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I was raised with the "breed for job/health not looks", (My grandparents were hunting dog folk, the dogs had to do what they were bred for) so I understand where working breeders come from. Most folks that I know on the sporting would much more rather have a healthy, smart, even tempered dog. These are things that working side does breed for does it not? I can honestly understand not wanting to breed for looks because that has nothing to do with job or health, but i was wondering why would working side not want to allow a pup to go to a sport home? Again.. it beckons an answer, where would you wish sport/pet folks to purchase dogs from? If the working side is angry and comes across as the "bears" of the bunch then how will you get out the ideals if you put everyone at arms distance and treat them as the problem child?

 

Do you see what I'm getting at? I am not sure whether or not my query is coming across right in text? =/

 

 

I think that the pet/sport breeders should keep looking and not take it personally when a breeder turns them down, though I understand it is difficult to swallow when you are turned down by a breeder. There are people that more then likely would not sell to us for one reason or another, that's ok, there are plenty of others that would love to sell us a pup, Patti our new pup is a case in point. No big deal, money can't buy everything.

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As an add on to my last post, a breeder denying you access to their lines may not have anything to do with you personally and may have to do with where the breeder is in their program.

 

At this point none of our Bea/Jake pups are going to pet/sport homes. The next cross to Bea sometime in the future will be with Ricky, none of them will be available to sport/pet homes. I have found that we make fewer crosses if all the pups from the early litter are put into working homes then we would if we kept one or two for ourselves and placed the rest as pets.

 

The breeder may also know what is best for their pups and is saving the pet/sport home future disappointment.

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Denise, we have 3 BC’s. 1 is a cross and the other 2 are registered with the ABCA. Our OES is AKC, and she is where I learned to loathe the AKC. Get a OES from working lines and you get blasted by the conformation folks who run the club. Needless to say I try to steer clear of those folks. =/

 

Debbie, I personally have never had a breeder turn me down, yet. And I hope that I will always be able to prove myself worthy to future breeders I wish to purchase from. ( You all are just making me tempt fate now aren’t ya :rolleyes: )

 

The question I posed though still remains unanswered… If working breeders don’t want to sell to pet/sports people, then aren’t you pushing them to buy from conformation folks or even worse bad breeders? Which goes against what working breeders have fought so hard against. Or in all honesty, would you prefer that sports/pet owners not have “proper” BC’s? Also are working folk worried at all that they might be putting off possible handlers because they might be deemed "unfit" because they are spots folk as well? Or is that a subtle "cull" technique, the 'onrey ones of us will work our way through no matter what. :D

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We just went camping with our 4 dogs. When my DH was letting our BC Cody out - the lady checking us in at the state Park asked if I had sheep. My answer - no. Her response was that I should not own Cody since he needed a job of herding.

 

I looked at her like - yeah right. Cody came from rescue as a stray. He needed a home, he was afraid of big spaces, he had issues. I wish that I could give Cody the best of everything- but I am doing the best I can. He does a little agility now for confidence - but I laughed at myself- working homes for all dogs would be great but it is unrealistic. I don't have a problem with a breeder only wanting to place their dogs in a working environment - but where are all the BC coming from that need a home? There seems to be an awful lot of them.

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Then wouldn’t it be better if the working side fostered a better “relationship” with the sporting side? Keep them close to your side, foster better relations. Encourage them to perhaps learn to be a handler on the herding side of it.

 

I understand and agree with Rua's point here. The sporty people (of which I am one) could be your best ally in the effort to preserve the breed that we all love.

 

Many people, including myself, start out with the "AKC mindset" (for lack of a better term) of purebred and breed type and physical conformation because thats whats out there being preached by 90% of dog people. It was only much later when I noticed there was a difference between the dogs I owned that came from working lines and the dogs I owned that did not did I start to question the wisdom of what I knew. My exposure to working dogs was with people who were kind with their words, and didn't insult me, and generous with their explanations...now I started understanding the real work and why its so important.

 

Had I been met with ridicule and derision, and had not the folks I talked to been willing to talk to me and be patient with my ignorance, I might have written the idea off. Instead I embraced it and spend a fair amount of time trying to gently educate my peers.

 

 

Rua, do you and your husband register your border collies with AKC?

 

And why would that matter or have any relevance to her point???

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The question I posed though still remains unanswered… If working breeders don’t want to sell to pet/sports people, then aren’t you pushing them to buy from conformation folks or even worse bad breeders?

 

Your question is not founded in fact, not all working breeders don't want to sell to pet/sport people.

 

If that was true, yes there would be a problem. As it stands, if a pet/sport breeder goes to a contormation person or bad breeder it was their decision and probably would have done it regardless of how many working breeders were willing to sell to them (basically a cop out)

 

Some working breeders won't sell to sport/pet homes but not all, no different then some show breeders won't sell pet quality without a spay neuter contract or that some shelters won't adopt to a home without a fenced in yard. There are still ways to get a pet quality show bred dog and be able to breed it or to adopt a foster dog without putting a fence in your back yard.

