* Why Choose A Breeder?

* What you should know before purchasing an Aussie

*How We Determine the Price of Our Puppies.

* 20 Principles of Breeding Better Dogs

*Contact Information and Links to Dog Organizations

Why Choose A Breeder?

Why choose a reputable breeder? People often ask this question when looking for a new dog. Many people’s first choice is to go to a backyard breeder. They have cute puppies and charge much less than any true breeder. The saying, “You get what you pay for,” holds true though.

The most important difference between most backyard breeders is the quality of dog you are purchasing. Backyard breeders do little in the way of research into the history of the dogs they are pairing. This is problematic in breeds, like the Aussie, where there are known health issues. Any reputable breeder first studies their lines before breeding, and is willing to back their puppies up even after they have been sold. Never, ever, buy a dog with no health guarantee. Most breeders will take any dog they have bred back, at any time, if there is a reason their client can no longer give the dog proper care.

It is always important to choose a breeder who really knows their breed and is in it for the love and betterment of the breed. This will allow you to have support down the road if you ever have questions or need help with your pet, and it also ensures that you are getting the dog that best fits you.

Here at TreeSong we are firm believers in only breeding healthy, happy, sound dogs. The Aussie is a breed with a rich heritage which we aim to continue.
All of our puppies come from proven lines and are backed with a health guarantee. Our number one goal is to provide you with an excellent Australian Shepherd who can excel in anything from being your beloved family pet and companion to competing in conformation and canine sports.

All of our puppies range between $1200 -$2000, depending on whether you are looking for a family pet, or your next promising show dog, we guarantee that you will receive a beautiful, healthy, and happy Australian Shepherd from us. The pictures below are of some dogs that we have raised here at TreeSong.
What you should know before purchasing an Aussie.

Aussies are so smart! Yes they are! Training classes are mandatory with the Australian Shepherd breed. They are so bright they can outwit the person who doesn't take time to train them. Take the time to give your Aussie the training and attention he deserves. Everyone loves a dog who doesn't jump all over them while they are wearing their favorite clothes, or one that comes when called. Once your Aussie understands what you want of him, he will do his best to please you.

Aussies are an active breed! For the active family, that is terrific. For those who are gone long hours during the day, time to play and exercise with your Aussie when you come home is essential. Take him on his leash for a brisk walk. Play fetch with a ball or frisbee in a fenced in area. Give him a job to do--bring in the newspaper, drop the dirty socks down the clothes chute--or teach him a new trick.
Aussies are incredibly loyal to their families. Properly socialize your Aussie with people and other animals. Help him become a confident, friendly dog that is neither too shy nor aggressive. Attend an obedience class, or try an agility class where he'll learn not only basic commands, but have fun running over obstacles while learning to listen to you. Aussies are great dogs for the entire family. They love kids when raised with them. They are not so big as to scare Aunt Alice when she comes over, yet they are big and tough enough to herd stock on even the largest of ranches. Males range from about 20 to 23 inches at the shoulder with females between 18 and 21 inches. Their medium fluffy coat will benefit from a thorough brushing once or twice a week and their short stub tail will never send papers flying off your cocktail table.

Aussies are very versatile and willing to work. An Aussie can fit into a number of situations as long as it is given the time and attention necessary for each. They make great house companions and love to sleep at your feet at night (or, if he has his way, in bed with you). They are, however, a highly active intelligent dog

and will need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation such as outside walks, games, or jobs to do. If left outside during the day, make sure your Aussie is left in a safe enclosure, preferably a five foot chain link fence. Aussies love to run and jump--high!

In short, Aussies Aussies are an active, intelligent breed that, given time and attention, are easily trained and make exceptional companions.

How We Determine the Price of Our Puppies.
Hayl at 3 weeks

A common question I get as a breeder is: " What determines the price of your puppies, and how do you decide on the price per pup? "

An Australian Shepherd puppy is a very important investment for your family. Through this article, I will explain a few of the more predominant factors that I consider as a breeder when pricing my dogs.

Contrary to the belief of many puppy buyers, dog breeding when done properly is not profitable. The price that is set on the puppies and adults is very carefully thought through and represents the expenses, not just for that litter, but the balance of what we invest into maintaining and caring for our breeding program. We breed only seldom, and are very careful when choosing homes for our dogs. Our priority, first and foremost, is to improve on the dogs that we have...we always breed for structure, temperament, AND genetic soundness. This ensures that even our pet home puppies come from strong, sound lines.

Many people ask whether the color of the pup influences the price we set. We never set the price based on the color of the pup. Blue merles are the same price as black tris. The difference in price is whether the pup holds promise as a future show dog, or whether he/she has a future as someone’s loyal loving companion. This is ultimately decided by how the puppy compares to the breed standard for the "ideal" Australian Shepherd.
Dancer, one of our pups at 6 weeks.

