Miniature American Shepherd

Miniature American Shepherd Breed description: Character & Co

Miniature American Shepherd

Life expectancy
10 - 13

What is the origin of the Miniature American Shepherd?

The Miniature American Shepherd comes from the USA and was bred from the standard Australian Shepherd. The Australian Shepherd originally comes from Australia. It was a common herding dog there and was bred purely for performance. The size of the dogs was variable, there have always been large and smaller breed representatives.

In the late 1960s, some dog owners in the US discovered their love for the small Aussies. They started breeding a small version of the Australian Shepherd. From the beginning they set the goal to keep the lovable character, intelligence and activity of the big Aussies.

Since 1980 they are registered in the National Stock Register. There, the dogs were listed under the name Miniature Australian Shepherd.

In 2011, the AKC (American Kennel Club) entered the breed into the breed foundation process. The new breed to be registered was given the name Miniature American Shepherd.

In 2015, the Miniature American Shepherd was recognized by the AKC as a breed in its own right. In 2019, the VDH in Germany followed suit and recognized the breed as well. The Miniature American Shepherd was provisionally recognized by the FCI in September 2019 (Group 1, Section 1, Standard Number 367).

Banner: Shutterstock / zulkarnisezer
Alternate Name Mini American Shepherd, Miniature Australian Shepherd
Origin USA
Life expectancy 10 - 13 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level high
FCI group Sheepdogs
AKC group Herding Group
KC group not recognised

What are the breed characteristics of the Miniature American Shepherd?

By origin, they are typical herding dogs that were also used to guard the house and yard. Today you can find Mini Americans as family and companion dogs. You can't imagine dog sports fields without them. Here they dash like lightning through tunnels and over hurdles in agility, inspire in obedience, flyball and many other sports, as well as in the herding trail. Lately one sees the small dogs often in use as therapy dogs.

A Miniature American Shepherd is easy to train and is well suited for novice dog owners. It is not a list dog.

What are typical characteristics of the Miniature American Shepherd?

  • sociable
  • active
  • intelligent
  • agile
  • affectionate
  • friendly
  • work-oriented

These little herding dogs are spirited bundles of energy, and there is nothing they detest more than boredom. If you want to take a Miniature American Shepherd into your family, you should plan long walks every day. Add to that playtime and training sessions, your little American needs mental challenges as much as physical activity. Thanks to his quick perception, it will master little tricks in no time. A Miniature American Shepherd is not a dog for cauchpotatoes, although it loves his cuddles on the sofa. It adapts to the living conditions in his family, and gets along well with children. It accepts other dogs or animals already living in the household.


What are typical diseases of the Miniature American Shepherd?

  • MDR1 defect
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Cataract
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Miniature American Shepherd breeding - where, how, what?

The Club für Australian Sheperd e.V. takes care of the breed in Germany and keeps the studbook.

It makes sure that the breeding standard is kept. Only healthy animals are admitted for breeding.

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It is similar in appearance to the Australian Shepherd, the only difference being the size. Colour strokes:

  • Black
  • Blue Merle
  • Red
  • Red Merle

The coat is of medium length, smooth, sometimes wavy, with dense undercoat. It is easy to groom, weekly brushing is sufficient for coat care.

How big does a Miniature American Shepherd grow?

Females grow to 33 to 43 cm, males 35.5 to 46 cm.

How much does a Miniature American Shepherd weigh?

The Aussie weighs up to 14 kg.

How old does a Miniature American Shepherd live to be?

The Mini Aussie becomes about 13 years old.

Fur length long
Fur wavy
Ear shape Triangle
Tail fanned out
Anatomy strong, sporty
Size ♀ 33 - 43 cm
Weight ♀ 10 - 13 kg
Size ♂ 35 - 46 cm
Weight ♂ 10 - 14 kg
Suitable For Beginner


  • MDR1 defect

    The MDR1 defect is a defect in the MDR1 gene that can occur in some breeds of dogs and in humans. This results in the deficient or absent synthesis of a certain protein which is an important component of the blood-brain barrier, leading to hypersensitivity to some drugs.

  • Cataract

    Cataracts are still one of the most common causes of blindness, even in dogs.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

    Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a slowly progressive death of the retina in dogs.

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)

    Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a hereditary disease of various breeds of dogs from the Collie family.

Sources and relevant links


Accessed on 20.05.2023

American Kennel Club

Accessed on 25.05.2023

Miniature American Shepherd Club of America, Inc.

Accessed on 25.05.2023

Thorsten Wunsch (2021). Mini Aussie und Miniature American Shepherd. Cadmos Verlag.

Other medium dogs

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