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Rua,

 

Perhaps I'm coming from a different place but it's about my own personal standards that comply the best I can with what I feel is in keeping with breeding good working border collies. In the nearly two decades I have been breeding, I've bred seven litters, two of which were each singletons that I kept. Therefore, I've sold pups from five litters. I've sold pups as pets, sport/obedience dogs, service dogs, and to novice and advanced stock dog people for sheep, goats and cattle work. I've had a few dogs ultimately registered with AKC, but they were sold as pups by me before AKC recognized the border collie (1995). I have not allowed any AKC registering of my pups (except ILP) since then.

 

My personal limit on dogs is six. I don't rehome dogs easily - only two in my life. I don't breed if I don't have a space for a pup, and if I don't have a possible space to take at least one back that doesn't work out since I get first refusal. What this has led me to is that I feel I can only sell two pups from a breeding to top stockdog homes. I assume at least one probably won't work out and a home I approve of isn't found. The standards are high, and the percentage that will become top dogs is low, even from a good cross. These dogs will often have had enough training on them to make them expensive to buy back when they don't work out for whatever reason. So, in terms of money and my own personal dog limit, the rest of the litter needs to go to forever homes as best as I can find. I am happy to sell pups to the appropriate non-working home - pet or sport, or novice working homes, as long as the dog will have a good home. If it doesn't work out, then I'll deal with it just like I deal with the others, but the chances tend to be better in those well chosen non working homes or with novice herding people.

 

I'm not trying to set the world on fire with my breeding program. I'm just slowly and carefully trying to develop a dependable line of good using dogs. If they trial, great. Of the nine pups I've kept or bought back from my breedings, eight have been or are Open trial dogs. I completely trained all but one. And I'm no great handler. If they're not good using dogs, I don't breed them - trial successes or not.

 

So, I'm really not properly assessing all of the pups from my breedings to provide the most information from a cross. I do usually get to see most of them on stock at least a little and have trained out some that weren't mine. It's the best I can do.

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Because I wanted to answer her question from my point of view as a breeder and I don't sell to people who register with AKC but I will sell to sport homes.

 

Denise mentioned ILP in an earlier post. I know that other working breeders also don't allow AKC registration, but are okay with ILP/PAL on dogs they sell. Do you all think that's the norm, or the exception? I can see sport people having an issue with not being able to register AKC, but as most (I think?) sport dogs are spayed/neutered anyway, this seems like a good compromise for those that want to do AKC events.

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I think I grabbed onto one question too tight it seems when the generality of my query started feeling too loose. I am merely attempting to get clarification on some attitudes I have seen pop up here recently. There have seen several threads on the boards recently where working sides have drawn into the circle and started firing off volleys at pet/sports folk.

 

I think some of it is down to the nature of text. As folks are more inclined to misconstrued comments and get riled up about them easier than if they were face to face and hear a persons tone and see their body language along with the words.

 

The buy/sell point is only part of a more complex query. Just feels like there is this "black sheep/problem child" mentality going on towards pet/sports folks which I can't quite get my head around is all.

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The buy/sell point is only part of a more complex query. Just feels like there is this "black sheep/problem child" mentality going on towards pet/sports folks which I can't quite get my head around is all.

 

It might be a difference in culture that you are picking up on, there can be many differences in beliefs and understanding, maybe as many differences as there are people. We get going on the boards here about different training models, you often see the divide between pet/sport/working there to.

 

Just to let you in on my thought process when dealing with sport/pet people, I just got done answering an e-mail from a person asking for help with their dogs. They run AKC, they are only interested in low level titles and they compete in agility, in my mind the titles is not working/herding, it's sport.

 

As I am reading their inquiry a few things come to mind that will probably inhibit me from helping them, the first will be their unwillingness to dedicate themselves to learn the ins and outs of stockmenship.

 

The second, and might be most important and relates to a major divide in training philosiphys is the potential unwillingness to change the way they relate with their dog when it comes to training. Either they come from a very positive training model and have a tough time with applying corrections, or they come from a strict correction model and will be unable to let go and let their dogs learn through positive and reward.

 

The third, changing their perception of what a natural and talented working dog is, getting them to change the visual from stock chasing with lack of self to controlling livestock while exhibiting total self control.

 

So many times people are looking to have help changing the dog, when in reality the dog will change if the handler changes.

 

All of these factors/conditions are the same when dealing with many pet/sport people, some integrate well being raised with the same training models consistent with stockdog training and others come from what seems to be a foreign land with not only a language barrier but also a vast difference in morals and beliefs (no disrespect intended)

 

Ultimately I probably will not be able to help them with their dog unless they do some major mindset changes, but maybe I will be pleasently surprised when I meet them :rolleyes:

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But what formula is there for determining who is and is not a problem dog? Some dogs are fairly obvious, and others aren't clear at all. Pilot had heartworm when I got him- two months after treatment, when he was deemed perfectly healthy and would have been adopted out by a rescue, he never displayed any aggression. I was floored when he first lunged at a dog- and the dog he decided to go after wasn't doing anything special. There was no threatening display, no barking from either party, the situation wasn't fantastically stressful for either dog, etc. However, since that day, he will go after any dog that approaches him on a leash. Fairly common, but potentially dangerous- especially when he started lunging at people too!

