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  FAQ

 

To search my FAQ for the answer you are looking for-
 press CTRL + F and enter the word, it will highlight it on this page. 
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What is the difference in a Miniature/Toy Australian Shepherd and a standard Australian Shepherd?

The only difference is size.  If they are quality minis or toys, they should look identical to a standard Aussie.

What colors are mini aussies?

Standard colors are Blue/Red merles and Black/Red tri's or bi's.  See this page for a ton of interesting information about Aussie coloring and genetics.  Click Here  This is an amazing site with TONS of information.

When can you tell a puppies eye color?

I can usually have a pretty good idea by about 4 weeks.  

Do they all have blue eyes?

Aussies can have shades of blue, green, brown or even a mixture.  Some can have eyes of different colors, some are marbled or split.  Example 1 eye might be blue and the other is 1/2 blue and 1/2 green.  You can see more info on the page listed above.

How big is a mini aussie?  A toy?

Mini Aussies are 14-17 inches.  Some registries will accept them up to 18 inches. Toys are 14 inches and smaller. 

Are Mini Aussie and Toy Aussies different breeds? No.  They are the same breed.  Same temperament. They should look the same.  The only difference is size at maturity. 
Can you guarantee size? Absolutely not.  I wish I had the crystal ball, but I don't.  Its just like trying to guarantee how tall your kids will be.  An educated guess is the best anyone can do.  Remember, a vet deals with many different breeds.  Someone who specializes in the specific breed is more likely to know how their dogs mature.
How do you estimate size? Size is complicated and it depends on more factors than just the size of the parents.  It also has a lot to do with the dogs several generations back.  For example, a dog that is out of a 10 inch male and a 15 inch female, even if he stays 10 inches will more than likely produce litters of all sizes.  From 9 inches to 17 or bigger.  I've learned this over the years.  Consistency is important.  Comparing to other puppies in the litter as they get older also helps.  Knowing the bloodlines and the dogs in the background is a tremendous help and a big factor in how I estimate sizes of a puppies mature size.
Is there a chart to estimate size? No.
Well, yes there is, but they do not work.  They are false advertisement.  This is what our 20 years experience tells us.
I have personally had puppies that weigh under 2 pounds grow up to be 16 inch 30 pound dogs.  I've also had puppies that are 3 pounds at 8 weeks grow up to be 10 inches and 7 pounds.
Size at birth definitely does not matter.
Experience, knowing bloodlines several generations back and comparing with littermates and past litters are the best tools.  Still- no guarantees!

Do mini aussies shed a lot?

Some have more of a coat than others, so of course, some shed more than others. We use a shedding rake along with a slicker brush.  They work wonderful and you'll see a lot less hair if you use them only twice a month.

What can I do to help reduce shedding? Brush your dog in the bathtub with shampoo AND conditioner still in the hair.  This pulls out  a ton of loose hair!  We prefer dawn dish soap and Suave!

What kind of coats do mini aussies have?

Coats can range from long silky hair to fluffy and thick.  Some have working coats and are a little bit shorter. 

 Males or females?  What makes a better pet?

I know some people live by their beliefs that males are better or females are better.  After raising minis and spending a lot of time with both sexes I have not noticed any significant behavior differences.  Both make wonderful companions.

If I already have a pet, male or female, should I get the same sex or opposite?

If you're just looking for a pet and plan to spay/neuter it doesn't make any difference.  I have two un-neutered males that live in my house. They get along great!  Its just a matter of preference. 

How do mini aussies get along with children and other pets?

Minis are great with children and are wonderful family pets.  They are also accepting of other pets.  Remember, they are herding dogs and can sometimes herd the cats, dogs or other family members!  Our dogs are socialized with dogs of all sizes and ages before they leave here.

Do mini aussies need training?

 

Yes!  All puppies need to be trained with consistency and love.  Aussies love to be involved in family activities and do best with families that provide obedience training, socialization and exercise.  Aussies are naturally reserved around strangers and need to be properly socialized early in their lives.  They are also extremely loyal dogs; wanting to be by their masters side more than anything else on the planet!  Aussies are extremely smart and want nothing more than to please their owner.  They can very easily be trained to do anything!

