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Hi guys!

 

I am fairly new here but have been learning SO MUCH from all of the very knowledgable posters. The more I learn, the more questions I have though. :wacko:/>

 

My big questions is where to find a good breeder. I have read a lot about ABCA vs AKC and am on the side of preserving the breed as it should be. I first fell in love with BCs because of their brains, heart, mannerisms, and work ethic. Their look...well I had had to talk myself into it so dogs bred with that look but NOT the brains would be the last thing I want. :D/>

 

At first I thought, "Ok, find a good breeder and make sure the dog is ABCA registered" but after reading more and more posts here I am find it is not that simple!? A good breeder for me would include raising pups in the house, performing Early Neurological Stimulation, only breeding bitches about 2 times and no younger than 2, having only 1 litter on the ground at a time, careful screening of purchasers, breeding dogs have proven ability, health tests, and all that good stuff. But if I find a good breeder that has ABCA registered puppies, they become a "bad" breeder if they dual register with AKC or have other pups registered with the AKC?

 

I don't think everyone knows how stressful and confusing this is! I read posts of well meaning puppy buyers finding an ABCA puppy but they are then attacked because the breeder they got the pup from also has AKC pups. There are no easy to find resources to find "good" breeders so I am begging for help in finding a breeder for my next pup. Is it really that bad if a breeder DOES NOT breed for color or confirmation, uses their dogs on stock, only breeds proven workers, but happens to have some litters that end up being dual registered? I don't want to get a wonderful puppy only to be shunned by other BC owners because he came from the "wrong" place.

 

I have a list of breeders I have been looking at but am getting the impression I should not share them here? I could PM them to someone if they want to share and experiences good or bad with them. This will be my first border collie, I currently share my home with a 3 year old Siberian Husky who is not as into agility as I am. This pup will not be used on stock as I do not own any. Our main sports will be Agility and Skijoring. I may someday take a herding class if I ever move somewhere with any but this would be for fun only. I live in the far northwestern corner of North Dakota. It is pretty much the exact center of the north american continent so i am open to traveling anywhere on the continent for a pup.

 

Any recommendations on how to look for a breeder (especially when there are not many trials nearby), recommendations of specific breeders, and what to look for in both a breeder and breeding stock and puppies would be much appreciated!!

 

-Patrisha

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Oh my goodness! Relax, don't overthink it and don't worry about what other people will think about your "wonderful puppy". For every person who will 'shun' you (and you don't want to know that person anyway), there will be 50-100 others who will welcome you. There is no perfect breeder, as there is no perfect puppy.

 

It sounds like you have done a lot of reading and learning here so -- pay attention to what you have listed as the characteristics of a 'good breeder' and factor in recommendations by other BC owners, but also be willing to be flexible when choosing a breeder. I don't think you are going to find everything you want (but maybe you will?) so make a list and prioritize what is most important and non-negotiable and what you can be flexible about. Sometimes it can come down to a gut feeling in the end.

 

I don't think this is the black and white answer you were hoping for, but since I am a bit (a lot?) of a contrarian and have reached a 'certain age', I am less and less impacted by what other people think - which is reflected in my answer to you. :D

 

Jovi

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Couple of questions for ya:

 

Have you read this?

 

Have you had any dogs other than your Husky? What information or experience did you draw on in forming your opinion of the characteristics of a good breeder?

 

What exposure have you had to border collies that made you decide you wanted one?

 

Have you considered getting a border collie from rescue?

 

Thanks for posting -- hope we can help.

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Jovi- I hope to be as cool as you someday! Life would be much easier if I didn't worry about what people think. thanks for the encouraging words. :)

 

Eileen- Yes, i have read that and possibly every other article on the internet about BCs.

 

I have had a couple of shelties, a small mixed breed dog, and then my husky.

