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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all!!

I am considering getting a puppy for my daughter and myself. I work with a breeder of Aussie Shepherds. She is quite reputable and her dogs are well known in our community.
She has two litters, the first and last of the year, and the last of these bredding pairs. Two puppies in one litter and one in the other have imperfections so she is offering me the chance to choose one for FREE!!! Yes, free. I am in awe! (ok, not free, really. My daughter would have to come and help with cleanup, care, etc until all pups go home, and I have to pay all the vet fees that she incurrs while the pups are in her care.) The imperfections are not related to health, just something that doesn't fit into breed standards for shows and breeding so she isn't going to register them to avoid "bad breeding" in the future. Plus I'd have to sign a spay/neuter contract. Fine with me! :) I don't know a whole lot about AKC stuff as I have always had mutts and rescues. So, I am getting more details on this and doing some research.
Now, while I want to JUMP on this, I want to be sure I am doing the right thing. I have been researching and reading for 2 weeks now.
My daughter and I walk about 1.5 miles or more each day unless it is storming or something. We visit the park OFTEN and we camp 3 seasons each year. My daughter will, when and if we get a dog, join 4-H for obedience and so on. We will teach our dog games, tricks, frisbee, hiking and so on as we are quite active ourselves.
The dog will NOT be left outside alone, ever. We live in a fairly large apartment, foor 2, but we have a field right outside our door that is ours to use. We also have lots of floor space for games and play indoors. My building houses only 2 tenants and we work opposite shifts. We are planning on moving to a house within a year or so. I only work during the school year, and only for 7 hours a day.
So, is the situation I explained bad for such a high-energy dog? I have had some people say that since I am so active and such a responsible owner, the dog would be fine. Then, living in a farm town, I hear a lot of, "If you have an Aussie and you aren't on a farm, you are being cruel!"
So, opinions, please? We can see the dogs next week and choose, then we can bring it home 3-4 weeks later, depending upon which litter we pick from. My daughter wants a girl named Luna. :)
 

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The imperfections are not related to health, just something that doesn't fit into breed standards for shows and breeding so she isn't going to register them to avoid "bad breeding" in the future.
This looks like a red flag to me. Not registering the puppies is NOT going to avoid them being bred. A CONTRACT stipulating that they not be bred is how breeders do that. Since you're signing a contract, there's no reason your pup shouldn't be registered. A puppy with imperfections, if they are out of 2 registered adults, should be registered. If you get a dog that's not registered, I would be highly suspicious.

What are the imperfections?

So, is the situation I explained bad for such a high-energy dog?
I think it sounds fine. Herding dogs need a lot of physical and mental stimulation, but it sounds like you know that. If you and your daughter make the commitment to follow through with that, every day, I see no problem at all. You sound like a very conscientious dog owner. :)

As I said, I'm concerned about her decision not to register the three "imperfect" puppies. And I would definitely educate myself on the health risks of the Aussie and ask the breeder about various testing on the breeding adults. I don't know what the Aussie's health problems are, but you should talk to someone (not the breeder) who DOES know - to find out what tests to ask about. I know there's the possibility of eye problems in the breed in addition to hip dysplasia. You don't want to take on the burden of a dog with health issues, and genetic testing of the adults is the best way to stack the odds in your favor.

Here's a place to start.

Aussie Health Tests
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am researching and gathering more info about the imperfections and registration, since I don't know much about that. I personally don't really care about registration.
She has done health testing and so on and I have met the parents before they had these puppies. She has also encouraged me to take the one I choose to MY vet before I make a decision.
Bottom line, I know her and trust her. I also know others who have her dogs from years past and they are thrilled. In fact, one person is buying a second from this litter. I think she just feels sorry for my daughter and the loss of our other dog Patches, and wants to make my decision to get a puppy easy and almost irresistible. LOL

My major concern was if our lifestyle and living arrangements are going to work for an Aussie. I appreciate your input on all of this!
 

