Despite Australian Shepherds becoming one of the most highly sought after dogs, finding qualified Australian Sheepdog breeders can be challenging. So how does one go about finding a really good breeder?
One of the best places to find Australian Shepherds breeders is dog shows. These shows will present opportunities to talk with different owners of the breed, who can offer tips on top breeders as well as recommendations on which breeders might be best left alone. At the same time, this presents an excellent opportunity to talk about what it takes to raise Australian Sheepdog puppies as well as the breed in general. There is a very good chance you will be able to find breeders at these shows as well, so be sure to adhere to due diligence and get all of the information that you can. There is, at best, only a remote chance that the breeder will have a litter available, but once a working relationship has been established you can call them and inquire further. Eventually you will be able to find an Aussie breeder that works for you, having either puppies available immediately or in the near future.
When assessing breeders of Australian Shepherds, be aware that you are looking for someone committed to the breed. If it seems the breeder is pressuring you to make a quick decision, perhaps appearing too anxious to have you stop by to visit his litter, it is best to avoid him. His puppies might have something wrong with them, such as an illness, like hip dysplasia. This is a disease that Australian Shepherds are susceptible to, one characterized by a deterioration of the hip. This will lead eventually to an arthritic condition. There is a very good chance that this disease is genetic in origin, and it can be a painful and crippling disease. Australian Shepherd breeding is costly, and some irresponsible breeders look to cutting corners. They have no qualms about not having put their dog through proper testing for genetic deficiencies.
Usually, reputable Australian Shepherds breeders will be willing to answer any questions that you might have, and chances are good that they will even have a number of questions prepared for you. A good breeder can be characterized by their willingness to talk about the dog, doing everything that they can to ensure that their puppies go to a responsible and caring home. While some of the questions might seem invasive, don’t take offense, they know what it takes to properly raise and care for the breed, and they are only working to make sure the outcome is to everyone’s satisfaction. Good Aussie breeders will also have no problem discussing their breeding pair, as well as showcasing any shows or awards that they might have won. It is best to be prepared to visit with the breeding pair, spending time with the litter and possibly your future companion. Use the opportunity to see the dog and its traits.
Remember, the primary task of a breeder at this stage is to find the puppy a loving home, and it is the sign of good Australian Sheepdog breeders when they are looking to do so. So committed are they to what they are doing that they should be willing to take back the puppy if you are no longer able to care for it, without reimbursement. It takes a certain type of person to be Australian Shepherd puppy breeders, and most that do so take really good care of their dogs, and have a firm understanding of their needs. It is likely that finding a good breeder will be easier than you think.
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