Are your puppies potty trained? My puppies are using a doggy door consistently by the time they are 5 weeks old.  We understand not everyone has a doggy door but it does help that they know to go outside and have been doing so for at least 3 weeks before they go home.
Are your puppies socialized? Oh my gosh yes! This is a very important thing for us.  Did you know that Aussies are not naturally friendly?  They aren't bred to be everyone's best friend like a lab.  They are working dogs.  Even the breed standard says that they are naturally standoffish of strangers.  This breed takes a lot of early socialization to make them the friendly, outgoing and well adjusted puppies that they are.  Selective breeding also plays a huge role in this.  Most people do not understand how much temperament is an inherited trait.  We've spent 20 years breeding our dogs for temperament as well as looks.  We don't like to send home dogs/puppies that aren't happy, friendly, family pets.
   
How do you socialize your puppies? We spend all day every day with our dogs.  They are handled by each one of us every single day.  They have a miniature agility course they play and learn on.  You can see tons of videos of them learning new skills on my YouTube channel.
www.YouTube.com/c/lindsey682
What makes us different as far as socializing our puppies? This is not an 'after work hobby' for us.  These dogs are our life.  We employ 4 full time employees just to help with grooming, extra socialization, training, vet trips, detailed cleaning and normal upkeep.  Anyone who lives on or runs a farm of any kind knows that it isn't just animals that require every day attention.  So does their living area.   With 4 full time employees, a handful of part time employees and 3 kids, we stay busy with our dogs.  We don't even own a TV.  We literally spend our entire days outside with the animals, coming in to eat, sleep and do a little computer work.  We love it and wouldn't have it any other way.
Will our new puppy get along with our new dog? We believe that socialization with other dogs is super important.  You'll notice if you spend some time on my YouTube channel that we let several different litters play together often.  Sometimes, with quite a large age difference.  They learn how to play with different puppies at an early age and how to be around puppies of different sizes.  We also have adult dogs that spend quite a bit of time with our puppies.  Not just aussies, but big dogs too.  We feel this gives our puppies a huge jump start in socialization in the real world.  They also see their share of farm animals and even exotic animals before they leave here.
Link to our YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/c/lindsey682
Is a Mini or Toy Aussie a mix? No.  They should not be.  Every breeder holds themselves to their own personal standards.  Our standards are very high and we use or own dogs we have known and loved for 20 years to selectively breed smaller dogs.  Mini and Toy Aussies come from small Standard Aussies and are bred to have the same fantastic temperament and quirks that the standards and known and loved for.  Just a smaller package.  This takes a lot of time, understanding, LOTS of learning and keeping the best of the litter to start your next generation. 

Are mini aussies registered with AKC?  How are they registered?

No, AKC does not recognize mini aussies as a breed yet.  My dogs are registered with ASDR, American Stock Dog Registry.  However, if you want to register your puppy with NSDR you can hardship them. 

Can I register one of your puppies as a Mini American? Yes, for those wanting to go AKC to show, I have enough registration numbers and pedigree on my dogs for you to take them AKC. 
I do not and will not change my dogs from Mini Aussies to Mini Americans just to go with the AKC registry.
What is the difference in Mini Aussie and Mini American? Politics.  AKC registers Mini Aussies as Miniature American Shepherds.  This changes the actual 'breed' of the dog.  You can not breed a Mini/Toy Aussie to a Mini American and have a pure bred dog even though they are both the same dog.  The way AKC has worded it, you can hardship your Mini Aussie with their registry and from then on it will be a Mini American Shepherd.  Though technically the same, they can no longer be bred or shown as a Mini Australian Shepherd, they have been turned into a Mini American Shepherd.  More info on this subject can be found online. 
My dogs are Miniature and Toy Australian shepherds that I have selectively bred down in size since 2001.  It takes several generations and many years to achieve what we have with our dogs.

Do you sell your puppies with papers?

Yes, my puppies all come with full registration papers.   No additional fees will be added for breeding rights unless otherwise specified.

Do you ship your puppies?

Yes.  We use Delta and United airlines.  Puppies fly in temperature controlled cargo.  Its the same as being a passenger.  Other airlines are available but prices may vary. 

How much is shipping?

Shipping is $450.  Price includes airline charges, crate, vet check, health certificate and certificate of acclimation.  I do not charge for driving to the airport.  However, I do try to ship more than one puppy at a time to make it worth the drive.  Its over a $100 trip for me and takes a full day.

