Mini-Aussie Ideal Weight

by Tina C

I have a 3 year old female Miniature Aussie and she currently weighs 30 pounds. She gets moderate exercise (2 mile brisk walk each morning; chasing rabbits, birds, etc around a 1 acre yard). We feed her 150 grams of Science Diet Lite dog food per day (three even feedings), just reduced from 175 gms at the recommendation of her vet, who says she is obese, and wants her to lose about 10 pounds over 10 months. Since we've owned only standard Aussies previously, I don't know what an ideal weight should be. Vet checked thyroid, no issues. Her weight gain has been steady over her three years, nothing sudden, and seems to have leveled off. Her mom and dad were both well below 30 pounds. Any thoughts?

Comments for Mini-Aussie Ideal Weight

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Mini Aussie Weight
by: Colin


Possibly it's the food your dog is getting. I know I had one of my Aussie's on a diet dog food that's kinda expensive. Because of budget reasons we changed her food to another less expensive "diet" dog food and she blew up like a balloon. Possibly it's just the dog food you're feeding her. I'm not saying that you're feeding your dog "cheap" dog food... but maybe you might want to investigate other foods too. Anyway... it' s just a thought :)

Hungry Aussies
by: Kathy

Our Aussie loves to eat, and gains weight very easily. If she was allowed to free feed she would balloon. Her ideal weight is about 40lbs, and to maintain that she is fed about 2 cups of light, very high quality food a day, divided into 2 servings.

The poor thing always acts like she is starving, but this dietary restriction is necessary to keep her weight under control.

Exercise is important, but I think regulating food intake is key to weight management.


Mini Aussie Ideal Weight
by: Nonnie

We have a 2-1/2 year old mini Aussie who weighs 30 lbs. Her vet thinks she is at an ideal weight. She is about 16" at the withers and is extremely active. She runs in our backyard as much as I will allow her. We live in Texas so as long as it is not too hot, she is allowed to go in and out as she pleases. We also play games with her - toss the rope, or anything else that we can throw gently inside. She loves it and will play as long as we will throw it.

Our toy Aussie is 21 lbs, down from 25. She is only 13" tall . She is totally food aggressive and we have to watch her all the time. We have cut her serving size down per her vet. That is when she lost the huge four lbs !!! She is a watcher and to a participator in the activities that go on.

Mini Aussie weight
by: Tina C

Nonnie - Thank you for your input. Our mini is also about 16 inches at her withers, so seems very similar to yours in size and weight. We're walking ours 2 miles a day (Mon-Fri), and Mia has access to our 1 acre yard as much as she wants, so gets lots of additional exercise. I'm going to stay on her 150 gms of food a day (fed over three meals)and weigh her in a few days, after she's been on the reduced amount for a month. I may reduce it a little further, to about 125 gms (about 1-1/4 cups)and see how she responds. Thanks again!

Ideal Weight
by: Nonnie

We feed our dogs (all four) Blue Buffalo. Not the Wilderness. The one that comes in the plain colored bags, grain free, chicken, weight management. Our vet said the feeding amounts on the bag are for working (herding) dogs. We feed our mini 1 c in the morning and 1/2 in the evening. That way she gets the most calories for the day when she is active and not at night when she is sleeping. Our 13" toy only gets 1/3 c in the morning and 1/4 at night.

Mini Aussie Diet
by: Anonymous

Several years ago my vet said that my mini Aussie was overweight at 30 pounds. I found that by changing his food to a high protein, grain-free one did the trick over the course of a year. I feed him 1/2 cup in the a.m. and 1/2 cup in the p.m. I also limit his treats throughout the day. He is doing very well at 23-24 lbs. His coat is spectacular—no doubt from a very high quality, albeit expensive, food. But I feel that the old adage, "you are what you eat" applies to dogs, too.
I also agree with some of the other contributors who've mentioned the possibility of bloating with some of the lesser quality foods that have a number of fillers in them. So my advice is try a better food and limit the amounts, but do it gradually.

