Miniature American Shepherd
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|Other names||North American Shepherd
Miniature Australian Shepherd
|Country of origin||United States|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Miniature American Shepherd is a herding dog that was developed by selectively breeding small Australian Shepherds for their desired smaller size. It is a compact dog with a strong work ethic. As such, they have been lauded by enthusiasts as an excellent choice for dogs sports such as herding, agility and flyball. Recently, the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA), have been working to help create a new breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club.
In June 2012 the AKC recognized the Miniature American Shepherd as a new developing breed and gave the breed Foundation Stock Service ("FSS") status. The AKC provides this service to allow breeds to continue to develop while providing them with the security of a reliable and reputable avenue to maintain their records.
The Miniature American Shepherd was bred first in the United States and was bred as a herding and working dog. The breed was developed from the Australian Shepherd by breeding the smallest of Australian Shepherds together. The Miniature American Shepherd (at that time still the Miniature Australian Shepherd) was first developed in the late 1960s and by the mid-1970s the breed had reached its current desired size. In many areas and kennel clubs the Miniature American Shepherd is still used as a working breed in competitions.
The predecessor to MASCUSA was the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the United States, which used the same acronym the current club uses. The original club was founded in 1990. Also, in 1990 the AKC officially recognized the Australian Shepherd as a breed. The breed standard adopted by the AKC states for size: “The preferred height for males is 20-23 inches, females 18-21 inches. Quality is not to be sacrificed in favor of size.” Interestingly, deviation in size is not a disqualification, and this has been a debated issue.
In 1993 the original MASCUSA club was asked by the AKC to change its name. Additionally, Miniature Australian Shepherds could no longer participate under their chosen name as it was too similar to that of an AKC affiliated breed, so the Miniature Australian Shepherd became the North American Shepherd.
In 1993, MASCUSA (the original organization) became the North American Shepherd Club of America. For the next 15 years there were numerous clubs that were formed, reorganized, and defunct trying to come to a consensus concerning the emerging breed. Enough members were eventually interested in obtaining separate recognition, thus prompting members of NAMASCUSA to approach the AKC with the idea of creating a new “breed”, instead of seeking the size distinction under the heading of the Australian Shepherd breed. The Miniature Australian Shepherd community is still divided over this compromise. In May 2011, this resulted in the MASCUSA club being chosen by AKC as the parent club of the newly named Miniature American Shepherd breed (FSS). The Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA is currently working toward full, AKC recognition and acceptance.
The Miniature American Shepherd is a small size herding dog that originated in the United States. He is slightly longer than tall with bone that is moderate and in proportion to body size and height without extremes. Movement is smooth, easy, and balanced. Exceptional agility combined with strength and stamina allows for working over a variety of terrain. This highly versatile, energetic dog makes an excellent athlete with superior intelligence and a willingness to please those to whom he is devoted. He is both a loyal companion and a biddable worker, which is evident in his watchful expression. He traditionally has a docked or natural bobtail.
The Miniature American Shepherd is intelligent, primarily a working dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. An exceptional companion, he is versatile and easily trained, performing his assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm. Although reserved with strangers, he does not exhibit shyness. He is a resilient and persistent worker, who adjusts his demeanor and arousal appropriately to the task at hand. With his family he is protective, good natured, devoted and loyal.
Size and Proportion 
Height for dogs is 14 inches up to and including 18 inches at the top of the withers. Height for bitches is 13 inches up to and including 17 inches at the top of withers. Disqualification: under 14 inches and over 18 inches for dogs; under 13 inches and over 17 inches for bitches.
Measuring from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks and from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the ground, he is slightly longer than tall. Solidly built with moderate bone in proportion to body height and size.
Color and Coat 
The coat comes in blue or red merle, red or black, all with white and or tan markings. The hair around the ears and eyes should not be white. The noes and lips should be will colored black on blues merles and blacks, liver on red merles and reds.
The Miniature American Shepherd has medium length weather resistant double coat. It can be straight or wavy in texture.