Miniature Toy Australian Shepherd: The Ultimate Guide

Lately, tiny dog breeds, such as the Miniature Toy Australian Shepherds, have become the in-thing. They’re highly sought-after by families worldwide. So, what do you need to know about them?

The Miniature Toy Australian Shepherd is similar to the Mini and Standard Australian Shepherd breeds but a more compact size. They’re adorable dogs with big personalities and high energy, developed from breeding Miniature Australian Shepherds to attain a smaller size. 

In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about Miniature Toy Australian Shepherds. You’ll know miniature Aussie temperament, how much they cost, their sizes, how to care for them, and more. Keep reading! 

What Is a Miniature Toy Australian Shepherd?

Miniature Toy Australian Shepherd

A Miniature Toy Australian Shepherd is an American-bred toy-sized companion dog that’s smaller than a Mini Aussie but bigger than a Teacup Aussie. They share similar ancestry and history with the Standard and Mini Aussies but are yet to be a fully-fledged recognized breed.

It’s not established where specifically the first breed of Toy Aussies emerged, as its history is still unraveling. But we know its ancestors are the Australian Shepherds (Aussies), developed from sheepdogs and collies imported from New Zealand and Australia. 

In the 1960s, breeders began developing a smaller version of the Aussie, the Mini Aussie, which became increasingly sought-after due to its low maintenance and loyal personality. They served as companion dogs helping ranchers and farmers herd their livestock.

However, it wasn’t until recently, when purse dogs became fashionable, that breeders began developing smaller variations of the Mini Aussie. This resulted in the creation of the Toy Aussie and even tinier versions, such as the Teacup. 

The Toy Australian Shepherd results from breeding Miniature Australian Shepherds and crossbreeding them with other smaller breeds. Although its older cousins are herding dogs, the Toy Aussie is too tiny to function as a working dog. Instead, it’s bred as a pet.

How Big Do Mini Toy Aussies Get?

Toy Aussies are generally shorter than 14 inches (36 cm) at the shoulder. A full-grown Toy Aussie typically stands between 10 to 14 inches (25-36 cm) tall and weighs 12 to 17 pounds (5-8 kgs). Toy Aussies attain their full adult size at roughly ten months of age.

Females are generally lighter than males. Puppies weigh 1 to 2 ounces (28-56 grams) at birth. 

It’s worth noting that some imprudent breeders continually use bad breeding habits such as inbreeding, breeding runts, and malnourishment to create even more miniature Toy Aussies. Therefore, you should avoid these tiny dogs since they may have severe genetic deformities. 

Find Out: Mini Aussie Pros and Cons: How to Understand Your Dog 

How Long Do Mini Toy Australian Shepherd Live?

Mini Toy Australian Shepherds have an average life expectancy of 12-13 years. They can live healthy and happy lives, depending on the breeder. 

Unfortunately, like their bigger counterparts, they’re genetically predisposed to specific health conditions that can shorten their lives.

These health conditions include the following:

  • Eye issues such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and colobomas
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Multi-drug sensitivity 

These conditions can be prevented by genetic testing. Therefore, it’s advisable to buy your Toy Aussie pups from a reputable breeder who can perform this test. 

Moreover, preventative care ensures these dogs live a long life. So, routine vaccines, parasite prevention, and frequent veterinary checkups are critical. 

Eye exams from an ophthalmologist are particularly essential to keep eye problems in check. 

Finally, regular exercise, proper diet, and socialization are also essential for the general health of a Toy Mini Aussie. 

What Is the Difference Between a Toy and Mini Australian Shepherd?

The main difference between a Toy and Mini Australian Shepherd is size. Mini Aussies are generally larger than Toy Aussies.

As mentioned, the withers height of an adult Toy Aussie is between 10 to 14 inches (25-36 cm), and the weight is 12 to 17 pounds (5-8 kgs). 

On the other hand, the Mini Aussie stands between 13 to 18 inches (33-46 cm) and weighs 20 to 40 pounds (9-18 kg).

Are Toy Australian Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

Mini Aussie

Toy Australian Shepherds make excellent family dogs. They’re affectionate and tend to attach to their owners strongly. 

Furthermore, they’re loyal and friendly, making them ideal companions—they’re playful and would make fantastic playmates for children and other family pets.

These dogs enjoy human interaction and want to be associated with all aspects of family life. Therefore, consider bringing them with you for outdoor activities with your family. 

Conversely, Toy Aussies can easily suffer separation anxiety due to their human attachment. 

You wouldn’t want to leave them unattended for long as it can result in behavior issues like:

  • Excessive jumping
  • Drooling
  • Aggression
  • Fear reactions
  • Restlessness
  • Hiding 

It’s also worth noting that Toy Aussies are only suitable for active families. They don’t like sedentary lifestyles because they’re energetic dogs that need to burn excess energy. 

Mental stimulation is also crucial for them. They’d rather be busy with a job or activity than laze around all day. Otherwise, the boredom would manifest in destructive behavior.

Therefore, prospective owners and families must be capable of meeting their exercise needs to thrive. 

