Miniature American Shepherds
(AKA: Mini Aussies)
We are one of very few breeders in the country who does NOT dock tails on our mini Aussies!
We have decided to go against the grain with our future litters of mini ausssies and... WE DO NOT DOCK TAILS on ANY of our mini aussie puppies! After much research and consideration, we have decide to allow our puppies to keep their natural long tails. For more information about our decision please scroll to the bottom of the page.
These are our own personal dogs and family members. We chose our dogs because they were ideal matches for our family's personalities, lifestyles, and best suited to us as pets. Each dog is not necessarily bred every year, so available puppies are somewhat limited. However, if you are fortunate enough to own one of our puppies, we gaurantee they will leave an amazing impression on your life!
We don't have a kennel! ...So how do we have so many dogs??
Not all of our dogs live with us all the time, many of them live in Foster homes (sometimes known as guardian homes) with our friends or family who live nearby. For more info on our foster homes please scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Founding mother of our breeding program. Tierah is the mother of Sibby, Ember, London & Paris. 4 daughters who will continue on her legacy. She and Cooper have produced for us the most incredible dogs, some of which have gone all over the world. They are known for their rock solid temperaments, those eyes that stare into your soul, incredible intelligence, and stunning coats & conformation. Tierah has absolutely loved being a mother and she has taught us SO much about love, patience, resilience, and joy.
Daughter of Cooper and Tierah from their "Water" litter. Sibby was the first girl we kept back for our breeding program. She bonded closely with our oldest daughter and they showed in 4-H and UKC shows in Obedience, Agility and Conformation. Sibby is very athletic, extremely intelligent and VERY devoted. She is retiring with some our extended family in Kentucky and is enjoying mountain hikes! She gets "oohs and aahs" everywhere she goes, she is so well behaved! We love that we get to visit with her from time to time.
The Tail Change
After much thought and consideration we have decided that we will not be docking ANY of our puppies tails! In the past we docked the tails of our mini-Aussies mainly because it was "breed standard."
WHY DOCK?? It is thought that the Aussie's tail was originally docked because they were hard working dogs herding livestock, and their tails woud collect so much mud, burrs, briars and supposedly could be broken by cattle stepping on them, the ranchers thought it safer to dock their Aussie's tails. Some say that Aussie's tails were docked so the breed could be identified as an Aussie from distance. Or that maybe docking was to avoid paying taxes on them, as taxes were determined by the "tailed animals" on the farm. There are actually many theory's as to why their tails were originally docked.
Whatever the reason was in the past, there is no good reason for us to dock the tails on our Aussies any more. I feel that my responsibility is to prioritize the well being of my puppies. Cutting (essentially) a limb off them is just not in the best interest of the dog. As a trainer, I especially value the tail as a major means of communication, as well as being important for a dog's balance in fast movement. We feel that there are enough people out there who will still love and maybe even prefer an Aussie with a long natural tail. Their tails are beautiful (I always hated having them docked). I really think people will love our Aussies WITH tails and we hope it catches on!
**Miniature American Shepherds are now a FULLY recognized breed to the AKC as of July 2015! AND the breed standard for Miniature American Shepherds actually allows for undocked tails! (Although a docked tail may still be preferred in the showring, it is not considered a fault anymore) ...YAY!
About the name... American or Australian?
Miniature American Shepherd is a brand new name to the AKC! But they are not actually a new dog at all. The AKC/FSS (Foundational Stock Service) is allowing small Australian Shepherds to register under the new name of Miniature American Shepherd. Other registries such as the NSDR or ASDR, call them as Miniature Australian Shepherds, but just to clairify...they've come from the exact same breed, Australian Shepherds, they're just smaller (13-18" tall). Some of our dogs still have their AKC Australian Shepherd papers. But because they were under 17" tall, I converted their name to Mini American Shepherd back when AKC had open registration to do this. That's why my dog's lines are pure Australian Shepherd, same dogs, just listed under a new name. Also, this why I still affectionally refer to them as my Mini Aussies.
It is important to us to keep our quality in raising both our puppies and adult dogs in our home to maintain relationships with each of them. We choose not to keep our dogs in a kennel type environment because we don't feel that is fair to them. They were made for relationships with people, and they want to be with us and to be a part of our daily lives. However, in order to keep a good breeding program with a wide variety of genetics it requires us to have more dogs than we have time to maintain quality relationships with on a daily basis. This is where our Foster homes come in. We send some of our dogs (most typically our males because we also like to avoid accidental breedings!) to live with friends and family as their own pet. They live near us so we can easily visit and "share" the dogs when we need to borrow them for breeding purposes.
Our Foster families LOVE being foster homes! They basically get to have one of our already trained, beautiful, healthy, fantastic dogs as their own, essentially for FREE! Foster homes simply pay for maintenance type expenses (food, heart-worm, flea meds) as they would for any of their own dogs. We love seeing our dogs get so much love and attention from their foster families it's worth it to let them go :( We love our dogs so much we don't let them go to just anyone. An application, interview and home inspection are part our screening process before approving a new family as a foster home. But most importantly it is essential that we KNOW the foster family very well. We look for good communication, honesty, responsibility and friendship with each family.
Interested in becoming one of our foster homes?
Below are some fantastic perks and a few conditions for being a foster home. If you feel you can meet our criteria, please fill out an application and tell us you want to foster!
You get one of our amazing dogs to live with you as your own!
Once the dog is retired you have the option to receive full ownership.
You get me (Carrie) as your personal on-call trainer, medical medical help and wealth of knowledge and assistance for any need that arrises pertaining to our dog.
You do not have to pay for vaccines or the genetic health testing that we do.
If you need to go on any trip or vacation, we take the dog back while you're gone.
You must live with in a 1 hour drive, or less, of Niles, MI
Agree to go though our application process, interview, home visit and sign our Foster family contract.
Must be able to keep great and open communication with us!