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I don't know if I would have stayed with the breed after the experience you describe with your first 4 Border Collies. Yikes.

 

The first border collie we think was from poor breeding.

 

The second border collie has an awesome temperament just a bad agility built. and doesn't like to think.

 

The third border collie is VERY similar to me. (indepentant, bitchy, will of her own, etc...) :rolleyes:

 

The fourth border collie made me never want to get a red/white BC ever again... I know his color wasn't the issue but something wasn't right mentally.

 

do understand that to these boards "improving the breed" means to breeding for working (herding) ability? That should include the qualities you like so well in your dog (temperament, build, health, drive) but the those qualities come together in a really good working (herding) dog

 

I know but the OP wanted to know why get a sport collie and why would you breed it.

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Sounds to me like you want a well bred border collie of a particular temperament & build and you're assuming (based upon your past experiences) that sport breedings have a better chance of giving you this vs. working breedings.

 

I disagree. Sport breedings are not more likely to give you what you're looking for in a border collie vs. working breedings. It is the lines of the breeding program that will determine the characteristics of the pups. In order to know these aspects of the breeding program you must spend lots of time looking at the breeding dogs and past pups from that breeding program; this is easier when you see these dogs all the time which is why you are more at ease with going to a sport breeding vs. a working breeding (you see sport dogs more often than working dogs).

 

Mark

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I know but the OP wanted to know why get a sport collie and why would you breed it.

 

Oh, right… :rolleyes: Personally I can't imagine ever breeding a dog, even making an argument for it as devil's advocate. So I was only thinking in terms of buying a sports bred dog.

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I don't pretend to know why breeders do what they do. The number of breeders - in any category - that I would consider ethical is a very small one.

 

However, I do want to chime in with two cents about how dogs are bred and how they turn out. Because no one has addressed the human factor here. People with strong expectations can often fully realize them simply because they have them.

 

If that's confusing, I mean this: People who are good and strong handlers in sport venues tend to have good and strong dogs who do well. No matter where the dog comes from. I know several rescue dogs of unknown and/or suspect origin who are *INCREDIBLE* agility dogs and that's because they have talented handlers who believe in their dogs.

 

Handlers who get a dog from a so-called "sports line" believe that they have a future champion on their hands. They cannot blame a lack of ability on the breeding, because the dog was bred "for" sports. Therefore, they expect the dog will succeed and will work hard with the dog to realize that success. This is why "agility" bred dogs often excel at agility ... their handlers believe they come by it naturally (though I don't know of a gene for "A Frame" or "Hup" ... do you?) and that belief is pretty powerful, and tends to translate into working harder with the dog and succeeding. Because 99% of agility is how well you work with your dog.

 

Anyone who is seriously involved in a sport and gets the dog FOR the purpose of excelling at that sport is someone who will likely be more successful at it than someone like me, who does the sport for the dog (although we have our proud moments too). And someone who is successful at the sport and breeds their dogs for this purpose will sell puppies to people who are serious about and therefore successful at the sport as well. It's a self perpetuating cycle that is less about the dogs and more about the culture of the people who buy those dogs.

 

Someone who ends up with a "sport bred dog" that does not excel considers it an anomaly. And many people who see rescue dogs excel consider them anomalies as well. So much of this is about perception and determination.

 

In flyball the best (read: fastest) teams - IME, your mileage may vary and I am about to really piss off some flyballers, I'm sure - have dogs who are 1) kenneled almost all the time 2) taken out only to practice flyball and 3) have very little life outside of the sport. Neither do the handlers. Flyball is second only to 'herding' in the culture-specific art of getting rid of a dog that does not "work" the way you want him to. So the fastest teams are often full of dogs whose entire purpose is to run flyball, by people who are extremely serious about flyball, and who have along the way discarded anything that was not fast or driven enough. Again - this is why they are the best. But it doesn't mean their flyball bred dogs have a gene for being fast flyball dogs ... they are simply purchased by and handled by people who are serious about the sport of flyball and therefore tend to see more success.

 

Caveat - this is not always true, and I know this ... I am speaking in some general terms. There are lots of local teams that have VERY fast times and *gasp* working bred dogs on them! But I am specifically referring to the Big Balls (flyball version of Big Hats) here.

