About Miniature Australian Shepherds
"The Miniature Australian Shepherd was developed sometime around 1973." Doris
Cordova, a horse woman in Norco, California, acquired several small Australian Shepherds
from the rodeo circuit. Intrigued by their size, she developed a breeding program in order
to preserve the trait. Her dog, Cordova's Spike, a 15 inch Blue Merle, was the first
Miniature Australian Shepherd to be registered with the National Stock Registry in 1968.
Miniature Australian Shepherds soon attracted the attention of many experienced
Australian Shepherds and people eager to learn about the breed. A lot of research was
conducted to improve the confirmation of the Miniature Australian Shepherd. Herding
instincts, intelligence, and drive was preserved, and these "mini" dogs continue to work a
variety of livestock today.
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is exactly as its name implies. It is a small Australian
Shepherd that is attentive, energetic, highly intelligent, and reserved towards strangers,
but never shy (this is a fault). The height ranges between 14 - 18 inches, with a
corresponding weight of approximately 20 - 40 pounds.
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is a joy to have around, but like their full size
counterpart, they need something to do. Obedience training is highly recommended.
They excel in many areas such as: fly ball, agility, herding, and obedience competitions.
The Miniature Australian Shepherd is totally devoted to their family, and make excellent
watch dogs and companions.
The Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of America (MASCA) and International Miniature
Australian Shepherd club (IMASC) are the parent clubs for the Miniature Australian
Shepherd. People who did not want the name change to Miniature American Shepherd, or
for the history to not be worded as above have chosen to not move into AKC with their
dogs, and will continue to register their dogs with the rare breed registries, as well as
show and compete in rare breed venues. Miniature Australian Shepherds will not ever be
recognized in AKC under this name.
About Miniature American Shepherds
The Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA) was selected in May 2011
as the parent club of the Miniature American Shepherd for the American Kennel Club. The
breed was formed by a split of the Australian Shepherd breed in AKC, and the
incorporation of dogs previously known as Miniature Australian Shepherds and also
known as North American Shepherds. MASCUSA was originally known as the Miniature
Australian Shepherd Club of the USA, and then the North American Miniature Australian
Shepherd Club of the USA, and was founded in 1990 as original parent club for the
Miniature Australian Shepherd. MASCUSA represents AKC Miniature American Shepherd
breeders and owners across America and around the world.
Official AKC History of the Miniature American Shepherd
The Miniature American Shepherd was developed in California during the late 1960's with
the breeding of small, unregistered dogs that were thought to be Australian Shepherds.
These dogs were bred with a goal of maintaining their small size, active character and
The breed was first registered with the National Stock Dog Registry in 1980 and was
originally called the Miniature Australian Shepherd. By the early 1990's, they had attained
nationwide popularity. Several clubs promoted these small dogs, as they were registered
and shown with various rare-breed organizations. The first parent breed club and registry,
MASCUSA, was formed in 1990 and incorporated in 1993. The breed entered the AKC
Foundation Stock Service as the Miniature American Shepherd in May 2011. The Miniature
American Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA) is the designated national parent club of
the American Kennel Club.
The breed has been used for herding smaller stock such as sheep and goats, although
they have the heart to tackle larger stock as well. Their small size was looked upon with
favor, as they could more easily double as a household pet. They became especially
popular with equestrians traveling to horse shows, as their intelligence, loyalty, and size
made them an excellent travel companion. In this way their popularity spread across the
country. Today, the Miniature American Shepherd is established across the U.S. and
internationally. It is a breed with a unique identity - an eye catching, versatile little herding
dog, equally at home on a ranch or in the city.
The Miniature American Shepherd is a herding dog to be designated to the Herding Group
in the American Kennel Club July 2015.
To learn more, please visit MASCUSA's website at:
|Desert Sun's take on Miniature Australian Shepherd vs. Miniature American Shepherd
Since the acceptance of the Miniature Australian Shepherd into the American Kennel Club
(AKC), I have watched friendships among breeders end, all because of a name change. The
Miniature Australian Shepherd breeders, feel that those who chose to go AKC as a Miniature
American Shepherd, sacrificed the breed's name as well as their history in order to open the
doors and have the breed accepted in a world wide registry. I do not feel the same. I chose to
take my dogs AKC for many reasons. The first and foremost, was with AKC there are a lot
more events for not only myself, but my puppy buyers to compete in, should they choose. I
also wanted to see a height DQ that needs to be followed in the conformation ring. I have
watched and shown against Miniature Australian Shepherds that are becoming taller each
year, because size is not to be sacrificed for quality. I agree with this statement, but also feel a
dog that is the size of an Australian Shepherd should not compete as a Mini.
As far as the name change, USASA (United States Australian Shepherd Association), the parent
club for the Australian Shepherd in AKC, would not allow us to keep the name "Australian
Shepherd". Unfortunately, since they are the ones that helped us achieve AKC recognition,
we had to accept this as one of the terms. I look at it like this, the Australian Shepherd was
developed in America as well as the Miniature Australian Shepherd. As a Miniature American
Shepherd, we are now representing the country from which our dogs developed.
USASA, also, does not want to recognize that the Miniature American Shepherd is derived
from the Australian Shepherd. The Miniature Australian Shepherd people believe that the
Miniature American Shepherd will someday not look like a smaller version of the Australian
Shepherd, and have chosen to say we are not the same breed as them. (I find this funny, as I
have sisters, one is registered as a Mini Aussie, and the other one is registered as a Miniature
American Shepherd. You're telling me they are not the same breed???) Anyways, this is a
political battle that I choose to not be a part of. I love my dogs. I love to show. I know what and
where my dogs came from, and where I am going with them in the future. I cannot predict
what will happen with the breed as a whole. I can tell you that my dogs ancestry is the
Australian Shepherd. They are not created from other breeds. So whether, I refer to them as a
Mini Aussie or a Miniature American Shepherd, they are one and the same at my house.