AKC Registrable
AKC Registrable

Miniature American Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd resembles a small Australian Shepherd. True herders in spite of their compact size, Minis are bright, self-motivated workers and endearingly loyal and lively companion dogs who have an affinity for horses.

  • Size

Have a Question?
Contact Us
The Family Puppy-Novi - 248-305-7008
The Family Puppy-Flint - 810-733-8161
The Family Puppy-Troy - 248-588-9950
Share:

Available Pets

Puppy Knowledge

Breed Standard

General Appearance

The Miniature American Shepherd is a small size herding dog that originated in the United States. He is slightly longer than tall with bone that is moderate and in proportion to body size and height without extremes. Movement is smooth, easy, and balanced. Exceptional agility combined with strength and stamina allows for working over a variety of terrain. This highly versatile, energetic dog makes an excellent athlete with superior intelligence and a willingness to please those to whom he is devoted. He is both a loyal companion and a biddable worker, which is evident in his watchful expression. The double coat of medium length and coarseness may be solid in color or merled, with or without white and/or tan (copper) markings. He traditionally has a docked or natural bobtail.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size - Height for dogs is 14 inches up to and including 18 inches at the top of the withers. Height for bitches is 13 inches up to and including 17 inches at the top of withers. Disqualification - under 14 inches and over 18 inches for dogs; under 13 inches and over 17 inches for bitches. The minimum heights set forth in this breed standard shall not apply to dogs or bitches under six months of age. Proportion - Measuring from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks and from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the ground, he is slightly longer than tall. Substance - Solidly built with moderate bone in proportion to body height and size. Structure in the dog reflects masculinity without coarseness. Bitches appear feminine without being slight of bone.

Head

The head is clean-cut, dry, and in proportion to the body. Expression - Alert, attentive and intelligent. May express a reserved look and/or be watchful of strangers. Eyes - The eyes are set obliquely, almond shaped, neither protruding nor sunken and in proportion to the head. Acceptable in all coat colors, one or both eyes may be brown, blue, hazel, amber or any color combination thereof, including flecks and marbling. The eye rims of the reds and red merles have full red (liver) pigmentation. The eye rims of the blacks and blue merles have full black pigmentation. Ears - Are triangular, of moderate size, set high on the head. At full attention they break forward and over, or to the side as a rose ear. Severe Fault - Prick ears and ears that hang with no lift. Skull - The crown is flat to slightly round and may show a slight occipital protuberance. The width and the length of the crown are equal. Stop - The stop is moderate but defined. Muzzle - The muzzle is of medium width and depth and tapers gradually to a rounded tip without appearing heavy, square, snipy, or loose. Length is equal to the length of the crown. Planes - Viewed from the side, the muzzle and the top line of the crown are slightly oblique to each other, with the front of the crown on a slight angle downward toward the nose. Nose - Red merles and reds have red (liver) pigmentation on the nose leather. Blue merles and blacks have black pigmentation on the nose leather. Fully pigmented noses are preferred. Noses that are less than fully pigmented will be faulted. Severe Fault – 25 to 50 percent un-pigmented nose leather. Disqualification - Over 50 percent un-pigmented nose leather. Bite - A full complement of teeth meet in a scissor bite. Teeth broken, missing or discolored by accident are not penalized. Disqualification - Undershot or overshot bite.

Neck, Topline, Body

The overall structure gives an impression of depth and strength without bulkiness. Neck - The neck is firm, clean, and in proportion to the body. It is of medium length and slightly arched at the crest, fitting well into the shoulders. Topline - The back is firm and level from the withers to the hip joint when standing or moving. Loin - The loin is strong and broad when viewed from the top. Croup - The croup is moderately sloped. Body - The body is firm and well conditioned. Chest and Ribs - The chest is full and deep, reaching to the elbow, with well sprung ribs. Underline - The underline shows a moderate tuck-up. Tail - A docked or natural bobtail is preferred. A docked tail is straight, not to exceed three (3) inches. The undocked tail when at rest may hang in a slight curve. When excited or in motion the tail may be carried raised with the curve accentuated.

Forequarters

The forequarters are well conditioned and balanced with the hindquarters. Shoulders - Shoulder blades (scapula) are long, flat, fairly close set at the withers, and well laid back. Upper arm - The upper arm (humerus) is equal in length to the shoulder blade and meets the shoulder blade at an approximate right angle. The forelegs drop straight and perpendicular to the ground. Elbow - The elbow joint is equidistant from the ground to the withers. Viewed from the side, the elbow should be directly under the withers. The elbows should be close to the ribs without looseness. Legs - The legs are straight and strong. The bone is oval rather than round. Pasterns - Short, thick and strong, but still flexible, showing a slight angle when viewed from the side. Feet - Oval shaped, compact, with close-knit, well-arched toes. Pads are thick and resilient; nails are short and strong. The nails may be any color combination. Dewclaws should be removed.

Hindquarters

Width of hindquarters is approximately equal to the width of the forequarters at the shoulders. Angulation - The angulation of the pelvis and upper thigh (femur) mirrors the angulation of the shoulder blade and upper arm, forming an approximate right angle. Stifle - Stifles are clearly defined. Hock - The hocks are short, perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other when viewed from the rear. Feet - Feet are oval, compact, with close knit, well arched toes. Pads are thick and resilient; nails are short and strong. The nails may be any color combination. Rear dewclaws should be removed.

