Puppies & Litter Info


Fflur babyAussies & Border Collies are not for everyone!

Our Pups are raised in our home and gets lots of love and daily enrichment. They are weaned on a balanced raw & grain free diet-as not everyone wants to feed Raw. With young dogs, finding the nutritional balance to support growth, while not creating too fast of long bone growth, takes experience. We believe that many health issues are triggered by over-vaccinating-so we practice minimal vaccination protocols.

There is huge responsibility in being a "breeder", that starts by making good choices based on the generations behind a dog, as well as the qualities of the dog considered "worthy" for breeding-and then assessing what you have produced in pups. This is a combination of health statistics, temperament, structure and ability. We give our pups a good start, while also making a contribution either through foster or rescue, to balance our guilt of bringing more dogs into the world.  For this reason we also do not breed often-and will never be a "big name" breeder intentionally. Quality of intent, rather than quantity in numbers. Each of our pups is a special edition, loved and raised, as though they might all stay as our "pick".



Both breeds require specific and ongoing socialization throughout their different developmental periods. Our goal is to produce sound structure in healthy, happy puppies that can do everything. All parents are health screened and compete/train in different venues-to judge their contribution both in working ability & genetically, to producing pups. The following information also applies to Border Collies, known as working sheepdogs...for a reason.  Our Aussies are bred to the ASCA standard, to be athletic, versatile and moderate.  Border Collies are working dogs, defined by their abilities & working style, so not bred to a "breed" standard. Aussies and BCs are intelligent, thinking breeds, not suited to every lifestyle, but provided they get adequate exercise, socialization and training, they are amazing dogs to live with. Both breeds do better in homes where they are part of the family activities and are given a job to do. They can not be raised in a backyard, or expected to raise themselves. All need a job, of some sort-or they will create one for themselves.


Pups at playPrior to the sixteen weeks, what a pup is socialized to, will affect their ability to bond, adjust and assimilate later.  Before they hit the juvenile period, it is crucial that all Aussie & BC puppies be exposed to a multitude of different people with positive, happy experiences. As a breeder, we can set the stage for early bonding with people, but as soon as that puppy goes into a new home, the responsibility becomes that of the new family. They are little sponges at this stage, always learning, so each new experience, both good and bad, is cataloged for future reference. Raising an Aussie or BC puppy is like having an extra full-time job-but with lot's of perks. What you put into them, pays off, tenfold. What you don't, comes back to haunt you. Working on building resilience into our pups-they have many experiences early on, that encourage problem solving and bounce back.

Puppy Kindergarten is a must, no matter how experienced you are, how many dogs you have raised, etc.
Attending PKT provides a specific environment, socialization to other pups, and the opportunity to get your puppy used to many things, including riding in a car. If left in a backyard, not taken everywhere on a daily basis-especially the first year or crated excessively, any pup can become shy, frustrated or bored which creates undesirable behaviors like barking, digging and fearful behavior to new people & things.  Neither breed is for the faint of heart.  They require more than can be explained in a written breed description or by just meeting a few.  BCs are more likely to develop compulsive behaviors when under-stimulated, Aussies just plain get into trouble.


tennis ball hypnosis
Breeding is the art of finding two dogs, whose pedigrees, personalities and type will hopefully produce puppies that embody the best of both parents. A lot of research goes into planning a litter, giving thought to the aesthetics of type, but with structure, temperament and health foremost-with visual appeal or color, never a priority. 

Bio-Sensor exercises are started after birth to enhance development, while also gauging early reactions. Watching for early reactions to stress & bounce back resiliency, an important part of raising pups-to also help predict potential reactions, later.

While some pups are unfazed, most herding pups go in and out of fear periods as they mature. We suggest exposing your pup to a minimum of 100 new things, in the first 100 days & on...at a rate that does not frighten them. Intensive and ongoing socialization and not making a big deal of fear periods or shyness in some pups-the more you get them Out and About, the more they will adjust.

In one litter, you will have general consistency of personality, but can have a variety of social tendencies and level of strong mindedness-each pup will carry traits from their parents, but it is up to their people to bring out the best in them!! The same pup, raised by two different people will have some traits that are hardwired genetically-but how they are raised will improve (or not) on those instinctual responses.

Some pups are more independent, some are more reliant upon you-some may be more introverted, while others greet the world like a speeding truck with no brakes-all require calm structure, as they are introduced to the world at large. Building a bond with a puppy and teaching them to take cues from you, not just the environment, is very important with sight sensitive and environmentally reactive breeds like Aussies and Border Collies. Seeing what they see, is the first step in knowing where their brains are, as they learn about the world. I consider myself a "commentator" when I am first getting a pup out-the more I talk to them as they experience new things when I see the alert response prior to a reaction or refocus their attention on me for praise/reward with a previous trigger, the less likely they are to react. I would rather put in the information, than let a reaction just occur and have to "fix" a response.

Temperament is one of our first priorities when planning a litter and how that affects ability.  We strive to produce stable, even-tempered, biddable, outgoing, confident and loving dogs, whether destined for work, performance, or as a family companion. Our BCs are not bred to be conformation dogs, although they are sound in structure.  We support the ABCA's belief that breeding to maintain working ability is more important than all else. 

