The Miniature Australian Shepherd was developed by breeding smaller Australian Shepherds for the desired size. The breed is rapidly increasing in popularity among those interested in a compact dog with a strong dog with a strong work ethic. They are especially popular in dog agility, and do well in other dog sports including herding, obedience, disk dog, flyball and many other activities.
The preferred height of this breed ranges from 14 to 18 inches (35 to 46 cm) at the withers and the weight is typically between 17 and 30 pounds. Coat color combinations include 16 basic possibilities. "These combinations are the most common accounting for colors (red or black), coat pattern (solid or merle) and the degree of tan points and white markings." Combinations include Self Black, Black & Tan, Black Bicolor, Black Tricolor, Self Blue Merle, Blue Merle & Tan, Blue Merle & White, Blue Merle & White and Tan, Self Red, Red & Tan, Red Bicolor, Red Tricolor, Self Red Merle, Red Merle & Tan, Red Merle & White, and Red Merle & White and Tan. Eyes may be any combination of brown, amber, hazel, blue, or marbled. Some of these dog have eyes that are two different colors or may be marbled or swirled. Some may have a natural bobtail or the tail may be docked.
Temperament: Mini Aussies are very easily trained, but their intelligence and drive require that they be engaged in obedience training and plenty of interesting activities. They are easily trainable because they crave approval. Once given proper socialization they will thrive in a variety of environments, provided they have an adequate outlet for both physical and mental energy. If they are not allowed adequate stimuli they may become destructive. Because of their herding background, they also may have the tendency to try to herd people, especially small children, nipping at their heels. This instinct can be modified through early intervention and training. They are social dogs and form close attachments to their owner. As a result, some may suffer separation anxiety. Miniature Australian Shepherds (affectionately called "mini"s) function well as a family dog, but their excessive energy may need to be checked around small children. They are generally great house dogs but do require a large amount of exercise. They are particularly apprehensive with strangers.