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Toy Australian Shepherd: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

toy australian shepherd

Height: 10 – 14 inches
Weight: 20 – 31 pounds
Lifespan: 13 – 15 years
Colors: Red merle, black tricolor, red tricolor, blue merle
Suitable for: Those with plenty of space, families, and first-time pet owners
Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, energetic, affectionate, protective, and playful

While many people are well aware of everything that an Australian Shepherd has to offer, Toy Australian Shepherds are a bit more unknown. They’re almost identical to an Australian Shepherd in every way, except that they’re far smaller, live longer, and have fewer health concerns.

But if these pups are such great companions, why aren’t they more popular, and how can you get one? Here, we answer both those questions and dive into everything else that you need to know about these dogs before you head out to purchase one.

While this dog might make a great addition to your home, they also require a ton of work, and the last thing that you want is to purchase a dog that you can’t keep up with. But once you take a look at these adorable pups, you might not be able to stay away!

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Toy Australian Shepherd Puppies


Toy Australian Shepherds are among the most expensive dogs in the world. If you’re thinking that you can keep an eye on a shelter to get one of these pups, you might be waiting a while. If you really need to find a cheaper Toy Australian Shepherd, you’ll likely be looking at a puppy with health problems, so you’ll then end up spending more on vet bills.

So, while these Toy Australian Shepherds are adorable, they’re not for those without deep pockets.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Toy Australian Shepherd

1. They’re Identical in Temperament to a Full-Grown Australian Shepherd

Just because the Toy Australian Shepherd is significantly smaller than an Australian Shepherd doesn’t mean that they don’t feel like their larger companions. Toy Australian Shepherds don’t act any different than a regular Australian Shepherd in any way.

2. Their Double Coat Is Water Resistant

Toy Australian Shepherds have a dual coat, and this makes them fairly water-resistant. There are two things to note about that, though. First, water-resistant doesn’t mean waterproof. Enough water will still leave them drenched.

Second, you’ll still get that wet dog smell. It’s nice for the Toy Australian Shepherd that their coat is water-resistant, but it won’t do much for you!

3. They Are Among the Smartest Dogs in the World

There are intelligent dogs, then there are Australian Shepherds. Since Toy Australian Shepherds have identical intelligence ratings as their larger counterparts, they’re also among the most intelligent dogs in the world.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Toy Australian Shepherd🧠

While the Toy Australian Shepherd is an extremely intelligent dog, there are a few other traits that you should be aware of. For starters, they’re extremely protective. They love their families, and they think that it’s their job to protect them.

They are also eager to please, and when you pair this with their high intelligence, you can train them to do just about anything with a little persistence. Just keep in mind that they have a ton of energy, so if you’re not meeting their needs, you might struggle to get them to do what you want.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡

Toy Australian Shepherds are great family dogs. Whether you have small kids or older ones, they can make a great addition to the family. One tendency that you should be aware of, though, is their herding behaviors.

While you can train this out of them, it can be frustrating around smaller children, making parents a little hesitant to get this dog. Your Toy Australian Shepherd isn’t trying to hurt your child, it’s just their instinct to try to control where they go.

This is especially triggered when a child runs, so just keep this in mind until you have the time to train them to leave your kids alone!

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?🐶 😽

Toy Australian Shepherds typically get along fine with other pets, but early socialization is critical. This is especially true if you have cats or other animals besides dogs roaming around your home.

Toy Australian Shepherds have strong herding instincts, and if you don’t socialize them early, these herding instincts can take over and lead to problems. If you’re purchasing a Toy Australian Shepherd puppy and you already have cats, you should be able to tame these tendencies before they get out of control.

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Things to Know When Owning a Toy Australian Shepherd

Before you head out and purchase a Toy Australian Shepherd, there are a few basic care requirements that you should be aware of. Just because they’re a smaller dog doesn’t mean they don’t require a ton of work to care for. We’ve broken everything down for you here.

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

Since they’re smaller, a Toy Australian Shepherd won’t eat nearly as much as a regular Australian Shepherd. Expect to feed your toy Australian Shepherd anywhere from 1.5 to 2 cups of food each day, depending on their size.

Always feed them a high-quality kibble to prevent future health concerns, and feel free to supplement healthy treats to mix up their diet. Keep in mind that while it might be a little more expensive, the right food will extend your pup’s lifespan and save you money in future vet bills.


Just because a Toy Australian Shepherd is a bit smaller doesn’t mean they don’t have a ton of energy. They’re large enough that simply running around the apartment won’t give them the exercise that they need.

We recommend a fenced-in yard, but even then, you’ll need to take them out for 30- to 60-minute walks each day. Failure to keep up with their necessary exercise regimes can lead to destructive boredom behaviors at home.


One of the most notable perks of owning a Toy Australian Shepherd is how trainable they are. But just because they’re extremely smart and eager to please doesn’t mean that training won’t be work.

Persistence and positive reinforcement are still vital to getting the results that you want. Keep training sessions short and keep yourself from getting frustrated. If your pup associates training sessions with a negative event, they won’t want to participate, and you won’t get results.

However, if they enjoy the training sessions, they’ll want to come back for more! Finally, keep in mind that Toy Australian Shepherds tend to bond more with one person, so that person is likely to have the best results when training them.

Grooming ✂️

Toy Australian Shepherds have a long double coat, which means you need to stay on top of their grooming routine. You should aim to brush them two to three times a week, and you’ll also need to give them baths every few months as needed.

Finally, you also need to keep up with your Toy Australian Shepherd’s oral hygiene by brushing their teeth a few times a week. Brushing your pup’s teeth is extremely important because it helps break down tartar buildup and can save you a ton of money at the vet’s in the future.

Health and Conditions❤️

Minor Conditions
  • Eye problems
  • Deafness
  • Obesity
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Hypothyroidism

While Toy Australian Shepherds are a relatively healthy breed, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few problems that you should keep an eye out for. If you start to notice any of the following symptoms, you should take your dog to a vet as soon as possible.

If you’re trying to keep your Toy Australian Shepherd healthy, the best thing that you can do is keep up with their exercise requirements and keep them on a healthy diet. Beyond that, you should always check out the health of the parents before making any puppy purchase.

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Male vs. Female

While there aren’t a ton of differences between a male and female Toy Australian Shepherd, there are two that you should be aware of. First, males tend to be a little larger than females.

Considering that you’re paying a premium to get a smaller version of an Australian Shepherd, this is a big deal. But keep in mind that while sex has a role in their final size, there are no guarantees.

Second, males tend to need a little more attention and are a bit clingier than females. But while this is true when you look at the entire species, all dogs have unique personalities, so there’s no guarantee on personality from sex alone.

Still, if you want a smaller and slightly more aloof Toy Australian Shepherd, you’re more likely to get that with a female.

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Final Thoughts

Australian Shepherds are among the most adorable dogs on the planet, and it’s no surprise that a toy version is even more adorable. However, if you’re thinking of getting a Toy Australian Shepherd, you need to have a sizable chunk of money set aside.

These dogs are not cheap, but if you can afford them, their loving, adorable, intelligent, and loyal temperament make them worth every penny. Just ensure that you take the time to research their lineage and meet them in person before spending any money!

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Featured Image Credit: John Hoehn, Shutterstock

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