Toy Australian Shepherd: Dog Breed Information and Owner’s Guide

Toy Australian Shepherd

What is a Toy Australian Shepherd ?

Toy Australian Shepherds are a tiny version of the herding dog breed, and they are known for their wonderful temperament. They are affectionate, courageous, playful, and highly intelligent.

This is generally regarded as an excellent dog to have around children. They are equally noted for their loyalty and their protector mindset.
This is essentially a tiny version of the Australian Shepherd. He is even smaller than the Miniature Australian Shepherd. Animal lovers agree. This is an adorable little dog!

If you want to get a sense of his appearance, take the Australian Shepherd and shrink him down until he becomes really small and cute. Stop when he weighs approximately 12-17 pounds and stands at 10-14 inches. Now you have a Toy Australian Shepherd (TAS)!

This breed is also known as “Aussies” or “Toy Aussies”. Interesting enough, the Australian Shepherd is not even from Australia. They were first bred in the United States during the period of the California Gold Rush.

Toy Australian Shepherds are very active. They require an owner who is willing to provide them with the appropriate daily physical activity.
This breed requires more than two hours of exercise every day. They will also need a lot of attention.

This is a relatively new breed. They have a long lifespan and are generally considered very healthy. With proper care and maintenance, this dog can live for 12-13 years.

Appearance

This is a tiny dog with a double coat of medium length hair. They look like a tiny version of the Australian Shepherd and were bred to be a tiny version of the former.

Toy Australian Shepherd Weight and Size
Toy Australian Shepherds weigh anywhere from 12 to 17 pounds. They measure 10 to 14 inches.

Common Colors
Colors can vary. They can be red, red merle, black or blue merle in color.

Coat
They have a thick double-coat of medium length. The double coat provides water resistance. They are described as average shedders.

Personality and Temperament

Behavior around other dogs

They generally get along very well with other dogs, although they can be territorial. As with other breeds, It is best to socialize them early on to other dogs and animals.

Is a Toy Australian Shepherd a Good Family Dog?

Toy Australian Shepherds are well known for being playful and affectionate with children. This is an excellent family pet to have at home.
They have a lot of energy and will need to expend it with plenty of exercise. They also require your attention and they will get bored easily.
They have been known to show separation anxiety when their owner is away, so they will require plenty of attention. Overall, they are known as a wonderful family pet.

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How to Train a Toy Australian Shepherd

This is a very playful and intelligent dog. They are considered an easy breed to train and they are considered quick learners. A good training program will always incorporate positive reinforcement and/or a rewards-based system.

How To Care For a Toy Australian Shepherd

Exercise Requirements

Experts recommend that they get more than two hours of physical exercise a day. They require an owner who is able to provide them with this daily level of physical activity.

They are mentally active as well. If you cannot keep this dog occupied they will quickly become bored.

Grooming and Shedding

Toy Australian Shepherds will need to be groomed regularly. They are considered average shedders, so brushing them once a week should be sufficient.
A conscientious owner will need to regularly brush his dog’s teeth and periodically trim his nails. Neglecting your dog’s teeth can lead to gum disease and even more serious medical conditions. Untrimmed nails can cause pain when they walk.

This dog should only be bathed when it is necessary. It is critical to thoroughly dry their coat after the bath in order to prevent skin infections.
Be sure to periodically clean their ears. Preventing wax build-up is an essential way to reduce the likelihood of ear infections.

Don’t view grooming sessions as a chore! These are great opportunities to bond with your pet.

Take advantage of the time to develop a relationship with your dog. If you create an early routine, your puppy will become more comfortable when he is being examined by the vet.

Be sure to check your dog for any signs of infection, ailments, or general medical conditions. Always check for sore spots on the skin and coat, redness, inflammation, and redness, or any signs of discharge from the eyes, ears, and nostrils.

Make sure that there are no aberrations with the dog’s genitals. Finally, check to see that there are no structural abnormalities. Observe if there are any signs of problems with his gait.

