Does anyone have any advice on what I should look for? Is it important to buy a $1000- $1500 dog? I don't want to be cheap or anything! I definitely want a healthy, quality dog. I know certifications are important but what else should I look for?
There are also a couple other things I'm curious about that may be nothing?
-I've seen some puppies for sale with spotted noses and they just don't seem right. Is this an undesirable quality?
-Patches or masks on the face... I've read the Oes is supposed to have a white head with a color of grey body. Does it matter is they have spots on the face?
- Blue eyes I think they are really pretty is there anything I should know about them?
Thanks for your help in advance!!! Last time I bought the first puppy I could find in my price range in my area and I lucked out and haven't had any problems out of my dog but I've heard lots of horror stories and want to be sure I know everything I need to know beforehand.
|if you are looking at pups with spotted noses, they are probably too young to be going home with anyone just yet. The puppies noses go completely black by about week 5... I think? Anyone want to chime in with more accurate information? When I look back at my puppy photos of the girls while still at the breeder, Luna's nose was still a bit pinkish at week 4.|
As for markings; I don't think its very important any more. I recall years and years ago when the ideal OES had a white head (called a snowcap I think) and a solid grey body. But today there are far more dogs, even in the show ring, with "splashes" and "flashes". We debated this here a year or more ago; "Splashes" are white fur in dominantly gray areas and "Flashes" are dark fur in dominantly white areas (like the head). I only remember it because it seems to me that they are titled the exact opposite of what I think it would be! But ultimately, neither is a sign of a poorly bred dog.
Blue eyes; this one is a no-no. If anyone is breeding for blue eyes, then you are likely to NOT want one of their puppies. To have an OES with 2 blue eyes is asking for trouble. If you are very lucky, there will be no problems with your dog's health. If you are only mildly lucky, your dog will be deaf. If you've got no luck what so ever, you will have some psychological problems; often things like biting and aggression. Our rescue has had trouble with blue eyed pups in the past, and always its been aggressive traits. One blue eye and one brown eye, or two brown eyes; these are normal in the breed. I know some people here on the board have dogs with 2 blue eyes that are fine. But its just one of those things that if your breeder is breeding FOR blue eyes, then they are ignoring some of the more common health problems in favor of cosmetic and superficial prettiness.
As for price... a well bred sheepdog can run anywhere from $1200 to $2000, last I looked 3 years ago. I went with a couple of puppies that were $600 a piece. What I saved in the up front price I have had to pay for over and over and over in vet bills and trainers fees. Pay for a healthy, even tempermented puppy at the outset, and it will save you a lot of money and heart ache in the long run!
|I agree with Allison, if they are breeding for appearance, they are not paying attention to more serious issues. There are many posts on this here, also read the front page of this forum for an article dedicated to what to look for in puppies. |
Personally I'd want to spend the money up front with a breeder who has worked over the years for health, soundness and temperment and not worry about color combinations. All the medical tests required to know how the line is progressing, breeding matches, etc cost money.
Saving a few hundred or even a thousand up front is quickly lost when your beautiful dog is found to have cra**y hips and needs a $7,000 hip replacement or other surgery plus years of pain meds. Or instead your bargain dog goes blind at an early age, or is deaf, needs elbow surgery as he grows, or is aggressive, or is........etc.
All my dogs here are rescues. I didn't have the luxury of finding quality dogs.....these guys needed a home. One is very sound, the others have problems all traceable to poor breeding. The vet loves us.
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