 

At the risk of seriously offending you, which is not my intention at all, I am going to suggest that barring metabolic / brain chemistry problems in a dog, my experience (and, like, oh so much of it) is that dog aggression and human aggression do NOT come "out of the blue" and that in fact, some significant indicators were missed somewhere along the way. Contrary to popular (mis)belief, dogs don't just "turn." I would argue that this is a case of a dog who was unhealthy when first rescued (heartworm), gave subtle signals that you may have missed somewhere along the path and consequently, perhaps the appropriate intervention was not implemented early enough to prevent those behaviours from escalating. You may disagree, but certainly I have yet to come across a dog who without warning developed serious behavioural problems that was not in some way malfunctioning on an organic level, or the product of improper / inadequate handling, or a combination of both.

 

I don't know what the "formula" for picking an issue-free rescue dog is, but I do know that I don't feel like I 'got lucky' having 4 of my 5 rescues being lovely, personable, intelligent, healthy and social dogs. They are who they are, and they are all nice matches for me, and what I need/want them to do. There is nothing particularly magical about them, though perhaps one could just argue I am an effective handler. Regardless, I chose dogs that worked out nicely, and the fact that they are rescues is kind of irrelevant ... I just picked wisely, I think, and then made an effort with them once I had them.

 

With that being said, I will always put rescue before buying from a breeder. But there might be a day when I do want a puppy from a quality working breeder who has done all of the socialization, the health tests, and the proving of the parents and there shouldn't be anything wrong with that!

 

I don't think anyone said there was, I just feel pretty strongly that when people (especially sport people) opt to purchase rather than rescue, that they just say "I want to purchase a puppy" and not use the myriad of red herring excuses about rescues being inferior or potentially inferior to explain away their decision. That's my issue, not yours, but you'll find I say it a lot. Because just as the working stockdog people here tend to repeat certain beliefs that they hold, I tend to repeat the ones I hold, and I feel pretty strongly that for a significant percentage of border collie owners, a rescue is more than sufficient for their needs.

 

As an aside, I have done no great studies into CHD in border collies, but my personal experience is that it doesn't happen incredibly often. Maybe someone wants tor refute this for me. But I can count on one hand the number of rescues that have come through me that have been diagnosed with CHD. Of my personal dogs, it was only the one a breeder gave me that had CHD (and a load of other health issues that eventually killed him. I do not, however, presume that all dogs from breeders are genetic time bombs - just as nobody should assume that all rescues are emotional or physical messes waiting to crop up). My rescues all have lovely hips.

 

Some of my rescue dogs also qualified for Nationals this year (one on the podium) and raced on a Division 1 team in flyball in years past. One has been hired for tv on more than one occasion. Of some of the rescues that have come through my group, I am thinking about the dog who placed 2nd in the BCY division at Regionals this year, the one placed 7th in the country at Nationals this year, the one who holds the Australian and UK records for distance jumps in dock diving, the one who is an integral and full time member of Super Dogs and was invited to the Purina Dog Challenge ... you get my drift here. Those people didn't "get lucky" either - they simply selected dogs that were right for them, and then put the required effort into training them to achieve the results they wanted. I wish more people did exactly that.

 

As for my one rescue who kind of is an emotional disaster, I should say something nice about him too. He's really good at catching moles! And he is also wonderfully snuggly, and makes adorable little grunting noises when he's happy, usually under my armpit. I *heart* him.

 

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RDM

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Rua,

I don't know how often you come to these discussions and how many from the past you have read, but it's doubtful that sport people turned down by working breeders are going to go to conformation breeders or BYBs for their dogs; they'd go to sport or versatility breeders, of which there are plenty. So you're either/or supposition doesn't really work.

 

As in all walks of life, some folks are more like Mark and feel that they need to maximize the number of pups that go into working homes in order to be able to accurately assess a working cross. Others, like Denise, place as many as they can, given their personal limitations on what they can take back or some other criteria, and place some dogs in working homes and others in sport/pet homes. As with any cultural group, there are a few breeders at each end of the bell curve and a whole bunch in the middle. Just because one working breeder turns you down doesn't mean another will. I know it's been said a gazillion times here (because I've said it a gazillion times myself): there are working breeders who prefer working homes but who will also sell into sport/pet homes and who, in fact, would sell to a good/great sport/pet home *before* selling to a working home that doesn't keep or train dogs to their standard.

 

So while sometimes discussions like this can make it seem that *no* working breeders will sell to pet homes, the truth is that Mark has commented that *he* is not comfortable selling a bunch of pups from any litter he has into sport/pet homes because then he feels he can't adequately assess the suitability of the working cross. That's a fair stand to take. Denise takes a slightly different stand, and it's also a fair stand to take. I know of one "working" breeder who sells most of the pups produced into pet/sport homes, and I've often noted that after a couple of generations where few, if any, offspring have been proven on stock is it right for this person to still marketr the dogs they're producing as working dogs? After all, the actual working dogs are generations back, and few pups are being tested for work....

