What is the difference in Miniature "Australian" Shepherds and Miniature "American" Shepherds?
LONG story short- Miniature AUSTRALIAN Shepherds were bred down from standard size Australian Shepherds to produce a smaller version of the beloved original. Think "Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle, Toy Poodle" All poodles, right? AKC (American Kennel Club) decided that instead of registering our Miniature Australian Shepherds as a size variety, they would change the name to Miniature "American" Shepherds and in doing so- many, many breeders feel they have abandoned the rich heritage of the breed. This being said, you will not find an "AKC Miniature Australian Shepherd" because Mini Aussies are not recognized with AKC. I know many puppy buyers recognize AKC and believe it represents quality. This is simply not true. AKC is onlya registry that keeps track of parentage. It is not the job of AKC to assure each breeder is producing quality pups. Their job, just like any other registry, is to simply provide documentation of parentage. (Not saying that AKC dogs aren't quality, but the fact that they are registered that way does not indicate the quality of the puppy!)
What registry do you use? We have chosen to honor the heritage of the Miniature AUSTRALIAN shepherd and register them as such. Our dogs are registered as Mini Aussies with the American Stock Dog Registry, or ASDR.
How do I select my puppy? As responsible breeders, one of our most important jobs is to match the puppies' personalities to their new forever home. Start by looking at the available puppies and reading each puppy's profile. This will give you a lot of insight as to who the dog will be when grown! We urge you not to select your puppy based on looks alone. Aussies of all sizes are very personable dogs and if their personality doesn't match your goals for a family pet, everyone will end up unhappy. If you still aren't sure which one is the best fit, tell us more about you! Hearing about your home and your life from our perspective will almost always cause one pup or another to stand out as the best fit!
Want to know more about the six different personality types? Click HERE!!
Are you local? We welcome you to come spend some time with the litter, sit on floor or grass and play with them! See which puppy picks you!
What Gender makes a better pet, Male or Female? Both, genders make great pets! If you are looking for a very affectionate dog, I would suggest a male. The male Aussies are very loving and are more consistently affectionate. Female Aussies are affectionate but are more independent and an unspayed female will have her moods. Worried about marking? All of our pets are sold on spay/neuter contracts anyway- so get the boys neutered at 6 months old before they start marking and they won't have marking issues!
What colors do Mini Aussies come in? Mini Aussies come in four standard colors- Red, Black, Blue Merle, or Red Merle. These colors can be combined with white (bi-color) or with white and copper (tri-color) giving a huge variety of options! The photos shown below should give you a good idea of which color you prefer. : )
Do they shed much? How much grooming is required? The Mini Aussies wear a moderately thick double coat. The undercoat is shed twice yearly (Spring and Fall) and shedding is moderate between these periods, although degree will vary with individual. Regular brushing weekly will help to minimize shedding and keep the skin and coat healthy. Fortunately, their coat is not long enough to require daily attention!
How much exercise do they need? Mini Aussies require moderate amounts of exercise. Although energetic, their size enables them to fulfill their exercise requirements more quickly than larger dogs of similar activity level. They are usually relaxed when inside with their family. Nonetheless, adults can enjoy more vigorous activities, such as jogging and hiking. Games of fetch or with a flying disk are a terrific way for an aussie to exercise. Owners often teach their dogs to play "hide and seek" and offer interesting toys to prevent boredom when they are not able to provide physical exercise. Boredom is the leading cause of destructive behavior.
Do Mini Aussies get along with children and other pets? Mini Aussies are great with children and make wonderful family pets. They are also very accepting of other animals and pets if properly introduced. All dogs should be monitored closely around children of any age for the safety of all involved. Mini Aussies are directly descended from full sized Australian Shepherds and many still have that herding instinct. (At Renegade we try to breed that out but it does come up from time to time.) These instincts may cause them to herd the cats, other dogs or even family members (especially children!).
Will my puppy need training? Yes, all puppies need training and guidance. Just like children they need to know what is expected of them and how to accomplish it. No one is born knowing fully what life expects of them! We strongly encourage puppy owners to attend basic puppy obedience classes/training. Aussies thrive in families that provide consistent obedience training, socializing and exercise.
Are Aussies easy to train? Yes, Aussies of all sizes are very easy to train! They can do just about anything you train them to do. CONSISTENCY is the key!
What's the difference between show quality and pet quality puppies? When buying from a responsible breeder, the differences between show and companion puppies are usually unrecognizable with the possible exception of a dog show judge or another experienced breeder. All dogs offered for sale by a responsible breeder are healthy and can be expected to live full lives. Conscientious breeders are always committed to improving their breed-striving for perfection. Consequently, only the nearly perfect dogs (as compared to breed standards) are kept for show & breeding purposes. Companion dogs are no less healthy and no less attractive. They likely just have some minor features that would be faults in the show ring i.e. ears that are too large, legs that are a bit long, a nose that is too narrow or a small spot of color in the wrong place.
Does my puppy come with a health guarantee? Of course! We offer a 1 week health guarantee for all contagious diseases like parvo and distemper and a 1 year health guarantee for any life threatening genetic disorders. You can read more about the guarantees in the contract HERE.
What if I want to breed my puppy? Most of our puppies go to pet homes on spay/neuter contracts so please be sure to mention this when inquiring! Breeding rights for certain puppies (of breeding quality) will be offered at an additional cost to qualified, responsible homes*. *We reserve the right to decline breeding rights or even the sale of a pet puppy to any home for any reason. We love our puppies and want to be sure they are in great homes. Not to mention we have worked very hard to acquire the dogs we have (and their bloodlines) and we owe it to ourselves and those before us to be sure only the best representation of those lines continues in respectable programs.
