What is the difference between a companion puppy and a show puppy?
Honestly not much of a difference. A pet puppy may have a cosmetic issue that disqualifies them for the show ring but in no way causes an issue in the day to day life. It could simply be an ear with too much white or white splash beyond the withers. All puppies are healthy and happy.
How are the puppies raised?
Our puppies live in our dinette adjacent to the kitchen and family room. This allow us to monitor them as well as acclimate them to the sights and sounds of a house and family. I work from home so someone is usually with the puppies at all times. We have a wonderful senior dog who has helped raise a neighborhood full of adjusted puppies and four cats (aka The Cat Mafia) who are dog friendly. My son also spends time with the puppies so they are used to an active household.
Tell me about your litter deposits
I will take a few deposits for a litter only. Deposits are $250 and refundable if I do not have a puppy for you or none of the puppies suit your needs. Deposit holders have priority over companion puppies that are available (show prospects have first priority) and once they have made their selections then we will go through the list of potential owners. Once the litter is born then I will take more deposits as I will know the available number of puppies. No selections will be finalized until show prospects have been chosen at eight weeks. The only exceptions would be in a puppy has a disqualifying feature for showing. I will do my best to match a puppy to your requirements, if I do not have one then I will help you find one.
Socialization – and the fine Print
I do a bit of rescue on the side and I can tell you their are two type of Aussie’s in the rescue pipeline. The socialized good with kids/dogs/cats last 10 seconds before they are adopted. I can get them a home with no problems. The ones that have an issue all have socialization issues. Because of this in ALL contracts it is mandatory to do an AKC Puppy STAR (or equivalent) and an obedience class (such as a Canine Good Citizen class). If you cannot commit this amount of time/effort to a puppy then an Aussie is not for you.
Tell me about testing.
We follow the ASCA and USASA guidelines for testing. CHIC was recently changed to include OFA elbow screening, this was added after Bumble Bee was x-rayed so she was not screened. After talking to my vets they did not feel it was worth the risk to put her under anesthesia when she is sound. For that reason only her elbows have not been done. She is completely sound at 6.5 years old.
Both boys will have Hips and Elbow screenings done once they are two years old. Everyone is examined by an Ophthalmologist yearly. All clearances can be found on offa.org website. Whatever breeder you decide on PLEASE make sure they do health and genetic screenings!
What do you feed your dogs?
I feed the puppies AvoDerm Puppy food. I usually do not feed any grain and this does have rice but I found that a lot of the puppy food had protein and fat combos that did not work for me. This food has given me consistent weight gain and great coats on the puppies.
The adult dogs eat Organix from Castor and Pollux it is an organic food that is high quality, high protein but not too high in calories so I can feed them a bit more food than if I fed a super high concentrated food.
Why do your puppies cost more than the ones in the local paper, I just want a family pet?
They cost more because the cost to raise them is more. There is no money to be made in breeding dogs and if you do make money at it than you probably are doing it wrong! Our puppies are hand raised with their mom in our kitchen. They are handles daily, weighed, given probiotics to ensure a healthy digestive system and optimal growth.
My biggest pet peeve is when someone says the puppy they want is *just a pet* because in my mind a companion puppy is the most important puppy in the litter. It is an ambassador to not only the breed but to my dogs. It will meet many people through its life and a long and happy life is important. This is why I moved my office into the adjacent room – we are with them almost 24/7 – not because we are worried, but simply because we LOVE THEM.
Do you raise Mini Aussies?
No. Actually if you read the Australian Shepherd breed standard you will see that there is no height variety in the breed. Simply put an Aussie is an Aussie! Yes there are people who actively breed for smaller sizes. Most of these dogs are crossbreds marketed as Mini or Toy but in essence a mutt. It is a way to market them and use the Aussie good name and increase the value of the puppy.
You will find this to be a hot button issue in the Australian Shepherd world. The good news is that AKC has approved a breed called the Miniature American Shepherd. This breed will make a separate and distinct registration for dogs currently being marketed as Miniature Australian Shepherds. The MAS dogs and bitches will be transferred to the new registry and no longer be associated with the USASA Australian Shepherd.
The hope is that this will alleviate the confusion by the public. Calabrone Australian Shepherds only breeds and represents the AKC and ASCA Australian Shepherd. We make no claims to the Miniature American Shepherd – we are proud of our Australian Shepherds!
Will you leave a tail on a puppy
The short answer is no. The Australian Shepherd breed standard indicates that an Australian Shepherd is a docked breed and as a member of the USASA parent club I have the obligation of adhering to the breed standard and Code of Ethics. The longer answer is that my dogs also have the Natural Bob Tail gene and so most of my puppies will be born without tails. In my last litter only one puppy had a full tail.
I am unable to leave a tail on even if the buyer requests it as puppies are docked at a day old and there is no way to know what puppy will work for someone at that age. I highly recommend that anyone interested in a tailed dog look at our tailed cousin – the Border Collie.
What is a Companion Puppy
A companion puppy is a puppy sold with limited registration, meaning there is no ability to register offspring. This does not mean they are not a quality dog – it means that breeding should only be done to better the breed and not be taken lightly. Because there are so many unwanted dogs it is important that breeding be done with the utmost of care. These dogs can compete in everything that a full registry dog can (the exception being conformation and should the owner be interested in showing arrangements can be made to allow this by converting the dog to a co-own).
I don’t see any upcoming litters but I want a dog
I work with MANY great breeders and also with reputable rescues and am happy to assist you in finding your next friend. There is no commission involved just a hope that everyone pays forward. Anyone that I recommend is someone that I would buy a dog from. Please feel free to give me a call and discuss what you are looking for and I will be happy to refer you!