North American Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA

NAMASCUSA Breed Standard


General Appearance:

The Miniature Australian Shepherd is a well balanced herding dog of small to medium size. Bone is also moderate and in proportion to body size. He is attentive and animated, showing strength and stamina with coloring that offers variety and individuality in each specimen. Slightly longer than tall, coat of moderate length and coarseness with coloring that offers variety and individuality in each specimen. An identifying characteristic is his natural or docked bobtail. In each sex, masculinity or femininity is well defined. Disqualifications: Toy like features (domed head, bulging eyes, fine bone) Merle bitch with Tri dog in background Trim color is optional and not to be preferred.


The Miniature Australian Shepherd is intelligent, primarily a working dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. He is an exceptional companion. He is versatile and easily trained, performing his assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm. He is reserved with strangers, but does exhibit shyness. Although an aggressive, authoritative worker, viciousness towards people or animals is intolerable. Disqualifications: Viciousness Fault or Undue Shyness


Clean cut, strong, dry and in proportion to the body. The top skull is flat to slightly rounded, its length and width each equal to the length of the muzzle, which is in balance and proportion to the rest of the head. The muzzle tapers slightly to a rounded tip. The stop is moderate but well defined.


A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissor bite. An even bite is a fault. Teeth broken or missing by accident are not penalized. Disqualifications: Undershot bites or overshot bites exceeding 1/8th inch


Expressive eyes, showing attentiveness and intelligence. Clear, almond shaped, and of moderate size, set a little obliquely, neither prominent nor sunken, with dark pupils, well defined and perfectly positioned. Colors: brown, blue, amber, or any variation or combination thereof including flecks and marbling.


Set high on the side of the head, triangular and slightly rounded at the tip, of moderate size with length measured by bringing the tip of the ear around to the inside corner of the eye. The ears, at full attention, break slightly forward and over from one quarter (1/4) to one half (1/2) above the base. Severe Faults: Prick or Hound type ears

Neck And Body:

The neck is firm, clean and in proportion to the body. It is of medium length and slightly arched at the crest, setting well into the shoulders. The body is firm and muscular. The top line appears level at a natural fore-square stance. The chest is deep and strong with ribs well sprung. The loin is strong and broad when viewed from the top. The bottom line carries well back with a moderate tuck-up. The croup is moderately sloping, the ideal being 30 degrees from the horizontal. Tail is straight, not to exceed three (3) inches, natural bobtail or docked.


The shoulder blades (scapula) are long and flat, close set at the withers, approximately two fingers width at a natural stance, and are well laid back at an angle approximately forty five (45) degrees to the ground. The upper arm (humerus) is attached at an approximate right angle to the shoulder line with forelegs dropping straight, perpendicular to the ground. The elbow joint is equal distance from the ground to the withers. The legs are straight and powerful. The pasterns are short, thick and strong, but still flexible, showing a slight angle when viewed from the side. Feet are oval shaped, compact with close knit, well arched toes. Pads are thick and resilient, nails short and strong. Dewclaws may be removed.


Width of hindquarters approximately equal to the width of the forequarters of the shoulders. The angulation of the pelvis and upper thigh (femur) corresponds to the angulation of the shoulder blade and upper arm forming an approximate right angle. Stifles are clearly defined, hock joints moderately bent. The metatarsi are short, perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other when viewed from the rear. Feet are oval shaped, compact, with close- knit, well arched toes. Pads are thick and resilient, nails short and strong. Rear dewclaws are removed.


Of medium texture, straight to slightly wavy, weather resistant, of moderate length with an under coat. The quality of under coat varies with climate. Hair is short and smooth on the head, outside of the ears, front of forelegs and below the hocks. Backs of forelegs are moderately feathered, breeches are moderately full. There is a moderate mane and frill, more pronounced in dogs than bitches. Severe faults: Non typical coats


All colors are strong, clear and rich. The recognizable colors are blue merle, red (liver) merle, solid black, solid red (liver). With or without white markings and/or tan (copper) points with no order of preference. The blue merle and black have black pigmentation on the nose, lips and eye-rims. Reds and red merles have liver pigmentation on the nose, kips, and eye-rims. Butterfly nose should not be faulted less than one year of age. On all colors, the areas surrounding the ears and eyes are dominated by colors other than white. The hairline of the white collar does not exceed the point at the withers. Disqualifications: Other than recognized colors, white body splashes. Dudley nose


Smooth, free and easy; exhibiting agility of movement with a well balanced, ground-covering stride. Fore and hind legs move straight and parallel with the center of the body; as speed increases, the feet, both front and rear, converge toward the center line of gravity of the dog, while the topline remains firm and level.

SIZE Height for dogs and bitches is 14 inches up to 18 inches at the top of the withers. Quality not to be sacrificed in favor of size within the guidelines of this breed standard. Severe faults: Under 14inches and over 18 inches


Monorchidism and Cryptorchidism Toy like features (ie domed head, bulging eyes, fine bone) Other recognized colors, white body splashes, Dudley nose Viciousness Undershot bites; overshot bites exceeding one eighth (1/8) inch