Toy Australian Shepherd

Toy Aussies are a pint-sized version of the Australian Shepherd. They are only half the size of an Aussie, but they are no less intelligent and loving. They even have the same herding instincts and will try to herd smaller animals like chickens or ducks.

Toy Australian Shepherds are a rare size variant of the Australian Shepherd that is much smaller. In fact, they will only grow to the height of your knee. While they’re not the smallest in general, they are the smallest of the group that still exhibits herding abilities.

If you have a Toy Aussie, then you know why they’re so popular. Besides being absolutely adorable, Toy Aussies are loving, smart, and easily trained. Keep reading to learn more about the Toy Australian Shepherd!

How Big Do Toy Aussies Get?

The physical appearance of a Toy Aussie is almost identical to that of the Australian Shepherd, except for their size.

Toy Aussies will only stand between 10 and 14 inches tall and should weigh from 12 to 17 lbs.

What Is The Toy Aussie Breed Standard?

Until recently, the breed has not had any attention and has been frequently described as a simple “fluke” within Mini Aussie and standard Aussie breeding. Since they’re not a part of any of the official registries, the breeders really control the standards for what Toy Aussies look like.

Toy Aussies will exhibit the same coat texture and colors that an Australian Shepherd has, including patterns and shedding habits. They are also very alike in personality, being very smart and highly active dogs.

Are Toy Aussies Rare?

The Toy Australian Shepherd is pretty rare because it’s only really been around for the last 3 decades. Ironically, they’re not from Australia at all. They’re mostly bred in the US from smaller Australian Shepherds and Mini Aussies.

Toy Aussies are not the smallest of the Aussie group. The Teacup Aussie is significantly smaller, weighing only 8 lbs at most. Neither of these size variants is officially recognized by any registries or kennel clubs.

Image from Instagram:@laciethetoyaussie

What Is The Lifespan Of A Toy Australian Shepherd?

The average lifespan for a Toy Aussie is 12 to 13 years, which is a considerably short period for a small dog but a standard life expectancy for the Aussie breed. Because of their origins, Toy Aussies will inherit the genetic conditions that standard Aussies will get.

It’s also known that other than their size, Toy Aussies are mainly bred for their looks, meaning that they’re bred to be adorable. While their intelligence seems to have carried through, the breed hasn’t been around long enough for extensive studies to have been conducted on the toy variant.

Do Toy Aussies Have Health Issues?

Generally, Aussies are known to be pretty healthy. But, since the toy breed is so much smaller than the standard Aussie, a common question that breeders get is if the Toy Aussie has any specific health problems.

The thing to remember is that no dog breed comes without genetic conditions and certain susceptibilities. Some of the issues that Aussies and Toy Aussies are prone to include:

  • Eye issues like cataracts, cherry eye, and glaucoma.
  • Bone and joint issues, such as arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • Sensitivities to vaccines, veterinary drugs.
  • Intolerances to foods like grain and some meats.
  • Skin issues such as dry, flaky skin, and allergies that can cause itchy skin.
  • Cancers like lymphoma.

How Do You Prolong Your Dog’s Lifespan?

The best way to make sure that your dog lives a fuller, longer, and healthy life is to keep a close eye on the health of your Toy Aussie. It will start by making sure that your Toy Aussie is getting the right diet and exercise.

The next step is to keep in close contact with your vet. They will know the right kinds of tests to run and check for certain genetic conditions. And, they will tell you any warning signs to look out for, and in the event should something happens, it can be detected early and treated easily.

Image from Instagram:@livinlavidaleuca

How To Take Care Of Your Toy Australian Shepherd?

What Do You Feed A Toy Aussie?

Given that the Toy Aussie is so much smaller, they only need half as much food. They should really only be getting ⅓ of a cup twice a day at the most. For small breeds like this, we recommend using Pet Plate to help your dog get all the vitamins and nutrients it needs. 

