Australian Shepherd Toy is a tiny herding dog, mostly known for its calm temperament.
They may be tiny in size, but they are massive entertainers and active as dogs of large size.
Australian Shepherd Toy dogs are affectionate, loyal, playful, courageous, and extremely smart. They are much appreciated for their love toward people and calm temper when around children.
If you love Australian Shepherds in general, but you want a smaller representative of the breed who is both loyal and protective, this is a breed to consider having.
Keep on reading to discover more about this toy breed of high energy.
Australian Shepherd Toy History
Australian Shepherd Toy or the Toy Aussies is a young breed considering official registrations. Although they are a young breed, little is known about how they were initially created.
Some dog experts claim that the Australian Shepherd Toy dog was probably developed by breeding the smaller minis until the Toy version was finally created.
In other words, breeders bred Australian Shepherd, its various types, until the toy version was finally (successfully) created.
The Australian Shepherd Toy originated from Mini and Standard Australian Shepherds and was officially bred in the States.
Interestingly, some dog experts claim that this breed didn’t exist 30 years ago, which only confirms claims that this is a young breed.
These dogs were bred to have all the qualities that Australian Shepherd of regular size (or smaller) size has, including the best traits of herding and intelligence, but only in a smaller size.
Just like their bigger relatives, these small size dogs are active, have a strong herding instinct, and can learn many commands, beyond basic commands that are mandatory for every good canine citizen must know.
Is Australian Shepherd Toy A Purebred?
As of 2021, the Australian Shepherd Toy isn’t officiality recognized as a separate breed.
At least, that isn’t the case with larger breed registries. This doesn’t mean that they won’t be recognized at some moment but at the time they aren’t officially recognized as purebred.
Australian Shepherd Toy Physical Appearance
The Australian Shepherd Toy dog is a small size dog that is well-built and compact.
They are equally seen in busy city areas and more rural spaces where they have a huge space to roam freely.
Just like breeders wanted them to look like, the Australian Shepherd Toys are miniature versions of Australian Shepherd with medium-length hair.
These dogs are light, at 12 to 17 pounds. As for the height, they may have 10 to 14 inches.
Just like their larger relatives, these tiny toys will vary in colors. Their coat of medium length may come in various colors, including red, red merle, black, or blue merle.
These colors combination are often seen in Australian Shepherds and Shetland Sheepdog as well – these color combinations are a trademark of Australian dogs in general.
As for the coat, the Australian Shepherd Toy dog will have a medium-length coat of thick structure. Their double coat was carefully created to keep them dry and well taken care of when outside.
Plus, this double coat provides water resistance which is handy as they are usually big water lovers, and they do mind walking in the rain for a good run.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that they should be left outside in the rain. It just means that a bit of rain won’t stop them from going outside for that much-needed toilet break.
Australian Shepherds are not known for being bigger shedders, while these smaller versions are often described as average shedders.
Australian Shepherd Toy Personality
Once you get a shepherd breed, you can expect one thing for sure – they will come with a lot of energy.
Shepherd dogs are specially bred to be active all day long, to work all day outside herding other animals. This job required a lot of energy and dogs of great stamina and speed.
Shepherds are packed with all of these and much more. That being said, you should expect your Australian Shepherd Toy dog to be any different.
Australian Shepherd Toy dogs are hyperactive, and although they may be small in size they aren’t recommended for first time dog owners due to their intense energy.
They are also not recommended for experienced dog owners who don’t have already active outdoor life.
All in all, Australian Shepherd Toy dogs do the best in families with extended dog experience, who have active social and outdoor life, and are custom to taking their dogs with them.
Whenever you go this dog will expect you to take him with you. They are highly social and intelligent and if neglects anyhow they will get bored and eventually destructive.
Dogs with high energy levels need the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation or they won’t know what to do with that extra energy.
If your Australian Shepherd Toy decided to chew furniture, know that you’re not providing your Australian Shepherd Toy dog enough exercise.
Australian Shepherd Toy dogs are highly affectionate and love spending time with children.
To keep both children and dogs safe make sure that you supervise their interaction.
Children should know how to interact with dogs safely and not to disturb them when they are eating, drinking water, resting, playing with their toys, or sleeping inside their crate.
If your dog has a dog bed, make sure that it remains dog’s only. Children should stay away because they should know that respecting a dog’s territory is important.
Last but not least, teach your kids how to train dogs, and never to try to take anything out from the dog’s mouth.
Australian Shepherd Toy dogs are always enthusiastic and good-natured, but never aggressive or shy. They may choose to be vocal, so address this during the training phase.
To help them burn of that extra energy participating in dog sports such as agility or dog obedience.
Australian Shepherd Toy Training
One of the best things about owning an Australian Shepherd Toy dog is how trainable they are as a breed.
