Australian Shepherds are loyal, intelligent, and active dogs that make great family dogs as well as herding dogs.
When comparing Mini Australian Shepherd vs Standard Australian Shepherd, most people think that the Mini Aussie is the smaller version of the Australian Shepherd. Both dogs are similar in appearance, but each has its breed standards and characteristics.
The Mini Aussie resulted from the deliberate breeding of smaller Australian Shepherds. This article will give you more information about Miniature Australian Shepherd vs Standard Australian Shepherd by looking into their history, appearance, training, health issues, and temperament.
Mini Australian Shepherd vs Standard: History
Mini Australian Shepherd
The Mini Australian Shepherd was developed in the state of California in the 1960s. The breeders were mass breeding small and unregistered dogs that were confused with the Australian Shepherd.
The goal of breeding this breed was to keep them small while retaining the active character and genetic intelligence of the Australian Shepherd.
In 1983, this breed was named Miniature Australian Shepherd and registered by the National Stock Dog Registry. But today, the breed is popularly known as Mini American Shepherd.
In the 1990s, this breed became popular nationwide and was promoted by most clubs. The Mini Aussie was listed among the rare breeds and registered by most dog clubs, making them more desirable.
In the past, Mini Aussies were used for herding smaller stocks such as sheep and goats. Their small size, loyalty, and intelligence made them a favorite for most pet owners, as they could be kept as household pets.
Also, the Mini Aussie has been listed in the herding group of the American Kennel Club.
Standard Australian Shepherd
The Standard Australian Shepherd originated from Spain and was used by the Basque shepherds as working dogs, but they were developed mainly in the United States.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the shepherds who migrated to Australia took the Aussies with them. They were then taken to America and given the name Australian Shepherd.
However, other people believe that European immigrants took the Australian Shepherd to the United States. The ancestry of this breed is a mystery, but the dogs taken from Spain to Australia were bred with Australian working dogs.
This breed earned a reputation because of their devotion and high intelligence in the work environment.
In the mid-1980s, the Australian Shepherd was imported to the UK by Mr. and Mrs. Jueckstock and has become popular as family pets, working, and companion dogs.
In recent years, they have been trained as rescue dogs, guide dogs for blind searches, and helpers for disabled people.
Most Aussies are also used as therapy dogs in hospitals and nursing homes, which shows how intelligent and versatile this breed is.
Mini Australian Shepherd vs Standard: Appearance & Size
Mini Australian Shepherd Dog Breed
Generally, the height of a full-size male Mini Australian Shepherd is between 14 and 18 inches, while that of their female counterparts is between 13 and 17 inches. The weight of this breed at full size ranges from 20 to 40 pounds, depending on their diet and age.
The coat of the Mini Aussie is medium length and is decked with a variety of colors that come in blue, red merle, red, black tricolor, or complete tan coat color plus white markings. They tend to have a coarse double coat that requires brushing an average of twice weekly.
However, due to the Mini Aussies double coat, they tend to only shed frequently during their shedding season. The Mini Aussies shedding season happened twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. If the hair around the ears and eyes is white, they are not considered Mini Aussies.
The hair can be slightly wavy or straight, with a bit of feathering towards the back half of the legs. The hair in the head, forelegs, and outside the ears is a bit shorter compared to the entire coat. The length of the forequarters is like that of the hindquarters.
The skull’s top section is flat with a clean cut. The feet are oval and compact, and the lips do not hang over the lower jaw.
Standard Australian Shepherd Dog Breed
On average, the height of female Standard Australian Shepherd is between 18 and 20 inches while that of their male counterparts is 20 to 22 inches. The weight of a female Aussie is between 30 to 44 pounds, while male Aussies weigh between 50 and 64 pounds.
The Standard Aussie is a nicely balanced and well-proportioned dog that is slightly longer than they are tall. They are muscular and medium-sized with an alert and keen look.
There is a clear difference between the male and female Aussie, and both have defined physical traits.
Their head is well-proportioned with their body and is slightly rounded and clean-cut. Their eyes are amber, brown, or blue with marbling or flecks in them, depending on the color of the dog’s coat and are almond-shaped.
The ears are set high on the head and triangular with rounded tips. They have a strong jawline, and their upper teeth overlap neatly with their lower teeth.
Their neck is moderately long, and their body is muscular and strong with a deep chest and level topline.
