Guild of Shepherds & Collies

The Miniature American Shepherd: Finally a Breed of its Own


Meet Beau

On December 19, 2013, a male puppy named Beau was born; he would soon be among the first dogs registered as a Miniature American Shepherd. In February 2014, Beau was registered as a Miniature American Shepherd through the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) of the American Kennel Club (AKC). In June of 2015, he received his papers - making him an official member of the newly recognized breed of Miniature American Shepherds.  The new breed officially joined the AKC Herding Group on July 1, 2015.

The Miniature American Shepherd and the Miniature Australian Shepherd

Beau falls into the breed’s standards for height and weight, as he is 17” at the withers and 22.5 pounds. He exhibits the breed’s high level of intelligence, a great deal of energy and agility, and a gentle, loving disposition. He learns new commands quickly and is a Velcro dog with his handler.

Beau was brought into a family that already had a female dog. Susie, who had been designated as a Miniature Australian Shepherd, was rescued by her family at 4 ½ years old through the Miniature Australian Shepherd Rescue Society (MARS).  Susie was registered by her new family with the AKC as a Canine Partner and listed as both a Miniature American Shepherd and Miniature Australian Shepherd. Susie is also 17” at the withers, but is larger weighing in at 34 pounds. She is also certified with her handler as a therapy dog. Beau is in training to also be involved in therapy work - when he is a bit older.

The Miniature American Shepherd, also known as Miniature Australian Shepherd and North American Shepherd, was originally developed in the late 1960s. By the mid-1970s, the Miniature American Shepherd had reached the desired size for the breed. In June 2012, the breed was recognized by the AKC as an FSS breed and finally, in the summer of 2015, received official status as a new full AKC breed in the Herding Group.  

Meet Susie

Meet Susie

A Family-Friendly Breed

The temperament of the Miniature American Shepherd makes it an excellent family pet. They are intelligent, very willing to please, and devoted to their family - especially their handler. Since they are active and intelligent, they require someone who is willing to spend the necessary time and attention to direct their socialization and training. They are a working type dog that likes having things to do – and if not directed and provided, they will sometimes find the wrong things to do.

They are well-suited to therapy work as well as search and rescue because of their natural sensitivity to people and their needs. Susie is an amazing therapy dog who seems to understand what people need when she visits with them. They can be reserved with strangers, but Beau and Susie seem to know no strangers. They are also great around children.

If your interest is in herding or agility, they also excel there.  However, just like humans they will have certain activities and tasks that they enjoy in particular, so part of the challenge is to work well enough with your Miniature American Shepherd to provide challenges that are interesting and rewarding for your dog. Beau loves to play ball, which is something that Susie has no real interest in.

The good news for all lovers of this small, shepherd breed is that they have finally been recognized as their own separate breed and will be able to participate as such in many AKC events and  activities.


Beau & Susie

Beau & Susie


Article By:
Don Anderson


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