I just want a Pet Why do I need to talk to a breeder and WHY are dogs from breeders so expensive               


"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 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 housetrain, and both are equally intelligent and affectionate. Both are excellent with children, and both make excellent companions. Problems of aggressiveness, which males of other breeds may exhibit, should not occur in the Aussie. Sex-related behavior such as mounting and marking may be exhibited by some male Aussies, particularly if other males are present or if the male has been used for breeding. Neutering a male before a year of age will not only help to alleviate these problems, but will also eliminate the risk of testicular cancer.  Since there is no responsible reason NOT to spay a bitch (unless she was bought from a serious hobby breeder specifically for showing or breeding), the estrous cycle in the female need not be a consideration.             

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.   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.  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.

·       Housetraining a puppy can take at least 6 months.  With a daily time commitment of every 2-4 hours. 

·       A puppy will benefit from a socialization class at around 12-14 weeks old 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.  A tired puppy is a calm puppy. 

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the Aussie

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.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 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. 

What about spaying and neutering             


The GRCA Public Education Committee wrote: "The Case For Spaying And Neutering Many reputable breeders sell "pet" quality puppies with the agreement that the animal will be neutered. These puppies are sometimes sold at a lower price than the "show prospect" puppies, even though they have the same excellent pedigree and have received the same care and attention. 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 more tolerant of other males, but neutering will not, by itself, turn your Aussie into an obese, lazy animal . . .that is the result of excess food and insufficient exercise. Benefits of spaying include not having to worry about accidental breeding, the stress and inconvenience of confining the bitch in season, risky "mismating" shots, and unwanted puppies. The spayed bitch will not develop uterine infections or tumors of the reproductive system, as do so many older unspayed bitches. The Canadian Kennel Club permits spayed and neutered Aussies to participate in all phases of obedience, tracking, field work, agility and junior handling, but not in most conformation classes." 

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 40-55lbs.  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

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. Yearly shots, heartworm preventative, flea/tick treatment throughout the summer, 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 Persistant 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 and twice a year they lose most of their coat. Anyone intent on a "hair free" home, should reconsider getting an Aussie. 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. A thorough grooming to trim the hair on the paws, tail, and around the ears needs to be done on a monthly basis.   

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 and 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. 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.       

Frequently Asked Questions

This page will be continually updated.    It will be full of useful information about Australian Shepherds of ALL sizes and websites that can be accessed for training and health issues.  Please check back anytime.....

Just for starters......  Here is one that we refer to when looking for genetic info.


Also..... If you would like a free newsletter delivered to your e-dress click on...


​Want to learn about crate training?  This website offers more insight into why, how, do's, and don't, about crate training than we've ever seen.


Having a problem or have a question about your pup? ferret? goldfish? parrot? Go to Drs. Foster and Smith for answers and lots of quality low cost pet supplies.  Google what you are looking for in the search box.                                                       www.DrsFosterSmith.com 



In this section we hope to address some of the questions frequently asked by other breeders and customers.   

Here we will post links to websites that offer explanations,  genetic testing, and other health clearances specific to ALL  sizes of Australian Shepherds.  Please click on the links to read about them.  All of these labs offer testing specific to Aussies.  With the technology available today there is no excuse for a breeder not to test their dogs.  Some labs offer additional tests not listed.  Many run specials for multiple dogs.

MDR1  ~ www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vcpl 

HC, MDR1   ~ www.horsetesting.com/canine/hc.htm

PRA,  MDR1,  HC  ~ are all offered by www.genomia.cz 

CEA/CH,  CD,  CMR,  PRA  ~ are all offered by www.optigen.com 

MDR1, DM  ~  www.gensoldx.com  

Explanations of color  ~  www.doggenetics.co.uk

=========================================                      SIZE!  Does it matter?ABSOLUTELY!!!  

If you're hankering for a handsome Australian shepherd but want a smaller dog, no problem. These versatile canines come in standard, miniature and toy sizes. No matter the size, these dogs all share the same qualities.

Potty Train Your Dog Fast
Within 6 days, your dog will neverpee and poop inside again - ever.


