Mini Australian Shepherds

Everything You Need To Know Before Getting a Miniature Australian Shepherd Puppy in Singapore

Looking For A Miniature Australian Shepherd Puppy For Sale in Singapore?

These true American-bred pups (they’re not from Australia despite their name!) are clever and energetic. You’ll find them to be extremely loyal, athletic and not to mention their wide variety of gorgeous coats and sparkling eyes. Taking care of a large dog may come with challenges in Singapore which is why Miniature Australian Shepherds are becoming the dog of the moment, being their smaller cousins of the popular Australian Shepherd dog.

Continue reading to find out more about their rich history and everything you need to know to begin looking for your Mini Aussie Shepherd addition to the family.

History

Origin 

Australian Shepherd’s earliest roots began from the Conquistadors, who in the 1500s arrived to the New World. Back then, they were described as more wolf-like and used more as guardians than herders.  Centuries later, the Australian Shepherd was developed for herding livestock and imported with shipments of sheep from Australia in the 1840s for farmers in the western U.S, which gave them their name. Because they were bred in America they are also interchangeably referred to as Miniature American Shepherds.

A Breed With Many Different Cultures 

A study discovered that 10 percent of German Shepherd Dogs carried a gene found most commonly in Australian Shepherds. Which wasn’t a surprise considering the sheep’s shipment from Germany to Australia to the U.S, it was likely that German herding dogs were involved in the journey. Arguably, immigrants from northern Spain that arrived in large numbers with sheepherders could have also played a role in the Australian Shepherd’s history. Other accounts say that they made their way through Chile, Argentina and Paraguay before arriving in California. How complicated! Australian Shepherds have a rich history and mix of different cultures and influences from around the world making them all the more special!

Miniature Australian Shepherds vs Toy Australian Shepherds

Yes there are differences, very important ones! The first notable difference are their sizes, a Miniature Australian Shepherd is slightly smaller than an Australian Shepherd, a Toy Australian Shepherd is even smaller than a Miniature.

A Miniature Australian Shepherd will grow to be 7-13 kg compared to their standard counterparts at 18-24 kg. 

Miniature Australian Shepherds were bred by mating standards Aussies that were smaller in size with each other resulting in a gradual decrease in size overtime. Because of their gradual decrease they remain true to proportions and look exactly like the standard version. Toy Aussies on the other hand aren’t bred to decrease in size gradually, veterinarians believe they are a result of inbreeding.

As a result, Toy Aussies are more prone to certain health issues that Mini Aussies aren’t and are not proportionate like the original Aussies. This is something to keep in mind when looking for your Aussie because smaller doesn’t just mean cuter!

Show/Family Australian Shepherds vs Working Australian Shepherds

These two different races have very unique characteristics and abilities, understanding the differences is important when choosing your Miniature Aussie puppy. The show, family or therapy line are best suited for families while the working line categorizes herding and working dogs. These lines apply for Miniature Australian Shepherds as well.

Show/Family Australian Shepherds

  • This line of Aussies also known as the therapy line are primarily used as guide dogs for the blind and deaf, wheelchair companion dogs, in therapy for children, rescue work and family dogs.

  • They are fond of children and easy to train, making them excellent family pets! You’ll see soon enough how intelligent they are and how much they love interacting with humans! They are described as one of the smartest dogs in the world, are incredibly loyal and are bursting full with energy.

  • These aussies are bred to be dogs with the highest possible beauty standards hence the name “show dogs”, which can also mean showing off your pup to others of course! This is the line of Miniature Australian Shepherd for sale in Singapore you or/and your family should be looking for.

Working Australian Shepherds

  • This line is also known as the herding dogs. They are fantastic, fast, agile and lighting smart for the work they are brought up to do on cattle, sheep, horses etc. They have an eagerness to work and a fiery personality that inspires. 

  • Many owners who look to import their own dogs make the mistake of importing Working Australian Shepherds instead of Family ones. Owners of Working Australian Shepherds need to be able to provide them with the appropriate conditions of herding for hours a day. They may develop many tics from boredom if Working Aussies are mistakenly kept as Family Aussies.

Color Genetics

Wonder how the gorgeous Miniature Australian Shepherds you see for sale in Singapore come about? Well, Miniature Australian Shepherds come in a beautiful array of colors and majestic coats! The four most common are Blue Merle, Red Merle, Black Tri-colored and Red Tri-colored. You may be surprised to know that there is family planning involved to achieve specific richly colored and luscious coats!

