Frequently Asked Questions 

The Australian Shepherd is an Intelligent easy to train versatile breed. This is the statement that most are familiar with; however in the wrong hands, that same Aussie can be an utter disaster waiting to happen. The Aussie was bred to work away from the shepherd, as such, bred to think (problem solve) for themselves, while certainly there is variance within the breed, even a litter-they are not a good fit for everyone.

My responsibility is to the breed that I have an affinity for, more so to my breedings specifically, to make the best possible breeding decisions from showing, health testing, start of planning, screening, raising,  placement, and support. 

Please take a moment to read through the FAQ below, as well as any links prior to requesting a repeat of the information found within these pages. Thank you. 

Q. Do Australian Shepherds Shed? 

A. YES!!! Aussies are a double coated breed, as such, do shed (the joke being twice a year, for six months at a time!) In all seriousness their coats can be easily maintained IF one is on top of their grooming requirements. While less than some breeds, it is not non existent. Furthermore, is a perfect time to check over your dog for any new lumps, bumps, scratches and ticks as well as added bonding. 

Q. Should I shave my Australian Shepherd?

A. NO!!! Their coats function in such a way as to protect them, both in the winter to keep them warm, and the summer to protect them from the  sun. Shaving their coat ruins its function. 

Q. Do Australian Shepherds come in different sizes?

A. NO!!! There is no size variation of the Australian Shepherd! We here at Fortis Australian Shepherds ONLY breed Australian Shepherds, which are registered with the Canadian Kennel Club, and eligible  for registration with the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) as well as American Kennel Club. You may follow links on this page to further reading of breed standards here

Q. I've recently heard of MDR1...but???

A. MDR1 is Multi Drug Resistance, dogs (Aussies) effected with this can have sever reactions to certain drugs. While we do test for the mutation, regardless of the results, we at Fortis, advise that each Aussie be treated as though they are m/m (mutant/mutant) for the gene. There is still much not known about the mutation, we send our buyers home with detailed information about the gene/drug reactions, and recommend individuals unfamiliar with it who currently have an Australian Shepherd do their own research for their information. 

Q. I want a certain look/sex Can I pick out my own puppy?

A. We spend a great deal of time and energy constantly evaluating and watching our litters while they are growing up here with us. Furthermore, once the puppies are at/close to the eight week mark, we do another detailed evaluation with trusted breeders to further gauge what we have been seeing while they have been growing and developing. As such, we here at Fortis Australian Shepherds are in a better position to determine which puppy is better suited to which home/lifestyle then one who has either not yet met the puppies or for brief moments with little information to go on. This is also why, we like to get as much information as possible as to what a potential home is like, as well as what they are looking for from a Fortis Aussie. Those who are not comfortable with our placement policies are encouraged to search elsewhere for a breeder who will work with them. Our priority is to ensure we make the best possible placements with the information and tools that we have available. More info here 

Q. Is feeding RAW food a requirement for a Fortis puppy?

A. While a RAW diet is our preferred choice, as discussed previously within our website, it is not a requirement for a Fortis puppy. More info on this page 

Q. I love the Australian Shepherd, but want a tail! 

A. The Australian Shepherd is a nbt (natural bobtail breed) which is a defining characteristic of the breed. Fortis Australian Shepherds is a preservation breeder, as such we breed to uphold the breed standard, as defined by the Canadian Kennel Club, Australian Shepherd Club of America (links to further reading found on this page) As such, we do not take 'requests' or 'orders' especially in regards to ignoring the breed standard. We would encourage those who are not comfortable with our stance on this, to search elsewhere for a breeder willing to work with them. More info here

Q. Do you ship puppies?

A. At this time we are not shipping Fortis puppies. Furthermore, we will never demand that you make a payment sight unseen-we request that potential buyers, as part of the interview process have a meet us/puppies starting around the 4 week mark. 

Q. Why purchase from a breeder who shows their dogs?

A. While I often hear this (or 'I don't need a show dog') the not so simple answer is that, going to a breeder that shows and/or titles their dogs is proving by unbiased opinion that their dogs conform to the breed standard (the intent of a dog show is to evaluate breeding stock) Furthermore, dogs are also being asked to prove their temperament  when faced with diverse amount of people, environments, travelling (or stressors) when they are being shown. Pedigree's are studied for the best possible pairings (often with first hand knowledge of  many dogs within the lineage, if not trusted mentors that knew the dogs) to help ensure the envisioned breeding's. As well as, the genetic, orthopedic, and ophthalmologist testing has been performed on generations of the dogs within the pedigree. In short, the total dog has  been considered when looking forward to a very carefully planned breeding, as well as the generations that came before it.  While 'you' may not be looking for a show dog, the benefits of purchasing from a breeder who does show are great and varied. Much time, energy, and yes money has gone into every breeding in order to help stack the odds that the next generation will be, and continue to be healthy, in body, mind. Purebred and well bred are two entirely different entities. I'll add too, the training, one on one time that the dogs enjoy with us when out, being shown is something that they enjoy-and when not actively being shown, they enjoy the couch (or bed) or being a dog just the same, they are our companions first and foremost. More info on this page

Q. What is the first step to a Fortis puppy?

A. First step would be filling out our questionnaire (both parts) and being as detailed as possible. As noted, on our homepage we have been experiencing a large volume of requests, and ask that people be patient (after all, we also have our dogs ect to look after as well) to this end, please note, if information is missing (such as correct contact on both forms) or only one form is filled out-we will are unable to respond. 

Q. I am not able to fill out a Questionnaire from my phone-what now?

A. Ideally, filling out our questionnaire on your computer, however if not possible; Please send us an email being as descriptive as possible in terms of your day/day life (hrs away from home) , what you are looking for in a Fortis Australian Shepherd, your 'ideal' puppy/dog, experience (if any) with dogs in general and Australian Shepherds specifically, goals, lifestyle (activities, energy level/household for example) amount people/ages, other animals/information, ect... Essentially we would like to get to know as much about you/your household as possible in these first steps...

***It has come to our attention at Fortis Australian Shepherds that there has been a number of unauthorized uses of our photographs, written material, as well as false links/sites that have copied our website  (and added )to our address. Fortis Australian Shepherds website is as follows; fortis aussies (dot) com. If it doesn't say that in the  address bar, it is NOT Fortis Australian Shepherds!

Furthermore, Fortis Australian Shepherds will NOT sell a puppy sight unseen, what does this mean? We will NOT require nor request that a potential buyer send money in order to have a puppy shipped next day (or similar)  

We will NOT sell a puppy without FIRST meeting the potential home/buyers/family. Puppies are NEVER sold without us first approving (meeting) the potential new owners-in person.  If someone claims to be Fortis Australian Shepherds informs you otherwise, I would ask that you inform us so that we may investigate further. 

Phone Numbers have been temporarily  removed due to new puppy selling *tactics that are currently under investigation. We at Fortis Australian Shepherds invite you to perform due diligence  when researching your next puppy, and to NOT send funds unless full confidence in breeder of choice. 

Reputable breeders will NOT hard sell a buyer into buying a puppy, nor will they require full funds immediately sent, with little to no discussion and without a detailed contract in place (just a few hints) 

We have our own requirements when we place puppies.

Thank you, Fortis Australian Shepherds. 

We have been receiving a large volume of inquiries daily, your patience is appreciated  as we take our time to review & respond to each one.

Questionnaires not fully filled out (part 1 & 2 ), will not be responded to (each must be submitted individually otherwise only the page you 'hit send' on is submitted)

Thank you very much for your understanding, Fortis Australian Shepherds.