Since you are reading this article, I suppose that you are planning to buy an Australian Shepherd soon. And I’ve got to tell you: that’s a fantastic choice! First of all, however, you need to search thoroughly and find the best place to buy your future new friend.
There are a bunch of websites and organizations to buy Australian Shepherds. However, not all of them are reliable marketplaces. Due to that, search well before making any decision. That way, you can guarantee you’re not going to be scammed.
Here are the places to find Australian Shepherd puppies for sale (From Best to Worst):
- AKC Marketplace
- USASA Breeder Directory
- Next Day Pets
- Lancaster Puppies
Keep reading as I will give you more in-depth information on each website to help you decide where to buy an Australian Shepherd puppy. I will also show you some tips and things to avoid when purchasing an Australian Shepherd.
Considerations Before Choosing Where to Buy Your Australian Shepherd
Before I even start the list, you need to know why I made this selection. You need to be prepared for any situation and choose what attitude to take. If you don’t master the abilities, that’s like buying your dog blindfolded.
If you have already bought any other dog before, your experience will be useful. Buying an Australian Shepherd puppy requires basically the same attention as any other breed. If you are new to this process, pay close attention not to make any mistakes.
How to buy dogs online: Buying a dog is not the same thing as buying an inanimate item. You should not buy your puppy without seeing him personally. This is not only something rude to the dog but can also be a trap for you. Pictures do not guarantee the seller isn’t a scammer.
In addition to it, the dog community is against this practice. For example, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is one that greatly reproves buying puppies only by looking at a website.
You should search the web, but meet up your Australian Shepherd physically before checkout. That way, you will be certain of what you’re buying. Also, analyze his conditions and the place he lives. If all looks bad, this may be an indication of maltreatments.
To stay completely safe, pick him up when you buy him. Many people don’t care about safe dog transportation. Therefore, your puppy may be seriously harmed in this process.
Stay aware of puppy mills: One of the biggest dangers when buying a dog are puppy mills. They are a cruel dog breeding facility. Puppies’ health there are completely disregarded to maintain maximum profits when selling. Due to that, the animals live in extremely scarce conditions.
Surprisingly, puppy mills aren’t illegal. If their owners comply with the minimum requirements, everything is fine. Unfortunately, they exaggerate a lot. Dogs bred under these conditions beg to anyone to get them out of these prisons.
It is hard for any dog-selling website to control puppy mills. Every website we are going to mention in this article has the risk of hosting some of these breeders. Due to that, you should take extra precautions to avoid these sellers.
But if I buy a puppy from these breeders, wouldn’t I be “saving” them? Although it may seem a kind belief, this only frees up space for another dog. It also motives puppy mills to grow even more and continue making the same absurds. If you want to make good deeds, don’t buy these dogs.
Be cautious about pet stores: Maybe you are considering buying your puppy from physical pet stores. Even though they may seem a good option, it’s better to avoid them.
Sellers will always tell you they raised the dog with care. The problem is that you can’t check if that’s true or not. You won’t have any warranty. The worst part is that the majority of these puppies are from puppy mills.
Don’t fall into the trap. Even supermarkets, dog shows on any other store can’t ensure that the backgrounds of the Australian Shepherds aren’t dark.
Some of them might be stolen or even illegally trafficked. If you buy a dog like this, you are not only receiving a sick puppy but also contributing to the mafia.
6 Places to find your new Australian Shepherd Puppy (Best to Worst)
Finally, here is my list comparing 6 sites for you to buy your first Australian Shepherd puppy.
The AKC is one of the most known resources for information about any dog breed. Since 1884, the organization registers purebred dog pedigrees in the USA. With 135 years of experience, the American Kennel Club is probably the best place for you to buy your Australian Shepherd puppy.
The AKC has a special page for their marketplace. This is where you can find your puppy for sale. The page has a fantastic filtering system as well. After selecting the breed, you can refine the search even more with filters such as the dog’s gender, size, and, obviously, your location.
The options don’t end there. You have even more advanced settings. For example, there are options to filter the breeder by some qualities to ensure you’re buying from a verified seller.
The AKC also gives verification badges to some sellers. If the breeder shows commitment to the community, it may receive a badge of merit. Another example is the AKC Club Member Badge. It shows that the seller is a member of licensed clubs.
All of these features are a warranty that you’re buying from a reliable breeder. You should use them in your favor.
Dog diversity on the AKC Marketplace is more limited than on other websites. However, you should not see this as a con. It only shows you the organization is more careful and strictly selects the puppies.
