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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering, how I can learn and get experience breeding dogs and raising puppies until they're old enough to go to their own homes?

What are some good resources I can look into? Does anyone know any breeders who I could contact to see if they know someone in my area that I could learn from?

I would love to breed Australian Shepherds

Thank you, PF, peeps!
 

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I was wondering, how I can learn and get experience breeding dogs and raising puppies until they're old enough to go to their own homes?

What are some good resources I can look into? Does anyone know any breeders who I could contact to see if they know someone in my area that I could learn from?

I would love to breed Australian Shepherds

Thank you, PF, peeps!
We bought Normie from someone in a similar situation. A breeder in his town who's also a poodle conformation judge is mentoring the man who sold us Norm. He bought his female from her, then she helped him select a suitable mate. She's guiding him step by step through the process.

Are there any Aussie Shepherd breeders in your area?
 

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CKC in Canada, and probably also AKC in the US, has a "Junior Handler program". You could join the program, and learn about breed standards and meet breeders and find mentors. In Canada, I've heard of breeders "lending" show dogs who are no longer showing to junior handlers for the competition.

Here's AKC's Junior Showmanship program - Junior Showmanship 鈥 American Kennel Club
Looks like you need to be between 9 and 18

Hmmpft. Canada lets you compete with any dog, but the US seems to require that you have a registered dog, and they don't let you borrow a dog like they do in Canada. Do you know if you have AKC papers for Sisko?

UKC also has a program - Junior Program | United Kennel Club (UKC) , and it looks like UKC's program doesn't require your dog to be pure bred, or belong to you.
 

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When I was young I wanted to breed dogs and my goal was to own a kennel for boarding, grooming. So when I when on my hunt for a well bred dog that I felt I could handle both in show and that was somewhat popular i investigated different breeders and spoke openly to them. I purchased my dog from said breeder who agreed to work with me thru all aspects of breeding and selling. She was a show breeder and groomer. I bought a female from her, who was slightly over sized but she told me that was good she would have good litters. I went to her grooming shop and when my dog was about 2 she selected one of her champion studs to breed her with. I just brought my dog to her and together she explained the process and how to not let either of them get injured. She helped me prepare my dog for whelping and told me what I needed to have on hand and she was a phone call away. She had a wait list for my puppies even before they were born. She also groomed all y puppies before they went to their new homes. She docked their tails and told me who I should take the puppies to for their ears to be cropped. Also had me take all puppies to an optomogist for eye certifications. So all my puppies were ready for show/pet homes prior to leaving. I learned an enormous amount from her. She evaluated all my puppies too and helped me hold back one for myself for the show circuit. I went with a recommended handler who was also a great mentor and took me on some over night trips and taught me how to help with getting the dogs ready. It was all great and I loved it, after a few y ears I knew I didn't want to breed, it was a ton of work and while I enjoyed it the only part I didn't enjoy was the whelping of the litter. Too many things could go wrong and I usually had to deliver a breech puppy and cut umbilical cords. I may have continued but around the same time I became a foster parent and got my first baby. Suddenly I didn't have the time required and felt it best not to further pursue this endeavor. And life got really busy after that with moves, etc. and I never went back to it. Though I did deliver a few more pups as it seemed when we had our farm people wold dump their pregnant dogs and you can guess where they ended up. So find some breeders talk with them and get involved I am sure one would be more than willing to help you and work with you. It is sometimes helpful to them too.
 

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A breeder mentor is certainly the best way to go.
If you are having trouble finding one, something to consider is fostering pregnant dogs for a local rescue or SPCA. They should have the resources and mentoring to help guide you, and you could get experience in whelping and raising pups while doing a good deed at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We bought Normie from someone in a similar situation. A breeder in his town who's also a poodle conformation judge is mentoring the man who sold us Norm. He bought his female from her, then she helped him select a suitable mate. She's guiding him step by step through the process.

Are there any Aussie Shepherd breeders in your area?
Wow, that's awesome!

There's not any in my town, but I don't mind traveling ?. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
CKC in Canada, and probably also AKC in the US, has a "Junior Handler program". You could join the program, and learn about breed standards and meet breeders and find mentors. In Canada, I've heard of breeders "lending" show dogs who are no longer showing to junior handlers for the competition.

Here's AKC's Junior Showmanship program - Junior Showmanship 鈥 American Kennel Club
Looks like you need to be between 9 and 18

Hmmpft. Canada lets you compete with any dog, but the US seems to require that you have a registered dog, and they don't let you borrow a dog like they do in Canada. Do you know if you have AKC papers for Sisko?

