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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!! I recently brought home the most adorable Mini Australian Shepard about a month ago. At about 13 weeks old he was 6 lbs, which I was told by the breeder was "very normal" but then everything online seemed to indicate that was small for the breed.... and then the other day I walked by another mini Aussie of the same age whom the owner told me was already 22 lbs!! So this has led me to more research, etc.

His parents are both between 20 and 25 and about 14-15 inches tall. Right now my puppy is 19 weeks old, and he is 9.1 lbs and 11 inches tall. So he's gained 3 lbs since I got him, but I'm wondering if there's a growth spurt coming based on his parents? Or have we already passed the window for that. He's also a super picky eater, and I've had to move mountains/spend a LOT of time to make sure he actually finishes his meals, so I'm wondering if he was actually underfed at the breeders just because of this and that might have delayed his growth a bit.
 

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There is quite a lot of variation in the size of Miniature Australian Shepherds, especially if there was another breed added into the lines to bring down size.

It sounds like you are hovering over him at meals, trying to convince him to eat more? If so, I'd quit that immediately. Hovering over a dog that is already a bit of a picky eater just puts more pressure on them. Fix his food, put it down, and walk away. If he hasn't eaten everything in fifteen minutes or so, just pick it up and he doesn't get anything until his next mealtime. And also, don't overfeed him. The suggested amounts on the package are just that, suggested. Start with that, and if he seems too thin, add a bit, and if he seems too pudgy, cut back a bit. I find that, unless they are really active, most dogs need less than what the label says.
 
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Miniature Aussies are generally mixed breed dogs, the ones who are not are closer to 30 lbs. Recently they have become an accepted breed through the AKC as Miniature American Shepherd. Breeders calling their dogs Mini Aussies are not producing this breed though.
One common mix in the very small 'mini Aussies' you'll see is Aussie and Pomeranian. Due to this varying lineage a litter can have quite a range in size and physical traits, so parents size may not be that telling of your dogs expected adult size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is quite a lot of variation in the size of Miniature Australian Shepherds, especially if there was another breed added into the lines to bring down size.

It sounds like you are hovering over him at meals, trying to convince him to eat more? If so, I'd quit that immediately. Hovering over a dog that is already a bit of a picky eater just puts more pressure on them. Fix his food, put it down, and walk away. If he hasn't eaten everything in fifteen minutes or so, just pick it up and he doesn't get anything until his next mealtime. And also, don't overfeed him. The suggested amounts on the package are just that, suggested. Start with that, and if he seems too thin, add a bit, and if he seems too pudgy, cut back a bit. I find that, unless they are really active, most dogs need less than what the label says.
Hi, thank you so much for the reply!! I don't typically hover over him at all, when I say I've spent a lot of time I mean that I've tried all the tricks like heating up his food, adding a little bit of water, adding wet food and mixing it in, I've tried this beef kibble seasoning, etc. The breeder raised him to be a graze eater (aka leaving his food out all day and letting him eat whenever) so getting set mealtimes is a challenge since he'll barely even nibble at it when I put it down in front of him.

I will hand feed him at night if it turns out he's barely eaten anything and that typically works, but I would definitely prefer a hands off approach.
 

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Miniature Aussies are generally mixed breed dogs, the ones who are not are closer to 30 lbs. Recently they have become an accepted breed through the AKC as Miniature American Shepherd. Breeders calling their dogs Mini Aussies are not producing this breed though.
One common mix in the very small 'mini Aussies' you'll see is Aussie and Pomeranian. Due to this varying lineage a litter can have quite a range in size and physical traits, so parents size may not be that telling of your dogs expected adult size.
Miniature (and Toy) Australian Shepherds are registered with the American Stock Dog Registry. Due to AKC rules, people who wanted to apply for AKC recognition of the Miniature Aussie had to change the name of the breed to Miniature American Shepherd. There are doubtless a lot of dual registered dogs out there.
 

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Hi, thank you so much for the reply!! I don't typically hover over him at all, when I say I've spent a lot of time I mean that I've tried all the tricks like heating up his food, adding a little bit of water, adding wet food and mixing it in, I've tried this beef kibble seasoning, etc. The breeder raised him to be a graze eater (aka leaving his food out all day and letting him eat whenever) so getting set mealtimes is a challenge since he'll barely even nibble at it when I put it down in front of him.

I will hand feed him at night if it turns out he's barely eaten anything and that typically works, but I would definitely prefer a hands off approach.
Yes, changing a free-fed dog to a meal-fed dog can be a challenge. When I first got my late Doberman cross, she was so underweight that my vet recommended that she have food in front of her 24/7. After she put on the twenty pounds she needed, I changed to feeding her twice a day, and it took nearly a week to convince her that she needed to eat what was in her bowl of lose it. She never was a fast eater, though, and would usually lie down and eat one kibble at a time, taking a good ten minutes to get though two cups of food.
 
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