Weight reduction is working
by: TinaC

Thanks to all who commented on my question about the proper weight for a Mini. I reduced Mia's daily food portion to 100 gms per day, split evenly among three feedings, and she's now at 25 pounds. The vet was very pleased, and Mia is still a high-energy beauty with a great coat and all the other marks of good nutrition. Yes, she still acts like she's "starving" and complains when her feeding clock isn't met immediately, but we're happy she's at a better weight.

mini aussie ideal weight
by: Dona

About Mia- would you mind recommending the brand of food that you used to having her lose the added weight?? And congrats!! I have a 16 month old that weighed in at 37.7 --I need to do something to help him! He has over an acre of yard to exercise and play in and does a lot of chasing rabbits and the 3 rottweilers as well.

Weight maintenance tips
by: Tina C

Happy to report that Mia is now at 19 pounds, and per vet, at a perfect weight! It took us over a year to safely achieve the weight reduction, but she is very healthy, great coat, clear eyes, no digestive issues. We feed her a measured 120 grams (about 1-1/4 cup) of Science Diet Lite, rationed over three meals a day. Supplemented with a small handful of diced raw carrots for lunch and dinner, which seems to satisfy her appetite. The vet also suggested green beans or any low-sugar vegetable. We also use the carrots as an occasional treat, instead of what can be high calorie "cookie" treats. We get as much walking in as possible, but she still has access to our acre yard and the birds and rabbits to chase.

toy aussie weight
by: PatriciaG

Reading all comments about weight loss. My Ruger is a toy aussie about 12" high at the withers. He ballooned after getting neutered. Right now he is 5 yrs old and weighs 26 lb. The vet put him on IAMS prescription, but after 3 months he had only lost 1 lb, and did not like the food. I put him back on "Chicken Soup Weight Management", and he gets 1/3 cup twice a day, with 1 tblsp of IAMS wet chicken. I read that MIA lost her weight with the Science Diet. I am really thinking about switching to it, although it has more protein and fat content than what I am using.

Has anyone else had good luck with this? Ruger has suffered from pancreatitis and the vet says keep the fat low and don't overdo the protein. A lot of people say high protein for weight loss, but I can't take a chance on him getting sick again. I would love some input. Science Diet doesn't get very good reviews, but the vets seem to really like this food. Since MIA seems to really like it, I would like to try it.

Losing only 1 lb in 3 months was not encouraging. Also, he has a 1 acre yard, and plays out there with the border collie, chasing him and his aussie sister. We do walk, but he has breathing issues (weight possibly), and a chronic limp that comes and goes. Vet can't find anything wrong except possibly a bit of arthritis. He has been tested for thyroid and it is normal. My girl mini aussie has thyroid issues and is on medication.

Hope to hear some comments and advice.


Mia Update - weight control
by: TinaC

PatriciaG - Re: your question about Science Diet. We have fed our Aussies (3) Science Diet their entire lives, since getting our first one in 1976. It was vet-recommended then, and almost 40 years later, our current vet endorses our use of it since it has worked so well for Mia. She just had a wellness check and weighed in at 20 lbs, which the vet is happy with. I think the real reasons for our success at getting her weight down are twofold: MEASURE/WEIGH the food portion (I use a kitchen scale) every morning, don't guess; and absolutely ignore her whimpers for treats or off-cycle feeding. It's so easy to slip her a treat, and it's not surprising they have a very cumulative effect on weight control. Supplementing her SD with carrots has also proven to satisfy her appetite in a low-calorie way. There are so many dog foods on the market and it can be confusing. But we saw no reason to spend a lot of $$ on prescription foods when a disciplined approach to food quantity and continued access to exercise worked for us, and Mia is very healthy!

Mini Aussie Sizes
by: Negar

I thought miniature Australian do not grow more than 20 lbs?!

I have a puppy and he weighs 2lbs, he was a runt! I love him so much!

I am feeding him Natural Balance as I been told by numerous people including other breeders this is considered one of the best foods! I bought the packages from PetValu.