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Gotta be honest....I tend not to trust breeders that let me choose my own puppy. Lots of times, people end up selecting the one that fits into their household the least.

That spitfire may be cute now, but it could be (usually is) a hellion when it gets older....and the family really wanted a more laid back dog.

And while registration may not matter to YOU, IMO it is not the mark of a good breeder when they won't register a puppy because of a marking imperfection. They should still be registered, and ALL the dogs should be sold on contracts stipulating whether they are to be spayed/neutered or shown.
 

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Just out of curiosity, what are the imperfections?

Aussies are smart. They like having jobs to do, they don't care what the job is, they just want to do something. They like being with their people. Your Aussie will be intensely bonded with you. From what you described, your situation seems like it'd work for an Aussie.
 

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I think everybody is missing the OP's questions. While the information about the breeder maybe interesting to some of you, they're actually asking about the breed being suitable for their environment and lifestyle, which I think is the first thing to consider about buying a dog.
 

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I think everybody is missing the OP's questions.
I agree.

OP I think your situation sounds fine. Before the school year comes it would be a good idea to teach your dog to settle down in a kennel on those long days your gone. You could also have someone come and play with her in the middle of the 7 hour days.
 

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I think everybody is missing the OP's questions.
Look again. :) I think most of us have answered the OP's question. I just had concerns about something that the OP said and I addressed that in addition to answering the question. I think that's ok.

I did notice that you didn't answer the OP's question, however. LOL

YouMeandPupMakes3 (cute name) - It sounds like you have a good idea of what you're getting into with a person you know and can trust and that's great. I think you'll make a neat little family, the three of you. :) I can't wait to see pictures of your puppy. :D
 

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Hellow Fellow Aussie lover haha.

OK as far as the regisration goes. the dog SHOULD be registered but insted of full registration it should be given Limited Registration. ask the breeder about that and see waht they say.


I have three Aussies of my own.
No I do not think it is cruel to keep an aussie in an apartment. but I can't stress enough how much energy and stamina this breed has. a couple miles walk a day will not be enough. and because of the breeds tendancy to be aloof, early socilization to MANY different poeple, white, black, yellow, brown, men, wemon, children, adults, is a MUST.

THis is also a breed that NEEDS training or they will ruin your homelife.

If you have doubts about their energy level. here is a video of my dogs, mind you this is what it's like at my house EVERY DAY!
 

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Great video :D

Poor ol' Jack, can't keep up with the younguns anymore
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I LOVE the video! Thanks for posting it. Now, when you say training, do you mean I need a professional or can someone that knows how to train as an ameteur can do this training?
I have bought 2 books about the breed, a puppy for idiots or dummies or something book, and a dog training book. The books are more for my daughter to be prepared.
I have trained dogs before. I had a Pom-A-Poo (RIP Frankie) that someone bought for the cute-ness and then the work was too much for them (insert eye roll here). He was 4 months when I took him in. I had him housebroken in a virtual snap (3 weeks) and I taught him a MULTITUDE of tricks, and he was very obedient. So I am hoping I can handle another smartie like an Aussie. :eek:)
Any other advice with an Aussie would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I LOVE the video! Thanks for posting it. Now, when you say training, do you mean I need a professional or can someone that knows how to train as an ameteur can do this training?
I have bought 2 books about the breed, a puppy for idiots or dummies or something book, and a dog training book. The books are more for my daughter to be prepared.
I have trained dogs before. I had a Pom-A-Poo (RIP Frankie) that someone bought for the cute-ness and then the work was too much for them (insert eye roll here). He was 4 months when I took him in. I had him housebroken in a virtual snap (3 weeks) and I taught him a MULTITUDE of tricks, and he was very obedient. So I am hoping I can handle another smartie like an Aussie. :eek:)
Any other advice with an Aussie would be greatly appreciated.
I think If you know what you are doing and you make training a positive experience with lots of pats and treats, you should be able to train an aussie.

