Want to know more about your Mini Aussie dog, or thinking of buying one and may train into s service dog? Here is all of the information you need to know.
These breeds aren’t actually from Australia. The original Australian Shepherd breed came from an area called the Basque, which is around France and Spain. These dogs were commonly used to herd sheep back in the day. The shepherds that owned the dogs were usually Australian, giving them the name ‘Australian Shepherds’.
In the US, specialist breeders bred these dogs to make them smaller in the 1960s. These compact-sized dogs became what we know as today, the Miniature Australian Shepherds.
About Miniature Australian Shepherds
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is much like the average Australian Shepherd. They have the same mainly physical traits, they are just a smaller package. They are highly intelligent, versatile, and energetic dogs. These beautiful dogs have an average size of 13 to 17 inches in females (at the shoulder) and around 14 to 18 inches for a male. They can come in a range of different colors; Red merle, blue merle, black tricolor, red tricolor.
They weigh around 40 to 60 pounds and have a lifespan of 12-15 years.
These dogs make excellent pets, but mainly only for active families. They can be trained for any type of work as they love having a job to do. This makes them great Service Dog. they can also be excellent fitness partners. They need about 30-60 minutes of physical activity daily, which may be a problem for some families. They are very energetic, therefore they must be able to burn off that energy with exercise. If they don’t, they may become grumpy and noisy. If you aren’t able to train or exercise them daily, they may not be the right dog for you.
These pups love a job to do, as they are part of the herding dog breed group. They have been bred to herd sheep for many years, so it is in them naturally to want a job to do. You should train these dogs to do chores around the house. It could be as simple as getting dirty laundry for you or even bringing you a snack from a low cabinet. They love to please, so this will be great for them.
They are very protective of their owners and family too. If they sense any suspicion of danger, they will bark, a lot! Keep this in mind at night time, especially if young kids are asleep. You can train them not to do so, it may take time but it's possible.
If you have kids, you may notice your Mini Aussie cold start trying to ‘herd’ them like sheep! This is quite common with the breed. Even though it can be funny at times, it could also be harmful. They may nip or bite the kids, or knock them over. They don't mean any harm, it is just in their blood to herd. Thankfully, they can be trained out of this also.
Are Mini Aussies Suitable For All Families?
Even though they make great family dogs, some factors still may not be suitable for some people. For example, these dogs need to be groomed quite regularly due to their double-layered coat. They should be groomed at least once a week to remove dead hair and debris.
Since they are a herding breed, they have a high chasing instinct, like chasing after other dogs or small animals like birds.
Because they need so much physical activity, it’s ideal to have a yard to play in for entertainment. Therefore, they may not be suitable for apartment life if there is no yard. Although, if you are taking it for enough walks and making sure they get enough exercise, their size and weight can make them the perfect apartment dog.
If you work a lot and do not have enough time to train your Aussie in some jobs to do, they may become pushy and irritable. For example, they could get so grumpy that they bark a lot or even destroy your furniture! So as the owner, it is your responsibility to keep them busy.
They are much better for families than they are for people who live alone, as they love having company and people to play with. Therefore, if the owner has worked and the dog is left alone, it can make them sad and needy. They also may not have time to exercise their Aussie every day, as they do require a good bit of work.
Caring for Your Miniature Australian Shepherd
Here is a recap on key things you should know when caring for your high-maintenance Miniature Australian Shepherd.
• They need at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily, and a job to do to be entertained at all times. They love going for walks or even hikes but should be kept on a leash as they have high chasing instincts.
• These dogs shed a lot, so they need to be groomed regularly. Brush your Mini Aussie every day. You can buy special brushes for their double-layered coat to make this job easier and more effective.
• These won’t need to be fed as much as a normal Australian Shepherd as they are a smaller dog. Their meals should be made up of main meat, just like any dog, and split into 2 meals per day. Ideally, your dog should be getting around 2 cups of dry food which will be split into 1 cup per meal. If your dog likes wet food, replace the one cup with one can.
How Much Does a Miniature Australian Shepherd Cost?
The average price of these dogs ranges from around $800 to $1500 USD. Mini Aussies with top breed lines however can cost from $2,500 up to as much as $10,000!
Training A Miniature Australian Shepherd
These dogs are amazing to train as they love doing jobs for their owners and also love having a job to do in general. To make training easier for you both, you should socialize your puppy from a young age with strangers and other dogs to get them used to the public. This will prevent them from becoming either startled or overexcited in the future.
They should be trained every day, but always keep training sessions short and fun, never long and boring, as this will cause your dog to not like the training.
Give them a small task to do every day to keep them entertained, they will love this as they are a very hardworking dog breed.