The Ultimate Mini Australian Shepherd Puppy Ownership Guide

13 minute read By Lucy Hughes
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
May 13, 2023

A Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy smiles

Intelligent. Energetic. Lively. Excellent with children. Puts family first. Loves other dogs. 

“WOW!” You may be thinking. “That’s everything I’m looking for in a husband!”

We’ll be the first to say while we love your high standards, we aren’t a dating site. Rather, we’re talking about Miniature Australian Shepherd puppies for sale

Mini Aussies are intelligent, loyal herding dogs that have captivated people around the world with their show-stopping feats and gorgeous looks. Find out about this delightful dog breed with everything you need to know when owning a Mini Australian Shepherd puppy for sale. 


Put Down Your Boomerang: The Origin of Mini Australian Shepherds

G’day, Mate! You may have seen a Mini Australian Shepherd puppy for sale and wondered how they came to be so popular in America all the way from Australia!

If you have your boomerang in hand hoping to see some kangaroos frolicking in the bush with a Mini Australian Shepherd puppy for sale, you may want to rethink your vision. We hate to disappoint you, but Mini Aussies are actually not from Australia!

The standard Australian Shepherd dog breed was initially developed in the Basque region of Spain and France. The breed became very popular in the western United States in the Rockies, where they were used to herd sheep and cattle and could easily withstand harsh weather conditions at high altitudes. 

How they got to America is still up in the air, but there are a few theories floating around. 

One theory postulates that Miniature Australian Shepherds were brought to the United States in the 19th century to work as herding dogs by way of Basque shepherds living in Australia who immigrated to the US. 

Thanks to genetics, Mini Australian Shepherds sometimes feature a merle-colored coat (more on that later). It’s thought that other dogs with similar looks immigrated from Australia around the same time, and people started calling all dogs “Australian Shepherds” regardless of origin. In addition, some people say the dogs were named after the Australian sheep they herded. 

In the 1960s, several breeders began to selectively breed smaller Australian Shepherds to create a new breed that was more suitable for smaller homes and urban environments. The goal was to create a dog that retained all of the positive traits of the Australian Shepherd but in a smaller package – and that’s the Mini Australian Shepherd we know today. 

Is the Mini Australian Shepherd its own breed? 

The Mini Australian Shepherd breed is not currently recognized by the American Kennel Club, although there is a movement to have them recognized in the future. Instead, the Australian Shepherd comes in three sizes: Standard, Mini, and Toy. However, the Miniature Australian Shepherd was officially recognized on its own by the National Stock Dog Registry in 1980 and by the American Rare Breed Association in 1990. 


No Mellow Couch Potatoes Here

If you’re looking for an always-chill, calm pup to join you on your favorite chair to binge-watch a new series for hours upon hours that only needs the ball thrown a few times for enough exercise, well, a Mini Aussie puppy will not fit that description.

Instead, if you’re looking for a high-energy (and we really mean high-energy) active pup who is always ready for an adventure, then you’ll love searching for Miniature Australian Shepherd puppies for sale to find your very own trailblazing buddy. 

Work hard, play hard

Mini Australian Shepherds have incredible work ethics. They were literally bred to work all day long! Their intelligence is off the charts, making them excellent choices for dogs with jobs. These puppies do best when they have a clear purpose and a specific job to do. But what if you don’t live on a farm with 100 head of cattle for your Miniature Australian Shepherd to herd?

That’s where you get to be the Activities Director at Camp Mini Aussie! It is your job to keep your Mini Australian Shepherd puppy busy, busy, busy to satisfy their need for activity every day, rain or shine, snowing or sunny. 

Your Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy will need at least 1-2 hours of daily exercise. You can get these in with walks, runs, hikes, off-leash at the dog park – anywhere they can burn that energy! 

In addition to regular daily exercise, these dogs are perfect candidates for extracurricular, specialized canine activities like obedience, agility, and other dog sports. Owners may also want to explore tasks like being therapy, service, and even search and rescue dogs for their high-energy, smart Mini Aussies. 

Well, they are sometimes calm

Many people may be surprised to learn that even though Mini Aussies have strong guarding and herding instincts, they are sweet and cuddly indoor dogs that can even be kept in apartments with the right training. The key is to tire them out as much as possible so they will snuggle up with you after a long day. 

Faster than Olympic sprinters

It’s important that you find the right dog breed to match your current lifestyle and not the lifestyle you wish you had! If you get a Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy in hopes you will change your inactive habits, you may be in for a rude awakening when you discover your Mini Aussie could make Usain Bolt look slow. In fact, Mini Australian Shepherds have been clocked running 30-35 MPH, and Usain Bolt was clocked at 27.33 MPH on his fastest time on record, so we’re technically correct! 

