Miniature Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Information

by Vivvy A
Miniature Australian Shepherd laying on grass

The Mini Australian Shepherd is a mini version of the Australian Shepherd dog. Despite their name, they do not come from Australia; they come from the United States.

This canine breed began as a line of Australian Shepherds bred for their smaller size, but ultimately they became their distinct breed (they are not toy-sized dogs).

Mini Australian Shepherd Characteristics Summary

Size15-18 inches
Weight39 pounds
Life span12-15 years
Shedding levelShed a lot, especially during the spring, to remove winter coat
ColorRed Merle, Blue Merle, Red tricolor and Black tricolor
CoatMedium-long wavy double skin coat – a soft, dense undercoat and a longer weather-resistant outer coat
Activity levelVery active and energetic. Requires daily walk, a lot of mental stimulation, and exercise to prevent behavioral problems.
IntelligenceVery intelligent
TemperamentVery Energetic, intelligent, hard-working, loyal, and eager to learn
Social BehaviorVery social and love to be around people, especially if trained at a young age

Miniature Australian Shepherds are classified as purebred, herding dogs just like their taller counterparts, i.e., Australian Shepherd. Their nickname is Aussie. These dogs were bred to tend livestock and assist with work around the farm.

Mini Aussies have a massive brain behind that adorable little face. These natural learners can be trained to perform all sorts of tasks, and they are up for learning any game that keeps their minds engaged.

Their pleasing personality comes from their genetic history as herders. Working is like a game to them, and they want to help their owners out as much as possible.

Pros and Cons of Mini Australian Shepherd


  • Great fitness partners.
  • Can be taught to perform all sorts of work.
  • Highly adaptable and trainable.
  • Obedient and intelligent temperament.
  • Very loyal and protective of their family.


  • Needs lots of grooming.
  • Not ideal for those who live alone.
  • High prey drive and chasing instinct.
  • Training can be very time-consuming.
  • It can be destructive and obnoxious if bored.

Mini Australian Shepherds Colors and Coat

Mini Aussies have a long, wavy double skin coat that comes in a variety of colors. They can be bi-colored, tri-colored, or mono-colored (just one color) with white accents.

They have broad shoulders and chests set upon muscular bodies, and their heads should be proportional to the size of their entire body. Their attentive eyes can be blue, brown, or even heterochromia.

Miniature Australian Shepherd laying on grass
Photo credit: madaise on Best Running / CC BY-ND

Their base color is brown or dark brown, with lighter colored spots or patches. Their chests and undersides are always bright white or plain white.

Mini Australian Shepherd Height and Weight

These dogs typically stand between 15 and 18 inches high. Females are usually an inch or two shorter than males.

Both genders have a weight range of 22-40 pounds, with females weighing slightly less than males. According to the official breed standard, a Miniature Australian full grown should be over 12-13 but under 20-22 inches in height. They must not be small enough to be mistaken as a toy breed.

Mini Australian Shepherd Exercise Requirements

This dog breed’s love of high exercise and long walks comes from its history of farmlands. You can take your Mini Australian Shepherd out for an hour-long hike or split it into two brisk 30-40 minute walks each day. They must be on their leash almost always as they may want to jump at people or chase other animals.

Miniature Australian puppy
Photo credit: madaise on Best Running / CC BY-ND

Each day they need an hour of walking plus 30-40 extra minutes of playtime a day. Jumping and Chasing are their favorite ways to play.

They love to help their owners and want to do the given daily tasks around the home. If you live on a farmhouse or keep livestock, you can find Mini Australian Shepherd, one of the best four-legged farmhands.

Mini Australian Shepherd Grooming and Shedding

These Mini Aussies shed a lot, especially during the spring and fall shedding seasons. You will need to brush your dog nearly every day and check their fur for fleas, dirt, and ticks.

Special combs and brushes can be used for controlling shedding, which reaches every layer of the coat. An excellent-toothed comb can pick out bugs or dirt that may be hiding in the fur.

Miniature Australian dog closeup
Photo credit: Saucy Salad on Best Running / CC BY

Your active Mini Australian Shepherd will likely wear their nails down naturally as they run. If your dog’s nails are curling, it’s time to trim them down.

Mini Australian Shepherd Training and care

Training these dogs is very easy because they want to please their owners. However, it will take a lot of time.

This is a team effort between you and your canine companion. Your Mini Aussies are smart enough to pick up on your attitude, and they will become discouraged if you are angry, distant, or irritable during training.

Your Mini Australian Shepherd must learn to respect you as their good friend and mentor. They need to know that you are rooting for them no matter what.