The shoulder blades are long and flat, and their legs are strong and straight. Their feet are compact and oval with well-padded pads and arched toes. Their tail has slight feathering and is medium in length.
Their coat colors include black tri, red tri, blue merle, or red merle.
Mini Aussie vs Aussie: Temperament
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is an active and friendly dog that loves playing. They are affectionate and loyal and get along well with active families and children. They are somewhat protective and attentive but aim to please their owners.
The Mini Aussie Shepherd has plenty of physical and mental energy, so they need a lot of mental stimulation and daily exercise to prevent them from any behavior that can be problematic.
Most people forget that they have the same drive and needs as their bigger shepherd cousins because of their compact size.
If you want your Mini Aussie to stay well-behaved and happy, do not ignore their activity requirements. Engage their minds with interactive playtimes and puzzle toys while providing plenty of exercises to ensure that your Mini Australian Shepherd puppy lives happy and long.
They love to spend time socializing with their family, so they can develop separation anxiety if left alone for longer periods.
Generally, the Miniature Aussie is not aggressive with people but tends to be apprehensive around strangers. Therefore, you should socialize them as young as possible.
Since the Australian Shepherd was bred to work, their instinct and intelligence to protect and guard is strong even in a home environment.
They have high amounts of stamina and energy, meaning that this breed is not for you if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. However, this is the perfect breed for you if you spend most of your time outdoors.
Since they are high-energy dogs, Aussies need to stay busy; otherwise, boredom can make them develop serious behavioral issues. They are known for their attentive and loyal nature and are highly prized as a herding dog and working dog.
They have even and calm dispositions and can be reserved when meeting new people. Typically, it takes time for them to get used to strangers.
Aussies can be demanding as they do not like being left alone. Once they form a bond with you, they will follow you everywhere.
Aussies are extremely territorial and protect everything in their environment, which can get out of hand if they are not trained properly.
Miniature Australian Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd: Training & Exercise
Mini Australian Shepherd Dog Breed
Mini Australian Shepherds require at least one hour of exercise daily because of their energetic nature, which can be a combination of long walks and outdoor playtime. You can split the exercise into two sessions, 30 minutes brisk walk in the morning and another in the evening.
Mini Australian Shepherd puppies benefit from early obedience training because they strive to please their owners. However, it can take a lot of time to train them to perfection.
You should start training your puppy when they are young, and it should be a team-building effort between you and them. They will be discouraged if they notice you seem distant, angry, or irritable during the sessions.
Training Mini Aussie on agility, herding, and flyball will help them use their extra energy.
To help them learn easily and fast, praise and reward them with treats and good words of affirmation. You also need to be a mentor and friend to them so that they know you will support them.
Standard Australian Shepherd Dog Breed
Being high-energy dogs, Aussies need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them busy and happy. Aussies are happy when given something to do; if left alone for a period, they can develop destructive behavior.
Australian Shepherds are known for their herding abilities, so they excel in sporting activities such as flyball and competitive obedience agility.
Once you take your Aussie home, it is important that you train them on and lay down the ground rules, and because they are intelligent dogs, they will easily understand what acceptable behavior is and what is not.
The first commands you can teach them can include sit, come, heel, stay, leave it, quiet, bed, and down.
When Aussies are not given the right amount of exercise, they can develop nervous characteristics, making some dogs unstable.
Mini Aussie vs Breed Standard: Grooming
Both the Mini Aussie and Standard dog breeds have a double coat. This means they have smooth fur on the top, known as guard hairs, and fluffy fur underneath that separate from their skin, making a small air pocket to provide warmth.
Both dog breeds need to be brushed at least once weekly so their undercoats don’t become matted. They also shed, and brushing regularly this way helps promote new growth.
Mini Aussie vs Standard Health Problems
Mini Australian Shepherd
The Mini Australian Shepherd is a small dog that can have a good and long life depending on how they are groomed and taken care of. Their life also depends on any underlying health ailments and nutrition diet.
This breed is known to have detrimental genetic issues as well as different variations of chronic diseases.
The common health conditions that affect Mini Aussies include hereditary cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, iris coloboma, microphthalmia, degenerative myelopathy, multi-drug resistance gene, and hip dysplasia.