They are an "eager to please" breed, and LOVE doing training, and basically anything with their humans involved.

I would highly recommend giving your dog a job to do and your daughters 4-H could easily be that job. If I'm not mistaken 4-H has an Agility area to it, and aussies are wonderful at agility. My bitch Kechara Has been competing in Agility since the age of 4 years and she has mastered the Excellent level competition in the AKC. You don't have to compete with the dog but I personally think it's part of the fun.

They are highly trainable it only takes a few minutes to teach an aussie how to sit. and once you teach them that they will likely sit whenever you go to give them a treat lol.

They are a heavy shedding breed that will encourage more vacuuming if you don't do it daily already. with three aussies my mom and I have pretty much given up trying to keep up with the hair balls on the floor and we vacuum about once a week.

They are a very easy to groom breed. and coat care is very simple.
A light brushing every week with a slicker
A large brushing once a month with an undercoat rake followed by the slicker again.
clip the nails once every two weeks
and trim the hair that grows between the toes if it gets long.

Feel free to allow an Aussie to roll in the mud because in two hours they will be perfectly clean again, IF you keep their coat healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Keechak, your info is priceless. Some of the things you say make me say, "YES!! This is what I want to do for sure!" And then something else will cause me to take "paws" and wonder if this would be the best breed for us. Ugh, this is a hard decision.
How do they do in a crate and are they big barkers?
 

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Well barking is more of a training thing that can be stopped if you are persistent enough. but as far as inherited tendancy to bark. they are a moderate barking breed. they will bark when someone pulls down the driveway, they will bark when someone walks in the house. they will bark at fast moving animals and children. They are not one of the noisyest breeds like the northern breeds, or beagles lol, and they will bark when they play (as you saw in my video)


And AH yes you noticed I mentioned children. I personally would keep a close eye on an aussie around small children (under the age of 5) Aussies have a tendency to nip at children when they run and this behavior is VERY hard to train out of them. My Kechara is notorious for nipping at children, the way I handle it is when small active children are around I make her lay down and stay by me, She is very well trained. She is not permitted to play with children.

Of course the children problem to me isn't really a problem since it can be easily avoided by training the dog to "Stay" however in my opinion most aussies cannot be trusted to run around free with small running children, they wont try to hurt them and probably wont leave a mark but to me it's not worth the risk.


If you have any other questions I would LOVE to help

oh crate forgot about that.

All of my dogs were crate trained, they whined and cried the first couple nights but after that they took to crate training very well. We leave one of our crates in the living room with the door open and Hawkeye will walk in there and sleep in there if he is tired. He loves his crate.
 

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LOL yes, Aussies will DEFINITELY herd small children, my younger brother wears the proof of that on his backside to this day!
 

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I want to clarify I'm not talking about a dog biting a kid and sending then to the hospital with stitches. I'm talking about a dog using only it's front teeth(maybe canines) to quickly snip and then instantly let go. It sometimes leave a mall red mark, it could leave a scar if the dog was aggressive enough (and by aggressive i don't mean, mean. there are different types of aggression)
 

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LOL he didn't get stiches, but he has a little 1/4 inch scar on his backside because he didn't get the hint on the first pinch, he was where he wasn't supposed to be and the dog knew it and was 'herding' him out. Aussies are wicked smart.
 

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He'll get 'em! No dog has a brain until it's at least two years old!!!!
 

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If you read the stickys at the top of this forum you'll learn all you need to know about training a puppy. Especially on dogstardaily.com There you will find videos to watch, tons of articles & books to read & i-woofs radio talks.
I don't lead a real active lifestyle & I've had 2 border collies. They have/are quite willing to spend a lot of time inside with me. I used to take April to obedience 4 times a week & agility once a week.
Now with Tilba we only go to obedience once a week but quite often I take her to dog shows & trials. I would also like to get into herding, something I regret not doing with April.
It's just as important to exercise their minds as it is their bodies, so don't feel like you have to take the dog out every day.
 
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