Australian Shepherd Puppies

How our Australian Shepherd Puppies Are Raised

Parents and puppies - what I do and what that means for your future with your new family member

Puppies parents are OFA certified (Hips), and have yearly visits to an ophthalmologist for eye exam and are clear of cataract genes, which is responsible for 70% of NON AGE related cataracts. They are also tested for the other potential genetic diseases that can affect Australian Shepherds. 


All  our Australian Shepherd puppies are sold with health guarantees relating to hips and eyes and require buyers to follow spay and/or neutering recommendations. Because environment plays a huge role in development and health of bones, ligaments and tendons, feeding and supplementation recommendations must be followed for at least 2 years to be honored.  I am happy to send you the current research regarding spay and neutering.  


Our puppies have been de-wormed and have had age appropriate immunizations, eyes examined by an ophthalmologist before going home.


Our puppies cannot be sold sight unseen.  They are both ASCA and AKC registered  and must be transferred into the new owners names. Please allow for the cost of transferring in two different registries, AKC and ASCA. This is $25-$35 for each organization.


Please take the time to read some of the links below to learn more about this amazing breed and to make sure that the Australian Shepherd is the right dog for you and family.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I just want a pet, why do I need to talk to a breeder and WHY are dogs from breeders more costly than the newspaper or craigslist?

Just a "pet" encompasses an awful lot! You want your pet to be healthy; no crippling hip problems, no potentially fatal heart defects, no chronic skin and ear problems, and most of all, you want that Aussie temperament that you've heard so much about! There are no guarantees in dog breeding, but as with most other things, a person's skills improve with experience and study.  A responsible hobby breeder knows that breeding means much more than putting two intact dogs together and waiting 9 weeks for puppies. It involves carefully researching pedigrees, screening for defects, proper care of the dam (mother) while she's pregnant and skillful handling of the new puppies during the critical first 8 weeks of life.


Finding a responsible breeder who has become a student of the breed and holistic rearing techniques has the level of knowledge necessary to make good decisions significantly raises your chances of finding the healthy, stable pet you are looking for.


As far as expense, you are adding a new member to your family for the next 10-15 years. Now is not the time to penny pinch! The breeder you are seeking will have considerable expense involved in the selection, raising, competition and screening of her dogs. A pet store puppy often costs as much as a well bred one and a "bargain" puppy from the newspaper is frequently NO bargain when you take into account the possible costs involved with serious medical or temperament problems.


What are the main differences between a male and a female?

Temperamentally, there is little difference between the sexes in Aussies. Neither sex is harder to house train, and both are equally intelligent and affectionate. When well socialized both are excellent with children, and both make excellent companions. Sex-related behavior such as mounting and marking may be exhibited by some male Aussies (and some females, this is dominance play, not sexual), particularly if other males are present or if the male has been used for breeding. I have seen males be a little more protective of their home and car than females, intact or not, socialization and many, varied, exposures as a pup and throughout adulthood is key to a well adjusted Aussie.


I work how can I properly raise a puppy?

Working should not prohibit you from raising a puppy, however a puppy does demand extra time and attention, you will need to make provisions to care for your puppy. If you are gone from home 8-12 hours a day and your dog will be alone all this time, an Aussie is not the best choice for your life-style. Caring for a puppy brings responsibilities and obligations that need to be considered.  A puppy turns into a dog and an Aussie will eventually grow to be between 40-65 lbs. and stand 18-23" high and the time you spend shaping this puppy will directly determine the adult he/she will become. This puppy will need to be cared for on a daily basis for the next 10-16 years, this will become a family member, (living/breathing) not an item or thing that is disposable.


