As you have already guessed, the Miniature American Shepherd is a close resemblance of the Australian Shepherd Dog. This is an active dog who thrives on a farm or in a suburban area with plenty of free spaces.
He has a fine sense of handling both people and animals. You are having an insight on a bright and enthusiastic worker. He is an excellent performer in dog shows and sports.
Miniature American Shepherd personality:
Love for fun and actions differentiates the Miniature American Shepherd from most other dogs of a similar size. Inside of the family circle, he is amazingly gentle and calm and a great companion to both the kids and the other pets alike.
However, he does not prefer the presence of a stranger and it makes him a wonderful watchdog capable of timely warning you. His herding instincts also lend a sharper power of observation that works in his favor.
Unlike his counterparts of a similar disposition, he needs a lot of physical workouts to keep him in this jolly mood. Somehow, these dogs are tremendous horse lovers.
Measure his smartness:
The Miniature American Shepherd is an intelligent dog with awesome working capacity. Strong herding senses sharpen his basic skills. With a proper training, he knows exactly how to behave in a situation. He is upbeat for every activity that goes around him.
You have to keep in mind that this dog is never supposed to sit idle for hours. You must give him a satisfying job to accomplish.
He is actually not acting timid in the presence of a stranger. It is just the alert Miniature American Shepherd coming out of his character. High energy feeds his athletic soul. He loves occasional sprinting around.
What & how to feed:
Highly active adult Miniature American Shepherd should have 1-1.5 cups of daily food. For an adult dog, you can supply it in two meals respectively in the morning and in the evening.
But food provision is actually a dynamic issue and there will always be a difference in amount from dog to dog. This quantity actually relies on age, sex, activities, health and so many other issues. You can determine the amount of food the dog requires as you continue feeding him for a long time.
The Miniature American Shepherd does not care about his food being homemade or commercial products as long as they fulfill his energy necessities.
However, you can feed him medium sized dog foods. You just cannot free feed the dog. It creates some bad habits and will soon lead your dog to obesity as this medium sized dog can gain weight rapidly.
A 30 pound and adult active Miniature American Shepherd demands 922 calories per day as has been pointed out by the National Research Council of the National Academics.
But you cannot give him as much as this amount if your dog is prone to sitting out the days. But this tendency is not common to this dog breed. Protein and fat ingredients should be the foundation of his meals.
At least, 18-22 percent of proteins in each meal will provide him with ample energy. Beef, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, dairy items and lamb are excellent sources of proteins. Barley, cereals, vegetables and oats will give him some plant proteins. But vegetable proteins are not proficient in amino acid which is vital for a dog.
On the other hand, flaxseed oil. Safflower oil, olive oil and fish oil are going to supply the dog with necessary fat. Fat repels an injury by protecting the internal organs by creating a protective layer. Bone and joint strength also derives from it. Tapioca, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruits, beetroot, pumpkin and vegetables serve him with carbohydrates and fibers. Carbohydrate provides long term strength.
A commercial item should be free of preservatives, dyes and flavors for the betterment of his health. You can follow the guidelines established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Clean water is a vital requirement for the dog. Unnecessary use of treats causes overweight. You have to be careful in this regard.
Escape a few health issues:
The Miniature American Shepherd is a healthy dog breed and usually staves off most of the disease afflictions. But you always have a window to exercise some precautions before buying a puppy as these dogs might carry some genetic fault lines.
A few health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) will clear the dog out of a list of major physical conditions.
DNA tests are also vital for his good health. However, your dog may not suffer from any of these listed diseases in his lifetime. But your proper concept on some of these diseases and fundamental care issues can save both of you from a lot of troubles.
Active dogs suffering from hip dysplasia is the most sorrowful sight to ever experience. Disjointed femur head blocks natural blood flow and ultimately reduces the capacity of his leg. It is a condition which can be singled out at its puppy age. The dog might need a surgery to recover from this disease.
Elbow dysplasia is a result of unnatural bone, cell or tissue growth. It causes lameness and pain. Exercise or physical activities further aggravate the situation. It might be a genetic fault. X-ray test can reveal this case at an early age.
He is also likely to develop progressive retinal atrophy, an eye condition. It gradually brings down the number of active red cells of his eyes and takes away his night vision.
Ultimately, the dog ends up being fully blind. It is a painless disease and has little treatment. Beware of skin issues, allergies as well as von Willebrand’s Disease too.
Insightful care program:
A double coat protects the Miniature American Shepherd. It has a long and rough outer coat while the undercoat is kind of woolly. His coat is a bit of wavy in nature. The coat is going to shed all year long and especially this amount goes much higher in two shedding seasons.
Normally, a weekly brush will do the job of maintenance and you may need to be on a daily action in the seasons.
Regularly check up inside of the ears for smell or discharges. Use a vet suggested ear cleaning solution. If the dog prefers staying out for the most the daytime, get him a shed. A fenced yard will immensely come to his use for free running. He can benefit from a yearly vet visit as well.
Proper exercise method:
The dog requires a lot of physical workouts just like his cousin Australian Shepherd Dog because of his innate athleticism.
In absence of proper exercise schedule, he will try to herd your children and other pets around him as an alternative outlet to his energy bursts. You can use him for real tasks of a farm or ranch. He needs at least 40 minutes to an hour of daily walks.
Arrange some sports sessions such as fetching, tracking, game of ball. Give him interactive toys so that he can keep himself busy. Balls are especially toys of great interest. Take him to the nearby park so that he can get some additional activities.
If you are going out with the Miniature American Shepherd, put him on a leash and keep your running shoes on.
Miniature American Shepherd training cues:
The Miniature American Shepherd reputed for being a top trainee in the dogdom. This is a sturdy dog which needs early socialization. The Miniature American Shepherd should meet a lot of humans and pets so that he can develop a round personality.
Obedience training is going to help him better accommodate with the family. He is super witty and can easily grasp your training techniques. By the way, get him introduced with the hand signals.
Moreover, he likes to please you. So, you are going to have him trained quite comfortably.
Crate training is vital for imparting the lessons on house training. It also helps him better handle separation anxiety. But an adult dog should not be confined more than 2-4 hours at best. Field trials, tracking, scent work, agility, rally and herding tests will flash out the best sides of a Miniature American Shepherd.
Note that a dull training session will rarely make him enthusiastic. So, keep it fun with toys and treats.
Miniature American Shepherd Origin:
The Miniature American Shepherd found its root in California in the 1960’s. Their original ancestors are the Australian Shepherd Dogs. These dogs were bred to a smaller size in order to bring their intelligence into a compact size.
The initial name, Miniature Australian Shepherd, of this breed suggests their close relation to their cousin, Australian Shepherd Dog. But the Australian Shepherd lovers objected to this naming practice.
So, the name underwent a much needed change. The AKC recognized the Miniature American Shepherd as a Herding breed in 2015. However, their registration by the AKC started taking place as far back as 2011.