What To Feed A Toy Australian Shepherd

If you want a healthy dog you have to give him the proper diet. Often, pet owners start off with a disciplined diet, but over time they start to get careless and less concerned with their pet’s dietary requirements.

As with all breeds, the right diet is essential for your dog’s health. Pet owners should understand that they will need to consider the dietary requirements for the lifetime of their pet. The needs of a puppy will be very different than a full-grown dog. A good regimen of diet and exercise will do much to ensure the health of your dog.

Check out the following blog post for a comprehensive look at several important things to consider before deciding what to feed your Toy Australian Shepherd. This well-written post will provide you with important information about understanding nutrition labels and how to choose a brand.

One important thing to understand is that puppies need to eat food that is designed for their growing bodies. Never feed a puppy food that is designed for an adult dog! It’s important to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with a veterinarian before making radical changes in their diet.

Avoid feeding them food from the table. It is tempting to feed our pets when they beg but it really isn’t good for them and it creates bad habits. A diet of such food can lead to serious medical conditions.

It is important that your dog always has access to sufficient amounts of clean and clear water.

Known Health Problems

They are generally considered a relatively healthy dog. Toy Australian Shepherds may be susceptible to cataracts and hip dysplasia.
Hip Dysplasia refers to the condition when the dog’s femur isn’t properly affixed to the pelvic socket. This can be extremely painful for your dog and can ultimately result in the dog becoming lame.

The inflammation may lead to your dog developing a limp. Reducing exercise may alleviate the condition.

Medical options to treat Hip Dysplasia include non-anti-inflammatory treatments. Surgical options are a last resort. This includes surgical hip displacement.

They may also be prone to eye diseases and there is a small percentage that is born deaf. Several genetic tests are available which may identify and prevent certain genetic disorders.

Toy Australian Shepherd and Water

Many owners report that Toy Australian Setters are really fond of the water and that they enjoy swimming.

Buyer’s Guide

How to Choose a Toy Australian Shepherd Puppy

How do you ensure that you will select the right puppy?

Before considering the right puppy, make sure that you have the correct breeder or animal shelter. The ideal facility will be a clean, sanitary facility. Always ask to visit the breeding facility.

The ideal breeder will patiently field all of your questions. He will certainly have many questions of his own. If he is serious about his work he will want to make sure that he is finding a proper home for his puppy.

If the parents are available, ask to see them. Ask to see medical paperwork about the health of the parents.

Make sure that you are given detailed information about past and future medical tests, genetic tests, or vaccinations. Find out their policy if your dog experiences genetic problems later in life. Ask for documentation to confirm that these tests occurred.

Inquire how long he’s been a professional breeder. If he is a member of a breeding club, find out which one. Ask to see his registration.
Ask to see any references. A professional breeder will always be happy to share such information with you. Be wary of any breeder who is reticent to share or provide paperwork with you.

A reputable breeder will not bargain over the price. He will insist that you sign a contract. Ask him if he’s ever refused to sell a dog to someone. IF he says no, you might have a problem.

When choosing a puppy, make sure to observe the entire litter first. Carefully observe how they interact with one another.
Only afterward should you carefully assess each individual puppy when it is separated from the rest of the litter. Observe for any aberrant or strange behavior.

See Related Topic: Gordon Setter: Dog Breed Information and Owner’s Guide

How Much Do Toy Australian Shepherds Cost?
Toy Australian Shepherds can cost approximately $3000-$4000. (A shelter will cost less.) This is an expensive breed to own.
Prospective owners should always consider the lifetime cost of food, pet insurance, accessories, toys, and medical treatment throughout the life of the dog.

Toy Australian Shepherd vs Miniature Australian Shepherds

Trait Toy Australian Shepherd Miniature Australian Shepherds
Herding dog
Physically Active
Loyal to their owners
Intelligent
Alert and responsive
Shedding  Average shedding. Once a week brushing. Average shedding. Once a week brushing.
Weight 12 to 17 pounds/10-14 inches Height: 13-18 inches

Weight: 15-35 pounds

Exercise needs They need a lot of physical activity. Highly active
Lifespan 12 to 13 years 12-13 years
Health issues Relatively minor. Hip/eye problems
Training Fairly easy to train. Fairly easy to train.

