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I'm getting the impression that there are really 4 different camps on this. Working, Pet, Rescue, and Sport and from what I am understanding imo, the pet, rescue and working mix quite well. If I am understanding the many that posted from sport homes it sure sounds to me like the dog is a means to an end. What happens when you can't blame temperament, socialization, breeding, training on how the dog performs? Are they simply rehomed? Why not try them on stock? No, I don't think you can do both venues and succeed but why should breeders (working ones) breed more litters if the sport homes won't try? There are plenty of BYB, sport breeders and the likes out there that I can't see a reason to place a working pup in a sport home if it is just a means to an end. It sure sounds like the pet/rescue are more open to trying to see what will happen on stock, more or less staying true to the breed. Maybe the working breeder should tap into the pet homes more and possibly get then interested in working, sounds like a few here came that route.

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I'm getting the impression that there are really 4 different camps on this. Working, Pet, Rescue, and Sport and from what I am understanding imo, the pet, rescue and working mix quite well. If I am understanding the many that posted from sport homes it sure sounds to me like the dog is a means to an end.

 

Huh?

 

What happens when you can't blame temperament, socialization, breeding, training on how the dog performs? Are they simply rehomed?

 

Not usually, usually they just live with you as a pet, same as what happens if they got injured. I would say 99% of "sport" dogs are primarily pets, even those who are high level competitors.

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I would have no problem with a breeding like this. Both sire and dam have shown themselves to be good working dogs, and to produce good working dogs. There's every reason to think that the pups produced by this second breeding will have the qualities of a good border collie. It's known in advance that the pups in this litter will not be tested by stockwork, but also it's known that the pups in this litter will not reproduce. There are undoubtedly some working breeders who would not choose to breed in this situation, but I think many would, and I can't see where it would cause any harm to the individual dogs or to the breed.

There are a lot of "if's" in this situation. I have to ask then - why bother? If the pups won't be proven why put the bitch through the stress of whelping another litter? What's the point? Isn't this where the slippery slope begins? Breeding for something other than stockwork? All that's being accomplished by this is $$ to the breeder, no improvement to the breed whatsoever nor to the gene pool.

 

Not sure what you mean by "a lot of 'if's'." This was the hypothetical situation JaderBug presented, so it was the situation I addressed.

 

I pretty much agree with Ooky's response. It's breeding for something other than stockworking ABILITY that is detrimental to the breed, not breeding dogs that will not be used for stockwork. A repeat breeding of two excellent working dogs who have produced 50% excellent working dogs + 50% dogs who looked promising after some exposure but weren't trained further is a good breeding for working ability any way you look at it. If you don't believe border collies should go to sport homes I can see disapproving of this breeding, but otherwise I can't see how it's in any way objectionable. The "point" is that you've produced good border collies who will enjoy life and whose owners will enjoy them, without compromising the breeding standards that have shaped the breed. If a breeder thinks his/her bitch would be unduly stressed by whelping another litter, then naturally s/he will choose not to do it. But I can't see anything wrong with the breeding from the point of view of the integrity of the border collie breed, or the welfare of the individual dogs. And I actually WANT breeders who produce good border collies to be financially successful, and have an increased share of the market compared to BYB and sport breeders who don't work and test their breeding stock.

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Not usually, usually they just live with you as a pet, same as what happens if they got injured. I would say 99% of "sport" dogs are primarily pets, even those who are high level competitors.

 

Now this is interesting. So are you saying that re homing a dog just because of its inability to do agility well would be seen as a bad thing? I would tend to agree, but then there's this:

 

Is the farmer who re homes his dog because it fails to be a useful stock dog doing a bad thing? Is he bad because he sells/ gives his dog away to a pet home? Somehow that seems different to me, but why? I can't say exactly, except that the farmer needs a competent stock dog. Whereas, I don't think anyone really needs an agility dog. Not in the sense of getting a living. In which case the stock dog is a necessary tool - and, uh-oh!, is thereby a means to an end...

 

Oh, and a dog that is not useful with stock might be seen as a liability on a farm or ranch, whereas a dog that is no good at agility is perfectly good as a companion animal, and not likely to prove a liability simply because it's a washout as an agility dog.