 

I have looked at a lot of breeders and took the things i liked about some of them and mixed them with general advice i have both read and heard. It is very important to me that i not accidentally support a puppy mill or other sort of poor breeder. I am also flexible on my requirements. I do have a priority list but am having problems where to put AKC breeders on that list. I have a couple favorite breeders but they also have an ABCA/AKC reg litter every-so-often and it seems that a lot of people on this forum feels that makes them a "bad" breeder that is hurting the breed.

 

I used to work at a humane society and loved being able to work with the higher drive dogs like Border Collies and BC mixes (and pit bull terrier mixes but there are breed bans where we live :( )that came through. I also got to interact with many BCs in obedience classes and agility classes. I fell in love years ago but have been waiting until the time is right for a dog like a BC. The current plan is to get a pup somewhere between fall 2013 and late 2014. Should be settled into our house by then and ready for a pup!!

 

I have considered getting a BC from rescue and have looked at the variety available but as horrible as it sounds, i am looking for a dog with a lot less baggage. My past 2 dogs have been WONDERFUL dogs but they were recuse dogs and have their own baggage. I would like to raise one puppy in my life and I feel like the golden time is coming for raising a pup. Another reason i lean towards a breeder is that many are very knowledgable about the breed and offer great support in both picking and raising a pup. Like i said, i will keep my eyes on rescues for pups but i am feeling a little selfish with this next dog. :unsure:

 

-Patrisha

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Thanks for the thorough and thoughtful answers, Patrisha.

 

I have a couple favorite breeders but they also have an ABCA/AKC reg litter every-so-often and it seems that a lot of people on this forum feels that makes them a "bad" breeder that is hurting the breed.

 

Okay, let me go back to what you wrote about this in your first post:

 

At first I thought, "Ok, find a good breeder and make sure the dog is ABCA registered" but after reading more and more posts here I am find it is not that simple!? A good breeder for me would include raising pups in the house, performing Early Neurological Stimulation, only breeding bitches about 2 times and no younger than 2, having only 1 litter on the ground at a time, careful screening of purchasers, breeding dogs have proven ability, health tests, and all that good stuff. But if I find a good breeder that has ABCA registered puppies, they become a "bad" breeder if they dual register with AKC or have other pups registered with the AKC? [Emphasis added.]

 

Maybe it will seem less confusing if you look at it in terms of your other standards for being a good breeder. If you find a good breeder that raises pups in the house and performs Early Neurological Stimulation, do they become a "bad" breeder if they don't do health tests? If you find a good breeder that only breeds bitches twice and no younger than two, do they become a "bad" breeder if they have multiple litters on the ground at a time or don't screen their puppy buyers?

 

According to your definition of a good breeder, the answer is yes. They are meeting some of the criteria, but not all the criteria that in your eyes are necessary for someone to be a good breeder. Well, in my eyes, a breeder who registers border collies with the AKC is not meeting all the criteria of a good breeder of border collies because they are doing something that is contrary to the best interests of the breed. It's as simple as that.

 

There are many good border collie breeders continent-wide, and if you are really looking for help in finding one, I'm sure many of us on the Boards would be glad to give you feedback about breeders either publicly or privately. But if you already have "favorite breeders" who register border collies with the AKC, and you have no problem with that, then you'll just have to accept that not everyone will approve of your pup's breeder. If you think those who disapprove have no good reason for doing so, then why would you care what they/we think?

 

One final thought -- those who have been engaged in border collie rescue for a good while are also very knowledgeable about the breed and usually very supportive toward those with whom they place dogs. And most rescues have little puppies -- too young to have baggage -- available for placement from time to time. In view of your timeline, that might be a reasonable option for you.

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At first I thought, "Ok, find a good breeder and make sure the dog is ABCA registered" but after reading more and more posts here I am find it is not that simple!? A good breeder for me would include raising pups in the house, performing Early Neurological Stimulation, only breeding bitches about 2 times and no younger than 2, having only 1 litter on the ground at a time, careful screening of purchasers, breeding dogs have proven ability, health tests, and all that good stuff. But if I find a good breeder that has ABCA registered puppies, they become a "bad" breeder if they dual register with AKC or have other pups registered with the AKC?.....