Do you have someone who can deliver my puppy to my home? Yes, I have a friend who regularly drives puppies to their new homes.  This is generally within about 500 miles, but she has delivered across the country before.  Prices vary and if this is something you would like to consider, I will get you in contact with her.
Can I pay someone to fly with the puppy to my airport? Yes.  I do have someone that will fly with your puppy in cabin with them.  You will have to cover her costs.  Prices vary greatly and is not the most cost effective option, but it is an option.  We've hand delivered many puppies to Hollywood, New York City, Boston and many other places. 
Can we fly with a puppy nanny service?  Yes, but because of the way that they operate using stand by flights, we require that your pet nanny picks up in Lawton, Oklahoma.  (LAW is American Airlines only)
We've driven the 4 hour round trip to OKC airport too many times to be told the nanny would not make the connection.  That creates a lot of stress and wasted time for us and much unneeded travel time for your puppy.
Prices vary greatly.

Are these costs included in the price of the puppy?

No, all shipping fees are the responsibility of the buyer. 
*sometimes certain specials can cover all or partial shipping

I'd like to purchase a puppy, what do I do next?

Send a deposit and let me know which one you want!  A deposit is required to hold a puppy.  I allow one week including weekends for your deposit to arrive.  If it does not, I can not keep holding the puppy.  For more details click here!  The 'what's next' page has some good information for those who are ready to purchase a puppy.

How can I send the deposit?

For deposits I accept checks, money orders, bank transfers, Apple Pay or PayPal.  I can also accept credit cards over the phone using Square Up on my phone.  For the final payment I accept money orders, cash, Square (Credit card), Apple Pay or PayPal.  Personal checks are not accepted as final payment.

If I decide I don't want a puppy anymore can I get my deposit back?  What if I pick one I like better after I have already put a deposit on another puppy?

All money is non-refundable and non-transferable for any reason.  The reason for a deposit is for me to hold the puppy for you.  If I am holding a specific puppy for you, he can not be sold to anyone else.  If I was to transfer the deposit to another puppy, I would be loosing several potential sales while the puppy was marked sold. I would have to start all over looking for a new home for the puppy.

Does my puppy come with a health guarantee?

Yes, a 72 hour health guarantee.  Plus an extended 2 year health guarantee is explained in my puppy purchase agreement. You can see my contract page here.  I stand behind my dogs, but every situation is different and its impossible to write every possible situation on a contract.  If there is ever a problem, it can be dealt with professionally and we can both be happy.  I want everyone who gets a puppy from me to be happy.  If I do not know there is a problem, I can't fix it.

When does my puppy have to be paid in full?

Puppies should be paid for in full by 8 weeks.  They must be paid in full and funds cleared before shipping.

How early can a puppy be picked up?

Puppies can be picked up in person after they have their 8 week shots.  Airlines require that puppies are 8 weeks old to ship. 

Where are you located in case I want to pick up my puppy?

Lawton, Oklahoma.  I'm about an hour south of Oklahoma City and an hour north of Wichita Falls, Tx.  Further out?  About 3 1/2 north hours of  Dallas and 3 hours southwest of Tulsa, Ok.

Can I get more pictures of the puppies?

I spend 8-10 hours a day on my website, 7 days a week.  Pictures are more than likely up to date.  However, I can get more pictures for serious buyers.  If you're just wanting to look at puppy pictures, please save me the time I take to take pics, edit them and put them on my website.  I take picture taking very seriously and its not just a quick thing.  Thanks for your understanding.

Can I come and meet you and your dogs?

Yes!  If you are purchasing a puppy from me you are more than welcome to come out to meet the dogs and pick up your puppy.  We'd love to meet you.

Can we come play with all of the puppies?

 

I'm sorry, but I do not allow people to come to just  'play with puppies'.  Most of the time, the puppy you are looking for can be narrowed down to 1 or 2 puppies.  I am happy to show someone a puppy that they are seriously interested in.  However, unless the puppy is 8 weeks old, it can not be touched or handled by anyone else.  This being said, most of the time you can see just as much in a video or picture.  I'm always happy to take a quick video to send via text or email if someone wants to see the puppy interacting with me.  FaceTime is also an option.

Why can't we handle puppies until they're 8 weeks old?

Safety.   I do not even walk out to my kennel in my street shoes.  Much care is taken not to bring in outside diseases.  If I go to the vet or am around other young dogs I change clothes and shoes before I go out there.  Parvo, among other things, is highly contagious.  It can unknowingly be carried on clothes and skin.  It takes special chemicals to kill Parvo.  This is something that I will not take the chance of exposing my young puppies to.  I don't want sick puppies and I do NOT want to send a puppy home with someone that has been exposed to something I may not even know about.

