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Hello all!

I currently have a 8 year old aussie/blue heeler mix and a tiny 12 year old chihuahua. I am looking to add a miniature Australian shepherd to my pack but am so overwhelmed with the amount of breeders out there and this being my first time going the breeder route I am nervous about whole process. I was wondering if anyone can recommend some breeders for me to talk to. I live in new mexico and would prefer here or Colorado so I can travel to meet breeder before purchasing. Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!
I
 

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A good place to start would be the official breed club page: http://mascusa.org

Miniature Australian Shepherds are now "Miniature American Shepherds" as recognized by the AKC.

A good breeder will health test all breeding stock (hips, elbows, eyes, and screening for other genetic diseases. This is not a "vet health certificate"). You should be able to see the results of those records on the OFA website. https://www.ofa.org

Good, ethical breeders will only have one litter a year with carefully selected breeding stock. Avoid breeders who have multiple litters. This allows them to spend their time properly socializing their puppies instead of their attention being split between multiple litters. Multiple litters on the ground at the same time may also be an indication of a puppy mill or a breeder who is simply in it for the money.

Good breeders will do something with their dogs to show they are worthy breeding stock. This can be confirmation, obedience, agility, herding, or therapy work. An AKC registered parent means nothing, really. Any purebred dog can get it. You should look for breeders who take the time to put titles on their breeding stock or can demonstrate that a third party has deemed their dogs have good temperaments. With a herding dog you might find a breeder who raises livestock as well, but know you're going to get a dog that was bred to work. It just depends on what you're looking for. For a companion animal I would look for parents who have titled in obedience or confirmation.

Know that when you select a breeder, you'll likely be placed on a waiting list. Don't be discouraged. It's why many people decide to just go ahead and purchase from BYB or puppy mills because they don't want to wait or don't understand the value of a well-bred dog and supporting ethical breeders.
 

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Thank you so much for all of your information. You have no idea how useful it is to me! One other question I have been tending to back away from breeders who are trying to sell toy aussiesalong with MAS. Should I be worried about that?
 

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Thank you so much for all of your information. You have no idea how useful it is to me! One other question I have been tending to back away from breeders who are trying to sell toy aussiesalong with MAS. Should I be worried about that?
Yes. Generally, you want to avoid breeders who breed two or more breeds. It's not ALWAYS a red flag, but you should definitely be very careful when you come across that.

Toy Aussies are also something you probably want to stay away from...they're kind of a "designer dog" and many are more Chihuahua or some other small breed than Aussie. Since toy Aussies aren't a real breed, either, it's even more difficult to find an ethical breeder.
 
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