Coat

Moderation is the overall impression of the coat. Hair is of medium texture, straight to wavy, weather resistant, and of medium length. The undercoat varies in quantity with variations in climate. Hair is short and smooth on the head and front of the legs. The backs of forelegs and breeches are moderately feathered. There is a moderate mane and frill, more pronounced in dogs than in bitches. Hair may be trimmed on the ears, feet, back of hocks, pasterns, and tail, otherwise he is to be shown in a natural coat. Untrimmed whiskers are preferred. Severe Fault - Non-typical coats.

Color

The coloring offers variety and individuality. With no order of preference, the recognized colors are black, blue merle, red (liver) and red merle. The merle will exhibit in any amount, marbling, flecks or blotches. Undercoats may be somewhat lighter in color than the topcoat. Asymmetrical markings are not to be faulted. Tan Markings: Tan markings are not required but when present are acceptable in any or all of the following areas: around the eyes, on the feet, legs, chest, muzzle, underside of neck, face, underside of ear, underline of body, under the base of the tail and the breeches. Tan markings vary in shades from creamy beige to dark rust, with no preference. Blending with the base color or merle pattern may be present on the face, legs, feet, and breeches. White Markings: White markings are not required but when present do not dominate. Ticking may be present in white markings. White on the head does not predominate, and the eyes are fully surrounded by color and pigment. Red merles and reds have red (liver) pigmentation on the eye rims. Blue merles and blacks have black pigmentation on the eye rims. Ears fully covered by color are preferred. Severe Fault - White markings covering over 25 percent of an ear. White markings may be in any combination and are restricted to: the muzzle, cheeks, crown, blaze on head, the neck in a partial or full collar, chest, belly, front legs, hind legs up the hock and may extend in a thin outline of the stifle. A small amount of white extending from the underline may be visible from the side, not to exceed one inch above the elbow. The hairline of a white collar does not exceed the withers at the skin. If a natural undocked tail is present, the tip of the tail may have white. Disqualifications - Other than recognized colors. White body splashes, which means any conspicuous, isolated spot or patch of white on the area between withers and tail, on back, or sides between elbows and back of hindquarters.

Gait

Smooth, free, and easy; exhibiting agility of movement with a well-balanced, groundcovering stride. Fore and hind legs move straight and parallel with the center line of the body; as speed increases, the feet, both front and rear, converge toward the center line of gravity of the dog, while the back remains firm and level. When traveling at a trot the head is carried in a natural position with neck extended forward and head nearly level or slightly above the topline. He must be agile and able to turn direction or alter gait instantly.

Temperament

Good-Natured, Intelligent, Devoted

Disqualifications

Under 14 inches and over 18 inches for dogs; under 13 inches and over 17 inches for bitches. The minimum heights set forth in this breed standard shall not apply to dogs or bitches under six months of age. Over 50 percent un-pigmented nose leather. Undershot or overshot bite. Other than recognized colors. White body splashes, which means any conspicuous, isolated spot or patch of white on the area between withers and tail, on back, or sides between elbows and back of hindquarters.

Overview

Group

Herding

About

The Miniature American Shepherd shares many physical traits with its forebear the Australian Shepherd—only on a smaller scale. Females stand between 13 and 17 inches at the shoulder; males range from 14 to 18 inches. Despite their size, Minis are every inch a true herding dog: energetic, versatile, rugged, and extremely bright. The eye-catching coat comes in black, blue merle, red, and red merle. (The merle will exhibit in any amount marbling, flecks, or blotches.) Minis move with the smooth and agile step of a dog built for hard work on punishing terrain.

History

In the 1960s, small-size Australian Shepherds found working the U.S. rodeo circuit were selectively bred to further reduce their size. The new breed was originally called the Miniature Australian Shepherd. “They became especially popular with equestrians traveling to horse shows, as their intelligence, loyalty, and size made them an excellent travel companion,” the experts at the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA say. “In this way their popularity spread across the country.”

Standard

The Miniature American Shepherd is a small size herding dog that originated in the United States. He is slightly longer than tall with bone that is moderate and in proportion to body size and height without extremes. Movement is smooth, easy, and balanced. Exceptional agility combined with strength and stamina allows for working over a variety of terrain. This highly versatile, energetic dog makes an excellent athlete with superior intelligence and a willingness to please those to whom he is devoted. He is both a loyal companion and a biddable worker, which is evident in his watchful expression. The double coat of medium length and coarseness may be solid in color or merled, with or without white and/or tan (copper) markings. He traditionally has a docked or natural bobtail.

Nutrition

The Miniature American Shepherd should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Grooming

The Miniature American Shepherd has a double coat, with a longer outer coat and a wooly undercoat. The breed sheds a fair amount, even more so during shedding season, which can occur once or twice a year. Weekly brushing—daily during shedding season—will help to remove dirt and loose hairs and keep the dog looking his best. Mats or tangles can be worked out with a slicker brush or metal comb. As with all breeds, the nails should be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause the dog discomfort.

Exercise

Miniature American Shepherds are active and athletic, and they need a moderate amount of exercise but are also very adaptable to their family’s way of life. They do well as city dogs as long as owners provide sufficient exercise. They enjoy outings with their people that will occupy both their mind and body. They enjoy and excel in many canine events, including obedience, agility, and tracking.

Training

As with all breeds, early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended and help to ensure that the dog grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. Intelligent and willing to please, the Miniature American Shepherd is highly trainable and will reach his best potential as a companion when taught at least basic obedience.

Health

Miniature American Shepherds are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders test their stock for health conditions, communicating with other dedicated breeders to work together for breed health and preservation of the breed’s unique qualities. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.