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With all of their talents and heart set on the job it would be a shame not to put the Miniature American Shepherd to work, whether in dog sports or herding or just a really good game of catch. The breed was given full recognition by AKC in 2016, but is already known and beloved across the country for their versatility, intelligence, athleticism, and eagerness to please the humans they love. And with these traits, they would probably sweep the medals in any dog sports challenge. Here are a few more reasons why:

1. They look the part. Many Miniature American Shepherds have eyes of two different colors, which make their already attentive expression even more striking.

2. They’re the perfect teammate and they’re even able to work alongside other species. The breed is a favorite of the equestrian set and their popularity spread across horse shows around the country.

3. Their innate herding ability is legendary. Even as pups, they know how to get the job done.

4. No livestock? No problem! They can even herd snowballs.

5. They are stars on the agility course.

6. They are just as athletic in the water as they are on land.

7. And they can earn a perfect 10 when diving into the pool.

A photo posted by @indigoblueminiaussie on Feb 29, 2016 at 6:47pm PST

8. But even gold-medal athletes like their down time.

9. …especially if it’s with their beloved family.

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