 

Any recommendations on how to look for a breeder (especially when there are not many trials nearby), recommendations of specific breeders, and what to look for in both a breeder and breeding stock and puppies would be much appreciated!!

 

-Patrisha

 

 

Hi Patrisha! Welcome to the boards.

 

Clearly you've been doing a lot of reading and research, and for that you are to be commended. But don't stress quite so much! ;)

 

The main thing I think you'll find here on the boards is a consensus that AKC breeding is just Not Good. If they are breeding AKC, they are not breeding for the betterment of the border collie, and they are in fact putting money into an organization that has proved detrimental to many breeds. So, my advice is to put AKC breeders on the NO list.

 

As for how to look for a breeder, the best recommendation is to meet some border collie handlers and talk to them, and find out who has nice dogs and planned litters. Also, your criteria for a dog won't be the same as someone looking for a good Open trial dog. What do you intend to do with your BC? That will figure into what you're looking for, and what breeders will sell to you.

 

A caveat: I don't know how many breeders of working border collies do that Early Neurological Stimulation stuff. I personally don't know of anyone. (Though they may exist.) That seems to me more of a show dog type of thing. So, don't limit your choices by putting too much emphasis on that.

 

Sorry I can't help more! But I'm sure others will have more advice in your search. :)

 

~ Gloria

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A caveat: I don't know how many breeders of working border collies do that Early Neurological Stimulation stuff.

 

It's just a substitute for real life invented by people who don't have the facilities or inclination to let their pups develop as dogs in a more natural environment.

 

I'd be looking at the whole picture of how the pups are raised and how relevant it is to the life I can offer.

 

Dogs never used to need so much human interference to grow up well adjusted.

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Hi Welcome to the Boards!

 

I would second Eileen's recommendation to not completely rule out rescues because they will have litters of puppies from time to time. The best thing that you can do is apply with any rescues in your area in advance so that if/when a litter of pups is available you are already approved.

 

Also, given your location, I would not rule out looking for good working breeders in Canada. So check out the CBCA, too.

 

Really the best way to meet people with working bred dogs is going to sheepdog trials.

 

If you check out the USBCHA website there is a listing of trials that is continously updated throughout the year. Taking a long weekend and attending a trial is a great way to see working dogs in action and meet handlers!

 

http://usbcha.com/sheep/upcoming_trials.html

 

I don't see any trials for ND posted there yet, but there are 2 that I know of in ND: The "Slash J" and "The Big One". (The Big One has a very long out run - I can't remember exactly how long...)

 

http://www.slashj.com/

 

Also, if you google "stock dog associations" a big list comes up. There is a club in just about every part of the US and there are clubs in Canada, too.

 

Best wishes!

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Jamie Spring in SD has some very nice dogs/pedigrees......I know of fantastic dogs coming out of some bloodlines in ND/SD but most people keep to themselves and don't advertise there litters.....Jamie has a nice website kept up to date and is very friendly..google Silver Spring border collies..

 

I have been at the Slash J trials a couple years now, VERY awesome with the top handlers in the country giving the huge challenging field and tough sheep a try...best trial I've ever seen and some incredible dog/sheep work.....

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Early Neurological Stimulation... That was a new one for me, resulting in an interesting google search.

It doesn´t seem to be that "substitute for real life" as mum24dog states.

But I wouldn´t place much value on it either after reading through some articles on the exercises it advocates. Certainly not as a selection factor in the search for a breeder.

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I did some research on ENS before I started looking at breeders, to see what was up with it. If I recall correctly, ENS/super puppy program stemmed from the movement, maybe 20 years ago, to make 'super dogs' for military purposes not like the method people use today for ENS, but putting a puppy in a freezer, flooding it, etc. It was called 'Bio Sensor' or something. As far as I can tell, it's kind of a trickle down thing that came down to breeders, there was never any results from it and the program was discontinued. This is, if I'm remembering my facts right. So after reading that, I felt I could definitely cross it off the list.