How do I place a hold on a Puppy? While seriously discussing your puppy with us, we will not allow anyone else to proceed with their inquiry until you have reached a decision. (This is usually 24 hours or less as most of your homework has been done before this point.) When you decide for sure that this puppy is meant to be yours, you will send a $250 deposit to hold your puppy until ready to go. This deposit will be applied to the total cost of your puppy and is non-refundable, but fully transferable for one year. (For more information on deposits, please read the Payment Terms in our contract HERE. If the puppy is already of age to go home, full payment is required unless otherwise discussed.) This deposit will hold your puppy until the puppy is ready to go to his/her new home. The balance is due 2 weeks before the puppy ships out, or upon pick up/delivery. Balances owed on delivery/pick up must be paid in cash.
When can my Puppy come to its forever home? Puppies will be ready to go home between 8 and 10 weeks old. Age may vary depending on individual maturity of puppy. Special circumstances are always considered and discussed.
Where are you located, so I can pick-up my puppy? We are located in Central Arkansas- Conway/Vilonia area. We will give our address to you when you are on the way to pick up your puppy.
I'm out of state. Will you ship my puppy? Yes. We will either drive out to deliver or meet you OR ship the puppy via Delta Airlines. We simply add the cost of the health certificate (about $60) and the cost of the crate (about $60) to the total cost of your puppy and set arrangements. The flight will be paid by you COD at the cargo pick up when you receive your puppy! *All expenses will be the Buyer's responsibility and due PRIOR to shipping your puppy in any manner unless otherwise discussed.* More information about shipping can be found on our SHIPPING page!
Do you Deliver? Sometimes! We have family all over the country and we love to travel! If we can make it work with our schedules, we are more than willing to hand deliver your puppy! Cost will vary depending on distance traveled and the circumstance but may be anywhere from $75 to $300. Anything far enough to need more than that would probably be better to simply fly them out or have you meet us a little ways from home.
How should I prepare my home for a puppy? Consider this motto "If it can be reached, it will be chewed" and go from there. Pick up anything that isnt necessary on the floor and be sure all wires are covered or unable to be reached. Place the crate in an area that the family frequents but isn't exposed. A corner of the livingroom or in that kitchen nook would be perfect! You can put the crate by your bed but chances are good they will whine until you put them in bed with you if you do! Be sure all chemicals, pesticides, rodent poisons, etc are put up or in a locked cabinet- these dogs are SMART and can learn to open doors! The very most important thing to prepare is yourself and your family! Get your plan in place before the puppy arrives so everyone knows how to handle accidents, teething, etc. Consistency is the key- so have everything ready before the puppy gets home so you can be as consistent as possible.
Are there any items I should purchase for my new puppy before bringing him/her home for the first time? Of course! You wouldn't bring a new baby home without a crib, right? When your puppy leaves Renegade, she will have a new harness, leash, 1# bag of food, a rawhide chewie, and a toy to accompany her. This will put you off to a great start, but I don't recommend you stop there. Before bringing your baby home, I would invest in the following: 1. A Medium sized crate for potty training 2. Toys for playing with 3. Solid bones for chewing 4. A soft bed to go in the crate 5. Soft treats that smell good for training 6. A 5lb bag of the food you want to feed your puppy
What do I feed my puppy? We feed our Mini Aussies "Diamond High Energy." Most puppy food contains growth hormones that cause our furbabies to grow too big and will cause joint pain and can cause tendon & ligament complications, and even Hip Dysplasia. This food is what has proven to work amazingly well for our adults and so we start our puppies on it as well. It doesn't make sense to let them steal mom's food, then switch to a different food, knowing most owners are going to have a different preference and switch them again soon anyway. That's a LOT of tummy aches, so we just leave them on it until they get home to you! We will send some of their food with you to help them adjust to their new home and whatever food you choose to keep them on. We recommend you look into Purina Pro Plan or another quality food like Loyall that is easy to find and has multiple protein sources in case your puppy develops any preferences. Resist the urge to buy "Puppy" and go with the best quality "all life stages" dog kibble you can find.
As a general rule, when choosing a dog food for your new puppy always read the ingredients. The First two to four ingredients should always be a specific meat. Grains are only fillers and should be at least third or lower on the list. Most cheap dog foods are mainly corn and other grains which offer little benefit to your dog and cause all sorts of allergy issues in sensitive dogs
Medications: Aussies and other Herding types such as Collies, Border Collies & Shelties can have certain drug sensitives. Aussies should never be given any of the Drugs listed below. Note, Heartguard is on the list because it can cause seizures in sensitive Aussies. Use Interceptor or Sentinel instead. Note, not all Vets are familiar with this list or the MDR1 Mutation. (The MDR1 means Multi-Drug Resistant gene)
Ivermectin (antiparasitic agent) "Heartguard"
Loperamide (Imodium: over-the-counter antidiarrheal agent)
Doxorubicin (anti-cancer agent)
Vincristine (anti-cancer agent)
Vinblastine (anti-cancer agent)
Cyctosporin (immunosuppressive agent)
Digoxin (heart drug)
Butorphanol (pain control)
Interceptor® is a non-Ivermectin based heartworm treatment safer for most mini Aussies. For those that can no longer find Interceptor, Sentinel proves to be a good replacement. As always, please seek your own vet’s advice. Sentinel® combines Interceptor® and Program® into one pill.
Have a question not answered here? CONTACT US and we will get your answer to you promptly and add the question to our list!
Red Merle Blue Merle Black Tri Red Tri Feel free to click the photos and view them larger!