I would like my puppy to get bigger... he seems small!

anorexic dogs?
by: Steve

I had my minis I'm for check up yesterday, 30 month old brother and sister. She weighs 33 .7 and the vet wants her to gain to 37. He weighs 49.7 and the vet loves his weight. Are y'alls vets trying to pit these poor dogs into a size 000? My kids run at least 2 miles at least 4 times a day on top of squirrel and bird chasing. She runs like a gazelle and him like a bull but just as fast and not winded. What am I missing in your stories?

weight gain
by: patriciag

Steve, I don't think my vet is. When I got my two in 2011, Kruger weighed 16 lbs, Ella 20. She is bigger overall than ruger. The vet wants him around 20 lbs, and her around 23. Right now she is weighing in at 30, and he is at 26. They get exercise every day but Ned to get the lbs off. Right now I have to press hard to feel their ribs. Starting another diet regime today with another brand.

by: Patriciag

Steve, in reply to your question - I don't believe my vet wants a size 000 dog. When I got my two dogs as adults in 2011, the toy aussie weighed about 16 lbs. The girl, who is classified as a mini, weighed 20 lbs. I really felt they were too thin.

Now, the toy weighs 26 lbs and the girl weighs 30. I have not been walking them because of my health this winter, and because every time I walk the toy, he develops a limp that lasts about 24 hours.

So, now I am starting them on a new diet regime, hoping it works. My vet has approved it. She hopes to get the toy to 20 lbs, and the girl to about 23 lbs.

I believe that would be a nice healthy weight and not take them down to "skinny".

Wish me luck!

by: patriciag

Sorry for the double post. Learning how to use the tablet.

min austrailian shepherd
by: sadie

my dog Sadie is 6 mo. old just spayed. very healthy and is a whole 13 lbs . she is about 15 in. tall. expect her to be 18 tall and 20 to 25 lbs should be perfect weight form the minis I have seen.

weight and food
by: sadie

I have a mini. her name is Sadie, just had her spayed. we have her on puppy blue buffalo grain free kibble and a small amount of can food also blue buffalo grain free. she is 12 pounds and 15 inches high very energetic. she should double her weight and be 18 high That's what her parents were .our vet is familiar with the breed, and says she in on track for her age. we give her 1/4 cup in am mixed with some canned food and 1/4 cup at night mixed with canned food.

Response to Steve
by: Tina

I don't think our vet is trying to force our mini Aussie to an unhealthy low weight but showed me how she felt more excess fat around her mid section and other areas that indicated excess weight. My previous dogs (standard Aussies) were around 35-40 lbs which would definitely be too much weight on Mia's much smaller frame. She's also approaching 7 now, and like us, the weight seems to stay on her and is harder to reduce. But we are still on a measured food plan, with few treats, and even with a bit less walking she is maintaining at about 23 lbs. I definitely think trusting our vet, who sees her on a regular wellness routine, is the best way to ensure she stays on track with her weight as well as other health factors.

what is the ideal weight?!
by: Mari

hi! just stumbled upon your post while researching ideal weight for my pup. I have a 2 yr old mini aussie and he is currently 25 pounds. The vet said he is a little overweight and to get him down to 22 pounds. Vet said we need to be able to feel their ribs - and we already almost don't on my pup.

Ruger's weight
by: Patriciag

Hi all,

Well, my journey with Ruger's weight loss took an unexpected turn. He started losing weight and I was so happy, thinking it was the grain free food I had him on. WRONG! He was diagnosed with diabetes. Ruger is now at his ideal weight, because the disease caused him to lose it, and he is on insulin shots for the rest of his life. He is at 19.4 right now, and seems to be holding between that and 20.5. We had to switch him to a prescription food Hills Science Diet W/D. He does well on it and eats all of his food. I have recently put my girl on it so she can lose weight. Not doing too good with that yet. Time will tell.

mini-aussie weight
by: Blairwaves

My mini is 8 months old and already 25 pounds. My vet also did the "rib check test" and told me he needed to lose weight. I asked if I should transition him to adult food and she told me "no". She also told me the goal was to feed him just 1/4 of kibble 2x a day with 2 tbsp of canned. He's also on Science Diet at her recommendation. I live in a large city so his exercise is walks only. There are lots of parks around me but I can't let him off leash to run -- too dangerous. My concern is I think the amount of food is way too little -- I feel like I'm starving him! My breeder agreed with my idea to transition to adult foods. She said puppy food can cause them to grow too quickly and cause problems with joints and tendons. My daughter has his sister and she's about half his size, eats twice the amount of food and is perfect and petite. Thoughts on the amount I'm feeding and whether to move my boy to adult food?

