So, you've done your research and have decided that an Australian Shepherd is the perfect breed of dog to become a part of your family. It's now time to locate a pup, and your heart is set on a blue merle female with two blue eyes. You have spoken to some breeders, and have a pretty good feeling about a couple of them. You know what you want, and you set out to find her.
I can't tell you how many times I have seen this scenario play out. Surprisingly
though, the story might not end the way you'd think. When I speak to a potential
puppy buyer for the first time, I usually get a physical description of their ideal
puppy. One thing I try to stress however, is that purchasing a pup is one of those
few occasions when you actually get to choose a family member. I try to impart on
people to turn a blind eye to superficial physical attributes like coat and eye color,
and focus on personality tendencies and the "chemistry" between you and the prospective
pup. Often times, a pup will choose you -
Puppies can sometimes show you at a very young age that they may have a tendency
to be interested in certain "lines of work", or that they have certain personality
traits. For instance, if you have visions of having a frisbee dog, toss a ball to
see which puppies naturally want to give chase. Some may actually retrieve the first
time they see a ball! If you are interested in participating in scent work or blood
trailing, look for a pup who always seems to use his nose. He sniffs you as a part
of his greeting, and he always seems to have his nose on the ground, investigating.
Some pups will be more naturally outgoing, and some will be more reserved. Do not
choose a pup who shivers and shakes after you have spent some time with it -
The question of male versus female is not really relative unless you are looking
for a breeding animal. Females tend to be a little easier to potty train, but once
the initial training is done this is no longer a factor. In either sex, spaying and
neutering will eliminate any cons related to each sex -
Take your time and don't be pressured into making a rushed decision. Any responsible breeder should care about making the right match of a pup to his new family, not just selling puppies to make a buck. If you are not allowed sufficient time to play with the pups, ask if you may come back at a more convenient time. If allowance of time is not made available to you for choosing a pup, that breeder may not be worth working with. Some breeders charge more for certain coat or eye color, and some charge different prices for male and female. When choosing from a litter which is priced in this way (and assuming that the litter is a quality one), choose with your heart and not your wallet. Don't let a little money come between you and your perfect personality match. Be sure, however to ask about pricing before you start choosing a pup. Some unscrupulous breeders may try to charge more for the pup you like. This is eliminated by discussing prices up front. Personally, I choose to price my pups the same, regardless of color or gender. This eliminates the stress of allowing money to influence a decision as important as this.
If you choose your new baby based on his personality, within 2 days you will love him unconditionally and his coat color, eye color, and gender simply won't matter!