About Toy & Miniature Australian Shepherds (Aussies)
Miniature Australian Shepherds are 14 to 18 inches tall (at the shoulders) and range in weight from 15 to 35 pounds. Toy Australian Shepherds are under 14 inches tall (at the shoulders) and weigh up to about 20 pounds. Everyone seems to want to know how big/little a Toy Aussie really is. There are several pictures of adults on our website. The best way to describe them is to take a 12 inch ruler and stand it up on end. That is about how tall a Toy Aussie will be at the shoulders. Some will be shorter and others will be taller but that is about how tall they are. The length of body is a few inches longer than the height. Some are finer boned and others are heavier boned. Most are about the same in weight as their height. If they are 12 inches tall they weigh about 12 pounds. The Toy Aussies are usually smaller than the average cat but some may weigh more because they are stockier built than a cat.
Below is Chase standing under the back end of our Ford F150 pickup truck. Chase is on the upper end of the Toy Aussies in size at 13 inches at the shoulders.
Below is Panda (a Toy Aussie 13 1/2 inches) and Thelma our cat
Below are Higgins & Kina (9 week old Toy/Small Mini Aussie puppies) and Thelma our cat
Miniature and Toy Australian Shepherds are wonderful dogs. However, they are not the dog for everyone. It is always good to understand what a breed was originally bred for. Each breed was created for a purpose, a specific job, and will retain a lot of those natural instincts. Those instincts may not fit into your lifestyle. These little Aussies are highly intelligent, sometimes creative and desire a lot of attention. They are very loyal, loving, eager to please and always wanting to be with you. While some can be constantly active, others are content to be active when you are and relax when you relax. They are not a breed to put outside in the yard to live alone with little attention. They need to be an active part of the family. Left on their own they will find things to do that could be destructive or even fatal. Most Miniature and Toy Aussies are very affectionate with their owner yet known to be reserved around strangers. This should not be confused with shyness. Once they are introduced to your guest they may warm up although always showing their loyalty to their owner. Some may share kisses with the new friend. Others that are more reserved may not want a stranger to give attention to them though should never show aggression.
The Miniature and Toy Australian Shepherds are a small dog with more of a big dog personality. The little Aussies make fantastic house dogs and excellent traveling companions. They are very smart and easily trained. As with all puppies they can be destructive until they get out of the puppy stage. During this time the puppy is best kept in a crate when you are not home or cannot watch. You wouldn't leave a toddler unattended would you? The same goes with puppies. The little Aussies are an energetic fun little dog. They can race through the fields then come into the house and be content to be a lap dog. Most of them can easily turn off their energy. They don't have as strong a herding instinct as the full size Aussies but they do have some. They sometimes like to herd cats and other dogs, especially if the other animal runs. They are usually good with children. They can sometimes be leery of strangers and strange situations, even the most outgoing ones. Never aggressive towards people. Some don't even bark at strangers so those are not much of a watch dog. They may bark at another dog.
From talking to some of the long time breeders of the Miniature and Toy Australian Shepherds we have found some of the breeds which went into the makeup of the Aussies. The breeds include: English Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs - for big bone, blocky head, white collar and deep rich copper markings, Border Collies, Brittany or Springer Spaniel - to bring in the red color, Pyrenean Shepherd (French Sheepdog) - to bring the size down to Miniature, Pomeranian - brought the size down to Toy. Apparently one long time breeder of the Mini Aussies let their small Pomeranian male run free with their Mini Aussie females and smaller Aussie pups started to appear. These smaller pups apparently were sold as Toys which other breeders snatched up for breeding smaller Aussies. Other breeds which were brought into some of the lines are Chihuahua, Poodle, Yorkie, Corgie (for heavier bone), and Sheltie. No early breeders will ever admit to adding these breeds, however, puppies show up in some litters with a strong resemblance these breeds.
See a list of reference letters with pictures from satisfied owners of Anadee Aussies Toy & Miniature Australian Shepherd puppies (now grown dogs) at our References pages. Links to the Reference pages are at the upper left or bottom of this page.