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Mini American/Australian Shepherd - heard of them?
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Minor Deity
Picture of Amanda
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Despite all the drawbacks and risks, I'm delighted to have found a new breed which seems to satisfy all my druthers: a "mini American/Aussie shepherd". It's as if someone combined all my preferences. (The difference between the Aussie and American variants seems to be just whether the AKC will register the USian kind.)

Some have the tricolor coloring of my beloved Berners (WAY too big for me now), besides which Berners are now the shortest-lived breed owing to sloppy breeding). Not so these mini shepherds.

They're the weight of a large sheltie (~ up to 35 lbs.), long-haired and with the brains of an Australian shepherd. (the universally acclaimed smartest breed). But a manageable size!

Anybody heard of them?


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The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 14392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
Picture of Amanda
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https://vippuppies.com/shop/pu...australian-shepherd/


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The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 14392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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I know Mik had an Australian Shepherd he liked very much. Perhaps he will chime in.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 34875 | Location: Hooterville, OH | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pinta & the Santa Maria
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"regular" Aussie shepherds are very high energy dogs that need a lot of exercise or are likely to go a bit bonkers.

I'm not sure if that's a trait that's been passed on to the mini version.
 
Posts: 35368 | Location: West: North and South! | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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No, I had a Sheltie. Mini Aussies are great and very smart, but they need a lot of exercise and a job. Agility trials are really good for them. Even if you don't want to compete the training is fun for you and them. Wonderful companions.

Plus they are tres adorable.


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"A mob is a place where people go to get away from their conscience" Atticus Finch

 
Posts: 13527 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
Picture of Amanda
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Everybody stressed how much exercise and challenge they need, but this seems to be also said about ALL the puppies I've been researching. (It's also said of Corgis - that they can be very destructive without lots of playing and entertaining).

Wondering what puppies, smart ones anyhow, DON'T need so much exercise. My last Sheltie got a lot out of just running around our back yard, and barking at every butterfly and toddler that passed!

Mik, what kind of "job" do they need?

I'm starting to think I need to set my puppy to working on crossword puzzles! (I HAD considered getting some other small creature(s) the Sheltie could herd. For instance, we had a rabbit then, and if I'd put it free in the backyard couldn't I teach the herding dog to keep track of the rabbit or whatever?)

That way the rabbit would stay put (as opposed to burrowing under the chainlink fence) and the Sheltie or whatever would be entertained. (The Sheltie and Bundy rabbit got on well - that is, once Toony reconciled herself to not eating him.)


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The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 14392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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PS Sadly, I can no longer run - scarcely walk, in fact, thanks to the damage my spinal surgeon left me with. Some friends have suggested a special leash that can be let out and literally run circles around me.

Thoughts?


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The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 14392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Herding dogs (Shelties, Aussie Shepherds, Corgis) were bred to be on their feet and round up sheep all day. That's their job.

Around here we have a number of examples of these breeds and the ones that seem to do best have young, active families that keep them moving all the time and wearing them out. The others, who are left in the yard to amuse themselves, often seem to run the fence line back and forth and bark a lot. Or stand at the front door and bark at whoever/whatever walks by. TBH, as a neighbor, it's not a lot of fun to hear a dog barking all day.

Sometimes you have to look at what is reasonable for the owner to handle. For example, as much as we love Newfies, we decided in 2009 when we lost Mambo, that we wouldn't get another one. By the time that dog would have been older and needing more care, we knew we'd be pushing 70. And as life has turned out, it would have been pretty tough to deal with a geriatric dog that weighs over 100 pounds. Newfs were a breed of our youth. But not a good choice for older age...

To be honest, I think given what you're saying about your own health, I'd recommend looking for a lower energy dog that isn't as active. It sounds like you love these breeds, but maybe they just aren't quite the right choice for you at this time in your life. Perhaps a closer match in lifestyle between you and the dog would mean that both of you would be happier. And that it would be manageable for you.


My 2c.


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 37827 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My friend Ron is the consummate engineer. He studies, researches, charts, and graphs nearly everything. Choosing a dog was subjected to the same rigorous analysis as every thing else he does.

