Intelligence is Great for Training
One of the traits that make Miniature American Shepherds a favorite as pets and at shows and other events, is their intelligence and eagerness to learn new things. This makes them easy to train and perfect companions for families with children, as they are playful and can be taught a myriad of tricks. At Kickinauss kennels we use the positive reinforcement training criteria, which has been shown to work exceptionally well with all of our minis. It is because of these traits that socialization starts soon after each puppy is born, which includes consistent contact with humans, as well as an early start with the basics of obedience education, including commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “heel”. This early work can easily be expanded upon once our pups go to their new families, which will eventually result in well adapted and socially acceptable dogs who are eager to please their owners at all times, especially when praised and rewarded for good behavior.
The first step towards successful puppy education is socialization. All of our puppies start this process almost from the day they are born, with a focus on human contact which allows them to get used to being around people from day one.
Caring for your new friend is relatively easy. They thrive when fed kibble that is adequate to their age, activity level (high energy), and size. Basically, any high-quality dry dog food will do, especially when you consider it is readily available and easy to portion and serves. Water should be plentiful and available at all times, and regular grooming will keep your American miniature shepherd looking beautiful and sleek. Keep in mind that Miniature American Shepherds have the appetite of a big dog and can eat voraciously as long as the food keeps filling up their plate. This makes them prone to obesity, so plenty of exercise and playtime are always a must. Even so, their size makes them a perfect option for those living in an apartment as long as there is plenty of time for exercise.
As for training, nothing works better than positive reinforcement, especially in dogs so eager to please. Make sure you offer plenty of exciting reactions to a job well done and offer treats when a command is dominated and your puppy will become a joy to train.