 

I have had more border collies in my possession over the last decade than most people in this thread. Approximately 500 of them. Let me tell you this - no matter who breeds them (sport, working, BYB) - you get a wide variety of temperament, issues and gems. Good handlers can bring out the best in them, crappy ones do the opposite. Some of the sweetest most well adjusted dogs I have met have been rescue dogs, and some of them didn't start out that way when they first got here. So don't underestimate the power of the person to have a massive amount of influence on the success they see with their dogs.

 

Anyone who has had a succession of dogs of ANY breed with personality issues needs to perhaps look at their own personality issues and wonder how that might be factoring into the bigger picture.

 

Cheers,

 

The ever devilish RDM

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Well said, RDM. Another thing to consider is how much the handler learns/grows/changes the way s/he does things along the way. My first dog, Sophie, has had her share of issues in her 8.5-year life. But she taught me a ton, plus I've got two additional dogs now and worked at a doggy daycare for a year and spent a bunch of time around a bunch of dogs in the time I've had her. The way I relate to dogs has changed considerably as I've gained experience. Sophie is Sophie, and she would have been a challenge for anyone, but I definitely made lots of mistakes with her that may have contributed to those issues. I don't really regret anything--I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time, and working with her through these issues also taught me a lot about dogs pretty quickly--but I think we both would have had a smoother path if I had known then what I know now. So if someone is remembering their first dog as being difficult or inadequate and finding each subsequent dog is getting easier to manage or acting more like they want, it's possible the handler may have more to do with that than s/he may realize.

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I'm going to leave Flyball out that right now - because I think I would top what RDM is even saying LOL.

 

Agility to me is like show-jumpers (horses). There has been development of "lines" of jumpers, but what it comes down to more often than not is *luck* plus constant return to the baseline of jumpers - Thoroughbred racehorses. After that you get flukes - horses out of nowhere genetically, or lines "supposed" to be for something else.

 

They can consistantly breed top racers from racers, but they cannot as consistantly produce jumpers from jumpers. The great racehorse breeder Tesio had some comments on this in the books on genetics.

 

If Agility skills were completely genetics then those lines would not have to come back to working lines so often to maintain what they want. They would be like show-BC - basically already a seperate genepool. Yet they aren't.

 

So....if the breeding of such dogs constantly requires an infusion of the traditional working lines to maintain XYorZ...does that indicate they have a problem there, that all is not a rosy as they claim?

