Choosing an Australian Shepherd
There are a few things that you should consider before making the decision on which Australian Shepherd you are going to go ahead and buy. That way you know exactly the kind of dog you have in mind before you even visit a breeder.
The Age of the Dog
Many people are under the impression that all dogs sold are indeed puppies. While this is the case the majority of the time, they can still be sold at ages that are further along than 8 weeks. There could be any number of reasons why they still have a dog that is older. They could have decided they wanted to keep the puppy, then later decided that they wanted to sell that same puppy. Some breeders simply won’t part with a pup if they think that there is a chance they won’t find a good home for the dog. Whatever the case may be, there are some advantages and disadvantages of course to buying a puppy at an older age.
They might have an easier time transitioning in some aspects and in others a harder. It all depends on each dog and each situation. The common assumption with older puppies is that they will have a harder time bonding with a new owner after spending so much time with the last. The fact is, this dog breed can make that adjustment. They will remain loyal to those that care for them, and they will be able to be a part of the new family while coming from an old one.
Will This Be A Working Dog, A Pet, or A Show Dog?
If you are in the market for a working dog, you want to ensure that the parents of the dog you are interested in were working dogs as well. It would also be a good idea to see the parents working. This can be through video or through demonstration. If the breeder is just not willing to do this at all, it may be time for a different breeder. Before buying your stockdog, you also want to get some kind of a guarantee that this dog is in fact going to be a working dog from the breeder. Since no one can tell what the dog is going to do when they get older, this will protect you on your end.
As much as I hate to say it, the pets are usually the product of imperfections in the puppy according to the breed standard. This could be anything from teeth to other slightly off features of the dog. Either way, their loss is your gain if you are looking for a family pet. The perfect pet is obviously not going to be aggressive and have a lot of energy. This way you can tire out the whole family along with the dog, that way everyone gets a good night’s sleep.
A show dog means that you are relying heavily on the breeder and things get a little more complicated. The reason why I say you are relying more on the breeder is because only time will tell what the puppy is going to grow up and look like later on. A good breeder will be able to have a pretty good prediction though and can give you their best guess. If you are looking for a show dog you want a breeder that has been around a while and has the experience to deliver a dog that is incredibly close to the standard of the breed. The dog may be spayed or neutered according to the agreement put forth by the breeder.
Does Male or Female Really Matter?
In most situations it is really all about the preference of the owner. Some people only like to have female dogs, some only like to have males, and some don’t care which one they get. There are some facts that might help you in your decision making for your situation though. The male dog is usually going to be a bit bigger than the female dog. There are also things that come into play if they are not spayed or neutered too, which is recommended unless you are breeding.