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So ... I'm asking ... Benjamin Buttons ... why is it that you're asking about merles with working lines?

Some people like to stir the pot! At least in this case, the OP lobbed in the provocative question and then stood back, and the thread has been pretty interesting.

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I still don't understand the initial question. I gather you were asking for someone else, but it also seems your friend doesn't need/want a working dog? There are plenty of merles out there, so she certainly shouldn't have a difficult time finding one, especially if she doesn't need great working potential.

 

J.

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I still don't understand the initial question. I gather you were asking for someone else, but it also seems your friend doesn't need/want a working dog? There are plenty of merles out there, so she certainly shouldn't have a difficult time finding one, especially if she doesn't need great working potential.

 

J.

 

Other breeds with were also considered but she does want to do competitive high level sports. Most of the other breeds with merle are too big or too small for disc competition with the exception of Australian Shepherds but she just prefers the structure and speed of BCs more.

 

Are you suggesting she should find a pet/sport breeder instead of working breeder? I just don't know how much I agree with some of their breedings. I've been hearing quite a lot of nasty things about certain pet/sport breeders ending with aggressive, fearful and just dogs with unsound temperaments.

 

I rescued a dog once that had massive behavioral problems due to breeding that 3 behaviorists, a couple of trainers and vets could not do anything about. After a hard long struggle that dog (only 2 yrs old at the time) had to be put to sleep. It's such a huge heart ache and I don't want anything like that to happen to my friend because of intentional poor breeding practices.

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I don't know anything about this breeder, but maybe it's what you're looking for.

 

http://www.ranchworldads.com/classified.php?listing=7333

I don't know anything about that breeder but we have cattle working border collies here in Missouri and they tend to be pretty hard. And they have a hard bite. I don't think I would go there for a dog that is mostly a pet or a sports dog.

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Other breeds with were also considered but she does want to do competitive high level sports. Most of the other breeds with merle are too big or too small for disc competition with the exception of Australian Shepherds but she just prefers the structure and speed of BCs more.

 

Are you suggesting she should find a pet/sport breeder instead of working breeder? I just don't know how much I agree with some of their breedings. I've been hearing quite a lot of nasty things about certain pet/sport breeders ending with aggressive, fearful and just dogs with unsound temperaments.

 

I rescued a dog once that had massive behavioral problems due to breeding that 3 behaviorists, a couple of trainers and vets could not do anything about. After a hard long struggle that dog (only 2 yrs old at the time) had to be put to sleep. It's such a huge heart ache and I don't want anything like that to happen to my friend because of intentional poor breeding practices.

 

Benjamin ~

 

Your friend will most likely have to consider pet/sport breeders if she insists on a merle BC. As has been stated, there are few if any working-dog breeders who select for color. (You'll note the cowdog breeder linked above got their merles from a male of agility breeding.) IF you find a BC who is blue merle and doing a good job on sheep, it seems that, almost invariably, his or her bloodlines will include sport or show lines. I saw a nice little blue merle at Pt Pleasant on Thursday who did very well in Pro-Novice. She was 3/4s working bred and 1/4 agility breeding, which is where the color came from. The owner got her from an agility breeder, though I don't know what one.

 

So, to get a dog with merle, it appears one generally has to out-cross to sport or show lines, simply because it has not been a consideration in working pedigrees for generations, and therefore merles are seldom represented.

 

If your friend does her research into the breeder, into pups from that pedigree, into the parents' and grand-parents' temperaments, I'm sure she can find a good agility companion.

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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Thanks Gloria.

 

Can someone suggest any sports breeders that at least cross working lines in and produce consist sound dogs then?

 

I just don't know how many sports breeders I've heard great things about...

 

Edit: One more question, what makes a working breeder breed their dogs to a sport/agility bred dog into the lines?

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Just go find her a "merle color" dog, sounds to me like she is in it for the color and not the breed. Start looking at the show/pet/sport breeders, they don't care about the breed either and your chance of finding the "proper color" will go up exponentially dealing with them. No reputable breeder will breed for color nor will they cross into the sport world.

