RAREK9

MINIATURE ALSTRALIAN SHEPHERD (aussie?) 2002

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History/Origin:   As the Australian Shepherd was given an incorrect name back in the day'  when I was growing up so goes the Mini Aussie and it is such a shame that Australia is tagged on to this herding cattle dog that came to pass here in the western United States. For the life of me I can not remember how or why the name Australian was given to these 'cow dogs' .  That is where they first appeared, it was not with the sheep. These dogs were a cowboys side kick and were seen at Rodeo's in the pick up trucks in the parking lot where all the horse trailers were parked. One could also see them at the horse stables.
 
Back then they were not registered or 'recognized' nor did they even have a name. The blue eyes were striking and they were the tell tail sign that this was one of the small shepherds that hung around the ranch. They were not very tall, I would say about 15 or 16 inches (one and a half foot tall) and it seems that we tried to figure out what kind of dog breed they were.
 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.

With such 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?

 

 

 

 
MY COMMENTS:  The miniature Aussy is alive and well here in the United States as it has always been. The name is still wrong as is the Australian Shepherds name. This breed of dog was first started here in the United States but no one claimed it nor did they begin a club, history, or paperwork for this breed. I hear someone has tried to register the Miniatures as American Shepherds.  I would like to see 'stockdog' in the name as this is what it really is!  The American Western Stockdog?  sounds good to me...
 

 


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