Paw Print Genetics, OFA/CAER, Heartworm prevention

We care about our kennel and the new pups we bring into this world!

According to Paw Print Genetics, "In a perfect world in which every dog breeder performed genetic disease testing on their breeding stock and made selective breeding decisions using these results, diseases caused by over 200 known canine genetic mutations could be completely prevented."
It is our goal that both Dam & Sire/Sire for Hire compliment each other genetically in order to seek breeding quality of the Australian Shepherd.
It is extremely vital to us that our buyers understand the importance of whether or not your puppy has inherited 1 or 2 copies of the possible inherited genetic mutation by reviewing our breeding stocks test results yourself located within our website on each dogs page. If the mating combination is a Sire studded out, then we will provide you their genetic information we have on file with them on the tab called "Hired Studs." Any other hired studs we decide to hire will also be on the same page for your review. The dogs we own within our kennel will all have their full genetic panel completed with Paw Print Genetics and have their own individual page. Any hired stud may or may not be genetically tested and if not, we always assume worst case in that the hired stud is M/M when making our final breeding decision in mating combinations to produce the healthiest puppies as possible with our Bitches. What I mean by worst case is if the Hired Stud is Mutant/Mutant on any possible inheritable mutation that he has not been tested for, then we as a responsible breeder would need to make certain that the Dam is Clear/Clear on that one particular mutation. Concerning the litter out of this scenario, the worst case they would be carriers and or clear and that's okay. Which ones out of that litter, we would not know unless we tested them through Paw Print Genetics which would be an extra cost. Let us know if this is something you would like to have tested as we can provide that for you at your cost.  
To review all of our dogs within our kennel genetic testing results, simply go to each of their pages and click on "View my profile on Paw Print Pedigrees." The link gives you access to our Paw Print Genetics account to review their testing results. We do not match a mating combination if it is NOT in the best interest of the breed and yes, the genetics is a complicated subject.
Here is the complete Australian Shepherd full panel tests we do for all of our breeding stock that we own and according to Paw Print Genetics CEO, Lisa G. Shaffer, "ALL of mutations within their Australian Shepherd Genetic Breeding Panel covers ALL of the different forms of the mutations in the panel." 

  • NHEJ1 or CEA- Collie Eye Anomaly.
  • CD1 -  Cone Degeneration is an inherited eye disease affecting dogs. 
  • SOD1 -  Is an inherited neurologic. disorder of dogs 
  • HSF4 -  is an inherited eye disease affecting Australian shepherds. Cataracts are opacities in the lens of the eye caused by structural changes in lens proteins. 
  • HUU or SLC2A9 -  Hyperuricosuria is an inherited condition affecting Australian Shepherds. The SLC2A9 gene codes for a protein that allows the kidneys to transport uric acid from the urine.   
  • BEST1 - Is an inherited disorder of the Retina.  Affected dogs typically present between 11 and 16 weeks of age with multiple discrete circular areas of retinal detachment with underlying fluid accumulation that are visible on an eye exam performed by a veterinarian. 
  • CLN6 - Is a lysosomal disease affecting the Australian Shepherds.  Affected dogs lack a specific enzyme necessary for normal metabolism. 
  • PRCD -  Is a late onset, inherited eye disease affecting Australian Shepherds. 
  • BEST 1 or MDR1 - This merely means that a dog with two copies of this mutation is extremely sensitive towards certain medication. A dog with one copy of the mutation is less sensitive towards medication than a dog with two mutations. Ivermectin is the main medication to watch out for that can kill your dog. Other drugs that are known to cause nurologicalsigns related to the MDR1 mutations are  Acepromazine, butorphanol, doxorubicin, emodepside, erythromycin, ivermectin, loperamide, milbemycin, moxidectin, rifampin, selamectin, vinblastine and vincristine 
  • PDK4 - Dilated Cardiomyopathy (which is not common in the Australian Shepherd breed, but we had it done for Roxy and Rebel.  Dilated cardiomyopathy is an inherited disorder of the heart affecting several breeds of dog.  
  • As of recently, we were informed of another test we need to take on our boys and girls and it's called Pelger-Huet Anomaly (PHA) which causes abnormalities in blood cells. This is really a more of a concern for Breeders as puppies usually do not survive but in some cases they do. If a puppy does survive it will have health issues like severe skeletal abnormalities, have several health issues and will be more susceptible to infections etc. According to the Australian Shepherd  Health & Genetics Institute (ASHGI) PHA maybe mistaken for infection or early stage for leukemia.  So as a breeder, it is never advisable to bred two dogs that are carriers of the PHA.  Just something else good to know as a knowledgeable Buyer. 


The Genetic outcomes of mating combinations

Clear/Clear outcome results

The possibility of offspring affected is: NO!

Clear/Carrier outcome results

The possibility of offspring affected is: 50% of the puppies will be clear and 50% of the puppies will be carriers. How would you know for sure? You would have to have each puppy tested to know for certain or just have the puppy you are interested tested. 

Clear/Affected outcome results

All puppies will be carriers! 