 

~~~~

 

Why do people buy them? Why do people who live in downtown Atlanta drive a SUV suited for the plains of Africa?

 

Because they can.

 

Why do people breed them?

 

Because people buy them.

 

I truly can understand why someone with a great Agility dog would want a litter - the dream of producing your own next dog is a potent one. Right or wrong - we are all human and we can debate the merits of that later because those people really aren't the problem. The people that produce 8-15 litters a year are not tying to live that dream...they are just making money as fast, and as well, as the market will bear it.

 

I think the biggest problems with Agility is the *obsession* that only a puppy can succeed. Despite complete evidence that CANNOT PICK A PUPPY FROM ANY LITTER and have any sure idea about what it will be like at 2 years of age! Even the best bred puppy is a pig in a poke - Period. If you want guarantees of success you don't buy a puppy with paperwork "guarantees", you buy/adopt a young adult dog where you can get the hips xrayed, *see* the adult temperament, drives, and personality.

 

Then you *train* it.

 

Why is that some da*n hard to accept?

 

Puppies are dreams, fluffy bundles of joy and promise. They don't always live up to it, and people want sensible working oriented Border Collie breeders to guarantee that the puppy will always be what it looks like at 8 weeks. Hah! :rolleyes:

 

Agilty breeders.....now they will <used car salesman voice> Guar-An-TEE it!

 

Agility bred Border Collies most of the time...are simply the pedigreed version of the Labradoodle. They are hybrid crosses - show lines here (one breed), working lines there (another breed), and virtual unknown lines there (yet another breed).

 

People who buy them are simply proving PT Barnum was dead on right. Or as my herding trainer told me "people will buy a tom cat crossed with a telephone pole if you call it something cute like a PoleCat Dog"

 

There are some nice excuses that have developed though - "working breeders don't health check or socialize" is a dandy, and "so-n-so's working bred pup was an agility flop" etc. Ignoring reality is easy - there are working breeders who do both health check and socialize, and any dog can flop at agility regardless of breeding if the trainer is wrong. And again...who guaranteed that puppy would grow up to be anything but a dog?

 

Fools promisies, for fool buyers. Call 1-800 Big Luck and leave your credit card number please

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Sorry but saying someone should not buy a puppy and should only get a rescue is not as easy as you think.

 

I have rescued dogs, my husband has rescued dogs and we no longer have any of those rescues because they were all euthanized before they were 6 yrs old. I am not talking just border collies, standard poodles, border collie mixes, 100% mutts... We are leary to rescue a dog because we just happen to always get the ones that have severe health issues early on - cancers, unknown vomiting that turned bright green with vets totally stumped, collapsing tracheas to the point the dog was going unconscious when just standing... you know after 6 dogs that were rescues and none lasted more than 4 yrs with us, we are a little hesitant. Yes it was totally fluke. Yes I love most rescue dogs. Yes I will rescue again but for now we are just a little bit timid about rescue dogs. At least these dogs had great lives before their lives ended.

 

I am all for rescue but I do have issues when people get on a high horse about rescue and try saying that is the only thing people should do, period... I will also suggest people rescue but I am also open to the fact some people just want a puppy.

 

There is no way to know if a dog will ever be what the owners want it to be whether a puppy or an adult. It is luck of the draw period.

 

And yes I do flyball and I do have some fast dogs but I am the exception I guess. My dogs are pets first. If they don't want to play they don't play but they still live with me in my house and get the best I can give.

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Try reading my post again. I suggested that you "adopt/buy a young adult"

 

There are many sources for young adult dogs, including BUT NOT LIMITED TOO Rescues, for people who want to go that route.

 

If you think that buying a puppy from any line is guaranateeing yourself prevention of mystery problems I've got some Arizona Beach property to sell you. If you think a couple of generations of OFA prevents HD I've got some dogs you need to meet too. In fact I've got a friend with a sweet dog who turned out to be deaf, seizes, and HD - from BAER tested, OFA, and seizure free lines for over 10 generations. It was an "oops! just the wrong 2 parents put together"....yep, should have named him "Fancy Kennel Found the Pig in the Poke"

 

RDM has had her hot little hands on just about as many Border Collies as me - just different situations. I'm training them, she's rescuing them (I think possibly the same thing all too often). There are problems in all lines, in all dogs, of varying degrees - from next to nothing to big stuff. Paying a lot of money from a sport kennel guarantees nothing except an empty wallet. You don't even have the unbroken lineage of trainabiliy/stamina/drive that would be in a pure working bred dog. You've got a hybrid - a breedable mule.

 