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Now this is interesting. So are you saying that re homing a dog just because of its inability to do agility well would be seen as a bad thing?

 

 

Well, honestly, I didn't mean that. Most sports people consider their dogs pets first, and if they are agility wash outs they just stay their pet.

 

Part of the reason someone really interested in sports might be *really* particular is because most of us have a finite number of dogs we can live with comfortably. Most "sports people" don't have their dogs in kennels so there are only so many dogs we can have in the house, and also most of us live in town so we have dog limits to contend with too. If they get sick or have issues and can't play doggie games anymore then us humans don't play for a while. I haven't actually competed in agility for several years as my agility dogs are both injured and my other dog is just not so "sporty." So, working hard to find the right dog and ensure that dog is healthy, well-socialized and grows up with a great foundation for sports is important to us.

 

There *are* cases of sports folks who re-home dogs. And honestly, if the dog is not just discarded (sent to Rescue, dropped at the pound, given to just whoever) but goes from one home to another and is happy and healthy I don't see it as a bad thing.

 

I just don't think its very common.

 

Edited because my keyboard is kind of messed up and it deleted stuff making what I wrote made no sense.

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I'm getting the impression that there are really 4 different camps on this. Working, Pet, Rescue, and Sport and from what I am understanding imo, the pet, rescue and working mix quite well.

 

I don't think that's true at all. I would say there are pet homes that do sports, some of them rescues, some of them not (often not, though most sport people start with their pet dogs, and go on to acquire performance dogs ... who are still pets, but were purchased with sports in mind. Kind of exactly how a lot of people come to stockdog work, actually).

 

If I am understanding the many that posted from sport homes it sure sounds to me like the dog is a means to an end.

 

Ummm ... to what end? You mean, like, performing? Sort of like the means to the end that working dogs are?

 

What happens when you can't blame temperament, socialization, breeding, training on how the dog performs? Are they simply rehomed? Why not try them on stock? No, I don't think you can do both venues and succeed but why should breeders (working ones) breed more litters if the sport homes won't try?

 

But why should they try? Why should anyone try, except the people who are interested in doing stockdog work? I worked my dogs on sheep for a long time (ie years) - I even sent one to sheep camp for a month of training! - but it's something I neither 1) have a driving compulsion to do 2) have regular access to 3) can afford, in addition to the other things I do and 4) have time for, in addition to my other responsibilities and activities. I have agility equipment set up in my yard, but I can't (and don't want to) put sheep in there. It's not just "sport" people who 'don't want to try' working, it's all sorts of people, other than those who do it or want to do it.

 

It's a nice idea that everyone who gets a border collie should be deeply invested in working stock, but that's not going to happen. I don't think it's fair to single out sport people as the hold-outs who have no respect for the border collie breed - I know TONS of pet owners who still call their dogs "boarder collies" and insist that they are "herding" the family children too, and could never be convinced to take their dog out to sheep. And I do, incidentally, know lots of sport people who work their dogs on sheep when they can.

 

There are plenty of BYB, sport breeders and the likes out there that I can't see a reason to place a working pup in a sport home if it is just a means to an end.

 

If by this you mean why would a working breeder produce a litter of talented dogs to send them all out to sport homes, I agree with you. I see Eileen's point, but I also don't see why the breeder is continuing to produce puppies that aren't going to go to working homes at all, regardless of whether the first cross produced dogs that work. And unless said breeder is going to impose a non-breeding clause on those pups, a percentage of those sport homes are going to breed those dogs as sports performance prospects, and that's exactly how the sport/performance breeders get the chance to say things like "from working lines" whilst advertising their performance puppies (without really understanding what it means, to boot). And while that may be technically true, it's also disingenuous, no?

 

Incidentally,there ARE sports people who make their living off their performance dogs - granted, they are few and far between, but there are trainers who travel around doing seminars, have their own teaching facilities and produce lecture materials (DVDs, books etc) and this is how they support themselves. One could argue that dogs who perform successfully are vital to how they make their living. Of course, there are also weekend warrior stockdog folks who don't make their living off their dogs and simply like to work dogs and trial, and some of those people do indeed buy, sell and trade up their dogs who don't perform. I can see a case being made for a real live sheep farmer to engage in trading-up, in that dogs who can't perform have no useful function in their livelihood, but the weekend warriors who do it are just as sad as the sport people who do it (though the sport people do it more rarely, in my experience).