The Australian shepherd didn't originate in Australia. The breed, affectionately known as the Aussie, hails from the Pyrenees Mountains region between France and Spain. According to the American Kennel Club, the dog was referred to as the Australian shepherd because Basque shepherds originally from the Pyrenees area brought these dogs to the United States from Australia in the 19th century. The dog also has been called the California shepherd and the New Mexican shepherd. While the energetic, friendly Aussie excels as a ranch and farm dog, he can live in suburbia if there's a large backyard and he receives lots of exercise. He's really not suited for city living, unless his person can give him the amount of exercise this active breed requires.

Standard Australian Shepherd

Male Australian shepherds mature between 20 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder, with females standing between 18 to 21 inches high. Males weigh between 50 and 65 pounds, while females range between 40 to 55 pounds. Permissible colors include black, red and blue or red merle -- a solid base color with marbling. White markings and tan points are common. White is allowed on the legs, chest, neck, under the muzzle and as part of a facial blaze. Their medium-length coats can be wavy or straight. Australian shepherds sport feathering on the backs of their legs and their "britches," or the area on either side of the tail to the legs.

Miniature Australian Shepherd

At maturity, miniature Australian shepherds range between 15 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder, weighing between 25 to 40 pounds. Males are larger than females. Other than size, the miniature Australian shepherd looks exactly like the standard version. The breed was created by mating standard Aussies maturing on the small size to each other, until the resulting puppies remained true to size and type.

Toy Australian Shepherd

The toy is the smallest version of the Aussie, created by a similar breeding-down process. Toy Australian shepherds stand between 10 and 14 inches tall at the shoulder when full-grown, weighing between 12 and 17 pounds. Although he's small, the toy Aussie possesses all the herding instincts of his larger relatives. Unlike some other small dogs, who are relatively fragile, he's a good choice as a child's companion and gets along with other animals. These little dogs need plenty of stimulation and exercise.

=========================================                      Canine Brucellosis

Canine brucellosis is an infections disease caused by the Brucella bacteria.  The illness in dogs is caused by Brucella canis (B. canis).  The Brucella organism is a unique type of bacteria that prefers to live and replicate inside of cells.  It also has a special affinity for a chemical only made by cells of the reproductive tract.  Thus, Brucellosis affects the reproductive tract of the dog and bitch.

How is Canine Brucellosis Transmitted It has long been thought, and is still the common perception that Brucellosis is only a sexually transmitted disease.  THIS INFORMATION IS INCORRECT.  Canine Brucellosis is most often transmitted through sexual contact or nose or mouth contact with the vaginal discharge of an infected female while in heat, abortion or whelping.  However, it can also be transmitted through contact with the urine, saliva, nasal and ocular secretions and feces of an infected animal.  Bitches can transfer the disease to any live offspring.   My dogs in particular are a perfect example of non-sexual transmission.  My male was infected by a dog at a dog show (probably through nasal/vaginal contact) with no sexual contact, and our beloved Jersey was already spayed when she contracted it through being kenneled with Luke.  This is the reason we, as breeders and dog owners, must lobby for required testing for all dogs being admitted to a show grounds, those in shelters, and annual tests for all dogs that are still complete.  In order to eradicate this disease, we must test, and destroy, all animals that carry it. For more inforamtion- http://www.wiseachers.com/brucellosis


Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Age Vaccination

  • 4 weeks Parvovirus: for puppies at high risk of exposure to parvo, some veterinarians recommend vaccinating at 5 weeks. 
  • 6 & 9 weeks Combination vaccine* without leptospirosis.
    ​A combination vaccine, often called a 5-way vaccine, usually includes adenovirus cough and hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Some combination vaccines may also include leptospirosis (9-way vaccines) and/or coronavirus. The inclusion of either canine adenovirus-1 or adenovirus-2 in a vaccine will protect against both adenovirus cough and hepatitis; adenovirus-2 is highly preferred.
  • 12 weeks or older Rabies: Given by your local veterinarian (age at vaccination may vary according to local law).
  • 12 & 15 weeks** Combination vaccine 
    • Leptospirosis: include leptospirosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs. 
    • Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
  • Adult (boosters)§ Combination vaccine 
    • Leptospirosis: include leptospirosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs. 
    • Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs. 
    • Rabies: Given by your local veterinarian (time interval between vaccinations may vary according to local law).