Miniature American Shepherd

True herders in spite of their compact size, Minis are bright, self-motivated workers and endearingly loyal and lively companion dogs.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The Miniature American Shepherd has a medium-length double coat with hair that ranges from straight to wavy. He’ll lose some hair year-round andwill shed heavily in spring and fallwhen his old coat is coming out and his new coat is coming in. You’ll want to brush him daily during this time to keep the hair from overwhelming your home as well as to help prevent mats and tangles.
To keep the coat healthy and attractive, brush it once or twice a week in the direction the hair grows, back and down, starting with the top coat and then getting underneath it to brush the undercoat. Be sure you carefully comb or brush the hair on the backs of the legs and on the rear end because tangles and mats often form in these areas. Tools you’ll need include a pin brush or a stiff bristle brush.
For the most part, this breed doesn’t need to be trimmed. You may, however, choose to neaten his ears, feet, feathering (the long hair on the backs of the legs) and tail.
A puppy’s coat won’t reach its full length until he’s about a year old, but it’s a good idea to start grooming him as soon as you get him. This willaccustom him to the processand help him learn to hold still and accept being handled.
How often youbathean MASdepends on personal preference. You can give a bath only as needed or you can bathe him weekly; regardless of frequency, use a mild dog-friendly shampoo. Be sure you comb out any mats or tangles before bathing him.
The rest is basic care.Trim the nailsevery three to four weeks or as needed. If they’re clicking on the floor, they’re too long.Brush the teeth often— with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.

Exercise Tips

The Miniature American Shepherd is an incredibly active and energetic breed that requires plenty of daily exercises. In addition to long daily walks, this breed does very well when given training for various dog sports including fly ball, disc dog, agility and obedience – this training provides valuable mental and physical stimulation the keeps the dog in shape. If not given adequate daily exercise and mental stimulation, this breed is likely to develop behavioral problems.

Feeding Tips

The Miniature American Shepherd is a fairly small dog but it does not qualify as a toy breed, so avoid dog food formulated for small-breed dogs. The better choice for this breed is a dog food formulated for active dogs – this food will ensure that the energy needs of the breed are met.
Theyshould do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior).
Some dogs are prone to gettingoverweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity.
Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

Because the Miniature American Shepherd is not genetically different from the Australian Shepherd (except for its size), it is prone to the same conditions.
Some of the most common conditions affecting this breed includehip dysplasia, patellar luxation, cataracts, epilepsy, collie eye abnormality, and spinal defects. In many cases, health problems are related to the genes that are responsible for the common merle coloration in this breed – particularly hearing and vision-related conditions.


The Miniature American Shepherd is an intelligent and trainable breed. As is true with many small breeds, however, housebreaking and training this dog can be a little trickier than with its larger counterparts. The key to training the breed is to start early and to maintain a firm and consistent hand in training. These dogs require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent the development of unwanted behaviors.
Earlysocializationandpuppy training classesare recommended and help to ensure that the dog grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion.


The MAS was bred first in the United States as small herding and working dog. The Miniature American Shepherd (at that time still the MiniatureAustralian Shepherd) was first developed in the late 1960s by breeding what was thought to be small Australian Shepherds, and by the mid-1970s the breed had reached its current desired size. They are a versatile herding dog that became especially popular for their smaller size, intelligence and loyalty. The Miniature American Shepherd was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 2015.