5 Tips For Finding the Perfect Australian Shepherd Puppy

Australian Shepherd PuppyThe Australian Shepherd is a working dog that makes a lovely pet for active families. Good with kids and full of energy, the breed is prized for its temperament and eagerness to please. However, not every puppy born is of high quality. Here are five tips for picking out the perfect Australian Shepherd puppy.5. Don’t be seduced by pedigree. In many dog breeds, a long line of champions is the hallmark of a good breeder and pups with such a lineage fetch top dollar. However, with a working breed, a champion background is not necessarily the be-all and end-all of excellence. For example, a breeder that competes and wins at flyball or agility is proving their dogs are fit and ready to do more than prance around a show ring. Ideally, a breeder will do both showing and competing. Showing proves that the dog is put together well, while winning in sport competitions means the dog is bright and willing to work. If you buy an Australian Shepherd puppy from those who only show for looks, don’t be surprised if your dog grows up and does not have the requisite desire to work and play that should be inherent to the breed.4. Beware of the shy puppy unless you have extensive dog training experience. If you go to see a litter of pups, don’t pick out the one that hangs back and cowers behind its mother. You want the most gregarious and friendly of the bunch. A dog that is shy may grow up to be fearful. This is not the norm for an Australian Shepherd puppy and can lead to fear-biting or other nasty confrontations. Unless you have a ton of experience working with anxious dogs and are willing to take up the task of raising one, pass over the shy pup in favor of one his more outgoing littermates.

3. Don’t buy an all-white puppy. All white puppies are the result of a merle-to-merle mating. Not only do all-white pups have a higher risk of skin cancer, but they also are often deaf or blind. Many unscrupulous breeders will advertise white pups as rare and try to sell them for far above fair value. On the contrary, it is quite easy to breed white Australian Shepherds. Good breeders simply don’t do it, due to the potential health implications. While giving a disabled pet a good home is admirable, you shouldn’t be hoodwinked into paying full price for such a pup. If you’d like to open your home to a deaf or blind shepherd, contact your local rescue group or shelter. The normally-colored littermates of white pups are not affected by the double merle genes and are fine, if you’d like to choose one of them.

2. Examine your pups eyes carefully. An Australian Shepherd puppy can have blue, brown or amber eyes. It is perfectly normal for the dog to have two different colored eyes, or for the eyes to be swirled or half-and-half in color. For example, a dog may have one amber eye and the other eye may be half brown and half blue. While it may look quirky, it’s normal and healthy. What you want to avoid are pups with eyes that do not match one another in size or shape and pups whose eyes do not follow one another. These conditions could point to blindness or other vision problems prevalent in the Australian Shepherd breed. Again, giving a home to a disabled dog is a wonderful thing but it’s not something you should be duped into doing.

1. Don’t let tail length sway your decision. Some Australian Shepherds are born with naturally docked tails. Others have only a few inches of tail, while others have a long tail you’d expect to see on a dog of its size. No one option is better, and the tail has no effect on the dog’s ability to take part in sports or work successfully. All dogs of this breed wag, whether they have anything to wag with or not!

Good Luck with Your Australian Shepherd Puppy Search

This breed is an awesome selection for active families on the go. If you are looking for an Australian Shepherd puppy to bring into your life, these tips will help you make the best decision when confronted with a litter of squirming, adorable pups.