The Miniature Australian Shepherd was developed in California in 1968. The original breeders were horse enthusiasts who wanted a small breed dog derived from an Australian Shepherd. At 13-14 inches tall and weighing in at 20-40 lbs., these dogs are almost exact replicas of their larger ancestors.
Miniature Aussies share many of the great qualities that we know and love in full-sized Australian Shepherds. They are highly intelligent, learn quickly and love having a job to do. Mini Aussies do not do quite as well at herding, due to their smaller stature, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to herd their family members around the house!
Mini Aussies tend towards the shy side, so early socialization is key to making sure that they are comfortable in many situations and around non-family members. This breed excels at agility, flyball, and obedience and are happiest when they are kept busy (both mentally and physically). Grooming is easy — a bath when they are dirty and an occasional brushing keeps their medium length fur in check.
Despite their smarts, Mini Aussies are still prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Mini Aussies are prone to include genetic abnormalities including multi-drug resistance gene (MDR1); eye conditions such as cataracts, persistent pupillary membrane and progressive retinal atrophy; and knee problems such as luxating patellas.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Mini Aussie inherits his mom’s bad eyes or his dad’s weak knees, you’re covered.