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  #21  
Old 15.05.2020, 20:38
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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Both my wife & I are dog lovers & have previously owned but looking for specific criteria to fit our lifestyle, kids, home etc. We hesitated with a couple of breeds (i.e. Border collie - too much stimulation required) and landed on this one, we also knew a friend who had one (Killed by car unfortunately)
Border collies are adorable, but it's true - they have to fit in your family.

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Why not adopt a breed that is used to local conditions, and available locally from reputable breeders or shelter?
Would you have a particular recommendation? Which breed? I love dogs but I'm not a specialist and before taking any decision I'd ask a hundred of people around. I know not every breeder is reputable, I'm well aware I'd have to check lots of things. On the other hand, an acquaintance of mine has the sweetest dog ever adopted from a shelter from Spain, it's not even a "breed", it's a mixture she said. Never saw a better behaved dog tbh, so I'm not sure I'm really looking for a specific breed.
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Old 15.05.2020, 20:59
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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One of the endearing periods of our youths were both inextricably linked to our relationships with dogs and while we both have our own preferences for a breed (mine a Doberman and wife a husky) the need to tick a lot of boxes for a family meant careful consideration, the border collie was actually the first dog we looked into. Ultimately, we were risk averse due to the pace of life seemingly needed for a border collie with young kids and our schedules

Dogs are a lot of joy but plenty of work, I have long drawn the comparison to raising a child - investment in every sense. We got kittens last year from a nearby farm, for 8 weeks until son was confirmed to have a cat allergy - gave them away to a family friend. Had never been a cat person, preferring dogs, but even after 8 weeks, a real disappointment to see them go. So, we want to minimize risks as much as possible
I totally get it. But cats are so cute that everyone becomes a cat person when petting one (unless allergic). Huskies are no. 2 for me, coherent personality. Sigma. Dobermans are special too but they need extra strong trainer/owner. So elegant. Like Arabian horses.

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Old 15.05.2020, 21:31
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

A report by a specialist shelter reported the other day that they were having to take in huge numbers of husky/mallamute type dogs as they are 'fashionable' and chosen by people without the necessary experience and/or conditions, and as soon as they turn a bit older- they turn into a nightmare and need months and more of patient re-education and training - and it is very difficult to re-home them even after that- as so few homes are suitable.
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Old 15.05.2020, 21:59
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

Had a Dobie, really special
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Old 16.05.2020, 06:11
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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A report by a specialist shelter reported the other day that they were having to take in huge numbers of husky/mallamute type dogs as they are 'fashionable' and chosen by people without the necessary experience and/or conditions, and as soon as they turn a bit older- they turn into a nightmare and need months and more of patient re-education and training - and it is very difficult to re-home them even after that- as so few homes are suitable.
A dog is for life not for passing it on to the next owner. I am sure there are people who didn't really think it through when getting a dog or any other pet, but let's hope these cases are just the exceptions and not the rule.

Btw, did you refer to Sennenhund(s) when you mentioned local Swiss breeds? Because Bernhardiner* for instance is out of the question for most people.

*they're superbe, I'd like to hug them, they never inspired fear to me.....but hey, these ones really need a farm not an apartment. Our living conditions might change one day, but I have to make plans for the current setting.

Last edited by greenmount; 16.05.2020 at 06:23.
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Old 16.05.2020, 07:58
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

FCBarca,

You likely already know this, but I'll just mention it anyway...

I spent a few minutes browsing a French breeder site that collates puppies for sale. I was surprised to see that some French Aussie breeders still dock tails - and that the practice is still legal in France.

Aussies can be born with natural short tails, true. But not all short tails are natural. So if you are considering a dog from France, and if that dog happens to have a short tail, you'll need to find out if the tail is natural, or not.

I don't know how one would prove if a short tail is natural or docked - I'll leave that to the Aussie experts.

If the dog has been docked, you cannot import him into Switzerland. The one time exception for a family moving to Switzerland for the first time with their docked dog does not apply in this case, as you are already resident in Switzerland.

