Miniature American Shepherd Dog Colors: A Complete List of Coat Colors

Are you looking for a loyal and active companion? Then, you cannot go wrong with the Miniature American Shepherds. You can train these intelligent dogs for different dog sports. So, if you have an active lifestyle, they are the perfect companions for you.

Many people are confused about Miniature American Shepherds because they look similar to the Miniature Australian Shepherds. However, they are the smaller version of the Australian counterpart.

This breed was initially recognized in California in the 1960s. The history of this small-to-medium-sized breed is related to the Australian Shepherd because they have a common ancestor that originated in Spain or France.

In 2011, the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed. These dogs have been loyal companions for many years and are also popular among pet lovers because of their intelligence and very active qualities.

Miniature American Shepherd Dog Colors: A Complete List of Coat Colors 1

8 Miniature American Shepherd Recognized Coat Colors 

Miniature American Shepherds are a double-coated breed with medium-length hair that is either wavy or straight and a dense undercoat. They have feathering on the breeches, moderate manes around the necks, and shorted hair on the heads. 

This breed has several coat colors, but red merle and blue merle are the most common. The merle coloring is one of the trademarks of these dogs. Merle refers to the mottle color patches that include white, black, and shades of red or tan.

Below are the recognized coat colors Miniature American Shepherds you should know:


1. Black 

Black Miniature American Shepherd has no copper or white marks throughout its body. Although they may not be the most popular among this breed, people can see them from time to time. Some of them have a little white marking, but they are still classified as black variety.

The recessive gene controls the solid black color of this breed. In other words, it is rare to see them with only one color coat. However, it is still possible to see black Miniature American Shepherd dogs on suburban sidewalks or ranches without markings.

These dogs with a black coat often have brown eyes with varying light to dark shades. It is rare to see them in gold-flecked hazel eyes.

2. Black Bicolor 

The black and white Miniature American Shepherd dogs are also called “black bi” or “black bicolor.” In most cases, white marking is seen on their legs, belly, chest, and face. That marking is also found on their tail. They may also have “white points,” the color spots above the eyes.

Meanwhile, some black bi Miniature American Shepherd dogs may have a tan as their second coat color rather than white. The black and tan variation may have tan spots on their legs, chest, cheeks, or eyes.

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They may have two colors, but they are not considered black bi because the term refers exclusively to American Shepherds with the white secondary coat.


3. Black Tricolor

Miniature American Shepherd dogs look like the Bernese Mountain Dog’s leaner version with this black tricolor scheme. In some cases, their black coat comes with white markings on the legs, belly, chest, and face. The copper/tan highlights are also seen on their legs and face.

Officially, this three-colored black breed has tan and white highlights. The tan marks are most common on the legs, cheeks, and eyes, while the white markings are most prominent on the paws, stomach, chest, and muzzle. 

The black tricolor variation is one of the most famous coat colors among Miniature American Shepherds. Their eyes are brown, varying from light to dark, due to the dominant black color.

4. Red 

Solid red Miniature American Shepherds are rare. The red color is due to the recessive gene. In other words, the dominant black gene is not present. While they are a little bit harder to breed, they are considered rare beauties.

Their coats can grow in varying red shades. The darkest shade is liver, which is close to black or dark gray. The lightest shade is gold. In between, these dogs can be ruby, chestnut, auburn, etc. The red gene is recessive, so a solid red one is the rarest of them all.

5. Red Bicolor 

Some red Miniature American Shepherd dogs come in red and white color. They have a red base coat, and the white as the secondary color coat is often seen on their face, legs, and chest. They are not like the typical Miniature American Shepherds, but the color scheme is becoming more popular.

The red bi variation often has a red and white coat. However, some of them might have a hint for copper/tan. This marking does not occur in this variation without any white making, either merle or solid.


6. Red Tricolor

The red tricolor Miniature American Shepherd breed comes in a red base, either dark liver or light cinnamon. They have white markings on their belly, legs, face, and chest. They also have copper markings and points. The copper highlights are often seen on their legs and face.

These adorable dogs have amber eyes, complementing their coats. Some have blue eyes and even heterochromia, one eye is blue, and the other is amber.

7. Blue Merle 

These Miniature American Shepherd dogs have a blue merle base coat. Their color scheme features a gray coat combined with black spots found on arbitrary areas. As a result, these dogs have a “blue effect.” 

The gray color ranges from silver to dark smoke-like gray. The black spots are either large patches or specks. It is not too often to see a solid blue merle in this breed, so they are unique.

If black Miniature American Shepherds have the merle gene, they are considered blue merle rather than “black merle.” That is because they have black spots combined with gray patches. From a distance, they will look like blue.

8. Red Merle 

The red patches of Miniature American Shepherds can range in shape, size, and color. Depending on the dog, the spots can be large patches or tiny speckles. Solid red merles tend to have consistency in their coats all over the body.

