The Toy Australian Shepherd

Toy Australian ShepherdThe Australian shepherd, also known as an Aussie, is a herding dog that was introduced to the United States during the 19th century. The qualities of the breed were valued by ranchers, who used Australian shepherds to work their sheep and cattle. The development of the Toy Australian Shepherd was in response to the demand for a dog with the intelligence, instincts and disposition of a standard Australian shepherd, but whose size would be suited for smaller spaces. Unlike other toy breeds, the toy Australian shepherd was not developed by breeding the standard Australian shepherd with a smaller dog breed. Instead, the toy Australian shepherd, which was developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s, was created by breeding the smallest of standard Australian shepherds. By the constant selective breeding of the smallest Australian shepherds, breeders developed the toy breed. For this reason, toy Aussies have maintained the same appearance and temperament as the standard Australian shepherd.

Toy Australian Shepherd Appearance

The toy Australian shepherd is nearly identical to the standard Australian shepherd in everything but size. In contrast to the standard Australian shepherd, which typically measures between 18 and 23 inches at its shoulders, the toy Aussie is between 9 and 14 inches tall. They generally weigh between 6 and 23 pounds, depending on their gender and bone structure. Like the standard Australian shepherd, the toy Aussie has a moderately thick medium-length double coat. This coat is usually wavy in its texture, though never curly. The color of its coat may be red merle, blue merle, black or red, all with or without white markings on its face and chest. Toy Australian shepherds can also have a variety of eye colors, including any shade of blue or brown. Some dogs may have eyes of two different colors, while some even have bicolored.

Toy Australian Shepherd Temperament

Toy Australian shepherds are lively dogs that are energetic and eager to please. They are wonderful family dogs and enjoy close bonds with family members. Because toy Australian shepherds are often without the herding instinct of standard Australian shepherds, they play well with children without the drive to herd them. Toy Australian shepherds are good-natured and even-tempered.
Like the standard Australian shepherd, the toy Australian shepherd is a very active dog that requires regular exercise and attention. Though they lack some of the herding instinct of standard Australian shepherds, toy Aussies are highly adaptable working dogs and can be trained to work a variety of smaller animals, including geese and rabbits. They are a highly intelligent dog that enjoys playing and learning new tricks. Like their standard counterparts, toy Aussies are very loyal and affectionate with their owners, though they may be reserved around strangers. They enjoy being part of an active family and do well with children. They are compliant and eager to please their owners, and are therefore highly trainable. Because they were bred to be working dogs, toy Aussies need to be kept busy and may become destructive if they are bored. Due to their small size, toy Aussies can adapt well to living in a small home, as long as they are given plenty of daily exercise.

Toy Australian shepherds are wonderful family dogs. They are loyal and affectionate, as well as intelligent and trainable. Because of their small size, they are better suited to apartment or city living than a standard Australian shepherd. Owners of toy Aussies are able to experience the best characteristics of the breed while enjoying the convenience of owning a small dog.