The long, bushy tail is a thing of beauty - here's hoping that one day the practice of docking is full stamped out world-wide.
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Old 16.05.2020, 08:49
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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Aussies are prettier, though, the mix of gray and ginger.
Because coat color in the herding breeds is a 'thing' with me, just a few comments:

The gray coat you refer to is a merle, in Aussies blue and red merle coats are the most common merle variations. Merling is a genetic variation (to be pedantic, a fault) of the stronger tri-color or sable coat. As a single gene, the result is that pretty blue/white or red/white 'speckled' coat. A dog with a single merle gene is a healthy dog.

HOWEVER - because merle is a recessive gene, and because people think it's so pretty and will pay more for the color, some unscrupulous barsteward breeders try to up the chances of more merles in a litter by pairing two merle parents together.

This pairing, called Double Merling, can result is horrific birth defects. The dogs are often blind, deaf, or both. Some are born with microthalmia, and I know one who was born with empty eye sockets - no eyes at all.

Double merle breeding is considered Qualzucht, abusive breeding, and is strictly forbidden in Switzerland (and Germany and many other countries) both by all the herding dog breed clubs and under the TSchV. However, not all countries/breed clubs are so responsible.

IF you are going to a breeder outside Switzerland or Germany make sure you understand breed coat genetics and make sure you know who the parents are!

The double merle issue is most problematic in the herding breeds - collies, shelties, aussies, border collies - but is cropping up in other breeds now such as Frenchies and Dachshunds as 'designer' coat collars become trendy. Again - due diligence!

Aussies should also be tested for CEA and PRA.

----

Another health issue to touch on is the MDR1 status of the pup. The MDR1 defect is less common in Aussies than in rough collies, but the breed still can be affected. All breeding dogs should be tested, and the breed clubs regulate pairings try to eliminate the problem. A dog with MDR1-/- status is affected and that will need to be taken into consideration with a whole laundry list of medications. Essentially, the defect makes the blood/brain barrier permiable, rendering meds that are safe for unaffected dogs potentially toxic to affected dogs. Dogs with MDR1 +/+ status are unaffected, and carriers +/- while unaffected themselves should only be bred with a +/+ dog.

If the dog comes from a reputable breeder you can rule out MDR1 -/- status based on the status of the parents. But if you have not seen the parents' test certificates, for safety's sake do the test, even though the incidence in Aussies is low. (I test all collies and even my shelties, regardless of parent's status. The test is not expensive, it's a simple blood test or cheek swab.)


Hopping off soap box now...

Last edited by meloncollie; 16.05.2020 at 11:58. Reason: Corrected, see Anna's info below
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  #28  
Old 16.05.2020, 09:40
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

Great info, had no idea - obviously, we are smitten by merle as well but will be more cautious now in our selection
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Old 16.05.2020, 10:05
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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Great info, had no idea - obviously, we are smitten by merle as well but will be more cautious now in our selection
Just to emphasize - a single merle is indeed a healthy dog. The majority of merles you will see are single merles, and there is no worry whatsoever about these dogs. (At least as far as coat color goes. Hooligan and Robin Goodfellow are blue merles. Can't blame their coats...)

Signs of a double merle are typically a predominately white coat with more diluted blue or red merle markings. You can often tell by the eyes, there can be a star pattern/color 'bleeding' to the eyes, or the microthalmia, quite small eyes, mentioned in my previous post. Blue eyes are more common in double merles (although blue eyes themselves are not necessarily a sign of double merling and many blue eyed dogs are healthy.) Double merles essentially look a bit 'bleached out'. Many will have pink noses, as well - although again, a pink or dappled nose can occur in any healthy dog as well.

For reference, if you google 'double merle aussie' a photo gallery of pictures comes up.

A double merle dog is a sign of an irresponsible breeder, that breeder should be avoided like the plague!
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Old 16.05.2020, 11:32
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

Just one correction to your most excellent posts, meloncollie. Merle is actually a dominant gene, denoted by a capital M. A single Merle dog, a healthy Merle, has only one copy of the Merle gene which, because it is dominant, expresses itself in the phenotype, or the “how the dog looks”. In any given Merle x non Merle breeding, about 50% of the puppies will inherit the single Merle gene from the Merle parent.

