Riata Australian Shepherds
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HOW TO FIND A REPUTABLE BREEDER

We do not care where you buy your Australian Shepherd puppy, but for the sake of this wonderful breed please do your research and buy from a reputable breeder. Please read below for more information on how choose a reputable breeder and how to avoid buying from a puppy mill or backyard breeder. Additionally, you can go to the websites for the American Kennel Cub “AKC” (akc.org), the United States Australian Shepherd Association “USASA” (australianshepherds.org), and/or the Australian Shepherd Club of America “ASCA” (asca.org) for more information on how to locate a reputable breeder.  

MISSION:  A reputable breeder breeds with the mission to improve the breed by breeding for health, structure and temperament. 

HEALTH TESTING:  A reputable breeder does (or ensures) all necessary health testing of both the sire and dam. Both the sire and dam of the puppy you buy should have had Orthopedic Foundation for Animals “OFA” x-rays of the hips (with a rating of good or excellent) and elbows (with a rating of normal). Additionally, the sire and dam should have yearly eye exams by a certified canine ophthalmologist (with a reading of normal). You can confirm the above-stated health testing results of both the sire and dam by visiting OFA's website at ofa.org and searching by kennel name, name of sire/dam or by the AKC registration number of the sire/dam. Please do not fall for red flag comments such as “I’ve never had problems with hip/elbow dysplasia in my line…my dogs go back to the old lines and have none of these health issues…my vet did x-rays and said they are good…my dogs are clear…my dogs are cleared by parentage…” Do not take someone’s word that the above-stated health testing has been done. Please verify these results on OFA’s website. Additionally, reputable breeders will offer a health guarantee for the puppies they produce.

REGISTRIES:  There is only one Australian Shepherd. There are no standards, minis, toys, teacups or other variations of the Australian Shepherd. That said, there at only two registries for the Australian Shepherd…AKC and ASCA. The United States Australian Shepherd Club “USASA” is AKC’s parent club for the breed. ASCA was the original parent club for the Australian Shepherd prior to AKC recognizing the breed in 1993. To make a long story short, ASCA did not support the efforts in getting the Australian Shepherd recognized by AKC, thus the two registries. Steer clear of anyone offering any other registries other than AKC and ASCA.  

CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS:  A reputable breeder is member of the parent clubs and usually their local kennel club. Reputable breeders participate in venues such as conformation, agility, herding, obedience, rally or tracking.

WARNING

1.  Do not buy from backyard breeders, puppy mills or pet shops. This should go without saying, but sadly I’m finding out our local kennel clubs are not  
     doing enough to educate the public.
2.  Do not buy from anyone who offers a full registration for more money. This is a big red flag. Reputable breeders will require a pet or companion dog
     be spayed/neutered with a limited registration. This allows your dog to be registered as a pure bred dog and you can participate in all venues except
     conformation. By doing this, reputable breeders are protecting their breeding program and their reputation. In other words, they do not want their
     dogs being used just to breed or being bred to substandard quality dogs.  
3.  We do not recommend buying from anyone who does not have all of their females residing at their residence. By saying not all of their females live at      their residence, they do not have to comply with the USDA’s regulations which includes kennel inspections, etc.
4.  Do not buy from anyone who offers anything other than AKC and ASCA registrations. 
5.  Do not buy from anyone who cannot prove the testing of the hips, elbows and eyes of the sire and dam by producing certifications for same, or
     where you cannot verify the testing yourself on OFA’s website.