There exists quite a bit of contention and debate across the status of the Miniature Australian Shepherds (and the even smaller Toy and Teacup Aussies) as a breed. In fact, the Mini Aussie may also 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 not at all inferior. Reviews show that Minis don’t suffer with greater health problems compared to the standard Aussie. Both groups do have health problems such as for example hip dysplasia, but they are equally prominent in either group.
Unfortunately, a few of the bad press for Minis has been fuelled by unscrupulous breeders who’ve mixed breeds and bred without due regard to the grade of the dogs but simply with desire to of breeding small dogs. Australian Shepherd Lab Mix Some of these dogs may have had genetically related health problems and given all Mini Aussies a bad name. Furthermore, due to the increasing popularity of the Mini, backyard breeders have popped up and breed dogs that are inferior.
Reputable breeders of the Miniature Aussie are then looked at with suspicion and all breeders of the dogs given a bad name. This plays a part 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 life style 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 all these varied breeds resulted in litters with different size kinds 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 acknowledged by the American Kennel Club as one size dog only. They cannot recognize the Miniature Aussie as a number of the larger Aussie. The American Stock Dog Association on one other hand, recognizes three size kinds of the Australian Shepherd: standard, miniature and toy.
Enthusiasts of Miniature Aussies established their particular 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 best aim of getting the Miniature Aussie declared a unique breed, the North American Shepherd.
How Does this Affect Your Dog?
Ultimately, if you intend to have an Australian Shepherd, the “standard” one or you select a Mini- you need to properly research the breed and the breeder that you choose. Whatever kind of dog you select, make sure that you buy your dog from the breeder with ethics who’s devoted to the breed.