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No reputable breeder will breed for color nor will they cross into the sport world.

 

Except as has been discussed here many times, lots of well known / reputable / big hat breeders do, in fact, stud their dogs out to sport dogs, and not too infrequently.

 

Regardless, I think the OP's "friend" needs to decide whether she wants a border collie or a blue merle dog more badly. I personally wouldn't give up performance or personality for colour, and if it were important to me to have a well bred, athletic dog with brains and drive, I'd abandon colour as a requirement.

 

I've placed quite a few flashy and fast blue merles through rescue, but I'm going to take a wild guess here that rescue isn't an option for the OP's "friend."

 

RDM

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Regardless, I think the OP's "friend" needs to decide whether she wants a border collie or a blue merle dog more badly. I personally wouldn't give up performance or personality for colour, and if it were important to me to have a well bred, athletic dog with brains and drive, I'd abandon colour as a requirement.

 

This.

 

Does your friend have some idea that blue merle dogs are faster or better at disc dog in some way, or does she just want a blue merle dog because she appreciates the aesthetics?

 

If the sport is super important, she should choose for reasons other than color. If she really wants a blue merle dog and the sport is ancillary, she should look to rescue for a merle dog and he probably will be adequate at the sport.

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Except as has been discussed here many times, lots of well known / reputable / big hat breeders do, in fact, stud their dogs out to sport dogs, and not too infrequently.

Well-known, yes. Big Hat, yes. Reputable? Depends on your definition. If a person's definition does not include studding out to anything but worthwhile working-bred bitches, and not just to produce sport pups, well, maybe that person wouldn't consider them truly "reputable". Or at least not truly "responsible" would be a much better appellation.

 

I've heard of at least one Big Hat that has regretted dual-registration and/or studding out a dog for a non-working breeding.

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Well-known, yes. Big Hat, yes. Reputable? Depends on your definition. If a person's definition does not include studding out to anything but worthwhile working-bred bitches, and not just to produce sport pups, well, maybe that person wouldn't consider them truly "reputable". Or at least not truly "responsible" would be a much better appellation.

 

I'd agree with that - but certainly breeders / trialers that people widely respect are known to stud out to less-than-working bitches, because we have discussed this before many times. And whether it's responsible or not is largely up to interpretation depending on how lenient the reader's standards are ... at least that's what I've gotten from this discussion in the past.

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Other breeds with were also considered but she does want to do competitive high level sports. Most of the other breeds with merle are too big or too small for disc competition with the exception of Australian Shepherds but she just prefers the structure and speed of BCs more.

 

As others have already noted, if her desire is to be competitive in high-level sports then she should be looking either for dogs out of great working lines (where we've already established that there aren't a lot of merles to be had) or a rescue. If color is a top criterion, then she'd probably be able to find a merle in rescue that would do just fine at disc. To be honest, there's no guarantee that a pup will even grow up to be a dog who's interested in disc, so if that's what your friend really, really wants to do, then she would be best served my finding an adolescent in rescue that already shows an aptitude for disc. My first border collie, a rescue, was a great disc dog, except that she didn't like hard discs. Since I had no interest in that sort of competition, it didn't matter to me that she would catch only floppy discs. But anyway, the point is that if your friend has some very specific criteria about what the dog should be able to do (as opposed to just choosing a sport that the dog shows the most aptitude in), then she seriously might want to consider a dog that's already old enough to show what it wants to do.

 

Are you suggesting she should find a pet/sport breeder instead of working breeder?

 

I think that you seem to have understood the main message we'd like people to get, which is that one should go to working breeders for one's sport dogs. BUT if one places singular importance on a color that just isn't that common among working dogs, then one will either have to really search and then wait for a litter to come along, or one will go to where the merles are, and there are plenty of merles out there in the nonworking world. Personally, I would try to steer your friend away from a color in favor of a working-bred dog, but if color is that important to her, then she may indeed have to turn to a less-than-stellar breeder (from a working perspective) to get that color.