The other issue I haven't even touched on is what people support when they buy from these kennels. Is there *any* reason, given today's dog overpopulation and the BC rescue crisis - to support a breeder who is putting out over 60 pups annually for the purpose of a game that any atheltic dog with a little drive and a decent trainer can do? Does it really make it "ok" because the pups' papers are OFA/CERF/BAER and you paid $1200 plus each?

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Thanks everyone. I tend to have the same personal views as Sheena and Wendy on this issue, but I am open to being convinced that (1) there is such thing as a superior "sports phenotype" and (2) Sport Collie breeders are successfully selecting for it. I am not convinced yet.

 

I mentioned in another thread that one of the agility handlers and trainers I admire most made her name training rescued dogs. She has been on the World Team and therefore would fall into the category of agility's elite. As an obedience trainer, she put an OTCH on a Pekingese, and an OTCH on a Pomeranian pulled from a shelter at six years of age, and almost put one on an Afghan Hound but the Afghan died young. One of her current dogs is a rescued Border Collie who is working, I believe on her fourth MACH. She puts the lie to the idea that you have to buy a custom-bred Sport Collie to succeed in dog sports. (The Border Collies that she bought, she bought from working breeders by the way, because she also competes in sheepdog trials.)

 

Oh, I recognize that for me, working sheep is a sport. I don't need to do it for a living, and if a dog turns out to be a sheepdud I can easily afford to keep that dog. I chose to buy a puppy from a working breeder because I wanted a puppy (selfish yes) and I wanted to maximize the chances that I would be able to continue participating in a hobby that I have come to find enormously rewarding and personally fulfilling. Thus my choice was dictated in part by sports-related vanity -- that, and the desire to end up with a dog that exemplifies what the breed is supposed to be. Jett is brilliant, focused, athletic, and very, very easy to live with and exactly what I had hoped for.

 

Even if hobby herders choose breedings for reasons that are superficially similar to why a sports person would choose a breeding, I think there is a difference. If you want a dog to work livestock and the dog isn't born with what it takes, you cannot put it there. That is the difference. I can do agility with any physically sound Border Collie, and if the dog is one that is mine and that I love, I will enjoy the activity no matter how successful we are. We can be part of it. We can play the game. And if I'm starting with a Border Collie, the odds are I will enjoy a certain amount of success with it. (I feel like training in agility with a Border Collie is basically cheating. It's just too damn easy and if you don't think so, try working with something like a Shiba Inu or a Beagle for a while. See?) It is basically inevitable that if I keep at it, I will progress and hopefully we will both enjoy ourselves along the way.

 

But, if I have a Border Collie without the talent and aptitude for sheep work, we cannot even walk out onto the field. Oh, I guess we could walk out there but it would be a waste of everyone's time. If your dog doesn't have it, you will not progress. You can, through a lot of dedication and effort, make that dog the best he can be (I have seen it done, with Solo) but you can never make him something he isn't. You will come up against a wall. So what, you might say. Well, I have made many valuable friendships through sheepdog trialing, and my life would be poorer without them, so I guess it's selfish of me, but it's a game I'd like to keep playing. I can't think of many better ways to spend a weekend. So I bought my puppy and I've got my fingers crossed, but if she doesn't turn out, we'll do agility. The world isn't going to end.

 

I do think sheepdog trialing has a "higher purpose" compared to agility or flyball, provided I keep in mind that it's about the dogs and not me. I strive to improve our skills so that we can progress and become competitive in Open and facilitate the continued existence of one important tool that breeders use to select breedworthy Border Collies. Participating in trials has given me an appreciation for these dogs I would not have had otherwise. I can't think of a single other endeavor I could enter into with my dog in which he is truly my equal partner. It's why I believe so passionately that these dogs are worth preserving. There isn't anything else like them on the planet.

 

It might be a sport for people like me -- but I don't think it's "just a sport."

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I have rescued dogs, my husband has rescued dogs and we no longer have any of those rescues because they were all euthanized before they were 6 yrs old. I am not talking just border collies, standard poodles, border collie mixes, 100% mutts... We are leary to rescue a dog because we just happen to always get the ones that have severe health issues early on - cancers, unknown vomiting that turned bright green with vets totally stumped, collapsing tracheas to the point the dog was going unconscious when just standing... you know after 6 dogs that were rescues and none lasted more than 4 yrs with us, we are a little hesitant. Yes it was totally fluke.

 

Of course. Rescue dogs come falling fully formed from the sky and have no basis in any breeder's kennel, and that's why they are so much different / sickly / with temperament issues than dogs purchased from breeders. Dogs from breeders never get sick or die :rolleyes:

 