What if we don't go anywhere before we come?

I'm sorry, I've done it before. I was told, 'we won't go anywhere'.  "We are by no means just 'puppy shopping'.  We will come straight to you.  No pet stores or other kennels before we come see you."  And 45 minutes into the puppy visit after everyone had held and kissed every single puppy I had...the 6 year old boy says..."Mom, this one gives kisses just like the one we just saw at the pound!"   They didn't buy a puppy, they were just out to entertain themselves on a leisurely Sunday afternoon.  Guess what...a few days later, I had my first case of parvo.
It's a hard lesson.  And it was awful.  I can't even put it in words.  But like so many other things in the world today, people like that ruin it for everyone else.
It just isn't worth the risk.

Have you always let people come out?

No.  My house burned down in 2011 and I lived in a camper alone out here.  For my safety I did not allow the public to come out.  There are all kinds of people out there.  In dealing with the public, I've met all kinds.  My safely was first. 

When can we come out?

By appointment only.  I am here most of the time.  I, like most of you, do not appreciate people just showing up at my door.  I am very busy and am always on the go.  I will be happy  to schedule a time to show you the puppies or dogs you'd like to see.
I will not do business with someone that just shows up knocking.  Thank you for respecting my time and personal life. :)

What do I do when I pick my puppy up?

Be prepared, it was a long day and airplane ride.  It is possible he/she may have made a mess in their crate.  A towel might be a handy thing to have just in case.  There will be food on the crate, but a drink of water would be greatly appreciated by your new arrival!  Lots of hugs and kisses are a great welcome!

Is there anything I should NOT do when I pick up my puppy?

Yes!  Do not put your puppy on the ground at the airport to go potty!  Hundreds of people a week pick up their new puppies at the airport where you do.  A huge percent of them let their puppies run around where you would and your new puppy could get sick by walking around where other, possibly sick puppies have been.  You can not be too careful.  Wait until you get somewhere your puppy can safely potty where there have not been a bunch of other puppies.  Gas stations and other parking lots are not the best choice either. 

Can I take my puppy to the dog park or Pets Mart?

Oh, this is scary.  As explained above, this can be dangerous.  Parvo, among other things, is  very easily transferred and is very contagious.  This kills a huge percent of puppies who get it.  If you have to take your puppy to pets mart, don't put him down and don't let strangers handle your puppy.  Puppies are susceptible to parvo until they've had several sets of shots.

I thought my puppy had shots before it was shipped.  Why is it still so dangerous to take him or her out?

Your puppy will be up to date on its shots according to its age when you get it.  Parvo, for example,  is very dangerous and unfortunately can still be contracted after several sets of shots.  You can keep your puppy healthy by making sure its had its full set of shots before you take it to public places!

Is Parvo all I need to worry about? No, there are many things that we can not vaccinate for.  There are many other things that can make puppies sick.  Just think, when we get sick are we limited to just a cold or the flu?  No! We can get coughs or 100's of other kinds of illnesses.  When your puppy is even a little stressed, this can affect their immune system.  We do our best to protect them during this time.  Going to a new home is a big change.  We socialize them the best we can to make their transition as smooth and easy as possible.  We feel like this goes a long way in making them healthier and happier puppies.

What shots has my puppy had and what does it need?

Your puppy is up to date according to its age when you get him or her.  Here is some information on what shots your puppy has had and still needs!  Vaccinations page

Do you have more information on this?  What about car sickness?  Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar for smaller puppies?

Yes!  Check out this page!  Its my medical page, you can find helpful information here. 

My puppy doesn't seem to have an appetite.
Why is this?   

Puppies can stress when brought into a new environment.  Remember, they've just landed on a new planet!  New smells, tastes, new people and lots of times- new animal friends too.  Understand they're a little nervous and their tummy my feel a little nervous too.  Encourage them to eat.  If they don't eat on their first night home, call me right away!  I have plenty of tips to help you get your new puppy to eat.  Not eating can become serious very quickly.  Do not let it go and assume he'll eat when he's hungry.  Read below about hypoglycemia.  Just because they aren't a fragile toy breed doesn't mean their blood sugar can't drop quickly with  not enough food or rest.  This can be life threatening!

What is hypoglycemia and what are the symptoms? 
What can I do?