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Hi Patrisha,

 

While I certainly have no problem with folks buying a puppy from a breeder, I strongly encourage you to strongly consider a rescue :)

 

Not all rescues have a lot of baggage. On the other side of the coin, I know plenty of people who did all the right things trying to acquire the perfect border collie puppy -- only to realize when the dog was grown it was not the perfect dog they had hoped for. If you want a dog mainly for agility, a rescue has the advantage of being slightly older (several months to a year or so, depending what you are open to) and you can see their personality and potential much more easily than in a baby pup.

 

If you take your time working with a good rescue (and if you don't like the first one you find, try another) they should be able to help you find a good fit. And if the dog isn't a good fit, they can be returned to the rescue. I tried and returned 2 rescue dogs before Ripley decided to stay with me. I was heartbroken about it but the rescues really want what's best for the dog. Ripley was found as a stray, about a year old, with essentially no basic training or manners (except maybe for a little stockwork). Now he is a very successful agility dog and my perfect companion. I'm not saying he had no "baggage" and his history is a complete mystery, but it was basically a non-issue for us. True to the nature of the breed, he bonded quickly with us and was eager to learn anything new. I'm sure he did not have an ideal start to life but you'd never know it now.

 

Either way, good luck with your search. I don't have much advice to offer in the way of puppies, but if you have any more questions about rescues, let me know.

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Dear Patrisha

 

You've been around Border Collies and now you're thinking about getting one. I gather from other posts that you live somewhere in the Dakotas.

 

The "Big One" sheepdog trial has been held at the Kerr ranch outside Bowman end-of-may/early June. It hasn't been announced this year but I hope it'll be held again. Last year's info is at http://www.slashj.com/.

 

Before you pick your pup, I hope you'll get to the Big One. If you had a child who might become Mozart, you'd want to hear at least one great symphony.

 

At the Big One, undogged range sheep are set out in a saddle between a flat-topped butte and a raggedy conical butte. They were so wild the last time I ran, top handlers,Amanda Milliken, Beverly Lambert plus an experienced horseman had difficulty simply bringing them to the setout area.

 

Which is 800 yards away and perhaps five hundred feet higher than where you stand with your dog. The dog cannot see the sheep. Indeed, although they were in plain sight I only knew where they were because I could see the horseman silhouetted behind them.

 

The dog leaves your feet knowing only that somewhere in that vast unfenced rocky, sagebrushy miles of miles, there are sheep. How far away they are and how they will react he cannot know.

 

There is more than one way to get to the top and behind those sheep and from time to time the dog will suddenly appear and disappear. He must figure it out. If he is wildly off track, it's probably better to redirect him but it's hard to know what constitutes "off track". Eventually, you'll see the horseman move off which means that your dog isn't lost in that vast prairie, he's found his sheep and is taking their measure as they are of him.

 

Soon he'll have the sheep at your feet.

 

Patrisha, what you'll see at that trial cannot be done. No dog in the world can do what dog after dog will do on that day. Some are kennel dogs, others sleep on the bed at night. But each Border Collie, when asked to be Mozart, is. The work is exquisitely beautiful and humbling. What have we ever done to deserve them?

 

Donald McCaig

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If you do go with a breeder instead of a puppy.... for me, AKC would be a dealbreaker. I'd run from that breeder. Read "The Dog Wars" to see why.

 

I've met three dogs locally (Maryland) who came from Jamie Spring. REALLY nice dogs, all of them. Their owners have been instructed not to look at my house if they come up missing someday.

