The Miniature American Shepherd is a small size herding dog that originated in the United States. He is slightly longer than tall with bone that is moderate and in proportion to body size and height without extremes. Movement is smooth, easy, and balanced. Exceptional agility combined with strength and stamina allows for working over a variety of terrain. This highly versatile, energetic dog makes an excellent athlete with superior intelligence and a willingness to please those to whom he is devoted. He is both a loyal companion and a biddable worker, which is evident in his watchful expression. The double coat of medium length and coarseness may be solid in color or merled, with or without white and/or tan (copper) markings. He traditionally has a docked or natural bobtail.
The head is clean-cut, dry, and in proportion to the body. Expression- Alert, attentive and intelligent. May express a reserved look and/or be watchful of strangers. Eyes – The eyes are set obliquely, almond shaped, neither protruding nor sunken and in proportion to the head. Acceptable in all coat colors, one or both eyes may be brown, blue, hazel, amber or any color combination thereof, including flecks and marbling. The eye rims of the reds and red merles have full red (liver) pigmentation. The eye rims of the blacks and blue merles have full black pigmentation. Ears – Are triangular, of moderate size, set high on the head. At full attention they break forward and over, or to the side as a rose ear. Severe Fault – Prick ears and ears that hang with no lift.
The overall structure gives an impression of depth and strength without bulkiness. Neck – The neck is firm, clean, and in proportion to the body. It is of medium length and slightly arched at the crest, fitting well into the shoulders. Topline – The back is firm and level from the withers to the hip joint when standing or moving. Loin – The loin is strong and broad when viewed from the top. Croup – The croup is moderately sloped. Body – The body is firm and well conditioned.
The forequarters are well conditioned and balanced with the hindquarters. Shoulders – Shoulder blades (scapula) are long, flat, fairly close set at the withers, and well laid back. Upper arm – The upper arm (humerus) is equal in length to the shoulder blade and meets the shoulder blade at an approximate right angle. The forelegs drop straight and perpendicular to the ground. Elbow – The elbow joint is equidistant from the ground to the withers. Viewed from the side, the elbow should be directly under the withers. The elbows should be close to the ribs without looseness.
Width of hindquarters is approximately equal to the width of the forequarters at the shoulders. Angulation – The angulation of the pelvis and upper thigh (femur) mirrors the angulation of the shoulder blade and upper arm, forming an approximate right angle. Stifle – Stifles are clearly defined. Hock – The hocks are short, perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other when viewed from the rear.
Moderation is the overall impression of the coat. Hair is of medium texture, straight to wavy, weather resistant, and of medium length. The undercoat varies in quantity with variations in climate. Hair is short and smooth on the head and front of the legs. The backs of forelegs and breeches are moderately feathered. There is a moderate mane and frill, more pronounced in dogs than in bitches. Hair may be trimmed on the ears, feet, back of hocks, pasterns, and tail, otherwise he is to be shown in a natural coat.