The MAS 
shares many physical traits with its forebear the Australian Shepherd -

- only on a smaller scale.


Miniature American Shepherds have 4 recognized colours in their Breed Standard: Black, Red, Blue Merle and Red Merle. Each colour can be with or without white trim and/ or tan/copper points (self coloured, bi's and tri's). Asymmetrical markings are not to be faulted. 

Solid Black body with varying white trim, with or without tan points.
Examples of "Black Bi" and "Black Tri"

Red colouring can vary from deep mahogany to a brownish red with varying white trim, with or without tan points.
Examples of "Red Tri" 

The Merle gene is a single dominate gene and can affect both 
Black and Red base coats.

Blue Merles:
Patches and patterns of Black on a background varying from slate grey to powder blue with varying white trim, with or without tan points.
Examples of "Blue merle"

Red Merles: 
Patches and patterns of red on a cream/sand to brownish coloured background.
Examples of "Red merle"

 Tan Points (Copper): 

Tan points, when present, vary in shades from a creamy beige (Light Tan) to a Dark Tan (Copper), with no preference.


Light Tan Points 

Dark Tan Points 


"Ticking" is a dominate gene that looks like brown and/or black freckles. Ticking can gradually appear during puppy-hood, anywhere there is white trim present. 

Too much white:

This is an example of a MAS with too much white per breed standard. This is a cosmetic fault only and does not hinder the dogs health, personality or trainability.

Too much cosmetic white is not to be confused with white associated with "Double merles" Double merles are dogs who received two copies of the merle gene, from a merle x merle breeding cross. These dogs typically express too much white. Double merle dogs can also have hearing and vision impairment. 
These health issues can be avoided by NOT breeding two merle dogs together.

To learn more about the colour traits of the Miniature American Shepherd, please visit:


Lisa McDonald

(Page describes the Australian Shepherd, but their color genetics are identical with the Miniature American Shepherd)


 Eyes are set obliquely and are almond shaped. Colours can range from brown, hazel, amber, to blue, or any color combination thereof, including flecks, marbling, or having one of each color.




Blue merles and Blacks have black pigmentation on the nose leather. Red merles and Reds have red (liver) pigmentation on the nose leather. Fully pigmented noses are preferred.


Fully pigmented 
Black nose 

Fully pigmented 
 Red/Liver nose 

Not fully pigmented 
Red/Liver nose 


 Puppies are usually born with completely pink (non-pigmented) noses, that fill in with colour within the first few weeks of life.





Noses that are less than fully pigmented will be faulted. 
Severe Fault: 25-50% un-pigmented nose leather. 
Disqualification: Over 50% un-pigmented nose leather.

Ears should be of a medium size, 
triangular in shape, set high on the head 
and should have some amount of lift at 
the base. Pricked ears, or ears that have no lift are to be faulted per breed standard.

Examples of "Button Ears"

Examples of high set "Button Ears"

Examples of "Rose Ears"

Examples of "Pricked Ears"

During teething, a puppy's ear set can change. Some owners will glue or tape the ears in place to help achieve a specific look. Although, many times the ears will go back to normal naturally on their own.

        Should We...  

 Dock Tails?      or      Leave Natural?

  In 2010, Nova Scotia's Veterinary Medical Association banned tail docking, ear cropping and dew claw removal- or any surgery that alters an animal solely for cosmetic/elective purposes.  This ban includes both Veterinarians and Breeders alike and is protected by Nova Scotia's Animal Protections Act and the SPCA. Since the 1980's at least 34 other countries around the world have also banned these elective surgeries, describing them as " unnecessary, painful, cruel and mutilation".

All Marsh's MAS keep their natural tails.