Pick up the “Bible” for Aussies: All About Aussies.
Before you make a decision, visit several litters to finalize. Review the questions and answers between you and the respective breeders and go with your gut feeling. The breeder will have spent a lot of time with the puppies, so ask the breeder which puppy they think might be right for you. Don’t rule out others if you can, but keep in mind that puppy. Try not to look at the markings of the puppy, since pretty is as pretty does. If you have a gorgeous dog that you can’t stand, what good will that do you? When you leave, make notes about the puppies you liked and why. Feel free to call back with any questions you might have and try to make an educated decision. (Who am I to talk! I’ve gotten one pup sight unseen, and another I chose the minute he popped out of his mom! So do as I say, not as I do.)
Male or female?
Know that there are some small physical differences in the breed. Bitches will be more refined generally and will be smaller than the males. I’ve found that bitches don’t have as much coat, and they tend to be more laid back. If you intend to keep your bitch intact, remember that she will come into season twice a year, so she will need to be confined for two to three weeks. During this time, you will learn why bitch is used as a slang term!
I’ve always owner males, as I find them to be a little bit more attuned to your emotions. They have a more flashy coat and feature-wise than the bitches, as well as larger. They can be territorial and may also roam if not neutered. Its very hard to keep an Aussie in a yard if he really wants out!
Living in different situations
Everybody just absolutely wishes they had a ranch with sheep and cattle for their dog to run on, right? We dream of that ‘ideal’ farm, and that’s what the Aussie should have, no question. Wrong. Whatever your living situation, there is probably an Aussie suited to you. As long as your dog gets the proper amount of excercise and care, he can do well in most situations. My dog has been a house dog his entire life with a pet door and a great big, fenced in yard. When I took him to college, he had to deal with the lack of ins and outs as he pleased, but because of his personality, I knew that a yard wasn’t important to him, people were. This became even more evident in my current situation, living with a full grown, athletic Aussie in a two bedroom apartment with no yard. He becomes a little ancy if he doesn’t get some good old fashioned excercise, but a two mile a day jog or a hike up the local peak and we are set. If you have an unusual housing situation, discuss it with the person who will be supplying you with your new dog. Find one that is right for you.