History of the Miniature American Shepherd
Small size herding dog, developed in the United States.
This is a highly versatile, energetic dog, an athlete with superior intelligence and a willingness to please those to whom he is devoted.
AKC: Get to know the Miniature American Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd, from which the MAS is directly derived, originated in the mid-1800’s on the ranches of south-western America, around the time of the Californian Gold Rush.
Over a period of many years the ranchers interbred a variety of herding breeds and types to create a stockdog with the exacting traits that they required; a versatile, intelligent drover and guard, capable of moving stock long distances over a wide range of terrain through an equally wide range of weathers whilst keeping a constant and watchful eye over their charges.
Australian Shepherd Recognition
The Australian Shepherd is a comparatively new breed to the UK. The first Australian Shepherd was imported in 1986. Aussies were initially entered on the KC Working and Obedience Trials register (now the KC Activities register) and it was a full decade before they entered the Import Register in 1995. Approval for the interim Breed standard was also gained in 1995 and full KC recognition achieved for the breed in January 2000. Championship Ticket status (CC) was finally achieved in 2006.
The Miniature Australian Shepherd
During the 1960’s the Miniature Australian Shepherd was developed by a selective breeding programme involving the smaller sized Australian Shepherds. These dogs were bred with a goal of maintaining their naturally small size, along with all the qualities and character of the larger examples.
The ‘Minis’ have been used used for herding smaller stock such as sheep and goats, although given the opportunity they have the heart to tackle larger stock as well. Their smaller size endeared them to equestrians travelling to horse shows and rodeos as their intelligence, loyalty and size made them excellent travel companions.
The Miniature American Shepherd
The first parent breed club and registry, MASCUSA, was formed in 1990 and incorporated in 1993. The Minis entered the AKC Foundation Stock Service as a separate breed in their own right with the new name of the ‘Miniature American Shepherd’ in May 2011. The Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA) is the designated national parent club of the American Kennel Club.
Today the MAS is established worldwide. It is a breed with a unique identity – an eye catching, versatile little herding dog, equally at home on the original ranch or in the active family home.
The MAS is a working breed, placed in the Herding Group in the AKC.