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Before you adopt and your puppy's first day!

Is The Mini Aussie or Mini American the Right Breed For You And Your Family?
(credit: Australian Shepherd Club of America)

Miniature Australian Shepherds are loving and devoted companions to their families but are generally reserved with strangers. This natural reserve means that this is not the dog that will bound up to strangers to be petted, but instead will stand firmly by your side until introductions are made and the Mini Aussie sees that the stranger is acceptable to you. While this trait makes them wonderful guardians of home and family, it does require early socialization with people outside the family. Their intelligence and loving nature make it easy for them to form strong bonds with their family.

The Mini Aussie is a herding dog with strong natural instincts. Unfocused, this herding instinct may be used inappropriately to herd small animals (like cats) and children. Chasing bicyclists, or other fast-moving objects is often appealing to them as well, and should be curbed as a young puppy. A herding dog will often nip at the heels of livestock to get them moving, and many puppies may try this on their humans as well. Teaching the Mini Aussie not to chase, herd or nip at these inappropriate targets will not subdue their natural instinct to herd livestock.

The Mini Aussie is not a "busy" dog that is in constant motion but many are  high energy dogs that needs a purpose or a job to do.  Basic training in Obedience is strongly recommended as a means to teach dog and owner how to work together. Playing and exercise should be a daily routine with the Mini Aussie. Small jobs around the house, such as picking up the newspaper or finding toys, keep his mind and body challenged, 

The Mini Aussie is a fun, intelligent, highly motivated dog with a great sense of humor and play.   Bringing a Mini Aussie into your home and family can be a rewarding experience for years to come.

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Mini Aussie Male Or Female? You decide....
We have found that many people want a girl puppy, but listen to what Hogan Kennels says about girls vs. boys. You may change your mind. 

"Many people believe that female dogs make better pets...female preference seems to be ingrained in these people. Most calls for pet dogs have people wanting a 'sweet girl'. They don't think females display alpha behaviors like 'marking' and/or 'humping'. They believe that they are more docile and attentive and do not participate in fighting over dominance. This simply is not the case. 

In the dog pack makeup, females usually rule the roost, determine pecking order, and who competes to maintain and/or alter that order. The females are, as a result, more independent, stubborn, and territorial than their male counterparts. The females are much more intent upon exercising their dominance by participating in alpha behaviors such as 'humping'. There IS a reason people utilize the technical dog term of 'bitch' in a negative way-and it refers directly to the behaviors exhibited by the females of the dog world. Most fights will usually break out between 2 females. Males, on the other hand, are usually more affectionate, exuberant, attentive, and more demanding of attention. They are very attached to their people. They also tend to be more steadfast, reliable, and less moody. They are more outgoing, more accepting of other pets, and take quicker to children. Most boys are easily motivated by food (how true!!) and praise, and so eager to please that training is easy. However, males can be more easily distracted during training, as males like to play so often. And no matter what age, he is more likely to act silly and more puppy-like, always wanting to play games. Boys are fun loving until the day they die. Females tend to be more reserved or dignified as they age. Witness the human equivalent of the twinkling eyed Grandpa still playing catch at age 70, while Grandma quietly observes from the porch. 

Neutered males rarely exhibit secondary sexual behavior such as 'humping', or 'marking' and lifting of legs. Once the testosterone levels recede after neutering, most of these behaviors (if they ever existed) will disappear. Boys who were neutered early (by 5 months of age) usually don't ever raise their leg to urinate BUT it is no longer recommended to neuter a male puppy before they are a year or older.  Please do your research.

And while the female will usually come to you for attention, when she's had enough, she will move away, while boys are always waiting for your attention and near at hand. Females are usually less distracted during training, as she is more eager to get it over with, and get back to her comfy spot on the couch. The female is less likely to wage a dominance battle with YOU, but she can be cunning and resourceful in getting her own way. She is much more prone to mood swings. One day she may be sweet and affectionate-the next day reserved and withdrawn or even grumpy. The female also has periods of being 'in heat' unless she is spayed. Seasonal heats can be a month long nightmare-not just for the female, but you and every male dog in the neighborhood. If you are not breeding, you'd be best off to have her spayed. Since during this time she can leave a bloody discharge on carpets, couches, or anywhere she goes. She will be particularly moody and emotional during this time. A walk outside during this period can become hazardous if male dogs are in the vicinity, and she will leave a 'scent' for wandering intact males to follow right to your yard, where they will hang out, and 'wait' for days.
Before deciding on male or female, give consideration to any other dogs that may be in or around your home." 

