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Breeding Philosophy

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I think that every breeding program needs to have a vision or goal of where they are going and what they hope to accomplish. For some this can be from one breeding to the next but for others it may be a 10 years or more endeavor. Here at Crystal Peak we are in for the long haul. It may take several years to get where we are going. I believe it is important for us to share that vision and journey with others so that you can understand what has shaped our breeding choices and see what our vision is of the future.

For many years when we very casually bred we were seeking to produce an easy to live with Aussie. One with a simple to identify off switch. I guess you can say couch potato dogs. Calm, intelligent, sensible dogs that were easy to train, not destructive, capable of living in a suburban lifestyle besides being beautiful and healthy(always a high priority with us). Then we discovered agility and found that our dogs could be highly successful up to the high levels of the sport because of that high desire to please, natural focus, and intelligence. We did find a negative however, most no longer had the speed/drive and tenacity to be highly competitive in the upper levels. They were/are softer, they hate to think that they are wrong, and they want us to work just as hard as they do.

So the last few litters we decided to casually bring some herding lines into our pedigrees to increase the drive, give our dogs some grit or staying power, and foster some independence. With this decision we also discovered the joy in seeing a dog you have bred have the skill and instinct to do what they were originally bred to do. Yes, we discovered herding and it opened our eyes to a whole other realm of possibilities.

Our focus has now changed and so has our vision. We like the look of our dogs, we love the easy to live with aspect, and adore the off switch. This we do not want to change. Our vision of the future is to have it all. Working dogs that are beautiful to look at, wonderful to live with, and are highly competitive in whatever dog sport we choose while maintaining great temperaments, and good health. We know that this is a long term goal and will not be accomplished overnight or maybe at all. Each breeding will however be researched and decided upon with that ultimate goal in mind.

Another important aspect that people need to know when they are considering a puppy from us is how do we decide upon a specific cross or breeding. It is an all encompassing decision process. I look as the female first. What are her strengths and weaknesses conformationally. I look for a male that will booster those weaknesses and compliment her strengths and is of the type that I like. I then look at the pedigree. What do they have in common? what health risks do I increase? What health risks do I add? I commonly am looking for an outcross meaning they share none of the same relatives within at least 4 generations preferably more.

Ok, now I have gotten to the point that I like the way the two could mesh conformationally and the pedigree is tolerable. Very few get to this point unfortunately but if they do more questions come up. Does he demonstrate the skills I am looking for or does his pedigree at least support that the skills may be there? For this it means that I look at the titles that the dog has earned or his parents and grandparents. Recently that means I am looking at working ability but I still do not discount breed champions, and other venue titles such as obedience and agility. The more variety of titles on as many different ancestors that are within a five generation pedigree the happier that I am.

If everything passes thus far I contact the owner of the stud dog and speak with them. What is the temperament of the dog in question? Will it compliment and further my goals. I will not breed to a dog with a poor temperament. What has he produced, what problems have come up in previous litters, ect? How is the person to work with? Do I feel they are honest? Can I work with them on a long term basis? Only once a dog has passed through this whole process is the decision made to make the cross. For me this may take years of searching. I am constantly on the look out for crosses for the future.

I hope that this helps you understand the very difficult and time consuming process that we take when choosing our next breeding. Most of the time each cross is performed in order for us to keep something from it and further our goals to the future.

Several pages on this site were created using the beautiful graphics available by Silverhawk's graphics, and Greasy Grass graphics. See links below.

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Katrina Anderson and Sherry Roach of Crystal Peaks AustralianShepherds located in Reno, Nevada.

Website Address: http://tuxedoaussies.tripod.com/
E-mail address: tuxedoaussies@yahoo.com
Phone Number for Sherry Roach Work (775) 327-4458
Home (775)673-1923
Phone Number for Katrina Anderson home (775) 338-3096