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  1. #1
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    Apr. 14, 2003
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    Shenandoah Valley, VA
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    Default How to find a good Aussie Puppy - UPDATE! Post 66

    I am in the market for a new puppy. I live on a 40 acre farm with 12 horses. I would like a dog that will stay on the property, not harass the horses, good with kids and smart. Aussies seem like a good dog for me! I have had border collies, and I loved them. But they were a little high strung and ALWAYS wanted to herd the horses or cats or visitors. Some people told me they would settle down after age 6 or so, but it wasn't the case with my dogs. I loved how intelligent they were, though.

    So, I have been searching the net a bit and am having a hard time finding an aussie breeder nearby, and those that I can find, seem to be breeding for show. So, how can I find a good farm dog as a puppy? I assume I would prefer a working type to a show type, but I really need to be educated. Obviously I will go and see the parents first, but are there any other things I should do? Does anyone have any good recommendations on breeders in VA?

    Thanks! Oh, other comments/suggestions are welcome too. I would like to get 2 puppies, but I have heard litter mates are not the best to raise together. Comments? So I was thinking of getting 2, but just not at the same time. I feel like such a novice now, even though I have had dogs my whole life!
    Last edited by avezan; Mar. 27, 2009 at 09:00 AM.



  2. #2
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    Aug. 5, 2006
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    Midwest
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    Default

    No recommendations for breeders, but if you're interested in a rescue...

    http://www.aussierescue.org/



  3. #3
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Default

    I would definitely not get two at the same time.
    Get one so it bonds to you and is trained individually first and when that one is very solid and mature, 2-3 years old, then add another one.
    Or get an adult now first and in a few months get another, or a puppy.

    As many stories you can hear of people that had good luck with raising two puppies, related or not, at the same time, take those that still have young dogs with a grain of salt, as they won't know until those dogs are older if they will have any problems getting along.

    Those with older dogs that the stars aligned for and all is still well, no dog fights as the dogs get older and still have not established a good hierarchy, those were lucky, is all I say.
    Do you want to chance your dog's happiness to chance? How lucky do you feel?

    You can make raising two puppies work well for you, if you have the skills, time and energy to train them individually and together, so they don't just bond to each other and tend to ignore you, but learn to listen to you first.

    As for them learning to get along, well, that is where you have to be lucky that one may end up, as a mature dog, deferring without question to the other, something that may or not happen and you can't change, it is who they are.

    Aussies are absolutely great dogs and I have seen them be so smart that they will train the more novice owners well and still not take advantage of that, as some other breeds may.

    Why don't you ask the ASCA and AKC registries for breeders in your area?
    They may have puppies or know who has some and is good at evaluating puppies and how suitable each one may be for what you want:

    http://www.asca.org/

    http://www.australianshepherds.org/

    Just because a dog is a show dog doesn't mean he is no good for a farm dog.
    Many here are both, AKC border collies or aussies and still good farm dogs.

    Our border collies were double registered, ABCA and AKC, as we were competing in USBCHA herding and AKC obedience and agility.

    Look at the dogs type and temperaments at different breeders and go with what you like best, not only if they are one or another association, that is mostly guided by the politics of dog breeding.

    Now, if you were going to be a serious breeder and competitor in one or the other association, yes, then work thu that one only, if you want to win.

    Have you looked at rescues and shelters?
    Aussies of all ages are very, very common there.



  4. #4
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    Mar. 26, 2008
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    Florida
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    Default

    I bought two nice Aussies both as puppies at the same time, one male and one female. Spayed the female, the male is still intact. It was great getting two at the same time and I had no problems with training. They live outside most of the time and come onto the porch in bad weather. I have invisible fencing around about 3 acres that they have free access to.

    They did not come from the same litter. The female, a red merle, came from a local breeder. The male, a blue merle, I purchased from a breeder off of the website www.puppyfind.com . I had no problems and both dogs are wonderful. I would do it the same way if I had to do it again.

    Just a "heads up", something I did not know when I got Aussies is that some of them are deadly "allergic" to ivermectrin (which is in Heartguard). Give them Inceptor instead for heartworm prevention.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,777

    Default

    www.lasrocosa.com

    I've been buying from them for eons and they wrote the books, plural (All About Aussies and The Australian Shepherd, 2 books).

