Other Activities

A wide variety of organized activities are open to Australian Shepherds of the miniature variety, both through the various rare breed show clubs that recognize the mini Aussie and through activity-specific organizations. They love to get out and work with their people, whether it’s going camping with the family or competing for another title. These are just some of the more popular formalized activities in which mini Aussies compete.

Agility

Agility is a relatively new sport, the first course being run in England in 1979. Dog and handler teams compete over a variety of courses, made up of set elements, and attempt to finish with the fewest faults and within the shortest time. Obstacles include tunnels, chutes, see-saws, weave poles, jumps, ramps, a-frames, you name it! Since the Australian Shepherd of the miniature variety is known for his agility, the breed generally excels at this sport and thrives on the challenge!

These clubs organize events in North America and allow the Australian Shepherd of the miniature variety:

Conformation

Conformation is probably the most popular type of formal competition for the Australian Shepherd of the miniature variety. Competitions judge a mini Aussie against the standard composed to reflect the conformation, temperament and movement required for the type of work the Australian Shepherd evolved to do. For breeders, this is an excellent way to assess potential breeding stock. For everyone else, it can just be a whole lot of fun. A list of clubs with which the mini Aussie is eligible to compete is available in “Show Venues“. The parent club offers MASCA Junior Champion, Champion and Grand Champion titles through the Winsheet program, sanctioning all legitimate shows and matches recognizing the Australian Shepherd of the miniature variety in addition to MASCA specialties.

Flyball

Flyball is yet another up and coming canine sport in which the mini Aussie excels! A relay team consists of four dogs and four handlers. Four hurdles are arranged in a row an equal distance apart; the height limited by the smallest dog on the team. Beyond the fourth hurdle lies “the box” with a spring loaded foot pad, which the dog impacts to thrust the ball into the air where the dog catches it, and then returns over the hurdles to “tag” the next team member by releasing the ball. In competition, the team is timed and the overall score is divided among the four dogs. Titles are awarded based a total accumulation of time and points. Since mini Aussies are small, focused, agile and FAST, they tend to be looked upon as an assets to the team. Local flyball clubs are springing up every day.

For more information, contact:

Disc Dog

The mini Aussie’s compact athletic build make them ideal Frisbee® dogs. However, you should never encourage a dog to leap until all growth plates have completely set, usually by around 15 to 18 months in the Australian Shepherd of the miniature variety.

Herding/Stockwork

Working stock is the task our dogs were originally bred to perform. Most are born with an innate herding instinct varying from extremely intense to moderate. The mini Aussie’s compact size allows him to move quickly and easily between livestock, while still having the presence to move the stock while performing various chores. Australian Shepherds of the miniature variety are welcome at American Herding Breed Association and Australian Shepherd Club of America herding and stockdog events. MASCA registered dogs may compete in ASCA events with an ASCA tracking number, obtained from www.asca.org.

These clubs organize herding events in North America and welcome the Australian Shepherd of the miniature variety:

Obedience

Australian Shepherds of the miniature variety enjoy Obedience work as much as their larger counterparts. Most mini Aussies are “biddable,” that is, have a strong desire to work and obey their handlers. MASCA strongly recommends that every owner provide at least basic obedience training. This will help occupy your mini Aussie’s inquisitive mind, reduce the need for physical exercise and deflect attention your dog may possibly give to less preferred activities, like digging in your garden, or maybe chewing on your furniture.

Clubs in which the mini Aussie can compete for Obedience titles:

Therapy Dog

Therapy Dog is one term used to describe dog and handler teams that visit patients and residents in hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Australian Shepherds of the miniature variety, with their natural affinity towards children, often make outstanding therapy dogs with the correct training.

Other Activities

Of course, these aren’t ALL the activities available to you and your mini Aussie. For more potential activities, check out AKC Events or Dog Play, visit your local bookstore, or be creative and invent your own activity.