 

Sorry my reply is all over the map - but...I would never buy a dog, myself, but if I were hypothetically to buy a puppy, I'd buy one from a litter bred to work. I would not agree to bring a pup back to the breeder 5 days, or 3 days, or 1 day a week to work as a clause of purchase. I don't have that kind of time, or interest. As a buyer, I'd argue that if the cross was good in theory, there should be working buyers lined up for at least SOME of the puppies and mine wouldn't be needed as a test case. If no working homes were interested, I probably wouldn't be either.

 

RDM

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If by this you mean why would a working breeder produce a litter of talented dogs to send them all out to sport homes, I agree with you. I see Eileen's point, but I also don't see why the breeder is continuing to produce puppies that aren't going to go to working homes at all, regardless of whether the first cross produced dogs that work. And unless said breeder is going to impose a non-breeding clause on those pups, a percentage of those sport homes are going to breed those dogs as sports performance prospects, and that's exactly how the sport/performance breeders get the chance to say things like "from working lines" whilst advertising their performance puppies (without really understanding what it means, to boot). And while that may be technically true, it's also disingenuous, no?

 

Just wanted to note that JaderBug's hypothetical was that all the pups in the litter would be neutered; if there were no breeding restriction my response would have been different.

 

I have no problem with working breeders (i.e., breeders who are genuinely trying to breed border collies with good stockworking ability, and who are testing and selecting their breeding stock in a way likely to achieve that goal) selling only to working homes, or selling also to non-working homes but requiring that the pup be brought back for some level of training/assessment, or selling also to non-working homes without requiring that the pup ever go to livestock. I know some breeders who fit into each of those categories. That's the breeder's decision to make, and the buyer's decision whether or not to buy under the conditions the breeder has set. I know that there are pet/sport homes that value and seek the qualities of a good border collie, bred to a working standard, and I think it's a good thing if those homes can obtain such a dog, and support a good working breeder while doing so. But certainly a good working breeder would need to (and want to) sell a high percentage of his/her pups to working homes.

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To add further, the line between sports and herding, in my area anyways, is becoming a bit cloudy. 95% of the people I know that work stock do it as a competitive sport. They're buying puppies as a means to compete in trials, not work sheep. If any of them own sheep, it's as a training tool for the sport, not something they make a living from. Most of these threads put sport and working homes against one another, but in fact, it's often the same home. When anyone asks me what sports I do with my dogs, herding is in the list. It's not a separate thing, for me, and most that I know, it's a sport, just like agility or flyball.

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If any of them own sheep, it's as a training tool for the sport, not something they make a living from. Most of these threads put sport and working homes against one another, but in fact, it's often the same home.
One does not need to make a living with sheep to not view the sheep as training tools for the dogs but as living beings that are to be respected. Having this change in attitude leads to significant improvements in handling and training of sheepdogs (where the sheep come first).
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One does not need to make a living with sheep to not view the sheep as training tools for the dogs but as living beings that are to be respected. Having this change in attitude leads to significant improvements in handling and training of sheepdogs (where the sheep come first).

 

Yes, this ^^^^^

 

I continue to be surprised at the number of folks I see who consider the sheep as more or less equipment and seem to have no interest in understanding much about them. I've seen this in trialers (including at the Open level) as well as folks interested in letting their dogs play around once a week. I remember scribing for someone once at a trial who noted the stock sense (or lack thereof) of each handler as they navigated the course. I have that in mind every time I walk out (and I'll be the first to admit that I've still got very far to go in developing that sense)

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One does not need to make a living with sheep to not view the sheep as training tools for the dogs but as living beings that are to be respected. Having this change in attitude leads to significant improvements in handling and training of sheepdogs (where the sheep come first).

 

Mark, I'm not implying that there is no regard for the sheep, but the sheep are owned primarily as a requirement for furthering the ability to compete at trials, not because a living is made from them. Of all the sheep owners I know, the sheep are very well cared for.

