Having owned German Shepherds I was looking for a breed that required a little less work. I had seen pictures of freesbie mad blue merle dogs from American dog magazines. I thought to myself if anyone ever imported one of these dogs I would definitely look at getting one.I knew a breeder, Sugargum Kennels, had imported two dogs from America and went to meet with them.
My first Aussie was a blue merle called Ned (Ch. Sugargum Texas Outlaw CDX ADM JD ET HIT). He was a social dog around people and other dogs and he was very easy to train. In fact he picked up obedience excercises really quickly and it wasn’t long before we were also doing agility.Indiana (Ch. Sugargum Fort Indiana (IID) CD AD ET HIT) was a black bundle of fur that wasn’t short of letting me know of her dissatisfaction of riding in the back of the car in a crate on her first trip home! Indiana & her siblings were the first of the Bi-coloured Aussies to be shown here and were heavily influenced on the “Woods” style of Aussie via their father “Colorado’s How The West Was Won (USA)”.
Whilst she wasn’t the flashiest of looking Aussies, Indiana certainly made up for it in personality and certainly challenged the Judges in the conformation arena with her black coat and very little white (just a little on the chest and one rear toe). I thank the Judges(local, interstate & international) for looking past her colour and awarding her Australian Championship on movement and type.Ned and Indiana were the foundations of Hotoz Australian Shepherds and I am proud to have owned them and kept one of their “children”, Dillon from their one and only litter.
Dillon also challenged the Judges on his colour (being a black bi) but didn’t take long in gaining his Australian Champion title. And with multi-talented parents also did very well in Agility with the little time I had put into his training.
I have been involved with Aussies since 1995 and do not breed often (only three litters to date), usually only to keep something for myself. Whilst breeding a Best In Show winner would be nice, my aim is to keep the working ethic that Aussies seem to show in the various dog sporting activities that come their way. The Australian Shepherd is a great thinker, which along with type is paramount to maintain. I do not necessarily keep show dogs but my dogs are companion dogs first and therefore which ever dog I keep is a forever dog in my home. I am active in the Conformation Ring and am slowly getting back into the Obedience & Agility fields (pending work commitments).
All my breeding stock will be health tested as health & longevity is also another of my major concerns. Australian Shepherds are prone to a variety of conditions that affect their eyes, immune system and in general their welfare into adulthood. Cancer is also high on the list of problems. Please consider this before making the decision to purchase one of these wonderful dogs.