FAQs

The Fine Print
I know there are less expensive puppies out there for sale, but it is to your long-term benefit to look beyond the dollar sign.  Purchasing a puppy is a big decision and he/she will be a very important part of your life, along with continued expenses, for years.  Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions and ask for references. More importantly, if feasible, a visit is encouraged to meet me and my family, our pets, and see the environment in which your puppy has been raised. 

I am always available to you, before and after adoption, to answer any of your questions about your puppy, from the simplest to the complex. If I don't have the answer, I will find it!

I am confident you will learn why a Blue Moon Puppy is the right one for you.
Please click the title buttons below to access the documents.
Pet Deposit and Purchase Contract 
Blue Moon Mini Aussies requires a signed contract for each puppy adopted. This is for the protection of the dog, buyer, and breeder.  If you would like to read the contract, click on this link, or contact me and I will send you a copy.
Health Guarantee
Each puppy comes with a three-day health guarantee and a two-year health guarantee. If you are interested in a puppy please ask us for a copy of our full guarantee when you visit, or we can mail you one if you like. Or click on the link above!.
Nutritional Guarantee
Blue Moon Mini Aussies feeds only natural premium Life's Abundance dog food to all our dogs and puppies. Continue to provide your puppy with a Life's Abundance Diet and know it is the right choice with Blue Moon's Nutritional Guarantee. 
Is a Miniature American Shepherd right for you?
MAS are herding dogs by nature.  They are enthusiastic, affectionate, athletic and super smart. This combination of traits means MAS are equally adept in the show ring, in obedience trials, working sheep, in fly ball, in therapy work and everywhere in between. They are hard workers and the herding instinct is still intense.  MAS make great family pets because they are very tolerant of kids, make a gentle playmate, tend to stick close to home and they are incredibly loyal.  They do often choose a favorite in the family and are most loyal to them. Like any good working dog, a well-bred MAS can be a bit reserved with strangers. These dogs do have a bit of natural aggression that is addressed through socialization and appropriate handling as a puppy. Consequently, if raised in a kennel setting without socialization, MAS can be anti-social or overly protective. Through personal experience, I recommend buying from a breeder that handles the dogs regularly and exposes them to different environments and situations suitable to their age. MAS do not do well if they are stuck in a kennel. You and your dog will be happier with exercise and playtime and lots of people interaction every day. MAS can be great in any kind of environment.  They just want to please you and be near you – a lot!
Do MAS make good family dogs?
Definitely! MAS are very devoted to their people. They enjoy and need to be involved in, family activities. They are gentle with children, good with other pets, and easily trained. But as the Australian Shepherd has a strong working heritage, MAS often do best in families willing to spend time providing obedience training, exercise and who permit the dog to be part of the family. The standard calls for a dog of "strong herding and guardian instincts" and a "reserved" temperament. Because MAS tend to be extremely loyal to their families, not all should be expected to be outgoing toward strangers. Early socialization is extremely important in the Miniature American Shepherd, as well as continued socialization as they mature.
Do MAS respond well to obedience training? 
Absolutely! They are herding dogs, historically used to aid ranchers working livestock in a variety of situations. Their natural instinct remains strong, and MAS are well known for their intelligence, eagerness to please and trainability. Not only do they respond well to obedience training but it is highly recommended in order to direct their natural herding ability and inquisitive minds.
How much exercise do they need?
MAS require moderate amounts of exercise. Although energetic, the MAS size enables it to fulfill its exercise requirements somewhat more quickly than larger dogs of similar activity level. They are usually relaxed when inside with their family. Nonetheless, adult MAS can enjoy more vigorous activities, such as jogging and hiking. Games of fetch or with a flying disk are a terrific way for an adult MAS to exercise. Owners often teach their dogs to play "hide and seek" and offer interesting toys to prevent boredom when they are not able to provide physical exercise. Boredom is the leading cause of destructive behavior.
Do they shed much? How much grooming is required?
The MAS wears a moderately thick double coat. The undercoat is shed twice yearly and shedding is moderate between these periods, although the degree will vary with the individual. Regular brushing weekly will help to minimize shedding and keep the skin and coat healthy. The MAS coat is not long enough to require heavy daily attention. 
What health issues are of concern in the Miniature American Shepherd?
In general, MAS are relatively healthy. The most common problem currently recognized in the Aussie and MAS are various hereditary eye anomalies, like iris and retinal colobomas and juvenile cataracts, the more severe of which can lead to blindness. The common approach to preventing these conditions is through certification of unaffected breeding stock by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF). Potential owners should search for a breeder who has cleared both sire and dam of a litter.