That way, you are much less likely to be scammed by sellers of puppies from puppy mills. Fewer options mean a higher chance of the puppies showcased having quality.
The American Kennel Club also has a channel for customer service. This means you can easily file a protest if you have any problems. Also, it puts the breeders into pressure to offer a legit service. If they don’t, their ratings can be destroyed.
Keep in mind that you will pay a lot more for an Australian Shepherd puppy on AKC. It isn’t a surprise, however. The majority of these breeders are highly safe.
In addition to it, you will have a dog that can even participate in competitions. Puppies from champion bloodlines also have banners to show this quality.
The second-best source for puppies on this list is the breeder directory of the United States Australian Shepherd Association. The confidence in this website starts with the fact that they are an official member of the AKC.
The biggest difference between the association and the other options in this list is that they aren’t, in fact, a place to buy. Instead, the directory only lists the Australian Shepherd breeders across the country.
When you find the best breeder for you, contact it. The USASA Breeder Directory provides you with a phone number, email and website for all of them.
The organization’s website also has a lot of information about Australian Shepherds in the USA. You can find anything from shows, events, breed info, education and a lot of other resources. My reliability on them is very high. They are the most specialized in Australian Shepherds in this list.
Another fantastic website to find your future friend is Puppyfind.com. Although the site layout is a bit outdated, navigating through it is extremely easy. Its interface is simple and pretty straightforward to understand.
In Puppyfind.com, the filtering system is simple but very functional. To start, you need to type in the breed and select your location. The refining system goes even further.
If you need to specify your search even more, the site will let you look for sub-breeds. Australian Shepherds, for example, are divided into regular, miniature and toy.
Another great feature of this site is the possibility to filter by lifestyle. You can specify size, upkeep and even purpose. Do you want only familiar dog results? No problem. Select it in the drop-down list and you’re not going to be spammed with sporty or hunting dogs anymore!
However, you also need to be cautious here. The site may contain some dogs from puppy mills.
Despite the chance of bad breeders, the Puppyfind.com team helps you avoid them. They have a page of tips on how to buy safely. Also, they even have a channel for contact if you come across any scammer.
Like many other websites, Puppyfind.com doesn’t sell dogs. They are only mediators between you and the seller. If you take the right precautions, buying through them will be a fantastic experience.
Next Day Pets is another great option to buy your dog. In fact, they are specialized in exactly what you’re looking for: puppies. Like the previous places mentioned, Next Day Pets only classify the puppies. The site works over the entire American territory.
If you need any further information about the breed before buying your friend, they have a fantastic database. Next Day Pets offers you a complete overview of any dog breed. This is very useful if you need last-minute info.
After you click the huge “View Puppies” button, you will enter the buying page. Similarly to the other websites I mentioned, the filtering system is very efficient. The greatest highlight is the ease of filter by price range.
One of the website’s greatest cons is trust verifications. Sellers can add an extra layer of reliability by verifying their profile through Facebook and phone number, for example. The more verifications the breeder has, the better.
PetPay adds even more security to the buying process. As the name suggests, it is a paying platform specialized in pets.
It offers some outstanding features. Paying with PetPay, you have full protection in the purchase. In addition to it, the platform adds dispute coverage in case of any problem.
Another option to find Australian Shepherd puppies is LancasterPuppies.com. They also connect people who want to buy puppies to breeders. However, you should take extra precaution on this site.
Although Lancaster Puppies is only a way to link sellers and customers, reports of bad breeders on the website are a bit high.
The website always undergoes scans to investigate for scammers. Unfair sellers are prohibited on the site and, if spotted, can be banned. However, there are a lot of suspicious aspects in many ads.
Some descriptions try to distract the buyer with cliché speech. Instead of going right to the point, they tell useless information. They prefer saying the puppy is lovely and friendly, but omit important details, such as their parents’ information or working history.
Many ads also lack certificates. Some sellers, however, are registered in official associations, which gives them a bit of reliability. When a dog has this feature, an indication will appear in a very visible position on the ad. If you choose Lancaster Puppies, definitely go for these breeders.
Although the site doesn’t have any relationship with puppy mills, it fails to show confidence. You are going to see a lot of backyard breeders on Lancaster Puppies.
Perhaps the greatest positive aspect of the site is that navigating through it is a pleasant feeling. You have a lot of options to customize the search criteria.
The biggest difference from the previous websites is the possibility to sort your search. You can sort the ads by date of posting and update, price, name and birth date of the dog. This helps a lot in finding what exactly you want.
You should consider Craigslist as your last option when buying your Australian Shepherd puppy. Although it is one of the most popular marketplaces in the United States nowadays, its layout is not designed for animals.
