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I have also heard mixed reviews about their BC's and breeding practises, but you cannot beleive what everyone says.. Just make sure you do your research, I too am considering importing a working bc from the uk in the near future. :rolleyes:

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There are quite a few competing in Scotland. Some do quite well but they don't seem so outstanding that they'd be worth the bother of importing. Don't be too influenced by how high they get up the rankings in Scotland either - there isn't the volume of competition you get further south, although numbers competing may still be considerably higher than at trials in North America.


Can't comment on breeding or temperament, just agility performance.


Why are you set on importing? If you want an agility dog, get one from rescue or a failed working dog. Hardly a shortage, I'm sure.



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I don't know anything about Astra dogs, but I will say this: before getting a BC you need to read the "Read This First" post stickied at the top of the boards - it details why BCs should only be bred for herding skill vs. sport or conformation and I think it is very salient to anyone considering purchasing a dog. There's a reason it's called "Read This First". :rolleyes:

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Just checked out the web site - claims to breed ISDS working dogs - puppies of all colours including merles and dilutes! Hmmmmm. Priorities?


I wonder if that's what is attracting the OP?


I saw the winning run of the dog on the web site that won the 2007 Scottish Agility Dog of the Year. I stand by what I said in my previous post.



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So what sets them apart from thousands of herding breeders in the States and Canada? Candy colors? You are importing a dog because it looks cool when dogs like this guy languish in rescue?



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Ok, good, but when I hear a breeder is publicizing colors and has a large number of matings I tend to get suspicious about what their true motives are. That said I don't know anything about this breeder other than what I got from briefly skimming the kennel's page.


If you're looking for an agility dog and you live in the US/Canada there are plenty of rescues or good working breeders you can get more info on than buying from a kennel overseas - importing for agility just seems silly to me when my current up and coming agility dog is a shelter pup. Why import when there are plenty of options stateside?!

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I am having a tough time figuring out what you're asking ... or why, I suppose. You asked about a breeder, several people have given you their opinions, and you're counting-pointing the things people are telling you. It seems to me that you have already justified importing a pup from this breeder.


You say: "THEY BREED FOR HERDING!!!" Well, you don't need to go to the UK to find someone that breeds for working ability. And how do you know what they breed for? By what you're reading on their website?


You justify the large amount of breeding by mentioning "farmers" here in the states. If a breeder puts enough puppies on the ground, a few of them are bound to do well. So does this make Astra a good breeder because farmers here in the states pop out puppies like there's no tomorrow?


You toss out the idea of a rescue dog because of the "unknown" factor. Will you be flying to the UK to meet the parents of your dog, the breeder, see the parents work, pick your pup, check out the temperaments, drives, abilities and health of the parents and the pup ... or will you just be importing it sight unseen and depend on what the website says because it's "too expensive" to call the breeder?


You say you want a dog that can take you to the USA world team. While I appreciate your enthusiasm, why would you go to the expense of importing a pup from lines you really know nothing about -- whose lines are not particularly "known" in agility -- instead of going to the current world team handlers and either taking lessons or going to clinics or picking their brains about what makes a "USA world team" dog and/or handler combination. What about having one of them recommend some lines to you?


And she seem like she is careful about who her bitches are breed too...


How do you know this? Because of what it says on her website?

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I am looking for a border collie that can take me to USA world team! (All of my dogs once they get their MACH I am going to start herding with... and hopefully be able to compete with them at herding trial!)


Have you trained with a BC in agility before?


There are plenty of working bred dogs in the US that have the drive and temperment to be very competitive in any sporting venue. I don't really see the point of importing when you can get one here. The only difference is the story in how you aquired the dog.


I know of countless farmers who have more then 1 litter on the ground... LOL I thought thats what farmers do.


Umm, no. A farmer who is in it because they know and appreciate true working dogs will be very selective and usually only breed when they need a dog. There are some as well who focus more on raising working BCs, but they aren't just churning out litters. And the dogs they do breed will be proven workers in the trial arena and in a farm/ranch setting.


While I am sure rescue border's CAN make great agility dogs... there are alot of unknown factors... You don't know how it was treated before coming to you. You don't know anything about the parents. Their temperments, drive, ability, HEALTH, and etc...


A common misconception. There are many BCs in rescue with a history and even papers. A knowledgable person would be able to evaluate temperment and drive (one reason they come into rescue is that they have too much drive). And you can get them fully vetted (including x-rays) to determine health. I know of one organization that trains top level urban disaster SAR dogs - where drive, temperment and agility are paramount concerns. All of the dogs they train are from shelters, rescue groups and "career change" dogs from service dog organizations. US Customs also uses shelter dogs for drug and bomb sniffing dogs with a great degree of success. The dogs are certainly available, it's just that the human needs to know how to evaluate and train them.


If you want a pup with a known background from a breeder, that's certainly your choice to make. But I honestly do not see any reason to import one when there are so many great dogs - both of known breeding and in shelters - here in the US.

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If you're not looking for rescue then that's fine by us. We all support a breeder who is breeding for working ability and to improve the Border Collie, if that's what you're looking for.


But from many of the responses, we have basically told you that Astra Kennels is not that breeder. The fact that they even mention the colours they produce jeopardizes their credibility for me as a breeder who is looking to only improve the breed. Why does it matter, you say? It matters because the colour of their coat says nothing about their outruns, their flanking, or their working livestock at all. A breeder who breeds for a "special" colour, isn't breeding for working ability, because frankly, you can't have your cake and eat it too. As soon as that breeder starts breeding for colours, or even takes them into consideration, the working ability you are looking for is jeopardized and diluted. Breeding for working ability means only one thing and that is the stud or bitch proving themselves to work and trial at a high levels. The breeder should be breeding for their next best herding dog, not a lilac coat. So does Astra Kennels produce what they say? Yes, they produce dogs who can "herd" and have "pretty" colours. Is that the dog you want?