He wanted the ultimate low maintenance dog and ended up with a long haired Chihuahua. Tika has worked out as planned - very low maintenance, sleeps a lot, often on his lap. Exercise requirements are very low - so much so that even on short hikes they bring a backpack to carry her when she gets tired.

He is absolutely crazy about this little dog and completely satisfied. The fact she uses the high tech automatic litterbox he built for the cat is a big plus. I still can’t figure out how it works but it sounds like something that should be offered to a larger market.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 34875 | Location: Hooterville, OH | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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quote:
Originally posted by wtg:
Herding dogs (Shelties, Aussie Shepherds, Corgis) were bred to be on their feet and round up sheep all day. That's their job.

Around here we have a number of examples of these breeds and the ones that seem to do best have young, active families that keep them moving all the time and wearing them out. The others, who are left in the yard to amuse themselves, often seem to run the fence line back and forth and bark a lot. Or stand at the front door and bark at whoever/whatever walks by.

Sometimes you have to look at what is reasonable for the owner to handle. For example, as much as we love Newfies, we decided in 2009 when we lost Mambo, that we wouldn't get another one. By the time that dog would have been older and needing more care, we knew we'd be pushing 70. And as life has turned out, it would have been pretty tough to deal with a geriatric dog that weighs over 100 pounds. Those were the dogs of our youth.

To be honest, I think given what you're saying about your own health, I'd recommend looking for a lower energy dog that isn't as active. It sounds like you love these breeds, but maybe they just aren't quite the right choice for you at this time in your life. Perhaps a closer match in lifestyle between you and the dog would mean that both of you would be happier. And that it would be manageable for you.


My 2c.


I hear you, wtg, and I realize you're trying to let me down light.l (which I appreciate). I HAVE considered all this information, and the only thing that encourages me at all is that I have raised two shelties from puppyhood.
Granted, I was far younger and more fit then, but to the best of my recollection both managed fairly well on a few walks daily and of course, the second Sheltie had a yard. (Confession, back then I myself used to run daily, though not with the dog actually.) I got the impression having their curiosity stimulated on the walks was even more important to them than strenuous exercise. Even if they tolerate it, though, I guess it wouldn't exactly be those breeds' ideal lifestyle by a long shot.

Maybe to a degree they accommodate themselves to their owners' needs, or maybe I'm just not remembering well. There ARE dog walking services, of course, though that's not ideal.

I guess at the very least, I ought to compromise by not getting a puppy (I have read they mellow out by about three years of age), but then again I kind of have my heart set on getting a puppy. (If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, etc.)

If I worked with a Sheltie rescue service, I might be able to get an older rescue Sheltie...

A far wish, is that a revision surgery might correct the defects I was left with, but that's QUITE a big deal and not something I can investigate right now in the midst of COVID-emania.


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The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 14392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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On quite another track, I'm vaguely considering a Jack Russell Terrier (apologies to any fans, but for some reason I can't abide chihuahuas although I have heard they can be charming.)


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The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 14392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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Many thanks for everyone's well informed and considerate commentary!


--------------------------------
The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 14392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Minor Deity
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Aussie lover here.

I'll add that mini Aussies have become popular, so lots of breeders are cashing in. That means a risk of poorly bred dogs that will have health problems. Be sure to do your research. And if you see a breeder that advertises multiple breeds, that's a red flag.

We have had two Aussies, and we are about to get our third. We think we can handle the exercise requirements, so we'll give it a go.
 
Posts: 19758 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda:
On quite another track, I'm vaguely considering a Jack Russell Terrier (apologies to any fans, but for some reason I can't abide chihuahuas although I have heard they can be charming.)


Have you seen the long haired variety? They’re quite a bit more endearing than the common shorthair.

Jack Russells can be challenging, to say the least. You may want to do some research before deciding.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 34875 | Location: Hooterville, OH | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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I love your idea about a senior sheltie. We may go that route as well, since they are difficult to place. Might also want to look at Pomeranians, who are pretty low energy, small and absolutely adorable little faces.

(I know I am getting older because dogs I once saw only as prey are now adorable)


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"A mob is a place where people go to get away from their conscience" Atticus Finch

 
Posts: 13527 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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