There exists a lot of contention and debate across the status of the Miniature Australian Shepherds (and the even smaller Toy and Teacup Aussies) as a breed. In reality, the Mini Aussie might be perceived being an inferior dog and some Aussie dog lovers won’t acknowledge that Miniatures are even dogs at all.
Are Miniature Aussies Inferior?
Miniature Aussies as a breed are generally not very inferior. Reviews demonstrate that Minis don’t suffer from greater health issues compared to the standard Aussie. Both groups do have health issues such as for example hip dysplasia, but they are equally prominent in either group.
Unfortunately, a number of the bad press for Minis has been fuelled by unscrupulous breeders who’ve mixed breeds and bred without due regard to the quality of the dogs but merely with the aim of breeding small dogs. Australian Shepherd Lab Mix A few of these dogs may experienced genetically related health issues and given all Mini Aussies a poor name. In addition, due to the increasing popularity of the Mini, backyard breeders have popped up and breed dogs which can be inferior.
Reputable breeders of the Miniature Aussie are then looked over with suspicion and all breeders of those dogs given a poor name. This plays a role in the Aussie versus Mini Aussie debates.
Australian Shepherds and Miniatures: A Shared History
However, it is clear that Minis and standard Aussies have a closely related history. Both breeds originated in the American West as ranching became a way of life from the 1800s onwards. The breeds are relatively new and result from a melting pot of different bloodlines and lineages, including probably the Australian Koolie dog and the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog. The latter were brought by the Basque Shepherds who immigrated to the USA. The genetic influences of these varied breeds triggered litters with different size types of puppies. Since dogs in those early days of ranching were chosen due to their herding skills, not for size or conformation. There clearly was no breed standard and different owners would breed for the dogs that worked best as herders.
Breed Recognition for the Miniature Australian Shepherd
Today, the Australian Shepherd Dog is recognized by the American Kennel Club as one size dog only. They don’t recognize the Miniature Aussie as a variety of the larger Aussie. The American Stock Dog Association on the other hand, recognizes three size types of the Australian Shepherd: standard, miniature and toy.
Enthusiasts of Miniature Aussies established their own club, originally called the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA, its name was later changed to the North American Miniature Australian Shepherd Club with the greatest aim to getting the Miniature Aussie declared its own breed, the North American Shepherd.
How Does this Affect Your Dog?
Ultimately, if you wish to have an Australian Shepherd, either a “standard” one or you choose a Mini- you will need to properly research the breed and the breeder that you choose. Whatever type of dog you choose, be sure that you buy your pet dog from the breeder with ethics who is focused on the breed.