Questions & Answers

Always be aware of MDR1.

Some breeder do test for this now. There are still many that are not.  Better known as the *Buster Alert* It is a whole list of drugs that can interact with your dog in an adverse way. Some potentially deadly with a single dose. If your breeder of choice has not provided you with the list of drug interactions then google it and print it for your records. Always leave a copy with your vet for your companions file.


How long have we been breeding Miniature Australian Shepherd since 2004. We had Australian Shepherds previous to this. We have been breeding Australian Shepherds since 1999. We wanted a more compact dog with the same attributes. They led us to where we are today with the Miniature variety.


Is there any difference between the Regular, Miniature and Toy?
They are the same breed. Temperament is the same and health problems are the same. The only difference is the size. They still require the same activity level and attention.


What kind of food do you feed or recommend?
We currently feed kibble. However I am on the hunt for a supplier of RAW food. Until I find one that I know I can trust, my dog will remain on kibble. I have fed RAW in the past and love it! Our companions are currently fed a high quality Gluten Free Grain Free Turkey formulation.


What does your vet check for?
The vet checks for heart murmurs, joints, navel hernias, weight, fleas, teeth (bite structure), temperature and if a male, that testicle have descended. They inject them with there first set of vaccinations as well as de-worm the puppy for the third or in some cases the fourth time. It is a basic check up that every puppy goes through. We also want your new puppy to meet your vet and get a once over to confirm everything that my vet has staited on the paper work.


How often do you de-worm the puppy?
We de-worm them at 2,4 and 6 wks of age. The vet de-worms them at 8 wks of age. They should be  de-wormed at every vet visit after this. If you take your puppy or dog out to dog parks or where there are other dogs have been present, they should be de-wormed at least every six mnths.


What is the average life expectancy of this breed?
The average life expectancy for most Regular Australian Shepherd according to books is about 8yrs. I have yet to see one live any less then 12yrs plus. If looked after correctly. Once you get into the smaller breeds the life expectancy goes up. Smaller dogs tend to live longer.


What colors are they offered in?
They are offered in Red Tri, Red Merle, Blk Tri, Blue Merle. There are different  variations of these colors but these are the four basic colors.


What does the genetic health guarantee cover?
It covers anything that is genetically related. Hips, eyes, murmurs any hereditary disorders that are directly related by me breeding these two adults together. Keep in mind though. The puppy must never be fed puppy food. When your puppy goes home he/she will be on an adult dry kibble. There are a couple of higher end foods that we highly recommend. If at any time the puppy is fed a lower end food or a puppy food the health guarantee is no longer valid. We cannot guarantee that it has not adversly effected your new companion. Please ask which foods would be excepted. If changing foods for any reason let the breeder know so you can see if it will void the guarantee. We have many puppies on different adult foods. We do not restrict you to one certain kind.

What do you get if a genetic problem arises?
You get another puppy from a different breeding line.
I will never take your puppy from you though. If you decide to keep your puppy you can. If a vet of my choosing confirms your vets findings. I will replace the puppy when you feel you are ready  and a litter of puppies is available of different breeding. If you opt not to keep the puppy. The puppy will be return to us and we will assume all responsibility an expenses for the puppy from the time of being returned to us. We are not accountable for any expenses that have occured while not in our care. Again when you feel you are ready and another puppy is available of different breeding. At no time will money be refunded.


Are they hypo allergenic?
They are not hypo allergenic. Although I have had a few puppies go to homes for people with allergies to dogs and have been fine. It totally depend on the person and the digree of there allergy.


Why an Aussie?
Australian Shepherds are a truly versatile breed. Not only are they agile working dogs, they are also extremely intelligent animals and wonderful family companions. A very endearing quality of Aussies is their intense desire to please their owners; this makes them quick learners and loyal friends. Aussies are naturally reserved with strangers, but they should never be shy, timid or aggressive. They do have strong territorial instincts and are naturally possessive and protective of their owners and home. When raised with children, Aussies love kids and quickly become a predictable and devoted family member. Aussies do not need a huge yard to run in, but they do need daily exercise and attention. They love to play ball and frisbee. It’s hard to keep most of them out of water.


If you are looking for a sporting dog. This breed is amazing. They are versatle, learn quickly and always eager to please. We currently do compete in Flyball avidly, dabble in Agility, St. John’s Therapy, freestyle disk, Herding, Conformation. We have even ventured into duck retrieval with one of our companions. We wanted to test the true vesatility in this breed. If it makes you happy, they will try it! They are the true versatile dog with an off switch. They can be great foot warmers and lap warmers. Face hiders during that scary movie. They just want to be with there human companion.


