Australian Shepherds are one of the best working dog breeds out there. On top of their incredible breed characteristics, they are beautiful dogs with a variety of colors.
Did you know there are also mini versions of this beautiful breed?
Miniature Australian Shepherds are just as intelligent, good-looking, and an excellent dog breed. If you’re in the market for a not-so-large version of this dog, then you are in luck.
In this article, we will learn a bit more about Mini Aussies and the common practices with this breed.
History of Mini Aussies
Mini Aussie dogs are a relatively new breed, having only been around since the 1980s. A miniature version of the Australian Shepherds, they were originally bred in Australia and are now found worldwide.
However, they have quickly become popular companions thanks to their friendly personalities and compact size.
A Mini Aussie typically stands between 13 and 18 inches tall and weighs between 20 and 40 pounds.
They have medium-length coats that can be either straight or wavy and they come in various colors, including black, blue, red, and merle.
Mini Aussies are intelligent dogs that are easy to train. They are also active and athletic, making them great companions for people who enjoy hiking or other outdoor activities.
Mini Aussies get along well with children and other pets thanks to their friendly nature and eagerness to please. Overall, Mini Aussies are loyal and loving companions.
Are Mini Aussies Born With a Tail?
Yes, absolutely. Most Mini Aussies are born with long tails, later docked or shortened by a veterinarian. However, some breeders are now breeding Mini Aussies with natural or undocked tails.
Many believe that Mini Aussies with natural tails are more athletic and agile than their docked counterparts. There is no standard length for an undocked tail.
Ask your breeder about this option if you’re interested in getting a Mini Aussie with a natural tail.
Why Are Aussie’s Tails Docked?
One physical characteristic that sets Mini Aussies apart from their standard-sized cousins is their tails.
All Australian Shepherds are born with long tails that reach down to their hocks (the bony protuberance on the back legs just above the dog’s feet).
However, most breeders will dock (or cut) the tails of Mini Aussies when they are just a few days old.
There are several reasons why breeders choose to dock the tails of mini Aussies.
Prevention of Tail Injury
One of the most common reasons for docking the tail is to prevent injuries.
Because Mini Aussies are such active and athletic dogs, they are prone to tail injuries. Docking the tail prevents these kinds of injuries from happening.
Another reason for docking the tail is for cleanliness because Mini Aussies have tails so long, that they can quickly become dirty.
It is especially true if the dog lives in an area with a lot of mud or dirt. Docking the tail keeps the dog’s rear end much cleaner.
Maintaining the Breed Standard
Many breeders also dock tails to maintain the traditional look of the Mini Aussie. It is essential for show dogs.
Docked tails are simply more aesthetically pleasing than natural tails, giving the dog a neater appearance.
Some breeders dock the tail simply because they prefer the look of a docked tail. It is a matter of personal preference and is not based on scientific evidence.
While there are some benefits to docking the tail of a Mini Aussie, it is essential to note that this is a purely cosmetic procedure and is not medically necessary.
In fact, some countries have even banned tail docking altogether. If you are considering getting a Mini Aussie, discuss the pros and cons of tail docking with the breeder before making a final decision.
Tail Docking: Legality and Ethics
Even though tail docking is illegal in many countries, it is still fairly common among breeders. There is currently no enforceable punishment for those who choose to dock tails illegally.
In most cases, the only consequence is a small fine.
There are a variety of ethical concerns surrounding the practice of tail docking. Many animal welfare advocates argue that it is cruel to dock a dog’s tail simply for cosmetic purposes.
Additionally, there is a risk of complications associated with the procedure, which can be painful and even deadly for the dog.
If you are considering getting a Mini Aussie, be sure to do your research on the breeder before making a final decision.
And, if you have any concerns about the ethics of tail docking, be sure to voice them to the breeder before making a purchase.
Only work with reputable breeders who are transparent about their tail docking practices.
A few countries that are currently banning tail docking:
- New Zealand
In the United States, there is no federal law banning tail docking. Tail docking is still legal in most states. However, only Maryland and Pennsylvania have passed laws to ban this practice on dogs.
How is Tail Docking Done?
The most common way to dock a Mini Aussie’s tail is by bending it.
An orthodontic band is placed over the end of the tail at 24-96 hours old, effectively cutting off the blood supply to the end of the tail. It’s expected to fall within three days.
Veterinarians often utilize surgical scissors, also known as hemostats, to cut the tail. There is no need for stitches, although they can occasionally be suitable for tail docking, particularly with larger breeds.
Most docked tails are between one and four centimeters long. Often, and more seen with show dogs, kennel club rules stipulate that only a minor docking is allowed, e.g., just enough to identify sex when standing square (anal area level with the ground).
Tail Docking Aftercare
Your Mini Aussie will have a general anesthetic for the procedure and will be sleepy when he wakes up. You mustn’t let him run and play until the effects of the anesthetic have worn off completely.
It can take up to 24 hours. It would be best to keep an eye on the area where the Mini Aussie’s tail was docked, as it is likely to bleed slightly.
Apply pressure if necessary, using a clean cloth or Band-Aid. The area should heal within a week or so.
Do Mini Aussies With Tail Need More Care?
While all dogs need exercise, nutrition, and love, those with tails may require more care than their tailless counterparts.
Dogs use their tails for balance when running and jumping, so it’s important to ensure the tail is in good condition.
In addition, tails can be prone to injury if they’re not adequately supported. For example, if a dog’s tail hits something while wagging, it can cause bruising or even broken bones.
As a result, owners of Mini Aussies with tails should provide their dogs with plenty of exercises and padded bedding to help prevent injuries.
They may also want to consider investing in a tail insurance policy to help cover the cost of any unexpected vet bills.
While tail docking of Mini Aussies is controversial, many breeders still choose it for cosmetic reasons.
If you are considering getting a Mini Aussie, discuss the pros and cons of tail docking with the breeder before making a final decision.
Please research the breeder before getting a puppy and ensure they are transparent about their tail docking practices.
If you have any concerns about the ethics of tail docking, be sure to voice them to the breeder before making a decision.