Along with whimpering and a few other sounds, barking is a dog's only means of verbal communication. Even dogs that supposedly do not bark create sounds. But some dogs bark more than others. And it's commonly accepted that smaller dogs bark more and sometimes more vigorously than larger dogs. But the Miniature Australian Shepherd does not fit into that same mold.
Just as there are many reasons why dogs bark, there are also many reasons why smaller dogs bark more than larger dogs. Probably the biggest reason this is so is that many dogs bark when they feel threatened. Because of their diminutive stature, smaller dogs just have more things to fear than a larger dog would, so they would bark at more things and occurrences. For example, where a five-pound dog may feel threatened by a rambunctious toddler, a seventy-pound dog would have a size and height advantage and wouldn't feel as intimidated. Dogs also bark to communicate, and many dogs bark to announce basic things, like "I'm hungry"ťor "I have to go to the bathroom". Smaller dogs have a higher metabolism, so they would be hungry more often, and they have smaller bladders, and would need to relieve themselves more often, both being causes to bark more. Other smaller dogs, especially Terriers, for no founded scientific reasons, seem to just enjoy barking for the sheer joy of it!
The Miniature Australian Shepherd bucks this trend, and this could be attributed to its stockdog heritage. Strong and silent workers, both the Miniature Australian Shepherd and the standard Australian Shepherd use a combination of its posture, its aggressiveness, and heeling, or nipping at its quarry's heels, to round up its target livestock instead of intimidating it with barking. Even though it's a fun-loving, playful animal, this temperament has transferred to the Miniature Australian Shepherd's home life. It is an extremely rare occurrence when a Miniature Australian Shepherd will bark to warn its family of danger, and even when it does, it will only give one or two barks as its signal.
However, just as with any breed, mistreatment of the Miniature Australian Shepherd will lead to problems with barking. Naturally active and extremely social with people, leaving a Miniature Australian Shepherd alone or penned up will cause the dog to bark in anger and frustration, which is completely out of character for this breed. This is not a dog for an inactive family, or a family too busy to spend time to play and exercise with their dog.
That aside, the Miniature Australian Shepherd is a silent dog, perfect for a small home (as long as it still gets its daily exercise) or for a family not looking for a constant vocal reminder that they own a dog.