10 tips to help you find a good Australian Shepherd breeder
Once you’ve decided that the Australian Shepherd is the right breed for you, you need to find a good breeder to make sure you get a quality dog. Don’t buy puppies from pet stores as they often come from puppy mills that give them little care.
So how do you know who is a good breeder and who is not? Here are some guidelines to help you:
1. Ask the breeder lots of questions based on the following points. Any breeder should be more than ready to share information and talk to you about their breeding program and their dogs. If not, be suspicious.
2. The breeder should also ask you a lot of questions. A good breeder will want to know that your puppies are going to the right home and will therefore ask you about your circumstances and what you want the dog for. Don’t get defensive if the breeder asks questions, it’s a good sign. In the end, you want to get a dog that is well suited to your lifestyle and character, and a good breeder should be able to assess this.
3. First of all, assess whether the breeder is knowledgeable about the breed or not. To evaluate this, you need to do some research yourself.
4. Ask the breeder about their breeding program – Basically, it’s about the dogs they choose to breed with, how they select sire and dam, and what they hope to ultimately achieve. They should be able to tell you about the genetics of various bloodlines and the prevailing temperaments. For example, some dogs are better for herding, others for displaying. A breeder who is very interested in herding will try to breed predominantly for those traits. This is great if you want a working dog for your farm, but if you want a dog as a family pet, then you will be looking for a breeder who tries to promote versatility.
5. Unfortunately, Australian Shepherds are genetically prone to certain health problems, such as eye problems and hip dysplasia. Ask the breeder how they have tested for these conditions and made sure that the breeding pair is free of these conditions. The breeder should even be able to show you authorization certificates.
6. Check with the breeder about other possible genetic qualities that the puppies may have inherited from their parents. This could be character, hip problems, eye problems, seizures, or energy level.
7. Make sure to visit the breeder and take a look at the parents for yourself. You can try to assess his temperament, character and behavior towards yourself (as a stranger). This will give you clues as to how the puppies might turn out.
8. When visiting, check that kennels are clean where dogs and puppies are kept. Dirty and unkempt facilities are warning signs.
9. Health problems: puppies should have received at least two sets of vaccinations before 2 months of age and have been dewormed. Make sure you can get all the shots and vaccination records when you receive the puppy. You should also be able to obtain registration documents, genetic clearances, and pedigree documents.
10. Finally, review the guarantees that the breeder can offer you for your puppy and make sure you get them in writing from the breeder.