Archive for the 'Miniature Australian Shepherd' Category
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is not a cross between an Australian Shepherd and another breed, it was actually developed in the late1960′s, mid 1970′s by breeding the smallest of the Australian Shepherds. This constant breeding back to the smallest of the litters produced a consistently small breed that is even being further reduced in size to the dog toy variety. Although the Australian Shepherd originated in Australia as a herding and working dog, the Miniature Australian Shepherd was bred first in the United States.
This was largely in response to the dog owners desire for a well behaved herding type dog with the coat variations found in the Miniature Australian Shepherd that would be more suited to smaller living spaces and yards in cities. In many areas the Miniature Australian Shepherd is still used as a working breed in competitions, and many people feel that the term miniature is a bit misleading as the smaller dogs are only miniature in size to the standard, and are not petite and tiny like other “miniature” breeds.
This breed also favors all sorts of dog toys. We’ve found the kong dog toys seem to work best, as it can keep them entertained for hours.
Miniature Australian Shepherd
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is almost identical in appearance to the standard or full sized Australian Shepherd in everything but size. The Miniature Australian Shepherd is actually less than 18 inches tall (46 cm) at the withers when full grown, and there is also a smaller version of the breed known as a Toy Australian Shepherd which must be less than 14 inches or (36 cm) when fully grown. A still smaller variety known as the Tea Cup must be less than 12 pounds when fully grown.
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is an athletic dog that should appear solid and sturdy without appearing stocky. They have a medium length straight coat that can have a slight wave but never a curl. The coat is double with a somewhat thick and coarse outer coat covering a soft, downy inner coat. The outer coat is not coarse feeling but is rather smooth to the touch. The body is longer than the dog is tall at the shoulders, and the ribcage and chest is moderately developed. The topline is very straight from the withers to the hips. The legs are straight and the feet are slightly arched with the back legs having a well defined stifle that gives the dog its ready to jump into action appearance.
The neck is in proportion to the body and flows naturally into the powerful shoulders. The head is carried high and level when walking but often carried lower when working livestock. The muzzle is tapered and there is a well defined stop between the muzzle and the eyes. The eyes may be different colors including blue, brown, amber and flecked but are always slightly almond shaped and very clear and alert looking. The ears are carried high on the head and are full triangles with slightly rounded tips. The top one quarter to one half of the ear should fold forward and ears with no fold or ears that don’t stay erect are considered faults in show dogs.
The legs and lower body are covered with slightly longer hair known as furnishings. The Miniature Australian Shepherds are either born with a very short, stubby tail known as a natural bobtail, or the tail in docked when they are a few days old. In some countries docking is prohibited so the dogs may be seen with natural tails that are still shorter than other Collie breeds.
This particular breed of dog loves a great toy. Kong dog toys make great toys for them, and keeps them occupied most of the day.
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