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Your Mini Aussie Puppy's First Day
Give your dog a head start on a happy life by making his first day a great one. Your puppy's first day in your home is one of the most important times in his young life. Try to make it one of his best days.

It's very important for your dog to be wearing an ID tag from the first day he is at your home. Before you bring your new dog or puppy home, have the tag ready for him. If you haven't chosen a name for your dog yet, just put your address and phone number on it.

The first thing you are going to want to do is hold your puppy. You might want to hold him all the time. But it is very important for your puppy to have a chance to meet the other people in your family. He also needs to explore his new home. Holding your puppy is important so he learns to love you, but on the first day, hold him only a few minutes at a time.

You should get your house ready before your pup comes home. Puppy-proofing your house will keep your new pup safe from danger.

Puppy-proof your house:

  • 1. Make sure cords and wires are not where your dog can reach them.

  • 2. Place trash in cupboards or have your parents get trash cans with lids.

  • 3. Ask your folks to remove dangerous liquids, like cleaners and antifreeze.

  • 4. Clear off tables that your pup might reach.   

Have a couple of toys ready for your dog to play with. He may not want to play the first day, but they will be there if he does.

Have a place for your dog to sleep. A crate makes a great bed. When your puppy is resting, he can be in a private place where no one will bother him. If you don't have a crate, put his bed somewhere that is cozy, comfortable, and private for him.

Your pup will probably need to go to the bathroom soon after he arrives. It would be a good idea to take him outside before he begins to explore your home. Praise him when he goes.

Give your new dog time to explore your house, but don't leave him alone. You can stand behind him and follow him to the places he wants to go. Be very gentle. Only hold him a little bit.

Joining the Family
The best place for your new dog to meet your other dog for the first time is outside--in your yard (fenced) or in a park (on a leash). When they are comfortable with each other, bring them indoors.  

Quiet, please!  Your puppy will do better if your house is quiet. Loud noises may scare him. Later, when he is used to your house, you can introduce new sounds slowly.

Give your pup some water right away if he's thirsty. Wait and give your dog some food after he has been home for a while and is feeling more comfortable. Don't forget to let him outside every time he drinks or eats.

It is very important to know what Humane means: Humane means acting kind, gentle, and generous toward your pets. Your new puppy needs to feel safe at all times. You can help him to feel that way by being humane to him.
TIP: Don't start any training on this first day. This is your pup's day to meet everyone.

It might be very tempting to take your dog out and show him off to your friends, but you need to wait a few weeks. First, let your pup get comfortable at home and with everyone that lives in your house. Then, after your pup has had it's shots to protect him from illness, take him out for short walks not very far from your house. Always remember to tell your pup he is doing a great job.

Make sure kids aren't teasing or tormenting the puppy.  Always supervise them.  Don't let the puppy have bones with a young child in the room just in case.  When the puppy has had enough be sure he has his own 'space' to rest. 



  • Don't put your puppy on the ground where unknown animals have been until he's had all his puppy shots. This is how he picks up diseases.

  • Don't allow your puppy to become unnecessarily frightened in his first few months of life. Introduce loud noises (vacuum cleaners, hair driers, etc.) carefully and slowly. Lifetime phobias for your puppy are imprinted during these early months. 

  • Don't overtax your new puppy. He needs lots of sleep and tires quickly. Be aware of signs of hypoglycemia in small puppies.

  • Don't allow your puppy around dogs you don't know to be safe and friendly or around rough children. Your puppy is breakable.

  • Don't ignore your puppy's whining when confined in his crate. Take him out to potty, even if it hasn't been long since his last visit outside and you suspect he just wants attention. If he goes to the bathroom, praise him and allow him to remain out of his crate for a while. If he doesn't, return him to the crate. However, don't reward your puppy for whining by taking him out of his crate just to play or cuddle. Wait until he's quiet--then take him out!