HYPOGLYCEMIA, or low blood sugar, is common in toy breed dogs and puppies. Because small Toy Aussie puppies carry little body fat or reserves, if they become overly stressed, miss a meal, over exercise, etc., they may experience a dangerous drop in glucose (sugar) in their blood. This drop causes the puppy to become weak, lethargic, nauseous and generally unwell. Hypoglycemia is LIFE THREATENING if left untreated. You must intervene and get your puppy's sugars up and stabilized.
I have put together a page with information about hypoglycemia.  What to watch for, what to do and when you need to consider going to the vet.  This is not something to mess around with and it's can affect any small puppy no matter how healthy it is. 
Hypoglycemia Information Page

What if I have questions or concerns after I have my puppy?

Call anytime.  Please don't hesitate.  If you have a serious problem and need help you can even call in the middle of the night.  I would be happy to help with anything I can.  I turn my cell phone off when I go to bed but in an emergency you can also try 580-284-3443.

What if I want to breed my dog?

That is fine, please if you're going to do so, all I ask is that you do it responsibly.   I sell my dogs as pets.  When you buy a dog/puppy from me, its your dog to do with what you want!  But please remember, do this at your own risk.  Complications can arise.  Educate yourself.  If you have questions feel free to ask.  I'd be glad to help.

I'm interested in adult dog or older puppy to breed in the future...what is your guarantee?

Adult dogs and older puppies that I raised are under the same 72 hour genetic guarantee that puppies are.  I can not foresee any problems that might arise and can not guarantee any dog to be a good 'breeder' or a good mother.  That is a chance we all take when we buy a dog to breed.  I will not sell a dog to breed that I know is unsound or unfit to breed.  So, to be very clear...no guarantee at all other than the 72 hour genetic guarantee. 

Can you help me pick a dog compatible for breeding with mine?

Absolutely.  I would be more than happy to help you pick a puppy that would work best for you!  If you need help getting started, I'd be happy to help you out as much as possible. I know what its like to get started, its hard to learn as you go.  No one was there to help get started, so I would be happy to help anyone who is serious about learning more about mini aussies.

Do aussie puppies go through a weird 'teenage' stage?

OH YES!  Just like people, some more than others...but sometimes they will go through a stage where they have no hair.  They're all legs and ears and you wonder what the heck you bought!?  Well take a few pictures and try not to be too disappointed because after 2-3 months of this, all of the sudden one day they will be a different dog!  You'll want that picture to laugh at later!  Most of you who watch my website have seen some of these guys grow up.  From my experience the ugliest ones are just ugly ducklings and they turn into the most beautiful dogs! I actually made a page just to show you how much they can change in just a couple months time! Check out my UGLY page!

You just ran a special and I've already purchased a puppy, does that special apply to my puppy? Specials only apply to puppies that are purchased during a special or sale.
Specials and sales only apply to puppies being purchased.  If a puppy is being traded out or exchanged the special price does not apply. 

What dog food do you feed?

I only feed Royal Canin.  I feed Small Breed Adult to my adult dogs and Small Breed Puppy to my bred dogs and puppies.  If you have a dog that is very active or needs to gain weight, Royal Canin Special is a good choice.  A puppy who is a picky eater?  Royal Canin Baby Dog is something I always keep on hand.  Royal Canin Starter Mousse is apparently really yummy and is something I give my new moms and young puppies.
Here is a link to their website for nutritional info.
http://www.royalcanin.us/products/products/dog-products/size-health-nutrition/mini-dogs-from-9-22-lb

Where can I buy this dog food?

Well, this is not the kind of dog food they sell at Walmart.  This is truly a quality dog food.  You can find it at larger chain pet stores.  Pets Mart, Pet Sense, etc. 
If you live close or are picking up your puppy, you can get a bag or 3 from me.  I buy it by the ton every month so I get a pretty good discount.  (Royal Canin is all I will feed my dogs)  I am happy to pass this savings on to my customers.  Several of my customers  come and pick up a bag or two at a time from me on a regular basis.  If you need more than that, I will gladly order more as long as I know before 'order day'.

How much is this dog food?

Here is the link to 'PETSMART'
http://www.petsmart.com/search/index.jsp?kw=royal+canin+mini&categoryId=2767032&lmdn=Dog+Sale&f=Taxonomy%2FPET%2F2767032&fbc=1&fbn=Taxonomy|Dog
Prices are ever changing.
I can promise you that your dog will eat 1/2 as much Royal Canin and waste (poop) 1/2 as much.  That means you can divide the price by almost 1/2.
Try it!  If I'm wrong, I'd love to know.  But if you try Royal Canin first...you dog will not be happy changing to anything else.  They love the Royal Canin dog food.