 

Personally I wouldn't put a lot of stock into a great deal of the testing that some breeders might do. Yes, if you look hard, you can find people who advertise on their websites that they test for everything up the wazoo. But it's irrelevent if they are things that only show up in "conformation" (show dog) lines instead of in working dogs. (I just had a conversation with a friend, a whippet person, who felt that *all* Border collie breeders should be testing for the MDR1 mutation, even though I pointed out it only occurred in <5% of dogs tested - I don't know a single breeder of working Border collies who tests for this, nor should they, IMHO). Yes, the breeder should have the parents' hips tested. And I would worry about anyone who breeds two affected CEA dogs. Anything else... well, I'd start to worry that someone might be advertising lots of testing simply in order to pander to the masses.

 

That being said, most of the hereditary issues that Border collies can suffer from reflect polygenetic traits. There's no simple test, inheritance patterns are complex, and the issue can skip generations. You can look for lines with no health issues whatsoever (and you can look for unicorns as well). There ARE several health issues that occur at non-negligible frequencies in the best-bred litter. The best breeders will strive to improve the breed, and will stand by their dogs, but there are no absolute guarantees any time you're dealing with a living creature. A warranty is the most you can expect. Oh, and the best breeders ought to be able to demonstrate that the parents were worth breeding: that they excelled in terms of working ability. Not working "lines", or "great instinct", but that they themselves were capable of working stock at a high level (comparable to USBCHA "Open" placement or equivalent if farm dogs rather than trial dogs).

 

I'd rather see a puppy whelped in someone's home, exposed to normal routines and noises, handled regularly by people, than a puppy raised in a kennel surrounded by barking dogs and subjected to regular "ENS" on a formulaic basis, but that's just my own preference.

 

Any puppy is always a bit of an unknown, which is why if you want a "sure thing" you're likelier to find it from a dog in rescue.

 

Best of luck in your search!

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That being said, most of the hereditary issues that Border collies can suffer from reflect polygenetic traits. There's no simple test, inheritance patterns are complex, and the issue can skip generations. You can look for lines with no health issues whatsoever (and you can look for unicorns as well).

 

I just have to say that this is the absolute best explanation of polygenic traits I've seen and I absolutely love it. According to, "Control of Canine Genetic Diseases" (one of my favorite books) statistically every dog is a carrier of 3-4 genetic diseases. The best a breeder can do it is to try to know what their dog may be a carrier for and breed to a dog that has the least chance of producing it in the offspring. Or as my good friend Dr. Cox DVM says, "Dog breeding is a crap shoot." If a breeder lets me know what's in the lines and what my dog may be a carrier of then as a dog owner I can make the best choices for me and my dog. I would rather get a dog from someone who tells me what's in the line than someone who says their line is clean (wow, a unicorn!). :)

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Thank you everyone for your great responses! The AKC questions was a biggy on my brain and I am getting the impression hat even if they do not breed for confirmation, by registering with AKC they are funding the ruin of the breed?

 

I guess my reason for liking the ENS is that at least I know the breeder did SOMETHING with the pups during their key socialization periods. I get so worried that i will get a puppy that has rarely been touched and spend most of my time trying to fix the problems caused by being raised separate of human touch and basic socialization at the breeder. This is my big concern with rescues as well. I have met many great puppies at the humane society i worked at but it was obvious many did not have the best socialization before they came to us. Even the ones that were born at the shelter, i always felt that no matter how much we did, they were already starting out 2 steps behind in life due to being raised in a kennel. Puppies born and raised in a great rescue and foster home would be more of a possability but what kind of paretns do hey have? Were they super highstrung BCs? Or maybe even poorly bree confirmation BCs? I know many of you will (and already have) tell me to relax but this is my personality. I worry and try to plan for every possability so when a problems arises i do not have to dwell on what i did wrong, i can just accept that problems will happen and work through it.

 

I hear so much about how if not raised properly BCs can be very bad with children, neurotic, and have many bad habits (once is learned, twice is habit?) that is the biggest thing i worry about with a rescue, maybe they look great and act great and then i take a dog home and 2 months later i discover that the dog is hihly reactive to larger dogs, or men with hats, things that the rescue couldnt see but i must now deal with. I love, love, love the idea of getting a rescue though. If anyone has some great experiences with rescues, I would take that advice as highyly as i take breeder advice.