Health testing is one of the largest factors impacting the price of puppies. All of our sires and dams go through rigorous health screenings before any breeding is ever done. Each dog’s hips and elbows must pass the inspection of a panel of vets at OFFA, the United State’s official organization for testing and maintaining records on Canine Hips. All of our dogs also have their eye’s tested yearly by a CERF ophthalmologist. DNA certification also follows as the dogs get older. There are many more tests, but these examples are given, so you know that any puppy you buy from us has a sound genetic ancestry.

Medical costs are a major consideration in our breeding program. We must consider the cost of proper care for our dogs, including but not limited to: yearly checkups, vaccinations, vitamins, supplements, shots, de-worming for puppies, and a full health check that all puppies get before going to their new homes. These charges are covered by us in general, rather than being additional add-ons to puppy prices. Housing, toys, and food also add on to our costs as a kennel. This is reflected in our prices.

Here at TreeSong, we take dog breeding very seriously. It is our responsibility to ensure that our puppy buyers are purchasing dogs from healthy, stable lines. We always do our best to ensure healthy, happy dogs. While we can never promise absolute perfection, and cannot control recessive genetics that occasionally show up...We do our best to ensure that we and you as puppy buyers are provided with good quality dogs that are healthy and fit for their intended purposes, whether as your loving companion or your future show dog.

20 Principles of Breeding Better Dogs

by Raymond H. Oppenheimer

1. Remember that the animals you select for breeding today will have an impact on the breed for many years to come. Keep that thought firmly in mind when you choose breeding stock.

2. You can choose only two individuals per generation. Choose only the best, because you will have to wait for another generation to improve what you start with. Breed only if you expect the progeny to be better than both parents.

3. You cannot expect statistical predictions to hold true in a small number of animals (as in one litter of puppies). Statistics only apply to large populations.

4. A pedigree is a tool to help you learn the good and bad attributes that your dog is likely to exhibit or reproduce. A pedigree is only as good as the dog it represents.

5. Breed for a total dog, not just one or two characteristics. Don't follow fads in your breed, because they are usually meant to emphasize one or two features of the dog at the expense of the soundness and function of the whole.

6. Quality does not mean quantity. Quality is produced by careful study, having a good mental picture of what you are trying to achieve, having patience to wait until the right breeding stock is available and to evaluate what you have already produced, and above all, having a breeding plan that is at least three generations ahead of the breeding you do today.

7. Remember that skeletal defects are the most difficult to change.

8. Don't bother with a good dog that cannot produce well. Enjoy him (or her) for the beauty that he represents but don't use him in a breeding program.

9. Use out-crosses very sparingly. For each desirable characteristic you acquire, you will get many bad traits that you will have to eliminate in succeeding generations.

10. Inbreeding is a valuable tool, being the fastest method to set good characteristics and type. It brings to light hidden traits that need to be eliminated from the breed.

11. Breeding does not "create" anything. What you get is what was there to begin with. It may have been hidden for many generations, but it was there.

12. Discard the old cliché about the littermate of that great producer being just as good to breed to. Litter mates seldom have the same genetic make-up.

13. Be honest with yourself. There are no perfect dogs (or bitches) nor are there perfect producers. You cannot do a competent job of breeding if you cannot recognize the faults and virtues of the dogs you plan to breed.

14. Hereditary traits are inherited equally from both parents. Do not expect to solve all of your problems in one generation.

15. If the worst puppy in your last litter is no better than the worst puppy in your first litter, you are not making progress. Your last litter should be your last litter.

16. If the best puppy in your last litter is no better than the best puppy in your first litter, you are not making progress. Your last litter should be your last litter.

17. Do not choose a breeding animal by either the best or the worst that he (or she) has produced. Evaluate the total get by the attributes of the majority.

18. Keep in mind that quality is a combination of soundness and function. It is not merely the lack of faults, but the positive presence of virtues. It is the whole dog that counts.

19. Don't allow personal feelings to influence your choice of breeding stock. The right dog for your breeding program is the right dog, whoever owns it. Don't ever decry a good dog; they are too rare and wonderful to be demeaned by pettiness.

20. Don't be satisfied with anything but the best. The second best is never good enough.
(left click on link to access connection)

Dog Organizations

Aussie Health Information

Australian Shepherd Information

The Australian Shepherd Breed Standard

The Illustrated Breed Standard

TreeSong Australian Shepherds

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Please understand that we have a very busy schedule with training and competition, and sometimes it may take a little time for us to respond.
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