I would like to buy dog food in bulk too.  Can you tell me where to order? Of course!  Just give me a call at your convince and I'd be happy to get you all of the info to get the dog food at the same price I do.  I believe they require a minimal order of 25 bags.  But you do not have to order every month. 
Testing- the million dollar question.  Do you test your dogs?  Yes!  We do theses tests because social media has made it seem so important test.  For those who agree, it's done!  Truth is, 90% of us who test and who want testing done don't understand what we are even testing for.  And that's okay, we do test.  If you are concerned about testing results, please ask!
   
What do the test results mean? If a dog is a 'carrier', they only have one copy of the gene but are NOT  affected.  This only matters if you want to breed them to a dog that also has a copy of the same gene.  For pet purposes, the dog is considered genetically clear. 
If a dog has 2 copies of the gene they are "affected".
What does it mean if mom or dad is a carrier? If, for example,  mom is a carrier of MDR1 but dad is MDR1 clear- the puppies will be clear or possible MDR1 carrier but none will be affected.  Puppies can be tested, but being a carrier does not affect the puppy's health.  Only if they get a copy from both parents which would make them MDR1 affected.  This would not be possible if one parent was clear.
What if the puppy is a carrier of something? If a puppy (or dog) is a carrier, it only means that they carry 1 copy of the gene that is being tested for.  This does not affect the health or quality of the dog.  For breeding purposes, it's good knowledge to have if you are breeding to another dog that carries for the same gene.  As far as health goes, even a dog that is tested a carrier for every single thing on the Aussie panel, they are still healthy dogs. They are carrier's only with 1 copy of each gene.  They healthy and show no symptoms.  They would just need to be bred to a dog who is clear for those tests. 
IF YOU ARE NOT BREEDING- carrier of any of these tests will not affect your dog . Only if they have 2 copies and are considered affected. 
Does genetic testing mean my dog will live forever? I wish it would. Unfortunately, this is something social media and advertising would like us to believe.  If we buy a dog that is tested clear for the full Aussie panel that our dogs will live to be 20 and stay in perfect health.
How can I learn more about what these tests even mean? You can go directly to the source.  www.pawprintgenetics.com
I'll attach a link to the tests done for our breed.  You can read each one on the panel and get more information.   Toy Australian Shepherd panel link-
https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/breeds/199/
What are my thoughts on testing?  
How do you know your breeder really does the testing they say they do? Well, I personally know more than a couple of people who don't test their dogs but say that they do.  It's unfortunate, but it's the world we live in.  All of my results will be listed publicly under PawPrintGentics website for everyone to view.
Have you always tested? No, I've been breeding for 20 years.  20 years ago, a health dog was just that.  We are still breeding the same bloodlines and the same wonderful dogs.  We have some 15-18 year old dogs that are retired here.  We're very blessed to have customers who keep up with us and keep us updated with the health of our past puppies.  It gives us priceless insight to how we're doing.
Why do you test now?  Honestly....? We test our dogs because it's become expected.  Even buyers who don't know the basics about Australian Shepherds have been told by a friend of a friend to ask about testing.  We test for those who want it and for those who just feel more comfortable buying a dog that has been tested for these things. 
   