Turning this into a rescue vs breeder argument is a red herring. It doesn't address any of the inherent flaws in the arguments Lenajo has already dismantled. Earlier in this thread you *advocated* the crossbreeding of a border collie and a jack russell and indicated you would like to buy another one. What does that breeding accomplish except getting you and your team a speedy height dog?

 

The answer: nothing.

 

RDM

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I'm one of those agility people RDM mentioned... in that I do the sport FOR my dog, and wouldn't get a dog to do the sport. It's fun, but not enough for me to seek out a breeder.

 

I also embody the opposite idea from the one that a truly dedicated and motivated trainer will be able to make almost any dog a champion. I'm a clutz, and not very "sporty", which translates into me being not the greatest handler on earth. But I think my dog could have maybe been a champ, if she had a better handler. The proof I have of this is that my trainer thinks it's a lot of fun to run Ling (I secretly think it's because she has a Corgi :rolleyes: ) and has run her in practice as well as a whole trial when I wasn't able to run. Whenever she runs Ling, they're perfect. Flashy and fast and PERFECT... because Ling knows what she's doing, and my trainer knows what she's doing, and it's a good combination.

 

 

I'm pretty sure Ling is from questionable farm breeding (she's a rescue but there are clues), so to me all the of the reasons given here to breed for agility just seem like excuses to make money from breeding a new "type" of BC. The one BC I know from an agility breeder is ok, but not fantastic, certainly not a good reason to pump out more pups when there are so many in rescue that just need a home!

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While we are on the subject of baffling patterns in people I must ask...

 

Why...is it that someone will pay $1200 for an 8 week old sport puppy...

 

but will not consider paying half of that for a 2 year old, socialized, sound, neutered dog that isn't going to cut it as a top herding dog?

 

Hmmmm....maybe there is a Blue Book for dogs somewhere? over 1 year - $1200, neutered +200, well socialized and trained in manners in basics +.....

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Why...is it that someone will pay $1200 for an 8 week old sport puppy...

It seems agility puppies are like new cars. As soon as they go home, their value plummets greatly. As far as I can tell, this is because agility people seem to think that the pups must be raised "properly", with a curriculum that involves balance board work, tug practice, the horrific "watch me" drills, and a bunch of other stuff that apparently is critical to the growth and development of the Next Great Agility Dog.

 

With an older dog, there seems to be more of a stigma. After all, if the owner is selling it, it musn't be very good. Never mind that, generally, the propsective owner has handicaps well beyond not having the puppy on a Buja board at 10 weeks old. Never mind that you can see what the dog is, including height, weight, build, temperment. There must be something wrong with the dog, and better to take your chances on a squooshy puppy with all the right health checks, than the healthy sound dog that is standing before them.

 

I'm with you - I don't get it. But then, I have 2 rescues whom I adopted as adults, and one purchased dog who was 2 at the time of sale, so I guess I just like sloppy seconds. :rolleyes:

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While we are on the subject of baffling patterns in people I must ask...

 

Why...is it that someone will pay $1200 for an 8 week old sport puppy...

 

but will not consider paying half of that for a 2 year old, socialized, sound, neutered dog that isn't going to cut it as a top herding dog?

 

Hmmmm....maybe there is a Blue Book for dogs somewhere? over 1 year - $1200, neutered +200, well socialized and trained in manners in basics +.....

 

 

Maybe the same reason someone is willing to pay $8000+ for a pup that comes from working lines that hasn't even proven himself yet?!

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Maybe the same reason someone is willing to pay $8000+ for a pup that comes from working lines that hasn't even proven himself yet?!

 

And where dear, exactly is that happening? Please tell me, so I can sent them some pups :D:D ?

 

And if it is, well the Agility market hasn't cornered the market on Fools :rolleyes:

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And where dear, exactly is that happening? Please tell me, so I can sent them some pups ;):lol: ?

 

And if it is, well the Agility market hasn't cornered the market on Fools :rolleyes:

 

LOL I found out on here in a previous post...

http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=20404

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The dogs being referenced there are not puppies, they are trained working dogs. You know, dogs that replace a $30K a year human employee, sometimes 2-3 of them....

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The dogs being referenced there are not puppies, they are trained working dogs. You know, dogs that replaced a $30K a year human employee, sometimes 2-3 of them....

 

:rolleyes: A fully train border collie in 4 months I was told it impossible... and especially since the "dog" wasn't even a year! Call me skeptic

