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How Long Do Mini Australian Shepherds Live? Average Lifespan, Data & Care

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

blue merle miniature australian shepherd by the beach

Mini Australian Shepherds — the little brothers and sisters of the larger Australian Shepherd – are smart, hardworking, faithful, and, not to mention, strikingly beautiful dogs, making them a very popular family dog around the world. Like standard Australian Shepherds, Mini Aussies are full to the brim with character and there’s never a dull moment when they’re around.

Another bonus to parenting a Mini Australian Shepherd is that they have pretty decent lifespans on average and are generally healthy dogs as a rule. Mini Australian Shepherds usually live between 12 to 15 years. In this post, we’ll explore the average lifespan of a Mini Australian Shepherd in detail and why some dog breeds live longer than others.

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What’s the Average Lifespan of a Mini Australian Shepherd?

The average lifespan of a Mini Australian Shepherd is 12–15 years. This is quite a long lifespan for a dog, especially when compared with the lifespans of certain other breeds, some of which have an estimated lifespan of only 6–9 years.

Miniature Australian shepherd
Photo Credit: PxHere

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Why Do Some Dogs Live Longer Than Others?

When it comes to a dog’s lifespan, it depends on a number of factors including size, breed, genetics, and how well the dog is cared for. Below, we explain the major factors in more detail.

1. Nutrition

To increase a dog’s chances of living a healthy life, they need to eat food that fulfills all their nutritional requirements. A healthy dog diet must contain six essential nutrients—water, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

There are also certain human foods that you should avoid giving to your Mini Aussie, including chocolate, garlic, onions, macadamia nuts, avocado, grapes, and raisins. These foods and many more are toxic to dogs and can make them very unwell.

2. Living Environment

To live healthily and happily, your Mini Aussie should live indoors in a warm, safe environment. Dogs living in environments that are unsafe run the risk of having an accident or becoming sick. Examples of unsafe living environments are cold, damp, or dirty places and homes with hazards like toxic plants and foods within a dog’s reach or unsecured windows in apartment buildings.

mini australian shepherd lying on grass
Photo Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

3. Size

Many smaller dog breeds live longer than large dog breeds on average because their bodies don’t wear out as quickly. Larger dogs are also more prone to getting age-related conditions and certain illnesses due to the speed at which they age. As a smaller breed, Mini Australian Shepherds have a lifespan that is pretty long compared to many other breeds.

4. Breed

Different dog breeds are genetically predisposed to certain health conditions—some of which can be life-shortening. For example, French Bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds are prone to suffering from breathing issues due to having flat faces. Great Danes are prone to dilated cardiomyopathy, a serious and sometimes fatal heart condition.

As the AKC mentions, Mini Australian Shepherds are generally healthy but still need regular checkups to make sure all is as it should be.

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The 4 Life Stages of a Mini Australian Shepherd


This life stage is from birth to when your puppy is around six to nine months old. At this stage, your Mini Aussie will be eating rather a lot—puppies need more food than adult dogs to support their development. Everything is still new to them, so they’re likely to be quite excitable and curious about everything.

Young Adult

Young adult dogs are between six to nine months and three to four years of age. By this stage, they should be completely matured and socialized.miniature australian shepherd playing

Mature Adult

Mature adults are dogs between three to four years old and the start of the final 25% of the breed’s average lifespan. Your Mini Aussie will likely start to slow down somewhat during this stage.


This stage is between the start of the final 25% of the lifespan and the end of the dog’s life.

mini australian shepherd in the stairs
Photo Credit: Fluff Media, Shutterstock

Divider 1How to Tell Your Mini Australian Shepherd’s Age

If you don’t know your Mini Aussie’s age, we recommend taking them to a vet to get the best possible estimation. Vets take into account the following to estimate a dog’s age:

  • Tooth condition—dogs under one year old have very white teeth, but as they age, they start to develop tartar buildup and yellowing of the teeth.
  • Coat condition—is there any grey in the dog’s coat?
  • How bright the eyes are—can you see any haziness or cloudiness?
  • Muscle tone—senior dogs typically display more muscle wasting than younger dogs.
  • Activity levels—is your dog slowing down or are they still very energetic and active?
  • Hearing—vets can check for hearing loss, which occurs more in older dogs.

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In conclusion, Mini Australian Shepherds live for approximately 12–15 years and are a generally healthy breed. That said, it’s still crucial to make sure your Mini Aussie is getting the right nutrition, is living in a warm, safe, and comfortable environment, and is having regular vet checkups to make sure they’re in good health. If you’re concerned about your Mini Aussie’s health, please consult your vet for advice.

Featured Image Credit: Danielle W Press, Shutterstock

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