Carrier/Carrier outcome results

The possibility of offspring affected is: 25% of puppies will be clear and have no copies of the mutation, 25% of puppies will be at risk/affected and will have two copies of the mutation and 50% of the puppies will be carriers and have one copy of the mutation. Again, how would you know for sure? You would have to have the puppy you're interested in tested with Paw Print Genetics. We can have this done for you before you take your puppy home with you at your request. 

Carrier/Affected outcome results

The possibility of offspring affected is: 50% of puppies will be carriers and 50% of puppies will be affected.

Affected/Affected outcome results

100% of puppies will be affected!

According to Paw Print Genetics, "in general, it would not be recommended to breed dogs with two copies of the mutation, However; in some cases breeding these dogs to clear dogs (rather than removing them from the gene pool) should be considered to prevent loss of genetic diversity within the breed (e.g. small breed populations, high mutation frequency in the population, etc.). It should be understood that 100% of the puppies from this pairing will be carriers of the mutation."  Basically genetic diversity means if you have genetic material as a carrier, you will have the immunity in fighting the diseases that are known to exist with the Australian Shepherds. So for a puppy to be a carrier is not a bad thing because with- out it, the puppy won't be immune'd to the disease to fight it off. 

  • You as a buyer should also be aware that other breeders will use other labs to get their test results from; for instance, Canine Health Check (CHC). We chose Paw Print Genetics because they are the best in that (CHC) reports are not signed and Paw Print Genetics are signed by a Veterinarians. Paw Print Genetics has one of the highest accuracy in the industry because they actually review each mutation twice with two independent methods, unlike (CHC) whereas they only look at each mutation once.
  • Helping buyers in making sound educated decisions whether purchasing through us or another breeder is vital to buyers investment and decision making when deciding to purchase a beautiful Australian Shepherd. 

Our genetic process of our breeding stock

If both Sire & Dam are clear on any one genetic mutation, we will be able to clear your puppy as well if they are both tested with the same lab, Paw Print Genetics. 

Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER) at

Every year we make appointments with our local American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist to check our dogs for any presence or absence of possible hereditary ocular eye disease. Normal passing exams will receive an OFA Eye Certification number valid for one year. These results are recorded in OFA's Clinical Database in supporting research. Simply type in our Sire and Dams registered names (listed above/middle picture) within OFA's website located at for your review anytime.  

Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER) Health Efforts

Here at Central Oregon Aussies, we know the importance of screening our dogs for any possible hereditary ocular eye disease. By providing these important screenings, our buyers should feel confident in knowing that they are truly working with a breeder who cares about their dogs and their offspring. We do all we can to provide our buyers the healthiest puppies as possible.  

These exams are done by an American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist (ACVO) and then registered at the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals-Eye Certification Registry (ECR).  

  • If a dog passes with a normal exam, the dogs owner will receive an OFA Eye Certification number valid for one year. 
  • These test results will be on record at the OFA's Clinical Database in supporting research for the elimination and treatment of ocular disease. Simply visit the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals website at and enter our dogs registered names in their search field. 

Our Health Screening Efforts!

  • International Champion Roxy Pierce's- "OFA Eye Certification Registry # has been recorded E191616.
  • Tri Smith's Lake Over In Georgia "Towanda" is normal, see document on her page. Her eyes were checked at 8 weeks of age by breeder & breeders Veterinary Sarah Maxwell in Corvallis, Oregon. She will be tested by an (ACVO) September 18, 2018.
  • Tri Smith's Paint The Town "Graffiti" is normal, see document on his page. CEAR was last checked 04/06/17 and will be checked again by an (ACVO) September 18, 2018.
  • Simply go to and type in our dogs registered names within their search field to review ALL OFA hip/elbow and eye results anytime. 

OFA Eye Certification Registry

Every year we obtain eye exams on all of the breeding stock that resides within our kennel. We made this information to you available for you here in case you to would like to get annual eye exams on your dog as well. The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) completes the ERA application form and sends it to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Below is a flyer showing you how to complete it and send it in. This of course is in case the (ACVO) wants you to send it in, you know how to complete the form. 

We have also downloaded the OFA Application here as well in case you intend on purchasing a puppy from us and want to participate in one of our health programs. You will need this form to give to your Veterinarian for the examination of your puppies hip and elbow radio-graphs before sending it in to OFA.

Understanding OFA Certification Numbers

This will take you to the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals website to explain to you the various numbers with the various databases.

American Heartworm Society Canine Brochure

Heartworm Disease in Dogs American Heartworm Society (pdf)


Color Combinations of the Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd comes in many different colors. To find out more about their color combinations, click below which will take you directly to the ASCA website that goes over this in great detail. 

We do not charge any difference in our puppies for color/combos and or gender. 

UKC Links

UKC conformation RULE BOOK (pdf)


UKC Conformation Entry Form (pdf)


AKC Links

If your Australian Shepherd is NOT AKC registered and you want to compete in AKC events, you will be able to do so but NOT in the conformation arena. Instructions for a AKC Pal is available for you below.