Open Letter: So You Want A
Miniature American Shepherd
Dear Puppy Buyer,
So you think you want a Miniature American Shepherd.
I am the last person to tell you not to buy a Mini as I have several and absolutely love the breed. But you need to be prepared for what you are getting yourself into.
Let me tell you about them. Miniature American Shepherds are herding breeds and are very smart. They are reliable, protective, good running partners, typically busy, and regularly outsmart their owners if their owners do not take initiative in training them. As an Aussie owner, you need to provide your dog with ample space to play, work for their mind, constant petting, attention, and training.
Miniature American Shepherds are intelligent and busy. I can take my dogs on a 2 mile hike and they are still perky and ready to hike two more. We typically play several hours of fetch during the week.
They were originally bred to herd cattle, sheep, and goats. The ranchers needed an energetic, intelligent, and very trainable ranching partner to help them. And so... the Aussie.
These dogs excel in ranching even to this day. They excel in competitions such as dock diving, agility, herding trials, obedience classes, and tricks! Most of our dogs are what we call "medium drive", meaning they are ready to hike and play but can be trained to be calmer when it is not time to work.
Please, when you get your puppy, please consider a training class... or ten. I highly recommend group puppy training classes or finding a private trainer. No, my dogs don't go through the classes themselves as I do all of their training myself. I have been training my own dogs for more than 8 years, but if you are new to Miniature American Shepherds, and new to dog training, a class or a few is highly recommended. Its not a matter of you can't, its a matter of in order for you to be able to work with a highly intelligent dog, sometimes you need a little help to learn how to train them effectively. Several Stillwater Ranch Puppy owners have taken their puppies through the classes and their pups have been the star of the class because they are more than just adorable.
Well, what happens if you don't train your puppy? If you don't properly exercise them? They get themselves into trouble. I was talking to a Stillwater Ranch Puppy owner and her 9 month old pup had figured out how to unset the table, open doors, and regularly carries their walking shoes around the house to go for yet another walk...again. This is his intelligence and training. Other puppies might have destroyed furniture or flooring. He knew better because they trained him. And its good for a laugh because he is so funny about it.
They are typically busy and energetic dogs, and need lots of interactions from their humans! These are not meant to be apartment dogs that are kept inside 24/7. They will not thrive well in a small enclosed place. Please consider this as you look at any dog.
I don't want to talk you out of this breed. They are AMAZING dogs, but please consider the adventure you are embarking on for the next approximately 13-16 years with your new family member.
Stillwater Ranch Kennel