ShowSight Presents The Miniature American Shepherd

The

Miniature American Shepherd

by FRAN WITHERS

T he Miniature American Shep- herd was developed by breeding smaller Australian Shepherds in order to produce a downsized version of the breed. It takes many decades to downsize a breed properly and retain all the original qualities in shape and form. Throughout the process, especially early on, most planned and well researched crosses will be just one step in the right direction. If the goal of the breeder is quality over size, which is of utmost importance, it takes many generations to cement the body type and proportions needed. Being an AKC Breeder Judge, the Min- iature American Shepherd Club’s Judges Education Coordinator, approved presenter of educational seminars as well as ringside and long term mentor of judges looking to be approved to judge our breed, I am often asked what are the problems we face as a breed, what do we need to improve upon? That is a difficult question as it is changing year by year. I have been breeding Mini American Shepherds for 25 years and still as a breed we continue to work on consistency in shape and form. Some crosses will produce smaller size but the price you pay may be short upper arms and lack of loin since all body parts do not downsize equally. Others will produce shorter legs on an otherwise comparatively larger body resulting in a look of dwarfism. Of course this is not what we are looking for in our breed.

280 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2019

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