Fun-loving and easy-going, the Miniature Australian Shepherd is almost like having a perpetual puppy. One of its greatest characteristics, it's seemingly non-stop energy, can be either a bonus or detriment to your family, depending on the activity level of your family.
Very protective, loyal, affectionate, and bold, the Miniature Australian Shepherd makes an excellent companion for children. They are especially good with active children. However, they should be kept an eye on until you're sure the dog and the child will get along well. Sometimes the Miniature Australian Shepherd can be a bit rough-and-tumble, but proper training as a puppy will lead to a friendlier adult.
As with most dogs bred for working alongside people, the Miniature Australia Shepherd is innately protective and can be a devoted guardian and companion. These dogs are attentive, agile, spry, and are ready to please. They almost seem to be on the same wavelength as their owners, seeming to know what they want before a command is given. These compact shepherds are highly intelligent and very easy to train. This is a good thing, as there are quite a few behaviors that must be trained in order to have a happy, healthy Miniature Australian Shepherd and a happy family.
First of all, it is the most basic of natures for this breed to herd. Therefore, it may try to herd smaller animals such as fowl or cats or even children! As cute as that may sound, this problem is two-fold: First, younger children may feel threatened by the herding actions of the Miniature Australian Shepherd and may cause your child to fear the dog. Secondly, Miniature Australian Shepherds nip at the ankles of their charges while herding. Another favorite target for an untrained shepherd is a moving vehicle, be it bicycles or motor vehicles. This is why proper training and a fenced yard is important to the health and safety of Miniature Australian Shepherds.
Another concerning, but curable, habit of the Miniature Australian Shepherd is its potential for destroying property when left to its own devices. But as with any breed, dogs must be given a certain amount of training, attention, and exercise. Miniature Australian Shepherds must have more attention and exercise than the average dog. Basically, if left alone, this breed will find its own chores, and most of them involve chewing furniture and shoes! But luckily, this can be dealt with through minimal obedience training and daily exercise. If you must leave this dog alone for extended periods of time, leave toys around with hidden treats. The food may be gone quickly but it provides a good task for them to work on. Also, calling your own answering machine and talking to your dog through the speaker may also take his mind off of its separation anxiety.
Miniature Australian Shepherds are people dogs. If you're not the type of person who likes a constant shadow following you through a house, or if you're not an active family, this is not the breed for you. But if you're willing to put in the time and energy, the Miniature Australian Shepherd can be a great addition to your family.