Craigslist is designed for selling products. Due to that, you will rarely find certifications like the ones specific puppy marketplaces offer.
Professional breeders will not post ads on Craigslist since it’s not an adequate website for that. Craigslist sellers are normal people. However, there are a lot of puppy mill ads there.
The website’s navigation isn’t good as well. Even if you search for a specific location, some results may be outside the desired area. Ad filters are not good as well. In searching for puppies for sale, you will come across many unrelated ads like dog training as well.
On the other hand, Craigslist is cheap. If you take the right precautions, you can buy a quality dog from an honest person, which is the perfect deal. In addition to it, communication is more casual and simple. You don’t have to undergo complex processes to purchase.
How to Make Sure You Found an Honest Breeder?
I told you no website to find puppies is totally safe, but you should not frighten. Here I share with you some tips on how you can guarantee you are dealing with an honest seller.
The signs of a good breeder: Some characteristics give you confidence that you’re dealing with a reliable seller.
First, genuine breeders have great knowledge about the dog. They need to show you they master the subject. If you ask them about anything related to diseases, for example, they need to know. Hiding this information from you is a sign of uncertainty and flawed care.
Dogs from a reputable seller are healthy. If you think the puppy isn’t in good condition, this may be a suggestion of troubles. Good breeders also offer their customers all the support. They need to ensure they will help you with any difficulties with the puppy.
Ask dog owners: Experience is the best way to acquire knowledge. If you have a friend who recently bought a dog, he has some experience in this process. So you should ask them before even starting to search!
Veterinarians and other pet professionals, if you are a beginner, also know more about dogs than you. If you have contact with any, ask them. Even though buying is not their main job, they still have great expertise with the animals.
Search on social media: The internet is amazing. Social media is a fantastic spot to ask people about anything. You could use this to your advantage when buying your first puppy.
Groups are a fantastic way of finding information about a specific topic. Search for Facebook or WhatsApp groups focused on buying Australian Shepherd puppies. You will absorb the knowledge and experience of a lot of people in only one place.
Discussion forums are another great way of sharing info. Reddit and Discord, for example, have several communities to talk about puppy purchases and some of them are focused on Australian Shepherds.
Why Not Consider Adoption?
If you don’t have the budget or want to make a positive impact on your community, adopt a puppy. You will give a new home to a dog that needs it and won’t have to worry about money.
The main problem in adopting your friend is the misinformation about the breeding process. Some shelters offer mixed breeds telling the customer the dog is purebred. You need to know you’re not going to find the perfect puppy by adoption.
However, if you adopt, you will stay away from dishonest breeders. You will never come across puppy mills. When buying, you have a few truly reliable options and a bunch of possible scammers. If you adopt, however, the scenario is exactly the opposite.
Here Are Some Good Places If You Want to Adopt a Puppy
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals appears in the top spot of the list. ASPCA is a non-profit organization founded in 1866. With more than 1.2 million members and 150 years of experience, it is widely known across the United States.
ASPCA has its own adoption center in New York City. If you are from another part of the country, there is a page to find local shelters. All of them are certified by the organization.
Before adopting, you should note that puppies are less abundant here than on other websites. That’s a positive point because it shows you the control they have to ensure you will have a legit experience.
2. Rescue Organizations
Rescues are another fantastic way to adopt a puppy. The best part is that most of them are breed-specific. This means each rescue team focuses on a single breed and deeply understands its needs, taking care of the dogs the best way possible.
Rescue teams are non-profit organizations as well. They are run by volunteers that truly love dogs and will do everything to protect them.
Before you get one, they interview you and even go to your home to see if you meet the requirements for them! That’s a really humane attitude.
My Final Thoughts
I know it is tough, but I hope I helped you trying to find a place to buy your first Australian Shepherd puppy. Purchasing a dog requires caution, so you need to know what you’re doing before making the decision.
These websites are my top recommendations for any new dog owner. If possible, go for the best ones and avoid the bottom of the list. Hunt for the maximum amount of certifications and links with reliable organizations.
If you come across a puppy mill or anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to contact the website admins. If you do your part, the community will become an even better place.
Remember, these sites only link you and the seller. They try to combat scammers, but that’s not always possible. If any problems happen, it isn’t much of their fault!
What is the price of an Australian Shepherd puppy?
This may vary a lot. A reasonable price for a registered Australian Shepherd puppy ranges from US$600 to US$1000. Prices in more known marketplaces, like the AKC, can even be a bit higher. You should avoid excessively low prices. Puppies under US$300, for example, may potentially be from puppy mills.