How do I choose my Aussie?
Make a point to look at several litters before making your final decision. Take note of the conditions in which the adults and pups are being raised. Is their environment clean? Is there adequate room for exercise, plenty of shade and shelter? Do the older dogs appear to be happy and well cared for? Ask to see the sire and dam if possible. Do they seem to be well mannered and not aggressive or fearful? Remember that the dam may still be a little protective if introduced around the pups, and her condition may not be the best since raising a family is quite demanding. The pups should be outgoing and eager to play. The puppies should look well fed, their coats should be clean and healthy, their gums should be pink, their eyes should be clear of any discharge, the inside of the ears should not be red or inflamed, and the pups in general should have a healthy, happy attitude. Spend some time playing with the puppies and get a feel for their different personalities. Ask the breeder for further background on puppies that catch your eye; sometimes a pup may have a slightly different character than the one he displays while you are visiting. A concerned breeder will be honest and candid in discussing each puppy with you since their goal is to find the pup that will most likely match your lifestyle and fulfill your expectations. After leaving, make notes on the puppies you liked and on your general impressions. Do this with each litter you visit. Then, when you feel like you have a good basis for comparison, sit down and go over your notes. Call back with any additional questions you might have, or go back and visit again if you need to. Emotions are still going to play a big part in your decision, but at least with all this information at hand, you now have the basis for making an educated decision as well.


Always be careful with this one. As a breeder myself I do want you to see how other puppies are raised and cared for and do want you to make an informed decision. I also know there are many breeders that harbour diseases in there kennels. Some are aware and some ar not aware of it. Last thing that any of us want is to have something trasfer. If going to another kennel please let us know and we have special boot covers for your shoes and hand sanitizer to ensure that nothing is transported to our companions. It will not prevent everything but we can help to minimize it. Our companions health and care is our biggest concern!


Should I get a male or a female?
Although male and female Miniature Australian Shepherds share many of the same characteristics. Most of the personality differences between the two sexes are minimal or non-existent if the animal in question are spayed/neutered.


Bringing your puppy home
It is always an exciting time when you welcome a new puppy into your home. You need to remember though, that it can also be a stressful and confusing time for the new pup. You should provide a sleeping area, preferably near the activities of the household, but also quiet and out of the way. A dog crate would be a good investment at this time. Let the puppy know this is his/her bed and a safe place to be. If there are children in the family, they will want to play with the new puppy a lot. While puppies play and are active, they also require a good deal of sleep. Do not fall in the trap of going to the puppy to comfort him for making noise. He will learn that crying is a good way to get attention. You might take him out to play with him and tire him out just a little before bedtime so he will be ready to sleep.


Nutrition and good health
A name brand adult food is the best choice for your puppy. It is a good idea to feed what the breeder has been feeding and not change his diet, since changes can lead to digestive problems and diarrhea. Also, your puppy does not need table scraps, which may likewise cause problems. Never give your puppy cooked bones or chocolate. You may either free-feed (leave food out) or put down food for the puppy three, decreasing to two times a day as he puppy matures. Fresh water should be available to the puppy at all times. Watch your puppy to make sure he does not get too fat. A fat puppy is not a healthy puppy and obesity is hard on developing bones and joints. Be sure you keep your puppy’s vaccinations up-to-date. Distemper and Parvo are both killers and if your puppy should survive these (and other) dreaded diseases, they may still ruin his health for the remainder of his life. We do not do Heart Worm prevention. See “BUSTER ALERT”. There are many drugs that can prove to be deadly to your companion. Always have this list on hand to show your vet or keep in your companions file. Don’t be afraid to remind your vet about it if you are unsure.


Aussies generally housebreak quite easily. The key to good house habits is consistency by the owner. The puppy should, if he must be left alone, be in the yard (with shelter and water) or in an area where he is not expected to refrain from relieving himself. When the puppy is in the main part of the house, the owner should be present. When the puppy wakes from a nap, he should go outside and be praised when he relieves himself. Watch the puppy for sniffing and circling in the house; this probably means he is looking for a place to go. Take him outside and again praise. If you catch him too late, “in the act,” do not spank him but scold him slightly and take him outside or to a place where he is allowed to potty. Soon the puppy may go to the door and “ask” to be let out. Praise the puppy for this action. A crate is a handy tool for housebreaking. Most dogs do not like to relieve themselves where they sleep and this teaches some control. Remember that a puppy does not have a great deal of control and use the crate only for short periods of time. When he comes out of the crate, he should be immediately let outside and, after he relieves himself, allowed to play in the house.