Two Miniature Australian puppies
Photo credit: madaise on Best Running / CC BY-ND

Your Mini Aussie will be very uneasy around strangers and should be socialized as early as possible. Getting them in dog obedience school or puppy daycare training will make them comfortable with other people and dogs.

Keep them working with small tasks to do throughout the day. These can be anything from finding hidden toys to carrying a bundle of sticks.

You can give the classic game of fetch a twist that Mini Australian Shepherd will love. When they bring the first toy back, switch it out for a different toy, and make them run a longer distance to fetch the next one. Make it enjoyable by do not let your dog know what comes next!

Mini Australian Shepherd Health Problems

Usually, the eyes of Mini Australian Shepherd are susceptible to a variety of disorders. Blindness and vision problems are widespread in this breed.

They can be born with iris colobomas, which are the result of a degenerated or underdeveloped iris. A colomba appears as a black mark on the iris and causes multiple degrees of vision impairment.

Mini Aussie puppies
Photo credit: madaise on Best Running / CC BY-ND

The Merle gene pair that leads to the attractive double coat pattern can also cause microphthalmia (an underdeveloped eye). This condition may occur in one or both eyes.

Some herding Mini Aussie carries a particular gene known as the MDR1 gene, making them susceptible to certain drugs that are not harmful or lethal to another dog in normal conditions. Still, it can kill them if tested positive for this gene.

Mini Australian Shepherd Diet and nutrition

A Miniature Australian Shepherd should do well on high-quality commercial/homemade dog food with your veterinary doctor’s supervision and approval.

A diet should be appropriate according to the dog’s age (young, adult, or elderly). Some dogs are at risk of being overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.

Treats can be a basic aid, but giving too many fatty treats can lead to obesity. Contact your Vet-Doc if you have any concerns about your dog’s diet or weight. Clean fresh water must be available at all times to your furry friends.

Miniature Australian young puppy
Photo credit: madaise on Best Running / CC BY-ND

While this is a very active breed, it is also a small one. You won’t need to give them as much as a standard-sized Australian Shepherd.

An adult Mini Aussie dog needs 2-3 cups of kibble a day, at 1 cup per meal. If you want to give them wet food, replace one of their kibble cups with one canned food.

Both wet and dry food should be made from raw, wholesome meat ingredients, with little to no additives or sweeteners. Meat should always make up most Mini Aussies’ diets, followed by natural sources of healthy fats. Carbs should only be given in small amounts.

How Much Does An Average Mini Australian Shepherd Cost?

At a breeder, you can expect to pay about 900-1000$ for a Miniature Australian puppy. The more sought-after coat colors (such as merle) will be higher priced.

Difference Between an Australian Shepherd and a Mini Australian Shepherd?

Australian Shepherds and Mini Australian Shepherds are incredibly similar breeds, and there are very few differences between the two breeds. The only difference is in their size. The Aussie Shepherd measures 18 to 23 inches tall and weighs between 40 and 65 pounds. The miniature Aussie is 14 to 18 inches tall and weighs a little less, between 20 and 40 pounds.

Other than that, Mini Aussie Shepherds and Australian Shepherds share the same personality and temperament. Many people get confused between the two breeds.

Is The Mini Australian Shepherd A Good Family Dog?

A Miniature Australian Shepherd’s undying loyalty makes it a fantastic family dog. They are better for families than they are for those who live alone.

These dogs love the rugged, rough, and tumble play that children get up to. Your puppy will do an excellent job of entertaining and tiring out your kids.

How Long Does A Mini Australian Shepherd Live?

Your Miniature Australian will be a 12-15 year commitment.

Where To Adopt or Buy A Mini Australian Shepherd

We recommend you rescue a Miniature Australian Shepherd before buying a puppy from a professional breeder. There are thousands of homeless dogs across the country, many of which are purebred and need homes. Adopting a Miniature Australian Shepherd can be life-changing, not only for the dog but also for the adopter/new pet parent.

Miniature Australian Shepherd in harness
Photo credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious on Best Running / CC BY-SA

Mini Australian Shepherd Summary

If you do not intend to buy an Australian Shepherd from a rescue shelter, it is safe to purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder. When working with a breeder, find out if the breeder you’re buying from does genetic testing of their animals and verify the puppy’s general health information.

You may have to look around to find a reputable, safe, and dependable breeder to purchase your Mini Australian Shepherd. Also, keep in mind the price of accessories for your dog, such as; food, chew toys, leash and dog sweaters, etc.

Miniature Australian puppies
Photo credit: madaise on Best Running / CC BY-ND

We wish you all the best on your journey to getting your new dog, and if you already have one, we hope that you’re are having an amazing experience.

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