 

I know i am probably annoying some of you as you read with my neurotic worrying but i cant help it :unsure:

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I guess my reason for liking the ENS is that at least I know the breeder did SOMETHING with the pups during their key socialization periods. raised in a kennel. Puppies born and raised in a great rescue and foster home would be more of a possability but what kind of paretns do hey have? Were they super highstrung BCs? Or maybe even poorly bree confirmation BCs? ...

 

.... the biggest thing i worry about with a rescue, maybe they look great and act great and then i take a dog home and 2 months later i discover that the dog is hihly reactive to larger dogs, or men with hats, things that the rescue couldnt see but i must now deal with.

 

I think that ENS is just one type of 'socialization'. Socialization can be a very vague term so discuss what you define as socialization with the breeder to see if both of you are on the same page. When I was looking for my pup 5 years ago, I talked to a working BC breeder and asked about the socialization of the dog. They kept their dogs in kennels outside, and they said that they had socialized this one dog I was interested in (~6-9 month old) by sending it to stay for a couple of weeks with a friend who lived in a city. Hmmm.

 

As Mr. Ripley pointed out, a reputable rescue will take back a dog that does not work out. It can be heart-wrenching, but as others have said, the same can happen with a puppy. What will you do when your puppy (from working parents, well-conformed, socialized appropriately, etc. - the best bred puppy you can find) becomes reactive to larger dogs or men in hats or ??

 

Jovi

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Good luck keeping me out of the puppy pen! I love playing with the little beasts. :D I try to provide a variety of toys, sights, sounds, smells, trips outside in nice weather and different surfaces to play on. This does not substitute for continued training, socialization and exposure once the pup leaves for its new home.

 

I have purchased pups from breeders who raised their pups in the house as well as pups from breeders that raised them in a pen in a barn or kennel (they were still played with and handled, they just didn't live inside the house). I've not noticed a big difference between how they ultimately turned out. Their underlying personality (genetic) and the work I did with them after they came home seems to have the larger impact on them.

 

Definitely start attending trials and make contacts. That is the best way to locate a quality pup.

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Hi, Patrisha. Thanks for considering a rescue. :)/>/> I admit that I almost didn't want to post to this thread, because I was afraid you had your mind made up that all rescues come with problems or "baggage". That mindset really disheartens me, what with all the great, well-adjusted rescue dogs I know, and I'm happy to see that you are at least open to giving it some thought.

 

My best advice would be, as others have suggested, to contact some rescues, pre-apply and let them know that you're looking for. You have to be patient, but the right dog will come along. Heck, I wish I was ready for another, because great dogs are turning up in rescue left and right (see below), but I have a house full. If you want to do agility, I think a young adult would be perfect, although puppies end up in rescue, too.

 

A good rescue will have already evaluated the dog to see if he shows potential for agility. The foster home will also have a good idea of any issues, IF there are any, like your example of reaction to large men, etc. However, I must point out that you never know how a breeder dog will end up, either, in regards to those types of things. I can bet we all know dogs from nice breeders, whose owners did all the right things, and the dog still turned out to be spooky or skittish, or not like kids, other dogs, etc. It truly is a crap shoot, but a rescue dog could be much less of a gamble in the long run.

 

Now, my own personal "success stories", since you asked...I have four rescues, but I'll just focus on two, since this is already too long. Alex was rescued at about 3 months old, straight out of an Atlanta shelter. I brag that this dog is perfect, because he is, and he pretty much came to me that way. Great temperament from day one. No issues of any kind! Fast and athletic, biddable and loves to work with me. Great all-around companion in every way. Kick ass flyball dog, pretty darn good agility dog, despite being handler challenged with me, and we're even trying some herding, although that's not something he's going to excel at.

