These pictures are quite indicative of the “herding” and “pack” instinct of a Miniature Australian Shepherd aka Miniature American Shepherd. In both cases, just out of photography range are children in the pool and children stepping onto the back of the dive board. Nika is watchful in one case and barring the way from her perceived danger in the other.
Dogs are dogs, but breed characteristics are hereditary and even though we train our dogs to better mesh into our lifestyle, those instincts are there just under the surface. A herding dog has developed from bloodlines that brought their sheep or cattle together into a group and stood watch to enable the herdsman or farmer to attend to other tasks. These early men/women chose their most dependable “shepherds” and bred those dogs together to improve the qualities of their next generation.
Hunting dogs hunt, terriers go to ground and herding dogs are watchful of their pack. Have you wondered why your Aussie follows you from room to room and acts a little nervous when the family is in different parts of the house? Those innate instincts are working to get the pack together and in their sight so they can alert for danger.
Nika is from Fancy x Randy litter December 2011 and is approximately 9 months old in these pictures. She is on duty in the lifeguard tower!