4 Main Mini Aussie Pros and Cons: How to Understand Your Dog

Most owners would agree that Miniature Australian Shepherds are fantastic pets. However, they may not be the right dog for everyone. Therefore, reviewing the Mini Aussie pros and cons is essential to know what you’re committing yourself to if you’re considering getting one. 

Mini Aussies have several pros and cons. They’re incredibly loyal, intelligent, protective, and friendly to adults, children, and other dogs. However, they’re genetically prone to certain health conditions and need frequent grooming and exercise. Their herding behavior can also be frustrating. 

In this post, I’ll discuss the highlights and drawbacks of owning a Mini Aussie. Read on before deciding whether this breed is for you. 

Pros of Owning a Mini Aussie

Mini Aussie pros and cons

1. They Have Superb Personalities

Mini Aussies are extremely loyal and super affectionate towards their owners. Their devotion to the pack and people-pleasing character will make them do almost anything for their owners.

These dogs are also social and family-friendly. They’ll get along with anybody (including other pets) when they’re properly socialized. They thrive in human companionship and are the happiest when included in family activities. So, ensure you don’t leave your Mini behind the next time you go on an adventure with your family.

It’s worth noting that Mini Aussies were bred to herd livestock, so they’re innately hardworking dogs. They thrive in physical activities and will happily and proudly do them with their favorite person (that’s you!). It can be playing catch, jogging, swimming, hiking, etc. 

They make excellent workout buddies too!

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2. They’re Excellent Watchdogs

Mini Aussies make excellent watchdogs, thanks to their inborn protective nature. They are generally friendly dogs but can be pretty territorial. And since they love providing a needed service to their owners, they’ll assume the role of guarding the home.

These dogs tend to be aggressive towards strangers. So, they’ll naturally raise the alarm to deter unwanted visitors. They can even bite in extreme cases. 

This aggressive behavior can be best prevented by early socialization training

Teaching your dog to read strangers and adapt to household visitors is essential. Extensive socialization training will help them understand and interact better with people. 

The reverse is also true. Isolating your puppy will only create a hostile adult dog.

3. They’re Smart and Highly Trainable

The Australian Shepherd breed is brilliant, and its miniature version is no exception. They’re ranked the 6th most intelligent breed by the AKC.

This intelligence, combined with their eager-to-learn personality, makes them one of the most obedient, versatile, and highly trainable dogs. They are quick to pick up tricks and tasks. Mini Aussies shine in dog sports, agility, obedience competition, and active ranch herding.

It’s, however, worth noting that Mini Aussies can be stubborn. Therefore, it’s best to begin training early to establish basic obedience.

4. They’re Perfect for Small Spaces

If you love the average-sized Australian Shepherd but lack the space to accommodate it, the Mini Aussie is for you! It comes with the personality of a Standard Aussie but in a smaller package, making it suitable for people with limited spaces.

Furthermore, these small dogs cost less to feed and require less exercise than their full-sized brothers. They’re also easier to groom and transport.

Cons of Owning a Mini Aussie

Brown Mini Aussie dog

1. They Exhibit Herding Tendencies

As I mentioned earlier, the Mini Australian Shepherds are true herders. 

As many owners can guarantee, they will herd practically anything—other dogs, birds, cats, adults, and children alongside livestock (if there are any around).

Due to this inherent herding style, these dogs are inevitably urged to chase anything that moves. This behavior can be fun or irritating, depending on the circumstances. And even though you can train a dog out of this behavior, it can be challenging for a Mini Aussie. 

Nipping is yet another tendency in these herding dogs. It’s their way of getting livestock to move, but they can also use it on people. This behavior can be too much annoying, especially for young kids. 

Although it’s easier to minimize nipping behavior through training, your Mini Aussie will still do it occasionally.

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2. They Need a Lot of Physical and Mental Stimulation

A Mini Aussie is not a great match if you’re a dormant person. Neither is it if you want an easy-to-live-with dog who doesn’t require much exercise and can sleep all day. 

