The Miniature American Shepherd, also known as the North American Shepherd, is mostly referred to as MAS, but other nicknames include Mini, and Ameri. This breed that comes from the roots of an Australian Shepherd and comes in different colors such as back, blue merle, red, red merle and often comes with tan and/or white markings.
Because of its size, many Miniature American Shepherd enthusiasts believe this breed is a perfect choice for a sporty, strong and good-natured pet that many are looking to add to their family.
Originally a herding dog, the Miniature American Shepherd is a compact working dog. The Miniature American Shepherd was first bred in the United States, hence the name. In the 1960s the breed was still called a Miniature Australian Shepherd because breeders were breeding what was thought to be smaller Australian Shepherds.
In 1990, the American Kennel Club recognized the Miniature American Shepherd breed officially in its organization. There are preferred heights within the standard, but with a little wiggle room, there is no disqualification due to a deviation in height. There is still a debated issue about this to this day.
Finally in 1993, the predecessor to the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA ) asked if they could officially change the name to the “North American Shepherd.” That was when the MASCUSA became the North American Shepherd Club of America.
For the next 15 years, there were many different organizations that grew and then ended. Eventually the name and the breed of Miniature American Shepherd was born out of compromise between different organizations. It was then that MASCUSA became the official parent club for the Miniature American Shepherd, and in July 2015, the MAS was fully recognized in the Herding Group by the American Kennel Club.
The Miniature American Shepherd is considered a medium-sized dog. The average height of a male Miniature American Shepherd is 14 to 18 inches, while the height for a female Miniature American Shepherd is 13 to 17 inches. The weight average for a Miniature American Shepherd, male or female, is 15 to 35 pounds.
Miniature American Shepherds are devoted to their owners. They are also very intelligent and love to please their family. Because the Miniature American Shepherd is a strong willed and instinctive breed. Due to its innate working drive, Miniature American Shepherds need to be socialized and trained at a young age.
Miniature American Shepherds are wary of strangers but they don’t usually shy away from them. This breed is very energetic and has a higher intelligence than other breeds. They want to make their owners happy and stay a loyal companion their whole lives.
The Miniature American Shepherd breed has a strong work ethic and is always willing to help. They are reliable and dependable and a great choice for a new family addition.
Miniature American Shepherds live to be between 13 to 15 years old. The Miniature American Shepherd are generally healthy dogs but, as with all breeds, are prone to some problems. Some diseases that owners need to be aware of include the following Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Hereditary Cataracts, Multi Drug Resistance Gene, Degenerative Myopathy, Collie Eye Anomaly and Hip Dysplasia.
Make sure to take your Miniature American Shepherd to the veterinarian on its scheduled visits to ensure your Miniature American Shepherd stays healthy.
Training a Miniature American Shepherd is easier than other breeds because they respond well to obedience training. They also make good therapy dogs because they are naturally sensitive. Miniature American Shepherds often do service work as well as search and rescue.
Exercising can be a simple game of chasing the ball, playing hide and seek, and taking walks. Other outdoor activities such as swimming and hiking are also enjoyable for a Miniature American Shepherd.
Good new nutrition is important for a Miniature American Shepherd from their young puppy stages until they get older, so make sure to choose the right type of food and keep them on a good diet.
The longer coats of a Miniature American Shepherd need weekly grooming, and an occasional bath will do them good. They have strong and fast-growing nails and need to be trimmed regularly. Any over growth will cause discomfort to a Miniature American Shepherd. Teeth should also be brushed regularly.
Here is a link to the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA. Please check your local area for other rescues near you or to learn more about this breed.