    Make sure that whomever you buy from has had the parents' hips xrayed, a lot of backyard breeders will sell you an Aussie with hip dysplasia. And ditto for certified eyes.
    Lots of bad breeders out there.

    And there are always the rescues, lots of good Aussies end up given away or abandonned, and you can get a very good lifetime companion from a rescue. One of the cutest and smartest Aussies I've ever seen was a 1/2 Aussie 1/2 unknown, adopted in Atlanta by some guys who later worked on my roof. Great dog.

    So either spend a lot of money with a good breeder (the Hartnagles can direct you to one in your area, that's their Las Rocosa Aussie website above or adopt one from a shelter.

    Either way you will win and an Aussie will have a good home.

    My breeder will not let me buy 2 at the same time. One per year.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
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    3,279

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by avezan View Post
    I would like to get 2 puppies, but I have heard litter mates are not the best to raise together.
    I've read that when you buy 2 littermates at the same time, they have a tendency to play together obsessively, sort of overstimulating each other and fixating on each other as the source of all interest in lifem making them harder to train.

    Quote Originally Posted by sfstable View Post
    Just a "heads up", something I did not know when I got Aussies is that some of them are deadly "allergic" to ivermectrin (which is in Heartguard). Give them Inceptor instead for heartworm prevention.
    I think all the collie breeds are at risk for being allergic to ivermectrin.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 31, 2004
    Location
    Upper Peninsula, Michigan
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    Default

    Well we have Heelers (Australian Cattle Dogs) and we have two females from the same litter.

    The mother is my father in law's dog--she was my husband's but when we got married and he moved off The Farm, Sparky just wasn't happy away from The Farm.

    Well, we picked out THE PUP my hubby wanted but he didn't want to just take her home alone. So we took another too, just to help "Carley" get acclimated. Well, when someone wanted to buy "Packer" we just couldn't part with her.

    So we ended up with two. They are both currently intact and get along great, and can be separated no problem. They listen independently and are not codependent on each other.

    They did fight a little as pups but we let them get it sorted out and now they don't fight at all. They share a lot of things, including a food bowl-their choice not necessity as they each have their own.

    But they are totally independent of each other.

    So it CAN work. They are 2 1/2 now.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2007
    Location
    Jasper, GA
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    2,148

    Default

    Because of your location, you might want to look outside of your area also and if you do buy local, know that VA is full of BYBs who don't do their genetic research or health tests. You want hips and eyes done at the very least, ask about epilepsy (at least two generations and aunts/uncles, etc) and get the inbreeding co-efficient. Most working dogs are reg. through ASCA, don't go for pups that are reg through the NSDR (it let in a bunch of mongrels and is an "open" registry). AKC is optional but you want ASCA (good working breeders use this reg exclusively but many dual reg with AKC).

    As you really don't intend to spend much time with the dogs, two might work fine (most times, one works best but in casses where dogs live outside, and human interaction is limited, etc as in your case -two can save each other from loneliness). But two dogs can get into major mischief and turn into canine packs, if you let the pups do as they will.

    I also like Terry Martin, SlashV (google it). She caters to the farming/stock market. Good dogs at good prices.

    Post any breeder you find and we can help you determine whether they are decent or not.

    You should be able to get an excellent dog for around $500., less if you are willing to take them a bit older (the leftovers).
    Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s



  9. #9
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    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    Default

    Getting two dogs is fine, it is getting two puppies to raise at the same time, littermates or not related, that is questionable.
    Some times it may work, way too many it doesn't, so why try your luck doing something that may turn out bad?

    We have seen where it didn't work way too many times to ever not warn people about it, so if at all possible, they don't try it or if they do, are amply forewarned.

    Since you are not going to be working stock, you may not want that kind of intense working dog anyway, so be sure to tell the breeder exactly what you want and you may not need the kind of breeder that aims for top working dogs anyway.

    Our aussie was from intense working lines, but we used her as a cowdog and won in obedience trails with her, so she was working all day right along with us.
    You may not need that working ethic on a farm dog that you don't want to roam or work much, just lay around the barn.



