Early history of miniature aussies

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The Miniature Australian Shepherd was developed directly from the Australian Shepherd. Throughout the history of the Aussie, small (under 18") dogs can be seen in historical photographs.

Many believe that the original Aussie was selectively bred larger as sheep ranching decreased and cattle ranching increased. Cattle ranchers preferred a larger dog to work the larger stock. Some Aussie owners have continued to prefer the smaller sized Aussie while others prefer the larger.
Australian Shepherd

In 1968 a horse woman in Norco, California, began a breeding program specifically to produce very small Australian Shepherds. Her name was Doris Cordova, and the most well known dog from her kennel is Cordova’s Spike. Spike was placed with Bill and Sally Kennedy, also of Norco, California, to continue to develop a line of miniature Aussies under the B/S kennel name. Another horseman, Chas Lasater of Valhalla Kennels soon joined the ranks of mini breeders.

Cordova, Lasater and the Kennedy’s together attempted to form the first parent club for the miniatures. Although the club never quite got off the ground, their stated purpose for developing the miniatures was to produce an Australian Shepherd under 17" who had the heart, intelligence and drive to work stock, and yet be small enough to travel easily to stock shows and be a "house" dog.

Cordova’s dogs were registered through the National Stock Dog Registry (NSDR) and eventually NSDR came to be the first registry to recognize and register the mini as a size variety of the Australian Shepherd.

Originally recognized in (1989 - 1990) they were shown with the RBKC of Southern California (Rare Breed Kennel Club) as Miniature Australian Shepherds. The miniature gained in popularity and the owners and breeders missed the cohesive nature of a parent club dedicated to the miniature, so in 1990, the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA) was formed. Kathy Croswhite (Munson), Jeanine Perron, Florence Toombs, Susan Sinclair and Richard VanBurkleo served as the first Board of Directors, and one of MASCUSA’s most notable early achievements during that time, was to gain recognition of the miniature by the American Rare Breeds Assc. (ARBA) to provide a Nationally recognized conformation show venue.

Первая клубная выставка австралийских овчарок

First ASCA Show - April 1958 in Himmel Park
in Tucson Arizona with Judge Eloise Hart

Now with the recognition of the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) the Miniature Australian Shepherds showed along side the Australian Shepherd until 1993, when the AKC officially recognized the Australian Shepherd. The American Rare Breed Association's policy at that time was not to allow any breed of dog to show with them (except in exhibition) that had the same name as an AKC affiliated breed and suggested that we change our name. Amid mixed reactions MASCUSA opted to change the name of our dogs from Miniature Australian Shepherd to North American Shepherd, for the sole purpose of keeping ARBA as one of our main show venues. At the same time, the club amended its name to North American Miniature Australian Club, USA, while also retaining the name Miniature Australian Club, USA. The breed flourished over the next five years and grew under this name both in the US and Canada.

In the beginning of 1998, ARBA changed their breed name policy and through much consideration and discussion on the part of our club members and the Board of Directors of NASCUSA, formerly MASCUSA, Miniature Australian Shepherd was incorporated back into the name of our dogs, thus becoming the North American "Miniature Australian Shepherd".