Do we show all of our dogs? We sure try! Some of our young dogs have not had an opportunity to be shown yet.  We are getting them ready though and are looking forward to it. 
Why do we show? Showing has helped us learn more  of what judges look for in conformation.  It has helped us better our breeding program over the last decade of showing.  Not all judges are looking for the same things so through the years, we have learned a lot from them.
Why is one dog not champion titled yet?  Sometimes a dog may not be shown if she has puppies during the time of a dog show or if they were not old enough to be shown and championed at the previous show.  We're proud of our dogs and love taking them and showing them off.  They do quite well in the show ring!
How often do you breed your dogs? This is a question we get quite often.  And understandably.  Our rule of thumb is 2 litters and skip one cycle.  I also like to retire dogs early (3-5 years old)  This way I can have the chance to get 'that perfect puppy' to keep back and start my new generation.   Not all dogs are bred on this same cycle.  Some dogs are bred once a year and some are bred once and retired.  There are endless things we take into consideration before ever breeding a dog in the first place.  If there is any chance that they are not physically or even mentally ready for puppies, we skip their heat cycle plain and simple.
Do you think skipping heat cycles is important? Yes, when needed it can be important to do.  In the wild, dogs breed each time they come in heat.  If their bodies are not where they need to be, they simply don't get bred.  Nature is amazing and sometimes even if we have exciting breeding plans, God knows best and a dog does not get bred.  She may breed just fine the next time, but every dog is an individual just like people.  They are all treated as individuals too.  We don't have a set rule that applies to every single dog, that would just be crazy to us.
What happens to retired dogs? We find them the best and most amazing homes we can.  I'm so picky finding adult dogs homes that I get on my own nerves! LOL.  Really, I do.  But their future is in my hands.  If I don't do the absolute best I can to find them a home that fits them perfectly, I'm risking their happiness for the rest of their lives.  Maybe it doesn't matter to some people, but it matters to that dog.  And 'that dog' is my top priority.  If someone calls wanting an adult dog that is a certain 'look' they generally won't get one of my adult dogs.  My retired dogs go to people who understand the breed and want to give one of them a home.  One that we both feel will fit into their home and their situation.  If there is one that I feel wouldn't be happy somewhere else, we have a retirement home out here dedicated to our old dogs.  We have some that are currently 17 years old.  They've been spayed for years but they help hold down the fort here.  They all have individual needs as they get older, but our vet works closely with us making sure that all of their needs are met as they become seniors.  It's such a blessing to watch them grow old and see their grandbabies even up to 10 generations now!  "Mama" is, as of 2020, our current oldest dog and we have 10 generations of her babies out here.  How amazing is that?  She has a very special place in our hearts.
What do you do with dogs if they don't breed or show well? If a dog doesn't meet our standards as far as conformation (looks) or temperament, we find them a fitting pet home.  Not everyone has to have a show quality dog. 
What if I don't want a show dog, I just want a healthy happy puppy? You by no means have to show your puppy!  It sure is nice to know that your puppy has been very selectively bred to have the best possible temperament and conformation possible.  Your puppy comes from a kennel that breeds for top quality dogs.  Well rounded and social puppies that grow into well adjusted adults.  This is a huge priority for us.  Nothing wrong with having a show quality pet that comes from fantastic bloodlines and years (decades) of planning!
What happens if there is a tornado? We live in tornado alley.  Did you know we have a bunker for our animals?  It's the size of a semi trailer.  It's set up with electric, generator for back up, air conditioning, ventilation fans, big fans and individual crates for adult dogs, puppies and moms with puppies. We even have cameras inside so those on the outside can monitor to make sure everyone is good all is going as it should be.
How do you get all of the dogs in the bunker before a tornado? Tornado drills.  Yes, we actually have tornado drills.  About once a month every dog is taken into the bunker with all of our staff members.  It's just as important for us to be ready as the dogs being used to it.  When weather is right for a tornado, everyone is brought up and ready to be taken down if needed.  We have become very efficient at getting all of the animals loaded with minimal stress.  Some are so good at it, they take themselves down there.  (Shout out to my old 'Mama' here)
What about a fire? If there was a fire threatening our dogs, we have a trailer that stays loaded with everything needed to load and relocate every one of our dogs within a moment's notice.  We do fire drills less frequently, as it's much easier to load dogs into a trailer than it is an underground bunker.  We do feel these things are very important to plan for.  We have a lot of little lives that count on us.
   
Do you raise your puppies in the house? No.  As kids we all dreamed about laying on the floor with puppies crawling all over us.  We still do as adults!  But these guys do potty and that needs to be cleaned constantly.  It is just not realistic to keep litters of dogs in the house and maintain them the way we do in their own set up.
Why raise them in a kennel versus in the kitchen? As nice as it would be to pressure wash my kitchen daily, we have built a kennel system that allows us to keep our puppies clean and healthy and keep us sane!  Our puppies do come in the house quite often, but this is not where they live.  They have their own home built specifically for the needs of Toy and Miniature Australian Shepherd puppies.  We have 24 cameras that cover about every single corner of our kennel that record and monitor 24/7.  We can talk to them from the kitchen, a glance at any monitors in the house can tell us who is playing and who is sleeping.  We are just a short walk from the puppies at any given time, but this camera system has been a fantastic addition to our breeding program.
How do you let them go?  Aren't you attached? Oh this is a question I get a lot.  My answer is simple- God knew what he was doing when he made puppies and teenagers.  There comes a point that even though you love them, you are happy to see them grow up and go on to build their own lives.  It's true, and we love our puppies.  But we also have so much joy from seeing pictures and updates from their new families.  Watching them grow and hearing how they affect the families that they have become such a big part of.  This is what keeps us doing what we do.  Families who we touch with our puppies and our dogs.  Your Christmas cards and quick text updates mean the world to us!
   
