If nanostructures are irradiated with energetic ions, the mechanism of sputtering becomes important when the ion range matches about the size of the nanoparticle. Gold nanoparticles with diameters of ∼50 nm on top of silicon substrates with a native oxide layer were irradiated by gallium ions with energies ranging from 1 to 30 keV in a focused ion beam system. High resolution in situ scanning electron microscopy imaging permits detailed insights in the dynamics of the morphology change and sputter yield. Compared to bulk-like structures or thin films, a pronounced shaping and enhanced sputtering in the nanostructures occurs, which enables a specific shaping of these structures using ion beams. This effect depends on the ratio of nanoparticle size and ion energy. In the investigated energy regime, the sputter yield increases at increasing ion energy and shows a distinct dependence on the nanoparticle size. The experimental findings are directly compared to Monte Carlo simulations obtained from iradina and TRI3DYN, where the latter takes into account dynamic morphological and compositional changes of the target.