UKC also has a program - Junior Program | United Kennel Club (UKC) , and it looks like UKC's program doesn't require your dog to be pure bred, or belong to you.
Thank you?! I do have AKC papers for Sisko, but I'm 22.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When I was young I wanted to breed dogs and my goal was to own a kennel for boarding, grooming. So when I when on my hunt for a well bred dog that I felt I could handle both in show and that was somewhat popular i investigated different breeders and spoke openly to them. I purchased my dog from said breeder who agreed to work with me thru all aspects of breeding and selling. She was a show breeder and groomer. I bought a female from her, who was slightly over sized but she told me that was good she would have good litters. I went to her grooming shop and when my dog was about 2 she selected one of her champion studs to breed her with. I just brought my dog to her and together she explained the process and how to not let either of them get injured. She helped me prepare my dog for whelping and told me what I needed to have on hand and she was a phone call away. She had a wait list for my puppies even before they were born. She also groomed all y puppies before they went to their new homes. She docked their tails and told me who I should take the puppies to for their ears to be cropped. Also had me take all puppies to an optomogist for eye certifications. So all my puppies were ready for show/pet homes prior to leaving. I learned an enormous amount from her. She evaluated all my puppies too and helped me hold back one for myself for the show circuit. I went with a recommended handler who was also a great mentor and took me on some over night trips and taught me how to help with getting the dogs ready. It was all great and I loved it, after a few y ears I knew I didn't want to breed, it was a ton of work and while I enjoyed it the only part I didn't enjoy was the whelping of the litter. Too many things could go wrong and I usually had to deliver a breech puppy and cut umbilical cords. I may have continued but around the same time I became a foster parent and got my first baby. Suddenly I didn't have the time required and felt it best not to further pursue this endeavor. And life got really busy after that with moves, etc. and I never went back to it. Though I did deliver a few more pups as it seemed when we had our farm people wold dump their pregnant dogs and you can guess where they ended up. So find some breeders talk with them and get involved I am sure one would be more than willing to help you and work with you. It is sometimes helpful to them too.
Okay, thank you! May I ask what kind of dog breed it was?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A breeder mentor is certainly the best way to go.
If you are having trouble finding one, something to consider is fostering pregnant dogs for a local rescue or SPCA. They should have the resources and mentoring to help guide you, and you could get experience in whelping and raising pups while doing a good deed at the same time.
Thank you! I would love to foster, but I can't.
 

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Thank you?! I do have AKC papers for Sisko, but I'm 22.
Haha whoops... Sorry Fenris!!!!!!

If it makes you feel any better, when I was 22, I got asked by someone why I wasn't at school.
Looked at the cashier like... ummm....'cause I graduated high school 5 years ago. Ended up pulling out my drivers licence because the guy was so worried.

Maybe still go go a show, and see if you can connect with any breeders you like? Even if they aren't Aussie breeders? I know my dog's breeder has a few friends who take relief shifts when she has really young puppies so she can sleep or go places with her kids without worrying. No idea how you'd gain that level of trust though :
?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Haha whoops... Sorry Fenris!!!!!!

If it makes you feel any better, when I was 22, I got asked by someone why I wasn't at school.
Looked at the cashier like... ummm....'cause I graduated high school 5 years ago, and graduated university a year ago. Ended up pulling out my drivers licence because the guy was so worried.

Maybe still go go a show, and see if you can connect with any breeders you like? Are there any Aussie breeders locally to you? I know my dog's breeder has a few friends who take relief shifts when she has really young puppies so she can sleep or go places with her kids without worrying.
? People look at me all the time like???

There's going to be a show in April I'm going to go to, so I'll talk and ask to some people. There's not any Australian Shepherd breeders here in town, but I think there's a few around Puget Sound. I don't mind going out of town?
 

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As mentioned above you will want a good mentor.

I鈥榲e never done this myself but I鈥檓 guessing someone who is a quality breeder probably would have to consider if you are someone they should invest their time mentoring. They may have questions about whether you are serious or just a dabbler who will waste their time and not follow through.

Besides looking for a mentor, start training your dog and participate in one or more dog sports, particularly agility or herding. Australian Shepherds are herders but they also do well in agility. Poodles are great in agility too so I would recommend agility. Find an AKC club because they will train for competition in agility and have the classes in conformation that you will want as a breeder.

You might likely meet people who breed Australian Shepherds and compete in agility. Even if none of them breed, you will find out which breeders they bought their dogs from. You will see who is producing good tempered dogs with beautiful coats etc. These are potential breeders to approach.

