. People did not try to start creating Toy Aussies until the 1960s. When the Toy Breed was first created they were accepted into the AKC as an “Open” Registry which means despite what breed they were as long as they conformed to the look and standard they were accepted until a large enough breeding pool exists to create the “Pure” breed. Breeding to try and create a smaller breed strictly from Australian Shepherds was creating genetic issues and other breeds were introduced early on to try and get rid of those defects. You can still get generations of Toy Australian Shepherd Breeds because their lifespan is shorter but it’s unlikely they were all created from just Australian Shepherd Breeding. I do agree Toy Poodles were created this way.

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