Regardless of size, the Australian Shepherd is in a class of its own. 
These wonderful dogs have been loved and cherished for over 100 yrs, by farmers, ranchers or just the everyday family.  I myself fell in love with the standard size Australian Shepherd - although there were a few mini's  around 20yrs ago, I was not familiar with them.  We were not farmers or ranchers, but just a family with a few acres and some horses. 
        After that first aussie, I knew there was something special about this breed.  We had several types of dogs growing up, purebreds and mixes, so I was aquainted with other breeds.  This breed surpassed the rest.  No matter what, they were at my side, my shadow in fact, ready to help or at least try to help in what ever I was doing. And smart? yes all of them very smart.  Over the years each one would pass away and I would swear no dog could ever be as wonderful, or smart as the last. To my surprise, they just kept getting better and better. 
      I lost my last Standard size aussie, about 10yrs ago. Cisco a beautiful 60 pound blue merle male, is still missed terribly to this day.  He by far was the smartest most loving dog I "thought" I would ever own. 
    We finally decided to replace Cisco.  Traveling to horse shows and having numerous customers to our barn, got us thinking about size. 
Size did matter.  We loved the breed but 60lbs was alot of dog.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to have "Cisco" in a 20lb body?  Then came the mini's.

 Now about 10 years later, and having every size Aussie, we can ask :
                                    Is bigger always better ? 

Honestly if it was, I wouldn't have the smaller size. The mini's are bred down from the standards, and the toys from the mini's.  The mini aussie is just as wonderful, loyal, caring, smart and kind just as is the toy.  

I believe the biggest misconception is with the toy aussie.  The toy aussie is JUST like the mini, just smaller.  They are NOTHING like other toy breeds. They are not yippy, agressive, or hard to housebreak. They are NOT fragile, timid, or lazy.  They are AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS too. 

The toy aussie, can handle just about what ever the mini can. They go on long runs, trail rides, hikes..etc, just like the larger dogs.  The toys can be inside or outside pets. They need alittle more warmth in the winter becasue they are small, but they LOVE the cold weather too. 

Do not be fooled by the word TOY.  A toy aussie is NO ordinary toy dog. They are extraordinary.  The word toy is only to describe the size.
They are the Australian Shepherd in a small body.  I was never a small dog person until I owned a toy aussie.
My 40lb, 20lb, 10lb & under aussie's all go to the barn with us, they all go on long hikes, trail rides and play with us.  Most of the time the larger dogs give out before my smaller ones. 

Size only matters to you. What works for your household? Can you handle a large dog, or do you need something small and compact?
Do you want a lap size dog, or a dog that needs his own couch? Can you carry a mini if you have too, or do you need something under 15lbs?
These are the questions to ask yourself. 

** When in doubt, come visit. See for yourself, how the mini's, toys or even the smaller size teacups are bigger than you think. 

Its all personal choice. They are ALL AUSSIE'S no matter the size.

Standard Aussie:  18 - 24 inches tall  40 to 65 lbs
Mini Aussie: 14 - 18 inches tall   approx. 20 to 40lbs
Toy Aussie:  11 - 13 inches tall   approx. 8 to 20lbs
Teacup Aussie:  under 11 inches tall   approx 8lb or less

Does Size Really Matter