Pretty is, as pretty does.....Form Follows Function

Our puppies are generally medium-high drive but do not tend to have "hard" temperaments. They often will require time to mature both mentally and physically, before expecting them to successfully handle too much pressure. Some mature quickly and are ready to "go" quickly-but we suggest not expecting to push any pup, beyond what they seem to enjoy or can handle, too early. We produce pups that become part of a team or family, not to fulfill goals.

Regardless of how many dogs you have trained, a Positively based puppy kindergarten and basic obedience class is crucial! Letting a puppy be a puppy is as important, as teaching them how to learn & beginning foundation in training. It makes me literally NUTS, when I see puppies/dogs being micro-managed to the point they don't get to blow off steam and just be dogs. If we sat at a desk 24/7...would we get crazy? YES!!!! So, why expect a pup to "work" or exhibit perfect self-control all the time...they need to run, stretch their legs and experience the world on their own, too. Doesn't mean they run wild, or gain access to everything without being trustworthy in their recall/relationship to their people...but the trend of train, train, train and not letting a pup stretch their wings or having times of no-pressure in expectations...creates stress and fallout behaviors elsewhere. Pups need well rounded lives, like we do. Work, exercise, play, food, more play, rest, more play....you get the idea :)

Patience is a virtue, in allowing a pup to mature before expecting them to perform at the level of an adult dog-if someone is in a hurry, our pups are probably not right for you. Talented and driven as many are, we want homes that cherish them first, compete or work second. Understandably, there are more utilitarian or goal driven attitudes towards dogs-but the majority of us love our dogs, or why have them?

Would you expect the same from a ten year old child as you would from a twenty year old? Would you give up on a child, and decide that is who they are forever-if they who took some time to bring out the best in? or showed a behavior you needed to help guide them through? I don't think so...but when some look at pups that are so quick and brilliant, they expect instant and progressive results, forgetting that we may be pushing them beyond their mental maturity.

Producing biddable, operant personalities while maintaining working and athletic ability, is something we strive for. Some of our pups have softer temperaments and some do not. Sensitivity to environment & to us, to is part of who these herding dogs are supposed to be. We do not place our pups in homes that plan to train with old fashioned correction based training that focuses on telling a dog they are "wrong" as that will shut down a softer dog. They do best in homes where they are given a job or at least have hobbies and are trained with a focus on pro-active POSITIVE techniques that focus on them being "right", to shape desirable behavior. From the beginning, we give pups activities, that encourage problem solving and help them to develop their brains. Letting them "fail" and figure out tasks, builds resiliency.

Aussies tend to be more about the relationship of training-doing it for you, not the access to the activity, while many BCs will repeat behaviors they find rewarding, on their own. In both cases, making yourself the center of their universe, builds the bond, whether they will be just an active family pet or working/competing.

A balanced dog is our main goal. We do not breed for one performance venue over another specifically, but working/performance homes that will also love them as a member of the family, do receive preference, as they are more likely to keep these furry Einsteins busy.  Our "pick" puppy, if they don't stay here, is more likely to go into a serious performance or working home, based on having the best drive and structure of the litter. We also look for homes that will not overface with training or competition, until a pup has matured both mentally and physically.


Aussies & BCs need daily mental and physical exercise to varying degrees, so for the average pet home, they can be a little overwhelming.
  If you are an active person/family with time to train and work with a dog, an Aussie or BC might be right for you. Once physically mature, daily exercise means flat out running for these two breeds-not just a walk around the block. If you have to press hard to feel a dog's ribs, they are fat!!!!! especially, if they are to be an athlete. While a  pup grows, repetitive exercise like jumping up for a frisbee, needs to be avoided-but teaching them to play ball on soft grass is usually safe. Reckless activity, especially when joints & ligaments are still maturing, is what may lead to injury or developmental structural issues.

Controlled Chaos....I run my group approximately three miles a day, without that, I would lose my mind and so would they.

(This page is way too long....but have way too much to say!!!) Read on.............


The smarter the dog, the more creative the owner needs to be.  An Aussie or BC puppy also needs daily socialization to new people, places and things as they mature, to insure that they become well mannered adults. Both breeds go through different stages as they mature, one of which is short fear periods. They may suddenly become worried about something or someone, signified by alarm barking or trying to avoid what worried them.  Knowing how to work a puppy successfully through these stages does take some dog savvy.

Ruby-Reve's pup at six months
We watch our pups constantly, to see social tendencies, body awareness, confidence, temperament, bounce back, etc. To aid in placing the right puppy in the right home, we both instinct/temperament test and structurally evaluate the litter at seven to eight weeks of age, which gauges where the puppies are at that stage.  Final decisions on homes are usually made at that point.  The puppies are lovingly home raised, doted on and tortured regularly with "belly raspberries," but they still leave us well-adjusted and happy. 



