Is an Aussie right for your Family? I am often asked this question by people researching breeds. My goal as a breeder is to help you make this decision. I have some rules that I feel are important in finding a furever home.
Aussies are beautiful stunning dogs but they are not dogs for every family. I do not recommend puppy Aussies for families with young children. Under 5.
Aussie puppies like to nip, chase and jump. No one wants a 20 lb puppy jumping on their 20 lb toddler. The exception would be, are you experienced in Aussies, or higher energy dogs. Do you have time to train daily for obedience, numerous small sessions a day.
Do I need a fenced yard for an aussie? Personally I feel you need a fenced yard for any dog. Again, there are exceptions. But who wants to take a dog out in the pouring rain for a "walk". Open the door let the dog out- so much easier. They are NOT dogs for apartment living, they need room to roam and run. I'm not a fan of dog parks, too many dogs, owners that can't handle them, too many dog fights and they are not sanitary. Wait to get an aussie till you have a proper environment to properly care for one.
Will an invisible fence work for my dog? Yes and No. Invisible fences do not keep other dogs out of your yard. Invisible fences do not keep kids out of your yard- possible liability for dog owners. If your dog runs thru the fence due to an adrenalin rush (deer, skunk,)- they can't get back in the fence, because they will be shocked on the way back- you have to get the dog take off the collar and carry the dog across the invisible boundary. I know these things because I had an invisible fence. I now have a 3 board fence that is wire lined.
What should you ask a breeder: Is the dog registered thru AKC?. Just because a dog is AKC registered does not always mean it is a quality animal. But start there. Keep asking questions. Ask to see pictures of both parents. Ask to see the genetic panel of both dogs, take to your vet for review. Ask at what age you can bring your puppy home, Most states have laws of anywhere between 7 to 9 weeks. I know of NO state under 7 weeks of age. Ask their worming protocol for the puppies- should be a minimum of 3 times by the time they are 8 weeks old. Your puppy should get it's first shot between 6 to 7 weeks of age.
Socialization-If you buy a puppy from me I will hand you an 8 week old puppy that is socialized to adults, children and other dogs. If the dogs has issues as it grows up- you blew it as a dog owner. You must continue what I start. I am more than happy to answer any questions at anytime... but you MUST take the dog out in the world.. meet new people, attend obedience classes, puppy socialization classes, not one class, keep going.. take the dog to venues that allow dogs, outside restaurants, Lowe's, Home Depot. Invite friends over. If you don't have alot of options consider a Doggie Daycare a day or time or 2 a week. Do not use any dog trainer that use Electronic collars, Australian Shepherds are very food motivated and do not need the threat of being shocked. Do not waste your time sending you puppy away for training- this seems to be the new "thing" - train the dog yourself to build a relationship with your dog.
Aussie behavior- they are velcro dogs, you will never go to the bathroom alone, get dressed alone, take a shower without being stared at... they will lay down at your feet waiting for your next move. And you better NOT be bothered by dog hair- you will wear it to work, shopping, church etc. Buy stock in rollie tape things to remove dog hair.
I hope this helps, some of it seems harsh, but i only want my dogs to go to homes where it will be forever.
As I write this, I look over and my 4 aussies, they are sound asleep all over the family room- once i go to my chair, Maia will jump in my lap and spend the evening. It was a good day to be an Aussie.