 

We also have Will, who is my husband's flyball dog, and BFF. Another rescue straight out of a rural GA shelter. He was older, about 9 months old, and had zero training and I don't think he ever saw much of the inside of a house until we got him. This dog is the happiest, sweetest dog I know. Again, no temperament issues, no baggage, no problems, even with his first 9 months being an unknown. I wish my hubby would give agility a try, because Will would be awesome (he's fast, confident, has lots of drive).

 

So, I know I'm just one person, but my point is, GREAT dogs come out of shelters and rescues all the time. I can understand your being gun shy about shelter dogs, although my experiences have been nothing but positive. But please do consider a good rescue, with dogs in foster homes, and you just might find your own "perfect dog".

 

BTW, my friend in Georgia is fostering this 4 month old, just to show you another example. Turned over to rescue for being too active and them not having enough time for him. I SO wish I was in the market, he is beyond adorable and his foster mom raves about him. (Totally well-adjusted, good with other dogs, all people, bold, confident, lots of drive, good focus, biddable, etc) And did I mention cute??

 

6sxqg6.jpg

 

Good luck with your search and thanks again for considering a rescue dog.

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I have gotten pups and I have gotten rescues. My first rescue was "not interested in playing" in her foster home, and yet she turned out to be an awesome frisbee and fetching dog, jogging and rollerblading partner, and, oh yeah, one of my first trial dogs. The start of it all for me. She's still with me at age 15 1/2 and is my heart dog. I have had puppies since her, and I loved them all, but none would replace my first rescue in my heart.

 

I have also gotten a pup whose temperament isn't what I'd like. I've raised her the same as all my other dogs, but genetics will out, and my nurture has not changed her nature, as determined by her genetics. I like her parents, and I think she will be a good working dog. She's sweet to me, but a PITA around the other dogs or when anything "exciting" is going on, thanks to a lack of self control (which seems to be evident in her littermates as well).

 

Anyway, do what you think is best for you, and there are some great breeders whose dogs end up being dual registered by their new owners. That wouldn't bother me so much as those the breeder automatically dual registers (no doubt for marketing purposes). And yes, giving money to the AKC, is--to me--tacit support of the entity that has ruined many a breed, especially purpose-bred dogs.

 

But if you bought a dog that was dual-registered, I wouldn't shun you. I'd try to explain why I think it's a bad idea, but again, in the end it's your choice.

 

Anyway, I have had great success with rescues, and honestly, I think it can be a great way to get into the whole border collie culture. If you go through a reputable rescue, they will do everything in their power to match the dog with your needs, wants, personality, etc. As for whether a pup from rescue would have so many unknowns to overcome, I do think some aspects or temperament are genetically based and probably not so easily "corrected," but there's no guarantee, for example, that two mellow parents will produce only mellow (or whatever other trait interests you) pups. Most behavioral/temperament traits, not to mention some of the diseases (as someone else has already mentioned), are polygenetic, and as I'm sure you'll hear over and over pups are a pig in a poke--there are no guarantees.

 

Starting with trials and Jamie Spring is a good idea, IMO.

 

ETA: OMG Paula, that pup is adorable!

 

J.

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My second BC was born in a barn and had never been in a house until I got him home. He was freaked out by being inside, the floor, house noises, etc. for about 2 days, and then he did what puppies do and adapted. Now you would never know that he had ever been afraid of being inside and everything that goes with it. If your new pup doesn't have all his socialization boxes checked when he comes home, it's not to late as long as you have a plan to rectify it once you have him.

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Hello again, Patrisha ~

 

A bit more from me, below.

 

Thank you everyone for your great responses! The AKC questions was a biggy on my brain and I am getting the impression hat even if they do not breed for confirmation, by registering with AKC they are funding the ruin of the breed?

 

In a word: yes. Read what Mr. McCaig says about border collies as Mozart, on the first page. Then think of this: Numerous times over the years, I've seen those over-stuffed, over-fluffed, AKC-bred border collies brought to sheep ... and nothing happens. They sniff around, they eat some sheep poop, and maybe a little chase/prey drive kicks in, so they chase the sheep around for a couple minutes. But it's chasing. It's playing as if they were yellow labs at the dog park. And it demonstrates nothing so much as the tragic void that lies within them, where once that golden instinct to work and do and be a border collie used to reside.