You will also hear stories about certain breeders and may know which ones to avoid. Becoming involved with this community will be investment in becoming a successful breeder. I know people who breed, not Australian Shepherds but other breeds like standard poodles, Shelties, corgis, cocker spaniels etc, who both show in conformation and compete in dog sports. They have long lists of people who want their puppies. They have lots of friends to call upon when they have problems. A friend of mine just had a litter but she has to have surgery and isn鈥檛 keeping a puppy. Instead she has given her pick puppy to a friend who runs dogs in agility. This person has bought several puppies from my friend and my friend sees her at competitions regularly so she sees her puppies thriving. Because of the surgery she asked this person a favor. She has given this person her pick of the litter for free. the agreement is this woman is to train and put agility titles on the dog. My friend will take the dog once a week for training for conformation and at her expense will title the dog in AKC conformation If the dog passes all health checks my friend will breed the dog once and keep the first pick puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As mentioned above you will want a good mentor.

I鈥榲e never done this myself but I鈥檓 guessing someone who is a quality breeder probably would have to consider if you are someone they should invest their time mentoring. They may have questions about whether you are serious or just a dabbler who will waste their time and not follow through.

Besides looking for a mentor, start training your dog and participate in one or more dog sports, particularly agility or herding. Australian Shepherds are herders but they also do well in agility. Poodles are great in agility too so I would recommend agility. Find an AKC club because they will train for competition in agility and have the classes in conformation that you will want as a breeder.

You might likely meet people who breed Australian Shepherds and compete in agility. Even if none of them breed, you will find out which breeders they bought their dogs from. You will see who is producing good tempered dogs with beautiful coats etc. These are potential breeders to approach.

You will also hear stories about certain breeders and may know which ones to avoid. Becoming involved with this community will be investment in becoming a successful breeder. I know people who breed, not Australian Shepherds but other breeds like standard poodles, Shelties, corgis, cocker spaniels etc, who both show in conformation and compete in dog sports. They have long lists of people who want their puppies. They have lots of friends to call upon when they have problems. A friend of mine just had a litter but she has to have surgery and isn鈥檛 keeping a puppy. Instead she has given her pick puppy to a friend who runs dogs in agility. This person has bought several puppies from my friend and my friend sees her at competitions regularly so she sees her puppies thriving. Because of the surgery she asked this person a favor. She has given this person her pick of the litter for free. the agreement is this woman is to train and put agility titles on the dog. My friend will take the dog once a week for training for conformation and at her expense will title the dog in AKC conformation If the dog passes all health checks my friend will breed the dog once and keep the first pick puppy.
Okay, thanks Skylar! I found a agility trainer, but I'm waiting until Sisko's resource guarding is better. I think I should wait until Sisko is better trained to start agility? I contacted a few Aussie breeders and I'll be talking to one on Thursday or Friday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I talked to a breeder today. She was very kind and gave me some breeders to look into, some websites, clubs to join, and advice. We had a good time talking to each other. My family and I are probably going to go and visit her after one of her dams has puppies and they're 6 weeks. She said I could still contact her too. I'M SO HAPPY!
 

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...Find an AKC club ... You might likely meet people who breed Australian Shepherds and compete in agility. Even if none of them breed, you will find out which breeders they bought their dogs from... who is producing good tempered dogs with beautiful coats etc. These are potential breeders to approach.
Hi Fenris-wolf. It' looks like you're very serious about this, so here are a few thoughts.

If you plan to be a serious breeder and to show in agility and possibly conformation, your foundation female (or male to be a stud) should be of the best stock you can afford. Be prepared to travel out of state for this. The rock bottom basic is a puppy whom both parents were DNA tested and clear of common genetic disorders in the breed. Find out what these are here:

Australian Shepherd Essential Panel
Miniature Australian Shepherd Essential Panel
Toy Australian Shepherd Essential Panel

The OFA also recommends non-DNA screenings for Hip and Elbow dysplasia, and Autoimmune thyroiditis for the parents. When you know the names of the parents of a litter, you can use their Search feature which will list the outcome of any testing, provided the owners registered their dogs with OFA. Pay attention to which tests, if any, have been omitted. If you see both parents listed, information on the grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of parents may also be listed. Since agility is one of your goals, parents with excellent/good hip & elbow ratings is paramount.

Learn exactly what the Standard of the Breed looks like. The AKC pdf is here, and the ASCA Australian Shepherd Club of America is here.

465076


The ASCA is an excellent site filled with good information, including competitive programs and an event calendar.

Just in case you haven't found this site, the Australian Shepard Forum has a lot of information including a list of breeders. It looks like the serious Aussie owners/breeder register their dogs with both the AKC and the ASCA. On their Rules & Forms page, they also have an agreement with Paw Print Genetics for DNA testing. Note: I'm very familiar with PPG, and if you create an account with them, they will email you when they have a discount on their testing, and if you wait a while, you can get 50% off from their full test panels.

