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Well we have been thinking now for ages about having a pup pal for Holly.

I think she is now getting to the point that we should be looking around for one. Especially sinse last weeks holiday, she is starting to realise dogs are for playing with as well as just saying hi.


Anyway as some of you know i got Holly from a KC breeder. I don't regret getting her and still agree with some of KC things. I do still keep in touch with Holly's breeder who i think is great but I have changed my views a lot since joining this forum though, having previously thought KC was the best thing all round.


This is how it is for me now - I have Holly and want a pal, my husband still thinks KC is the best, i don't want to try to change his opinion, i don't feel strongly enough or to be honest know enough to try and tell him differently at the moment. I have however told him of looking for ISDS instead which he is fine with but still wants to see parents, have eye tests and that. We want a puppy this time around again as we are not sure what we are doing children/family wise and if i wait until we know what we want/have Holly maybe too old to accept one.


We both agree though that when no kids are involved we both would like to adopt. Our options would be so different then. Also we would have more experience, i know that a lot haven't got big problems but it's the not knowing what they have been through bit that scares us especially if we had young children around too.


Right so what i would like advice on is finding good, isds breeders preferably in the south of the UK who will sell us a good temperament puppy but not for working.?

We don't have a lot of sheep etc around us so it isn't as easy for me to go locally like i presume it is in Scotland.

So if anyone can point me in the right direction or recommend anyone i would appreciate it.


Thanks :rolleyes:

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Forgot to put - Am i correct in thinking that if the BC is ISDS registered it still can come from parents who have had health checks? Which we would like if we were to buy rather than adopt a pup. That is my main reason for being so fond of the KC dogs as we fealt that only healthy dogs were breed. After having a diabetic Yorkie who's other relatives had it too we think it may have been hereditary.


Also do working people who breed pups find out pretty early on if they are good for work then sell the ones that are not to people like me? For like nice temperament family pets?.


Working dogs is a whole new world for me. I had never heard of ISDS before this site.

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Sorry me again, i have been internet looking, found a breeder who has a litter due in October. She has her dogs for sheep dog trials. She has the eyes checked but not the hip scores done. They are ISDS registered.


I am not sure how i feel about the hip score bit, isn't that a really important thing? She has sold the pups for trialing work/agility etc and pets homes. She has sent me photo's of the parents.



Ummmm, how concerned should i be re hip scores?




please help guys :rolleyes:

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If she has dogs who remain sound throughout a long working career, it would stand to reason that her dogs are probably sound. A lame dog cannot work or compete in sports successfully. You could also talk to folks that have bought her dogs to see if any hip problems have shown up.


Also remember that while hip scores give a good idea of what to expect hip wise, they are not a 100% guarantee against hip problems.

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Exactly on the hip scores. A better test on overall soundness for me, is to go with someone who's breeding from generations of dogs who have had to do really hard work.


For working breeders:


Look for someone who breeds to suit their own needs, not to just make puppies. Watch those internet sellers - they may talk about training their dogs and trialing, but when you inquire, they have sheep for dogs rather than dogs for sheep.


Look for depth in the pedigree. Ask your breeder to go over the previous generations with you - you are a newcomer and deserve this from someone who should have their ducks quite firmly in a row, in theory. Ask what each dog did - both for a living and trial wise - and what the breeder liked about these dogs. Take careful notes as it will make NO sense to you initially! What you want is most of the dogs to be real farm workers and maybe solid trial dogs (but not necessarily). You do want a good number of trial dogs as these dogs contribute stable temperaments (they travel, adapt to different situations well, and are highly trainable). A minimum of brood bitches, but dogs of either sex, that consistently produce top notch workers are important too whether they worked well themselves or not. I don't mind a brood bitch as long as my breeder can point to her and describe how she contributed to the line.


Don't shy away from the "big names". You'd be surprised at how accessible these people are. And the advantage to going to one of them is that they have a name to protect. I wouldn't mind taking a pup sight unseen from such people. That can increase the range of your search - there's some real greats in West of England and the North of course has some terrific breeders. Is it possible to caravan up, meet some potential parents, shake hands, and then wait for a litter? Then most likely someone could be found to bring pup back down/over to you. It would really, really be worth it.


Working breeders, the good ones anyway, will do a breeding such that any pup in the litter would satisfy them potentially. There's often some notion of what pup will work for them that the breeder will develop as they look in the whelping box, but it's usually entirely arbritrary when it comes right down to it. One of the best breeders I knows, picks pups based on their resemblance to a famous dog way back in his lines. Another one I know pretty much jsut goes for the most classic markings. Others pick pups based on their evident personality in the box, but that changes a huge, huge amount and has very little to do with working potential. Mostly they pick based on characteristics that appeal to them.


So, from a nice working breeding you'd be getting a dog with just as much potential as any other in the litter, possibly. Many's the time a breeder has let a pup go to a pet home and discovered the pet pup was closest of everyone to what he was looking for. Ooops. But there's no hard feelings!


If you visit a breeder and like the female (and the male if there), there's no reason you can't take a "real" working pup into your home if you are prepared for life with a "real" Border Collie. That doesn't mean 100 miles of walking a day - just plenty of consistent and firm interaction with the pup, clear ground rules, and an outlet for structured training - some sport or service work.


