Royal Aussies of Virginia

Pictured: Bailey and Kovu Litter B02 - Born 17 Feb 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about our process and how things work

Q:Are you real? How do I know you're not a scam?
A:We're so sorry that you even have to worry about that but absolutely understand the fear. Unfortunately the world we live in isn't filled with the best people. We are happy to meet with you in person at any time and we'll bring our dogs so you can meet them as well. We do have normal jobs and lives so please understand that our schedules won't always line up but we will do anything we can to help put you at ease. This is one of the primary reasons we provide so much information as well as live cameras while puppies are in house. It wouldn't offend us at all if you called just to say hi and let us know you're just confirming we're real people running a real operation. We also invite you to check out our google reviews as that helps to show you what others have said about us in the past.

Q:We're interested in a puppy, how does this work?
A:It's actually pretty simple with us.
Step 1 - Fill out the puppy questionnaire
Step 2 - Questionnaire prompts us to add you to our distro list
Step 3 - As we progress through the process we'll send e-mails to that distro list
Step 4 - Continue onto the next FAQ "What's the timeline"

Q:What is the timeline from beginning to end?
A: I'll try to break this down.

  • Female goes into Heat and we attempt to time everything so she gets pregnant.
  • About 3-4wks after that we'll go to the Vet to get an ultrasound and confirm she's pregnant.
  • If pregnant we send an E-mail to the distro announcing Pregnancy.
  • About 50 days after they mated we get an X-Ray to confirm how many puppies we expect.
  • We'll send an e-mail to our distro to announce the number of puppies and a date and time that we'll start accepting deposits.
       - This is important because this date/time is critical for you. Once we open for deposits it's first come - first served
  • We accept ONLY as many deposits as we expect puppies as we don't like the idea of holding your money or preventing you from finding another puppy somewhere else.
  • When we open for deposits the first deposit get's first pick, second get's second and so on.
       - (Exception to that policy - If you are paying to keep the tail you must pick your puppy within the first 48hrs).
  • On their birthday we'll make an announcement and will activate the live video feed. This is how you get to see them grow and learn their personalities.
       - Please Note: Their birthday is AFTER deposits. This means gender and color options aren't choices prior to placing a deposit. As much as we'd love to guarantee a gender or color to everybody who desires one, this just isn't possible when dealing directly with the breeder. Your pick is in order and what is left in the litter at that time is what you get to pick from. For this reason it's important to understand that our goal is to pair you with a puppy that takes to you and you find a connection with. If a proper pairing doesn't work out in the end we do have some options but those are last resorts and we prefer not to aim for them.
  • At about 3-4wks old we welcome visitors into our home to come see the puppies and get to know them better.
  • At 5-6wks old we invite everybody over to pick their puppy from the litter in pick order.
  • Puppies go home after 8wks old, unless our vet tells us there's some developmental reason to wait.

Q:How much are puppies?
A:We have a price table that breaks down deposit, total and other details on the bottom of the Buying a Puppy Page

Q:I live out of state, how can I get a puppy from you? Will you ship or deliver?
A:We are absolutely against shipping a puppy due to the trauma it puts them through and the chances of mistreatment. However, we're not against meeting or hand delivering a puppy to you if you live outside the area. If you're interested in one of our babies please e-mail us and we'll see what we can come up with to make things work.

Q:When will the next litter be expected?
A:It's impossible to guess exactly when our girls will go into heat. Normal heat cycles are every 6months but those can shift after having a litter. We don't breed every heat so if our girls are cleared and going to breed for that heat we'll post that to our current litters section on the site and send an e-mail to our distro to keep you informed.

Q:Can I place a deposit? Is there a waitlist?
A:Unlike most breeders, we do not accept deposits until we have a confirmed pregnancy and count of expected puppies. We only accept as many deposits as we expect puppies because we always hated the idea of locking you in to picking a puppy from us and waiting for 2-3 litters before getting one. Our thought is if you find a perfect puppy elsewhere you're not stuck waiting for us and miss out on another puppy. If you are interested in a puppy from one of our litters please fill out our puppy questionnaire and you will be notified as we progress through our timeline. You'll be under no obligation to adopt from us and can be removed from the list at any time. We do not post publicly when we will begin accepting deposits, you must be on our distro list to be notified of the deposit window.

Q:How do I get information about upcoming litters? Am I on your distro list?
A:Once you complete our puppy questionnaire you will be added to our e-mail distro list and we use that to communicate any upcoming litter information as well as updates throughout our adoption process.

