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  #21  
Old 01-04-2012, 09:18 AM
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Oh and as someone currently looking for a rental I disagree. Just because I rented with a 65 lb pit bull twice doesn't mean I'll get a third score. Go to most any city anymore, click on rentals, click on "large dogs" (which btw is usually over 25 lbs) and the options diminish greatly. I am currently in the market to buy a tiny house or a shrink ray to rent with my dogs.
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  #22  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:35 AM
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What I've seen of Mini Aussies is typical of any other breed out there. The BYB ones have been nutcases either due to inexperienced, naive owners or due to genetic nervousness. The well-bred ones purchased by knowledgeable owners have been pretty darn cool. I always giggle at their jumping style as they tend to jump upwards rather than flat which also makes them fabulous disc dogs.
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  #23  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
There's plenty of less than stellar Aussie breeders too. I see them all the time at the flea market selling their their double merle puppies who have deformed eyes and are likely deaf. Do those breeders and puppies speak to the quality of the entire breed or all breeders involved in the breed?
Those would go into the "shoddy hacks in it for the money" category.

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As to the point, I suppose it isn't for you to decide. They are already a recognized breed and they already have quite a lot of people seriously involved in them. A lot of the interest in them is people wanting a herding breed with a more work-oriented temperament in a smaller size. The Mini Aussie standard is 14"-18", so the smallest female in standard Aussie is the size of the biggest Mini Aussie/MAS allowed by standard (14"-18"). And it can be quite hard to tell if you're going to get such a small one if you are picking out a puppy. It sounds like the OP has already found a breeder he's happy with who does a lot with their dogs.

<snip>
FWIW, my opinion (which reflects a vast portion of the ASCA Aussie world, you know, the original parent club of the Aussie) isn't for you to decide either. You'll be hard pressed to find someone who has been in the breed for a long time who is "ok" with the whole Mini Aussie thing. A lot more respect has been given to those who recognize that what are they working towards producing is no longer an Aussie in the standardized sense and have renamed their dogs accordingly. There are always outliers to the standard; a woman who is well known in the Aussie breed has a Slash V bitch that falls an inch or two under the minimum height, but she calls her what she is--an undersized Aussie. She bred to a typical working male and all the pups in the litter fall within the written ASCA standard. Conversely, there have been those random dogs that exceed the maximum height and weight, but they've not been selected for nor marketed as "Giant Aussies".

Maybe this should go in the "unpopular opinion" thread, but I personally hate size categories in breeds. When you start deviating that drastically from "the norm", you will always end up changing more than just the size--typically temperament. It's been stated countless times over, no one breeds in a vacuum. Change one thing, you'll change something else too. The best programs are the ones that have figured out how to match and balance. So, if you're set on changing a breed, let's say, breeding Shelties to the size of Collies, then you have not just created a category of "Giant Shelties", you have created a new breed. Or poodles. There is nothing about a toy--and most minis--poodle that resembles it's standard counterpart beyond general physical appearance and I feel should be called something else entirely. But phenotype alone does not make a breed. Otherwise, the weim that is built like a dobe could just be called a solid blue dobe. Taking a Groendal, downsizing it and docking it does not make it a Schipperke.

Hell, look at Phalenes. They are basically just a drop-eared category of Papillions, but they've got their own breed.
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  #24  
Old 01-04-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
Hell, look at Phalenes. They are basically just a drop-eared category of Papillions, but they've got their own breed.
Actually they're not. They're shown with papillons - and are part of the same registry here, in Canada, and the UK. The only difference you'll find is that sometimes breeders throw a PH in the registered name to differentiate between the two.

This is the BOB Papillon from the 2011 euk national championship. Doesn't even follow the naming convention. http://www.akc.org/nationalchampions...untry=country#

Also in other breeds different size categories are born within the same litters. I know mini and toy poodles are as well as 13 and 15 inch beagles.
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  #25  
Old 01-04-2012, 02:45 PM
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I really don't understand how people can take Aussie's and breed them down for size,but have the results not be Aussies. Mom was an Aussie, Dad was and Aussie, how can the puppies not be called Aussies? It's not like another breed was added in. There is no snark intended in this, I really don't understand.
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  #26  
Old 01-04-2012, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StillandSilent View Post
I really don't understand how people can take Aussie's and breed them down for size,but have the results not be Aussies. Mom was an Aussie, Dad was and Aussie, how can the puppies not be called Aussies? It's not like another breed was added in. There is no snark intended in this, I really don't understand.
This is how I see it as well. If only aussies were involved in the making of the miniature variety, then why would they be radically different from aussies?