 

Seriously, though, on these types of threads, ISTM that the preponderance of working breeders have always said they will sell at least some pups to non-working homes. Here in this thread we have someone who is not comfortable doing so, and for very valid reasons. But one person doesn't the culture make, and to assume that because one person might not sell to you means that *no one* will sell to you is a huge leap in logic with no real evidence to support it.

 

And the whole "if working folks won't sell to sports people then we'll have to buy from conformation breeders or BYBs" simply ignores a huge segment of the breeders out there: the sports breeders (not advocating them; just pointing out that they exist and would probably be a first choice for sports people before they'd ever have to stoop to conformation breeders or BYBs).

 

J.

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:rolleyes:

 

I started off querying the angst between the groups within the community. There was a few initial posts about breeding/buying so I used it as a starter. Debbie and Mark responded to my query with their breeding concerns so I queried further. I posted comments that were an attempt to garner further information on how that particular thread of thought related to my original query. The angst…

 

I am so not doing it well enough in text. Let me write a poem or short story and I will knock your socks off. Try to hold a text conversation/debate and I’m like Groucho Marx at a theoretical physicists conference. Going to be a interesting trip eh :D

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I am merely attempting to get clarification on some attitudes I have seen pop up here recently. There have seen several threads on the boards recently where working sides have drawn into the circle and started firing off volleys at pet/sports folk

 

Maybe if you could point to one or two concrete examples of this, it would be easier to understand the issue you are trying to focus on.

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At the risk of seriously offending you, which is not my intention at all, I am going to suggest that barring metabolic / brain chemistry problems in a dog, my experience (and, like, oh so much of it) is that dog aggression and human aggression do NOT come "out of the blue" and that in fact, some significant indicators were missed somewhere along the way. Contrary to popular (mis)belief, dogs don't just "turn." I would argue that this is a case of a dog who was unhealthy when first rescued (heartworm), gave subtle signals that you may have missed somewhere along the path and consequently, perhaps the appropriate intervention was not implemented early enough to prevent those behaviors from escalating. You may disagree, but certainly I have yet to come across a dog who without warning developed serious behavioral problems that was not in some way malfunctioning on an organic level, or the product of improper / inadequate handling, or a combination of both.

 

I probably should have posted a disclaimer with that particular paragraph, because I knew the "there must have been signs you missed" issue would come up. There probably were plenty of signs I didn't pick up on- partly because I am inexperienced with managing behavior issues and partly because I didn't know the dog and therefore didn't know what signs to look for. I interpreted his behavior to be shy, under socialized, though good natured. He and I bonded very quickly, and though I would like to think I know dog body language fairly well, it is entirely possible that he started guarding me when I thought he was being clingy. I do know dogs don't just "turn". Nothing in life ever just turns- there is always a cause, and always an effect. I had a foster who I screwed up on pretty badly- he eventually had to be euthanized (chemical issues contributed to his behavior problem, but my lack of experience in handling aggression didn't help). His human aggression was much more serious than Pilot's, though some of the behavior was similar (nipping at ankles, for instance).

 

So yeah, maybe I missed something. But with all of his behavior problems, I'm sure most of it is an effect of his previous life. Nobody tosses out a dog for being too perfect.

 

That is great that you have dogs who work for you. As I've said before (I feel like I'm defending myself too much now), I love my dogs, and Pilot is something beyond special. That does not make his issues nonexistent or easy to ignore.

 

I don't think anyone said there was, I just feel pretty strongly that when people (especially sport people) opt to purchase rather than rescue, that they just say "I want to purchase a puppy" and not use the myriad of red herring excuses about rescues being inferior or potentially inferior to explain away their decision. That's my issue, not yours, but you'll find I say it a lot. Because just as the working stockdog people here tend to repeat certain beliefs that they hold, I tend to repeat the ones I hold, and I feel pretty strongly that for a significant percentage of border collie owners, a rescue is more than sufficient for their needs.

 

See, this is where I get frustrated. Sport people use the red herring excuses about rescues because all of their dog friends balk when they admit their next pup will be coming from a breeder. Why should the responsible people who aren't breeding their pet quality dogs, who spay and neuter all of their animals, who spend thousands of dollars a year on training classes, who research their pet's specific diet, constantly be responsible for cleaning up after everybody else? This is not an argument I usually make- because like I've stated before, rescue is what I do and what I will always do, and there is not a thing in the world that will change that. But if somebody wants a sport dog and they opt to purchase said sport dog from a breeder, they should not be shunned for it. As much as you (not you particularly) can swear up and down that it isn't, rescue is messy. There are plenty of risks- and yes, there are risks with buying from a breeder as well. But breeders aren't health testing all of their dogs for giggles. The backyard bred Border Collies that end up in shelters and rescues most likely came from parents who had little or no health tests- and that, in itself, is a risk.

 

My rescues all have lovely hips.

 

That is great!