Being working dogs, Mini Aussies certainly have higher exercise needs than most. 

You’ll need to give them at least 90 minutes of exercise and quality playtime daily to keep them happy and healthy. 

Luckily, these dogs aren’t particular about how they get their workout. So, running, hiking, swimming, agility training, or walking through the park can do the trick. 

In addition to physical exercises, they need mental stimulation. You can achieve this through:

  • Interactive dog toys
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Hide and seek
  • Obedience training, etc. 

Failure to give your dog adequate exercise will frustrate them, resulting in barking and destructive behavior such as chewing furniture.

3. They Need a Lot of Grooming

Mini Aussies have medium-length double coats, hence, a lot of hair. It also means you’ll have to do a lot of grooming. Grooming a Mini Aussie is not difficult but time-consuming

Mini Aussies shed all year round, but excessive shedding will occur twice—during the fall and spring seasons. So, you’ll want to increase the frequency of grooming during these periods to keep the shedding under control.

Mini Aussies require thorough brushing at least once a week during light shedding to remove excess fur and matted clumps. You’ll, however, need to brush them daily during heavy shedding. 

Failure to do so will cause clumps of hair all over your house. Also, brushing encourages the growth of a new healthy coat.

It’s important to note that you should never shave your canine unless recommended by a vet (usually for health reasons). The double coat protects your dog from harsh elements, and shaving can permanently destroy it, leaving your pup at risk. 

Moreover, shaving doesn’t minimize shedding. Instead, your Mini will shed tiny hairs.

4. They’re Prone to Certain Health Issues

Although the Mini Aussie breed is considered healthy, they’re genetically predisposed to specific health conditions. 

Eye diseases are the most prevalent in the breed. They can have microphthalmia (underdeveloped eye). This condition is caused by the same gene allele that creates their gorgeous Merle coat pattern. 

Other vision problems they may encounter include Iris colobomas, detached retinas, and cataracts.

Hip dysplasia is another common issue in Mini Aussies due to their tiny limbs. It is a genetic condition shown by abnormal development of the hip joints. Over time, it results in arthritis and even surgery.

In addition, Mini Aussies are prone to:

  • Obesity 
  • Epilepsy
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Cancer 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • MDR1 drug sensitivity
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Fragile bones
  • Luxating patellar

It’s unlikely your furry friend will suffer all of these problems. Furthermore, most of these issues will only affect your dog at an older age. 

However, increased health issues mean you’ll spend more on medical bills throughout their lives. So, it’s best to be aware before purchasing a Mini Aussie. 

Here’s a summary of Mini Aussie’s pros and cons, as discussed.

They exhibit beautiful personalities.They can show herding tendencies.
They are excellent watchdogs.They require tons of exercise.
They’re bright and highly trainable.They need regular grooming.
They’re suitable for small spaces.They’re susceptible to genetic health conditions.
Mini Aussie pros and cons

Why Not Get a Miniature Australian Shepherd?

You should not get a Miniature Australian Shepherd if you cannot cope with the following:

  • Consistently providing adequate physical and mental exercise to keep them satisfied
  • Chasing and nipping behaviors
  • Barking, whining, and destructive behavior due to boredom
  • Regular grooming due to heavy shedding
  • A hoard of potential health problems
  • Aggressiveness when not socialized enough

Final Thoughts

Mini Aussies are fantastic pets because of their beautiful personalities. They’re brilliant, loyal, and hardworking. They can get along with everyone and still be alert around strangers – meaning they can be excellent watchdogs. 

Now that you know Mini Aussie pros and cons, make an informed decision about owning these adorable dogs.

The secret to a well-behaved, happy, and healthy Mini Aussie is proper socialization training and enough physical and mental satisfaction. I’d highly recommend getting a Mini Aussie if you can provide these.

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