A few more things. While it's nice that you found a helpful breeder, I suggest to keep looking before committing to a deposit (unless the sire and dam checks out with the above and you really like their appearance), go to the April show you mentioned and any other nearby events listed on ASCA or elsewhere. You might find an even superior set of parents with a pleasing litter you can afford.

Also consider getting a male puppy. Why? For two reasons. If you want to focus mainly on agility, pregnancy can get in the way of this. Pregnancy holds many risks as you hopefully read here and here, and puppies are a lot of work. With a great male pup that goes on to win agility shows and/or earned championship, you can stud him out and continue taking him to agility events year round.

Also learn about contracts; many poodle breeders demand co-ownership in an unlimited registration if you want to show and breed, although I don't know if Aussie breeders are that rigid. Lots of pitfalls there, see these articles by an attorney here and here.

Lastly, I hope you're in really, really great physical shape. Aussies are extraordinarily intelligent and very high energy. Inactivity in this combination lead them to becoming frustrated and highly destructive when they don't get enough daily exercise no matter what your schedule is or the weather.

I wish you well! You have the youth, and with the time, space, patience, thoroughness and motivation, what you want is doable and will give you many, many years of joy should you pursue it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Fenris-wolf. It' looks like you're very serious about this, so here are a few thoughts.

If you plan to be a serious breeder and to show in agility and possibly conformation, your foundation female (or male to be a stud) should be of the best stock you can afford. Be prepared to travel out of state for this. The rock bottom basic is a puppy whom both parents were DNA tested and clear of common genetic disorders in the breed. Find out what these are here:

Australian Shepherd Essential Panel
Miniature Australian Shepherd Essential Panel
Toy Australian Shepherd Essential Panel

The OFA also recommends non-DNA screenings for Hip and Elbow dysplasia, and Autoimmune thyroiditis for the parents. When you know the names of the parents of a litter, you can use their Search feature which will list the outcome of any testing, provided the owners registered their dogs with OFA. Pay attention to which tests, if any, have been omitted. If you see both parents listed, information on the grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of parents may also be listed. Since agility is one of your goals, parents with excellent/good hip & elbow ratings is paramount.

Learn exactly what the Standard of the Breed looks like. The AKC pdf is here, and the ASCA Australian Shepherd Club of America is here.

View attachment 465076

The ASCA is an excellent site filled with good information, including competitive programs and an event calendar.

Just in case you haven't found this site, the Australian Shepard Forum has a lot of information including a list of breeders. It looks like the serious Aussie owners/breeder register their dogs with both the AKC and the ASCA. On their Rules & Forms page, they also have an agreement with Paw Print Genetics for DNA testing. Note: I'm very familiar with PPG, and if you create an account with them, they will email you when they have a discount on their testing, and if you wait a while, you can get 50% off from their full test panels.

A few more things. While it's nice that you found a helpful breeder, I suggest to keep looking before committing to a deposit (unless the sire and dam checks out with the above and you really like their appearance), go to the April show you mentioned and any other nearby events listed on ASCA or elsewhere. You might find an even superior set of parents with a pleasing litter you can afford.

Also consider getting a male puppy. Why? For two reasons. If you want to focus mainly on agility, pregnancy can get in the way of this. Pregnancy holds many risks as you hopefully read here and here, and puppies are a lot of work. With a great male pup that goes on to win agility shows and/or earned championship, you can stud him out and continue taking him to agility events year round.

Also learn about contracts; many poodle breeders demand co-ownership in an unlimited registration if you want to show and breed, although I don't know if Aussie breeders are that rigid. Lots of pitfalls there, see these articles by an attorney here and here.

Lastly, I hope you're in really, really great physical shape. Aussies are extraordinarily intelligent and very high energy. Inactivity in this combination lead them to becoming frustrated and highly destructive when they don't get enough daily exercise no matter what your schedule is or the weather.

I wish you well! You have the youth, and with the time, space, patience, thoroughness and motivation, what you want is doable and will give you many, many years of joy should you pursue it.
Okay, thank you, so much, Vita! ? and thank you for the links as well. We talked about almost everything you mentioned above and she told me to look into ASCA. She also used PPG.

Even though I would love so much to get a puppy right now, I don't have the money or space right now for a second dog, (we're going over there just to help socialise the puppies) so it's going to be a while. Sisko still needs a lot of work as well. But after you talked about why getting a male would be better idea, I'll get a male.

Oh, yeah! I know too much about how Aussies can be when they're bored? so Dax got jobs helping around the house.
 
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