Generally, Mini Aussies are healthy and do not retain genetic disorders in their parents when bred by responsible breeders. Therefore, you should find a Mini Aussie from a reputable breeder.
Regular visits to the vet and vaccinations will ensure that your Mini Aussie is always happy and healthy. Mini Aussies are also prone to various eye disorders, such as blindness and vision issues.
Standard Australian Shepherd
Like other breeds, Australian Shepherds suffer from genetic health conditions that are worth knowing if you have decided to get one of these highly intelligent dogs.
The common health issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Collie Eye Anomaly, detached retina, Pelger Huet Anomaly, epilepsy, distichiasis, and cancer.
Aussies are also prone to allergies which can be triggered by airborne pollens, certain foods, dust mites, flea and tick bites, the environment, and chemicals in cleaning products.
Aussies can gain weight after being neutered or spayed; therefore, monitor the amount of exercise and daily caloric intake to ensure that they maintain a healthy weight.
Mini Aussie vs Standard Aussie Nutritional Needs
Determining what and how much dog food to give your Aussie comes down to your dog’s age. An Aussie puppy, for example, is at a much higher risk of developing a debilitating hip disease. This risk increases if they are fed a diet with too much calcium.
For this reason, it is so important to find a dog food specifically designed for your dog’s current nutritional life stage.
A senior Aussie requires more protein and fewer calories than a younger dog. Overall, you want your Aussie to have a balanced diet with the appropriate calcium and nutrients for a medium to large breed dog.
Mini Aussie vs Standard Aussie Cost
The cost of a Mini Aussie is between $1200 and $1500, while the cost of getting a Standard Aussie is between $500 and $900. The price of both dogs varies depending on the pedigree, bloodline, breeder’s reputation, location, and health of the puppies.
Are Australian Shepherds High Maintenance?
Absolutely. The Australian Shepherd is the perfect example of a high maintenance dog. While they make great companions, the health problems they often experience and the amount of shedding they do make them a more difficult dog breed to own and care for.
They are also super energetic and require a good amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. If you aren’t ready for this much responsibility, you will want to choose another dog breed.
Mini Australian Shepherds have all the needs and qualities of Standard Australian Shepherds. Before deciding which dog to get, you need to know their similarities and differences to ensure that you make the right choice for your lifestyle.
Mini Aussies have less volume of fur, require less space, and are more comfortable in an indoor crowded or small space.
On the other hand, Standard Aussies need more space and enjoy spending most of their time outdoors. They are great working dogs and perfect for herding large livestock.
However, both dogs require the same training and physical activity to ensure that they stay occupied. They are great pets to add to your family
Do your research before buying any dogs to ensure that you get a healthy one from a reputable breeder. Visiting your vet regularly will ensure your dog stays healthy and lives longer.
Mini Australian Shepherd vs Standard Australian Shepherd FAQ
Are Mini Aussies Or Standard Aussies Good Family Dogs?
Both dogs are friendly, loving, and loyal and create strong bonds with their owners and families. However, a Mini Aussie is better if you have a smaller backyard or house.
But if you have a bigger space and love doing activities with your dog, then the Standard Australian Shepherd is a good option for you.
Does The Australian Shepherd Make A Good House Dog?
Yes. The breed standard and Mini Aussies make good house dogs but are also very outdoorsy and love being outside. A medium to large home is ideal for this dog breed, but they can do well in a smaller home as long as they have ample outdoor time.
Which Breed Is More Intelligent?
Both the Mini Aussie and Standard Aussie are intelligent dogs. Since they were bred as working dogs, they need to understand what they are told to do and be able to make decisions about herding animals.
As a result, they need lots of mental stimulation; otherwise, they will become destructive and unhappy. Challenge them with activities such as treat puzzles, herding games, and advanced training.
Which Breed Has A Longer Lifespan?
The Standard Australian Shepherd lives longer than the Mini Australian Shepherd. The lifespan of an Aussie is between 13 and 15 years, while a Mini Aussie’s is between 12 and 13 years. Both dogs can live longer when given healthy and balanced meals and adequate physical activity.
What Is The Miniature Australian Shepherd Club Of America?
The Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of America (MASCA) is the oldest registry for the Mini Australian Shepherd. It was established in 1996. They work with owners and breeders to help promote sound breeding and the welfare of the recognition of the Mini Aussie. They have many partners and club members throughout the world.