 

Those people didn't "get lucky" either - they simply selected dogs that were right for them, and then put the required effort into training them to achieve the results they wanted. I wish more people did exactly that.

 

Of course! Everybody wishes more people would rescue and put in the effort to train their rescues. With that being said, I wish more people who put in the effort to train the dogs they got as puppies so those puppies wouldn't grow up to be dogs that end up in shelters. While we're dreaming....

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But with all of his behavior problems, I'm sure most of it is an effect of his previous life. Nobody tosses out a dog for being too perfect.

 

And yet many near-perfect dogs are tossed out simply because the owner couldn't be bothered to train or socialize the animal as a youngster, and so once it got past the cute puppy stage and into the annoying adolescent stage, out it went. I would be willing to bet that the majority of border collies relinquished by owners aren't let go because of unfixable brain chemistry problems that manifest as behavior issues, but rather because the dog has obnoxious behaviors as a result of the owner not bothering to train or socialize. I think it's very easy to fall into a trap of "this dog must have been tossed out because it had serious issues," where the blame falls on the dog, when in actuality the blame lies solely or largely with the human who raised said dog.

 

This is not an attempt to get you or anyone else to admit that they should always get a dog from rescue, but I really can't stand how often people claim that dogs are in rescue because of a problem the dog has, when 9 times out of 10 the problem the dog has is a direct result of how it was raised by its human(s).

 

Border collies by nature are reactive. They are quick learners, of both good stuff and bad. Some are certainly predisposed to quirks. I have a nearly 12-year-old rescue here who will never go anywhere because of his issues. While I might suspect that his (in)breeding predisposed him to the development of some of the issues he has now, I am fully willing to note that the people who owned him before me had no business owning a border collie in the first place and that his OCD behaviors are the direct result of how he was (not) handled or stimulated as a young dog. His aggression issues, which he may have been predisposed to genetically, were most certainly compounded by the fact that he was never properly socialized (he clearly has inappropriate reactions to *normal* dog behavior), nor trained. This is entirely the fault of his owners. That said, his breeder should also be faulted for selling a high-energy puppy to a couple in their 70s, the husband battling the cancer that killed him, the wife not interested in a dog anyway, who clearly weren't going to be able to raise the pup to be a good citizen.

 

See, this is where I get frustrated. Sport people use the red herring excuses about rescues because all of their dog friends balk when they admit their next pup will be coming from a breeder. Why should the responsible people who aren't breeding their pet quality dogs, who spay and neuter all of their animals, who spend thousands of dollars a year on training classes, who research their pet's specific diet, constantly be responsible for cleaning up after everybody else? This is not an argument I usually make- because like I've stated before, rescue is what I do and what I will always do, and there is not a thing in the world that will change that. But if somebody wants a sport dog and they opt to purchase said sport dog from a breeder, they should not be shunned for it.

 

This sounds like a cultural issue among sports people. What's wrong with saying "I want a pup from X breeder, period?" Is peer pressure really that great to prevent people from getting a pup from anywhere they choose and that they have to make excuses at the expense of rescue? I think rescue is ideal for people looking for pets and companions and for people who want to do sports but maybe aren't committed to it to a great degree. I also think that people who are committed to rescue can find whatever they need (for the most part) in rescue. But I would never tell a serious sport competitor or stock person that they *must* get their dog from rescue. There's a difference. But really, for the person who just wants an active companion, there's no reason NOT to go to rescue, and for every problem dog that comes through rescue, there is probably a problem dog whose breeding and history are known and who didn't go through rescue.

 

My next puppy, just like the past several, will come from a good working breeding. I make no excuses for that. It's what *I* choose. The dog who got me into trialing and stock ownership as an adult (was raised on a farm, so stock were part of my childhood) was a *rescue.* I'm sure Sheena could point out rescues that have gone on to great working careers, and I know of one dog who was found on the roadside and used and trialed (USBCHA open) by its owner quite successfully. I also know of other dogs from unknown are partly known backgrounds that have gone on to great working careers.

 

But breeders aren't health testing all of their dogs for giggles. The backyard bred Border Collies that end up in shelters and rescues most likely came from parents who had little or no health tests- and that, in itself, is a risk.

 

I disagree strongly with this. Testing tells you about the *parents* not the offspring. Some things, like CEA, can be tested for genetically, and in those cases testing does give you something of a guarantee. But for things like hip and elbow dysplasia, while testing might stack the odds in your favor, it still doesn't guarantee a perfect pup. And one could argue that non-tested, randomly bred (i.e., BYB) dogs are likely to be healthier overall because of that very randomness of breeding. There are health issues known to crop up in certain lines of dogs, and yet those dogs are still bred from because the value they add to the gene pool WRT working ability is deemed to outweigh the risk of their passing on the health problems. Breeding is so much more complicated than just a few health tests.

 

And let's not even get into the whole "culture of testing" that markets pups based on all the tests the breeders have done, while actual usefulness of the dogs for anything hasn't even been given passing consideration. There's a reason that even glorified BYBs and mill types will tout the testing--and that's because they have no other claim to fame. Personally I would choose a pup from parents who were excellent working dogs with minimal testing over a pup whose parents have been tested minimally for work but have all the health clearances on the planet.