  10. #10
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    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    Default

    Great dogs - very smart but with an off button. A cross-bred is also an option since my favorite dog of all time was a cross-bred Aussie. So acutely aware of their person, so fast in their answers to commands. A female will stay home better.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    Default

    I have two aussie/golden cross female litermates that we found on PetFinder, and we have had no problems with them. They are not co-dependent, they don't fight, they do play rough, but I'm okay with them wrestling in the yard and expending some excess energy. The rest of the time, they sleep, and usuallly in separate rooms in the house, and at night they do sleep in separate rooms, not by their choice, one is supposed to belong to my in-laws who live with us, the other is our dog. But every morning I wake up to all 3 dogs (my older britany and the two aussies) in my bed with me! They are great dogs.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2005
    Location
    SE PA
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    1,012

    Default

    Aussies are more intense than Border Collies. If you don't want a Border Collie for the reasons you stated, then you don't want Aussies either. They working herding dogs. They will harrass the horses and cats. Unless you do a great job training them not to.

    If you want two puppies, at the same time, even from the same litter, or even fairly close together, it's doable if you crate them or keep them separate from each other at all times while you house train and train them to you. it's really hard to train two dogs at the same time. Once they're reliably trained and they get along with each other, you don't have to separate them so much.

    Do more research before you decide on a breed. Find a copy of Tortora's book: "The Right Dog For You." Then take all the questionnaires and be completely honest with yourself and your answers. This book will guide you to the right dog for you.
    Laurie Higgins
    www.coreconnexxions.com
    ________________
    "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2008
    Location
    Alachua, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiliath View Post
    Aussies are more intense than Border Collies. If you don't want a Border Collie for the reasons you stated, then you don't want Aussies either. They working herding dogs. They will harrass the horses and cats. Unless you do a great job training them not to.
    This has not been my experience. Intensity depends on how you define it, and the Aussie is typically more 'you' centered where border collies seem more 'stock' centered, which can make Aussies a little easier to redirect. I do agree that every dog of working breed needs good training (wishing it for all dogs seems futile).

    I would not get 2 Aussies at one time, and definitely not litter mates, but it's possible if you've lots of time on your hands.

    As for breeders, check http://shenandoahaussies.net/Home.html. They do show AKC dogs, but have been breeding since way before that. They are in PA. Lancaster Farmer (which now has a souther edition I understand) has often had listings for farm bred dogs. It is a mixed bag, but some are quite good.



  14. #14
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    Aug. 9, 2007
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    You will occasionally get a hyper Aussie, I had one, but a trip to obedience school with Pat Klausman made Kippy perfect. Kippy lived in my house in Atlanta.

    All my other Aussies lived in houses/apts/even subdivisions in Atlanta without problems, actually, mine liked to "lay up" in bed in the airconditioning while I worked. I only raised one Aussie in an apt, Coze in St Louis, and I wouldn't do it again.

    Boy dogs who are "fixed' before they learn to travel a territory will stay home, but I believe that all dogs should have a fenced yard, and not be left to run loose, even on a farm or ranch.



  15. #15
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    Apr. 14, 2003
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    Shenandoah Valley, VA
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies! I do definitely want to get 2 puppies, but not necessarily at the same time. I know it can be successfully done, but for the reasons given, I'll probably do one at a time. One thing that I have read about Aussies is that they are very bonded to their human or family and that they don't rehome well. I had looked at the Aussie rescue site but the fostering and adoption application looked a little intense and required a fenced yard, which I don't have. I have never crate trained anything, but I'll look into it. My dogs live outside. I'll have a kennel with a 6' fence for when I'm not home, until the dog is trained.

    Cielo, I have not figured out how you inferred from my post that I would not be home a lot, but you are correct. Your dogs are beautiful. I especially like Paige.

    Thanks for the suggestions on the registries, hip and eye certification, epilepsy history. I wouldn't know what a good or bad inbreeding coefficient is. Would most non BYBs know this? I've read about the homozygous merle issue. I don't completely understand the implications for the dog. I understand the genetics and that merle is dominant, so a merle/non-merle mating would not produce a homozygous merle, but what if the merle parent is homozygous? Would this have any implications for the puppies? In other words, could any of the deficiencies of the homozygous parent be passed to a heterozygous pup?

