A breed of smaller Australian Shepherds, known as teacup Australian Shepherds, is swiftly increasing in popularity. Having the same outstanding qualities as regular Australian Sheepdogs – namely in their intelligence, agility, and their quick response to commands – the Australian Shepherd teacup is everything that their larger cousins are only much smaller in size.
Weighing between 4 and 9 pounds, teacup Australian Shepherds presents itself as one of the friendliest, and cutest, breed of small dog. Sometimes mistakenly known as the toy Australian Shepherd, or more commonly as the miniature Australian Shepherds, teacup Australian Shepherds are in fact a bit smaller than both. Whereas toys can be found in a range of 10” and 13” at shoulder and weigh somewhere between 10 and 16 pounds, miniatures are 14” and 15” at the shoulder with a weight that ranges from 18 to 30 pounds. Given that all three types of Australian Shepherds have the same color markings it is easy to see where the confusion arises from. In order to be considered a true teacup Australian Shepherd, they must meet certain requirements. Their colors are black, red, or blue, possibly mixed with a tan or white marking. On their face, the only white marking should be a strip that extends from the back of the head to somewhere on their snout. Their hair length will be medium to long, and will be billowy and soft to the touch, and will be longer around their necks and the back of their legs than on their head and ear area. The ears of tea cup Australian Shepherds will also be floppy and soft to the touch. By these markers are the breed held to.
Like their larger relations, the teacup Aussie is a naturally affectionate and playful dog, making them excellent companions for children of all ages. They are also loyal and very protective, serving not only as able playmates but as protection as well if they feel that their small owners are in any kind of danger. However, despite their diminutive size, their heritage still holds true. The Australian Shepherd teacup is still a natural herder, even going so far as to possibly bite the back of your heels while still a puppy. This instinct is so deeply ingrained that teacup Australian Shepherds will, just like full sized Australian Sheepdogs, “herd” children without proper training and exercise.
Yet due to their smarts and their eager to please nature, teacup Australian Shepherds are easy to train and well worth the time required to do so. They have a natural intuition when it comes to understanding what their owners want, but being as energetic as they are, they must have the means to expend their energy. Regular walks, or even just quality playtime, is an excellent way to provide a teacup Aussie with proper exercise. If they do not receive their daily dose of exercise, they run the risk of becoming anxious, nervous, or possibly even adopting bad habits such as chewing on shoes and furniture.
Like any breed of small dog, the best way to ensure success with this caring and devoted animal is to establish your dominance as the pack leader. Establishing a dominance order, and preventing a lack of leadership, will curtail difficulties in the tea cup Australian Shepherd, such as excessive jumping, barking, and perhaps even biting. A way to help prevent these sorts of negative activities is by including the teacup Aussie in family outings, making them a contributing member. Anything outdoors is an excellent place to be for these types of dogs, and will work towards curbing his need to dominate, helping to shorten the length of time that these negative attributes come to the fore.
The tea cup Australian Shepherd is a caring, playful, and welcome addition to any home. With due diligence, these intelligent, small dogs are perfect companions for anyone.