About Our Breed: Australian Shepherds

About Our Breed: Australian Shepherds



The history of the Miniature and Toy Australian Shepherd actually begins with the history of the Australian Shepherd.  Although there are many theories about the origen of the Australian Shepherd, the breed as we know it today developed exclusively in the United States. The dogs probably originated in the Basque Region between Spain and France.  Those sheep herders then migrated to Australia with their herding dogs.  In the 1800's many of those Basque farmers and ranchers came to the Western United States with their working dogs from Australia.  That is then where the West Coast ranchers coined the name Australian Shepherd even though the true origen is more correctly probably from Europe.

Ranchers in the West continued to develop the breed with its keen intelligence and strong herding instincts.  The Aussie (breed nickname) is a truly versatile dog.  It is so sound minded that it easily adapts to various situations.  Today, the Australian Shepherd and Miniature Australian Shepherd can be seen in every imaginable way from working ranch dog, agility dog, pet therapy dog, to perhaps the most important of all -- that of a loyal and loving family dog.

The Miniature and Toy Australian Shepherd have developed directly from the Australian Shepherd.  Throughout the history of the Aussie, small (under 18") dogs can be seen in historical photographs.  Many believe that the original Aussie was selectively bred larger for the American Cattle Ranches as sheep ranching declined in the West.  Cattle ranchers preferred a larger dog to work larger stock while other owners prefer the smaller sized Aussie.