Is an Aussie or Mini American Right For You?
Buying a puppy of any breed can be a 12-15 year commitment. So often people fall in love with a cute puppy for all the wrong reasons and end up with a lot of heartache or a dog that is not suitable for their lifestyle. If you are considering buying or adopting an Australian Shepherd or Miniature Australian Shepherd, you first need to learn as much as possible about the breed and then decide if it is the right kind of dog for you. We hope the following will help you with your decision.
The Aussie/Mini American were both developed as a farm and ranch dog, not only to work livestock, but also to be a companion and guardian of the family and the family's possessions. He is equally happy whether working or simply being with his owner or family, to whom he is very devoted. Because the Aussie must be able to take his masters command in order to control livestock, he is highly trainable, intelligent and willing to please - without these traits he would be useless as a livestock working dog. A versatile working dog, he is used across America to work cattle, sheep, goats and even poultry. Aussies have long been popular with small farmers who need a dog to help them, but don't have enough work to keep the dog continually busy.The Aussies' bond with his owner is a part of his heritage. Early day Aussies were often depended upon to guard the children while both parents were in the field. Valuable equipment and livestock were safe when the family Aussie was there.
Many Aussies are friendly with everyone, but the Australian Shepherd generally tends to be reserved and cautious with strangers. Reserved dogs can be encouraged to accept people with some success, but some never accept strangers. Aussies tend to form a stronger bond with their family and owners than some other breeds. This trait causes some dogs to become protective against what they perceive as a threat. Remember that dogs of any breed may become aggressive if they are poorly socialized and untrained.
Because these dogs were developed to manage livestock, their intelligence and energy needs to be used elsewhere if they are not to be worked. Obedience training is highly recommended, and Aussies will learn quickly. When raised with children, Aussies love kids and quickly become a playmate. Aussies don't necessarily need a farm to exercise on, but they do need daily exercise and attention. Young dogs of any breed will require more exercise the first year of their life than an older dog. Most Aussies love to play ball and Frisbee, and many love water and swimming.
If you are looking for a dog with an intense desire to please and who is very loyal to you and your family, the Aussie will make you a wonderful companion as well as a great working partner if you have livestock. You should be aware of his territorial instincts and that he may be naturally possessive and protective of his owners and home. You and your environment will greatly determine the dog you end up with.
"The Australian Shepherd is intelligent, primarily a working dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. He is and exceptional companion. He is versatile and easily trained, performing his assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm. He is reserved with strangers but does not exhibit shyness. Although an aggressive, authoritative worker, viciousness toward people or animals is intolerable." This says it all. If this dog fits your lifestyle, enjoy your Aussie!
THE MINIATURE AMERICAN SHEPHERD
IS THE EXACT SAME AS THE AUSTRALIAN IN LOOK/PERSONALITY JUST IN A SMALLER PACKAGE.
For The Breed Standard on Australian Shepherds or Miniature American Shepherds
Please Visit AKC at the links below:
Its Not A Crime... To Buy A Purebred Puppy...
Sometimes people don't understand why a particular breed of puppy is priced to what it is or in their opinion, priced too high. I will try to shed a little light on the truth of being a dog breeder regarding the real hard work involved and the overhead expenses when you do it right. This is why you often might read on the internet, "IF you do it right, there is no money in it." Well, that is not exactly true. There is money in it. Some months are more profitable than others. I do get paid at the end of litter care. I do enjoy all aspects of it. Some will comment, "How can you see them go? Is it hard?" I do get bonded with puppies, and certain litters will always stand out in my mind. I am however, at the end of 8 weeks after all the meds, making the puppy gruel 4 times a day, weaning the pups, ready for them to go into their pet homes. I know we give them love and attention, but they even get more when they go home. And my heart is happy for them and I am blessed that I have raised a healthy puppy that will now give loads of love to their new family and in return get it back. This is not a complaint, but in short, here is a list of some of my overhead expenses, because from the outside it can look like a glamorized business, but there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes.
- Advertising fees.
-Dog food every 4 weeks. My dogs are fed a high quality kibble.
-Distemper and Rabies Vaccinations for adult dogs and age appropriate vaccines for every puppy born.
-Deworming meds on adults and puppies. I also use pyrantel, safeguard and metronidazole preventatives.
- Parvo and DHPPC vaccines.
-Electricity, heat lamps, air-conditioners, forced air blow-dryers.
-Natural gas heat.
-Dog supplies, puppy supplies, playpens, bowls, fencing.
-OFA Hip, Elbow & Patella as well as CERF testing on adults and some puppies that will stay in the program, Genetic Panel testing on Adults.
-Milk replacement when necessary, including goat-milk and other special recipes. Depending on the need, it can be in the hundreds of dollars for a litter when feeding every 2-3 hours.