#1 Blue Merle

Blue Merle Miniature Aussies are one of the most striking and uniquely colored coats with a combination of grey, black, white fur and even brown patches of fur on their hindlegs.

Blue Merle Aussies aren’t just special because of their coats, their eyes can be blue or even have specks of color that gives it a “marble effect”!

So how do they get their beautiful multi-colored coats with striking eyes? A Blue Merle Aussie is born from an “incomplete dominant” merle gene found in non-merle parents. Only one of these merle genes are needed, two merle genes will produce a non-Merle Aussie. So contrary to what people would believe, two Blue Merle parents that each have a dominant gene will reproduce a “double merle” puppy that will have serious health issues and are found to be blind and deaf at birth.

#2 Red Merle

Red Merle Miniature Australian Shepherds are undeniably beautiful dogs. They’re rarer than a Blue Merle’s coat and have striking eyes that can have a “marble effect” from specks of color.

Each parent must carry a non-dominant red coat gene to produce a Red Merle puppy. Just like Blue Merles breeders won’t or shouldn’t mate two Merles. Typically, Red Merle Aussies are tricolored with white markings and patches of black, red or brown speckled all over. How pretty!

#3 Black or Red Tri-Colored

These Miniature Australian Shepherds usually have black or red as their base coat color with small amounts of white and brown markings on their face, legs and tail.

Black Tri-Colored Aussies are the most common but majestic nonetheless. The difference between a Red Merle and Red Tri-Colored Aussie is that a Merle’s colors are spotted and marbled randomly on their coat while Tri-Colored Aussies have their brown and white patches on their face, legs and tail.

Show Name Organisations For Australian Shepherds

  • The Australian Shepherd Club of America is one that was established in 1957 as the parent club for Aussies. They are the biggest independent club specific to a breed in America and organize events for Australian Shepherds to showcase their agility, tracking and obedience. You can even register to become a member with them!

  • The Kennel Club is the UK’s largest registration database for pedigree and crossbreed dogs that is devoted to the welfare and training of dogs in the UK.  They also run the Petlog database that stores the microchip of every pet in the UK and are accredited to certify members of assured breeders. Furthermore, they organize charity work from charitable trust funds to health initiatives.

  • The United States Australian Shepherd Association (USASA) represents, promotes, protects and preserves Aussie owners and breeders worldwide. The club encourages ethical breeding and education through a variety of competitive events and support to fund scientific research dedicated to improve the breed’s health.

Grooming

The first and most basic step is brush brush brush! It is recommended that you brush your dog’s coat daily to keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy. Miniature Australian Shepherds are moderate to heavy shedders and consistent brushing stimulates the skin and removes the shedding coat, it actually reduces the amount your dog will shed overall. 

NEVER SHAVE YOUR AUSSIE!

Australian Shepherds are double-coated breeds and should never be shaved, once their undercoat is shaved it may not grow back the same, leaving your dog with a coarse coat that loses its ability to insulate it from heat or cold.

Brushing is best done with a combination of slick brush followed by a long tooth comb. Use the brush first and brush in the direction of their coat, this smoothes out their fur before you go in with the long tooth comb to get out any tangles or matts. Use the comb to get into the fur and comb it out outwards and not against the skin.

They don’t need frequent trips to the groomers because there isn’t much trimming required, what’s most important for them is the general upkeep from you aka brushing!

Showering & Brushing

  • Miniature Australian Shepherds like every other dog should have a shower every week or two. Overshowering can be just as harmful as not showering enough. Over-stripping their skin of their natural oils can cause them to overcompensate and result in a greasy dog or lead to dry and itchy skin due to Singapore’s humid climate. Make sure you really get in there to their skin and not just their fur for a thorough bath
  • Most Miniature Australian Shepherds aren’t fussy about water but just like every new experience, make it a positive one! Build the association that a weekly bath is something to look forward to.
  • Make sure that the water is not too hot or cold, lukewarm is perfect! A rubber mat on the bottom of your bathtub or shower will be a good investment to help prevent your Aussie from slipping and injuring himself if he gets too excited or jumps out of the tub
  • Rinsing them good is important in ensuring they are squeaky clean, leaving behind no soapy residue. Dry them well before you start blow drying!
  • Lastly, ensure a generous supply of towels nearby! Aussies love to shake when they’re wet so you’ll likely get wet too! Have fun! 