 

JMO.

 

J.

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And yet many near-perfect dogs are tossed out simply because the owner couldn't be bothered to train or socialize the animal as a youngster, and so once it got past the cute puppy stage and into the annoying adolescent stage, out it went. I would be willing to bet that the majority of border collies relinquished by owners aren't let go because of unfixable brain chemistry problems that manifest as behavior issues, but rather because the dog has obnoxious behaviors as a result of the owner not bothering to train or socialize. I think it's very easy to fall into a trap of "this dog must have been tossed out because it had serious issues," where the blame falls on the dog, when in actuality the blame lies solely or largely with the human who raised said dog.

 

This is not an attempt to get you or anyone else to admit that they should always get a dog from rescue, but I really can't stand how often people claim that dogs are in rescue because of a problem the dog has, when 9 times out of 10 the problem the dog has is a direct result of how it was raised by its human(s).

 

Which is exactly my point. I said his previous life had something to do with his behavior now- his previous life wasn't a imbalance of brain chemistry, it was living with his first family/ies. My female Border Collie is pretty much perfect and was tossed out because her owners had serious issues. She had been shot in the leg, hit by two cars, left in a 10x10 pen for six months, and yet she still absolutely loves everybody she meets, knows all of her commands and follows them with perfection, and is extremely good natured. The only problems I have ever seen out of her is very minor food aggression and the fact that she is an awful car chaser. My family couldn't have asked for an easier dog when we adopted her.

 

I wasn't saying that all dogs are surrendered to shelters because of their issues. I was saying that the reason for getting rid of a dog is never "this dog is perfect". There is always an excuse ("Not enough time", "Allergic", "Sheds on the furniture", "Chases cars"). I don't know what Pilot's owner's excuse was. I don't even know if they were bad people! I do know that he came to me, seemed very under-socialized, and quickly developed aggression problems. Was it all my fault? Maybe, but I'm not going to take all the credit without knowing his history.

 

This sounds like a cultural issue among sports people. What's wrong with saying "I want a pup from X breeder, period?" Is peer pressure really that great to prevent people from getting a pup from anywhere they choose and that they have to make excuses at the expense of rescue? I think rescue is ideal for people looking for pets and companions and for people who want to do sports but maybe aren't committed to it to a great degree. I also think that people who are committed to rescue can find whatever they need (for the most part) in rescue. But I would never tell a serious sport competitor or stock person that they *must* get their dog from rescue. There's a difference. But really, for the person who just wants an active companion, there's no reason NOT to go to rescue, and for every problem dog that comes through rescue, there is probably a problem dog whose breeding and history are known and who didn't go through rescue.

 

Of course peer pressure is that great! And people don't think before they speak. When you are on the defense, your first thought will always be that defense. The sport people trying to defend themselves are making excuses for why they are doing something- not everyone is going to think, "Oh wait, saying this will make the other person think that rescue is awful". I'm the champion of saying things I don't mean, and allowing my mouth to think faster than my brain. So whether intended or unintended, rescue is stereotyped and sworn against all the time.

 

You say there's a reason not to go to rescue- of course there is! Wanting a puppy from a breeder. Everybody, and I mean everybody, has the right to opt for a puppy from a breeder rather than a rescue. You go on to explain in your next paragraph that your next puppy will be coming from a breeder- you are choosing what *you* choose- just as you said! What is so terrible about allowing other people to choose what they choose, even if they aren't going to work their dogs? If they do find a good sport dog from a rescue, fantastic. But many people don't want to look in rescue- they want a dog from a breeder, and maybe it's because they believe rescue dogs are riddled with emotional issues or that it would be impossible to find a puppy in rescue. In the southern states, finding a puppy is much easier than it is where I am. Any Border Collie puppy that ends up in rescue here is adopted within a week and gets hundreds of applications. (I would know- I had seven that were adopted out very quickly). Glen Highland Farm and New England Border Collie rescue, my two local BC rescues, very rarely have puppies. I won't even get into what happens when you admit to northern folk that you've pulled a dog from a southern shelter. ("We have plenty of dogs in need up here", "You've just killed a northern dog!").

 

I disagree strongly with this. Testing tells you about the *parents* not the offspring. Some things, like CEA, can be tested for genetically, and in those cases testing does give you something of a guarantee. But for things like hip and elbow dysplasia, while testing might stack the odds in your favor, it still doesn't guarantee a perfect pup. And one could argue that non-tested, randomly bred (i.e., BYB) dogs are likely to be healthier overall because of that very randomness of breeding. There are health issues known to crop up in certain lines of dogs, and yet those dogs are still bred from because the value they add to the gene pool WRT working ability is deemed to outweigh the risk of their passing on the health problems. Breeding is so much more complicated than just a few health tests.