A puppy needs the following: A puppy needs to relieve himself every 2-4 hours, until they are at least 6 months old. Puppies generally defecate 5 to 6 times a day and urinate even more.  You will need to get up during the night to take your puppy out. An easy way to figure out how many hours a puppy can be expected to control their bladder is to take the puppy's age in months and add 1. For example a 4 month-old puppy will need to go out every 5 hours. House training a puppy to a high degree of reliability can take at least 6 months, within a couple of months they get it in their head, but can not always hold it while you are on the phone etc. Training is a daily time commitment of every 2-4 hours for the first few months. A puppy will benefit from a socialization class at around 8-12-14 weeks old other age appropriate classes after the first socialization class and an obedience class after 6 months. Even people who adopt older rescue dogs can benefit from a class to help them teach the dog what is expected of him.  Puppies require a minimum of three 20-minute low-impact aerobic play sessions per day and older dogs need regular exercise on a daily basis, both ages need mental stimulation. A tired puppy is a calm puppy.  Puppies need exposure to new sounds, new sights, new textures, new people, young and old every week over several months. Mainly living life and taking them with you. If you work long hours and just want to come home and crash, an Aussie will not be a good fit for your life-style.


I have children how are Australian Shepherds with Children?

Aussies can be wonderful family dogs, however parents need to be aware of a few precautions. First and foremost, children need to be taught how to interact with a dog and Aussies are no exception. Each year many children are victims of dog bites and this can be due to ongoing mistreatment of the dog by children or because the dog and family were not properly matched by the breeder or rescue. A responsible breeder or rescue organization will make sure that any puppy they place with children is temperamentally suited for an active family. Socialization is key to this as are kind, well mannered children who can love and respect another living being.


Many Aussies become homeless due to the fact that an adult has added an Aussie to the family for the wrong reasons:  As a gift to a child with the expectation that the child will be the primary caretaker.  To play with the children and keep them occupied, giving the adults more free time, without plans to supervise the interactions.  Adding an Australian Shepherd to the family can be wonderful, but adults must understand the responsibilities that are involved. The feeding, grooming, exercising, formal obedience lessons, etc are the entire family's responsibility but must be supervised and coordinated by an adult. Being the primary caretaker for a dog is not a job that can be left to the children.  You should be certain that your busy life leaves time for an active Australian Shepherd before you purchase or adopt one.  


Recommended reading: "Childproofing Your Dog" by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson  


Are they easy to train?

Aussies are generally quite easy to train; however training takes time and repetition. It is highly suggested that you sign up for an obedience class. Methods have changed throughout the years and training in general will help to bond you and your Aussies. Learning how to communicate with your dog will ensure a successful relationship. Aussies respond very well to positive reinforcement of good behavior. Use treats and praise to train, never harsh punishments. Being able to be a strong leader and say what you mean and mean what you say is very important with an Aussie maybe even more-so than with other breeds. If you are not willing to be the leader of your pack (human and dog) an Aussie will be more than happy to try and fill that role. This is not good and bad behaviors start here, with lack of strong, firm yet loving human leadership skills.


What about spaying and neutering?

We recommend our puppies to ultra responsible dog owners and recommend a delayed time-line for spaying and neutering based on duplicated studies and well researched science and have guarantees connected to delaying spaying or neutering until at least 1 year-15 months of age. Research is showing that there is an increase in hip dysplaysia and certain cancers associated with early spaying or neutering. These hormones, just as in humans, do more than control reproductive health. They relate to building bone and muscle.  This requires a very responsible owner. If you think this is too much to deal with please let us know and we will direct you to breeders that do not ask this and do not connect it to hip guarantees, although more and more breeders are reading this research and are asking for delayed spay and neuters to honor their hip and elbow guarantees.  The basic disposition and temperament of your dog WILL NOT be changed by removing his or her reproductive capability. Neutering a male can make him slightly less dominate but so can a good and balanced relationship with his owner. Classes and exercises that require communication and understanding between dog and handler make for a happy, well behaved and mostly obedient dog.  Some people use spaying or neutering as a crutch in lieu of the energy required for training and growing a dynamic, personal and responsible relationship with their dog. They are disappointed when neutering does not magically make everything easy. These are smart dogs, well worth the effort to train and grow with-they are the best. But not if left untrained with nothing to think about.


