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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