Australian Shepherd breeding is about more than just bringing together a sire and dam to produce puppies. There is so much that goes into dog breeding that is vital to keeping the breed alive and thriving, but since it mostly happens behind the scenes, many people aren't aware of it all.
Australian Shepherd breeders have a challenging job, one that requires an extensive amount of knowledge and an extraordinary love for the breed, and one that is often sadly undervalued.
If you're like most people, when you decide to purchase a puppy you can be so caught up in the excitement of the moment that you probably don't even consider everything that actually goes into Australian Shepherd breeding. No matter what kind of dog you're looking for you actually have two good options, either a breeder or a rescue.
Rita Kochmarjova / stock.adobe.com
Australian Shepherd breeding is best left to the professionals.
I can't say enough about the wonderful job that Australian Shepherd rescue groups do. There are many such organizations that can provide you with a wonderful array of dogs to choose from and adopting a rescue can be a beneficial experience for you and your dog.
If you have your heart set on a rescue, by all means go for it, provided you go to a legitimate rescue and do your research. If you are more inclined to look into dog breeding, however, that is a perfectly valid choice as well.
That being said, it is important to understand that there is a distinct difference between backyard breeders or puppy mills and actual, reputable breeders. Australian Shepherd breeding, as mentioned earlier, is a complicated process that involves ensuring the proper mixing of genes to help avoid medical and behavioral issues.
Reputable breeders will put these concerns first and foremost as their primary interest is in preserving the breed, unlike puppy mills that are usually only interested in making a profit.
A good breeder will be up on all of the potential health issues that Australian Shepherds face, including hip dysplasia, eye problems, and seizures, and will take all the necessary steps to avoid genetic tendencies toward their development.
They will keep a careful record of bloodlines and will be able to provide you with that record as well as allowing you to interact with the sire and dam firsthand before getting a puppy, which is the real advantage of dealing with a reputable dog breeder.
At the same time, with Australian Shepherd breeding, behavior can be an important issue since Aussies can fulfill a number of needs for their owners. Again, a reputable breeder will take this into consideration and be able to provide dogs that are best suited for herding, for show or agility training or for simple companionship, so that you can get a dog that will suit your exact needs.
When considering the entire idea of dog breeding, many people make the mistake of assuming that all breeders are shysters who are out to make a buck, but that is far from the truth.
Reputable breeders are the true champions of the dog world and provide a very important service. Without their careful and thorough work, the entire breed could cease to exist as we know it in as little as 15 years, so their service in preserving the Australian Shepherd breed can not be overstated.
Buying an Aussie is a wonderful, exciting experience and it can be made that much better if you choose to work with a reputable breeder. That way you can be assured of getting a healthy, good-tempered dog that will truly become the best friend you'll ever have.
Have Dog Training Questions?
Check out these introductory dog training videos...
Get Australian Shepherd Info, Website Updates, Special Offers, and Cartoons...
You'll also receive a free copy of the ebook
My Everyday Dog Training Tools
by professional dog trainer Daniel Abdelnoor, "Doggy Dan"