Breed History

Certain early ancestors of today’s Australian Shepherd may have migrated with Basque shepherds from continental Europe directly to North America. The blue merle color phase is still present in the modern Berger des Pyréneés. The breed may have acquired its name via Australia where the Basques are known to have accumulated larger flocks of sheep. By whatever path, Aussies had arrived in the United States by the late 19th century where the dogs’ qualities became recognized by local ranchers, who used the dogs to work cattle, sheep and other livestock.

Working ability was the paramount consideration during the early years, rather than any particular conformation but a distinct breed of moderate coat and size, superb herding instinct and often of unusual blue merle coloring emerged, still bearing a marked resemblance to Pyrenean ancestors, although undoubtedly influenced by various British and American working breeds, such as the Scotch Collie, Border Collie and English Shepherd. The "little blue dogs" were soon highly esteemed on ranches and farms throughout western America.


Jay Sisler popularized the Aussie with the American public through his trick dog acts performed at rodeos throughout the United States during the 1950’s and 1960’s. His dogs also appeared in movies and several figure prominently in the pedigrees of the modern Australian Shepherd.

The Aussie is a relative newcomer to purebred registries, only being formally recorded since 1957. The first organization to register the Australian Shepherd was the National Stock Dog Registry (AKA International English Shepherd Registry). The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) established recording services in 1971, taking over a majority of Aussie registrations. ASCA adopted a unified breed standard in 1977.


They come in a variety of coat and eye colors. The Blue Merle has patches and patterns of black on a background varying from slate gray to powder blue. The Red Merle has patches and patterns of red on a cream colored background. The Black has a solid black body.
They may have white trim, in which case they would be a Black Bi, or black, copper and white, which would be a Black Tri. The Reds vary in intensity from a deep mahogany to a brownish-red color. As with the Blacks, a Red and white is known as a Red Bi; add copper points and the dog is a Red Tri.

Their eyes may be blue, brown, amber, or one blue, one brown, flecked or marbled. Tails are sometimes natural bobs, longer ones are docked.



They are sensitive, easily trained, excellent natural guardians of the home and they possess varing degrees of herding instincts. They are calm and confident, usually suspicious of strangers. They are entirely devoted to their masters and will go to great lengths to please them. Their unique size makes them perfectly suited to our growing urbon lifestyle, as well as making excellent traveling companions. With their many attributes you will find this amazingly versatile and affectionate companion great with children. They are a devoted friend and guardian, for they are naturally protective. They are eager to please and seem to have a sixth sense about what the owner wants.

Their coat is easy to groom and needs little attention. Brush occasionally with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. They are an average shedder.



All breeds of dogs have genetic health issues associated with their breed. When choosing a puppy it's important to buy from a breeder that tests their breeding dogs. These puppies will be more expensive, but they'll be less likely to have genetic health problems. We want you to be aware of issues that can affect the Mini Aussies, so please visit the websites below for more information.


Find your tests here: https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/breeds/39/
Place your order at https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/ or call them Mon-Fri 8am-5pm pst at 509-483-5950.



Don Beard Paints and Hot House Kennels
Cheyenne, WY
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