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Australian Shepherd Photo of the Week

Australian Shepherd Dog Photo of the Day

Alisha Nelson

Kassie is a year and a half old and is a very special baby! She loves playing Frisbee or ball on a daily basis and absolutely loves anything to do with water… the water hose, sprinkler and kayaking! I believe she thinks the only reason we walk out the front door is to play Frisbee with her (and we do, she may be a little spoiled). Oh, I and cannot forget to mention cuddling, she just wants love all the time and loves to cuddle. Most amazing, smart, playful and loving dog ever!

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Training and Care — Tip Of The Week

Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
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Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Excerpt #143

Tips on Aussie Genetics

Lethal Equivalents

Every dog carries genes that are harmless – until matched with another gene through breeding. These genes are called 'lethal equivalents.' When you breed two dogs each carrying a lethal equivalent gene, the result is puppies that will be stillborn or carry a disease that will eventually cause an early death.

A common genetic problem occurs when Australian Shepherds are bred which both have the merle coat pattern gene. This "double-merle" breeding can result in puppies with severe vision and hearing problems including blindness and deafness. More in Chapter 13 – Homozygous Merles.

MDR1 Mutation

As mentioned previously, when this mutation is present in an Aussie, medications such as ivermectin, which are usually helpful in a healthy dog, can become fatal. Ivermectin is used in many worming medications, so if you breed a litter of puppies with the MDR1 mutation without knowing, there's a good chance they'll all die from their first round of worming. Roughly a third of Aussies carry a copy of this gene, so it's extremely important to know if your dog is a carrier before you breed.

Again, you can determine if your dog has the gene by testing that can be carried out by your vet. You can also tell if the dog carries the gene due to reactions the dog may have had to certain medications – although, because these reactions can be so severe, you ought to get testing done as soon as possible to avoid administering your dog with drugs that could be fatal.

Next time: TBA

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care


Cartoon of the Week

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Dog Quote of the Week

"Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer."

~ Dean Koontz




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