You should also be aware of Toy Aussie’s herding instinct. It is their nature to herd, so they can sometimes push, chase, or nip people’s heels or other pets. This can be scary for young kids. 

Consequently, training your Toy Aussie early on not to herd is critical for your family’s well-being.

Are Toy Australian Shepherds Easy to Train?

Toy Australian Shepherds are easy to train thanks to their high intelligence level. They’re naturally eager to please their owners and respond well to techniques emphasizing positive reinforcement with rewards.

However, that doesn’t imply that training will always be smooth, as Toy Aussies can be stubborn. 

Therefore, It’s vital to start training your dog as early as possible and create a bond to make them desire to please you. Also, tackling bad behaviors is easiest when your Toy Aussie is a puppy.

A rule of thumb is to start training your Toy Australian Shepherd at 7 weeks for the best results. Most dogs undergo prime socialization between 7 weeks and 4 months, making it the ideal training session.

You’ll want to use a firm, assertive tone when teaching your dog to obey commands and reward them with treats for obedience. 

Consider using a behavioral indicator like a clicker before rewarding your dog to quicken the learning process. 

Similarly, learning will be effective if you use negative signals consistently to indicate bad behavior. For instance, you can always say “No” when they disobey a command or engage in destructive behavior. 

Some of the elements you should focus on preventing through training include:

  • Excessing whining
  • Instinctive nipping
  • Separation anxiety 

You can tackle separation anxiety by crate training your Toy Aussie or desensitizing and counter-conditioning, among other methods. 

Lastly, socialization should go hand in hand with training. It should begin at the 7th week and happen as often as possible. You can start by introducing your pup to your close friends and family, other pets included. Then, allow them to interact with other people and dogs during walks or at the park. 

How Do You Take Care of a Toy Australian Shepherd?

Miniature Toy Australian Sheperd

Toy Australian Shepherds don’t have any special care requirements, so caring for them is pretty straightforward. Their primary needs include dog food and water, adequate exercise, vaccinations, medical checkups, and grooming. 

Exercise Requirements

As mentioned, Toy Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs despite their tiny size. They require regular exercise to thrive, although less than the Standard Aussie. 

Toy Australian Shepherds require 30 minutes to 1 hour of daily exercise, incorporating walks, runs, fetching games, and swimming. 

These dogs remain active until old age, but the amount of exercise should reduce as they age and start declining. Your vet will tell you when this is necessary. 

Finally, mental exercise is also essential to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Enrichment games, puzzle toys, and obedience training will give them the mental stimulation they need. 

Remember to keep them occupied with toys when you’re away to prevent your valuables from being destroyed. 

Grooming Requirements

Toy Australian Shepherds are relatively low-maintenance regarding grooming. 

Like their older cousins, Toy Australian Shepherds have double coats that shed moderately all year round but heavily twice a year—in the fall and spring seasons. 

You’ll need to brush them at least once weekly during light shedding and daily when blowing their coats to keep things under control. Also, occasionally trim their bushy back ends to avoid matting and toilet-related issues. 

These dogs don’t need regular baths except when dirty, especially from muddy plays and walks. 

You’ll also need to brush their teeth regularly and visit a dentist to scale them occasionally. 

Ear cleaning and nail trimming should also be done occasionally.

How Much Does a Toy Australian Shepherd Cost?

A Toy Australian Shepherd is a pricey dog. They’re the most expensive variety of Australian Shepherds because : 

  • They’re rare
  • They have very few breeders
  • They take a long duration to breed

A Toy Australian Shepherd costs between $1,800 to $5,000 depending on several factors, such as the breeder you purchase from, your geographic location, and the dog’s quality and pedigree. 

Large commercial breeders, for instance, will charge you less than small-scale, more exclusive breeders. 

A higher price often implies better care quality, and many small-scale breeders definitely offer that. Similarly, purchasing from a breeder will cost more than adopting from a shelter. 

A registered and pedigreed puppy will have a higher price tag than one with an uncertain lineage. Also, Merle-colored Toy Aussies are more expensive than those with solid-colored coats because they’re considered more striking. 

You’ll have to beware of scammers because major registries like the AKC have not yet recognized Toy Aussies. Scammers may try to extort money from you by selling fake Toy puppies when they’re, in fact, regular Australian Shepherds that will mature to be standard-sized. 

The best way around scammer is to buy your puppy from a highly-rated, reputable breeder or adopt it from a shelter. Consider checking out AKC’s referral page for responsible breeders.

You should always inquire about the breeder’s health documents and certifications. Additionally, make a point of meeting the puppy and breeder before buying. 

Is a Mini Toy Australian Shepherd Suitable for You?

A Toy Aussie makes a fantastic house pet because of its beautiful personality. It, however, requires an owner willing to devote time and energy to daily exercise, training, and fun. 

The dog also requires optimum attention in terms of diet, medical, and grooming needs.

A Toy Aussie is perfect if you can meet these requirements. If that’s the case, get one from a reputable breeder or rescue shelter and enjoy your companionship.  

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