Mom wants to talk about us today. So here she is.
We have Miniature Australian Shepherds (mini aussies) and have had an Australian Shepherd, Rocket. Our dogs are NOT as fancy as show dogs, but they have the qualities of the breed(s).
The Australian Shepherd and the Miniature Australian Shepherd are pretty much the same breed but in different sizes, based on height at the shoulder. The full sized dog ranges about 18" tall or more and 40 to 60 pounds while the minis are 13 to 18" tall and roughly 18 to 35 pounds and the toys are under 13" tall and 7 to 20 pounds.
The AKC did not recognized any breed but the Australian Shepherd (full sized) until 2011. That's when they recognized the Miniature Aussies, but under the name Miniature American Shepherd. If they are bred well, they all have the heart, mind and temperament of the Australian Shepherd, which we LOVE!
This is Jack, one of our Miniature Australian Shepherds. He's a black bi-color
Reba is a red tri-color
This one is one of Gabby's. He's a blue merle
Also one of Gabby's, this guy is a red merle.
Aussies are very, let's say extremely, smart. To the point that we have to keep them working and thinking or they find their own stuff to keep them busy. The AKC site describes them as a "force of nature". They are very loveable and worry about their people. I never have to worry about going to the bathroom alone (LOL). And trainable!
They are generally pretty healthy. Being working dogs, there is some tendency for hip problems as they get older. And they have a genetic problem with the "lethal white" gene, which shows up when a merle and a merle are crossed on each other. The pups that are affected can be blind and/or deaf if there is too much white around the eyes and ears.
They are definitely herders. We are herded to the kitchen when it's breakfast or dinner time. They herd the cows and the horses just because. Jessie even herds the chickens sometimes.
Aussies are really great with kids. Between their caring disposition and their playful nature, it's a great combo!
Aussies and Mini Aussies are very agile and active and love herding activities, agility, flyball, frisbee..........just being with their people. We love them to pieces!