"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Bad Breeder Recommends Breeding Miniature Australian Shepherd at 10 Months

– Posted in: Dog Behavior Miscellaneous Articles, Newsletters

Miniature Australian ShepherdHi John,

I have purchased a Miniature Australian Shepherd, co-owning, with the breeders, as they want to breed her but have too many dogs at their house. They want her to be with someone that can give her attention. The question I have is: They have said that they want to breed her in her first heat, which they said would be at about 10 months, then every year for 5 years after that. Then she will be spayed and I will own her. I am wondering if this is healthy for her to be bred so young and so often. A lot of people have told me that it is too much. What is your opinion? I have not signed the contract yet and want to do what is best for this wonderful dog. Thank you, R.

Dear R.

Run as fast as you can and leave your money behind if you have to. This is not a breeder. It is a ‘greeder.’ If dog hair were brain cells this greeder would be a Mexican hairless dog. (No offense to Mexican hairless dogs)

First, the controversial practice of breeding for aberrations such as breeding one undersized dog with another for the novelty of producing something miniature is just hubris. There are now not only miniature Australian Shepherd s but there are “toy” Australian Shepherds. This is being done, not to improve the intelligence and physical stability of a wonderful working breed. It’s being done because “cute” sells. Whether the breeding is for the sake of producing a miniature version of one breed or flattening the face of another like a Pug to the point that day to day breathing is difficult or as is the case with Great Danes creating sizes so large that life spans are halved, it’s all bad breeding. Selectivity is a normal part of breeding of any kind but it’s supposed to revolve around function rather then fashion.

I suppose I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with such experimentation if amongst the many hundreds of existing breeds we’d achieved perfection but do we really need a miniature or toy Australian Shepherd when the true to form Australian Shepherd still has inheritable genetic issues such as back, hip, epilepsy, deafness and vision issues including blindness?

You can agree or disagree me on that topic but if you’re still on the fence consider this. No responsible breeder would actually choose to breed a dog at such a young age? She’s over a year away from being an adult. Any real breeder would know of the considerable physical consequences and risks of breeding a dog so young. Even so, at such a young age this greeder is just throwing the dice and hoping for the best. More likely just hoping for a buyer. This dog is neither physically or mentally an adult and until it is and its strengths and weaknesses assessed from the perspective of what a breeding might pass on, no one but a greeder would consider doing such a thing. In the dog world, this is as close to rape as you’re going to get.

In my mind such a person barely qualifies to even own a dog let alone breed them. I wouldn’t exactly be thrilled to learn they were contributing to the human gene pool either.

Pawsitively yours,

John Wade

2 Comments… add one
Experienced Aussie lover

Disagree: There is nothing wrong with mini or toy size Australian shepherds. I have several and prefer them over the standard because of their small size. They are still aussies with Aussie intelligence, work ethic, and loyalty. However, they are petite size and therefore, do not require as much exercise and work because they have less endurance energy, although I have a small mini that will fetch 50 times and will only stop then because I make him stop.

Agree: No knowledgeable humane breeder would plan on breeding a mini Aussie at 10 months. That would be like a baby having a baby. To force her to bear puppies at that young an age is abusive. I would still try to adopt her but with no strings attached. Hopefully, you will get her with no expectations of breeding and not someone else that would agree to this crazy stupid arrangement. BTW, have you considered who will pay her vet bill if she has complications during pregnancy? It would probably be you because she is just a puppy factory to the breeders. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against responsible hobby breeding for the love of the breed, but not at the obvious risk of a young puppy.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Dear “Experienced Aussie Lover”

I understand and I’m very happy to learn you enjoy your dogs however a common mistake some dog owners make (all of us humans are prone to this, is a tendency to draw often illogical conclusions based on cognitive biases.

Some believe that everyone is entitled to an opinion and I am delighted to receive yours if for no more reason to highlight the downside of cognitive bias. However being entitled to an opinion is one thing, being entitled to one’s own facts, quite another. Especially when the opinion offered regarding the pros and cons regarding breeding for aberration is based on owning a few mini/toy sized Austrailian Shepherds. Owning several Miniature Austrailian Shepherds does not make you experienced or knowledgeable about the breed and certainly breeding genetics and the pitfalls of breeding for aberration. It makes you experienced with your own dogs. Nothing more, (unless you’ve been holding something back).

You’re drawing conclusions on a very small and self-admitted contradictory data sample. Yet you still conclude there is nothing wrong for breeding for aberrant size? In order to reproduce deviance, it often takes the form of “in-breeding to concentrate recessive genes, and can result in other genetic abnormalities being established in the population”. Nothing the matter with that?

Your objection to breeding at 10 months is based on emotion. Mine is primarily based on knowing that there is no way for a “breeder” (actually a greeder) to know what 10-month-old dog has to offer to the betterment of the breed. The breeder can’t know how physically or mentally stable she is, so how can they predict what she’ll produce. This is another strong hint that the breeding of Miniature Austrailian Shepherds might just be based more on preying on ignorance in the dog purchasing world, understanding the marketing appeal of novelty and essentially motivation driven by adding income stream as opposed to any genuine love of dogs.

Of the hundreds of breeds, you could not find a breed with the size, endurance etc. to match your lifestyle from a conscientious breeder of an established breed? I am certain you could have – and not supported what in my view amounts to no more than a puppy mill with hopefully better-living conditions.

I’m not remotely suggesting you or any other miniature whatever owner, should love your dog less. I am suggesting there is a darkness behind breeding for distortion and aberration that true dog lovers need to understand and acknowledge.

John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade

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