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The post clearly says the "pup" was 11 months old and fully trained to work. I know this is difficult to comprehend but the question was how the pup got trained from 7 months to 11 months.

 

That is a very short time, but I think we all agreed we'd like to see that youngster in action.

 

I hope you read more thorougly on those contracts from your sport breeder.

 

eta at 13 months our Aggie's sire had already won his first Open trial so "pup" is a rather poor of a description. Some dogs train early, thought we will all agree that a true "pup" of weaning age remains a mystery. Pay for it at your own risk.

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I've heard folks obsessing over developing the "tug drive" in their puppies so that they would be successful sport dogs. Well, Fly was probably raised in a barn and had no idea what toys were when I bought her, and she learned to tug when she was almost four. She hits the tug as hard as any tug-tuned puppy, and is just as obsessed with it too. She's also the only one of my three dogs who will constantly bring toys over and drop them in front of me despite the fact that I have a policy of not throwing toys in the house, and not playing with my dogs when I cannot devote 100% of my attention to them. (I am not one of those people who types with one hand and throws a ball with the other. I refuse to live that way.)

 

What kinds of puppies are people buying, that they are Border Collies and cannot be made to be interested in toys? Jett will make a toy out of just about anything naturally. If anything, I'd rather that she learns to keep her head on straight when she's around them, than that she becomes obsessed with them.

 

Solo was never all that into tugging, and he is a lazy tugger who prefers to let me do all the work while he stands there and hangs onto the end. So I rarely used a tug as an agility reward, but so what? (1) He didn't need it (all I had to do was point him at something and he would want to go over or through it), and (2) if your dog isn't into tugging, use something else as a reward. Is that so difficult?

 

People won't pay for older pet dogs because they don't have to. It's all about the market. There is an oversupply of adult dogs, but the market for puppies is thriving. I think the idea of paying $1200 for a baby is insane, but sport breeders will charge the prices that they can get.

 

Speaking as someone who recently bought a puppy, I have no problem with paying what I paid (which was a totally average price for a working pup) but I admit my eyebrows might have been raised at the idea of paying that much for an adult. I have in the past paid a lot more for an adult dog, but that's because she came with training on her and my trainer gave me a time payment plan. (It took me over a year to finish paying for Fly on my grad student income.) And she was well worth the money.

 

If I were looking for another adult dog for a pet and to do sports with, I would be more likely to rescue a dog than buy an adult unless I already knew the dog and the seller and really really liked both of them. I could see someone paying more for a dog that already had some health clearances (it would be nice, for example, to know ahead of a time that a dog is not dysplastic if I intend to compete in agility) but unfortunately most of the people who are looking to buy rather than adopt a dog for sports are set on puppies rather than adults.

 

Being in the process of raising a puppy, I can say that I have enjoyed it and that I am not at all sorry I did it. But, I will also say that I enjoy Jett more as she gets older. Baby puppies sleep a lot, have very short attention spans, and eliminate without warning. I do not dislike raising a puppy, but having acquired all my other dogs as adults I cannot say it has been way way more fulfilling to raise one and I will be perfectly happy to acquire adults instead of puppies in the future unless I come across a breeding that is just too good to pass up.

 

I also think the idea that you can mold a puppy into exactly what you want her to be when she grows up is a crock of shit. OK, yes, you have a lot of influence, but the fact is that Jett is who she is and that she has been a very distinct individual ever since she was a sleepy black blob of fur and baby fat. Of course, I have also followed the "let her be a puppy" school of dog raising and have not trained her to do all that much, partly because I want her to learn to interact directly with the world on her own terms (not through me) and partly because I do not want to turn her into a clicker robot (those dogs totally freak me out). So, who knows what she might have been, but I am happy with who she is. I may have nurtured her, but I know that I did not make her.

 

I often wish I had been able to adopt Solo when he was younger, partly because I might have been able to make him more normal, and mostly because I would have saved him a lot of heartache. But I also think he is who he is, and that even if I'd gotten him as a pup, he'd still be weird.

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Really, stop arguing nonsense, whichever-sister-you-are-today. One does not take an extreme example (11 month old pups are not routinely sold for $8K and that thread makes that PLAINLY obvious) and compare it to a very commonplace one ($1200 sport pups are sold ALL the time) and expect to be taken seriously.

 