    I'm going to rule out getting a dog from outside my area because I really would like to meet the parents. I'm willing to go 3-4 hours so that would include all of VA, some of WV, DC and MD.

    I was aware of the ivermectin issue for collies, but didn't realize it was in one of the heartworm meds. I was using interceptor for my borders.

    What about docked tails? At what age are they docked?

    I would consider getting an aussie or border cross as well. Its just hard to tell what you are going to get. How about thunder storms? 2 of my 3 borders were scared of thunder, but not to the extent that some of the aussies on the rescue site seem to be!

    Do you take your Aussie to horse shows? How do they do? I could not imagine taking one of my Borders to a horse show. I met an Aussie at a horse show 2 weeks ago. My kids spent most of the day playing with him and walking him around on a lead rope. The rest of the time he was at his owner's feet, when the owner wasn't in the saddle.

    Thanks again. I am enjoying reading the stories about your dogs. Keep them coming!



  16. #16
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    Nov. 2, 2006
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    2,505

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    I have an aussie x ACD mix. She is a great dog. I think you really need to explain what you want in a dog- especially as far as drive- and wok with a breeder that will pick out the right dog for you . Aussie's can be intense, they can be mellow, they can be down right goofy. I compete in Agility and there are ALOT of aussies in the NE that compete in agility. You see a huge range of personality. So its really hard to say if they will be scared of thunder- it just depends. Also- Aussie's in my experience are not more intense than border collies- but I generally don't like blanket statements- it really comes down to the specific dog.

    Tails are docked when they are very young- some are born with a natural stub all the way to a full tail- so if you wanted to keep the tail- I would talk to the breeder about that too. Personally I like the tail on the dog.

    I would look at ASCA for breeders in your area. I also wouldn't worry about a dog from a show breeder, as long as you really explain to them what you want in a dog.



  17. #17
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    Apr. 9, 2008
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    Alachua, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by avezan View Post
    they are very bonded to their human or family and that they don't rehome well. I had looked at the Aussie rescue site but the fostering and adoption application looked a little intense and required a fenced yard, which I don't have. I have never crate trained anything, but I'll look into it. My dogs live outside. I'll have a kennel with a 6' fence for when I'm not home, until the dog is trained.
    We have had 2 rescue Aussies, and one late (6 mo old) from a breeder. Aussies may tend to super-bond, but if they are in the adoption system, chances are that this didn't happen in their first home anyway. Some become aloof, but some are so happy to get their new homes, they bond vey easily to adoptive home. If it's an interest, check with breeders about alternate adoption possibilities. Maybe you'll get lucky, and find a breeder to get a puppy from that can hook you into an adoption at the same time; 2 dogs as you want, but without some of the difficulties mentioned.

    I've read about the homozygous merle issue. I don't completely understand the implications for the dog. I understand the genetics and that merle is dominant, so a merle/non-merle mating would not produce a homozygous merle, but what if the merle parent is homozygous? Would this have any implications for the puppies? In other words, could any of the deficiencies of the homozygous parent be passed to a heterozygous pup?
    Are you planning on breeding these dogs? If you go look at puppies, and the parents are 2 merles, and a pup is mostly white, steer clear. Deafness and blindness can come in degrees, and may be less evident depending on the age, but the puppies have a 75% chance of being perfectly normal. Most would make the arguement though, that the breeder was not knowledgable, and this might be a reason to steer clear in general (probably more so if you actually find someone breeding an obviously homozygous dog).

    I'm going to rule out getting a dog from outside my area because I really would like to meet the parents. I'm willing to go 3-4 hours so that would include all of VA, some of WV, DC and MD.
    central PA, just north of the MD line is where some good breeders are. It shouldn't be out of range if MD is OK. I don't mean to malign a whole state, and I'm sure WV must have some good breeders, but it seems to have more than its share of backyard Aussie breeders, and there are lot of less-than-stellar dogs. When Aussies went AKC, the worst examples of AKC-ruins-working-dog-lines seemed to be very popular around suburban DC. Some breeders of good working lines finished their dogs, and dual register --I'm not knocking the AKC (much), but there are also some AKC Aussies that are almost unrecognizable too me, so I'd still look for stock dog registry parents. Only AKC registered dogs may or may not have good working lines.
    What about docked tails? At what age are they docked?
    usually done with dewclaws at a couple days old. It is quick and simple. I like having dewclaws done for practical reasons. I don't think doing tails creates a great hardship, but I know some people do. Aussies can have a natural bob tail.