There are breeders in the states who are breeding for the right reasons, look them up. Either way, you're going to do what you want, and only hear from us what you want to hear. Good luck.


EDIT: I just want to add that from all the interviews I've both read and seen by World Team agility handlers, they have all said that if you go into agility thinking you're going to be WC, you're most likely not going to be.

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If you havent e-mail or called her, and you know virtually nothing about her or her dogs, and are coming here asking, then why are you getting so defensive and excietable? This board has over 8000 members, has any one of them piped up and told you any glowing stories about their Astra bred dogs yet?? Maybe you should listen to that fact, and that fact alone.

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The fact that they mention color at all is a red flag. Imagine you're asked to evaluate a college application, and the applicant states that s/he has blond(e) hair. How is that relevant to their academic potential?

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You're right. They don't. Silly us. Of course, it's just mere coincidence that they have 4 litters either on the ground or in the works ... and they are matched up like this:


1. Lilac to blue merle

2. Blue merle to black and white

3. Red tri to blue merle

4. Black & white to black tri


And their stud dogs just happen to be slate, red, and lilac and black tri. On the slate dog's page, it just happens to mention:


"Mars carries the brown/red gene so therefore could produce brown/red or Chocolate puppies bred to a bitch which carries that same gene. He also carries the gene for dilution which may produce lilacs or blue's or slates."


On the black tri stud dog's page, it just happens to mention:


"Tweed carries the RED gene so therefore could produce Red or Chocolate puppies bred to a bitch which carries that same gene."


Whew. I am so relieved now. Here I thought they were breeding for color. But you must be right. They don't say they are, so they mustn't be. Woo hoo!


So when are you importing your pup?

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I know nothing about Astra, but I just wanted to say, since the OP hasent, she does already have 2 BCs she competes with. I just wanted to mention that for those questioning her experience in BCs and Agility lol. as far as I know however her expeince with working BCs slim.


as for the colour thing... it doesnt matter that they dont SAY anything about breeding for colour, its obvious. she has a LOT of candy coloured BCs, and the chances of that many candy colours from a breeder who is not focasing on colour is practicly zilch.

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I don't know about importing BCs to the States but most of the BCs here are from farming stock and some have imported stock on the pedigrees but that does not make them better at herding. Many breeders insist on the buyers collecting their pup and will not send them by rail/truck/plane.


You also have to think about what the travel could do to the puppy. From the U.K. to the U.S.A. is at least an 8 hour flight - up to 14 hours with stopovers. You have no control over what happens to the pup during that time. It could be accidentally off-loaded, the flight/s could be delayed if not cancelled, it could miss connecting flights. The flight time between N.Z. and Australia is roughly 4 hours and some imported pups have been very traumatised by that short time. There are several breeders in both N.Z. and Australia will not sell pups if they are going to have to be flown any length of time. Some even insist you physically go and pick out your puppy from the litter and have a second visit to insure you still want to pup, and then that you go and pick up your pup.


There are a few breeders who have imported from the U.K. stud stock with impressive lines for herding that they cannot sell with papers or sell already "fixed" as the stud stick have turned out to have "no obvious flaws" but have "flaws" that certain situations bring out - like having a gay tail when excited.


So go ahead if you want to import - just remember it is a pup in new circumstances, you have no control over what it will undergo getting to you, and it sounds like you are buying "sight unseen" as to the nature of the pup (what you think of as a timid pup another person may just thing it a quiet pup or a bold pup to them may be an aggressive one to you.


Good luck either way.

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Quite a few people in my agility club have astra dogs

I cannot totaly comment on their ability yet cos they are all young dogs just starting out

the one I have seen in class is (I think) a grade 4, he is a lovely dog but no better focus or drive than the farm dogs people are training in class - and he has the habit of having to circle the jumps before jumping them

The ones I have seen are stunning, and I checked out the webpage and thought 'what pretty dogs' - which of course gave me cause for doubt

I did at 1st look at the website and think 'fab a place I can get working bred dogs that look pretty' then I thought about it some more. If I want a working line great dog here in the UK I can pick from the many abused abandoned irish dogs that are rescused and sent out here - and those dogs are doing at least as well in scottish agility as these pretty dogs

I really dont see the point in importing a dog from the UK as there will be plenty of great dogs in any country


I may be really out of line here but I dont like the idea of getting a dog to be 1st and foremost a winning dog

In my mind unless of course you need the dog for work, a dog should be a pet and companion 1st and everything else 2nd, with the best will in the world a dog from the most amazing lines might not turn out as well as you hope - I am sure there are many here who work their dogs who will have tales of mating their 2 best dogs with high hopes but comming out with average puppies

What happens to that lovely pup you have imported if it gets injured or has an ilness that prevents it compeating?

What happens if it does not love agility?

What happens if it just turns out to be average??


I am training my dog because HE loves it, I would be so happy if we were good enough to win things but even if we are grade one forever we have already won because our bond is stronger and his confidence and trust is growing daily


one day I will prob get another dog - and if it likes agility I will train it, but I will try and find the thing that that dog wants to do

if it only loves snuggling on the sofa then that is what I will do with that dog - and I am sure I will love it just as much as if it was a championship dog

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