Getting a Puppy from Tucker Creek
We have been carefully selecting dogs for our breeding program for over 20 years to make sure our dogs are healthy, mentally sound, athletic, and meet the breed standard. Our dogs are all over the world in wonderful homes living incredible lives with their owners. Some of our Aussies are competitive herding working dogs, others are on working ranches, many are competitive agility, tracking, and obedience, and some are just wonderful companions. It is our goal that wherever they go, they are loved and a part of the family.
Many of our puppy owners are repeat clients as they have found the lines to be perfect for what they desire, and come to us with a certain type of puppy in mind. We are dedicated to trying to match you with the right pup which is why the puppy application and questionnaire are helpful in starting the process of getting you the perfect match.
We are the only Hall of Fame Excellent in Canada and we have attained the status as Hall of Fame Excellent in the USA with our parent club ASCA. This is a result of careful selection and a wonderful extended family worldwide who have our dogs. We are forever grateful and so very proud of our extended family and continue to want to produce the occasional litter for this amazing forever homes.
What makes Tucker Creek dogs special? Well we think everything! But realistically, they are not all created equal and a great dog is made. What you do with your puppy and the more you involve them in your life is what makes them great. Our dogs are active in herding, tracking search and rescue, agility, cani-cross, barn hunt, trick training, and many other sports all over the world. The people that live with them are equally amazing and we are doubly blessed.
All of our Aussies are registered with the Australian Shepherd Club of America and the Canadian Kennel Club. They are also eligible for registration with the AKC – American Kennel Club.
Our Jack Russells are CKC and AKC registered. Some of our foundation is also recorded with the JRTCA.
Looking for training resources? Visit The Talking Dog at www.thetalkingdog.ca.
“First and foremost, the Australian Shepherd is a true working stockdog, and anything that detracts from his usefulness as such is undesirable. The most important breed characteristics are overall moderation in size and bone, balance with correct proportions, and sound movement…” Read the full Australian Shepherd Breed Standard on the ASCA website.
“Bred to run with hounds and go to ground, the Russell Terrier possesses a vast amount of energy. Interesting activities like agility, obedience and den trials will help channel this dog’s boundless enthusiasm…” Read the full Russell Terrier Breed Standard on the AKC website.
A responsible breeder will be voluntarily screening their sires and dams for inherited diseases before breeding. Every breed has a breed-specific panel that has identified the potential risks for inherited disease and there are a variety of health testing organizations today that can help us prevent breeding dogs with known issues. This avenue has led us to be able to produce healthier dogs, make better decisions in our crosses to ensure puppies are not inheriting conditions which may render them unhealthy early or even later in life.
DNA health screening, hips and elbows x-ray and clearance from parents, eye checks with CERF or OFFA and ensuring parents have been cleared for known diseases can certainly help in moving forward. In many cases this information does not mean some known carrier won’t be used in breeding programs but knowledge of their DNA profiles will help on the selection process.
Genetic health testing is an important tool but also needs to be only part of the consideration when breeding. A dog clear of all known genetic diseases that we have panels for does not mean they are a good prospect for breeding. It is important the dogs used for procuring the future of the breed keep in mind, good solid temperament representative of the breed and healthy, athletic pups for the future.
So choose a breeder who can share freely their practices and their expectations for the pups based on their knowledge of the dogs they are breeding. If you are seeking a working dog or dog intended say for hunting or for herding, you should ask to see evidence of working parents. Working parents typically will produce working offspring, again not always, but the intention to produce working pups should start with talented natural parents.
What to consider when looking for a new puppy:
Looking for a new puppy should go hand in hand with searching for a good breeder. For many people a good puppy is cute, it looks like a puppy, and it’s version of the breed they were searching for. But there are so many other very important things to consider. Since this is a lifetime commitment – fro the dog, and at least a good part of your lifetime, this decision should be an informed one.
Purebred dogs were bred for a purpose. Historically each breed had a job to do even the “lap Dogs” had a specific type of personality, and hence forth came the perfect offspring form selecting the right parents.
Purpose bred dogs were often crossed with other similar purpose bred dogs, such as one type of herding dog to another , to acquire the traits in the offspring seen in the parents. So creating mixed breeds would often inevitably lead to a new breed or an excellent combination to conquer the tasks the dog were needed for – For Example: an individual with a sheepdog of a certain breed might like the cattle dog down at the next farm because he has a certain trait lacking in their sheepdog, thus crossing the two in hope the trait comes out in at least half of the puppies.
Cross breeding purpose bred dogs created many of the breeds we see today, and the traits selected for helped describe the importance of their personality and were ‘predictable’ with careful breeding. The importance of knowing your sires and dams and what characteristics you have selected to cross is incredibly important and a good breeder has some degree of predictability when selecting mates for breeding. It is not a science but a good breeder will consider first and foremost the health of that animal through careful screening, DNA testing and temperament to ensure the pups are of sound mind and body and meet the breed standard.
Breeding for appearance is not at all the same as breeding for purpose therefore purpose bred dogs not only need to meet the criteria for health, temperament, and breed standard, there is a whole other level of complicated traits and characteristics that must be considered when selecting for a working dog. An Australian Shepherd bred for herding purposes can be defined by its working style such as heeling, heading, a great cattle dog or a stylish sheep dog. There are as many are herding working styles as there are jobs they are required to perform therefore there have been many working herding lines (as well as agility and conformation lines in some dogs) developed and recognized for their outstanding traits.
