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Our Story

Monarch Australian Shepherds was founded by Samantha Hughes and her mother, Trudy Gagas. They discovered their love for aussies during Samantha's childhood when they got their first puppy, a blue merle female, as a companion. At the time, horses were the main focus and Samantha was competing all over the nation primarily in ranch horse versatility and rodeo events. She also participated on a competitive horse judging team and continued competing on equestrian teams in college. Sadly, Samantha and Trudy's first Australian Shepherd passed away while Samantha was in college. The family grieved. Dakota was just the best dog. 

Upon graduating college, Samantha and her now husband, Hunter, decided to get their first dog together. After contemplating many breeds, the memories of Dakota were traits we wanted in a dog. Her temperament, biddability, and intelligence are traits the quality Australian Shepherd is known for. Also, Samantha had grown apart from horses with life focusing on starting a career, and she thought showing dogs may be a nice alternative to showing horses. 

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With great fortune, Samantha found the wonderful breeders of Carolina Calais Australian Shepherds in Colorado and they took a chance on a newcomer interested in showing dogs. We purchased an eight week old show prospect and a three year old, adult female; Delta & Ruby respectively. As with anything new, there is a lot of learning along the journey. Delta was a beautiful, intelligent dog. I could not have asked for more in my first show dog, but unfortunately we did not produce any litters with her. As such, Ruby became our sole foundation dam. Learn more about Ruby and our foundation here

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