Introducing the Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix, also known as the Mini American Shepadoodle: the perfect combination of brains and beauty.
Often mistaken as a Mini Aussiedoodle, the Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix is a separate Doodle breed. The Mini Australian Shepherd is technically a Mini American Shepherd (recognized as its own breed).
Either way, this Doodle mix is too cute to pass up. So grab a leash, and let’s dive in!
Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle Mix
The Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix is a small to medium-sized Doodle breed that crosses the intelligent Poodle with the spirited Miniature American Shepherd. Despite their similar appearance, this mix is not to be confused with a Mini Aussiedoodle.
The Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix can be referred to as the MAS-Poo, MAS Doodle, American Shephoodle, or American Shepadoodle.
History of the Parent Breeds
By studying the history of the Miniature American Shepherd and Poodle, we can better understand the Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix and how it came to be.
We can gain better insight into the traits and personality of the Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix.
Let’s first take a look at the Mini American Shepherd.
Miniature American Shepherd
The Miniature American Shepherd (MAS) is a relatively new dog breed. It is believed that the breed originated in California sometime in the 1960s. This fact alone makes the breed unique since many recognized dog breeds, such as the Poodle, have a history that spans over a couple of hundred years.
The Miniature American Shepherd was developed from the Australian Shepherd breed. If you compare the Miniature American Shepherd side by side with the Australian Shepherd, you will notice they look nearly identical.
At first, I thought I’d never seen a Miniature American Shepherd before. But after looking through pictures of the breed, it’s entirely possible I have seen one but mistook it for a Miniature Australian Shepherd.
The Miniature American Shepherd was created by breeding Australian Shepherds down in size while still maintaining the breed’s strong working ability and intelligence. There is speculation that other ‘unidentified’ dog breeds were also involved in creating the Miniature American Shepherd.
The breed gained popularity due to its small size. Like other miniature dog breeds, people are drawn to owning a dog that is easier to travel with, maintain, and care for.
Despite its small size, the MAS is a workhorse. It is a versatile working dog that is well-suited for various tasks, including herding, obedience, agility, and search and rescue. It is an active and energetic breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation.
Like the Australian Shepherd, the Miniature American Shepherd is known for its strong work ethic, intelligence, and trainability.
One Mini American Shepherd owner comments on the breed’s intelligence:
“These dogs are part human! Eager to learn, smart enough to get it after a couple of tries, and they NEED to have a job…like learning tricks, or herding something. I know, because I’ve lived with one for almost 12 years.”
At first, the Miniature American Shepherd was called a Miniature Australian Shepherd. Over time, the breed gained independence and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2015. Several other kennel clubs and breed registries around the world also recognize it.
The Standard Poodle was bred in Germany as a waterfowl retriever in the 1600s. The iconic Poodle cut wasn’t just for looks. It helped the dogs keep warm while retrieving game in the chilly waters of Germany.
The Poodle is often mistaken for a French-natives. Once the breed began to spread across Europe, French nobles took a particular liking to the breed. They are athletic, cute, and very intelligent.
How could they not fall in love? France eventually adopted the Poodle as their national dog.
Poodles come in three different sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy.
Miniature Poodles were bred by selectively breeding Standard Poodles to create smaller versions of the breed. Even though Mini Poodles are slightly smaller than Standard Poodles, they have the same general characteristics and temperament as the larger breed.
The Toy Poodle was bred down even further from the Mini. It wasn’t until the breed made it over into the United States that the Toy-size was developed.
Toy Poodles were the perfect solution for those that lived in a city. The dog is small enough to live comfortably in smaller apartments and can travel with its owner easily.
Traits & Characteristics
The Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix inherits traits and characteristics from both parent breeds. Below is a rating of each major behavioral category for the mixed breed.
The Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix can come in a variety of colors. This is due to both parent breeds having many possible coat colors.
The mix can have the following coat colors:
- Blue merle
- Red merle
The Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle cross is small to medium in size. The limiting factor in their size is the Miniature American Shepherd. They don’t get much larger than 40 pounds.
A full-sized adult Standard Poodle can be almost twice the size of an adult MAS. This difference in size is why it makes more sense to breed a Miniature Poodle with a Miniature American Shepherd.
It is possible to use a Toy Poodle, but for the remainder of this section, I’ll assume the cross is between a MAS and Miniature Poodle.
Factors that influence size
There are a few factors that will dictate the size of a Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix:
- The breed chosen for the dam/sire (mom/dad) of the litter.
- For example, if the father of the litter was a Miniature Poodle, then the size of the puppies may differ in comparison to the Miniature Poodle being the mother.
- The generation of the cross.
- A first-generation (F1) Mini American Shepherd-Poodle mix will differ in size compared to a second or multi-generation cross.
- Size of the parents.
- This is the best indicator of how big the puppies will be.
A male American Shepherd-Poodle mix is expected to be between 12-16 inches and 11-15 inches for a female.
A fully grown Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix is expected to weigh between 10-30 pounds.
The Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix benefits from “hybrid vigor.” In general, hybrid vigor means that a dog benefits from both breeds by inheriting their quality traits and being less at risk for breed-specific diseases.
This doesn’t mean that they are free from any risk. All dogs are susceptible to specific health problems. Below is a list of health issues that the Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle mix is at risk for:
- Addison’s Disease – Also known as canine hypoadrenocorticism, it is a condition that occurs when the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys, do not produce enough hormones. In dogs, the main hormones involved are cortisol and aldosterone. It can affect dogs of any age, breed, or sex.
- Bloat – A potentially life-threatening condition characterized by the stomach’s expansion with gas or fluid, which can cause the stomach to twist. This can cut off the blood supply to the stomach and cause other organs to become deprived of blood.
- Cushing’s Disease – A condition that affects the endocrine system in dogs. An excess of the hormone cortisol in the body causes it.
- Epilepsy – Also known as idiopathic epilepsy, is a seizure-causing disease when the dog’s brain is abnormally overactive.
- Hip Dysplasia – The loosening of the dog’s hip joint, causing pain and dysfunction. The dog’s rear will start to narrow, and he will have difficulty holding up his back legs. Sadly, this puts tremendous strain on the dog’s spine and front legs.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease – An orthopedic disorder that causes degeneration of a dog’s (or human) hip joints. Unfortunately, surgery is necessary to treat this disease.
- Luxating Patella – Associated with limb or joint structure abnormalities such as the area where the dog’s kneecap connects to the shinbone being displaced or the femur groove at the kneecap being too shallow.
- Sebaceous Adenitis – A hereditary skin disease that causes color and texture changes in your dog’s coat and hair loss.
- Skin Tumors
- Thyroid Problems
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Based on the parent breeds, the Miniature American Shepherd-Poodle is likely to live between 12-18 years.
Of course, there are exceptions and other influencing factors such as health and lifestyle.