The Miniature American Shepherd temperament and personality makes this breed a great choice for a pet, no matter where you live.
The Miniature American Shepherd is, as her name suggests a herding dog. In fact, she is actually just a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd.
The breed came about as a happy accident after a group of small, unregistered dogs came about that people assumed to be Australian Shepherds.
Miniature American Shepherd Temperament and Personality
The Miniature American Shepherd’s temperament allows her to feel just as comfortable on the farm as she does in the big city.
She’s a very intelligent dog, which helps her adapt well to whatever environment she's in.
Here are temperament traits you can expect to see in your Miniature American Shepherd
Because she has a lot of energy and loves a good challenge, activities that allow her to put both her mind and body to work are ideal for the Miniature American Shepherd.
Due to her higher energy level, you need to walk or jog your Miniature American Shepherd several times a day. So, if you love to walk or you’re an active runner, she will gladly be your companion on these trips.
However, if you don’t run, and a walk or two a day is all you can manage, the Miniature American Shepherd will adapt to your lifestyle just the same. This speaks to both her loyal and trainable temperament traits.
The Miniature American Shepherd is a gentle dog, which allows her to be just as comfortable with other dogs as she is with young children. She can also do well with cats, especially if you raise her together with them.
However, this is not the case for all Miniature American Shepherds. While some are gentle with cats, some enjoy chasing them very much. It all depends on the individual dog, though raising them together gives you the best possible shot at them getting along.
The Miniature American Shepherd enjoys a challenge. She loves when you give her a specific task to do because she loves both the feelings of accomplishing it and of making you happy when she does.
For this reason, training her can be both easy and fun. Give her a bunch of new tricks to learn, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly she picks up on things.
In fact, some Miniature American Shepherds pick up on potty-training in a matter of only days.
In fact, check this out: you know how you have to spell words around your kids once they get to the age where they know what you’re talking about? You might actually have to do that with the Miniature American Shepherd, too – that’s how smart she is!
Some may argue that the Miniature American Shepherd can act aloof with strangers. However, the earlier and more often you socialize her, the better she will be.
She may always act defensive, and that’s fine. You would prefer your dog not to welcome in every stranger she meets. But the better you socialize her, the more likely she is to drop her guard sooner rather than later and welcome your friends into her home after she meets them a few times.
Negative Miniature American Shepherd Temperament Traits
With or without you, the Miniature American Shepherd will look for ways to release her energy. Take it from me, you’d prefer she release her energy with you, rather than by digging up your flower bed or chewing on your shoes.
And speaking of problematic behavior, she will become a barker if you do not properly meet her needs. While you can train her on the proper times and places to use her bark appropriately, you can still prevent her from developing this negative trait by making sure she has as little time to feel bored as possible.
A Brief History of the Miniature American Shepherd Breed
Along with his Australian Shepherd cousin, the Miniature American Shepherd originated in California in the 1960s. Breeders developed the Miniature American Shepherd with the intention of making an Australian Shepherd in bite-sized form, and they were successful. There’s not much of a difference between the two dogs.
The only reason why the Miniature American Shepherd is not named the Miniature Australian Shepherd is because the Australian Shepherd Club of America, along with several breeders, opposed this new name for the breed.
How Do You Train a Miniature American Shepherd?
Because the Miniature American Shepherd is so intelligent, she is easier to train than some of the other breeds out there.
One of the most important things you should train her on first is how to deal with strangers, animals and humans alike. She can become withdrawn from those she doesn’t know, so socializing her early and often can help her overcome this.
Another thing you may need to break k her from is her inherent ability to herd. She enjoys herding so much that she may even attempt to herd small animals and children!
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Miniature American Shepherd dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
The Miniature American Shepherd Appearance
Miniature American Shepherd Colors
The Miniature American Shepherd comes in red or blue merle or red or black tricolor.
Miniature American Shepherd Size
- Weight – Both sexes weigh in at roughly 15 to 35 lbs.
- Height – Male Typically, a male adult Miniature American Shepherd is about 14 to 18 inches in height, while an adult female is between 13 and 17 inches tall.
How Do You Groom a Miniature American Shepherd?
The Miniature American Shepherd’s coat comes in a variety of colors, including red, blue merle, red merle, and black. You will need to brush her about once a week to keep her coat looking and feeling nice.
However, during shedding season you’re going to want to brush her every day – both to prevent her from accumulating a buildup of dead fur, and to stop the hair from spreading throughout the house.
It therefore probably goes without saying that no, the Miniature American Shepherd is not what some would consider a hypoallergenic dog.
Generally speaking, every dog that sheds as much as this one is bound to cause someone who is allergic to dogs to have a reaction.
Her nails grow quickly, so you’ll want to trim them often. If she’s outside a lot, you’ll also want to inspect her nails for dirt or insects to keep her from developing an infection.
Read more here about Do-It-Yourself Dog Grooming tips.
