Aussies 101 - Background on the Breed
If one were to guess where an AUSTRALIAN shepherd was from you would think just using context clues alone would make this easy. You would be mistaken as Australian shepherds unlike many of their furry friends did not originate in the place they share a name with. Australian shepherds are American bred dogs that are believed to share common ancestors with herding dogs from Spain!
Australian Shepherds were bred by popular demand around the mid-1800s as there was a need for sheepdogs. With the California gold rush in full swing, people flocked out west, and mutton provided food and clothing for these miners. It is believed that a lot of the genetics of Australian shepherds originated in England as well and that collies are either a part of their background or share a common ancestor. Australian Shepherds are great herding dogs and have been continually bred as livestock herders.
Miniature Australian Shepherds are just a smaller version of the original breed and breeders strive to keep the great qualities of an Australian Shepherd while providing the smaller package that Miniatures are known for!