Under this tab, I hope to have many articles that will help you with your search and rearing of your Australian Shepherd. For starter, here is a description of what a Hobby Breeder is:
Hobby Breeders are those that breed for the love of the dog, without a thought to profit because we rarely make money on our dogs.
Hobby Breeders belong to their National Breed Club, for Australian Shepherds that is the The Australian Shepherd Club of America (www.asca.org) and United States Australian Shepherd Association (http://australianshepherds.org/)
Hobby Breeders are typically involved in dog sports of some kind - conformation (dog shows), agility, obedience, rally, or herding to name a few.
Hobby Breeders study pedigrees, looking for a dog that will add something to the offspring of the litter.
Hobby Breeders know the Breed Standard and select the stud and bitch with an eye towards physical correctness, sound bodies, genetic health, sound temperament and the ability to perform the task for which
the breed was originally created.
Hobby Breeders will study which genetic problems are prevalent in their breed and test accordingly, often at great cost. Australian Shepherd at the bare minimum should have their hips and elbows certified with The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (
Hobby Breeders will require that the puppies that are not of breeding quality will be spayed or neutered at the appropriate (18- 24 months) time. These puppies will most likely be placed with limited registration, meaning that any offspring cannot be registered with the American Kennel Club.
Hobby breeders will typically not let puppies leave their home before the age of 8-10 weeks.
Hobby Breeders spend a tremendous amount of time socializing their puppies before they are placed so that they have a wonderful start in life. This may even include Temperament Testing or Puppy Aptitude Testing so that the right puppy is matched to the right owner.
Hobby Breeders will make sure the puppies are exposed to strange noises, sights, people and smells. Many Hobby Breeders will follow the Rule of 7's.
Hobby Breeders leave the mother of the litter with the puppies to teach them proper manners and friends and family are brought in for the express purpose of socializing the litter with people.
Hobby Breeders keep shot records and family histories (complete with pictures) and other good advice in the form of a puppy manual are sent home with each and every puppy.
Hobby Breeders will question potential buyers, often asking for references and may contact your vet to see how previous pets have been cared for.
Hobby Breeders encourage you to ask questions and welcome you to their home to see how the puppies are being raised and how the adult dogs they have react with strangers and children.
Hobby Breeders will insist that you bring a puppy back to them, if you are unable to keep it - for any reason, during any stage of its life.
Hobby Breeders will encourage you to call with any problems, no matter how small or trivial they may seem. They are there to help - for the life of the puppy.
Hobby Breeders are committed to every dog they produce for life.
Hobby Breeders do not have a steady supply of puppies available. You need to be prepared to wait for the right puppy for your family.
Hobby Breeders will not discuss price with you right off the bat, they will want to "qualify" you by asking some general questions. Some Hobby Breeders may give you a price range which is not dependent on show quality versus pet quality. You will be better off by not leading with the price question. Save the price question for last.
Hobby Breeders work to support their dogs and their non-working hours are devoted to caring for their dogs. Please be considerate of the time zone in which they live when you call them. If you get voice mail, leave a message but don't expect a call back. Try again. Be politely persistent.