How big do they get?

A well-bred male will stand 20-23" high at the shoulder and weigh between 50-65 lbs. Females stand 18-21" at the shoulder and weigh between 40-55 lbs. However in reality there are many Aussies that range outside of the standard.


How long do they live?

A well-bred, well-cared for Aussie lives 10 -12 years on average. Sometimes 15 years.


Can we raise two puppies at one time?

Yes, but this will be twice as much mess, time, training, and expense. An important part of adopting an Aussie is the continuing financial responsibility. Routine veterinary care and food range from $800 to $1200 per year for one dog that has no health issues. Feeding well: raw is best, grain free kibble is next best, but a DISTANT second place behind raw. This way of feeding has the potential to cut down on medical bills. Toys, classes, grooming and feeding a premium food add up quickly. This does not include any emergency medical treatments or surgeries that a dog may need at some point in his/her life. Many breeders will not sell two puppies a the same time, worrying that the arrangement is not in the puppy's best interest. Some recommend that you consider a puppy and then an older rescue dog or that you wait until your puppy is at least 6 months old before getting another.


Will my Aussie make a good outdoor dog? 

The Australian Shepherd is not intended to live as an outside dog as they are very people orientated and are miserable being separated from the family they love! If you are not interested in keeping your Aussie indoors, this is not the dog for you. A lonely Aussie may bark incessantly, dig up the back yard or continuously escape to roam the neighborhood.


What health problems are seen in Aussies?

Aussies, unfortunately, are subject to a few health issues. Canine hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia can occur as can several eye problems such as Iris coloboma.


http://www.ashgi.org/home-page/genetics-info/eyes/iris-coloboma, Persistent pupilary membranes(PPM's for short), Collie Eye Anomaly and Cataracts.


To lower your chances of encountering these problems, Aussies should be purchased from responsible hobby breeders or reputable Australian Shepherd rescue organizations. Responsible breeders will screen parents for genetic disease and have health information on many, if not all the dogs for several generations back. Rescue groups will have adult dogs checked by a veterinarian, will investigate any apparent problems and will give adopters all health information they have discovered so an informed decision can be made.


Do Aussies shed?

Absolutely! Aussies shed a little all year round ( but not as much as shorter haired breeds do year around) and twice a year they loose most of their coat. When they start to blow their coat, it is a good time for a bath and a blow dry, at home or at the groomer. This removes much of the hair that would normally take 2 weeks to slowly fall out. Anyone intent on a "hair free" home, should reconsider getting an Aussie, or most dogs for that matter. Their coat requires brushing of at least once a week. Their hair can be long and can become matted if it isn't properly cared for and brushed weekly. A thorough grooming to trim the hair on the paws, tail, and around the ears needs to be done on a monthly to bi monthly basis. Aussie hair is wonderful in that, they can get muddy, hang out in the laundry room, dry and the dirt is gone. Dirt does not seem to stick to their hair.


How are Aussies with other pets?

Each dog is different and some Aussies relish time with another dog and others are more solitary. However, even if the dog is more solitary it is VERY important to socialize your puppy when they are young and continue to do so throughout their lives. Socializing means exposing your puppy to a variety of other puppies and dogs, people, places, things, sights, smells and sounds. Rescue Aussies are evaluated with other dogs and cats before they are placed, giving you a good idea if they will get along with any other pets they might be exposed to.


How much space do they need? How much exercise do they need?

Aussies are energetic dogs, bred to spend long hours in the field. Exercise requirements will depend largely on the age and condition of the dog and the individual dog's temperament. Young, healthy dogs will require several aerobically paced walks or interactive play sessions per day. Space need not be a major factor, as it is generally considered a myth that "these dogs need room to run". Most dogs left alone, outdoors, will nap rather than exercise. Aussies require mental stimulation, as well as regular exercise; if your life-style is sedentary, or you don't have a few hours a day to interact with your dog, an Aussie may not be the best choice.