 

Stacking the odds in your favor was, again, my point. I don't buy that backyard bred dogs are healthier because they were randomly bred- that is like the argument that mix breeds are healthier because they are not purebred. I don't pretend to understand genetics, but I have met more than enough backyard bred and puppy mill dogs to know that the ones from quality breeders who health test are, in every sense, generally healthier (not to mention better socialized) than those that come from other places. I have a good friend who is very involved with her working dogs and she would never buy from a breeder who didn't health test. As she says, what is the point of putting so much training into a dog that won't be able to walk by the time it's five?

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And yet many near-perfect dogs are tossed out simply because the owner couldn't be bothered to train or socialize the animal as a youngster, and so once it got past the cute puppy stage and into the annoying adolescent stage, out it went. I would be willing to bet that the majority of border collies relinquished by owners aren't let go because of unfixable brain chemistry problems that manifest as behavior issues, but rather because the dog has obnoxious behaviors as a result of the owner not bothering to train or socialize.

 

Oh, yes. And some of my other favorites:

 

"We're moving and can't take the dog with us"

"We just had a baby and don't have time anymore"

 

Etc.

 

So, while nobody actually ever says they're surrending a perfect dog, I believe there are PLENTY of dogs with NO issues at all that get surrendered due to human selfishness and "throw away" attitude.

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You say there's a reason not to go to rescue- of course there is! Wanting a puppy from a breeder. Everybody, and I mean everybody, has the right to opt for a puppy from a breeder rather than a rescue. You go on to explain in your next paragraph that your next puppy will be coming from a breeder- you are choosing what *you* choose- just as you said! What is so terrible about allowing other people to choose what they choose, even if they aren't going to work their dogs? If they do find a good sport dog from a rescue, fantastic. But many people don't want to look in rescue- they want a dog from a breeder, and maybe it's because they believe rescue dogs are riddled with emotional issues or that it would be impossible to find a puppy in rescue.

 

I think it was Julie who said earlier that SOME working breeders won't sell to pet/sport homes for whatever reasons they may have (as Mark explained). But, it's not EVERY working breeder. If you want a working bred puppy from a breeder, I think you'll have no trouble finding one. I know a BC who just made her agility debut last weekend here, and was purchased from a working breeder. Someone who posts on this board occasionally, in fact (if you want to PM me for the breeder, I will give you the name, maybe they have litters coming up sometime in the future). Anyway, the owner is very much into agility and I don't know if she even tries her BCs on stock. But even if she does, first and foremost, she's a "sport person".

 

As an aside, sport culture must be different up your way, Christina. Here, most of the serious agility people only get their dogs from breeders. I don't think anyone feels any pressure to rescue.

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Stacking the odds in your favor was, again, my point. I don't buy that backyard bred dogs are healthier because they were randomly bred- that is like the argument that mix breeds are healthier because they are not purebred. I don't pretend to understand genetics, but I have met more than enough backyard bred and puppy mill dogs to know that the ones from quality breeders who health test are, in every sense, generally healthier (not to mention better socialized) than those that come from other places. I have a good friend who is very involved with her working dogs and she would never buy from a breeder who didn't health test. As she says, what is the point of putting so much training into a dog that won't be able to walk by the time it's five?

FWIW, I'm not claiming that BYB-bred dgs *are* healthier, but there's not really anything to suggest that the offspring of randomly bred dog have a greater incidence of issues than dogs who are not randomly bred (leaving aside poor breeding choices in general). You have met BYB dogs that have issues, I have met many who have not. We could argue that point endlessly, but unless there are statistics to back either side up, nothing is being proven. Generalizations on either side of an issue are just that, generalizations. I think the argument for mixed breed dogs is actually for the Heinz 57 type and not crosses of two purebred dogs. I believe it's generally understood that combining two purebreds is essentially combining the health problems of those two purebreds, not eliminating them. But if you get Heinz 57 types or pariah dogs, etc., you're getting dogs who essentially follow the rule of survival of the fittest.

 

As for your friend, how does she suppose good workers were chosen before the advent of health testing? The dogs that could do the work, day in and day out, year after year were the ones bred from. Dogs who broke down or couldn't manage for whatever reason were not bred from, as they probably didn't live long past a breakdown. Granted, you won't find that kind of work for those dogs so much now, at least not here in the US, but that doesn't mean that the work can't prove the dog. I tend to take a middle-of-the-road approach. If there's something that makes sense to test for, then by all means test for it. But, for example, I don't know, nor have a heard of, a single working dog with elbow dysplasia. Now either I lead an incredibly sheltered life, or elbow dysplasia isn't a significant problem among working dogs. Would I choose one pup over another simply because one breeder checked the parents' elbows and the other didn't? No.

 

I can't speak for any other venue (sports, etc.), but the working dog world is not a huge one. Established problems (e.g. adult-onset deafness, degenerative joint disease, cryptorchidism) in lines are well-known, and the less well known stuff can usually be discovered with minimal detective work (i.e., talking to people with more experience, people who study pedigrees, etc.). Other stuff crops up, but no amount of testing would have prevented those genetic anomalies from happening. Unless the test is an actual yes/no genetic test, it won't guarantee anything. Some things, like seizures simply can't always be predicted.