Q:Are puppies available in the next litter?
A:As stated in the question above, we don't have a wait list in the same sense as many other breeders. Because of this our puppies are not spoken for until we begin accepting deposits and that happens within a few days after we get an X-Ray confirming the count of expected puppies. At any given time we have over 100 people on our e-mail distro list who are interested in puppies, some of those will get one from this litter, others may wait for any number of reasons.

Q:When are puppies available for selection/pickup?
A:Puppy picks/selection is when puppies are between 5-6wks old. Puppies are scheduled for pickup once they reach a minimum of 8wks old and are cleared by the vet.

Q:What if I don't fill out a questionnaire, miss the e-mails or they get blocked?
A:We will also update the website on the buying a puppy page after every step in our process. Please check that page often to see updates.

Q:What determines pick order?
A:Pick order is based on deposit order with one caveat, if someone chooses a non-docked tail they will pick their puppy within the first 3 days after birth which shifts the pick order. If you wish to have a non-docked tail please look closely at our buying a puppy page to understand the extra costs and payment requirements and be sure to actively communicate with us so we don’t miss a deadline.

Q:What if I don’t get a spot when deposits open?
A:Sadly there are always more people interested in our puppies than we have in each litter so not everyone will be able to get a puppy. We will not remove you from our mailing list automatically so you’ll get updates on each litter until you adopt a puppy or ask to be removed from the list. On occasion a person may not be able to complete an adoption and when this happens we will re-open for deposits and make an announcement through this same e-mail list and on our website.

Questions about Aussies

Q:How much do they shed?
A: They have a moderately thick coat with medium length that sheds its undercoat twice a year with moderate shedding between. A simple brushing once or twice a week will help minimize the shedding and a trip to a groomer to help during the major shedding times is never a bad idea. *Visit the grooming tab for more info or to make an appointment

Q:How much exercise do they need?
A: Miniature Australian Shepherds require moderate amounts of exercise. Being a smaller version means they can fulfill their exercise requirements somewhat more quickly though they still love running, jogging, hiking and even playing fetch quite often. We have taken Kiara on 10-15mile hikes and she loves every minute of it. And we frequently go roller-blading with them and you could swear they smile when we go fast.

Q:Can I have them in an apartment?
A: Being a smaller version of the Australian shepherd they make for great dog to have in smaller living quarters though without having a yard to run in please keep in mind that daily walks or runs will be important for them. A bored aussie tends to take their frustration out by chewing on things they shouldn't or running inside where it's not desireable.

Q:Are they easy to train?
A: The Australian Shepherd is a very intelligent breed that is eager to please with strong instincts for herding. They are easy to train and love to work.

Q:Do they bark a lot?
A: Australian Shepherds are a herding breed and herding breeds bark, miniature aussies are no exception. They can be quite the talkers while playing or when they are trying to tell you something or get your attention.

Q:What is a Double Merle?
A: Double merle is a common term for homozygous merles which is a dog with two copies of the merle gene. This is caused by breeding two merle dogs. Dogs that have the M/M gene usually shows with more white in their coat. The M/M gene also can cause many defects such as blindness and deafness. Kovu has been confirmed as not carrying the Merle gene and both our girls are Merles so we've guaranteed this will not be an issue for our puppies.

Q:What is MDR1 (Learn More)?
A: MDR1 is the abbreviated name of a gene called Multi-Drug Resistance 1. A mutation of this gene causes sensitivity a number of drugs. Dogs with the mutation will react to those drugs. Whether a dog reacts depends on the dosage of the drug. A dog may not react to very low doses. Typical doses of a variety of medications will cause reactions in dogs with two copies of the mutation, but some drugs – most notably several chemotherapy agents – can cause reactions in dogs with only one. Dogs with this mutation have a transport defect—the drug goes in to their brains, fails to be transported out, and builds up to toxic levels. This causes serious neurological problems including seizures and sometimes death.

*50% of Miniature Australian Shepherds are affected meaning one in every two aussies have at least one copy of the gene.*

Q:How do I find out if my dog has MDR1 (Learn More)?
A: A simple gene test from your local vet will tell you. It will identify the genotype of the dog tested and exactly which form(s) of the MDR1 gene your dog has.

Q:How big will your puppies be?
A: It's impossible to predict how genetics will work exactly but Kovu is about 20lbs, Kiara around 22lbs and Bailey is 19lbs. It's expected that their puppies will be around the same size. Out of their last litter several of the adoptive parents have let us know their puppies are 18-22lbs now, our smallest puppy ever was 14lbs at 8mo old.

*Please feel free to email us with any other questions that you have at