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Potentially seeking out a BC puppy


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I want to start looking for a BC pup to add to the family, I don't have a time frame really but I've decided to start looking and see what's out there. Where in the heck do I start?! With most other breeds I would start with the Breed clubs. But I don't want a conformation BC. So that leaves me with the working registries. And they don't have a list of "qualified" breeders. And I won't ship a pup. How can I start my search?

 

Rescues are great, but i've gotten every dog currently in my house as "rescues" and want to start getting into herding and some sport, something Seamus isn't healthy enough to do. As well as i've got cats and I don't want to see them (or any of the other dogs) hurt.

 

I'm in Florida, USA.

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If you're not in a rush, you may want to attend one or more of the February trials that take place in Florida. I have no idea how close any would be to you; they take place in Branford, Fellesmere, and Malabar. Here is the site that lists those trials: scroll down to February 2011. If you go to trials you will be able to see a lot of dogs and meet their owners and possibly breeders. You can watch dogs and determine if there's a particular type of dog you like (working style, looks, apparent temperament, etc.). You may even note a pattern in the type of dog that attracts you. Then you can talk to the handlers of those dogs and find out their breeding, if similarly bred pups are or will be available, and so on.

 

Depending on how far you are willing to travel, you could probably attend trials in GA as well--just use the link above to find trials in that state or go to the Georgia Stockdog Association website and look for a list of upcoming trials there.

 

It seems like a labor-intensive way of searching, but I think nothing beats being able to see the relatives of any potential pup doing what they were bred to do. Doing so can give you a good idea of the kind of dog you might expect out of a same-way or similar cross. Most handlers are more than happy to talk about their dogs and to direct you to the breeder if it wasn't them. And you'll know that at the very least the breeder you talk to is producing dogs that can work to a certain standard (open-level trials).

 

Alternatively, you can go to the USBCHA website here and find the directors for your district (Florida is in district 8) and ask them for recommendations. This is a more limited way to do things because obviously you would be contacting just two people, and the breeders they recommend would likely be *their* choice of a breeder, whose dogs might or might not suit you.

 

If it were me, and I didn't want or need a particular cross then I would probably also put in applications at local rescues, which also get pups in. If pedigree isn't important (for the things it can tell you about the dog, especially from a working standpoint), then a rescue pup might suit just as well.

 

Also, if you don't mind a young adult, you can find working prospects who didn't pan out. At least some of these young adults will have been raised around cats, other dogs, etc., and so would already be suitable in that regard. They'd already likely have basic manners, and certainly have been worked on stock. They would be at an age where they could start more rigorous sports training as well.

 

There's no clear-cut, easy way to find good working dog breeders, but an open stockdog trial is a great place to start IMO.

 

J.

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