Miniature American Shepherds (MAS) are dogs known for their versatility. The most significant feature of this dog breed is its beautiful medium-length coat that comes in various colors. The Miniature American Shepherd also has almond-shaped eyes, erect ears, and almond-shaped eyes.
This dog breed would be an excellent fit for any family regardless of whether you’re in an urban or rural area. They are also considered a smart dog breed, so training them wouldn’t be that hard. But if you’re having one, take note that they do need a lot of activities and work to do.
Miniature American Shepherd Statistics
|Dog Breed Group||Herding|
|Height||14-18 inches (male); 13-17 inches (female)|
Miniature American Shepherd Ratings
|Friendly with family|
|Friendly with kids|
|Friendly with strangers|
|Friendly with other dogs|
The Miniature American Shepherd is one of the newest dog breeds, recognized only by the American Kennel Club in 2015. They descended from the Australian Shepherds and were originally called Mini Aussies.
As the story goes, Californian people in the 1960s wanted to create smaller versions of the Australian Shepherds. So, they bred the Australian Shepherds to smaller, unregistered dogs that somehow resembled the dog breed. The goal was to create mini versions but, at the same time, retain the activity level and intelligence of the larger breed.
By 1980, the name of the breed was changed from Miniature Australian Shepherds to Miniature American Shepherds so that it won’t have any relation to the Australian Shepherds. At the same time, the standard was revised.
Now, even though they’re a new breed, the Miniature American Shepherd is considered the smartest dog breed. They are also versatile and loyal, which makes them great travel companions.
Miniature American Shepherds are generally good-natured, intelligent, and devoted. Because of this, they make excellent family dogs, even for those that have children. They also get along well with other pets and animals, especially those that are brought up with them.
Though they are amiable dogs, they can appear shy and timid around strangers. However, they are never aggressive. Instead, they will stay on high alert, which makes them excellent watchdogs too.
With his herding dog background, you can expect Miniature American Shepherds to be highly energetic and active. They need plenty of exercise. However, this is not something you should worry about. As they are a highly intelligent dog breed, they are straightforward to train.
You can also take them with you on your travel journeys because of their small size. They need a lot of love and attention, so make sure you give them that. Plus, he’s happier if you assign him with something to do or keep him entertained. He may become destructive when bored, so give him toys to keep him busy.
Just like any other dog, they need early socialization to retain their good temperaments. Get him accustomed to new sights, sounds, people, and animals so he won’t get surprised or startled.
Miniature American Shepherd Care Requirements
- Nutrition: You should feed Miniature American Shepherds with high-quality food at all times. Even if they’re a small breed, they need to have a well-balanced diet that would supply the daily energy they need. But, be careful with feeding them too much as they can quickly get overweight. Generally, the younger they are, the more meals they need in a day. When they reach six months to one year, you can give them ½ to 1 ½ cups of high-quality food daily, but divide it into two meals. Make sure that it contains a balance on proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fibers, vitamins, and minerals. If you’re going with commercial dog food, make sure it doesn’t contain artificial flavoring, fillers, and by-products. Watch out for corn and soy ingredients, as this may cause allergies. Try to know if there are food ingredients your dog is allergic to avoid skin irritation.
- Grooming: The Miniature American Shepherd has a medium-length double coat that sheds frequently. If you don’t want to have problems with loose hair scattered around your house, you should regularly brush them. You can brush your Mini’s hair once a week. But if it’s shedding season, it’s recommended to brush the hair daily. You can even make this part of your daily routine, as it’s also a great way to bond. It will not only make their hair healthy and silky, but it will also remove mats and tangles. Baths can be given occasionally if their activities don’t make them too dirty. But ears should be cleaned out regularly to avoid ear infection. As they are a highly active breed, it’s necessary to keep nails short. It’s painful for them to run or walk with long nails.
- Exercise: Miniature American Shepherds are highly active dogs, so regular but moderate exercise is a must. You can give them multiple walks in a day. But if you’re the sporty type, take him to a jog. If you have a fenced yard, you can let him off-leash to explore. Create some activities that will help stimulate their minds too. This is a highly intelligent breed, and some mental exercises will benefit them so much. You can also let them join some canine events such as obedience, agility, and tracking.
- Health: Miniature American Shepherds generally have a long lifespan, but they are still prone to some health issues, most of which are genetic health problems. Some health problems you need to watch out are hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, and congenital cataracts. It would be best if you also watched out for obesity and skin allergies. There are some screening tests that you can do for some diseases so you can rule them out. For some, however, you would need to do some careful observation and watch out for symptoms. You can also see the parents of your dog to trace if there are genetic health problems that you should be concerned about.
- Lifespan: The life expectancy of Miniature American Shepherds is 12-13 years.
Fun Facts About Miniature American Shepherds
- Miniature American Shepherds were bred in California in the 1960s.
- They were bred from Australian Shepherds and were once called “Mini Aussies.”
- They’re a relatively new breed recognized only in 2015.
- They come in four colors: black, blue merle, liver red, and red merle.
Check Out Other Herding Dog Breeds:
Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collies, Beaucerons, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Bergamasco Sheepdog, Berger Picards, Border Collie, Bouviers des Flandres, Briards, Canaan Dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Collie, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphund, German Shepard, Norwegian Buhunds, Old English Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Puli, Pumi, Pyrenean Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog, Spanish Water Dog, Swedish Vallhunds