Toy and Mini Aussie Breed History



History of the Miniature Australian Shepherd and Toy Australian Shepherd 
 
Blue merle female toy aussies from Shade Tree Aussies

My personal memories of these dogs varies slightly from the experts. I spent part of my youth (many years ago) on a sheep ranch in Idaho. There, the basque sheepherders had little dogs that worked the sheep. At that time these dogs were not widely known and there were no 50 to 60 pound ones. They were all in the 20 to 30 pound range. I believe these are the orginal Austrailan Shepherds and that the cattle ranchers crossed them with larger breeds to produce what most people know as a Standard Austrailan Shepherd today. 
 
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“No Mans knows from where he came, but here his is, and here he stays.” (quote from All About Aussies – Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor)
 
Here is an excert from All About Aussies:
 
The Miniature Australian Shepherd was started as a breed in 1968 from a group of small select Australian Shepherds. The size and conformation was achieved over 10 years of breeding, crossing the smallest standard sized Australian Shepherds. Smaller Aussies were sought out and used in breeding programs by breeders who wanted to maintain the original standard just in a smaller package. Because of those efforts, today there are many quality Miniature Australian Shepherds.
 
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History of the Australian Shepherd
 
by Linda Rorem (the original of this article appeared in Dog World magazine in 1987; revised 2007)
 
Little can be known for certain about the origin of many breeds. With regard to the Australian Shepherd, various theories have arisen: that it is of Australian origin; that it is really a Basque breed; that it is of old Spanish origin. The investigating I have done indicates that none of the above theories provides the whole story, but together they may play a part.
 
Histories of California relate that although there had been many flocks of sheep at the Spanish missions, the number of sheep in the Far West had greatly declined by the time of the Gold Rush at the end of the 1840’s. The Gold Rush and the Civil War brought about a great demand for mutton and wool. To meet this demand, large flocks were driven to the Far West from the Midwest and from New Mexico. Sheep were brought around the Horn from the Eastern states, and imported from Australia. Dogs accompanying these flocks, along with later arrivals, would figure in the background of the Australian Shepherd.
 
To read the rest of this article follow this link Herding On the Web.
 
 
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