    How about thunder storms? 2 of my 3 borders were scared of thunder, but not to the extent that some of the aussies on the rescue site seem to be!
    Sometimes I think the 'rescue dog syndrome' has to do with living rough and/or rescuer sympathies than something inherent in a breed (check some random breed rescue sites and you'll see lots of storm-fearing dogs). I'm sure it's no more likely than in BCs.

    Do you take your Aussie to horse shows? How do they do? I could not imagine taking one of my Borders to a horse show. I met an Aussie at a horse show 2 weeks ago. My kids spent most of the day playing with him and walking him around on a lead rope. The rest of the time he was at his owner's feet, when the owner wasn't in the saddle.
    The owner centric mindset of most Aussies makes a difference (from BC for instance) at high-herding-stimulus events like horse shows, but dogs (any) at horseshows must have good training, period. A bad Aussie at a show is still a disaster.

    My first Aussie went to tons of shows (and almost everywhere else). Back on the littermates topic, the only time that dog was not perfectly behaved at a show was when I heard that one of his littermates was on the grounds. They were more than a year old, and had not seen each other since 8 weeks old. My dog, who normal asked permission to breath, hit the end of the lead rope like a train when they saw each other. They went bonkers getting re-aquainted.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2006
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    kentucky
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    Quote Originally Posted by RHdobes563 View Post
    No recommendations for breeders, but if you're interested in a rescue...

    http://www.aussierescue.org/

    I second this! I volunteer for ARPH and we do get puppies, please check out the rescues before buying!



  19. #19
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    Apr. 14, 2003
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    Shenandoah Valley, VA
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    Default

    Thanks again. I have been scanning the adoptions too. I think a good plan might be to buy a puppy and adopt an older dog at close to the same time. A lot of work, I know, but this would avoid the issue of 2 puppies and give them some company when I am not there. Equusus, how do the rescues feel about a non-fenced yard? Oh, and here is another question for all of you (I bought my last dog 16 years ago. She is still with me. Buying dogs has changed a lot!) All of the rescues and breeders websites have an application where it asks for references. I have no idea what to give as a reference, other than my small animal vet. If I were buying a horse, I could give vet, farrier, trainer, local boarding barn owners....what sort of reference do you give for buying a dog! i could give my horse vet and farrier too!? They both have dogs and often bring them to my farm.... I just don't know what kind of credentials in a reference they would be looking for. Thanks again.



  20. #20
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    Aug. 17, 2007
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    Mount Airy, MD
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    Quote Originally Posted by avezan View Post
    Thanks again. I have been scanning the adoptions too. I think a good plan might be to buy a puppy and adopt an older dog at close to the same time. A lot of work, I know, but this would avoid the issue of 2 puppies and give them some company when I am not there. Equusus, how do the rescues feel about a non-fenced yard? Oh, and here is another question for all of you (I bought my last dog 16 years ago. She is still with me. Buying dogs has changed a lot!) All of the rescues and breeders websites have an application where it asks for references. I have no idea what to give as a reference, other than my small animal vet. If I were buying a horse, I could give vet, farrier, trainer, local boarding barn owners....what sort of reference do you give for buying a dog! i could give my horse vet and farrier too!? They both have dogs and often bring them to my farm.... I just don't know what kind of credentials in a reference they would be looking for. Thanks again.
    I have done both -- done an aussie rescue (1/2 aussie 1/2.. unknown..) and she is a FABULOUS dog. a little shy but quiet and sweet. I also bought a beautiful blue merle pup from a breeder here in MD that you might want to check out, www.ross-mar.com. Not super expensive, excellent temperment, great with kids/horses/dogs/cars/everything and has been really healthy. I travel a lot and my dogs always go with me, stick right around the farm, they're wonderful!
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...a2&id=36201598



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