Louvre Australian Shepherds
Who are "we"?
Hi there, I'm Heather Alexander and my Fiancé is Dylan Sturgill and together we are the dog owners and breeders behind Louvre Australian Shepherds. You may notice that I often refer to our program as "ours", and use words like "we" when speaking about our breeding program, and it's because we truly are a unit. Dylan is as involved in our dogs' lives and the raising of our puppies as I am, and just as dedicated too. We started this journey years ago after adding our first and then our second Australian shepherds, Jake and Jersey to our family; and our love and dedication to the breed began and flourished from here. Dylan and I reside in the small town of Bethel, Ohio with our constantly growing pack of aussies and our two cats. We do enjoy competing with our dogs in conformation and are exploring the world of performance sports as well once our dog's conformation titles are completed, but ribbon, rosette or not, at the end of every day we still come home with the best dogs, our aussies are first and foremost family members and a huge part of our family. Competing is just another form of bonding that we enjoy with them. They each bring us so much joy and each one has something unique and special to contribute to our lives. We enjoy sharing this with others through our puppies and the friendships we have established with our puppy owners through our dogs.
We love our aussies and want to be able to share this love with the homes that we carefully select for each of our puppies, each new owner slowly expanding our "Family" tree. Each one of our puppies' homes truly does become an extension of our own family. We all connect through social media, text, and sometimes in person. We are always available to answer questions, offer advice, and share in the successful relationship between you and your puppy. No victory is too small. We also offer boarding, grooming, amongst other things to each puppy owner. We love when our puppies and their owners come for a visit!
The Australian Shepherd is a versatile breed that excels at being a working partner and a family companion, and we have dedicated ourselves to preserving this versatility within the breed. Since our aussies are indoor dogs that often go wherever we do, we needed to maintain the ability of our aussies to adapt to the situation at hand whether it be working together through an agility course or deciding which movie to watch and who is getting the couch, me, Dylan, or the dogs (it's always the dogs). This philosophy carries over into our breeding plans, especially since when we plan a breeding, we are typically making plans to add to the future generations of our breeding program and our family's pack. ultimately, we are aiming to produce dogs that are of moderate energy, driven, and sound structurally, with exceptional temperaments. Of course, this doesn't all stop with our breeding plans it also extends into how we raise our puppies. From day one we start setting foundations that will help develop and teach our puppies valuable skills that will not only help them thrive, but skills that will help their transitions from our home to your go more smoothly for them, and you. These foundation skills include but are not limited to shaping behaviors such as sit, crate training, leash, and grooming introductions for our puppies.
I hope you will also check out our Facebook page and follow us for puppy updates, educational post, Aussie Q&A's etc.!
What We Offer
Genetic Health- Our dogs come from pedigrees of fully health tested and carefully paired Breedings, but this doesn't stop there. Each dog in our breeding program is genetically tested to the standard set forth by our breed club. Australian shepherds can suffer from a number of hereditary diseases including but not limited to Hereditary cataracts, Hips and elbow dysplasia, and epilepsy. To ensure that we are breeding dogs that have the best chances at producing healthy puppies we complete all required breed health testing. These breeds required test can be found at ASCA.org and OFA.org. This is only one of the steps we take towards breeding and producing healthy dogs however, some genetic traits are not traceable via genetic testing, but they can be traced and tracked through pedigrees. These pedigrees allow us to make informed decisions about longevity, and the overall health of the dogs within our own dog's family tree so that we are able to make informed and careful breeding plans.
Structure- Say it with me.... We all deserve a well-bred dog that is bred to the breed standard by a breeder that cares and understands how structure correlates to our pet's health. A dog's structure impacts the dog's entire lifestyle and determines how successful it is or isn't; for example, a dog that has very limited movement of its elbow due to a structural issue is going to have to work harder to move properly and comfortably. By being able to point out and understand our dogs' structural flaws (because all dogs have them) we can then understand the steps needed to improve upon them in the next generation. We can then make informed breeding decisions to ensure that the pairings we are using are going to complement one another and not exacerbate the issue.
Temperament- Temperament is the holy grail for me. A dog can be incredible structurally, and clean genetically, but if the temperament isn't there then what was it all for? Dogs are our pets, man's best friend, right? So what good is it for us if we are doing everything right but producing bad temperaments. Things happen and the one offs crop up, but that doesn't mean you should stop improving. Temperament is a priority for us in our breeding program because our dogs live with us, they travel with us, and the accompany us in our day to day. Our dogs need to be able to ignore the screaming child on the restaurant patio, they need to be able to work through problem solving, and I expect the same out of those dogs that I am breeding or breeding to. At the end of every day, every competition, we go home with pets and our puppy homes go home with pets that will go onto become a large part of their lives, so we do everything within our resources to ensure that we are producing dogs that are wonderful companions while staying true to our breed standard.
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