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What Does a Miniature Australian Shepherd For Sale Look Like? 

A Miniature Australian Shepherd is one of the most visually stunning dog breeds in the world! Their furry coat colors, dainty little feet, and sweet expressions - especially their eyes - are strikingly gorgeous and produce a well-balanced medium-sized dog weighing 20-40 lbs. and standing 13-18 in. tall. 

The mane event

Mini Aussies have medium-length, wavy fur which forms a beautiful mane around their collars. This frilly fur just adds to their beauty. Their double coat features longer, coarser weather-resistant hair on the outer layer, and a soft, downy undercoat that regulates their body temperature. 

Mini Australian Shepherds come in a variety of coat colors and patterns. The AKC recognizes black, blue merle, red, and red merle as standard colors, but they can also come in a tricolor pattern. Their markings can include tan points, white markings, or a combination of the two. 

Merle? Do you mean Merle Haggard? Not quite

You may be wondering, “What does merle mean?” According to the AKC’s explanation of what makes the merle in dog coats, “Merle is characterized by irregular blotches of fur set on a lighter background of the same pigment, such as solid black on gray (called blue merle) or solid brown on tan (red merle).” Merle is also sometimes called “dapple.” 

A merle coat is directly related to genetics. A Mini Australian Shepherd with a blue or red merle coat carries a dominant allele and a recessive allele combination, producing an Mm genotype expressed as this unique coat. A puppy only needs one dominant M to be a merle. 

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Eye see you

One of the most striking features of a Mini Australian Shepherd puppy for sale is its almond-shaped eyes. A Mini Aussie can have brown, blue, amber, or any combination of eye colors, often showing marbling and flecks of what looks to be like gold flakes sprinkled in. Depending on their coat color, a Mini Australian Shepherd puppy can have either black or liver pigmentation around the rims of their eyes. 

Did you know that Mini Australian Shepherds often have two different eye colors, or sometimes several colors in one eye? This genetic condition is called heterochromia, a lack of pigment in one or both eyes, which can be inherited from their parents or occur spontaneously occur. It causes the irises of the eyes to be different colors, or for one eye to have multiple colors. 

From glacial ice blue to warm, chocolate-chip cookie brown, all Mini Aussies will give you the impression they’re staring straight into your soul! 

Tail docking 

To dock a tail means to surgically remove the tail while leaving a little bob. Some Mini Australian Shepherd puppies are born with naturally bobbed tails, while others have them removed as very young puppies. Tail docking is thought to be done to improve the appearance of the breed and also as a safety precaution for herding dogs around potentially dangerous livestock and other ranch hazards. You may encounter a Mini Aussie puppy for sale with a standard undocked tail, but those are usually rare. 

Hair, hair, everywhere

A Mini Australian Shepherd puppy will grow into an adult with luscious locks. However, that beautiful coat won’t look so beautiful when it’s all over your clothes, furniture, floors – everywhere! Because Mini Aussies have a double coat, each layer will shed and grow new fur continuously. 

There are two times a year, usually in spring and fall, when they “blow” their coats to prepare for the change in seasons. To keep the coat of your Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy looking healthy and mat-free, brush them a few times a week with a slicker brush or metal comb. 

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What is the Personality Like of a Miniature Australian Shepherd Puppy?

In addition to being able to provide enough physical exercise and mental stimulation to keep a Mini Aussie happy, you should also research if their personality meshes well with you. Here’s what you should know about the temperament and disposition of a Miniature Australian puppy for sale. 

Top of the class

If a Mini Australian Shepherd puppy for sale were graduating from high school, it would already have a full ride to a top university to major in Frisbee. Mini Australian Shepherds are among the smartest dog breeds in the world. 

They catch on quickly

Because they’re so smart, Mini Australian Shepherd puppies are quite easy to train. Once they know what to do, they’ll do it with gusto and enthusiasm and will act as if to say, “What’s next?” when the task is completed. Their endless energy means you can sneak in a few longer sessions if they are on track. 

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Canine buddies

Mini Australian Shepherd puppies get along really well with other dogs, big and small. They enjoy being social and the center of attention, whether that’s at the dog park or with their other canine siblings.

A kind guard dog

Mini Australian Shepherds are alert and protective of their people, but they are never aggressive. You’ll need to make sure you socialize them to be friendly and tolerant of strangers, as they may be reserved around them if you don’t teach them to make friends when they are young. 

