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Link to Miniature American Shepherd Club of
The Miniature American Shepherd, frequently abbreviated MAS, is a small
herding dog breed. The MAS is highly intelligent and biddable. The breed is
often trained for dog sports such as herding, agility, obedience, disc dog,
flyball, and others.
The Miniature American Shepherd was developed in California during the late
1960s with the breeding of small, unregistered dogs that were thought to be
Australian Shepherds. These dogs were bred with a goal of maintaining their
small size, active character and intelligence.
The breed was first registered with the National Stock Dog Registry in 1980
and was originally called the Miniature Australian Shepherd. By the early
1990s, they had attained nationwide popularity. Several clubs promoted these
small dogs, as they were registered and shown with various rare-breed
organizations. The first parent breed club and registry, MASCUSA, was
formed in 1990 and incorporated in 1993. The breed entered the AKC
Foundation Stock Service as the Miniature American Shepherd in May 2011.
The Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA) is the
designated national parent club of the American Kennel Club.
The breed has been used for herding smaller stock such as sheep and goats,
although they have the heart to tackle larger stock as well. Their small size
was looked upon with favor, as they could more easily double as a household
pet. They became especially popular with equestrians traveling to horse
shows, as their intelligence, loyalty, and size made them an excellent travel
companion. In this way their popularity spread across the country. Today, the
Miniature American Shepherd is established across the U.S. and
internationally. It is a breed with a unique identity - an eye catching, versatile
little herding dog, equally at home on a ranch or in the city.
The Miniature American Shepherd is a herding dog to be designated to the
Herding Group in the American Kennel Club
The Miniature American Shepherd is a small dog, with the breed standard
specifying a height of 14-18 inches (36-46cm) for males and 13-17 inches
(33-43cm) for females. Body structure suggests strength, but not bulkiness,
with a clean-cut head and neck proportional to the body. The topline is level
from withers to hip joint. The tail may be a natural bobtail, or may be docked to
a length not exceeding three inches.
The coat is of medium length and may be straight or wavy, with moderate
feathering present on the backs of the legs. Both sexes have a moderate
mane and frill, though it is generally more pronounced in dogs than in bitches.
The undercoat varies according to the climate in which the dog dwells.
Recognized coat colors in the breed are black, blue merle, red merle, and red
(liver). There are no specified quantities of marbling, flecking, or blotching for
merle coats. Tan markings are permissible anywhere around the eyes and
face, as well as on the feet, legs, chest, muzzle, underside of the neck and
body, under the tail, and on the undersides of the ears. White markings are
permissible, but limited to the muzzle, cheeks, crown of the head, in a blaze on
the head, in a partial or full collar on the neck, and on the belly, chest, front
legs, and hind legs to the hock. White markings should not cover more than
25% of the ear, and white body markings outside of the above permitted areas
may disqualify the dog from competition.
The Miniature American Shepherd is described as an intelligent working breed
with strong instincts for herding and flock guarding. It is easy to train,
enthusiastic and persistent toward its work, and is protective, devoted, and
loyal to its family. The Miniature American Shepherd is neither shy nor
aggressive; any aggressive behavior is a disqualifying characteristic per the