If I see all the new students at a local trial, they're all amped up about competing, winning this or that, etc. None of them require sheep for work or income, and they all want to buy property so they can train their dogs better/more frequently. Around here, stockwork is a sport, and nothing more...(to many/most people).

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A recent thread on sheepdog-l got me thinking about a statement that is often made.

 

"I'm all for breeding for livestock work".

 

That's a great stand to take, but are pet/sport owners really ready to "put their money where their mouth is" so to speak? If they are all for breeding for livestock work are they willing to pass up a pup for an older "herding flunky"?

Here's my dilemma. How does a working breeder evaluate their breeding selection unless a significant number of the litter is evaluated for working livestock?

 

 

I would like to bring this back to Marks original question, on this board those of us who are not farmers are told to only get a rescue or working bred border collie, I can respect this and agree with the premise of breeding to maintain the strong genes that make border collies what they are. Many people want a puppy for a variety of reasons and to suggest that those motives are questionable does not seem fair, it also seems to drive future border collie owners into buying the very puppies everyone does not want bred. I have read other topics that question the need for sport bred collies and that a working bred puppy will be a fine agility competitor. I would agree with this but to keep the breed strong those pups need to be available.

 

There has been a lot of topics about educating the public about the breed and why their collie should come from a working breeder, but then in other topics like this one we are being told that getting a collie is an exclusive thing and comes with many restrictions...... basically it seems like I am reading on this board a recurring theme, only buy a working bred pup - we only want to sell if any a limited number of pups to non working homes.

 

I think the bottom line is that unless working breeders make pups available to other types of home, there will be a market for a dog that has been bred without the best interest of the breed.

 

So the question would be how do those with the best interest of the breed in mind handle the balance, because the demand for a border collie as a companion is not going away.

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What percentage of a litter should be trained for livestock work in order to have an accurate evaluation of the cross?

 

We could arrive at this value by looking at the question from another direction.

 

If 50% of the litter trained up to be good working dogs was the cross a success?

If 40%?

If 30%?

If.....

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Just wanted to note that JaderBug's hypothetical was that all the pups in the litter would be neutered; if there were no breeding restriction my response would have been different.

 

I have no problem with working breeders (i.e., breeders who are genuinely trying to breed border collies with good stockworking ability, and who are testing and selecting their breeding stock in a way likely to achieve that goal) selling only to working homes, or selling also to non-working homes but requiring that the pup be brought back for some level of training/assessment, or selling also to non-working homes without requiring that the pup ever go to livestock. I know some breeders who fit into each of those categories. That's the breeder's decision to make, and the buyer's decision whether or not to buy under the conditions the breeder has set. I know that there are pet/sport homes that value and seek the qualities of a good border collie, bred to a working standard, and I think it's a good thing if those homes can obtain such a dog, and support a good working breeder while doing so. But certainly a good working breeder would need to (and want to) sell a high percentage of his/her pups to working homes.

 

Agreed. But here's my concern - if your 2nd litter went on S/N and all went to sport homes then "what" are you breeding for? You are not adding to the gene pool but at the same time you are taking homes from other working bred pups in litters (let's call them left overs for lack of a better word) that could have gone to the homes of litter #2 bred strictly for sport homes. So why do it? Doesn't it contradict the reason for breeding? I just can't understand endorsing a breeding/litter simply for sport when there are other litters being bred for working purpose that will/could add to the gene pool.

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What percentage of a litter should be trained for livestock work in order to have an accurate evaluation of the cross?

 

We could arrive at this value by looking at the question from another direction.

 

If 50% of the litter trained up to be good working dogs was the cross a success?

If 40%?

If 30%?

If.....

 

If 50% - total success!

If 40% - great success!

If 30% - still pretty good!

Any less, can I live without this combination? Or could I make better choices. That would be the question I would ask myself.

Totally based on herding ability with consideration given to soundness and balanced temperament. For what it is worth!

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Hello everyone,

 

What percentage of a litter should be trained for livestock work in order to have an accurate evaluation of the cross?

 

We could arrive at this value by looking at the question from another direction.