A huge fan of children

As one of the best family dog breeds, a Mini Australian Shepherd puppy for sale is an amazing companion with children. They love matching those exciting energy levels and can play for hours with their small human friends. A Mini Aussie is very affectionate with its people and loves seeing what the kids come up with next. Even though they’re high energy, Mini Aussies have a calm, gentle approach around their family. 

It’s critical that if you have children in the house you train your Mini Aussie not to herd or nip at young children to try to round them up like the adorable little lambs they are. Always supervise your Mini Aussie puppy around your children, and be sure to teach both your children and your puppy how to behave properly around each other. 

Quiet neighbors…sometimes

In general, Mini Australian Shepherds are not big barkers. However, they are still vigilant and watch everything going on around them. They may let out a few intentional barks to alert you to something unusual, but they don’t tend to stand there incessantly barking at the wind blowing through the trees. 

While they might not bark at everything, Mini Australian Shepherd owners know that they can make all sorts of funny noises that even can sound like words. For example, some of their howls or vocalizations can be interpreted as them saying “Mama” and “I love you!” 

Making sure your Mini Aussie puppy gets plenty of socialization and training when they’re young can make for a pleasant, quiet canine companion. 


What Does a Mini Aussie Puppy For Sale Cost? 

While prices for Mini Aussie puppies for sale differ across the board, there are a few components we need to mention to paint a full picture of what goes into the cost of a Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy for sale


Puppies with recognized and striking coat colors or unusual eyes may cost more than a solid-colored dog with brown eyes. The more unique the dog appears, the higher the possible price. 

Demand and availability 

Because Mini Aussie puppies for sale are so popular, they are sold at prices based on market demand to stay competitive. However, beware of prices that seem too good to be true – they often are! Puppy scammers like to capitalize on the fact that Mini Aussies are a top choice for people looking for a puppy for sale. 

@milo.ioi watch milo grow up #fyp #xyzbca #miniaussie #australianshepherd #puppygrowth ♬ World's Smallest Violin - AJR

Time and expertise

Trustworthy breeders love the Mini Australian Shepherd dog breed so much that they made it their livelihood with the goal to produce excellent, healthy puppies upholding breed standards. A great Miniature Aussie puppy breeder will:

  • Have extensive knowledge of the breed
  • Breed healthy dogs with the best genetics and breed traits to create fantastic litters
  • Socialize their puppies from a young age
  • Introduce high-quality, nutritious food at an appropriate age
  • Keep them healthy by following a vaccination schedule for core puppy vaccines
  • Raise them to be ready to go home at an appropriate age to their forever families 

However, you must be careful when searching for a Mini Australian Shepherd for sale that you aren’t accidentally supporting puppy mills or setting yourself up for a puppy scam. Here are some red flags to stay away from: 

  • No paperwork: If the person does not offer a puppy contract or any information about the health and lineage of the parents, run! A puppy contract outlines a buyer's and breeder’s responsibility in case anything goes awry. 
  • No health information: Responsible breeders will offer a health guarantee showing which vaccinations and dewormings the puppy received and when they received them. If no health information is provided, you have no idea what’s going on medically with your puppy. 
  • Sold before 8 weeks old: Puppies should be at least 8 weeks or older when leaving the only environment they’ve ever known  If you see puppies that are obviously too young to be away from their mother, it indicates the seller does not care about the puppy’s healthy development. 
  • Sketchy payment: Definitely run away if a person asks for payment via an unsecured method, such as gift cards, money orders, or cash. A great breeder will use a secured payment transactional system like PetPay to prevent fraud.

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Bella the Pawrade Mini Aussie with her new family

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Find a Mini Australian Shepherd Puppy For Sale at Pawrade

When you’re searching for “Mini Australian Shepherd puppies for sale near me,” at least you won’t have to go all the way to Australia to find one. We have plenty right here at Pawrade waiting to be your best friend! 

Our phenomenal Mini Aussie partner breeders care deeply about producing high-quality, healthy Miniature Australian puppies for sale waiting for loving, active homes who also fall in love with this energetic, smart breed. Get ready for your Mini Aussie puppy to steal your heart and impress your friends with its intelligence, loyalty, and high energy levels. We can’t wait to hear from you! 


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Lucy Hughes

Lucy Hughes has been teaching and writing professionally for half her life. She has a passion for helping people choose a puppy and lead an exciting life with their new furry companion. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and her beloved Golden Retriever, Bowie.

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