Beach puppy

Sound structure and health are crucial to maintain the working & performance ability of the breed. Screening for hip & elbow dysplasia, genetic eye disorders, etc. is done prior to breeding a litter.  There will always be a small % of imperfect hips-not matter the ratings behind a dog, according to OFA. Using OFA information on hip & elbow ratings, is a tool available to us, but not the whole picture. We also research what is behind a dog and look at horizontal pedigrees with siblings, etc. Gauging other genetic risks such as epilepsy is very important to us, too.

We offer a 30 month health guarantee against debilitating inherited disorders such as HD, OCD and encourage that x-rays are done to check hips, as well as growth plates-prior to competing or excessive work.

 We DNA test for the primary cataract in Aussies, CEA/CH in BC's and CERF all pup eyes at 6-8 weeks-so ocular issues that are inherited in BC's or Aussies have been cleared-where possible. If there is family history or any concern, baby BC's will be BAER tested-but EOD may not appear until age 3-5, so ongoing BAER testing is more predictive of any issue.

There are many environmental factors that can affect health in a dog. Over-vaccinating and feeding poor quality food, overfeeding, lack of conditioning, too much exercise on growing bodies, or exposing to chemicals-topical, lawns, etc. are beyond our control. These are considerations for anyone raising a pup, in how these factors may impact a pup's long term health.

We maintain a lifetime commitment to our pups and will take them back, at anytime.

To us, bringing a pup into your home is not an impulse decision . We want to make sure that potential homes, have thought it through, discussed with family members, and are ready!  Some people make up their minds, as quickly as they then change their minds. In order to gauge how ready someone is to commit to one of our pups, a non-refundable deposit , is requested as a good faith gesture of intent, as we will be holding a pup for you and referring away other potential homes. We will base pup choices on conversations, intent with a pup, temperament and your life-matching the best pup to the person. If we feel that there is no suitable pup for you, a deposit will be returned or applied to another litter.

Puppies receive their first simple vaccination at eight weeks, are wormed if needbe, temperament evaluated and eyes are CERF’D. Our BC's have been DNA'd for CEA/CH status or are cleared by parentage, Aussies have been DNA'd for cataracts from the Animal Health Trust in the UK. BC Pups will be BAER tested as needed. Nutrition is key to raising a healthy pup, our pups are weaned on a natural diet of goat's milk, meat, bones & high quality grain free. We believe in a modified vaccine protocol, for more info Google: Dr Dodd's Vaccination protocol.

We are happy to discuss any potential genetic health issues that we are aware of, in our puppies' pedigree, just ask.  Click on the link at left, to read the pledge we make when deciding to breed a litter. For more info on genetics in Aussies, affecting health, coat color, etc please visit: ASHGI


You may also want to visit Washington State University's site to see info about the MDR1 (Ivermectin) multi-drug sensitivity gene:  MDR1 This gene also makes dogs sensitive to related compounds such as Immodium, acepromazine and Flagyl.

Aussie tails-we do not plan to dock, unless medically needed.  If we have no puppies available, we would be happy to refer you.  We often know of Aussies or Border Collies of different ages, looking for homes. 

Consider a Rescue: why are so many dogs in shelters?

If you are considering an Aussie or Border Collie, please consider a rescue first. Aussies & BCs are becoming more popular each year, which means more end up in rescue from backyard breeders and petshops-who do not screen homes for suitability. The dogs that end up in shelters or rescue are usually just being what an Aussie or BC is...a herding dog with a lot of stamina and intelligence, but they are too much for a home that has not done their research or is prepared to channel their instincts. A responsible breeder will take a pup back, to rehome if needed and also sometimes has dogs available for adoption. To help do our part, in addition to the foster rescue work we do, a  donation to support different rescues will be made with each puppy sold from a litter. 

And please do not buy an Aussie or BC from a pet shop or from one of the online .com, always has puppies sources.  There is absolutely NO responsible "breeder" I know that would sell their puppies to a pet shop or broker who has several breeds. 
Buying a pet shop puppy supports an industry that capitalizes upon high volume, commercial breeding without regard to ethics or the pain and suffering imposed on the animals, which are bred as often as possible and purely for profit. The pups are raised in inhumane conditions without proper socialization, have phony pedigrees from "new" registries,  parents have no health clearances, and there is no thought to temperament, ability or genetics.

If you are interested in a Talisman Pup...

To get a sense of what you are looking for, please fill out our
 Puppy Questionnaire if interested in a pup.
We have had some say our questionnaire is daunting...there are no wrong answers,
just looking for info and to get a sense of you. If it is easier, paraphrase in an email. Thanks!


Pet quality puppies are on a spay/neuter contract with Limited registration. Full registration details are discussed individually. Part of our contract stipulates that our puppies attend at least TWO group classes the first year. A puppy is a commitment, not an impulse purchase. If you don’t think you’ll have the time to spend training, socializing, exercising and loving one of our puppies for it’s lifetime, please reconsider whether you are ready to make the commitment.We will take a non-refundable deposit after we confirm you are a home we are comfortable with. This will hold a pup in a litter, complete deposit policy available. If the litter doesn't take or we do not have the right pup for you, deposit can be forwarded to another litter or is refundable. 

We are very proud of the extra effort we put in to ensure our puppies grow into happy, healthy, sound adults.  For more information on how we raise our puppies, please read Raising K9.


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