We have some very exciting puppy plans in the near future! Please read more about our breeding philosophy and reservation process below, and then feel free to contact us at the link provided for additional information!
Our Breeding Philosophy
With over 25 years of involvement with the Australian Shepherd, coupled with our work in animal foster and rescue, we take the placing of our puppies and dogs quite seriously. Since we breed only occasionally, we feel our most important responsibility to our dogs and potential owners is to take thorough steps in ensuring a lifelong match.
Our litters are planned well in advance and involve extensive research to ensure that we are adhering to the priorities we deem important in a strong, successful breeding program...Physical Health, Sound Temperament, Type, Movement, and Aesthetics.
All of our puppies are registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) and Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) unless otherwise noted. Puppies are from parents who have had extensive health and genetic testing including Hip (OFA), Eyes (CERF), and a panel of hereditary diseases, to ensure we give our puppies the very best shot at a long, happy, and healthy life. In addition, all puppies eyes are checked by a Canine Ophthalmologist at 8 weeks and when they leave us, all puppies are microchipped.
We often receive questions about the difference between a Companion and Show Quality puppy...
Companion Puppies: These are puppies perfectly suited as family members, best friends, and outstanding companions and can be shown in performance events such as agility, obedience, dock diving, and more! They have simply been determined by us not to be used for breeding or show in the conformation ring. An example might be a puppy with non-standard markings such as excess white. As noted below, very few puppies live up to our strict requirements when selecting show prospects, so the vast majority of our puppies are sold as Companion puppies. These puppies are sold on a spay/neuter contract, and registration papers without breeding rights. Companion puppies are $2,000 with the guarantees and health clearances noted above.
Show Prospect Puppies: These puppies have been determined at 8 weeks to be prospects for the conformation ring and breeding programs and are sold with full breeding/registration privileges. Please note that due to our own strict evaluation process, very few puppies are sold as Show Prospects, and will only be sold to serious Show homes. Please contact us for pricing on Show/Breeding quality puppies.
Puppy Socialization: We are very proud of the lengths we go to produce healthy, happy, outgoing puppies, as we believe early socialization is key to a well-rounded companion. Our puppies are born and raised in our large sun room which is centrally located in our home. From the beginning, they are exposed to a wide variety of everyday sights and sounds they will encounter through life.
Based on research about puppy developmental stages, we follow a strict protocol that we have developed for both mental and physical stimulation at critical age markers. In addition, we developed an audio stimulation program using a variety of noises that adult dogs commonly find startling such as thunder, fireworks, loud applause, etc. and the puppies hear this from the time they are born for desensitization. When appropriate, our puppies interact with our adult dogs and cats as well so they will easily assimilate into homes with new furry friends.
At a very early age our puppies are acquainted with the crate-training process and a house-breaking routine. It amazes me how often we get comments from puppy owners such as "not one accident in the house!" Now...we do not guarantee a house-broken puppy, but you can trust that your new puppy will be well on his/her way to understanding the basics when they leave us.
If after contacting us, we mutually agree that a Stonehaven puppy or dog is right for you, you will be placed on our waiting list. We do not take deposits as we have yet to find a way to place on order with Mother Nature and cannot guarantee the color or sex composition in a litter. While we understand preferences in color or sex for a future companion puppy, we believe health and temperament should always be the overriding factors in selecting your new family member.
When it comes time to receive your puppy, we obviously prefer that you come to our home, but realize this isn't always possible. We are lucky to have easy access to Washington Dulles International, Reagan National, and Baltimore/Washington International airports, and have successfully shipped puppies all around the world. Again, the safety and well-being of our dogs is paramount and we will go to great lengths to ensure this.
You can contact us at the e-mail link below. If you contact us and have not heard back within a reasonable time, please feel free to give us a gentle nudge. We won't be offended.
When you contact us, please take the time to tell us who you are, your living situation, why you are interested in an Aussie, what dog ownership experience you have, and any specific requirements in terms of color and/or sex for your new companion.