Mini Aussies

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by faustus, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. faustus

    faustus Member

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    Does anyone here have first hand experience with mini aussies? I'd love to hear anything and everything about them as I'm pretty sure they're the breed I'm going to go with for my first dog :) I've done some research on them but reading breed standards and the like is nowhere near as informative as hearing real first hand accounts.
     
  2. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I've met some great minis and then some that are not so great. I know that can be said about any breed but I think since they are such a new creation and a lot of people are breeding them in all different ways then there is just a ton of variety.

    The best ones were very drivey and fun little dogs and I'd totally snatch them.

    Then I've met some that were obviously crossed to shelties, poms, chis, or papillons. The other end of the spectrum was a 'mini aussie' breeder that bred dogs that were easily 50-60 lbs and driveless and looked like aussie x retrievers.

    My biggest suggestion would be to be breeder aware and make sure you're getting the real deal.
     
  3. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    My experience with them has been similar to Laurelin's. I like most that I've been around but definitely, some are obvious mixes. The good ones really are just like good Aussies - smart, drivey, bouncey and fun, active dogs :) Look for a breeder who health tests and does stuff (competes in something, preferably in some sort of performance or "work" related venue as well as conformation) or actually uses their dogs for work.
     
  4. faustus

    faustus Member

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    Thanks for the input guys! Smart, drivey, and fun is what I'm looking for in a dog, so it's good to hear that fits these guys! I've seen the obvious mixed type you guys mentioned and I'm staying far far away from those. The ones that I've seen that look like that are typically labelled as toy and I don't want to go that small anyways.

    The breeder I'm currently looking into health tests and does rally, obedience, and agility with her dogs as well as confirmation. Plus the good majority of her dogs have their CGCs :) Not bad for a breeder who I found through my paper's classified ads :p
     
  5. SailenAero

    SailenAero Hits the Mark

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    not being rude - but there is no such thing as a mini aussie. it's a designer dog that utilizes the look of an australian shepherd which only comes in one standard size. personally i am against mini aussies - but that's just my honest opinion and thus why i am so snarky about it. i'm curious as to why you don't want a real Australian Shepherd?
     
  6. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    The ASCA doesn't agree with mini aussies. So neither do dog breeders that follow their guidelines, which is most good breeders I believe. (and regardless MOST/all good aussie breeders don't agree with the mini thing either)

    So my biggest question is, where are these mini aussie breeders getting their breeding stock?
    That is where my biggest issue is.. more-so than changing a breed just to suit people is that you could end up with a puppy whose parents are not even the best that breed can produce BY FAR
     
  7. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Some respected registries seem to disagree with you :)

    My guess as to why the poster wants a Mini Aussie (now accepted into AKC's FSS program as Miniature American Shepherds) as opposed to an Aussie is they want an Aussie type temperament in a smaller package. That's why I would get a Mini instead of an Aussie anyway.
     
  8. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    If they are accepted by the AKC for FSS as a Mini American Shepherd, that makes them a totally different breed, so really they are NOT mini Aussies. :p
     
  9. faustus

    faustus Member

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    I'm not going for the full sized version because I'll be renting, and most places around here that allow dogs have weight limits in place. Or if they don't have a set pet policy, it would be much easier to negotiate one with a dog on the smaller side. I still want a dog that can do it all though, as I want to play around in agility, rally, flyball, and maybe even herding. I was considering Papillons, but I don't want to go quite that small.

    As long as the breeder is reputable, (health tests, and does something aside from just confirmation with their dogs), I don't have a problem with 'designer dogs.'
     
  10. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Mini Aussies are as old as the normal aussie... you can find references to breeding them in the late 50's and pictures of smaller size aussies back to the foundation of the breed as a motley breeding of sheep herding mutts around WW1. They are also not uncommon, at least here there are loads of breeders probably more than the larger size - you will find as much variation in them as the larger versions. It also means that there really isn't a lack of a gene pool to work from. Since the Aussie itself didn't join AKC until 1980 and didn't even have a set standard until 76' I think you can decide which "breed" is real and not real.

    I've always been of the opinion there are loads of breeds with different sizes that are uncontroversial. I just see the smaller version hate in the mini aussie case being a case of sour grapes.
     
  11. faustus

    faustus Member

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    I was trying to type up something about the history, but didn't feel knowledgeable enough about the subject to post it, so thank you for posting this :)
     
  12. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Oh then *shrug* I would just go about finding a responsible breeder as you normally would :)

    my biggest concern was that since mini aussie breeders were "new", good breeders didn't sell breeding dogs to them, so they were using aussies from not so responsible places (so it would affect health)

    Happy to hear that isn't the case :)

    I don't have any experience with them, but since they are simply aussies bred on a smaller scale, I would think the temperaments were the same :) and all aussies I know are bouncy, happy, driven guys and gals!

