Toy & Miniature
Australian Shepherds

About The Breed ...

     The miniature and toy aussies are a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd;  toys measure 14" or under in height, minis are over 14" and up to 18" tall.  They retain and exhibit the same intelligence, temperment, and instinct to herd of the larger dogs, and enjoy working small stock; but due to their size, are considered more of a companion pet than a working dog.  The mini/toy aussie is a high energy dog and needs regular exercise.  They are athletic and easily trained, excelling in many performance events including obedience, flyball, or agility.  This breed has an outgoing, friendly, and lovable temperment, yet can often be reserved with strangers.  They are alert, sensitive, confident, and devoted to their families.

Breed Standard

Head: Clean cut, top skull flat to slightly rounded; equal in length and width to muzzle which tapers slightly to rounded tip; well-defined but moderate stop.  Muzzle in balance and proportion to rest of head.

Lips: Snug and not hung below the line of the mouth.

Teeth: Lower incisors close just behind upper incisors.  Fault: An even bite.  Disqualification: Undershot or overshot bite.

Eye: Almond shaped, average size well apart, not sunken or prominent.  Eyes may be in any combinations, which include flecks or marbling; no precedence should be given to one eye color or combination.  Fault: Offset pupil.

Ears: Moderate length, slightly rounded tip, breaking slightly forward – to – above base.  Ears should be in proportion to dog.  Must have color.  Measuring to inside point of eye when folded forward.  Fault: Hound type and prick.

Forequarters: Shoulder blades long and flat, close set at withers.  Upper arms attached at approximate right angle to shoulder line with forelegs dropping straight, perpendicular to ground.  Legs straight.  Pastern’s short and strong but flexible showing slight angle.

Feet: Oval and compact with well arched toes.  Fault: Splayed feet, broken down feet.  Dew claws on front leg matter of preference – not bearing on judging in the show ring.

Neck and Body: Neck in proportion with body.  Slightly arched, well set into shoulders.  Body firm and muscular.

Topline: Broad and level.

Chest: Deep and strong, ribs well sprung.

Loin: Strong and broad when viewed from top.

Bottomline: Moderately tucked up.
Croup: moderately sloping.

Tail: Straight, natural bobtail or docked; not to exceed 3 inches.  Toy; under 1 inch.  Fault: Roached back, weak or sagging.

Hindquarters: Width approximately equal to width of forequarters.

Hock Joints: Moderately bent.  Stifles clearly defined.

Metatarsi: Short perpendicular to ground and parallel to each other when slightly wavy, moderate length with undercoat, quality of undercoat will vary with climate.  Short and smooth on head, outside of ears, front of forelegs and below hocks.  Backs are moderately feathered; breeches moderately full.  Moderate mane and frill which is more pronounced in the male dog.  Fault: Non-typical coats.

Colors: Blue merle, black tri (black/white with copper points), red merle, red tri (red/white with copper points) solid red or solid black with or without white.  Tan or copper points with no preference.  Colors strong, clear and rich.

All Colors: No white areas around eyes and ears – no white body.  Hairline of white color; not to exceed point of wither.

Patterns: Vary from roan base, splotches and bold patches.  Each color may be with or without white and/or copper markings.  White trim is acceptable color pattern appearing in well-defined areas; forehead, neck, muzzle, chest, stomach, feet and legs.

Black: Is black; no sabling to undercoat.  Black nose.

Blue Merle: Modification black body color, sometimes referred to as salt and pepper; can vary in combinations of blue, silver blue, steel gray or blue black.  Black nose.  Fault: gray or white patches in merle pattern.

Red: Deep liver, burgundy, shaded rust or sorrel.  Liver nose.

Red Merle: Variation basic red body color (cinnamon and sugar) with liver skin pigmentation.  Color can be extremely contrasting to evenly blended.  Liver nose.

Disqualifications: Other than recognized colors: white body and/or splashes of white, duddley nose.  Butterfly nose, not faulted if under one year of age.  One third or more white on body.

Gait: Smooth, free, well balanced ground-covering stride.  Front and hind legs move straight and parallel with centerline of body, topline remains level.  Gait evaluated at trot.  Joint not to bend or twist when in motion.

Size: Quality not to be sacrificed in favor of size.  Length in proportion to height.

Miniature: Over 14 inches to 17 inches tall.

Toy:  14 inches and under. 

Disqualifications: Monorchidism or cryptorchidism.  No sound reason for size disqualification.

Grooming: Shown in near to natural state.

Feet: Hair trimmed away from and around pads.

Whiskers: Trimmed or not trimmed.  Never removed on dog to work stock.

Hair: Pasterns trimmed between heel and digital.  Long hairs on docked/bobtails may be removed to make a neater appearance.  Sparse, stray and straggly hairs removed to make a neater outline.

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