Next to being hyperactive, this is the second most common thing for all shepherd dogs – they are easy to train.
Not that they will enjoy training sessions, but they want to please you. They want to show you what they are capable of. Plus, if there are delicious treats they will enjoy every second of the training sessions.
After all, dogs are food-driven begins, and using treats as a training tool is a must.
Did you know that dogs are capable of mastering basic commands at eight weeks of age?
If you miss this training point, you will have to deal with a poorly socialized dog which can lead to many issues, especially when a breed is so hyperactive as the Australian Shepherd Toy is.
To get the most out of training sessions, you should provide training sessions that are:
- Supported with training toys
If you feel like you need help training your Australian Shepherd Toy you can always ask for additional support.
In practice, this usually means two options:
- Hiring a professional dog trainer. This will speed up the training process and provide you with additional information on training.
- Enroll your puppy in puppy classes. This option will enable a stronger bond between you and your pup. Plus, you will learn by doing firsthand how to train a dog in the best way possible.
Bear in mind that Australian Shepherd Toy dogs tend to bond with more than one person, so including your entire family in the training process can only be beneficial.
Always use the positive reinforcement method and never punish your dog. As mentioned above, if you need help training this active breed hire a professional to assist you.
Don’t forget to reward your Australian Shepherd Toy dog for being a good dog with a delicious treat.
Australian Shepherd Toy Exercise
Australian Shepherd Toy dogs thrive on regular exercise. As an active breed, they need a proper amount of exercise not keep their mind sharp and their body fit.
Regular exercise offers not only a mental stimulation but also keeps the dog’s joints healthy and strong.
If you miss providing enough exercise for your Australian Shepherd Toy dog you may see him being bored and eventually destructive.
If you cannot meet this dog’s exercise needs maybe you should think about getting a breed that needs less exercise.
Another option is to think about hiring a dog walker or participating in dog sports such as agility.
Owning this breed requires a backyard, regular walks to the dog park, and additional exercise, such as intense walking, the tag of wars, hiking, or running with your Australian Shepherd Toy dog.
For indoors, make sure that you provide some fun and challenging toys such as puzzle toys to keep him busy on rainy days.
Australian Shepherd Toy Grooming
If you want your Australian Shepherd Toy dog to be healthy, you should invest your time in proper grooming.
Grooming is much more than just brushing your dog once a week.
When it comes to grooming this breed, it should take too much of your time, since brushing them up to twice per week should keep your Australian Shepherd Toy dog neat and tangle-free.
The rest is the basic care:
- Trim or grind nails monthly
- Clean ears when needed
- Brush weekly
- Bath only if needed
- Check eyes daily for any sign of eye discharge
- Check gums weekly
To make brushing and overall grooming easy and fast process have the right grooming tools on hand.
Always reward your dog afterward with a nice treat for being a good dog.
If you have to bathe your dog make sure that you use a dog-friendly shampoo.
Dogs do not need frequent bathing as humans do, and occasional bath time is more than fine.
If your veterinarian recommends it, brush the dog’s teeth. If that is the case, also use only toothpaste that is designed for dogs.
It’s important to understand that grooming is a way to help your dog live longer and have healthier days.
Do not look at grooming sessions as a chore. It is more of a bonding experience.
Make sure that you check the dog’s skin while brushing for fleas and any sign of skin infection. Use grooming time to make the bond with your dog stronger.
Australian Shepherd Toy Health
Once you get a dog you are directly responsible for his weight. This means that you should know how to feed your dog.
Know the measurement, when to feed your Toy dog, and how to read dog food labels – this simple knowledge will help you choose the best food possible for your dog.
Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the States and you don’t want your dog to be part of this negative trend.
Keeping his weight optimal will keep his overall health strong. If you have any concerns regarding your dog’s weight or nutrition make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.
Overall great health is best achieved with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and regular veterinarian check-ups.
Some of the known health problems that may appear in this breed include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye problems
Is an Australian Shepherd Toy Dog For You?
If you are still not sure if Australian Shepherd Toy Dog or Australian Shepherds is for you check this compare tool, to explain more about the breed’s traits and features.
On the other hand, if you want a miniature shepherd dog, and you have experience with herding dogs, an Australian Shepherd Toy Dog is a breed to consider having.
They are loyal, active, and love being part of the human pack.
Before you welcome this breed into your home make sure that you are 100% that you can meet the dog’s needs and that providing the right amount of exercise won’t be an issue. Otherwise, you will have to deal with a bored dog who might become destructive.
Provide enough exercise to keep this toy breed happy and healthy. Dogs thrive on regular physical activity.
Add to this regular veterinarian check-ups and you will have both healthy and happy Australian Shepherd Toy Dog.