With the internet and hundreds of options how do you pick the right puppy for you and your family?
Choosing a puppy is no easy task!
I have a couple tips to help:

  1. Choose a BREEDER before choosing a puppy. ALL puppies are cute and darling. Good pictures can make them even cuter! But puppies grow up and turn into full grown dogs very quickly. You should choose a breeder first so that you know what your puppy will turn out like. Things to keep in mind: How are the puppies raised? In a kennel or in a home? With kids or not? How do the adult dogs look? Like real aussies or like chihuahuas? How long has your breeder been raising mini aussies?
  2. Read the BREED STANDARD (link below) for mini and toy aussies so that you know what you are looking at and for. This will help you steer clear of prick ears, big round bug-eyes, dome-head and over all "toyish" looking dogs. It is VERY hard to tell if a 6 week old puppy looks "toyish". Even if your puppy is to be only a pet it should still be the finest quality.

    American Stock Dog Registry

  3. Does your breeder have a good guarantee? The guarantee should cover at least 3 years for genetic defects. Because OFA requires the dog to be at least 2 years old before testing him for Hip Dysplasia, a two year guarantee is useless. Dont rely on parents testing to ensure your puppy will not ever have a genetic disease. The testing of the parents tells you only if the parents HAVE the disease, NOT if they are carriers. Only experience of your breeder and their ethics can tell you that. A breeder who has only been breeding for a year will not know the genetics of their breeding dogs for many generations to come. Regardless of the tests done on the parents.
    We have been breeding mini and toy aussies since 1998. We show our dogs, know our breed standard and pride ourselves on having the very best quality and TYPE in our little aussies. We have an excellent 3 year guarantee.
  4. Male or Female: Most people think a female dog makes a better pet. This is simply not true and actually in most cases the opposite is the case. In the dog pack makeup, females usually rule the roost, determine the pecking order, and who competes to maintain and/or alter that order. The females are, as a result, more independent, stubborn, and territorial than their male counterparts. Females are much more intent upon exercising their dominance by participating in alpha behaviors such as "riding" other dogs. Most fights will usually break out between 2 females. If you already have a female dog I highly recommend getting a male.
    Neutered males almost never exhibit any of the unwanted behaviors thought of in intact males such as roaming, "riding", or marking his territory. If you have your male dog fixed before he begins to lift his leg he will never do so.
    Females tend to be easily distracted and can be moody where boys tend to have the same even temperament, day in and day out. They are more tolerant of children and will usually learn commands sooner.


Probably the most important part of the care of your new puppy is nutrition. Dog foods have come a long way since the only choice was "Dog Chow" or "Puppy Chow" at your supermarket. We now know that dogs are carnivores and need meat to be strong and healthy. When choosing a dog food for your new puppy always read ingredients. The first two to four ingredients should always be meat. Grains are only fillers and should be at least third or lower on the list and your dogs food should NEVER include CORN, WHEAT, or WHEAT GLUTEN! It is also important to choose an excellent quality DOG food, NOT puppy! Puppy food can accelerate the growth of your puppy (your puppy grows faster than its body is meant to). This can lead to all sorts of bone and joint problems including hip dysphasia. Always resist the urge to buy "puppy" and go with the best quality dog kibble you can find. We feed Kirkland Chicken and Rice.

Never feed: Science Diet, Pedigree, Dog Chow (Puppy), Beneful, or Ole Roy. See comparisons at the link below.

Dog Food Comparisons


Aussies and other herding types (Collies, Border Collies, ACD's and Shelties) can have certain drug sensitivities. Aussies should never be given any of the drugs listed below. Please note Heartgaurd is on the list and can cause seizures in sensitive aussies. Never give Heartguard to an Aussie, choose Interceptor instead. Also note not all vets are familiar with this list or the MDR1 mutation.

Drugs that have been documented, or are strongly
suspected to cause problems in dogs with the MDR1 mutation:


  1. We offer a full THREE year guarantee against genetic defects in your new dog, including Hip Dysplasia, Epilepsy or any eye defect. It doesn't make sense to us to only offer two year guarantee since you cant even have your dog OFA'ed until he is 2 years old. Most standard 2 yr genetic guarantees sound good but are actually worthless because of this. We will give you a replacement puppy (same sex and color) if the OFA rating is below "fair" (fair is still passing) or the dogs' eyes do not pass CERF, still allowing you to keep your first pet. Any claim of a defect must be accompanied with written proof by a licensed veterinarian. By breeding your dog before having OFA or CERF done you agree there are no apparent defects and this contract will then be voided.
  2. We guarantee your puppy is healthy and free from disease at the time of purchase. He/she has had all vaccinations and wormings that can have been done in regard to his age. It is important to take your new puppy to the vet for a complete examination within 72 hours of bringing him home. We will pay all reasonable vet costs incurred(up to the cost of the puppy), as long as there is written proof by your veterinarian of an unhealthy puppy, at this time OR you may return the puppy at this time for a refund. Shipping costs are the responsibility of the buyer. This does not include worms. We have wormed your puppy at least two times, but this doesn't guarantee that he/she will be completely free of them.
  3. We offer a one-year satisfaction/temperament guarantee. We try to place the right temperament dog in the home that most suits it. You must stay in contact with us about any behavior problems you may be having and we will try to help. If you have small children you must supervise them with your puppy at all times. Small children must never tease, or play rough games with your new puppy. If there is a temperament problem that cannot be resolved we will trade your puppy with a new puppy from the litter of our choice. We will choose the new puppy on his personality, not sex or color.
  4. We offer no guarantee as to size of your new pet. Our dogs have many proven generations of miniatures, however a crop-out to a standard is still possible. We will try to estimate the approximate size at maturity. We also occasionally get "Toys" that will mature under 14".
  5. If at any time in the life of the puppy concerned in this contract the purchaser cannot continue to keep the dog we are always willing to accept the dog back and find a suitable home for him/her. No exchange of money or replacement is offered in this circumstance.
  6. Deposits are non-refundable but can be used at any time towards any litter where there are available puppies.
  7. Your new puppy is a pure-bred miniature australian shepherd and is sold with an application for registration in ASDR. This is an important document, do not loose it. There will be a $20 fee for replacement application.
  8. Shipping costs are the sole responsibility of the buyer.
  9. Do not ever give your dog or puppy any ivermec product including Heartguard. Giving your dog Heartguard will void this guarantee.

Beth Jensen
Turtle Mountain Ranch Kennels