There is a new, trendy pup in the New York area, Miniature American Shepherds or MAS. These dogs are the AKC version of the miniature Australian Shepherd, in itself a scaled down version of the ever-popular farm dog. That should be your first clue that your new pup is going to need some serious Nassau County dog training and the sooner, the better.
For those who are not familiar with the full-size version of this adorable little guy, Australian Shepherds have been herding livestock on American farms since the 1800s. Contrary to their name, they did not arrive from Down Under; sheepherders bred them right here on ranches in the western United States. Originally used to herd sheep under rugged conditions, Aussies have expanded their repertoire to include rabbits, ducks, cattle, and hogs, as well as sheep.
Herding dogs are the workaholics of the canine world; they have a very strong work ethic and need a job to do. If not given enough work to keep them busy, they will invent their jobs and can be very persistent about them. Even though these miniature shepherds stand less than 2 feet tall and weigh 20 – 40 pounds, disassembling the couch to see what is inside is not beyond their capabilities. These dogs need a minimum of 2 – 3 hours per day of exercise, play, and active attention to keep them both physically and mentally fit.
Directing their high energy and strong work drive into appropriate tasks will make life with these dogs easier and more enjoyable. Fortunately, like their larger relatives, miniature Shepherds are extremely intelligent and enjoy learning new tasks and practicing what they already know. Learning and practicing keeps their minds focused and content; these dogs love working at whatever task is given them. These are some activities at which your new MAS might excel include agility, flyball, and Frisbee.
These dogs have a devoted and sensitive nature that also helps them excel as therapy animals. Your MAS might enjoy visiting patients in hospitals and nursing homes, or listening to schoolchildren read.
If you are considering adding one of these beautiful, intelligent dogs to your family, contact Canine Commander for a pre-puppy review and for Nassau County dog training to make sure that this is the right dog to spend a lifetime with you. We can also help get that essential training off to a great start if you have already added a MAS to your family. If you have an older dog who already has some inventive ideas about appropriate jobs, our experienced trainers can help redirect that energy into more acceptable, and even useful, tasks. Just remember, at whatever age, the more training and practice your Miniature American Shepherd has, the happier you both will be.