 

I just don't know how much I agree with some of their breedings. I've been hearing quite a lot of nasty things about certain pet/sport breeders ending with aggressive, fearful and just dogs with unsound temperaments.

 

I imagine that it's the same in any venue: You get involved, get to know the sport and the people who participate in it, and once you've done that--which takes time, of course--then you should have a better idea of who the good (comparatively speaking) breeders are. As you know, not all breeders are created equal, and that goes for working breeders (for example, I wouldn't likely consider a pup from the ranching link that was posted unless I knew something more about the parents than what the seller claims in the ad), sport breeders, and even BYBs. You can't just magically go out and find a great breeder--you need to be involved, get to know people, and see their dogs, so that you have some inkling of what the pups they produce might be like. I could point you to working breeders that I consider to be good breeders, but you're not likely to find a bunch of (if any) merle pups there.

 

I rescued a dog once that had massive behavioral problems due to breeding that 3 behaviorists, a couple of trainers and vets could not do anything about. After a hard long struggle that dog (only 2 yrs old at the time) had to be put to sleep. It's such a huge heart ache and I don't want anything like that to happen to my friend because of intentional poor breeding practices.

 

That's why research and getting involved is so critical. I don't know about the sports world specifically, but in the working dog world, you can usually find out about dogs bred by people you may not know directly. But you still have to put the time in and get to know the people and dogs before some of that information becomes evident/available.

 

P.S. I'm not a sports person, so I'm just speculating here, but generally if you're just breaking into a sport the human and dog both have a learning curve. At least in the stockdog world, people don't expect that they're going to be competitive at the top levels with their very first dog and maybe not even their second or third (there are always exceptions of course). From your description stating that your friend "wants to get into" I gather that she isn't experienced in her sport of choice, so to me it would make more sense for her to concentrate on finding a dog partner that's best suited to help her learn and become competitive through the lower levels of the sport before she actually worries about getting that dog that will be THE dog. And by the time she's learned the ropes with whatever dog (or two) she starts with, she should know the people and dogs who are also involved in the sport of her choice and thus be better able to make a decision regarding who's a reputable breeder, who also produces merles.

 

J.

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I'd agree with that - but certainly breeders / trialers that people widely respect are known to stud out to less-than-working bitches, because we have discussed this before many times. And whether it's responsible or not is largely up to interpretation depending on how lenient the reader's standards are ... at least that's what I've gotten from this discussion in the past.

 

Of course you then get some of the biggest of the big hats that will sell their dogs to byb / puppy mills / color breeders and are not only not ashamed of the fact that they do, but highlight the breeder they sold to on their web page.

But that is ok, I guess, because the big hats have no responsibility what happens to their pups after they have been sold to the sleaze breeders.

Or so I have been told on this board.

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Gary,

I'm sure you know it's not okay, but unfortunately this is a free country and who one sells or breeds their dogs to can't be legislated (you know, the whole morals can't be legislated thing). As individuals we can choose to stand on principle and not do business with people (big hats) who operate this way, but greed--the greed to win, the greed to have the "best of the best", etc.,--will always lead to people doing business with those whose business ethics aren't the greatest. It happens in all walks of life, and the working border collie world is not immune.

 

There are some of us who do actually try to stand by our principles and not do business with those whose practices don't match what we think is right. But I can also say that it does become a different situation when the "evil one" is someone you don't have personal contact with rather than someone you know and like personally. As individuals we can try to live ethical lives, and we can try to influence others, but we can't force them to follow our ethics.

 

J.

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Julie,

Yes, I know it is not ok.

But I also know that there is a dichotomy on this board when it comes to calling it out.

Sleazy breeders are called out on this board by name, and IMO rightfully so, when they are color breeders, puppy mills, etc., but in the 7 years I have been on this board, "respected" trialers and breeders that are not much, if any better, are only alluded to, never named.

Why is that?

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