 

If 50% of the litter trained up to be good working dogs was the cross a success?

If 40%?

If 30%?

If.....

 

I am currently trying to find the answer to this query myself, as I have a bitch that has produced two litters (by the same sire), and I may want to repeat the breeding to produce a third litter. Most, if not all, of the pups from the previous litters are in working homes, and many are with very talented trainers who will surely train them to reach their fullest potential. I have often said that if the majority of the pups turn out to be very talented working dogs, I would repeat the breeding once more. My thoughts were that more than 50% need to prove themselves at a very high standard, i.e. become very competent farm dogs, in addition to trialing at the upper levels in USBCHA / ISDS sheepdog trials. The pups from the two litters are currently 21 months and 14 months of age, so my decision will not be made until probably sometime in 2012. So, to answer Mark's question, I feel that more than 50% need to prove themselves as good working dogs for me to consider a litter to be a success and worth repeating. Just my shovelfull, though.

 

Regards to all,

nancy

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What percentage of a litter should be trained for livestock work in order to have an accurate evaluation of the cross?

 

We could arrive at this value by looking at the question from another direction.

 

If 50% of the litter trained up to be good working dogs was the cross a success?

If 40%?

If 30%?

If.....

 

Eactly what do you mean by "Trained for Livestock Work" and what is "Trained up to be a good working dog?"

 

If it was more in tune with useful ranch and farm dogs that were able to make a livestock producers job easier then 50% is way low, I would expect to the tune of 75% or even a hope to acheive 100% in some litters. If it was in the tune of pups that could develop into successful Open trial dogs then I'd like to see 25 - 30% but the remainder still have to be useful stock dogs.

 

Of our last litter of 5 all are going to be good working dogs for someone and all are being trained to work livestock. Some are better then others, a couple are showing the promise of to being pretty darn good trial dogs (cattle). We have had inquiries from buyers that have seen those dogs wanting to know when the next pups will be here. IMO, a success, but the jury is still out on whether or not the mating will be repeated a third time based what is produced in the next litter.

 

The previous litter we had, different female, we sold two into pet homes (all rough coats) and we kept 5 (all smooth coats). We also have had people inquire about the next litter after seeing those dogs but we consider that cross a failure. When we evaluate the litter we totally forget about the two that we sold as pets and only consider the 5 we kept. One had minimal stock drive, you could get her to fire but she was not driven the other 4 are all working but only one is showing the ability to do high requirement type of work. IMO, a failure.

 

We have a singleton from an old retired bitch, he's looking to be the best of the bunch, problem is, there will be no more. The questions I have though, is that single an indication of what all the pups would have been if she had more, was he the best she could have produced or would he have been the one with the least ability. All we can do is wonder.

 

Deb

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What percentage of a litter should be trained for livestock work in order to have an accurate evaluation of the cross?

 

We could arrive at this value by looking at the question from another direction.

 

If 50% of the litter trained up to be good working dogs was the cross a success?

If 40%?

If 30%?

If.....

 

Part of me wants to say it depends on the size of the litter. However, I personally wouldn't consider 50% a success. More like 75/80%

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You are not adding to the gene pool but at the same time you are taking homes from other working bred pups in litters (let's call them left overs for lack of a better word) that could have gone to the homes of litter #2 bred strictly for sport homes.

 

 

I have been following this thread with interest. I don't know how I feel about the theoretical situation, and I'm actually uncomfortable with people getting dogs related to mine because they like how mine perform in agility. But, I don't think it's a fair statement. Four of these dogs were exposed to agility people who decided they like these dogs in question -could be the structure, their personality/aptitude for agility, etc (let's assume they are not blind followers like, oooh, pretty fast dog, I'll get one and be that awesome, too) -stuff that may not necessarily be filled by *any* leftover working bred puppy. We don't know if the people in question support working dogs or just liked these dogs -maybe they do not have the knowledge, if a second litter does not exist, to find another working litter with similar qualities to that of the dogs they liked. (Too far off topic to answer, but so then what -would you rather someone with minimal knowledge of the lines between working and sport breedings go to a sport breeding, or would you mind giving this type of person a puppy, if they are a loving and exemplary home otherwise?) The leftover isn't a non-working/genetic dead end to the sport person -it's the pick puppy they're excited to spend the next 14 years with, so they pick carefully.

