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Owning an Australian Shepherd : Breeder Recommendations

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When shopping around for an Australian Shepherd, you will find the approach and information for this working class dog to be quite different from buying a Cairn Terrier to use for the show ring. Obviously, these two breeds are very different, each with special qualities. Regardless of the line, all will have good and not so good points.

In other words, if you are looking for a perfect line for an Australian Shepherd, you need to remember there is no such thing. While you can get close to clean lines, you can never be perfect.

Owning an Australian Shepherd

 

Owning an Australian Shepherd

Even so, the goal in buying an Australian Shepherd is to find a breeder that knows his or her stuff, developing a dog that comes close to perfect regarding type, temperament, structure, ability, performance, health, and so on. For your part, you want to look for bloodlines with the strongest links possible.

Although you will likely pay more for a better bloodline, depending on how you intend to use the Aussie, it would probably be worth it. Now, if you just wanted an Aussie as a family pet and nothing more, then a near-perfect bloodline would not be as important as you wanting a herd dog for work would.

To ensure you buy only the best Australian Shepherd possible, you want to do your homework to understand every aspect of this dog. That way, you are not merely depending on the word of the breeder but can actually check the withers, the hips, the eyes, and so on yourself.

In addition, make sure the breeder has had the litter checked for various genetic problems, which would include retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia, both devastating diseases to a working dog.

If you wanted an Aussie for the show ring, which includes appearance and agility showing, then remember that breeders will probably inbreed or line breed as a means of achieving the physical goals, quickly.

While a top sire would be chosen, a good breeder would know there is much more to the formula than this. In other words, genetics make a huge difference in whether a dog wins a ribbon or not, which is a complex issue.

The bottom line is that working breeders of the Australian Shepherd should not just turn away from breeders focusing on genetics. You want a breeder that understands the strengths and weaknesses of this breed, being capable of developing litters that are fine specimens, again as close to perfect as possible.

Any breeder should be open to answer questions, be willing to show you both mother and father, and have spent ample time socializing the puppies so they are not just excellent working dogs but also gentle, loyal family additions.

 

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