Nail Clipping

Source: tractive.com

Unfortunately, nail trimming isn’t the most enjoyable experience, so introduce the practice of nail clipping when your Aussie is young. Start incorporating it into their routine and build their confidence. Slowly but surely it can be done easily in a matter of minutes! 

Some tips are to bring your Aussie to a spot where he/she is relaxed, hold his/her belly up, cut at an angle and take your time. Nail grinders are great alternatives too, it may take longer but it reduces the risk of cutting your pup’s quick, a vein that delivers blood supply. Consider taking breaks in between, giving them treats and positive reinforcements their first few times.

Trim their nails once or twice a week at home or pay a visit to the groomers.

Brushing Your Aussie’s Teeth

You should brush your Aussie’s teeth 2-3 times a week to prevent a buildup of tartar that can lead to  gingivitis (the early stages of periodontal gum disease). This will cause tooth decay if not caught early. 

We recommend either using a toothbrush or fingerbrush, this is up to preference of yourself and your dog. Early on in age, you can begin touching your dog’s teeth for as long as your Goldie is comfortable. Slowly, they will realize that it is nothing to be afraid of and brushing teeth will be a breeze for you!

Gradually exposing good habits to your Goldie when they are young will go a long way in terms of comfort and hygiene for your family

Common Illnesses in Miniature Australian Shepherds

  • Unethical breeding practices typically lead to unhealthy puppies, as unscrupulous breeders may knowingly breed dogs with health issues in order to produce more puppies for sales and maximize their profits.
  • Pet Me Please only works with ethical breeders who screen their dogs for 200+ known health issues before breeding them, ensuring you get a healthy puppy with no genetic disease.
  • Some of these health issues may seem daunting but this is not to scare you! We know you love your dog and want to keep you informed of the common illnesses Miniature Australian Shepherds are predisposed to and hopefully tailor habits that can prevent future predictable risks! 
  • This is a general consensus from veterinary practitioners and researchers, doesn’t mean that your dog will get them, it just means that there are more at risk for them that you should watch out for.

Cataracts: A few things can impact your dog’s quality of life drastically and eye diseases are one of them. Cataracts are a common cause of blindness in older Aussies. You’ll start to notice that their eyes look cloudy before they become more opaque and result in total blindness. Dogs can adjust well to loss of vision or you can opt for surgery to remove it and hopefully restore their sight. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA is a genetic disease where a puppy’s eyes are programmed from birth to become blind. PRA doesn’t hurt but it is incurable. Aussies that inherit this bad gene start showing early symptoms like dilated pupils or night blindness at three to five years old. Sadly, Aussies are more at risk of inheriting this condition, that is why it’s important that your Aussie’s are from ethical breeders in Singapore that perform screening for genetic conditions on their parents before breeding. Which is what our breeders do here at PMP! 

Dysplasia: This is an inherited disease that affects a dog’s hips and elbows, it causes improper development in their joints that can lead to arthritis or dislocation. Signs that an Aussie was born with dysplasia will begin to show as early as in their first year. Things to look out for are lameness in legs or trouble getting up from lying down. When treating arthritis, the earlier the better, early treatment can help with pain and discomfort that comes with the condition. Keep in mind that arthritis can also affect your dog if they become overweight, so never overfeed your dog! Health issues can turn ugly quickly if your pup gets too chubby. To prevent dysplasia in all our Miniature Australian Shepherd puppies, our breeders perform x-rays on all parents before they begin breeding and obtain health certificates that are accessible to you. This is a crucial step in ensuring the health of all our puppies

We hope that this article was informative and helpful in guiding your decision to finding your Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy or keep you informed on how to provide a safe and warm home for the new addition to the family!

We believe that transparency is key and we maintain such a relationship with our breeders in Germany and Australia.

Here at PMP, our breeders make sure that parents are cleared for all genetic diseases and only reproduce 3-4 times in their lifetime. Sourcing your puppy from ethical breeders is the first step in ensuring a happy and healthy life for your puppy. You’ll thank yourself for making that decision in the long-run.

We do our best to guide you along with the knowledge, skills and community necessary to care for your new pup with confidence.