More Then Colour
Aussies come in a myriad of colours, as unique as the breed itself. There are four accepted colours as per the breed standard(s) all with or without white or copper markings as follows; Blue Merle, Black Tri, Red Merle, Red Tri.
It is perhaps what initially drew more then one of you or caught your eye about this wonderful breed. To want to look further and see that there is more then just the surface ‘paint’ as it were.
Prior to a litter being born here at Fortis, there has been much thought and research that has gone into it-selection of the parents, health testing, titling of the parents etc.
Then comes the big day...puppies are born! Clearly I’ve skipped ahead here ;) However...Puppies are born and we see what we have initially (sex and colour) as at this point we likely have an idea of how many were waiting to come. If all goes well, we get them going with mom and then start, daily weigh-ins, pictures, updates and well...the details.
We are watching, interacting, working with, handling the puppies on a daily basis seeing what milestones they are achieving, how they are responding to what, or simply watching them sleep.
Meanwhile, wondering the BIG questions, who would be best suited-where?
Who am I keeping?
How does this puppy respond to this? Or that?
Is this puppy more relaxed-or that one? Does this one settle better, or that one?
Is that puppy eating enough? Who has gained, who hasn’t?
Is my bitch doing well?
These are some of the questions going on-in perhaps a 10 minute span of thinking, multiple times a day ;)
We are constantly thinking, worrying, wondering and...enjoying the puppies!
And then, there is colour ;)
Most certainly I have had my bias as well as several others-we get it! And go with who is the best in the litter, regardless of colour. Initially I like many others wanted a Blue Merle female. The Blue Merle, because it was what first caught my eye, and female because I had, had predominately female’s growing up-it was what I was used to. And no surprise now, although shocking at the time, when I made my first couple of inquiries-I didn’t hear back from the breeders I reached out to. Rather then get discouraged, I did more research...
What did I WANT in my Australian Shepherd? Ultimately?
This question that I asked myself opened up a whole other world. What I wanted, and HOW could I find what I was looking for? And better yet, how to articulate it?
While it isn’t wrong to have a colour preference, at the end of the day-you will be living with a puppy that is MUCH more then the colour of their coat. Being open to other colours means a couple of things, one that you may not wait as long for a puppy (different litter) and that the best match possible is being made for you and your family. As, even IF your desired colour is in the litter, that in itself by no means guarantees that puppy is destined for you. Please keep in mind, that when we breed a litter here at Fortis, it is often with the goal of keeping back for ourselves, and as such our selections are made first AFTER evaluations are done in/around 8 weeks, which also means, I don’t know who WE are keeping until that point either!
So, getting back to the paint of it all...
I will not make decisions on a puppy based on colour, and certainly not at days old. When we are looking at our litter, and watching it grow-while yes we will keep your preference of colour in mind-frankly we want you to, and most importantly the puppy that we have spent countless hours ensuring its health and welfare, giving it, its best start in life from before it was born via health testing of parents, quality diet etc. That we are ensuring that when we say YES you may purchase this puppy-that is it, for the life of the puppy. Of course, if at any time we WILL take the puppy back should you be unable to care for it, however, our goal is that need never happen.
Thank you for reading!