The History of the Australian Shepherd and the Mini Aussie

 

The Standard Australian Shepherd

 

Although there are many theories about the origin of the Australian Shepherd, the breed as we know it today developed exclusively in the United States. 

Sheep herders from the  Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France migrated to Australia.  They used a variety of different herding breeds to tend the Australian sheep.  In the late 1800's some of the Basques migrated from Australia to the Southwestern United States.  Looking to make an improved herding dog with the best traits from each breed packed into one dynamic dog,  the Basques began to cross the different herding breeds.  Other people began to take notice of this new dog which often had a blue coat and blue eyes.  This striking new dog eventually became known as the Australian Shepherd because it was bred by the shepherds who came from Australia. 

The breed standard for the Australian Shepherd was set in 1957.

The Aussie (as the breed is nicknamed) is a versatile dog.  It is so sound minded that it easily adapts to various situations.  Today, the Australian Shepherd serves humanity in every imaginable way:  as working ranch dogs, guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, pet therapy dogs, drug detectors, search-and-rescue dogs, not to mention being our best friend and protector.

 

 

Miniature Australian Shepherds

 

To fulfill the desire for a smaller working dog with all of the same attributes of the wonderful Australian Shepherd, several Aussie breeders  focused on breeding the best of the smallest Australian Shepherds together.  Eventually the result of this effort has become known as the Miniature Australian Shepherd or the "Mini Aussie". The standard for the Mini Aussie was set in the 1960s.

Today there are even smaller Aussies, the "Toy Aussie" and the "Tea Cup Aussie" if you are looking for a small lap dog with a lot of heart.