Crate training
To some people, a dog crate seems like cruelty to the dog. However, if presented correctly, it is just the opposite. It gives the dog a place that belongs to him, a safe den where he can go if he wants to be left alone or rest. It also gives you a place to keep your dog at the times when you do not want him underfoot, like a dinner party or a cookout, and a safe way of traveling your dog. If you crate your dog in the car, he can be left with the windows completely down. It is extremely dangerous to leave your dog in a closed car in warm weather or riding loose in the back of a truck. Also if you should have an auto accident, your dog is not likely to be thrown out of the car or escape in the confusion. Motel rooms generally prefer crated dogs. To crate train your dog, first select a crate that will be large enough to fit him as an adult. The puppy should be fed in his crate, and encouraged to sleep in it with the door open. He may be left with the door closed for short periods of time once he is used to it. Avoid leaving a puppy in a crate for extended periods of time. NEVER use the crate as a punishment. The location should be out of the way but near family activity.


The Aussie is by nature a one-family or one-person dog. They do not accept all people as their natural “friends” as do some breeds. They are selective. This is not a fault. It makes them a better protector of their home and their family. Because of this part of their nature, it is a good idea to expose them to different situations and strangers often and at an early age. While they may not go tail-waggingly up to every stranger on the street, they should be taught to be mannerly and accept the presence of non-threatening people and situations.


The Australian Shepherd is an easy dog to train. Being a working stock dog, he has been bred to learn to take directions and listen to his owner. He is also bred to be able to think on his own and make decisions for himself. It is up to you, the owner, to teach the dog what is, and is not, allowed. When he is a puppy, he must learn to look to you as his leader or you could be in for trouble when he becomes an adult. This does not mean you need to treat your puppy roughly. If trained correctly, Aussies readily accept the authority of their human and a harsh word is often as effective as physical punishment. While he is eating, your puppy should allow you to be present and to take away his food. He should not growl or nip at you when you try to make him do something. Aussies are very intelligent and will test you from time to time.


It is highly recommended that you teach your puppy some obedience. It is much more enjoyable to have a well-mannered dog that can go out for a walk than a lurching, wild dog that pulls you along or runs away when off lead. It is also a satisfying experience to train your dog and have a dog that listens to you and minds you. The Aussie is an extremely quick learner and enjoys the attention and the mental challenge of learning what you have to teach him. Even a young puppy, if taught in a positive manner, with no force, can learn basic obedience. Look for obedience training classes in your area or read some of the many good books on this subject. For your peace of mind, and your dog’s safety, he should know at least these basics: sit, down, stay, come, and be able to walk at your side.


What are the most common genetic diseases?
There are many diseases that affect Australian Shepherds. The most common of these are eye diseases include:

    * Cataracts
* CEA (Collie Eye Anomaly)
* PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
* Detached Retinas
* Colobomas
* Small eye

Other diseases that commonly affect Aussies are:

    * CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia)
* VWD (von Willebrand’s Disease)
* PH (Pelger-Huet)
* Epilepsy

Eye and hip problems are much more common than any of the others, so be sure that breeders have clearances on hips (OFA, PennHIP) and eyes (CERF) for all their breeding stock.


Why are tails docked?
Many Aussie tails are naturally bobbed (NBTs). NBTs can come in almost any length. Natural tails (long tails) taper at the end, whereas NBTs stop short at a stub or “bob”. Those dogs with long NBTs or with natural tails are most often docked.

Probably the most popular reason for short tails is due to working. Tails have a different coat texture and are more prone to collect burrs when working in dense brush. These burrs, if left untended, can cause extreme pain and irritation to the dog. Also, there have been many undocumented cases of tails being broken from cattle stepping on them and gates being slammed shut on them.

Another reason cited is that the short tail is a “signature,” or recognizable characteristic, of the breed. The breed standard calls for a tail less than four inches long. Docking tails lends to consistency and type within the breed.

However in recent years it is becoming more common to have puppies that are left with tails. There are more and more vets that do not believe in this practise thus forcing the breed to have tails. It is becoming more of a personal preference.