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Marbling red coats result in an exotic sandstone effect. The Miniature American Shepherds do not need to be perfectly marbled throughout their body to be solid red merles. They often have marbled eyes combined with color flecks in the irises that give them a vivid and deep gaze.


What is the Rarest Color of Miniature American Shepherd Dogs?

Miniature American Shepherds are very active and intelligent furry buddies that love to spend time with their families. They may be small in stature, but they have big energy. After all, they are natural athletes. That is why their families should be committed to providing them the necessary physical activities.

Besides their intelligence and being active, many pet lovers are interested in adopting them because of their stunning coat color. If you are looking for the rarest color of Miniature American Shepherd dogs, the red variety is the best choice.

These dogs have a red recessive gene that only expresses itself if the dominant black gene is not present. Since they are hard to breed, they create rare beauties that most pet lovers find interesting.

Red Miniature American Shepherds come in different shades of red, including liver, cinnamon, ruby, auburn, chestnut, and more. 

Below are other rare coat colors of this breed:


1. Blue Merle and Tan 

This coat color variation is fairly rare to see. These dogs have copper or tan points on their beards or eyebrows. In most cases, if tan color is present, there is also white.

2. Black and Tan 

Black and Tan Miniature American Shepherd dogs are among the rarest black American Shepherds. The black color is the base coat with copper/tan highlights on their legs, chest, and face.

What is the Best Color for a Miniature American Shepherd Dog?

Although there is no standard for the best color for this breed, below are the most preferred color of them:

1. Blue Merle 

These dogs come in black patches and patterns on a background that varies from powder blue to slate gray. They may also have copper or white trim.

2. Red Merle 

This coat color variation has red patterns and patches in a cream background. They also have copper or white trim.


3. Black Bicolor or Black Tricolor 

The black Miniature American Shepherd dogs have solid black bodies. However, if they have white trim, they are considered as black bicolor. If they have white and copper markings, they are called black tricolors.

4. Red Bicolor or Red Tricolor

The red coat color varies when it comes to intensity, from brownish-red color to deep mahogany. The red and white are called red bicolor, while the red and white with copper points are termed red tricolor.

What is the Original Color of a Miniature American Shepherd Dogs?

There is no official statement from the experts about the original color of Miniature American Shepherd dogs. However, they are considered purebred if they have red, red merle, black, and blue merle coat colors. Outside these colors, variations come in different marking combinations. 

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This breed can be blotched, flecked, or marbled. They have an undercoat that is often lighter than the topcoat. Don’t worry; they are easy to groom. 

Ensure to bathe them once a month using suitable and quality products. These products will help enhance the color of their coats while adding shine. Beware that their hair can get tangled quickly.

So, ensure to properly dried them after bathing. Do not forget to use a clean, soft towel to remove the excess water. You can also use a blow dryer.

When it comes to brushing, you have to keep your hair clean and untangled. Since they have medium hair length and love to do physical activities, you may find it hard to keep their hair soft, beautiful, and shiny if you leave them unattended. You can brush your furry friends’ hair twice a week.


1. Health Issues 

While Miniature American Shepherd Dogs are very healthy, they are still some conditions that you should look out for, including:

2. Hip Dysplasia 

This skeletal condition is common in many breeds, although they are more common in larger canines. It occurs once the ball and socket of the dog do not fit together appropriately.

Several things may be the causes, but genetics is the most common reason. If your dog suffers from this condition, he may experience pain associated with movement or have mobility issues.

3. Retinal Dysplasia 

Retinal Dysplasia is a genetic condition that is commonly seen at birth. A Mini American Shepherd can suffer from this condition if his retina is detached in the lead. Then, it leads to total blindness.

4. Corneal Dystrophy 

This health condition resulted from abnormal material formation in the eye’s outer layers. As a result, they experience poor vision. However, this condition is not painful.


5. Behavior and Temperament 

Besides being playful and friendly, Mini American Shepherd dogs are easy to please. They make a great family due to their affectionate and loyal qualities. They also get along well with kids.

This breed is a bit wary around strangers. However, they are less likely to become aggressive or show shyness. It is recommended to provide them early training and socialization so that they will not develop behavioral problems.

6. Exercise Requirements 

As mentioned, this breed is energetic and active. That is why they need plenty of daily exercise. Besides long daily walks, they also enjoy different dog sports, such as obedience, agility, disc dog, and fly ball.

These physical activities provide physical and mental stimulation to keep them in good shape. If you fail to give them the necessary mental stimulation and daily exercise, they might develop behavioral problems.

7. Life Expectancy 

Each breed comes in a different life expectancy. When it comes to Mini-American Shepherds, you can enjoy their affection, loyalty, and protection for up to 12 to 15 years.


Miniature American Shepherds are great and loyal companions. They are also very smart, affectionate, and active. If you think their qualities suit your preference, there is no way for you not to adopt one. Plus, you can choose from their stunning coat colors.