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We strive to preserve and protect Australian Shepherds. not only the looks but the brilliance which is slowly being bred out and left behind. Our main goal is to raise quality puppies who will surpass expectations. We are proud to have high quality family's who acknowledge the work we put into our program. There is nothing that can explain the love and happiness a well bred and raised aussie can bring to a home. As a breeder I have experienced both joy and sadness when bringing in puppies for our program. I will only raise puppies and dogs that I would be satisfied with myself. We are constantly learning ways we can make the first 8 weeks count for a lifetime of happiness for both family and puppy.
The Early Days of Recognition
The first registry to accept the Australian Shepherd of the miniature variety was the National Stock Dog Registry (NSDR): the same to first recognize the Australian Shepherd. Cordova’s Spike, a 15 inch blue merle male, was the first mini Aussie to be registered. Acceptance was next achieved with the now defunct Rare Breed Kennel Club (RBKC) in the 1980’s.
Croswhite’s Miss Kitty Fox, a blue merle NSDR registered bitch of true Aussie type, secured the first Australian Shepherd of the miniature variety championship.
After the RBKC folded in the early 1990’s, the mini Aussie gained acceptance with the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA). Unfortunately, ARBA regulations stipulated that in order for a breed to qualify for Group and Best in Show competition, it could not have a name associated with an AKC breed. So in 1993, when the Australian Shepherd was granted full show privileges in the AKC’s Herding Group, one group of mini Aussie enthusiasts opted to change the mini Aussie’s name, a move which caused great confusion in the dog world and for
the general public and eventually led to the development of a separate and distinct breed from the Australian Shepherd called the North American Shepherd.
Dissatisfied with the limited show schedule offered by any one club, enthusiasts attempted to secure wider recognition. However, it soon became apparent that acceptance could not be gained under the new name because it implied a new breed. In actuality, the mini Aussie remained a size variety of the Australian Shepherd, with a continuous genepool, and not a separate breed. Those concerned with maintaining Australian Shepherd heritage, instinct, temperament and type, and interested in pursuing further recognition formed
an Australian Shepherd of the miniature variety parent club in order to attain these goals.
Certain early ancestors of today’s Australian Shepherd may have migrated with Basque shepherds from continental Europe directly to North America. The blue merle color phase is still present in the modern Berger des Pyréneés. The breed may have acquired its name via Australia where the Basques are known to have accumulated larger flocks of sheep. By whatever path, Aussies had arrived in the United States by the late
19th century where the dogs’ qualities became recognized by local ranchers, who used the dogs to work cattle, sheep and other livestock.
Working ability was the paramount consideration during the early years, rather than any particular conformation but a distinct breed of moderate coat and size, superb herding instinct and often of unusual blue merle coloring emerged, still bearing a marked resemblance to Pyrenean ancestors, although undoubtedly influenced by various British and American working breeds, such as the Scotch Collie, Border Collie and English Shepherd. The “little blue dogs” were soon highly esteemed on ranches and farms throughout western America.
Jay Sisler popularized the Aussie with the American public through his trick dog acts performed at rodeos throughout the United States during the 1950’s and 1960’s. His dogs also appeared in movies and several figure prominently in the pedigrees of the modern Australian Shepherd.
The Aussie is a relative newcomer to purebred registries, only being formally recorded since 1957. The first organization to register the Australian Shepherd was the National Stock Dog Registry (AKA International English Shepherd Registry). The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) established recording services in 1971, taking over a majority of Aussie
registrations. ASCA adopted a unified breed standard in 1977.
A Small Australian Shepherd
During the 1960’s, a Californian Australian Shepherd enthusiast acquired several small working Aussies from the rodeo circuit. Intrigued by their compact size, she worked with a veterinarian to develop a breeding program in order to preserve the trait, which quickly resulted in litters producing both dogs only 13 to 14 inches tall as well as larger Australian Shepherds. The smaller dogs eventually became known as “miniature” Australian Shepherds.
The mini Aussie soon attracted the attention of experienced Australian Shepherd breeders and eager newcomers. Lines were researched and educated breeding to full-size Aussies was and is strongly encouraged to diversify the gene pool and improve conformation and type of the mini Aussies. Herding instinct, intelligence and drive were preserved and many mini Aussies continue to work a variety of livestock today.
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