Colors: Bi, Tri, or Merle patterns in either red, black, or blue.
Eyes: Brown, blue, amber and may include flecks or marbling (mix of two colors, see our dog Sophie)
Weight: Generally 15-40lbs can be smaller or bigger on occasion
Coat: Can be straight or wavy, long or short. Some coats shed less than others, however these dogs DO shed regardless and require good brushing to keep coat matt free and breathable.
Activities to do with an Aussie
Aussies are very intelligent animals who thrive with human interaction. If you want to get involved in a sport or activity with an aussie here are some ideas:
Is an Aussie for you?
Miniature Australian Shepherds are easygoing, perpetual dogs that love to play. Courageous, loyal and affectionate, they are excellent children's companions that are great with active children. A devoted friend and guardian. Very lively, agile and attentive, they are eager to please their owner. Miniature Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and easy to train. They can become nervous and destructive if left alone too much without enough mental and physical excersise.
They need a job to do, as the breed is very intelligent, active and thus easily bored. Socialization of aussies through their first year of life is very important to avoid it becoming suspicious of strangers. Some like to nip people’s heels in an attempt to herd them. They need to be taught herding humans is not acceptable. A fine companion, it also enjoys working small stock. They are quiet workers. This breed is not usually dog aggressive, however consistant training in the early stages of life in a must.
For further information check out:
What is MDR1?
Australian Shepherds, along with several other mostly collie-type breeds, can carry a genetic mutation that makes them sensitive to certain drugs. Use of those drugs can cause serious neurological illness or death.
MDR1 is the abbreviated name of a gene called Multi-Drug Resistance 1. A mutation of this gene causes sensitivity to Ivermectin and a number of other drugs. Dogs with the mutation will react to those drugs. Having two copies of the mutation will lead to drug reactions, but having a single copy can also cause some sensitivity with some drugs. Dogs with this mutation have a transport defect - the drug goes in to their brains, fails to be transported out, and builds up to toxic levels. This causes serious neurological problems including seizures and sometimes death.
Which drugs cause reactions?
Ivermectin was the first drug recognized to cause a reaction, but it is far from the only one. Ivermectin at low dosage, as found in heartworm medications such as Heardguard. Other commonly administered drugs on the list include acepromazine and Imodium. Fortunately, there are alternative medications available if your dog requires treatment (we use Revolution, which also doubles as a flea and tick medication).
Information from the Australian Shepherd Health and Genetics Institute.
For more information on the drugs sensitive to Aussies on MDR1 see: