To figure out the Mini Aussie, we first must figure out the Australian Shepherd. There
were Australian breeds brought into American and they were crossed indiscriminately on the ranches and farms in the western
United States. The Animal Research Foundation registered Australian Cattle dogs as being a cross or mix between the Australian
Cattledog x Queensland Heeler and I do believe this mix was also mixed and called the Texas Heeler.
There are records of an Australian veterinarian by the name of Alan McNiven that mixed bred
the Dingo, Kelpie, German Shepherd, and Kangaroo Hound together. Seems he tried to register them as Cattle dogs
but the Royal Agricultural Society Kennel Club (RASKC) wouldn't do it. Well, McNiven did what a lot of breeders do and he
just went ahead and put other dogs registration papers on to his pups. The RASKC found out and banded all his dogs and him
from the kennel club.
A cattle rancher from the western united states brought several of McNiven's
dogs to American as McNiven continued to stand by his dogs as the best cattle dogs around. Word got around the Ranches
and more dogs were sent to America. One can find several of these dogs advertised in the Western Horsemen Magazine back around
the 1950's. Because the Vet McNiven was from Queensland Australia the name was tagged to the dogs "Queensland Heelers".
A breeder of these dogs by the name of Woolsey bought more Cattledogs and bred them into his stock and he got his
dogs registered through the National Stock Dog Registry of Butler, Indiana.
The actual foundation
for the Australian shepherd was established between the 1940s and the early 1970s, when the Australian Shepherd Club of America
was formed and the registry was started.
Before the standards were written
down, there of course, were none. The interbreeding of Cattle dogs, Texas Heelers, Blue Heelers and or what ever else found
its way into the lines while roaming the ranches and farms of the western United States. What this means is the size variations
were pretty extreme. Back in the early days the so called Aussies were on the small size. I do remember an Australian
Shepherd coming into my grooming shop that stood as tall as a Collie and with much more girth. The muzzle was also large around
and it was the color of the Australian Shepherd. The owner had AKC papers on his dog.
a large interbreeding I am sure a normal litter of these Cattle dogs with hair, must have shown quiet a large difference in
size. Within a litter one may have 'runts'. Though the small Australian Shepherds are not 'rare' in that they have been
and do continue to be large in number, they have never been classified or 'registered' or 'recognized' as a smaller size of
the written standards. doesn't make them NOT an Aussie. They are true as any Australian Shepherd only they didn't match
the breed standards when they marked off the line limit to the size.
Anyway, now they have a
problem as no one will recognize them as the Mini Aussie. So what do they do? some one renamed them the North
American Shepherd. hmmmm..... will it stick?