Double Merle breeding is truly horrible—thank you for so eloquently defending responsible breeding and decrying irresponsible breeding <3

Edit:
It’s interesting that irresponsible breeders do breed two merles together. It shows their lack of genetic understanding. The chances of a Merle puppy out of two Merle parents is actually the same, 50%, with a 25% chance of a sad double-Merle pup and a 25% chance of a “regular” coat color. If they knew this they would stick to Merle x non Merle even for selfish reasons, since Merle x Merle doesn’t actually carry a higher chance of a healthy single Merle pup. I suppose they’re hoping that those 25% double Merle will be healthy enough and normal enough as puppies to pass onto unsuspecting owners ...

Second edit:
https://www.blv.admin.ch/dam/blv/en/...e_Hunde-en.pdf

Looks like the process to prove a dog has a naturally short/“docked-looking” tail is quite intense. If you do go the route of importing a French rescue or puppy, I’d personally avoid short tailed Aussies.
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Old 16.05.2020, 11:54
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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Just one correction to your most excellent posts, meloncollie. Merle is actually a dominant gene, denoted by a capital M. A single Merle dog, a healthy Merle, has only one copy of the Merle gene which, because it is dominant, expresses itself in the phenotype, or the “how the dog looks”. In any given Merle x non Merle breeding, about 50% of the puppies will inherit the single Merle gene from the Merle parent.
I go to bed less stupid tonight

Thanks!
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Old 16.05.2020, 12:17
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

@annasophia and @meloncollie - thank you both for your posts. Tbh some things you've written here would have never "naturally" occurred to me. e.g. what to pay attention to etc

I wonder if there's any official, sort of "wanna-be-dog-owner's guide" for CH.
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Old 16.05.2020, 12:50
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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Looks like the process to prove a dog has a naturally short/“docked-looking” tail is quite intense. If you do go the route of importing a French rescue or puppy, I’d personally avoid short tailed Aussies.
For good reason, they make it appear to be quite intense. In reality though, if it is a true case of a congenitally short tail, it isn't that big of a hurdle. We adopted one of these and discussed it beforehand with the Kantonal Vet. They told us to get a letter from an Italian vet along with an x-ray to have to present to the border if they were interested. Afterwards, repeat the process (x-ray and letter) from our local vet and all will be good. As usual, the border agents had no interest in our dog so we went to our local vet. Our vet looked at our 10 year old mangy-looking dog that we had adopted, briefly glanced at the Italian X-ray and wrote the letter.

When we moved here in 2006, we also brought in our 2 docked Aussies. I imagine things are a bit different now but the border agents and vets never had any questions about their docked tails. The only comments we ever got were from the judgmental "dog" people that we would occasionally encounter on our walks.

Having said all that, I wouldn't risk bringing in a docked dog if you aren't completely honest about it (i.e. importing on your initial move or adopting a congenitally-short one).
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  #34  
Old 16.05.2020, 12:52
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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@annasophia and @meloncollie - thank you both for your posts. Tbh some things you've written here would have never "naturally" occurred to me. e.g. what to pay attention to etc

I wonder if there's any official, sort of "wanna-be-dog-owner's guide" for CH.
The Bund published a brochure, 'Augen Auf Beim Hundekauf!' that talks about the various issues surrounding purchase of a dog, whether from breeders, rescues, or the shadier actors (who may be posing as breeders or rescues ). This brochure has been around for a long time, I don't know if it has been updated recently:
https://www.bundespublikationen.admi...D85425078)/.do

The Bund and Schweizer Tierschutz also put together a website talking about these issues:
http://www.hundekauf.ch

A good source of information is the BLV website dealing with dog 'stuff' - purchase, legalities, education, responsibilities, etc:
https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/de/home...ung/hunde.html



But much of what we have been discussing on this thread revolves around breed-specific issues. If one is interested in a particular breed, the best thing to do is to read up on the characteristics and health - pro and con - of that breed. Good sources will be the breed club affiliated with the national FCI club (in Switzerland that's the SKG), and breed-dedicated rescues (who perhaps might see more of the 'cons' given their mission) as well as breed or general dog discussion fora.

