I have been owned by full- sized Australian Shepherds for nearly 25 years ( since the
late 1980's ). The mini- size came into my life in 2006. I admire the loyalty and the intelligence of these athletic and versatile farm breeds. The Aussie amazes me with
it's natural ( and powerful when needed ) control of cattle and with it's overall biddability. The "mini" fascinates me with it's can-do Aussie attitude wrapped up in a smaller
package ... and as a bonus, they throw in an extra amount of creative thinking skills ~
pulling off stunts that "Houdini" and "Evil Knievel" would envy. LOL
Prior to raising and exhibiting our Australian Shepherds, we spent 10 years helping
in the rescue and rehab of stray and injured animals and later with shelter dogs and Aussie rescue .... so we have always been accustomed to a houseful of work and expense. Sadly, the harm that it brought to our own animals ( and human family
members ) put the brakes on bringing anymore "unknowns" into our home. Plus, the heartache of not being able to help all of the animals that we fostered, took a toll
on me. It seems we always have a couple of Aussies whose owners could not keep them, so we still stay busy helping the animals, just on a different level. Knowing
much more about the health and temperament of the dogs we take into our home is important .... in case they end up having to stay with us permanently.
I enjoy training my dogs in conformation, obedience, agility & herding and also
enjoy just hanging out with them at home. The Aussie is a cool dog for me ~
they are smart, fun and versatile. Each have their own personalities, but overall
they are devoted & loyal and ready to join their owner in a variety of activities.
The Aussie is a breed that's in my heart & soul.
The PRIZM Australian Shepherd name is a permanent ASCA registered "kennel name".
And even though I'm not a business nor do I have a commercial kennel, the name
is used as a pre-fix or suffix to name my Australian Shepherds with.
My son thought PRIZM was a cool name because the Aussie is so beautiful and
colorful like the crystal prisms that were hanging in our window and adding sparkle
to our world. And since his junior showmanship hobby is what got me started in the
sport of dog showing, I thought I'd use the name that he picked to name our very
first litter with.
We produced our first litter in 1993. From that cross we had several littermates
become AKC champions at a year of age ( & under ) with very limited showing
( a few weekends or less ). Two of them also followed with ASCA Championships.
One became the first AKC Best In Show female Aussie ( CH. "Delta" ).
Our 1994 litter by our CH. "Indy" and out of a female we purchased ( CH. "Marcie" ),
gave us several more Champions. We bred one of these females ( CH. "Piper" ) &
kept a super little black tri female from this cross ( 2 pups ) that were born in 2000.
This little female ( Tess ) had her first litter in Oct. 2006. We bred her to a very
small, but nice mini-sized Aussie, in hopes of getting a smaller version of our big
Aussies. In the past we had 18 inch females out of Tess's lines, so we were
hoping for a pup around 16 inches ~ A PERPETUAL AUSSIE PUPPY of sorts.
Our new pup was suppose to be " just a small house buddy ". A little Aussie that
was lighter and easier during bathing & grooming time. But I wanted a nice mini.
And from lines that I was familiar with. So breeding my Tess to get a mini sized
Aussie, seemed like the best way to go about it.
Although I originally only wanted a little pet dog for myself, by the time the four
puppies were 7 weeks old, I knew that I had a special litter of babies.
After "growing them out" for almost a year and going back & forth with the two
little females ( who are a bit small for me ), I decided that breeding for the
smaller size was the objective to begin with. So now I have not one, but two
PERPETUAL PUPPY-SIZED AUSSIES. These two little girls ( Tidbit & Pebbles )
are only 14 inches tall, but they have no clue that they are not big
The only male from that litter of 4 pups, is on the top side of the miniature
breed standard but, at 35 pounds, he is a great size and I had a lot of fun
training him & showing him ( see Wizzy ).
I decided to name my Mini Aussies with a pre-fix that is different than what my
full-sized Aussies go by. Something distinguishable, to avoid confusion for those
who are looking at my pedigrees. Since Mini Aussies also go back to their full-
sized cousins, it just helps to be able to differentiate ( in print ) the two sizes .
I have a couple of mini kids with the Prizm name on them because I didn't have
my other "kennel-name" decided yet ..... but the next generatons will be Flagtree.
I didn't want a name that implied anything in particular, but I wanted something
that was somewhat associative. FLAG is part of my last name ( perhaps easy to
associate ..... and actually Flaga means Flag in Polish which is what my husband's
ancestry is ) & TREE is symbolic ( families / roots ). And since trees come in all
shapes & sizes ( just like dogs do ! ), I decided that "tree" was a fitting part of a
Kennel Name . . . . . so FLAGTREE was settled upon.
I have shown ( owner handled & bred-by-exhibitor handled ) the Aussie and the Mini
Aussie to their conformation Championships. I have also trained some of my dogs
for agility, flyball, obedience and herding ~ but mostly for the fun of it. I'm not a
die-hard show person nor am I really obsessed with competition. However, most of
the people in the sport of dog showing are devoted enthusiasts and it's usually a
good time at the shows and trials ..... hanging out and having fun with our dogs.
I found this especially true in NADAC and CPE agility : )
I am a member of the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA and I have
been a long-standing ( 21 year ) member in the Australian Shepherd Club of America.
I am a past member / Board Member of local ASCA affiliate and local AKC clubs
and several performance clubs. I have volunteered as show secretary, ring steward,
course builder, timer, scribe, etc. at shows and trials.
In December of 2000 I met the requirements that would allow me to apply to become
an ASCA conformation judge. With our move in 2001 and then my interest in the
"mini" ( which is not ASCA registerable ), I did not pursue that avenue. I still have
ASCA registered Aussies and will always have a couple of the big kids around.
The Australian Shepherd is in my heart & soul . . . I look forward to many years
of enjoying them ..... no matter the size or what they are called.