I go with Kristi's evaluation. As the adoption coordinator, MANY times I have been on the receiving end of people who are completely new to border collies telling me they must have a puppy so they can raise it properly. I explain frequently that if it were that easy, there might be fewer border collies in rescue.

 

Worse yet, people tend to give up on dogs that are just on the brink of turning into good adults from moron puppies. Adopting them at that age is wonderful - the horrible bit is so short :rolleyes:

 

RDM

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SS Cressa,

I didn't go back and check the referenced thread, but one thing to remember is that when one is bidding at an auction, one might well pay a much higher price than one would if just going out and buying something privately. That's why folks like selling things at auction--people get caught up in the whole bidding war, forgetting perhaps that it's wise to set a limit on what one will spend on something.

 

It is possible that the dog was fully trained at 11 months, though I personally would be leery of a dog that was pushed along that quickly at such a young age. And that sort of price is certainly an exception and not the norm. The average working bred puppy goes for from $400 to $600, that is, half or less than half of what conformation breeders and sports breeders get. I think part of the reason is that many farmers are pretty practical and aren't going to pay a huge amount of money for what, no matter what the breeding, is indeed a "pig in a poke."

 

I bred one litter and I did have someone contact me who was looking for an agility prospect. After she described what the poor pup would go through to turn it into an agility star, I opted not to place a pup there. In my mind, at least working dogs have a purpose beyond winning at a game. I just can't fathom people who go nuts over buying pups so they can shape them from day one to be "sports stars." The whole sports scene is about human ego. That's not to say sheepdog trialing doesn't also have a human ego element--it does--but there's also the practical livestock management issue behind the truly good breedings and that's a huge difference in my mind.

 

I would like to see Dave a little heavier for stock work ...

DTrain,

Just a point of clarification for others who might be reading this thread and are not well-versed in livestock management: size doesn't necessarily matter when it comes to working different types of stock. It sounds to me as if you have an "ideal" in your mind of how you'd like your working dogs to look, but the fact is that tiny little dogs can work all sorts of livestock just as effectively as larger ones. I know, because I have one such tiny (28-pound) dog who works sheep, cattle, and poultry effectively at age 2.5, and in fact none of my dogs are big (my biggest working dog weighs in at 42 pounds).

 

J.

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I agree with Melanie about it being joyful to raise a puppy. Also like Melanie, I have little doubt that my influence is limited and the pup will be what it was intended to be as an adult (minus my screw ups). If anything, buying/adopting a dog that is "ok" at least as a young adult means that my screw ups are not part of the equation. I can decide to purchase the screw ups of others...or not...it's up to me :rolleyes:

 

If you are perfect trainer, then raising a puppy to be exactly what it can be is certainly possible. Of course, knowing exactly what it can be...isn't something I'd bet the farm on :D So GoGoGoGo Sport Puppy buyers...buying that guaranteed pup from Las Vegas kennels! Just remember that the House (aka genetics) won't let let you know who wins for at least a a year or so...maybe more. And when you lose it's your problem, not theirs. Contracts aren't worth much for mopping up tearful messes.

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I can tell you why I choose a "sport" breeder over a working breeder for my latest pup. This is just my experience.

 

1.) The guarantee- health, temperament, drive, built. If something was the matter they would help you figure out what was going on or they are willing to take the dog back. They are just as concern about the pup as you. All of their dogs have their eyes CERF, CEA clear, BEAR tested, OFA certified (hips and elbows) every year.

 

We had raise or help raised 4 border collie from working farms...

-One border collie was too stress to work (do agility). She now lives with our brothers in MT and they tell us how she scared of livestock?!

-The second border collie loves agility but his built makes its so he injurer's he back easy. When we introduce him to livestock in our herding class he only wanted to bark at it or hide behind mom.

-The third border collie was very sick as a pup and could care less about humans for the first year. She has noise sensitive and motion sensitive. For the first year and a half she fear bars dropping on jumps so would refuse to go over them. Same diff with teeters the noise and the motion scared her. After a lot of practice, time, and patience. She now LOVES agility and is excelling at it. When we introduce her to livestock she loved it. (She is the reason I adore border collies :D )

-The fourth border collie had mental issues?! It wasn't till he was six months that we started noticing them. He couldn't handle pressure. The house put too much pressure on him, dogs put too much pressure on him, even if they were two rooms over. By 9 months we cancel all of his play groups. By a year he had to start being kept separated from the pack. We brought him to vets to find if there were any underlining health issues (there wasn't). We brought him to trainers to find if we were handling it wrong (we weren't), we brought him to behaviorists to find out what was causing it (they couldn't figure it out). He was find toward humans but the pressure of everything else he couldn't handle?! We told the breeder and he wasn't much help. (Not much he could do really)

 

