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Getting pretty serious about finding a pup/dog

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Okay, now, hopefully I don't step on anyone's toes or anything like that, but I have some questions (hopefully none are deemed inappropriate). I'm finally getting serious about obtaining a pup or dog after years of reading.


1. First off, for some reason I am having a very difficult time finding any sheepdog trials, is there some websites that can give me some dates/locations? I've tried googling "sheepdog trials" but I really didn't get far. I'm hoping to stay within 200 miles of Southern California (in case any of you are aware of some So Cal events).


2. I've read/been told that these events might lead me to a good breeder, is this true? I'm a little shy of harassing someone about their dogs and even more afraid and unsure of how to ask about breeding, any tips?


3. If I do find a breeder/s what should I ask them and what should I expect them to ask?


4. Is asking about the price of a pup considered that rude? Is it something I should completely refrain from asking?


5. Is it very likely that I will be declined by breeders/rescues because I would like a Border Collie as a pet and it would be my first time owning one?



Feel free to add your own thoughts/comments/questions.

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1. Go to the USBCHA website (www.usbcha.com), click on sheep, and click on upcoming trials (here is the link). You will find trials listed in order of date, with general location shown and contact information. Southern CA has trials - in fact, there is Snowbirds on the Border, Jennifer Clark-Ewers' trial, coming up on Dec 28 - Jan 1, near Campo CA).


2. There will be people at any good trial like this one who breed occasional litters. The best ways to meet them include offering the trial host to help (even if you don't know anything, there may be jobs you can do to help that will be most appreciated); sitting quietly and observing handlers and dogs, seeing who seems to have the sort of dogs and relationship with their dogs that interests you, and introducing yourself (but not when they are preparing to run or just coming off a run); sitting and listening, and asking intelligent questions; being honest in explaining why you want a dog or pup, what you want to do with your dog or pup, and what you can offer a dog or pup in your household.


3. See #2. Also prepare to visit the breeder, see the parents, listen carefully. If possible, if there are others present (or a potential seller) who have offspring from a potential litter, meet some of those dogs (or similarly-related dogs). See what you think of them. Don't expect to accomplish everything in one meeting, at one trial. Make an effort to meet a number of people, go to several trials, and keep your mind open to absorb information and process it.


4. If you are interested, I don't see a reason to not ask pricing. If the breeder seems interested in selling to you, he/she should be willing and interested in giving you all the pertinent information.


5. Some will not wish to place a dog or pup as a pet or to a first-time owner. Some will not have a problem with that if they have a dog or pup available and suitable, and feel the prospective purchaser would make a good owner. Some will sell to just about anyone (and that's a kind of breeder to avoid).


My advice to someone looking for a first pup or dog, would be rescue. These animals are just needing a home, many are fostered with some household and manners training, and are often much more of a known entity than a pup would be. If I wasn't using my dogs on livestock (particularly looking for a pet), I would be looking at potential future dogs from rescue first and responsible breeders second. But I wouldn't rule out a pup from a good breeder, either.


Best wishes! I am sure others will give you much better information.

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Hey, Heather! There just so happens to be a nice sheep trial coming up NEXT WEEK in SoCal. It starts Wednesday (early am), and runs through Sunday. There will be 4 days of Open runs (two go throughs--lots of dogs), and two Nursery runs (Wed thru Sat). Sunday will be two runs of Pro Novice. It's always a good trial, with folks form several states competing. I'll be up top doing setout. It's down in Campo, which is east of San Diego. You can find info at www.caninesnewes.com, then scroll down to the Snowbirds on the Border Trial info.


Hope you can make it--if you do, find me and I'll introduce you to people,


ETA: Oh, duh! I see Sue also posted info about Jennifer's trial.

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Heather - Anna would be a very good person to talk to. She knows people throughout that area, and might even know where a pup or dog might be available in the near future and beyond.

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