Sharon Fontanini – Purebred Australian Shepherd
My second interview was with Sharon who breeds purebred Australian Shepherds. I was so excited to talk to her, because Rodrigo is part Australian Shepherd. Sharon has always had this breed growing up and it’s natural for her to breed Australian Shepherd puppies.
Puppies are bred to be family dogs
Sharon breeds her Australian Shepherds to be family dogs; they’re bred for their temperament and are very trainable. I found it fascinating that this is exactly what Shawna said about her German Shepherd puppies – it’s very exciting to me to meet people who take such care in the breeding of our dogs.
Sharon’s puppies are raised as part of her family and she makes sure she has homes lined up before breeding. Some families have done their homework when they arrive to buy a puppy. Like Shawna, Sharon learns about the families’ objective and lifestyle. Sharon wants to match the right puppy with the right family. She has turned down families that she didn’t think were a good fit for her puppies. Families with small children are screened carefully.
In her contracts, there is a penalty if anyone places one of her puppies in a shelter; she’ll take a dog back and either rehome the dog or keep the dog herself. Awesome!
An active breed
Some lines are more intense and have more drive; these dogs need to be kept busy and given a job. Stories about the intelligence of the Australian Shepherd and Australian Cattle Dog are what attracted us to this breed and one thing we wanted were dogs with a low herding drive. We got them. But they do need something to do and exercising our dogs has introduced us to great friends and decreased my waistline.
Australian Shepherds need to understand the limits and acceptable behavior. I learned that if I allowed it, Rodrigo would walk all over me. Today, he’s such a great dog, but if I’m not willing to step up as the leader, he’s more than happy to fill the role.
Australian Shepherds are very smart dogs. They’re thinking dogs (yep, I know) and love figuring things out (yep, I know). Sharon says that most people are not smarter than their dogs and I so agree. Instead of trying to outsmart Rodrigo, we invested in good training.
Before Sharon sells two puppies to a family, she wants to know if the family can devote enough time to two puppies. She’s never had this request, but if it comes up, she would screen the home first.
Australian Shepherd litter size
There are 4 to 6 puppies in a litter and Sharon breeds her dog once or twice a year. She’s not in this for the money; she’s in it for the love of the breed and to improve the breed. Given the cost of breeding her dogs, it’s not a get rich business.
Why are puppies so expensive?
Sharon’s puppies receive regular veterinarian checkups and they have their eyes and hips certified. She’s passionate about breeding genetically sound dogs.
If you’re looking for a new dog, research the breed and its characteristics. Think about what the best fit is for your lifestyle. And make sure the dogs have had all their proper tests done. Sharon’s puppies have their eyes and hips tested. Shawna’s puppies have their hips tested as well.