After the fourth border collie we wanted a pup that had a good solid temperament!

 

2.)How the pups are raised:

-All of the working breeder I contacted had their pup whelp and raised outside in the corner of the barn. The pups are around different noise and are use to people coming and going. But having that little of 1 on 1 contact with them in my mind, how are they going to know the pup temperaments, quirks, drive, fears? How well are these pups are going to be socialized (old people, adults, kids, big people, little people)?

-The sports breeder I know almost exactly how the pups will be raised. They are whelp and kept inside. They will be well socialize as a young pup and have experience a lot of different experience. They will become accustom to hearing all different types of noises (common and uncommon), and sights. They will do the Early Neurological Stimulation protocol. Starting from birth they are handle each day. Research has proven that the more a pup's brain absorbs from birth to 16 weeks the stronger they are both emotionally and physically. They realize not all border collies are suitable for a working home and help place a pup accordingly.

 

I had one working owner get mad at me when I ask if the pup I was interested in could be kept an xtra week because I wasn't comfortable a taking a pup at 6 weeks of age! I had even offer to pay for boarding the pup. I decided to pass on the litter because of it.

 

3.) Because of the parents- The litter I finally chose the mom did both excel herding and agility and came from awesome lines. The dad did agility and obedience and was doing well at it and his parents had done hobby herding. His dad just recently started trial herding and seem to be excelling at it...

I knew how the parents were built, their drive, speed, and style. (Was told that the jumping style is partially inherited.) Dog that have poor form while jumping are more likely to pass it on to their kids(most likely something to do with their builds). I like how both of the parent jump and how responsive they were on course. I am able to see how they handle and for the most part am competing against them... :D

 

4.) Just too add. I don't really have a problem with working lines in sports. I was thinking about getting a sister/brother to the third border collie since I really like how she turn out. The breeding didn't take and the bitch shorty afterward got spayed because she was old.

-Our agility instructor always tell us "you are just as likely to get a farm dog that excel at agility as you will a sport bred one"

-The majority of BC competing in my area are from farms or are rescued. Although the "next generation" border collie are mostly sport bred. Mostly in my opinion we can see them compete, know the owner, know how they are/will be raised, and like what they produce.

 

:rolleyes: Why I would consider breeding my sport border collie would be to improve the breed. He has an awesome temperament, a nice built, healthy, agile, a great drive, plus much more. Like his parent he would have to prove himself worthy of being bred. In order for me to breed him: he has to be able to do well in herding, as well as in agility. He would only be bred to a bitch that has also done well in herding and that can compliment him. :D

 

Hope I answer the question...

 

SSC

 

 

Short story to this one--you have had some bad luck and you have picked the wrong working people with whom to do business.

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RDM - And I did not advocate getting crossbred dogs. I said it was what I did. I never said anyone should go out and buy one. Will I get another - I hope so. Why because he has been an awesome dog - and actually reminds me of the dog that was euthanized at the age of 4yrs for GI Tract Lympoma. She was my soulmate and was a great fricken dog. She was a bc mix. Do I expect that any other dog I get will be like either of them - NO - I am not that stupid. I just think the bc mixes have something special. Riot came into my life at a time that I needed help. Are sport bred mixes for everyone - no they aren't and I actually don't think I have ever told anyone to go get one. I recommend rescue and will help locate what they are looking for in a dog.

 

My next borderjack may come from a sport breeder or may come from rescue. I won't know what I will do until the time comes. I never said I would not rescue another dog only that it is not what I want to do any time in the near future.

 

Lenajo - I never said getting a puppy is a guarantee of anything. Try re-reading what I wrote. I actually said it is luck of the draw no matter what you get and no matter at what age you get it. Trust me, I know getting a dog from a breeder is not a guarantee. My bc is proof of that. She has a lot of issues but luckily is mostly healthy. I also know folks who have purchased young adult dogs that did not make it at their home - some have turned into wonderful dogs and others have not. As I said, it is luck of the draw no matter what. Genetics plays a huge part in temperament. I wish breeders would take that into account more often and I am talking ALL breeders...

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