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To use Denise's dart board analogy let's say "orange" dogs.

 

Mark

 

Orange circle = Useful dogs who save time and manpower for the operation but who are not top quality.

 

If it was more in tune with useful ranch and farm dogs that were able to make a livestock producers job easier then 50% is way low, I would expect to the tune of 75% or even a hope to acheive 100% in some litters.

 

We would like to see 100% or at most maybe a non working in a litter now and then, the last Bea x Jake cross all would be considered Orange Circle dogs (IMO, someone else may disagree), with a couple/few that may slide over to red but not what I would consider bulls eyes.

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Agreed. But here's my concern - if your 2nd litter went on S/N and all went to sport homes then "what" are you breeding for? You are not adding to the gene pool but at the same time you are taking homes from other working bred pups in litters (let's call them left overs for lack of a better word) that could have gone to the homes of litter #2 bred strictly for sport homes. So why do it? Doesn't it contradict the reason for breeding? I just can't understand endorsing a breeding/litter simply for sport when there are other litters being bred for working purpose that will/could add to the gene pool.

 

Well, I tried to give you a "Why do it?" answer -- because you're producing good border collies, bred to a working standard, who will hopefully have a happy life with people who will be made happy by having them. But let's say for the sake of argument that the breeder is doing this particular breeding to make money. That's fine with me, as long as s/he's doing it right. Many of our best breeders live pretty close to the bone -- farmers and ranchers often have a tough go financially. I have no problem with them making money from a breeding, if it's a good breeding. I would much rather they did than that they couldn't afford to continue breeding. The idea that a breeder should be losing money is a dog fancy concept IMO. The breeders who originated our breed made money from their pups, or certainly tried to.

 

I can understand that this is not a breeding you would choose to do. Fine. The issue, I think, is whether it's an ethical breeding. You've offered here a reason for opposing it on ethical grounds -- "you are taking homes from other working bred pups in litters (let's call them left overs for lack of a better word) that could have gone to the homes of litter #2 bred strictly for sport homes." That might be a valid objection if in fact that were happening, but I see no evidence that it is. Based on the real world as I see it, these buyers are far more likely to go to sport breeders (or even BYB breeders) than seek leftover working bred pups. They want these litter #2 pups because their same-way-bred predecessors have excelled in agility. If this breeding is not done, they would almost certainly be seeking out pups from other breeders whose pups have done well in agility. I also can't see why the leftover pups have a better claim on these sport homes than the equally high quality pups from litter #2. It is not a case of pups bred to a working standard being preempted by pups not bred to a working standard. And in both cases, presumably, the pups will not be adding to the gene pool because they will never be proven as stockdogs and will not be bred.

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.... So, to answer Mark's question, I feel that more than 50% need to prove themselves as good working dogs for me to consider a litter to be a success and worth repeating. Just my shovelfull, though.

 

Regards to all,

nancy

 

Hi Nancy-

 

Just curious- How good would the 50% have to be to prove themselves good working dogs in your situation? Would you have a baseline like making it to Open, or something like that, or something else?

 

See you in VA!

 

Lori Cunningham

Milton, PA

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Hi Lori!

 

Just curious- How good would the 50% have to be to prove themselves good working dogs in your situation? Would you have a baseline like making it to Open, or something like that, or something else?

 

I would want them to be very competent farm dogs, in addition to trialing at the upper levels in USBCHA / ISDS sheepdog trials. There is already one pup from this breeding that will be running in the Nursery Finals in VA, and that's quite an accomplishment for a year old pup, but time will tell if he can withstand the rigors of training to become a competent Open dog. I guess that I would want the majority of the pups from the previous litters to be in Denise's "red zone", not all bull's eyes, but definitely in that zone. Of course, there would be no guarantees that pups from a future litter would be comparable to the previous ones, but I feel that it would be a good breeding decision based on the performance of the older pups.

 

Regards,

nancy

 

PS: having a litter of pups like your Matt would work for me! See you in VA!!!!

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