Miniature Australian shepherds are energetic, affectionate and playful, with athletic builds and medium-length coats. They share most of the characteristics of full-size Australian shepherds, but are between 15 and 35 pounds rather than 40 to 60 pounds.
Miniature Australian shepherds are an intelligent breed. They still have herding instincts despite their small size, so they need a job to keep them entertained. Without enough exercise and mental stimulation, they may become difficult and destructive. They also need attention from people and do best when allowed to be part of normal family life. Miniature Australian shepherds that are left alone too much may develop behavioral problems.
The breed is generally friendly and easygoing in temperament, but they do bond strongly to their families and may become protective of them. They can be aloof around strangers, although these tendencies may be overcome with early socialization and exposure to many different people. Although the breed tends to be fairly quiet, they may bark when people approach the home.
Miniature Australian shepherds come in a variety of colors, including black, red and merle. They have a double coat, which they shed twice a year. They shed heavily during those times, with moderate shedding during the rest of the year. Their coats require brushing at least once or twice a week.