This was written 15yrs ago, and transferred by guy doing website redesign. Need to rewrite.
How we started breeding "TOY AUSSIES." My husband fell in love with a dog that a customer would bring in to his work occasionally. The dog was about 14", 15 lb, a good sized family pet.. when asked what it was the customer said "Australian shepherd." So when we had a place, we purchased an "Australian shepherd" puppy, only to have our puppy mature 20" and 65 lb - Lady-hawk. The next time the customer came to my husband asked why our Australian shepherd was so much bigger.. and the customer said ' Oh this is a MINI Australian shepherd".
After being on waiting lists for 2 years, we obtained our first dogs. Holly a 13" female, and Skyhawk a 14" male.. they were wonderful outside/limited indoor pets. We had a couple of litters. We sold a male puppy to a person I worked with. Who after a couple of months, said the dog we sold her hadn't grown much to find out we were getting "toys" from Sky x Holly. The next one we kept, "TOOTSIE" matured 12", and became our spoiled house bed dog.
This is when we discovered and fell in love with the TOY AUSSIE. We had seen one when we purchased/picked up Skyhawk, but the breeder said they were few and difficult to obtain. The toy Aussie is A small "house-sized" dog that you can pick up with one hand, have one (or several) sit on your lap and not be "dog" overwhelmed. I had always thought I was a "cat" person as the large dogs were 'OK" outside companions/guards, but were overwhelming/dirty smelly in the house, and small dogs (chihuahua, shitzus, etc.) were too hyper "fru-fru", needed too much maintenance (more hair care than I get) were YIPPY, PIDDLY, scared or aggressive, with too many health issues with "Tootsie" I found out I was a dog person, just a small "SMART" healthy type" dog person. AND AS A LOT OF FOLKS SAY with the TOY AUSSIES, they are ADDICTIVE. 3-4 toys equal size & mess of 1 mini.
WE DO NOT CROSSBREED and have purchased all breeding stock from KNOWN breeders with National lines. BUT WE KNOW THAT ALL AUSSIES - Even the standards were CROSSBRED with the LITTLE BLUE DOG and something else at some point. We are selectively breeding for Toys from our mini s, by selectively purchasing "toys" from various breeders and culling (petting) out those that did not remain under 13" mature or produce toys when bred. Or do not meet our other standards regarding family disposition and good health. We have gone from 14" to 8" (see a photo of Sky and his great-granddaughter Gnat-a-lee) in 4 generations (each generation Vet checked for health).
We also found that some Aussie traits are not suitable in this small a dog. THE "HERDING instinct" is not Recommended in the TOY in our opinion - My 17H warmblood horses don't acknowledge the TOYS, and pet buyers don't want the dog herding their cats & children. So we selectively try to breed OUT/REDUCE the herding and any overly protective instincts from our breeding group. They do work hard to keep our yard Crow free and haven't seen a rabbit in years. Since Holly was a very docile, loving dog that would rather sit at your feet than run wildly, this became our foundation line. We have her daughter Tootsie, and son Lil guy to continue her line.
How Hughes Toys started breeding Toy Aussies and Mini Aussies
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