HART II's Registered Working Stockdogs.  
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    "4-month old Hart II Aussie Pup "Dally' in Wyoming with Brock"
Raising a Working Bred Australian Shepherd Cowdog
for Ranch and Farm Work
(the Hart II way)

Hart II’s Australian Shepherds breeds stockdogs, working dogs for farmers, ranchers, and family companions. For over thirty years our ASCA Hall of Fame sires and ASCA Hall of Fame dams have provided the genes, and we have provided the dedication in preserving the Australian Shepherd breed as stockdog. We are happy to share in a condensed form here our programs for raising healthy Aussie puppies and hard-working Aussie cowdogs.

We do not breed our female Aussies more than once a year, and we wait until they are at least 2 years old before breeding. Ask your Vet about a brucellosis test for sire and dam before breeding your Australian Shepherd stockdogs. Mom does not work livestock once she is bred and for 2 months after whelping (running or extreme exercise while nursing pups may cause mastitis). We do not allow mom to run with other stockdogs while she has young pups.

We use a homemade whelping box out of wood 36" long x 36" wide x 18" deep with a wooden rail around the inside to prevent pups from getting mashed between mom and box. This box has a 22"x 8" hinged door for mom to get in and out of box. Mom comes into our mudroom 2 weeks before whelping and is introduced to her whelping area. We put an X-pen around the box and old sheets in the box until 2 days before whelping. Then we put in a low pile carpet cut to fit the box. Wash and air the new carpet out, as it has chemicals harmful to pups. We change the carpet every day and keep strangers out of this area.

Mark your calendar at birth. Mom and pups do not live outside until the pups are 3 weeks old. Puppies cannot regulate their own body temperatures until they are 10 days old. Floor temperature in the room should be 82 F. at birth. Call your vet if you become concerned during whelping. We have a puppy heating pad for warmth if necessary, or we use the a/c if too warm. Get a book on whelping puppies or read up about what to expect online. Puppies go to the vet to have their tails, front, and rear dew claws removed at three days old. Mom goes too, as she needs 1 cc of oxytocin, and an exam by vet. Pick up puppies every day after 3 days old. Do not allow children to handle pups unattended.

Our Aussie stockdog puppies are introduced to solid food at 3 weeks old. Pups are still with their moms at this age, of course. This food is water Hart II Pupssoaked to mush, maybe only l tablespoon of food on the first day per pup. After a couple of days we add Nutri-Cal vitamin supplement, and cottage cheese to mush. We stop soaked food at 5 weeks old, but still add Nutri-Cal. Feed once a day, then twice a day, then 3 times a day. Overfeeding may cause diarrhea, so we feed more often with less per feeding, which also helps prevent low blood sugar problems. When our Aussie stockdog puppies are 4 months old we slowly reduce feeding to once a day. We feed our dogs an all-natural dog food. We use no chemicals in or on the mom while she’s nursing pups. We use diatomaceous earth for flea prevention. Clean the puppy area every day.

Wormers: Puppies are wormed at 3 weeks old, 5 weeks, 7 weeks and 9 weeks with Panacur, one cc per 10 lbs. of body weight. First worming of pups is about one-fifth (1/5th) of a cc. Worm the mom with same wormer on the same schedule while nursing pups. Mom weans pups "her way" at about 7 weeks of age. We have the area designed where mom can get in with pups, and away from pups as desired. We worm all of our dogs once a year with Panacur.

Vaccines: Puppies, at 6 weeks old are given 1 cc Max 5-CvK Puppy Shot, at 9 weeks old Max 5-CvK/4L, then at 12 weeks old another Max 5-CvK/4L and their rabies vaccine. They are started on Interceptor Tabs for heartworm prevention, and Advantix topical to prevent fleas and ticks at 4 months old.

We do not send our Australian Shepherd pups to their new homes until they are at least 9 weeks old. We give all our dogs a Max 5-CvK/4L vaccine yearly and a rabies vaccine every other year. Also, we give all dogs an Intra-Trac Nasal vaccine in the fall to prevent kennel cough. All dogs are given an Interceptor Tablet once a month year-round. Please do not use ivermectin wormer on your Australian Shepherd as it may be fatal to some Aussies. We use Advantix topical for flea, tick prevention once a month year round. We do not stop at road-side parks to exercise our pups, as this is where the pup may be exposed to doggie diseases; instead, we pick a side road with little traffic, and pull off a safe distance.

If you have several dogs, feed each dog separately. Also, do not leave your Aussie puppy loose or unattended around adult dogs. Pups may be irritating to adult dogs and that may cause the adult dog to injure the pup. We feed an all-natural dog food. We were skeptical when we switched to natural foods about 15 years ago. Our Aussie working dogs are beyond a doubt healthier and happier, less waste, and we feed less. Also, fewer vet bills save $$$! We want to keep our Aussies in top working condition, not under or overweight.

Overweight puppies have stress on their joints and underweight puppies may not develop properly. We are currently feeding Solid Gold Dog Food. Petco sells this dog food.

Adult Aussies can have rawhides. Milk Bones for pups, as they may choke on rawhides. Table scraps? Yes, for adult dogs. No more than one tablespoon per day. No fowl bones, pork bones, spicy food, grapes, chocolate, or onions. We teach pups to sit with a piece of hotdog, or cheese. Beware of mouse poison, fertilizers, weed killers, and anti-freeze, as these are deadly to dogs.

Know the Australian Shepherd breed: Aussies are sound and movement sensitive, which keeps them alive among flying hooves. Beware and keep dogs in a safe secure spot during thunderstorms, firecrackers and gunfire.

Recommended books to learn more about caring for your Hart II’s Australian Shepherd stockdog pup:Hart II Pups

"Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook"
by Delbert G. Carlson, DVM and James Giffin, MD

"Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
by Dr. Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM and Susan Hubble Pitcairn

"How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With"
by Clarice Rutherford and David Neil

We hope this has been helpful. Any questions, call us.

    Photo of Logan with pup.    
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• John & Norma Hart • MeMac Ranch •
• P.O. Box 1148 • Gainesville, Texas 76241 •
• Tele: (940) 736-8606 •
• • • United States of America • • •

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Copyright © John & Norma Hart