Do I ever donate dogs? Yes, we do donate through a Veteran group who has trainers that take the dogs that fit what is needed and train them to the specific needs of a Veteran who needs a dog to help better their life.  The orginazion website is www.teamVRA.com or you can contact Susan Chapman directly at 214-762-5587.  We also work with Law Enforcement.
Why are there puppies still available after 8 weeks old? Each puppy is an individual and we work our hardest to get each puppy in a home that fits, not only color and size wise, but personality too!  A puppy is a huge commitment and we work closly with each of our customers to help them pick the puppy that will fit their lifestyle.  Everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to a puppy.  And sometimes, there is just one that has been waiting for you!
What's wrong with them, why haven't they sold? Nothing is wrong with a puppy because it hasn't sold by 8 or 12 weeks.  Sometimes my favorite puppy is the one that is last to sell.  It's just timing and who is looking for what at the time. 
   
Can you save me a puppy with a tail? I sure can.  And sometimes we leave tails on litters for people who love tails.  If you want me to keep a tail on a puppy specifically for you, I will require that the puppy is picked out and paid for before the day their tails are docked (generally at 3 days old). 
Why do you leave tails on some puppies? Some people are like me and they love the wag!  Docking tails is breed standard and most of the time we do dock tails.  Sometimes we randomly decide to leave tails and we love it!  It does greatly narrow down the customer base because tails can not be docked after they are 5 days old.  Some people perfer those wiggle butts!
   
I want a dog, but I live in a place where I can not have a dog barking when I'm not home.  Are there options?  Is there a such thing as a dog that doesn't bark?? Oh this is going to be a controversial conversation, but here we go.  The answer is yes, there are options.  And they are very humane.  There are vets that offer 'debarking'.  The dogs are given the same sedation they would be given for a dental and approximately 1mm is removed from their vocal chord. This leaves them with little to no sound.  They can bark to their hearts content, but it doesn't bother your neighbors.
Does debarking affect the dogs personality? Not at all.  They wake up from their procedure that takes literally less than 2 minutes and they act like nothing has changed.  The sedation is the only thing that affects them and that is just temporary as if they had a dental or spay/neuter.  They still bark and it's like they don't even know they can't bark.  But you can tell the difference and in some instances this can be a game changer.  For those who struggle with barking dogs, this can take a ton of stress out of a relationship between owner and dog.  Owner and neighbors too! 
*no you shouldn't debark your neighbors dog. (Tempting, right?)
*no this procedure does not work on teenagers or husbands.
Does debarking hurt the dog? Have mixed feelings on that?  It's okay!  Be open minded and realize that some people would have to give up their dogs if this wasn't an option.  It's a win win!  Both the dogs and the people are happy.  And so are your neighbors!
Don't know for sure how you feel about debarking a dog? It's okay!   If you are still on the fence about it, do some research for yourself.  Do yourself a favor and skip reading of peoples opinions and stick to the facts.  The internet is so full of people posting opinions as fasts.  Most,-.0

 that in reality, they have no education or experience about the matters in which they are writing about.

Where do the dogs go when it snows? In the snow of course!  They love it.  I've tried to keep them up on days that is below zero and they use their dog doors to go out and play in it.  Aussies are hardy dogs.  They don't even seem to notice when its cold.  Me on the other hand- I wear 10 pounds of clothes but we're out in it with them. It's what we do.
   
What do you do with your Aussies when it's so hot? Our dogs have their own pools that are cleaned and topped off with fresh water daily.  Most of our dogs love the water and spend a great part of their summer playing in it.  We are blessed to have plenty of shade trees too and that helps a lot.  Again - if we put them inside, they just go right out that dog door and lay in the sun.  They are much happier in their yards with grass and access to their pools and their friends.
Do you shave your Aussies? Yep!  Another controversial question.  Some people are taught that their hair never grows back the same.  We shave even our show dogs if they do not have a show coming up and haven't had a problem.  Some don't get shaved, but some are such water dogs that it keeps them much cleaner and happier to have a shorter coat.