All our puppies come from health tested parents, that are also considered conformationally correct and have nice, stable temperaments. Both parents are always registered with FCI or AKC and sometimes also ASCA. First and foremost, we breed for ourselves to be able to continue with our breeding program. Therefore, first pick/s of the litter is/are reserved by us. Puppies are sold under contracts. Our pet puppies are required to be spayed/neutered. Our show prospects come with a guarantee against any disqualifying faults. We do not dock our puppies' tails; their tails stay the same length that they were born with. We expect our puppy owners to stay in contact with us for the entire life of their puppy and we will be happy to help at any time.
We do our best to prepare our puppies for their lives and early socialization plays a great role in this. Puppies live in our house, same as all our adult dogs. For the first two weeks they live in a whelping box in a remote and peaceful room. They are exposed to ENS (early neurological stimulation). By the second half of their third week of life, they gain access to a small play pen where they meet some new surfaces and toys.
At week 3 they meet our pet parrots and start early potty training in a special grass area next to their whelping box. At this time the raw food (BARF) menu will slowly be introduced to them and later upon they will also meet kibble.
Later between third and fourth week they will be moved to a bigger playing area located in our living room, throughout the day, while they will still spend their nights in a quiet, remote room. In the living room they will get the chance to meet new smells and sounds, besides that they will be meeting new people at this age. Here they will also meet other adult dogs living with us.
At 5 weeks of age they will go outside for the first time, again meeting new surroundings. At 6 weeks of age they will meet other dogs and animals, such as cows, horses, alpacas and cats, they will start going on small adventures as well. At weeks 7 and 8 they will visit the river and go on daily walks outside of their home yard.
During their time with us, they will be bathed, dried and groomed a couple of times to get them used to it. They will also have a few nail clippings behind them by the time they leave for their new homes. We will make sure they are familiar with crates, car drives and some basic leash training.
Choosing a puppy
Choosing a puppy is never an easy task. Too often new owners get carried away by a certain colour, eye colour, tail length or ''love at first sight''. Later on it might happen that them and their perfectly coloured puppy, just don't ''click''. To avoid this, our puppies are assigned to new homes based on lifestyle of the new owner, personality, temperament, energy level... Australian shepherds come in many different colours, markings and tail lengths, and while we do take your preferences in consideration, no puppy will ever be sold solely on their appearances.
All our puppies will be evaluated between 7 and 9 weeks old. This includes visual evaluations of movement, breed type and body structure, temperament testing and performance/work potential testing. Based on this and our own observations, the puppies will be assigned to new owners by us, meaning you can not choose your own puppy.
If you have any more questions about how puppies get chosen feel free to contact us.
We get a lot of people asking for a puppy, either in person, on social media, via phone call or by sending us an e-mail. Here are some tips on how to write your first inquiry mail:
Always double check if your e-mail address is correct so we can get back to you
Make sure to fill the subject field, this makes it easier for us to sort your mail and makes sure we notice it
You want to start with telling us a bit about yourself and your lifestyle
It is very helpful if you include why you decided on this breed and what other breeds you were considering. These doesn't have to be long, just a few sentences.
Please include your wishes and goals you hope to achieve with your puppy (yes, also include whether you want a pet or a dog that will be doing a specific job/sport or a show/breeding potential)
If you have any preferences or even conditions, state them clearly and always write your reason for them
If you have any questions for the breeder please include some of them already ( you might want to ask the ones you think are most important, do not include too many, you have to save some for next time;)
Be polite and conclude with your full name (you would be surprised how many people leave their name out)
Overall even if you decide on a shorter inquiry, keep things polite and remember you are asking for a living being.
We usually answer within a few days, but keep in mind sometimes things come up and it might take a bit longer. If it has taken over a month for us to answer, please write again in case your mail somehow got lost in spam.
So after you've sent us your inquiry and we have talked to you for quite sometime, we will probably start the exciting conversation about your future puppy. Together we will figure out what litter would suit your needs; it might be that you aspire to raise your puppy to be a therapy dog, an agility star or a show prince/ss and not all litters are appropriate. After both parties clearly agree with you getting a puppy from us (meaning, even if you want a puppy, we have to agree with giving you one and viceversa), we will sent you a contract about reserving your puppy, which you will read through and both parties will sign. With this contract we will take a deposit of 200€, which will save your spot on the wait list (a list of people waitng for a puppy either from a specific litter or any litter from a specific breeder). All cases in which your deposit can be returned to you will be stated in the contract.
Wait list is not a ''first comes, first served'' list. This means that even though you might be the last on the wait list (chronologically speaking) , you could still get a puppy if you suit a certain puppy's needs. There is a good saying capturing this as: ''we are looking for an owner for a puppy and not for a puppy for the owner.'' Let's look at this example. Let's say we have 7 people on the wait list for our XY litter. Due to complications in labor, only 4 puppies survive. First pick is always ours, to help us continue our breeding program. But now only 3 people out of 7 that waited can get a puppy. This does not necessary mean that the owners will be the three who put down the deposits first. Firstly all seven will be contacted and informed about the situation. And then puppies will be assigned to their best fits. this way we still make 3 new families happy and we keep the puppies' best interest in mind. Others' deposits will be either returned or shifted to the next appropriate litter, depending on previous agreement. For more information about puppy reservation, please contact us.
In the first weeks puppies are very sensitive, so we are picky about visitors getting to see them. This does not mean lack of socialization as they are still handled from an early age, just not by complete strangers.
We are not interested in having a million people over to see the puppies, as visitors can bring potential diseases to our home. We will allow puppy visits after they are 3 weeks old, however we put the future owners of our puppies before any other visitors. Before this potential owners do get regular updates, photos and videos on how the puppies are doing to make their time waiting a bit faster.
Our puppies will never be sold to people who have never met them in person (we might make an exception if you are reffered from another good breeder or for approved show homes). We require you to make one visit before picking them up. This way, we can also see your connection with the puppies and prevent unwanted situations, such as a misplaced puppy.
Picking up your puppy
So if you came to this point, you are practically my family. Our puppies start leaving the nest after they are 9 weeks old, depending on the country of their forever home and individual agreements. We normally let go one puppy at the time, to minimize the stress for momma and their siblings. We prefer if new owners pick them up in the morning as this means they have an entire day to let the puppy explore their new home. We fully bathe and blow-dry your puppy in the morning and after you arrive, the puppy is usually let out to greet you and play before you leave (this is all done without their siblings, as they usually mess each other up :P). Before we let your puppy out, we usually sit down for a talk and we try to give you some tips for an easier start with your puppy. We also bring you the puppy package (which includes your puppy's personal file, a bag of food, some pet equipment and a blanket, that smells of momma and siblings). We will walk you through your puppy's personal file, so you understand every document that is in there. On this day you also sign the contract under which your puppy is sold to you (you of course get it in your mail earlier, so you can read it through).
By the time puppies leave for their new homes, they will be/have:
Registered with FCI (KZS) and some litters also ASCA
At least 9 weeks of age (depending on the country of their forever home)
Vaccinated between 6 and 8 weeks of age
ECVO eye exam around 7 weeks of age
Dewormed at appropriate ages
A little puppy pack and a ''personal file'' with information about the puppy and some advice