What Is The Difference Between A Mini Australian Shepherd And Australian Shepherd

by Pattie

We're considering adding an Australian Shepherd to our family and was wondering if there is a difference between a mini and standard shepherd.

Note from Anton: Australian Shepherds and Miniature Australian Shepherds (Miniature American Shepherds) are considered separate breeds. More information here.

Comments for What Is The Difference Between A Mini Australian Shepherd And Australian Shepherd

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Mini Aussie / Australian Shepherd
by: Nonnie

As Anton mentioned - these are two different breeds. I really don't understand why, but that is not important. Either dog will be a wonderful, loving, energetic, intelligent, charming, possessive companion.

We have two Aussies - one mini and one toy. This is our second toy. We lost our first one a week before her first birthday due to gastrointestinal hemorrhage. It was awful.

Our mini is 16" at the shoulders and weighs 30 lbs. She is a blue-eyed, blue merle frisbee fanatic!! She is amazing! Our toy is 13" at the shoulder and 20 lbs. She is a brown-eyed, black tri. She cares nothing about frisbee or any other type of retrieving. She likes to watch her half sister chase the frisbee and anything else that can be thrown.

Good luck with your Aussie - I hope that whichever breed you choose, you will find many Aussie owners who will love and praise your puppy. Luckily we have had that - it takes the bite out of the others.

While at the Aussie Rescue booth at the dog show last year we were very rudely told that our Aussies were not real Aussies. Completely changed my feeling about rescue groups. This year when we went to the dog show, we had dozens and dozens of compliments on our Aussies.

Either Or
by: Anonymous

I had a "standard" Aussie and he lived to be 5 years of age due to epilepsy. I loved him dearly. We now have a toy Aussie, he reminds me so much of my Luke, but just a lot smaller. I agree with the person before me, they are so similar, except for size. I know they say they are NOT the same breed, (I've read the articles) but honestly, I don't see how that's possible.
decide what you want as far as size, and why, and go with that. best to you.

Difference in Standard & Mini Aussies
by: Anne

The main difference is height. Any female under 18" is considered a mini, any male under 20" is considered a mini.
To answer the other aussie owner owner's comments about the difference is......
In order to get the so-called "toy" size, there were other breeds introduced into what was a "mini" aussie. That is why it is a separate breed. There were also, other breeds introduced to get the "mini" breed established faster, and that is why it is a separate breed. The standard aussie is the background for both breeds, and I believe the "mini" has more of the standard aussie blood in it than the "toy".
I breed standard aussies but have had 2 so called "runts", never make the standard height.
They were still aussies, just "small" aussies. The "minis" came from breeding the smaller standard aussies together.
The DNA testing for our standards is a good indicator of several different genetic markers.
One is determination of breed.
I don't know, since I don't breed them, if the
registries for "minis" and "toys" require DNA testing. For ASCA & AKC it is required for our standard Aussies.
Hope that helps clarify the difference for you.
Feel free to research it on your own.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

Miniature Australian Shepherd
by: Anonymous

My question was the difference between the miniature American Shepherd and the miniature Australian Shepherd. They appear to be identical. The Australian Shepherds themselves are obviously bigger than the miniature breeds.
And what about the border collies, who look and act just like Australian Shepherds and lookalikes for the black and white Australian Shepherds. Surely all these beautiful dogs come from similar backgrounds?

by: Anonymous

The mini australian shepherd and american shepherds are the same breed. because AKC doesn't recognize 'mini's' they have changed the name to american shepherd and are now classified as their own breed. Aussies and border collies come in different colours, the bi coloured aussies do get mistaken for border collies often, but they are very different dogs.

They Are the Same Dog
by: PJO

I have had Australian Shepherds all my life and since the late 90s have had Mini Aussies or Miniature American Shepherds in the mix as well. The AKC may consider them distinct breeds for purely political purposes but they are genetically identical for all intents and purposes. You can rewrite ...or set standards in stone all you want but they are the same dog. One is smaller, that is all. My observation is that their instincts and personalities vary far more between individuals than between "breeds" as the AKC would have it. Their work and herding drives, stamina and protectiveness do not show any real differences.

Maybe in one or two hundred years differences may develop between them, but right now their is not one iota of difference.

by: Anonymous

Mini Aussies are just a small version of the standard, in a true mini there were no other breeds introduced to get that size, just two small standards. My sister had a "mini" that was no more than 5 lbs, she would be classified as a toy, but no other breeds were introduced.

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