Below is information on our breeding program and how our puppies are raised. We raise puppies with lots of individual attention and just as much focus on brains than beauty. Puppies go lots of places, meet lots of people and get lots of training before they leave. We happily share photos on Facebook and post video on YouTube of the puppies as they grow, so you can see the development and effort that goes into raising a puppy here at Oracle Aussies.
Why do you breed Aussies?
The biggest reason for breeding Aussies for us is the love of the breed. We love to share that love and special bond with others. We think having an Aussie to love is a special feeling and there is no greater feeling than knowing we bred a dog that fills someone else’s life with love.
How often do you breed?
Maybe once a year. Maybe twice, at most. Each litter gets our full and complete attention from before they are born to the day they leave.
What are your goals in your breeding program?
Health and temperament are the biggest factors for us when breeding a litter.
Health is an obvious one that includes an absence of disease, a pedigree that lacks substantial risk, health clearances such as hip tests, eye tests and genetic tests and sound structure and movement.
Because we are advocated of raw feeding and minimal vaccinations, we also look forward to health improvements as we have more generations of Aussies raised this way.
Temperament has many aspects to it. We want an Aussie that has a true Aussie personality. They should be smart, active, reserved with strangers (they reserve love for their people or people who pass their inspection – this does not mean shy or aggressive) and they should have natural instincts on stock. Many of our dogs’ pedigrees combine Champions and Working Trial Champions (dogs that have been proven to know how to work stock in a trial).
For us what makes an Aussie special is their intelligence and devotion to their people. There is no other breed quite like an Australian Shepherd and to know them is to love them.
You will notice that our litters thus far have been planned using dogs we own or have lived with us. This has given us the chance to ensure we are breeding for the temperaments that we are after. We have been looking at outside studs for future litters and it is important to us that we meet every one of them to ensure the temperament is what we are looking for.
There are other elements that go into our breeding program. We are the home of multiple Best Puppy in Show winners, a Best in Show Winner, Multiple Best Puppy in Group winners, Group winners and group placers, multiple Champions, Nationals Class winners and placers – and the list goes on and on. Sound structure, sound movement and breed type – also play into our breeding plans. We want a dog that has all the good looks, too.
Where and how are your puppies raised?
Our puppies are whelped in our spare bedroom. I set up the whelping box and a bed for me in that room at least a week before the puppies are due. The dam gets used to sleeping in the whelping box and has the comfort of me in the room with her. The puppies are born and raised in that room. The hustle and bustle of life happens just outside their door, so they become accustomed to noises and sounds of the house hold from a very early age. When they are older they are let loose in the living room and kitchen to explore and get used to life in a home.
From day one the puppies experience Early Neurological Stimulation exercises, designed to make them healthier and stronger. They have toys and other surfaces to crawl over and experience. We play a sound CDs for them that includes all sorts of noises to get them accustomed to all sorts of environments.
Once they are old enough (around week 3), they are moved to a big play pen. The play pen allows them room to stretch their legs and play. They are again surrounded by things to climb on and under. They will have crates to curl up in to get them used to that. They will get toys to play with.
They will also begin the process of potty training. By their 3rd week, they will know to go to their potty area to go potty. This creates an easy dog to potty train when they go to their new home.
The puppies are allowed visitors starting at 4 weeks and of course there is always a line up of people to come see them. They enjoy socializing and playing with new people. They are taken outside and get to explore and experience the world. They get to meet our crew starting at 4 weeks, so they learn all about other dogs. By the time they leave they are used to playing with the big dogs. They get outings to our store and new places at week 7.
The puppies start clicker training at 4 weeks old. They learn about the clicker and rewards and we do basic recalls with them for some yummy yogurt. They think that’s grand!
At 6.5 weeks, we start crate training, too. The puppies sleep paired up with a littermate in a crate, then eventually are separated into their own crates. This involves some sleepless nights for us, but hopefully makes the transition easier at home.
The puppies are never forcefully weaned from their mother. We allow nature to take it’s course as the dam chooses. We believe that a mother’s milk is providing the puppies with antibodies and a stronger immune system, so the longer they have that, the better.
Puppies have lots of outings and particularly one on one outings where we see their reaction to new things, places and people without their littermates around. This gives us a solid handle on their strengths and weaknesses in their temperament.
We love the puppies to play with and learn from the older members of their family. We think that is very important for their socialization and learning.
The puppies are checked for parasites at 6 weeks and treated if need be.
(This page has been moved from our blog to the website as it’s asked often.)