Origin of the Toy Australian Shepherd
The lineage of Show Toy Australian Shepherds traces back to a pair of brother dogs: the Wildhagen Dutchman and Fieldmaster of Flintridge. The two Shepherds started a strong lineage to which the Miniature Australian Shepherd belongs. They were bred from the standard breed.
Unfortunately, some underlying deficiencies appear in offspring of two Toy Australian Shepherds. For that reason, responsible breeders breed miniature Aussies with full-sized Shepherds. Both full-sized and miniatures are produced from these. Reportedly, the breed had no uniformity in appearance until 30 years ago.
A Toy Australian Shepherd looks similar to a standard Australian Shepherd. However, the miniature sized breed ranges between 10 and 12 inches high at the shoulder. Australian Shepherd breeders state that twelve inches is the ideal height for a toy breed. Toy Aussies, as they are called, 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. Little grooming is necessary. When they shed, they need a thorough combing and only bathe them when needed. Additionally, some Toy Aussies have blue eyes.
Best Fit for the Toy Australian Shepherd
The Toy Australian Shepherd 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 loving breed often behaves like puppies. They are lively, confident, kindhearted and affectionate. A Toy Australian Shepherd can be an excellent companion for other pets and children. However, they can be territorial by nature. Sometimes, shy around strangers. Socializing them as puppies can help lessen this behavior.
They Enjoy 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. They are not fit to have a sedentary lifestyle because they are easily bored. 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.
This breed can tolerate cool or warm outdoor temperatures. However, because of their need for constant socialization, they must be allowed indoors. The lifespan of a Toy Aussie is 12 to 13 years. Litters consist of five to eight puppies.
Differences between the Miniature and Full Size Australian Shepherd
This youtube video explains the differences between the Toy, Mini, and regular Australian Shepherd.