Australian shepherd – diet, habitat, species and size with pictures

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Updated: April 21, 2017

The Mini Australian Shepherd known in full as the Miniature Australian Shepherd is a variety of Australian shepherds. It is a small dog compared to other Australian shepherds and this variety was reached at after the breeding of small Australian Shepherds. To arrive at the Mini Australian Shepherd, breeders used a tactic that involved breeding the dog down in terms of size so as to keep on coming with a smaller one progressively. These dogs are also known as the North American Shepherd.

Interestingly, although they are called Mini Australian Shepherd, these dogs are originally from the United States of America. They are recognized as a variety of a breed, recognized as a sub-breed of the breed Australian Shepherd as they are yet to be recognized as breeds on their own by any main breed registry.

Mini Australian Shepherds are short dogs and they will grow to average heights of between 14 to 18 inches while they will weigh around 9 to 15 kilograms in weight. It has a coat of fur that is medium-length and it comes in a wide array of colors such as blue, red, black and white or tan. These colors normally appear in various combinations and their fur can either be wavy or straight in nature.

Its front legs and hind legs are the same sizes in lengths and they have compact feet which are oval in shape. The dog is strong and has got both stamina and agility making it a great herding dog. They are also good in sporting activities especially sports such as fly ball and Frisbee, and it is important to play with them and keep them engaged since they were bred to herd, they actually love doing jobs. The Mini Australian Shepherd may nip you, your children or other animals in a bid to herd them and this is due to their herding nature.

They are great indoor pets due to their small size, however, they do require regular exercise so it is necessary to have some space for this or you can opt to take them for a walk or light jog regularly. This is because Mini Australian Shepherds are energetic dogs hence they need a way to dispense the energy.

Mini Australian shepherds have an average lifespan of between 12 and 14 years depending on how well they are taken care of. There are several health issues that one should watch out for if they have this dog. Merle type of Mini Australian Shepherd that was born out of two merles, it is important to get them checked because puppies from merle and merle crosses carry a deaf or blind factor hence it is important to get regular checks.

Other eye conditions to check generally include Iris Colobomas which can cause clefts in the iris and can cause sensitivity to light or impair vision if the cleft is large in size. Juvenile cataracts which are caused by the abnormal degeneration of the eye lens tissues. Persistent pupillary membrane can occur though rarely. This is vision impairment which is caused by the lack of breakage of the membrane that covers the eyes of a dog while it is a puppy.

Progressive retinal atrophy which is a condition that can cause blindness and it can be hard to detect due to the fact that there are no clinical symptoms noticeable. Hip dysplasia is also a common health problem to watch out for if you own this little dog.

Mini Australian Shepherds are intelligent dogs that are full of energy hence they are easy to train, however, you need to keep them busy and occupied because when left alone for too long they can become anxious and destructive. It is important to train them from a young age to ensure they are welcoming to strangers when they grow older. Due to their high amount of energy, they are great family dogs especially if you have children who love to play. With good training, these dogs also known as Mini Aussies are quite dependable since they are intelligent dogs and can actually be trained to do various activities in the house such as picking up dirty laundry or items on the floor.


Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

The Blue Merle Australian shepherd just as the name suggests is an Australian shepherd dog that has a blue merle coat. However, the coat is not exactly blue as one would think but rather is has various spots that vary in sizes on its coat which has a gray background and as a result of this the dog may have an appearance that resembles the color blue and this is why they are called blue merle Australian shepherds.

The gray color in the background may vary from being silver to being the color of dark smoke while the black spots may appear as speckles spread out on the coat or they may be in large patches and all these come together to give an interesting appearance. They have white markings which may appear on the legs, the chest or it’s under parts with some having some copper spots. It is, therefore, possible to have a solid blue merle Australian shepherd, a blue merle that has got white and copper or a blue merle that has got white but no copper spots.


It is common for blue merle Australian shepherds to have marbled eyes or have eyes that are dotted with other colors. It is even possible for this dog to have one brown eye and the other eye to be blue in color.


Australian Shepherd Mix

The Australian shepherd mix is a dog that is a mix between the Australian shepherd dog and any other dog. Due to its desirable characteristics and in pursuit of coming up with better breeds, breeders are constantly mixing Australian shepherd dogs and other breeds to come up with more and more Australian shepherd mix dogs.


Some of the common Australian shepherd mixes include the Australian retriever which is a mix between the Australian shepherd and the Golden retriever, the Sheprador which is an Australian shepherd mix from the Australian shepherd dog and the Labrador retriever, Aussiedoodle which is a mix between the Australian shepherd dog and the poodle, and the Augi which is an Australian shepherd mix from the Australian shepherd dog and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Another type of an Australian shepherd mix is the Border-aussie which is a mix between the Australian shepherd dog and the Border collie.

It is not easy to tell the temperament of an Australian shepherd mix because as a result of the mix, the dog can have the temperament of either the Australian shepherd dog or of the other breed that was used in the mix. This means that for the Australian shepherd mix, the best thing to do is to approach each of them as an individual but have the knowledge of how both breeds behave as this will give you a clue of what to expect, because the Australian shepherd mix is not a pure breed.



Red Merle Australian Shepherd

Red merle Australian shepherds are quite similar to the blue merle Australian shepherd but as the name suggests the difference lies in the color. The coat of the red merle Australian shepherd has patches on a silver or buff background. The patches are usually a varying color of red and can vary from being as light as cinnamon to as dark red as the color of liver. Furthermore, the patches will vary in size and can be small spots that are spread out or be large patches that cover a particular area.


Apart from the red and silver, red merle Australian shepherds also have white marks which can be on the under parts, on the chest, on the face or on the legs. Some also have copper markings usually on the legs or the faces. Therefore you can have solid red merle Australian shepherds, red merle Australian shepherds with white spots or have red merle Australian shepherds with white and copper spots.

Similar to their blue merle counterparts, the red merle Australian shepherds can have either solid eyes or eyes that are dotted with other colors. They may as well have one eye being red while the other eye is blue in color. It is, however, easier to have blue eyes in merles than in those that have solid colors.


Cute Australian Shepherd Pictures






Australian Shepherds are a popular breed not only amongst herders but also among dog lovers due to their characteristics. They are hardworking and fun dogs that can bring so much life and excitement into a family if kept as a pet and will work hard to get the job done if kept as a herder. Since they are popular and are a good herding breed, they can be expensive at times, costing between $300 up to $600. But be sure that with this dog you will get your money’s worth. Ensure they get early training and keep them active and the result is you will have a happy and loving dog.


Amazing Australian Shepard Video Facts

Check out this video of facts that will make you (if not already) definitely love these amazing dogs and their breed.


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