When your dog eats a wet-food diet, one of the biggest issues it may face is oral hygiene. By using dental water additives, you can avoid oral issues like tartar buildup and bad breath. And, if your dog has a food sensitivity, you can add multivitamins such that your pup isn’t missing out on any essential vitamins and minerals.

How Much Exercise Do Toy Aussies Need?

Like other Aussies, Toy Aussies can run, but for a shorter distance than their larger forbearers. They do have a lot of energy, but not the endurance that larger Aussies have. Toy Australian Shepherds are bred to be lap dogs, after all.

To keep it fit and to help with its energy management, your Toy Aussie will need to be walked or exercised for 30 minutes every day. Otherwise, your pooch may turn to bad behavior, like chewing furniture, to release its energy.

Are Toy Aussies Hyper? Temperaments Of Toy Australian Shepherds

Toy Aussies are very energetic, just like the standard Aussies. They’re also very noisy and will bark a lot when left alone. It will benefit you to do both crate and bark training with your Toy Aussie when young or as soon as possible to curb this barking tendency.

Do Toy Aussies Have Any Behavioral Issues?

Toy Aussies are highly energetic and intelligent, which means that behavioral problems happen mostly when they’re bored. Incessant chewing and barking are signs that they need something productive to do.

They are also very needy dogs when it comes to wanting to be at your side at all times. This is usually a sign of separation anxiety. This is a common trait in all Aussies. It’s also very common for them to start barking when it’s time for food if you’re running late.

Are Toy Aussies Easy To Potty Train?

While they’re not typically suited for first-time dog owners, they can be very easily taught a wide range of obedience tricks, as well as being quickly potty trained. They’re considerably smart and very eager to please.

The main thing you’ll want to remember when potty training your Toy Aussie is to be consistent. Toy Aussies are very routine-oriented and can learn when it’s time to go out very quickly. They will even tell you when you’re running late.

Image from Instagram:@cooper.toyaussie

Do Toy Aussies Shed A Lot? Grooming Tips For Toy Australian Shepherds

Like standard Australian Shepherds, Toy Aussies shed all year-round, with a heavier shed every spring and autumn.

You will also need to groom your Toy Aussie regularly to decrease shedding and prevent matting.

What Kind Of Coat Does A Toy Aussie Have?

Toy Aussies have a double coat. On the inside, it’s shorter and woolly to insulate them in both cold and hot climates. And on the outside, their coat has a longer and softer texture to keep dust and dirt away from their skin.

This coat can come in colors like:

  • Blue merle
  • Red and white
  • Black and white
  • Red merle

As mentioned, this coat does shed quite frequently and is even heavier as the weather changes, which makes the Toy Aussie very far from being hypoallergenic. This also means that they’re a little higher maintenance when it comes to keeping hair off of everything.

How Do You Groom A Toy Aussie?

Brushing your Toy Aussie every day will cut down on the amount of loose hair that your dog drops on the floor, and all over the house, but doesn’t exactly decrease shedding altogether. To help you keep the undercoat manageable, we recommend using the FURminator Undercoat Tool.

Like other Aussies, Toy Aussies don’t need to be bathed unless they are really dirty. When you do need to bathe your Toy Australian Shepherd, remember that they have sensitive skin, so be sure to use a gentle shampoo, like Pro Pet Works All Natural 5 In 1 Oatmeal Shampoo.

How Much Does A Purebred Toy Aussie Cost? Because they’re rare, Toy Aussies cost quite a bit. You should be prepared to spend anywhere from $2,500 to $4,500 for a Toy Aussie from a good breeder.

What Is The Difference Between Toy And Miniature Australian Shepherds? The key difference between Toy and Mini Australian Shepherds is their size. The Miniature Australian Shepherds are around 15 inches tall, while the Toy Aussie is as small as 10 inches.

Are Toy Aussies Good Swimmers? Toy Aussies can also swim but are not typically as fond of water as the standard Australian Shepherd. They may need some socialization to get comfortable in the water. And, because they are smaller, they shouldn’t be allowed to wander too far away from the shore.

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Pete Decker