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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Miniature American Shepherd Dog Breed: Pictures, Info, Care & More!

Miniature American Shepherd Dog Breed: Pictures, Info, Care & More!

female miniature american shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd, also referred to as MAS, is a small sheepdog native to the United States. His exceptional agility, combined with his strength and endurance, allows him to work on a wide variety of terrains.

Breed Overview


13 – 18 inches


20 – 40 pounds


12 – 13 years


Black, red, blue merle, and red merle, with or without tan or white markings

Suitable for:

Active families, those looking for a low-shedding dog


Loyal, brilliant, easy to train, friendly, energetic

This very versatile and energetic dog is an excellent athlete with great intelligence and a desire to please those to whom he is devoted. He is both a staunch companion and a docile worker, which is clearly noticeable by his attentive expression.

Miniature American Shepherd Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dog pawMiniature American Shepherd Puppies

If you want to find a healthy American Shepherd puppy, the best option is to look for ethical breeders who had a good reputation and long experience. These serious breeders do the screening tests for defects or genetic problems on the parents before breeding with the aim of producing good quality dogs to provide the maximum guarantees in terms of good health of the future puppies. And then there are those who do not perform any “or minimal” health tests on the parents before breeding and whose sole objective is to sell. Be wary of low prices for this dog breed, as they probably come from unethical or inexperienced breeders.

When you bring a miniature American Shepherd into your home, be ready to have a loyal and energetic dog by your side. They will require plenty of physical and mental stimulation to avoid boredom so be prepared to have enough time and energy to dedicate to your dog.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Miniature American Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd is a remarkably intelligent working dog. Despite his small size, he has retained a strong instinct for herding. He is also an exceptional companion, versatile, and very easy to train. Although sometimes reserved with strangers, he is not shy. He is an energetic, enduring worker who adjusts his behavior and exhibits excitement appropriate to the task at hand. With his family, he is protective, devoted, and loyal.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

As a family pet, the Miniature American Shepherd is a real playmate, especially for children. He loves to learn tricks. He is a dog who also shows his owner a lot of affection, dedication, and is loyal to him. However, this little dog needs a family that is available and present because he hates being alone.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

If well socialized from an early age, the Miniature American Shepherd will be able to coexist with other pets. However, his instinct to “group” herds could sometimes make cohabitation difficult, especially for your cat! This is why you will have to manage your pup’s instincts well so that the cohabitation is more harmonious.

Things to Know When Owning a Miniature American Shepherd:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Miniature American Shepherd does not require a particular diet. It must be of good quality and suitable for his age, state of health, and exercise.

Exercise 🐕

Due to his origins as a sheepdog, the Miniature American Shepherd is always up for activities. He should be able to enjoy long walks where he can run and fret as he pleases because physical activity is essential for his overall well-being. While he is happier in the country, he is a dog who also adapts very well to city life, especially since he does not take up much space due to his small size.

Moreover, the Miniature American Shepherd excels in sports such as agility, flyball, obedience, herding, and he is also gifted at therapeutic work.

Training 🎾

The training of the Mini American Shepherd should be a breeze. Indeed, eager to learn and extremely intelligent, the Miniature American Shepherd Dog is every dog ​​owner’s dream. These dogs love to work, and training will be fun for them and for you if you make it exciting and rewarding. Using treats is a great way to keep your dog motivated and engaged. But, although rewards are the best way to be successful, be sure to use them in moderation and adjust their diet, if necessary, as your dog can become obese if he receives too many treats.

Dog sports are also a great way to train your puppy and allow him to exercise, mentally stimulate him, and get him to spend time with you. Your puppy will be in dog heaven when he can do it all at the same time!

Positive, consistent, and patient training will make things easier for you and your dog. The training sessions will be an essential asset to strengthen your bond with your adorable and brilliant pooch!

Grooming ✂️

The Mini American Shepherd, like the Australian Shepherd, is a so-called “self-cleaning” dog because its coat releases dirt relatively easily. It is still advisable to brush him at least once a week, and a little more frequently during the mounting period. Excess hair from the ears and legs can be trimmed with thinning scissors for better maintenance and a cleaner look. Inspecting your dog after each walk can help to detect a possible injury or the presence of ticks or other nasty critters.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Miniature American Shepherd can have certain conditions typical of the Australian Shepherd, such as elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, or eye disorders, such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Additionally, the Mini American Shepherd may be affected by Collie eye anomaly (CEA); in fact, CEA does not only affect the Collie but also related breeds. Also known as choroidal hypoplasia, this inherited condition causes abnormal development of the choroid (tissue found under the retina). Finally, puppies can also inherit degenerative myelopathy (DM), which affects older dogs, sometimes as early as 8 or 10 years old, but most often between 10 and 12 years old.

Minor Conditions
  • Collie’s eye anomaly (CEA)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Cataracts
Serious Conditions
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Degenerative myelopathy (DM)
  • Epilepsy

divider-pawMale vs Female

The only noticeable difference between males and females is that the latter is slightly smaller than the males. The temperament and behavior of your dog, whether male or female, will depend above all on his education and his environment, as well as on the choice of whether or not to neuter him/her.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Miniature American Shepherd

1. He Has Been Recognized Internationally Only Recently

In 2011, the AKC (American Kennel Club) approved the creation of the Miniature American Shepherd and designated MASCUSA (Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA) as the official parent club for this new breed.

In 2014, France was the first country after the United States to recognize this breed. Then, in 2019, the miniature American shepherd was officially recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale).

2. He Can Be Born Without a Tail

According to the breed standard, the MAS traditionally has his tail cut off. However, about one in five puppies will be born naturally without a tail or with a very short one, called a bobtail.

3. He Is Small But Fast

The Mini American Shepherd runs faster than medium-sized dog breeds. Although there are no precise measurements, it is said that this little dog can run at a speed of 35 miles per hour.

female miniature american shepherd
Image Credit: LNbjors, Shutterstock

divider-dogFinal Thoughts

The Miniature American Shepherd is a versatile dog, who knows how to be a very good companion, shine on dog sports grounds, and who has preserved the instinct of the herder. He is exceptionally beautiful, with his expressive face and magnificent fur. The Miniature American Shepherd also possesses other unique attributes, such as a loving and loyal temperament, high intelligence, and a desire to please his owner. In a nutshell, the MAS has all the qualities of the Australian Shepherd, without having his imposing size.

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Featured Image Credit: OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock

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