Definitely not a one-size-fits-all breed
by: Tgerst

It sounds to me like your issue is more likely exercise related. For an aussie, any size, to only have waking as an exercise is not only going to cause weight issues, but also likely behavioral issues. Especially younger dogs. This is such an active breed! They need to run, and run a lot, to stay happy and healthy. My 2 minis are just over 2 years old. Female is 14" and 17lbs at her ideal weight. She's very petite and lean. My male is also 14" but is built much stockier. He's ideal at about 21lbs. They both ready eat 1/2 cup of Victor senior and weight management with a tsp of coconut oil mixed in in the mornings and 1/4-1/2 cup of carrots on the evening. This had been their diet for a little over a month. They were on free feeding before this and both started getting really fat. They aren't liking their diet, but slowly getting used to it. Their coats are looking better and my little bit is getting his waist back.
These dogs have endless room to run and chase out on the ranch, and would be huge if they didn't. 1/4c 2x/day is probably reasonable if your calories are around 400/cup. I wouldn't stitch you pup of puppy food too really, just keep his ration low and add veggies. I promise, they aren't starving, any more than we are when we're on a diet 😉 my dogs hated carrots, so I note pour a couple big bags in the slow cooker once a week, along with a couple tsp of chicken boullion and water. Then I mash them and stir them in their food. They love this. Cooked carrots do have more sugar than raw, so again, watch calorget ties.
To address those that are thinking the vet is wanting to starve these dogs, first off, that's silly. Why would he do that? More importantly, aussies come in all shapes and sizes..There is no ideal weight for a mini or a standard or a toy. Aussies are classified by height <14 toy <18 mini >18 standard. And a 12" toy could have a higher healthy weight than a 15" mini, depending on their frame and shape and age. So listen to your vet, feel for those ribs, and most importantly, get them moving! Aussies don't make the best city/small yard dog.

Toy Aussie- Wilbur
by: Kendyll

Hi There,

My dogs name is Wilbur. He is a toy and ideally should be 16-17 pounds. He is 21pounds and we didnt just realize this we have eliminated all treats and he gets 1/3 cup or grain free limited ingredient merrick dog food with 1 tbs of wet grain free merrick for breakfast and dinner. I feel like reducing this will be starving him. But I do know that he has to lose weight so that his joints and energy level is not affected. Any thoughts on how to help with this outside of the exercise that we definitely do our best to incorporate into his daily routine everyday..?

I have a 4 yr old aussie male. Aussie. Brody weight is starting to concern me
by: Anonymous

Brody is actually my sons dog. My son is an athlete who is gone 6 month out of the yr playing football overseas. So hes basically the family's dog while he is gone. We have been trying to find a good food for him. But we are also on a budget which makes it hard for me...(gramma) to afford the food he liked most. I shop at a all natural per store in our town...but this time around I purchased a different food that was very large bag and affordable well it seems he is overweight. My son runs him 2 miles a night (while hes home) otherwise I just take him go park to run. almost 70lbs obese for him. I will add, he is so furry his mane is long thick and in the summer he swims in a pool..bit we learned we need to have him shaved (which ive read is another controversial topic) because if I don't he gets dreadlocks very bad. Last time I weighed him at vet. Before shaved he was 59lbs after shaved 45lbs. My concern is is the 2 mile vigorous run auctions weight dangerous to his heart ...2nd concern this weight 70lbs.
Concerned in IN

Home cooked meals
by: Andrea

I have a 4 month old Miniature American Shepherd, Gilly. Since we got her at 8 weeks I have prepared her meals of ground beef or chicken breast or ground turkey mixed with veggies of various types and sometimes add in fruits. I do make sure that I only use veggies that are safe for her. I do this once or twice a day and also leave grain free dry kibble out for her, about 1 cup per day. She does eat that 1 cup throughout the full day.