  • Don't allow your puppy to expect to always be held or played with. Accustom your puppy to quiet times and being alone for short periods of time. This will prevent separation anxiety later.  Don't allow the puppy to beg.

  • Don't allow your puppy to feel abandoned by leaving him unattended for long periods of time. Know that love and attention are just as important as food and air to an animal who was born to be a companion to his master. 

  • Don't forget to praise your puppy. Praise is a stronger motivator than harsh words or discipline for a puppy who lives to please.

Be sure to read about the drug sensitivity Mini Aussies can have. Although most of our pups are N/N for the MDR1 gene, it's recommended to treat them as if they are susceptible to drug sensitivities.

It is very important to know what humane means. Humane means acting kind, gentle, and generous toward your pets. Your puppy needs to feel safe at all times. You can help him to feel that way by being humane to him.

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Things to purchase Before taking puppy home:
We supply leash and collar, microchip, food, bones, treats, poo bags/dispenser, Kong/Toppl, blanket and toys.

You may want to purchase:
CRATE - medium size (300) should work for their whole life
DVD's we recommend: Puppy Culture (click below), Books/DVD's by Ian Dunbar, Suzanne Clothier, Patricia McConnell and Karen Pryor
How of Bow Wow and Bow Wow Take 2 and ones for teaching tricks and 97 Ways to Create a Great Puppy
BOOKS: The Perfect Dog, Karen Becker; Perfect puppy in 7 days, Dr Sophia Lin; Clicker training books
Food Puzzle or toy (Instead of a bowl) and water bowl - non chewable, preferably Stainless Steel or glass water bowl.
Toys (and chewtoys) and bones - especially get a Kong and fill it then freeze it. Rope toys are great too. Toys from CleanRun. Waterbottle toys.
Dog food: Nutrisource Puppy Chicken and Darwins Raw is what the pups are on at our house. We also recommend Wysong, Nature's Logic, Darwins Frozen Raw (they ship), OC Raw, Steve's Real Pet Food, Aunt Jeni's Raw, Small Batch raw or Happee Dawg all as our foods of choice.
Freeze dried liver treats or tripe treats for strangers when they meet the puppies
ID tag for collar. Martingale collars are great as the puppy grows up (we supply a collar/leash at 8 weeks)
Bed: Kuranda beds - lasts so much longer, click below!
X pen or baby gates to keep them enclosed in a certain area

For teething:  marrow/shin bones/beef rib bones (freeze then thaw a little).

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We here at 74 Ranch feed 25% OR MORE Raw - frozen, freeze dried (especially when traveling) or homemade and 75% or LESS kibble for puppies and 50/50 for our adults. Our treats include beef tripe, lung and beef liver treats as well as Kongs filled with goat milk yogurt, pumpkin and such!


Darwins Raw Dog Food Recipes | Darwin's Pet Food (
Steve's Real Food   
Small Batch Raw Food
Freeze Dried Liver treats and/or tripe treats for strangers to give when they meet the puppy
Cow Ears, Pig Ears, Bully Sticks - From Pawstruck

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We use our local vets, Pioneer Animal Clinic when needed but we try natural Young Living Essential Oils first (contact us for more info) We also use Natural Products to prevent allergies or other issues in the future. We are against over vaccinating of animals!!! Read more of the protocol we use on our Mini Aussie Info page
Be sure to keep your dog's nails trimmed!
Vital Animal
Dr Karen Becker - Mercola
Essential Oils for Animals -Reference
Consider a Rescue dog: see 
Wyoming Aussie Rescue
Homeopathic treatments for dogs

SHOULD I SHAVE MY AUSSIE:  here's a direct quote from a groomer and we agree wholeheartedly:
Shaving an Aussie or any double coated dog takes away their ability to cool themselves off. It can also ruin the top coat and make it not grow back or just destroy the silky beautiful coat. I strongly advise against it.

LEFT:  Be sure to check out Dr Michel Selmer's book for your vet/health needs
Michel (Dr Selmer) has two 74 Ranch Mini Aussies and is located in Long Island, NY

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