Finding a breeder who takes care to select for the many things discussed above is not an easy task and there are many things to consider. Most of which is that your initial investment in a dog is the least of your future expenses.There will be future vet bills just to maintain proper health and there may be unforeseen expenses you should be prepared for. A properly health screened litter can significantly reduce your chances of getting a pup with a pre-existing condition that may hav been preventable with proper DNA health testing of the parents. Look for longevity, the average lifespan of the breed you seek should be at least attainable in the breeding stock you are looking at.
The value of that dog is far greater than the little prize in front of you. On average it will cost the breeder approximately $1000.00 per adult to have all the health testing and DNA screening before being bred. In addition there are many excellent kennels who chose to ensure the parents have earned recognition in their breed with working performance titles. In the herding world, this expectation for a proven Working Trial Championship – aka WTCH, will cost a minimum of $5,000.00 in trial entry fees, training, clinics, registration etc. It can easily reached the tens of thousands for a dog whose has been campaigned and reached international competitive level in their sport. A proven working dog does not need to have been proven in the trial arena, but equally or perhaps more important at his day to day job on a farm or ranch tending livestock – or with our JRT as solid companions, active and successful vermin hunters etc.
So consider that just to provide you with a quality puppy with proven parents, health screening, and a pup which follows the importance of maintaining excellence in the breed will have cost a responsible breeder anywhere between $15,000 to $20,000 to produce that litter.
What to expect when talking to a breeder
When considering buying a puppy from anyone, you should be sure that the people breeding do not sell to pet stores, breeders or research facilities and we are not likely to sell a puppy simply because the price is right. A purebred breeder in Canada must be registered as a breeder with the Canadian Kennel Club as it is governed through the Livestock Act of Canada. There are today, many breeder who have opted to only register their dogs with the original parent club ASCA. It is important that your breeder have some records of the parentage of their dogs.
It is also important to look at their facility and how their dogs are raised and handled. There are many kinds of breeders. Bad breeders have no regard for the quality of life for their dogs and use them strictly to breed and make a profit on puppies. Even some of the most beautiful outwardly appearing facilities or flashy websites can be very misleading. Be sure that the mothers of pups, have had some kind of life and that they are not being bred repeatedly and have no life other than raising pups. They should still be part of a family and freedom to run and exercise like any dog you expect to have in your home, and not captive only to make more puppies.
Bad breeders don’t health test, and they often want your money as soon as you reach out. Be careful and don’t be afraid to ask many questions. And expect many questions about you and your home, habits, and family from a good breeder as well.
Good breeders will often ask you to fill in a questionnaire. This helps them to identify your experience with dogs and also your expectation for the kind of dog you are seeking, male female, high drive, performance or pet. You should expect to have at least 1-3 references, people who can vouch for you as a responsible pet owner, such as your vet, previous breeder, or teacher at a training school. A good breeder will want to talk to you about a puppy so once they have assessed you application you should expect to have several discussions over the phone and e-mail about the puppy.
A good breeder is likely to tell you that you may not get to choose your puppy especially if they have a waiting list and people on those lists may have priority over you as they may have waited up to years for a puppy. A good breeder also should understand what you are seeking in a companion or performance dog and is better prepared to choose for you, an appropriate pup based on their knowledge of their lines and the parents. Don’t be as concerned about colour as temperament. Of course we all have to love to look at or dogs and admire how beautiful they are, but in no time at all, most people will fin the beauty in the eyes and soul of their dogs, colour and looks are quickly forgotten.
Good breeders will offer you a contract to review and discuss which includes their hopes and desires for the pups welfare and the future. Unforeseen things can happen and puppies will occasionally have to find new homes. A good breeder will have stated in their contract that they are to be notified if ever this is the case and that you will contact them first and always when there are issues with your dog and especially if re-homing is a possibility. Most good breeders wish and specify that they have “first right of refusal” when it comes to their pups and they will have a standing offer to take the dog back. This is out of consideration that you honour this agreement as the breeder should know where they have puppies placed wherever they may be in the world. A good breeder knows they are responsible for these dogs, within reasonable expectations, and where they should end up. Often breeders will re-home the dogs at a nominal fee to a new home to ensure they are placed securely once again.
Deposits are often required to hold your place for a puppy in a litter. They do not always ensure that you will get a puppy if the breeder feels there is just simply no match for you in a particular cross. A Good breeder will likely return your deposit if they have not been able to provide you with a puppy. However if you decide at the last moment t get a puppy form elsewhere and the breeder has close doff other buyer prospects, you may find your deposit not returned. This is only fair as others may have been turned away. Be patient, as the best puppy will come, and in our experience here at Tucker Creek, the pup always ends up where he/she is supposed to be. It’s a little like magic sometimes and we wonder how destiny postpones the best for last.
Aussie Reference Links
- ASCA – The Australian Shepherd Club of America – the original parent club for the Australian Shepherd
- CKC – Canadian Kennel Club
- The Talking Dog – online video herding site
- Books: The Travelling Herding Teacher by Bob Vest and Kathleen Freeman Kelly
- All About Aussies – Jeanne Joy Hartnagle Taylor
- The Total Australian Shepherd by Ernest Hartnagle and Carol Ann Hartnagle
- The Australian Shepherd Judging Compendium by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle Taylor
Jack Russell Terrier Recommended Reading
- Hunt and Working Terriers by Captain Jocelyn M Lucas M.C.
- The Complete Jack Russell Terrier by D Brian Plummer