The Miniature American Shepherd was developed in California during the late 1960s with the breeding of small, unregistered dogs that were thought to be Australian Shepherds. These dogs were bred with a goal of maintaining their small size, active character and intelligence.
The breed was first registered with the National Stock Dog Registry in 1983 and was originally called the Miniature Australian Shepherd. By the early 1990s, they had attained nationwide popularity. Several clubs promoted these small dogs, as they were registered and shown with various rare-breed organizations. The first parent breed club and registry, MASCUSA, was formed in 1990 and incorporated in 1993. The breed entered the AKC Foundation Stock Service as the Miniature American Shepherd in May 2011. The Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA) is the designated national parent club of the American Kennel Club. In the UK, the official daughter club of MASCUSA is known as UKMASC. UKMASC was founded in 2011 and although the breed is not yet recognised by the UK Kennel Club, UKMASC is dedicated to sound and responsible breeding practices and the promotion of the breed in the UK.
The breed has been used for herding smaller stock such as sheep and goats, although they have the heart to tackle larger stock as well. Their small size was looked upon with favor, as they could more easily double as a household pet. They became especially popular with equestrians traveling to horse shows, as their intelligence, loyalty, and size made them an excellent travel companion. In this way their popularity spread across the country. Today, the Miniature American Shepherd is established across the U.S. and internationally. It is a breed with a unique identity - an eye catching, versatile little herding dog, equally at home on a ranch or in the city. The Miniature American Shepherd is a herding dog to be designated to the Herding Group in the American Kennel Club.