-Never ending vet bills: ultrasounds, blood progesterone testing, tail docking, teeth cleaning, blood chems, treating small infections or injuries. Averages about $300.00 to $900 per month. About $1200 more if c-sections are required. Artificial insemination.
-Vet: certificate of health $250 per litter of 8 pups.
- Puppy Kit items: $150.00 per Kit ( food, supplies, collar, leash, toy, chews, supplements )
- Grooming supplies. shampoos, conditioners, clipper cool, combs, brushes, nail clippers, clippers which breaks down on occasion or needs complete replacing, blades, scissors, grooming table, dematting tools. Ear cleaning solution, feeding tubes, nipples, the list goes on and on.
-Needles, rabies, distemper combo vaccines 1x annually.
- health records, customer folders, temperament tests, and other basic materials.
-printer, copier, ink etc.
- C-sections when needed approx $1200 (scheduled) or $2800 (emergency).
- My time. 4 hours per photo shoot, which happens weekly, vet appts, yard cleaning, grooming time, customer service via phone before and after the sale, facebook, website design. Spending hours a day socializing, training, cleaning and rearing of the puppies. Time on the road to the airport or meeting the customer up to 5 hours one way. Time at your pick up appt. Time getting your puppy ready to go. Most days, I easily put in 12 to 14 hour days.
It's a good thing I enjoy this business and I do enjoy the relationships I build with my customers! Many even become life-long friends and we call them family. Some customers share the most intimate details of their life and I with them! It truly is rewarding.
Although it appears to be a glorified business, often it is not. There is real hard work and sacrifice involved. It is misunderstood that the females do all the work simply by nursing her pups. In truth, regardless if it is 30 below or 30 degrees above, much like a dairy farmer, we wake every morning at 7:00 A.M. to let dogs out for the day and to start all chores, sometimes balancing on ice and trudging through deep snow with wind whipping our faces. Chores consist of cleaning water bowls and food bowls, disinfecting flooring and yard, changing litter pans for puppies, weighing and recording baby puppies' weights, administering vacs & dewormer as necessary and always, always, always keeping careful record of everything for our own records, and customer records. We tend to mothers at every demand when they want to be let in or out whether it is 3 in the morning or 11 at night, often 4 times a night when the puppies are just days old. We don't sleep. We are up checking on every whimper we hear from the puppies, always making sure the smaller puppies are the first to eat. We make sure mothers are always happy and free to come and go from their babies. This ties us down. When the pups are just hours to days old, we monitor temperature, moisture control, give sub Q fluids to the little runts and syringe, gavage feed and bottle feed if necessary. When puppies are about 4 weeks old, we make a special gruel 3 times a day and serve it warm. I spend hours on my website, advertising sites, and doing photo shoots of puppies often upon request whether I am busy with my 4 children or not. We serve our customers well. It can sometimes take a whole grooming session for one puppy's photo shoot. Which includes, bath, blow dry, trim, and then the process of getting a bouncy little puppy to sit still for a photo. We love doing photography, but it is very time-consuming. We can take 70 photos of just one puppy before we get 3 good pictures for a customer. Always cropping and tinting and perfecting the photo before we finally make our choices. You won't see us hold up an arm full of puppies with yellow stained feet with garbage in the back ground! I take pride in our home, always cleaning and paying attention to all details. No one's needs go unmet. No detail is overlooked. We try to take videos of the births and we spend many hours uploading to facebook for your enjoyment. My customers feel bonded with their puppies by the time they bring them home. We know the puppies get the best care under our constant supervision, our watchful eyes, and our experience. We know what a certain whimper from a pup might mean or what the female mother says when she barks at me with my grooming robe on. I am always here, so when she barks, I can respond for whatever she might desire.
This is all by my choice, I am not complaining. We spend many hours every month grooming the dogs. We take pride in trying to always have them looking and feeling their best. By the end of the day, we are always exhausted from the demands of the dogs and sometimes customers. Yet, evening does come and I sit down to send you an email of your puppy while my dogs and puppies have finally been put to bed. The dogs are happy and tummies are full, legs are tired from playing. All is quiet at the end of the day, and all are happy. Every belly, plus all the baby puppies!! Suddenly, you may get your next photo or video of your puppy, and you too are satisfied. The greatest reward of all is when I hand that puppy over to you, when the work is finally done, and the puppy is healthy, fluffy and ready to go to its forever home.
It is not just about the money. It has been one of the hardest things I have done, but one of the deepest, most beautiful things to be a part of too. I tell people all the time, "It is so much more than just a dog business." It truly is placing family members in homes.
I truly hope this can shed some light on our puppy pricing. There may be other breeders out there, but very very few have taken the time to gain the knowledge on how to properly raise a puppy.
We take pride in our status as REPUTABLE breeders and we LOVE what we do!