 

So yes, it would be disappointing to put a lot of time and money into a dog only to have it unable to walk by age 5, but seriously, if hips are a concern, one can always get radiographs at age 2, before a whole lot of training time has gone in. I have a 14-y.o. retired open trial dog here who has essentially no hip sockets, and it wasn't until the past 8 months or so that you could tell she had a problem, and if I were able to swim her and keep her well-muscled, she probably still wouldn't be obviously dysplastic. Personally, I will choose a dog and not the tests. Others may choose to do otherwise. But I tend to trust the wisdom of old-time breeders over the folks who are marketing the tests (i.e., selling pups based on extensive testing).

 

J.

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What's wrong with saying "I want a pup from X breeder, period?" Is peer pressure really that great to prevent people from getting a pup from anywhere they choose and that they have to make excuses at the expense of rescue?
We currently live in an excessively PC culture (and I don't mean personal computer). Many, many people out there are of the opinion that if a dog doesn't come from rescue, then you are a bad person. These are the same people who get angry if you don't spay or neuter.

 

I own 3 dogs right now: all 3 rescues (of sorts. I have 2 Papillons adopted from an official Rescue and a Border Collie who I adopted at age 6, I am his 5th home that I know about). My Border Collie has a lot of issues...hes a good sweet dog and I love him, but he has issues. One of his issues is 4 years after living together, he is still afraid of my husband. He never takes his eyes off of Alan, and Alan can't touch him with 2 hands. The second is in his eyes the small dogs don't exist and he is not careful of them. Hes not aggressive, but hes not careful. It requires a fair amount of management to keep everyone happy.

 

I am looking for a second Border Collie. He and my male Pap are both 12. I haven't played agility in 4+ years because my boys are both dealing with health problems and my girly is not into sports. I decided in our case a well bred puppy may be in our best interest, so that we could socialize said puppy well and puppy could grow up understanding that small dogs are important and should be minded. The last puppy I raised in this way is a great dog, she is my ex husbands and she stayed with him after we got divorced.

 

I am also open to an older dog should I come across him...either an older puppy or young adult in rescue or a re-home, provided said puppy meets my needs of being well socialized to all humans and subservient to a confident adult small dog.

 

I have received a LOAD of crap from so many people that I am maybe BUYING a puppy when so many dogs languish in shelters, how I am killing dogs with my greed and pride, how could I give a GREEDER money, etc. Its quite amazing, actually.

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Here's another view that I'm sure will be considered un PC by most:

 

Every rescue border collie that gets chosen for a good home over a well-bred working border collie means one less well-bred border collie will have a home and therefore less will be bred. What does this do to the working border collie gene pool over time?

 

I understand these are *very* difficult things to think about, but it's a reality.

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Maybe if you could point to one or two concrete examples of this, it would be easier to understand the issue you are trying to focus on.

 

I don't think I particularly want to go pointing fingers. Not unless I feel froggy enough at getting them chomped off eh. :rolleyes:

No I think sometimes I jump into topics with lead lined rubber wellies when I should have only brought flip-flops.

 

We currently live in an excessively PC culture (and I don't mean personal computer). Many, many people out there are of the opinion that if a dog doesn't come from rescue, then you are a bad person. These are the same people who get angry if you don't spay or neuter.

 

I have received a LOAD of crap from so many people that I am maybe BUYING a puppy when so many dogs languish in shelters, how I am killing dogs with my greed and pride, how could I give a GREEDER money, etc. Its quite amazing, actually.

 

I think comes down to the circles associated in. If your like me and associate in rescue circles then when you step out of that circle and become a purchaser its like you have become Judas. I also think that there is an attitude that if your not getting a dog to say work or show.. then you get one from a rescue or your a bad person and contributing to the problem. That was the attitude I came across at least. As for the spay/neuter, we got dirty looks from our vet and her staff because we didn't want to fix our pups until their bone plates had finished growing. Like we were bad owners for not doing it right there on the spot . =/

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I seem to have the complete range, an AKC registered BC bought specifically to do agility with from a sport type breeder. Then I learnt more about BCs and my boy comes from a working breeder as a pup. I am developing my flock of sheep so wanted a working bred anyway, but will also do agility with him.

 

I then recued a 6 month old working bred Koolie who had been dumped by someone in suburbia. I had a good look at him and he had such a lovely nature and great structure, I took a punt. He is turing into a really nice working and agility dog too. I also have a well bred working kelpie I picked up at a herding day who wasnt working out for her owner, - a farmer who trials his dogs. She was 8 months old. He didnt want her but was looking for a good home for her so I scored a great little dog from nice lines.

 

The rescues have taken a little more time to get going with things like play drive but I think I will have very nice agility dogs from them and because they are working bred they are proving to have great insticnt on sheep as well.

 

So there are actually some nice working bred rescues and dogs that havent worked out as trialing dogs for their owners - they could be a good fit for someone else in dog sport or herding.

 

I had never thought about this way of getting a good dog untill my Koolie came up - my first rescue and what a gem! I thought I would always get pups.

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