People ask me all the time – what kind of questions should you ask when looking for a puppy. Here is some feedback that I can get just looking at websites – before you actually call.
1. Make sure that they do not send puppies home before 8 weeks. Why? Because at eight weeks puppies have gotten the socialization from their dams and siblings. When you get a puppy at 6 weeks (basically weaned) you are missing out on ALL of the sibling socialization. That is the esential environmental time that a puppy needs. It is learning how to be an adult and puppies taken before that never get it and many end up with issues later in life.
Breeders note – at six weeks puppies go from adorable fur balls to PITAs – less time with Mom in charge leads to FUN for them, they start becoming demanding and you dream of sending them away. While you love them to pieces they start doing naughty things. Sugar and Stinger started realizing stacking toys at the pen fence could become stepping stones and would stage jail breaks all day long LOL.
2. With and without breeding rights. When the only difference between full and limited registration is money…RUN. Any responsible breeder who sells with full breeding rights has a litany of terms attached. Full registration should not just be an ad on to make more money.
3. Registration – NSDR, ASDR and CKC (Continental Kennel Club) are paper registries. Meaning you pay some money and get a piece of paper. Any Aussie looking dog can get that piece of paper. ASCA and AKC are bloodline registries meaning there has to be bloodline proof of ancestry. ASCA requires DNA on all sires and dams prior to registration, AKC requires DNA in some circumstances.
4. Health testing – you should see at minimum OFA Hips and Opthamology cleared eyes on ALL breeding stock. I also do Elbows, Hereditary Cataracts and MDR1 screening. If they do not have those ASK why – there are many valid reasons people do not do the optional ones. But they need a reason better than “Oh I have a closed kennel I know they are healthy” or my favorite “Mine are healthy because I give them Trifexis”
Breeders note – I do NOT recommend Trifexis for Heartworms, I am using Heartguard based on research and breeder/vet and my vet’s recommendation.
5. Make sure they have pictures of the sire and dam and at least minimal pedigree information. If all they show are adorable puppy pictures there is a reason. Aussie puppies are adorable…then they grow up ha ha ha.
6. If you want a dog for a specific task make sure this breeder does it or has knowledge. I always love to ee a breeder put a dog with noticeable structural issues as a performance prospect. If they cannot go around a ring soundly how in the world is it going to work stock or do agility? Form and function go hand in hand.
7. Rare colors – yes Aussies have dilutes, sables and yellows (personally I love yellow Aussies and if they were legal that is all I would have) but they are illegal for a reason (if you are interested PM me and I will explain) they are not rare because they are cool they are rare because good breeders atempt to breed the colors OUT. Don’t think you are getting something worth extra money…you are getting a dog with a DQ feature – probably a phenominal pet! But don’t pay extra.
8 Homozygous white – if you see these puppies being sold PLEASE run and run quickly. A homozygous white puppy should bever be sold to anyone or given away. The percentage of homozygous white puppies in rescue is horrifying and any breeder who raises them is a BYB or an idiot. Responsible breeders do not raise these poor pups. And the good samaritans who take them in (bless you) are in for a long road).