The Health of a Miniature American Shepherd
The health problems that plague the Miniature American Shepherd breed in particular include:
- Eye problems, like progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and other issues
- Multi-Drug Resistance Gene (MDR1) (congenital)
- Hip dysplasia
- Degenerative Myelopathy (or, in layman’s terms, a spinal cord disease that is, essentially, a canine version of Lou Gehrig’s disease)
The average lifespan of a Miniature American Shepherd is between 12 and 15 years. Be sure to give her the necessary vet checkups and care to preserve your best chance at enjoying each other's company for a long time.
Helpful Dog Health Resource:
Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely dog from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.
A Miniature American Shepherd is an active little thing. She’s an athletic dog, so you need to exercise her accordingly. However, for those off days when you just don’t feel like dragging yourself out the door, she’ll oblige. She is good at adapting to your typical daily lifestyle.
She can be either a great city dog or apartment dog, depending on whether you give her the right amount of exercise.
One thing’s for sure: she loves to be outside!
She’ll play anything you want to play outside, from fetch to agility activities.
Top Miniature American Shepherd Mixes
If you’re a sucker for a mixed breed, then you’ll be happy to know that there are a number of adorable Miniature American Shepherd mixes out there. Here are a select few:
- Austi-Pap (Papillon mix)
- Aussie Corgi (Pembroke Welch Corgi mix)
- Miniature Aussiedoodle (Miniature Poodle mix)
- Auss-Tzu (Shih Tzu mix)
- Shel-Aussie (Shetland Sheepdog mix)
Miniature American Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd
Breeders developed the Miniature American Shepherd to be a more family-friendly version of the Australian Shepherd.
What makes the Miniature American Shepherd so appealing is his ability to adapt to home life while still also being a fantastic farm dog.
Basically, the Miniature American Shepherd came about through breeders breeding the smaller Australian Shepherds to create a miniaturized version.
It is, therefore, no surprise that there’s really no difference in the temperaments of these two breeds. You simply purchase a Miniature American Shepherd if you want a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd – that’s all there is to it!
Finding the Perfect Miniature American Shepherd
If you’re interested in bringing a Miniature American Shepherd puppy into your home and family, read on.
You can find a Miniature American Shepherd for sale either from a Miniature American Shepherd breeder or through your local rescue or adoption organization.
The price of a Miniature American Shepherd sale varies greatly, depending on where you get him from.
How Much is a Miniature American Shepherd?
On average, the price of a Miniature American Shepherd ranges from $900 to $1,000. Though, keep in mind, this is if you buy the dog from a breeder. Adopting a dog is less expensive, but you also have to factor in things like food and vet appointments.
Miniature American Shepherd Breeders
As with any purebred, always make sure you do your homework before dropping thousands of dollars on what could be just any old breeder. Some breeders don’t breed dogs for quality, only for profit. You don’t want to support these breeders.
Further, some breeders do not test their puppies as required by law. Make sure you receive a certificate declaring the puppy’s health and any potential ailments she could incur before paying for the puppy and walking away.
With this breed in particular, be sure to ask about any other puppies in the breeder’s care, either presently or in the past, who may suffer or have suffered from a spinal cord disease. Legitimate breeders will have their puppies tested for this by the time their puppies reach a certain age.
You should also make sure you meet the parents of the puppy you are interested in adopting. This can clue you into the health of the puppy you will eventually be bringing home.
Miniature American Shepherd Adoption and Rescue
You should know that the Miniature American Shepherd is not an easy breed to find. You won’t always find this breed listed on any of the major adoption sites.
That said, you can use the webpage for the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA. However, this page functions as a sort of Craigslist for dogs, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll get matched up with a dog that is high-quality and healthy.
If you happen to get lucky with your local shelter, you should test the temperament of your Miniature American Shepherd before you settle on one.
A dog can be like a person in that she can act completely different one-on-one with you at home than she does out in public. It’s good to know both “versions” of the dog before settling on her and bringing her home.
A Final Word about the Miniature American Shepherd Temperament
The Miniature American Shepherd temperament makes her a loyal, intelligent, and energetic dog. She is the perfect companion for you if you love to talk frequent walks or daily jogs.
She’s a herder by nature, so you may have to train her out of herding smaller animals and young children.
She’s a whiz at training, though, so it shouldn’t take you too long to correct her of a bad habit. She loves to learn, and she loves to please her master.
She also adores a challenge.
The Miniature American Shepherd needs to be groomed with about the same frequency as any other breed with a similar coat. This includes daily brushings during shedding season.
Perhaps the best thing about this breed is her ability to adapt to any environment.
- City life? She’s on it.
- Living in the countryside? She’s fine with that, too.
The Miniature American Shepherd is an amenable dog which makes her the perfect choice as a family pet.
Kailyn has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2012, and during that time she has written about nearly every dog breed imaginable. Her mother loved Collies, and so Kailyn grew up with three of them throughout her childhood – including a blonde one who was half-blind! Now her home belongs to her first official dog, Macho, a Dogo Argentino rescue.