    There seem to be a few videos on youtube on mini aussies, and youtube is always great for getting to know breeds even when you can't meet them face to face
     
  13. SailenAero

    SailenAero Hits the Mark

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    I'm gonna have to disagree. You are very welcome to your opinion, but the history of the Aussie is much different - and an AKC standard being set in the 80's is not saying everything. Look at the ASCA as well as the stock dog registry.

    here is a great article on aussie history.

    and Faustus - i rent my place and own two aussies. My male is under 40lbs and he is over a year. That shouldn't beat most weight requirements and are not on the aggressive dog list for home owners insurance. also, aussies are not a "large" breed - you can find smaller true australian shepherds. you may get a "mini" and not get the same experience. the australian shepherd is an amazing breed with a rich history. i urge you to support the original and true breed :)
     
  14. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    They show under the name of North American Shepherds here. The ones I see in agility are pretty awesome. I don't see why its a big deal if they want to make their own breed, etc. Its like if you could actually make a goodlendoodle I wouldnt' be against that either (but it seems they don't breed true)

    If there is a market and people want to do it responsibly why not? I would take a mini over a full sized one too.
     
  15. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Here, it's unheard of to find an apartment allowing dogs over 30 lbs. Most cap it at 20 or 25 tops.

    Regardless, there's nothing wrong with wanting a small dog, even if the landlord allowed mastiffs. I adore having a dog I can easily scoop up and carry around when necessary (like up the stairs to the bathtub when she's muddy!)
     
  16. faustus

    faustus Member

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    From the research I've done on apartments out near where I'd most likely be living, the limit has been around 35-40 lbs. I probably could find an out of standard aussie around this size from a 'real' australian shepherd breeder. I just don't see a difference between getting an aussie from a 'real' aussie breeder that happened to be born smaller than breed standard calls for and getting an aussie from someone who specifically breeds for smaller dogs (as long as it isn't taken to an extreme and is done in a reputable fashion).

    Everything I've read says that true mini aussies are pure australian shepherds just smaller (14-18" and 20-40lbs as opposed to 18-23" and 40-60 lbs) I'm sure there are people who breed in random toy dogs to achieve the same effect, but from what I've seen this is mostly in the 'toy' variety and the breeder I've talked to isn't doing this. She even brought this up unprompted when I talked to her about the breed and made a point to say she wasn't a fan of that tactic either.

    It's looking like this is just something we will have to agree to disagree on :)
     
  17. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Aussies weren't part of the AKC until 1992 (and it was an ugly battle for sure) and while there have always been dogs that run smaller than the standard, the standard itself already accommodates a pretty darn small dog. Those who run a breeding program that still strives to retain everything that makes an Aussie an Aussie, but smaller, I have less of an issue with. I still don't see the point to make a 12" "Aussie" and most of those breeders, IME, are shoddy hacks in it for the money.

    Those who do insist on breeding smaller now have the option of registering and showing under "North American Shepherd".
     
  18. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    My Aussie, who stayed with my ex when we split up, is within the bottom end of the Aussie standard. Django is 19 inches tall and the heaviest he had reached is 36 pounds and really he is a little bit chubby for my liking at that weight, I like him better at 33 , but he isn't mine anymore, so I can't change that. He is not a †mini†he is just on the small side of the Aussie standard.
     
  19. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    There's plenty of less than stellar Aussie breeders too. I see them all the time at the flea market selling their their double merle puppies who have deformed eyes and are likely deaf. Do those breeders and puppies speak to the quality of the entire breed or all breeders involved in the breed?

    As to the point, I suppose it isn't for you to decide. They are already a recognized breed and they already have quite a lot of people seriously involved in them. A lot of the interest in them is people wanting a herding breed with a more work-oriented temperament in a smaller size. The Mini Aussie standard is 14"-18", so the smallest female in standard Aussie is the size of the biggest Mini Aussie/MAS allowed by standard (14"-18"). And it can be quite hard to tell if you're going to get such a small one if you are picking out a puppy. It sounds like the OP has already found a breeder he's happy with who does a lot with their dogs.

    And FWIW, history of Mini Aussies:


    "The Miniature Australian Shepherd was developed directly from the Australian Shepherd. Throughout the history of the Aussie, small (under 18") dogs can be seen in historical photographs. Many believe that the original Aussie was selectively bred larger as sheep ranching decreased and cattle ranching increased. Cattle ranchers preferred a larger dog to work the larger stock. Some Aussie owners have continued to prefer the smaller sized Aussie while others prefer the larger.

    In 1968 a horse woman in Norco, California, began a breeding program specifically to produce very small Australian Shepherds. Her name was Doris Cordova, and the most well known dog from her kennel is Cordova’s Spike. Spike was placed with Bill and Sally Kennedy, also of Norco, California, to continue to develop a line of miniature Aussies under the B/S kennel name. Another horseman, Chas Lasater of Valhalla Kennels soon joined the ranks of

    Cordova, Lasater and the Kennedy’s together attempted to form the first parent club for the miniatures. Although the club never quite got off the ground, their stated purpose for developing the miniatures was to produce an Australian Shepherd under 17" who had the heart, intelligence and drive to work stock, and yet be small enough to travel easily to stock shows and be a "house" dog.
    Cordova’s dogs were registered through the National Stock Dog Registry (NSDR) and eventually NSDR came to be the first registry to recognize and register the mini as a size variety of the Australian Shepherd."
    http://www.namascusa.com/about.htm
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    The minis I meet around here are snippy, snarky, weird dogs. I can't say I meet too many standard size aussies I fancy either though.

    I remember distinctively when the minis became a "thing" everyone was up in arms and then they stuck around long enough and people began to give in to the legitimacy. Same goes for most every new breed whether it's a split from the original, a breeding down or up, or a hybrid.
     

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