Country of OriginUnited States
Nicknames and Other NamesNorth American Shepherd
Mini American
Scientific NameCanis lupus fimiliaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupHerding Group
Bred ForHerding livestock
SizeSmall to Medium-sized
Recognized ByUKC, AKC
Life Span12-13 years
Ideal Weight20-40 pounds
Ideal HeightMale: 14-18 inches
Female: 13-17 inches
Fur TypeDouble-coat, medium length
Common ColorsBlue Merle, Red, Red Merle, Black
MarkingsWhite markings, Tan Points
AvailabilityCommonly available
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToAustralian Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd is a small to medium sized dog which is originally bred as a herding dog. It is a lively, active, and hardworking dog best suited in the farm and also as a family companion due to their gentle, playful and loving nature.

Their coat is medium-sized, dense and straight to wavy. There is moderate mane which is more noticeable in male than in female Miniature American Shepherd.

Miniature American Shepherd is slightly longer than tall. The head is proportional to the size of the body with almond-shaped eyes that are set obliquely. The ears are medium, triangular that is set high on the head. They have short hair on the head, ears and in the leg which are mostly trimmed.

Miniature American Shepherd sheds in spring and fall when old hair is falling out and new hair is coming. Therefore regular brushing is required at this time of year.

Origin and History

Miniature American Shepherd was originated in the 1960s in California, America. They were bred by the breeders who wanted a smaller version of Australian Shephard. By using undersized dogs and small unregistered dog breed that resembles Australian Shepherd. Breeders developed a new breed which is known as Miniature American Shepherd today.

Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA was founded in 1990 which is the national club for the breed. The American Kennel Club registered this breed in the Foundation Stock Service in 2011 and recognized it under Herding group in July 2015.

Is Miniature American Shepherd Child-Friendly?

Miniature American Shepherd is extremely friendly with children in the family. They are gentle, playful and loving towards them.

Since it is a herding dog, sometimes it may take small children as the part of its flock and start to nip and chase them around. Therefore, they should be supervised and should not be left alone together.

Miniaure American Shepherd is child friendly
A boy laying with Miniature American Shepherd.
Image Source: instagram-@teamwunderbaums

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The temperament of Miniature American Shepherd is very energetic, lively and intelligent. As a herding dog, they have a high tendency to work and should be engaged in some kind of activity or even exercise daily. Besides herding, they also make a great family companion as they form a strong connection with the family members.

Behavior: Miniature American Shepherd is a highly active dog, so due to its high level of activity, they need to be occupied in activities like exercise, walk or dog sports. If they get bored, they will start to show their destructive behavior. It needs to be taken out to exercise regularly to keep up with its hardworking nature.

Personality: Miniature American Shepherd has a devoted and alert personality. It is very much devoted and to the owner and the family. It makes a great family pet and it is also good and polite with other pets if raised with them. They are alert and quite suspicious of the strangers, which makes them a good watchdogs.


Training Miniature American Shepherd is easy as they are loyal to the owner and eager to please. First, you have to establish leadership upon them and teach them some basic tasks. Use positive methods of training and reward them with treats and vocal praises. Treats and praises keep any dog motivated and encouraged. Be gentle with them as harsh training can scare them and it will not be able to focus on the training.


  • Miniature American Shepherd is a smaller version of Australian Shepherd.
  • In American Kennel Club, Miniature American Shepherd ranks 36 out of 193 registered breed as of March 2019.
  • The average life expectancy of Miniature American Shepherd is 12-13 years.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesProgressive Retinal Atrophy,
Elbow Dysplasia, Hip Dysplasia,
Diabetes, Cataracts
Vaccination RequiredKennel Cough, Canine Coronavirus, Rabies,
Canine Parainfluenza, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parvovirus, Leptospirosis
SheddingModerate Shedder
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingEasy and Minimal Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyModerate Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 27%
Fat: 10%
Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acid

Miniature American Shepherd is generally a healthy dog which can possibly get genetic health problems. Some of the health issues that it may face are given below:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: The health condition which is mainly caused due to heredity is called PRA. PRA affects eye that can cause weak vision and sometime if it gets bad, vision may be lost. It is caused due to deficiency of vitamin E and luckily losing sight is not common if treated in time.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip Dysplasia is the cause that affects the hip part on the back. It is caused due to the dislocation or undeveloped hip bones. It cause lot of pain on the back and make it difficult to move around. So, proper treatment on time is necessary.


Miniature American Shepherd comes in different colors and markings which are as follows:

  • Black
  • Blue Merle
  • Red
  • Red Merle
  • Markings: Tan points, White, white and tan points markings.


Cost: The average cost of the Miniature American Shepherd puppy is between $900- $1000 USD. If adopted, it will cost around $300 with the expenses of taking care of the puppy before adoption.

Height and Size

The average height of the Miniature American Shepherd male is 14-18 inches and female is 13-17 inches. The average weight is between 15-35 pounds.

Similar Dog Breeds to Miniature American Shepherd

Australian Shepherd which is similar to Miniature American Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

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