Be careful with the last, however, as there is a lot of bad info out there. (Since the demise of Dogpages I have not found a similar trustworthy source, such a shame.)

And of course, try to get to know owners of the breed you are considering. Nothing beats personal experience.

For any first time dog owner in Switzerland I would strongly recommend taking a theory class before getting a dog. There is no longer a federal requirement to do so, taking a class is voluntary, but I still think it a very good idea.

The National Hundehalter Brevet theory course, developed as a joint effort between the SKG, STS (Tierschutz), and various veterinarians, is one such:
https://www.nhb-bpc.dog
I believe EFer Cherry Tree teaches this course - you might want to contact her for more information.

FYI, some trainers still offer the SKN, this could be an option as well.

ETA:

IF you do decide to take a theory course prior to getting a dog, it might be a good idea for the family to attend together. Sort of a test of enthusiasm, as it were.

Last edited by meloncollie; 16.05.2020 at 15:53.
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Old 16.05.2020, 13:21
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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I go to bed less stupid tonight

Thanks!
Thank you for all the wonderful knowledge you routinely share with us all!
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Old 16.05.2020, 14:42
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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I think because of Coronavirus the search for dogs is harder than ever.
I wonder why this would be?

Hopefully its not the same as "lets get a pet for Christmas" which too often turns into "let's get rid of the pet" once the holidays and the novelty wears off.....
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Old 16.05.2020, 14:48
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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Would you have a particular recommendation? Which breed?
English Springer Spaniel. Smart, gentle, gorgeous, great with kids, very trainable. Big enough so you don't feel like you have a pet rat, not a yippy yappy breed, small enough so that most women could easily lift it into a car, and doesn't eat anywhere near as much (or seek out the nasty) as our neighbouring Labradors.

They don't slobber, and they stay gentle in old age (as opposed to some Shepherds I've known that are fabulous throughout their lives, then get nasty when old)

We've just owned a bitch - very devoted, travelled perfectly in the car, sweet with our cats.

I met one in London that was being used as a sniffer dog - his handler confirmed similar traits.

My in-laws had these dogs for years and years, and I never understood the fuss. But having inherited their last dog, we'd have another one in a heartbeat.

Last edited by smileygreebins; 16.05.2020 at 15:38.
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Old 16.05.2020, 15:06
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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Alternatively, you could adopt Omtatsat. Not a puppy anymore and requires some firm training, but could be an option.
Is he house trained?
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Old 16.05.2020, 15:41
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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Is he house trained?
Not sure. But he routinely approaches random strangers to drive them off, and makes sure the police become aware if it they don't react as intended.
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Old 16.05.2020, 15:46
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Re: Adopting a Aussie puppy in La Côte

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Would you have a particular recommendation? Which breed? I love dogs but I'm not a specialist and before taking any decision I'd ask a hundred of people around. I know not every breeder is reputable, I'm well aware I'd have to check lots of things. On the other hand, an acquaintance of mine has the sweetest dog ever adopted from a shelter from Spain, it's not even a "breed", it's a mixture she said. Never saw a better behaved dog tbh, so I'm not sure I'm really looking for a specific breed.
Sorry for late reply- busy in the garden and doing other stuff. No- no particular breed advice from me. And my comment was not a criticisim per se- but my own feeling that if it is difficult to get a certain breed in one country- maybe a local breed would be great.

Personally, I like Heinz 57s- never bought a dog- they always found us, and not the other way round. And again, personally, I find that so many breeders, and the Kennel Club- are responsible for creating fashions in dogs, and too often breeding sick dogs sold to supply this fashion craze. This comment is NOT directed at the OP btw, not at all. I remember a litter of Aussie Ridge back- where the healthy strong dogs were PTS and only the few weaker ones kept for sale, as they were the ones with the ridge. And so many horror stories, like King Charles and miniature bulldogs, etc.

I will agree so strongly with you on the 'not to pass on to other people when have had enough or made mistake' - our Emma ended with us because people said 'we have outgrown the dogs' - her son was PTS as no suitable home found. Broke our heart, and Emma's heart too ...but another story
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