Is this ok? Is there something I am depriving her of by not using "dog" food as her main source of nourishment?

Toy Aussie
by: Anonymous

Remarkable Pearlie is almost 12 months old, weighs 18 lbs, stocky build, only 12" tall. After being spayed at 6 months, her every bite of food caused ounces gained. By 8 months old, she quit the 18% fat, puppy food (no grain, Blue & TOTW & Core, etc.) & began same high quality, no grain food in adult, low fat. Good thing, but human was over feeding, daily 1 1/2 cups instead of daily under 1 cup. Finally Pearlie is maintaining & enjoys snacks, a couple frozen okra cuts, frozen petite carrots, banana bites, so forth, used also for training treats. She runs laps or whatever exercise she chooses in her 100 ft fenced area. Exercise & more exercise & skill-heavy games -- crucial for her health! Thanks for sharing here!

Scavenger dog
by: Anonymous

Our 9 month old mini is as stubborn as can be. A walk for me is a scavenger hunt for her. 1/2 dry food with 1 TBLS canned in morning, same at night. Never enough

Over 30 pounds
by: Anonymous

I have a 2 year old mini aussie who is 18" and 37 pounds. His parents were 30 and 35 pounds. I think their ideal weight and size really depends on the breeding and genetics as well. My dog does not appear overweight at all at 37 pounds and vet has no concerns. He is a very healthy dog!

by: Whitney

I am a 75 year old widow. My husband passed away 3 years ago. 2 weeks later I had to put our 17 year old Gordon Setter/Aussie to sleep.
Being lonely for four-legged companionship I found Shilo (I name him for Neil Diamond's song).

I love Shilo. He's loving and playful and loves to play lap dog (as well as fetch, tug of war, etc). We have a fenced in 1/2 acre back yard and I put in a doggie door for him to have access to the backyard any time he wants.

When I got him I was surprised because he was larger than my sister's Aussie. In the 2 years he has been with me his weight averages between 48-50 pounds.

He's not overweight (according to our vet).

I wondered why he was 10 pounds over the norm. I was wondering if it had to do with the breeder . . . like maybe the breeder was just starting out and Shilo just happened to be bigger than the breeder planned.

It doesn't really matter because I love him (even though he barks at the TV all of the time, LOL) bunches and bunches. I was just curious about his weight.

Ideal mini Aussie weight
by: Anonymous

If your question is "what weight is ideal" it sounds like the vet already gave you an answer, 20 lbs (the 10 lb loss they recommended for your 30 lb dog). My mini is about 20 lbs, and at 23 lbs our vet said he was too heavy. We switched at a high quality meat-based diet (grain free) which helped trendously, as even the "nicer" brands of kibble are almost all made with grains, animal by-products (a huge no no, avoid food that contains meat "meal" as opposed to real meat, or cheap fattening vegetable proteins like soy or pea protein.) You can add real vegetables like cooked carrots and peas.
Since mini Aussies can vary in their "bone" size (toys vs minis vs large mini/small standard) it's better to go by look and feel than just pounds. You should be able to feel the bumps of their spine when running your hand down it, and you should be able to feel but not see their ribs when running your hand down their sides. Finally, when looking down at their torso from above, their belly should curve in just past their ribs cage. Hope this helps!

Ideal weight
by: Anonymous

I rescued a 7 yr. old Mini that was used for breeding. She was 29 lbs. I thought she looked a little thin now she is looking chunky. She gets 3/4 c. twice a day of Performatrin. Her daily activity consists of two 15 min. walks and running our fence line with the dogs on the other side. Am I doing this right?

My aussie's weight
by: Anonymous

My Mini Aussie is 6 years old and weighs 43lbs. She doesn't get walks because of my breathing problems but I do play with her a lot. I give her 1/2 cup food morning and evening. I give her 4 low fat treats at night. I feed her Science Diet Weight Management. What am I doing wrong?

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