Hip Dysplasia, a crippling defect of the hip joint, has been recognized in almost every single breed of dog and is found in MAS. Most breeders perform radiographs and seek certification from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or Penn HIP. It is necessary that all breeders cooperate in the effort to certify breeding stock in order to secure a successful future of the MAS.

What's the difference between show quality and companion dogs?
When buying from a responsible breeder, the differences between show and companion puppies are usually unrecognizable with the possible exception of a dog show judge or another experienced breeder.  All dogs offered for sale by a responsible breeder are healthy and can be expected to live full lives.  Conscientious breeders are always committed to improving their breed-striving for perfection.  Consequently, only the nearly perfect dogs (as compared to breed standards) are kept for show & breeding purposes. Companion dogs are no less healthy and no less attractive.  They likely just have some minor features that would be faults in the show ring i.e. ears that are too large, legs that are a bit long, a nose that is too narrow or a small spot of color in the wrong place.   
How big will a Miniature American Shepherd grow? 
Males typically range from 15 to 18 inches (25 to 40 pounds) and females are proportionately smaller, although dogs will occasionally mature over the preferred size. A responsible breeder will be able to estimate approximate mature size. See the Miniature American Shepherd breed standard for more information on size and structure.
AKC Miniature American Shepherd Standard
Should we get a boy or girl?
Deciding between a male or female pet is often an important decision for future dog owners. Of course, there are pros and cons for each, and the decision becomes a matter of preference.  One important point to consider is that any pet that is kept simply as a pet, and not for breeding purposes, should be spayed or neutered. Many of the behaviors exhibited in males and females can be diminished and easily addressed with training when spaying and neutering a pet. Spaying and neutering your pets greatly decreases their chances for various types of cancers while improving certain undesirable behaviors such as territorial marking. In the long run, spayed and neutered pets live longer and healthier lives. 

It is important to note that while some behaviors are more prominent in one gender or the other, both males and females will exhibit the same behaviors at some point in their lives. For example, males have a greater reputation for territorial marking than females, but females will mark their territory if they feel threatened. However, there are a few general ideas that people use as guidelines when choosing between a male and female.

Females are not as likely to mark their territory, which can make them slightly easier to housetrain. One drawback of female pets is that they tend to be very independent, which means they may like to have time alone, and they might not always want to be touched when you want to pet them. They can also be very stubborn, making training a bit more challenging. Also, remember that female pets that have not been spayed can go into heat every six months. This means messes to clean up around the house and keeping the pet confined so that other males in the neighborhood do not visit too often. 

Males are more prone to marking and aggressive behavior, but neutering can greatly reduce these behaviors. Un-neutered males have a tendency to roam if there is a female in heat nearby. One of the benefits of owning a male animal is that they are typically more dependent on their people than females. This often makes them more affectionate toward people. Male dogs have a tendency to be more eager to please during training, so they can be slightly easier to train. 

Choosing between a male or female dog is really just a matter of preference. Generalizations can be made about each, but like humans, every animal is different. They all have their own personalities, and while some exhibit typical behaviors, others do not. Whether you choose a male or female, training is essential for it to be a valuable part of the family. Dogs have to be taught what is expected of them, just like children. Behaviors that show dominance or aggression can be altered with training. Because dogs are pack animals, they need to know their place in the pack. Until they learn their place, they may test you or your family members to see who the leader of their pack is. Choose the animal that is right for you, but be ready to invest the time in training it to ensure a good relationship with your pet.

"My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am."

-Unknown