Miniature American Shepherd

Breed History

Miniature American Shepherd is a small-medium herding dog that looks like the Australian Shepherd. Smart, driven, and showing long endurance makes them a great dog to herd the flock.

They began in the state of California in the 1960’s. Making them a brand-new breed in comparison to most others who have been around before documentation and most others in the 1800’s.

Gaining nation wide popularity shortly after they are one of the most popular dogs in the kennel club. Most of their jobs would consist of small herding jobs but they have shown the ability to herd large numbers of animals.

Herding is when dogs can move a different animal from one place to another. Humans can do this task but only on a small level and dogs can do this at scale from hundreds to thousands.

Multi-talented due to the fact they excel in sporting competitions. Easier to train than most dogs and show an amazing temperament towards humans and other dogs.

One of the few dogs made on American soil. Using them as a dog that can work on a farm or more recently as a house pet due to their small size and personality.


In 2015, they would receive Foundational Service from the AKC and will get to register dogs in 2020. Responsible breeding practices from their kennel club is the reason why they are gaining quick traction and registration around the world.

Top 30 in popularity they are one of the most popular in the country. There is a high chance they will continue to rise due to their amazing temperament, colors, and intelligence.

Herding Group is the category most kennel clubs would place them. Here are the major kennel clubs and their breed standards for this breed.


Male Height: 14-18 inches

Female Height: 13-16 inches

Male Weight: 30-40 pounds

Female Weight: 20-30 pounds

Litter Size

4 puppies are the average litter size for a Miniature American Shepherd. Breeders should be aware of how many puppies to expect. Caring for the animals with the mother for at least eight weeks of age is the best practice. Mothers don’t have any known birth issues and can deliver naturally. Always consult with your vet for further guidance.


  • Blue Merle
  • Red Merle
  • Blue
  • Red
  • White Markings


$1,000-$1,500 is the average price of a Miniature American Shepherd. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand and other factors that can affect cost.

Registration will make the dog more expensive due to the strict adherence to the breed standard. Favorable breeding practices are in use at these kennel clubs to deliver the highest quality puppy.

Without papers you can expect to pay a few hundred bucks. When one, or both, of the parents can’t receive papers then the puppy will not be eligible.


Take the dog on a long run or walk before you start the grooming session. Doing this will set the tone and allow the dog to calmly receive the treatment to their coat, nails, and ears.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

You need to brush their coat multiple times per week for the best results. Medium length double coat will need a lot of work done to give it the proper maintenance.

Comb the coat multiple times per week along with the brushing. During shedding season there will be a lot of excess hair so getting a hair removal brush and comb will assist greatly during this time.

Bathe the dog once a month or every six weeks at the most. After a long exercise session share hydration from the water hose and putting water on the stomach cools them down the fastest.

Cleaning the ears needs to happen once a week to avoid an ear infection.

Trimming the nails can occur during runs and walks, which we recommend. If you don’t exercise the dog, which we don’t recommend, use nail clippers or hire a professional to cut them.

Professional help is a recommendation for this breed.

Life Span

12-14 years is the average lifespan for a Miniature American Shepherd. That’s a long time for a dog to live and owners should be aware of the time commitment. Great dog you should consider adopting due to the long lifespan.

Health Issues

Generally, a healthy dog with little medical issue but the kennel club does recommend a few health screenings to ensure they are not affected by some common issues the breed has from time to time.

Hip Dysplasia – is when the hips, hip socket and leg bone are not in a proper alignment. Dogs will limp, favor, or refuse to exercise by stopping when they have the condition. Taking the dog to the vet to get an examination will be the best decision at that point. Other than that, take them around 24 months of age.

Eye Examination – there are a lot of different eye issues besides the normal cataracts, glaucoma, or cherry eye. After 24 months you should an eye exam and annually after that until they are six or seven.

MDR 1 – Miniature American Shepherd are not fond of medicine and it is genetic that their bodies reject treatment. Testing like this will tell you if the dog is not going to take well to the medicine.

Breed Group

Proud members of the Herding Group and it is the best group to place them. Farmers are forever indebted to these dogs and they remain popular for owners who have work to do outdoors.

Having a soft mouth is something these dogs are known to have. Some dogs have different style of herding like the death stare or nipping the heels or other animals, but they all get the job done.

Here are some of the most popular herding dogs

Exercise Needs

Miniature American Shepherds need a lot of exercise and they need it every day. Owners are not aware of how much exercise is enough and we are going to answer that question right now.

You may think that you take the dog to the mailbox, bathroom, and have a large backyard but that isn’t exercise. We can agree to disagree, but the dog’s behavior is the one that tells you whether it is or isn’t enough.

Whenever the dog is jumping out of their skin, showing strong energy, and jumping all over you, the kids, and any guest they are not getting enough exercise to act normal, or calm.

Dealing with issues like whining, anxiety, digging, excessive barking, biting and nipping are other indications among many that will tell you the dog isn’t satisfied.

 Once you begin a daily exercise program you will notice that these behavior stop almost all at once and the dog is directing their energy towards recovery like food, water, and sleep.

Here is a basic recommendation we give clients

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Younger dogs need a lot of exercise and using the multiple session method each day to calm them down will work wonders. At the same time, you will be training basic command and teaching the rules. High maintenance time of ownership.

Adult dogs, three years or older, will start to show a decline in energy levels and may or may not need two sessions per day. Around this time one session becomes more dominant and they know all the commands and rules.

Senior dogs don’t need much more than a walk around the corner. Keeping them active on a smaller scale is important at this stage.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Walking and running the dog should be the build block foundation to train your dog. First thing you should do is figure out how much exercise you can give and continue to find ways to be consistent. Dogs misbehaving will always give you the motivation you need to get back on track. Committing at least one hour per day over time will get you 365 hours in one year. This hour can become effective over time. For quick relief try two hours a day, or 730 hours a year, and watch the dog change overnight.

Commands are always going to be a big part of any training program. Repetition will teach the dog most commands and the owner should remain persistent until the behavior looks the way you are requesting. Use treats, toys, or life rewards to help motivate the dog if needed.

Socialize the dog after a long exercise session to bring them into new situations calm. Before vet visits, car rides, dog parks, parks, and any other social event bring them there tired already. Once you start to use this method it will be hard to justify bringing them out without exercise.

Correct the dog verbally, on or off leash. Timing is the biggest issue dog owners have. We like to correct when the dog is in the trash or done with the trash. Perfect timing consists of correcting them when they’re walking towards the trash. Prevention is the best timing. Making the dog sit or lay after preventing an act from occurring will be the perfect combination to correct the dog properly.

Additional Resources