PROS

  • They are affectionate, loyal, intelligent, playful, and courageous.
  • They are relatively healthy.
  • They have a life-span of 12-13 years.
  • They are really cute!
  • They are easy to train.

CONS

  • They require a lot of exercise & attention.
  • They can be territorial.
  • They can grow easily bored.
  • They may experience separation anxiety.

Review Summary

We have tried to give you detailed information about this breed in order to decide if this is the right dog for you.

Toy Australian Shepherds are very intelligent and easy to train. They are loyal, affectionate, courageous, playful, and protective. This is an excellent dog to have around children.

As with all active breeds, Toy Australian Shepherds will require plenty of exercise. Prospective owners will have to provide them with the necessary daily physical activity. If you’re not the kind of active person who is up to the task, you should find a breed that prefers a more sedentary lifestyle. This breed generally requires more than two hours of exercise a day. You will need to keep up with this little dog!

They will also require your attention. They are eager to play with you and they will grow bored if they aren’t mentally stimulated. This dog may experience separation anxiety if you aren’t around. So if you are the kind of person who works long hours, this is another reason you would be better suited for a dog that doesn’t require as much attention.

Needless to say, this sociable friendly dog should not be kept outside. This is a dog that needs to live inside your home with you.
Toy Australian Shepherds have relatively few health problems, other than cataracts, hip dysplasia, and eye and ear conditions. With proper care, they can live for 12-13 years.

If you are looking for an adorable little pet with a lot of love to give and a lot of energy to burn, this is a great dog to own. We highly recommend this breed.

FAQ

    1. Question: Is it better to get a male or female Toy Australian Shepherd?

Answer: Most experts say that there is no definitive answer. It is a matter of preference. Speak to an expert to see the advantages and disadvantages of owning each sex.

    1. Question: I work long hours and am rarely home. Is this a good dog for me?

Answer: Definitely not. This is a breed that requires mental stimulation and human companionship. He will get bored if he is left alone and may develop separation anxiety and other behavioral problems. If you can’t be around for this dog, find a different breed.

    1. Question: Is this considered a purebred dog?

Answer: At this point, the Toy Australian Shepherd is not considered a purebred by any of the major registries.

    1. Question: Is this a good dog for a first-time owner?

Answer: It depends. Some experts maintain that it can be a good dog for a diligent first-time owner who really researches this breed of dog. Provided that he is prepared to give his dog the necessary attention and opportunities for daily exercise. Others maintain that even though it has a great temperament, this highly energetic dog isn’t a good fit for a first-time owner.

    1. Question: I know they are very cute, but why is this little dog called a Toy?

Answer: The Toy refers to its tiny size. They are indeed very toy-like!

    1. Question: Do Toy Australian Shepherds like to play games or sports?

Answer: They love to play sports and games! They need lots of physical activity and will greatly benefit from such activity.

    1. Question: Does this breed have a tendency for bad breath?

Answer: Bad breath may be a sign of gum disease, diabetes, or other health condition. It is imperative that you brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a special dog toothpaste and that he periodically receives a professional dental check-up. Bad breath can be a sign of a more severe medical condition. You also want to avoid tooth decay and other conditions that may lead to tooth loss.

    1. Question: How often should I take my pet to the vet for a complete check-up?

Answer: Barring a serious medical condition which may require frequent visits, a once a year check-up is usually adequate. During this visit, your vet will have the opportunity to provide your dog with any treatments, examinations, or vaccinations.

    1. Question: Should I give my dog people food?

Answer: It is best to avoid or seriously curtail giving your dog human food. It isn’t good for him and may create bad habits. Encourage this behavior too often and it will become very hard to break. Too much table food will lead to obesity and other medical ailments.

    1. Question: How often should I bathe my dog?

Answer: Toy Australian Shepherds should only be bathed when it is necessary.

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