 

That is what the AKC breeding program does to border collies. So yes, those dollars the AKC breeders put in for their registrations are funding exactly that. Do read "The Dog Wars," written by our own Donald McCaig. It demonstrates the battle against the AKC, when border collie breeders tried to stop the AKC "recognizing" their breed as part of the AKC stable.

 

 

I guess my reason for liking the ENS is that at least I know the breeder did SOMETHING with the pups during their key socialization periods. I get so worried that i will get a puppy that has rarely been touched and spend most of my time trying to fix the problems caused by being raised separate of human touch and basic socialization at the breeder. This is my big concern with rescues as well.

 

Understood. But I think most reputable border collie breeders do plenty to socialize their puppies, inviting friends and relatives over to play with the little rascals. You really will not find the ENS thing among many working breeders, so as I said, it would be unfortunate to put that very high on your list of criteria. Both of my young dogs were raised in the breeder's back yard and laundry room, but they had LOTS of visitors. ;)

 

 

I hear so much about how if not raised properly BCs can be very bad with children, neurotic, and have many bad habits (once is learned, twice is habit?) that is the biggest thing i worry about with a rescue, maybe they look great and act great and then i take a dog home and 2 months later i discover that the dog is hihly reactive to larger dogs, or men with hats, things that the rescue couldnt see but i must now deal with.

 

Plain fact is, no matter how a border collie is raised, they may not be good with children, they may have their own quirks or neurosis, and they may have thing for men in hats - or in my boy, Nick's, case, men with mirrored sunglasses. :P His little sister Gael meanwhile spent her 2nd year on earth freaked out over strangers - but now she's back to loving everybody and hoping for treats. It just depends how their brains are wired. They are highly, highly intelligent dogs who've been bred for centuries to think for themselves and make their own split-second decisions. They're like race car drivers - and their own body houses the 500 horsepower engine.

 

So, there's no guarantee a border collie puppy who's been raised with ENS training and daily trips to Home Depot and Petco will be any less, or any more, odd or reactive than a border collie who's raised in a barn. They are individuals and they are NOT going to be as mellow and all-encompassing as a golden retriever.

 

I love, love, love the idea of getting a rescue though. If anyone has some great experiences with rescues, I would take that advice as highyly as i take breeder advice.

 

Well, I got my old boy, Jesse, when he was 2 years old. He's now coming 14. He'd been living tied to a tree and probably mistreated, as he had a quick fear of waving arms or raised voices. But he shed that baggage within a year or so, and blossomed into the most happy, loving, people-friendly, child-friendly, world-friendly dog I think I've ever had.

 

And on top of that, he was a darned find working farm dog, and we kicked some serious butt on the AHBA trial circuit. Jesse is the reason I'm in border collies today.

 

So, there's another fifty cents' worth from me. More than you probably wanted, lol, but again, best wishes on your search. The right dog or puppy will come along, if you just take your time.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Gloria

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A friend (a real friend of mine would not do this to me!!) sent me a pic of a pup named Ruby that BC Rescue of Minnesota has. Adoption pending. (thank god!)

Google it and tell me that is not a dog that would make you think. And she is not the only one.

As far as not knowing all there is to know, consider fostering with the option to adopt!

As far as breeders. My last 3 dogs came from semi local, very well known trainers. If they do hips (and I am pretty positive two do not), I did not ask. I saw my pups sires and dams work. Their responsiveness. Their style. Their level of power. I waited almost a year for one. And had given up hope to ever get a pup out of a certain bitch. Something like 4-5 years I waited. So far this pup is all I have dreamed off. And a few extras.

Between knowing what I like and the combined of over 200 years of dog knowledge, I know that although maybe these dogs may not be perfect, I have the best shot possible but trusting that these men put a lot of thought into their breedings.

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