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Questions to Ask Your Australian Shepherd Breeder


If it is a legitimate breeder that knows what they are doing, they should have no problem answering a few questions for you. Think of this as your screening process to ensure you get your dog from a reputable breeder. The first thing you want to ask to see is the pedigree of the puppy that you are interested in. They need to be able to show you that the parents are indeed licensed by the ASCA and go back three or more generations. This will not guarantee that you have a prize winning dog, but it will help point you in the right direction.

You can also ask them for the numbers of people that have recommended or bought from them in the past. Usually breeders will keep a list of references out of some of their past customers that they should be more than willing to show you. The next part is where you should ask any other questions you have about the dog or their process. If they are not willing to sit with you and answer all of your questions without getting frustrated or dodging questions, then you might want to move on to the next breeder on your list.

Next Comes The Price

Keep in mind that the puppy is not going to come cheap if it comes from a quality breeder and is a quality puppy. You should also keep in mind that this is just an initial up front cost and it will cost a whole lot more over the dog’s lifespan. Most breeders are willing to negotiate a little on the price, but they do take pride in their work. This means that if you come at them with a low ball offer, you are probably going to be shown where the exit is. Take it seriously and negotiate a price seriously.

What Should The Breeder Give Me?

Once you have received your paperwork, such as the health record, clearances for the parents, and the pedigree, your next question should be to find out if the parents are free of hip Dysplasia. They should be able to find out by having the certificate from the OFA. If they have no clue what the OFA is, that should be a red flag and you need to get as far away from this breeder as you can. Some breeders will try and say that they know their parents don’t have it because they look perfectly fine. Don’t let them talk down to you. Sometimes hip Dysplasia can only be found in the X-rays.

You should also find out if both of the parents have had their eye exams as well. They should have a certification within the past year from the CERF that proves they have. The breeder should be able to provide you with the papers that prove their puppies parents were cleared by both the CERF and the OFA. If they are not able to produce this, you should not hand over a penny or sign any contract they give you.

There are a lot of things that are gonna be thrown into contract form, and it is vital that you sit and read through all of it if they have a prepared contract, which they should. They should be able to provide a guarantee that if the puppy develops a hereditary disease that you can come back for a full refund or a replacement dog. Breeders might also provide guarantees for those vaccinations that they have already had. In most cases, it is best to have a few days in which you can have time to get the dog checked out by a veterinarian. Then if the dog doesn’t pass a simple exam, you can take them back for a refund or replacement dog as well.

Any breeder that is labeled a “quality” or “reputable” breeder will have some expectations from you and will not just give a puppy to anyone. Often times the breeder will expect you to provide proper socialization and nutrition for the dog too. They want to make sure that it is going to a good home and at the same time protect themselves from you bringing the dog back if it was something that you did that led to the problems the dog is having. You may also want to sit with the breeder and have a chat about the behaviors of this dog and how you should bring it up. After all, they are going to know better than anyone how to properly raise a dog of this breed. Soak up their knowledge and apply it.



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