I have to say that KC is in no way a guarantee of health any more than being born in the US is a guarantee that one will never be broke! Breeders have a code of ethics and all but all that does is create a minimum, and a very small minimum of things that a breeder looks for. Temperament testing is not one of them, by the way, while mental soundness is a big part of being an effective farm dog and trial competitor. Hard work ensures endurance, sound heart and lungs, and screens out a multitude of metabolic and joint disorders that are cropping up in dogs that depend on clinical testing to ensure soundness. While climbing up and down hills and subjecting their will to their handlers all the time, the dogs get a complete workout everyday. You know a dog like that is sound, period. Because, you know, it IS.


If you have a piece of paper saying the hips have a certain amount of laxity, that's all you know. You don't know whether the dog also has weakness in the ACL, or spinal issues, or degenerative arthritis somewhere else, or poor foot conformation that leads to toe problems. In fact, the paper doesn't even guarantee your dog will never have hip problems, and it certainly will not guarantee that any pups will never have hip problems!


I like these pieces of paper as backup. And there's no substitute for an opthomological exam - but ISDS dogs have to have these exams, required for registration I think. But a Border Collie's health is much more than a list of clinical certifications. Without that work to really give an overall picture of soundness you lay yourself open to all kinds of problems.


I really hope you can find a pup. There's like, zillion of breeders if you can expand your horizons a bit. It sounds like hubby may have bought into the prpaganda that all KC breeders are Champions of Canine Justice and all working breeders are the Heart of Darkness - muck-splattered, heartless, ignorant breeders of throwaway dogs. There's lots of different types of breeders and you should be able to find one that will make both of you happy, if you are patient and clear about your principles and guidelines.


And no looking at puppies until you have talked over the above points with the breeder! Don't go to meet puppies, go to meet the breeder and see his dogs work (excuse me, or her dogs work, of course!).


Good luck!

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I have to say that KC is in no way a guarantee of health any more than being born in the US is a guarantee that one will never be broke!


Exactly. All my clearly KC dogs, including Quinn, have had health issues despite various testing the breeders did. Its enough to make me give up on purebreds or maybe I should just avoid KC dogs (there is a concept). I know there are tons of wonderfully healthy, completely sound purebred KC dogs out there and it sounds like Holly is one of them. I just haven't had much luck in that area and am about tired of it.

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Thank you all for your advice.


I have emailed this morning the breeder and have asked more about the history of the parents of the expected pups. I am going to ring her then for a chat when i know more about her dogs.


I don't understand anything about a working BC and the life of one, what's good whats not etc. The lady who i shall not name as i have't asked her whether i can, (she does know that i am member of a board though).( Maybe she is too, i don't know). Anyway at the moment she wrote to me that she sells to US sometimes. I don't know too much more yet and in any case this is just the first person i have had proper contact with over pups so i may find someone else too yet.



I know that a hip score test doesn't mean a healthy pup for everything else it's just if there are any health tests that can be done on dog's before they are breed i think it is a good thing. It isn't that i want a perfect dog, noboby can say they have that unfortunately. I understand too that a test doesn't mean that's it and it's never going to have problems with hips.



Six months ago i wouldn't be considering any of this, i didn't know of ISDS, never thought about having a dog that wasn't KC registered, would have been the first thing i typed in to search on the web before. It is hard for me to know what i think really as with Holly i couldn't have wished for a better breeder, i don't believe she is over breeding, breeding just for money, or breeding for perfection. Her dogs are pat dogs and have lovely temperaments and Holly has too so it is a strange place in my head at the moment.


I feel more strongly about rescue dogs since being on here too and have come to realise that there are so many that haven't got the problems that they are made out to have over here in the UK. We have so many rules about getting one it makes you wonder whether this is a breed for children at all. Anyway that's another story.


Thank you again, i shall read it all through again and take on board what you have all put.


We are not in a hurry so it may take some time to find the right pup for us . I just feel that the right time for Holly is from now on after her time on the beach and the way she is now. :rolleyes:

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Quick update, i have found out some more info on the dog's and there ancestry. Looks pretty good at the moment as far as ancestry and healthy working type dogs goes..


I shall now wait until they are born, then the lady is going to email a photo and info on them, i shall ring her then for a more in depth chat and if all goes well arrange a viewing. We have shared a fair bit of info already about what Holly is like and what i want etc and what her dogs are like.


Now these will be ISDS registered and come from trailing sheep dogs (i don't quite know how to word it), what i would like to know please is what sort of paperwork checks can i either do now or before we get one. What sort of paperwork should she have for us to see if any? I think a lot goes by how we feel about her like our previous breeder, we liked her, believed her, trusted her and everything went well. I hope the same happens here. It does all look postitive at the moment.


With our former breeder i knew what to look for, puppy pack, info on feeds, vacinations etc, hip scores of parent, eye tests, pedigree papers including names of all the registered ancestors etc.?


Is it a similar set up with ISDS registered dogs?



Thanks again, this is all new too me. I want to make sure i make the right choices.

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