Does anyone here have first hand experience with both well-bred mini aussies and aussies? Is there a noticeable difference in temperament?
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  #27  
Old 01-04-2012, 04:30 PM
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The Mini Aussies are a hot topic in the Aussie world and everyone has their opinions. It seems most Aussie people are against them from a purist standpoint and that's sort of to be expected. But that doesn't mean there is no place for Mini Aussies or that people are wrong for breeding or wanting them. From a historical working dog standpoint, written breed standards wouldn't matter enough for people to nitpick on size. The original working bred Aussies would not have been removed from a breeding program just because they were smaller or larger than someone's "ideal" anymore than a dog with white body splashes who was an outstanding worker would be removed based on color. When all Aussies were working bred, they were removed from a breeding program if they couldn't do the work and bred if they could. Everything else is just in theory....In theory could a 20" Aussie could herd better than a 15" Aussie? I guess one could argue that. In practice though? I think it probably depends more on the dog than the size, until you get into toy sized Aussies.

As far as selection always changes things, it's very true. And it's also true that breeds will change as times, people and needs/wants change. If the change is good or not is a matter of opinion that you'll never get 100% agreement on.
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  #28  
Old 01-04-2012, 04:35 PM
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as for radically different that depends on the breeders and the selection process. If they ignore 'good' aussie traits to get size, you will end up with what you breed for.

Take parson russells for example. They are from JRTs nothing else added. Its also very recent. However there is becoming a difference between JRTs and PRTs as PRTs are more likely to be bred to look pretty by KC standards than by working standards. In JRT trials only working people are judges, dogs who are flashy but couldn't work will not get put up. I have seen some pics of PRTs that are winning big that couldn't fit down a hole.

Of course dogs being bred away from useful conformation are not going to be working. So you lose working drive. Many PRTs are lower in prey and working drives. Even though they are all JRT behind them they are becoming less and less JRT like. In fact Fox terriers also used to be the same dogs as JRTs. They couldn't go fox hunting if their lives depended on it.

So I am all for mini aussies/north american shepherds as long as they are still making sure the foundation traits are still there.
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  #29  
Old 01-04-2012, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faustus View Post
This is how I see it as well. If only aussies were involved in the making of the miniature variety, then why would they be radically different from aussies?

Does anyone here have first hand experience with both well-bred mini aussies and aussies? Is there a noticeable difference in temperament?
It seems likely that the foundation dogs for Mini Aussies were crossed with other breeds (talking about the Cordova dogs and others in that time range) based on some of the pictures I've seen. Maybe they weren't though, since breeding for smaller size often comes with typical features associated with smaller size - larger eyes, smaller/short muzzle, more rounded skull). However even if they were crosses, it doesn't take many generations after a cross to get dogs who for all intents and purposes are whatever breed they started off as. It took 3 generations before the CorgixBoxer cross puppies in the Bobtail Boxer project were Boxers again.

I have been around a good number of both and IME, the well bred Mini Aussies don't have any glaring differences in temperament from a well bred Aussie.

And yes, Toy, Mini and Standard Poodles are all considered one breed. It's not all that uncommon for different varieties to show up in one litter.
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  #30  
Old 01-04-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faustus View Post
This is how I see it as well. If only aussies were involved in the making of the miniature variety, then why would they be radically different from aussies?

Does anyone here have first hand experience with both well-bred mini aussies and aussies? Is there a noticeable difference in temperament?
To answer the first part:

A decent argument can be made that once you select something beyond working ability that the core of what the breed is for is impacted negatively. I would say one exclusively doesn't always lead to the other - I think far greater threat to working/herding breeds is habitat loss along with climate change.

Habitat loss: There are fewer farmers - those that do farm don't often bother with dogs in the modern era-they have better things to do. I know a few cattle and dairy farmers who don't even allow the family dog near stock at all. Better a bag of grain in a feeder than a half dozen men and dogs droving. What this has done is driven dogs who would otherwise be working into the pet market with show breeders as the driving force of "what is right" based upon looks and rarely based upon ability to action.

That is the climate change - the best show dog isn't always the best dog of the breed where it comes to purpose in a dog who as a breed was once selected based upon earning it's keep doing a job. That said, climate change is inevitable in a great many breeds as purposes become antiquated (like the bull baiting dog), the dog is no longer fit for the job it was bred for compared to other breeds (the doberman which has been replaced by the mal in most working functions), or plain old extinct (the turnspit dog).

Anyway, as to part 2 of your question.

I have a hard time looking at a photo of a well bred mini aussie unless there is a comparison point and knowing if it is full size or a mini aussie. My sister's mini aussie behaved almost to a T the same way as my neighbor's full size aussie in terms of drive and temperament. But truth be told... maybe my sample size isn't big enough.







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