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At this point, the OP doesn't know what she doesn't know--the way an eighth grader who aced her science class might appear if she turned up on an MIT post-doc physics list and asked where she could find a good wrench because she planned to build a rocket that would be powered by the sun. It's not impossible to have such a machine built, but there is an awful lot of information she'd have to learn before she should be worrying about the wrench. It's not "wrong" for her to question the experiences and advice shared by the physicists on the list, but it might be seen as a tad ridiculous (and arrogant) for her to assume that because she feels she has learned all about the solar properties involved with photosynthesis in plants, she just needs to learn a little about astrophysics to build that solar-powered rocket.

 

An eighth grader? Does it make you feel better to talk down to people?

 

I have zero interest in taking any individual person's word as gospel until I can see results for myself. So sorry I asked about a HYPOTHETICAL breeding program and then bothered to follow up for clarification. Good God.

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Welcome, Christina, to this forum, and wish you the best. This thread contains references to good stockmanship and genetic principles books, so I won't add to that existing list. If you are interested in learning about stockdog culture/history you will find an excellent list of resources in the tabs above the border collie logo on this page. Urge you to study, learn, discuss, get a BC, locate a qualified coach, attend sheepdog trials, and train frequently with your dog. Daunting list, yes. Easy, no. Satisfying, incredibly so.

 

Stick with this forum. This is the place to be. Don't take invitations or suggestions to go elsewhere. Members vary widely in personality, communication style, background and interests. Go with reasoned, measured, kind sounding voices. There are plenty of them.

 

Let me know if there is anything I can do to assist. Welcome again. -- Kind regards, TEC

 

Thank you.

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You are also in the wrong forum. I'm sure there are AKC forums that would love to have this discussion with you. They have done a wonderful job of breeding for a look and creating a bucket full of half-assed Border Collies that have diminished working ability.

 

My apologies for being blunt. Kinda.

 

dave

 

I disagree that she is on the wrong forum, or at least that she was initially. How will you ever have an impact on people who wish to breed Border Collies if they limit themselves to one point of view? Trust me, if she goes to an AKC board, she will get resistance of a different character. She will be told she needs to 'prove' her breeding stock in the breed ring. I hope she would question that advice.

 

There are some who might initially wonder what the big deal is, only to consider your arguments and find them valid. You may even meet with some initial resistance from some of those folks. Maybe I'm being optimistic (way against my character), but I do not think you're wasting your proverbial breath. I could be wrong, and I agree with your (implied) point that people who come here and counter the advice with resistance may be unreachable. I would just like to think there are some who will consider the experience--at least some of which is easily validated by trial results and recommendations by those who show up there--and give it a listen.

 

I became disillusioned with AKC breeding/showing long before I came to this board, partly due to the compromised health/welfare of breeds like the German Shepherd, mostly because of my concern for companion animal welfare in general, and lastly because of the form follows function hype having gone horribly awry (and yes, I've cracked on some show folks' attitudes, but that is mostly for sport). However, I have taken very seriously the advice on this board (although my interest is not breeding) from those who I perceive as knowledgeable. Sometimes I get the feeling that people just assume they're whizzing in the wind. I don't think that is always the case.

 

In terms of the "harm" question that the OP asked, I see that from two perspectives--one being the potential for inexperienced breeders to add to already overburdened rescues (or worse, shelters), with no redeeming value to their breeding program, and the other being the harm of diluting the characteristics that make this breed the amazing working animal that it is.

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Thank you to everyone who offered helpful advice and suggested reading materials and points of research, which I have every intention of following up with.

 

To the rest of you- remember where your next generation of dog breeders is coming from before you get on anyone's case for not knowing everything immediately. Everybody starts somewhere. Being a little more welcoming may encourage others to listen to what you're saying rather than push you away because you meet their inquiry with hostility.

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Reading about something still does not give you enough insight on how to breed working dogs. One cannot know how to design tool (breed a working dog) until one understands how the tool should work or how the job should be performed.

This is what the physics analogy was trying to point out.

So the first step on your plan should be to learn how to run a working dog and how working dogs affect livestock. These steps should be done before considering breeding a working dog.

Mark

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have zero interest in taking any individual person's word as gospel until I can see results for myself. So sorry I asked about a HYPOTHETICAL breeding program and then bothered to follow up for clarification. Good God.

 

 

You are on a huge learning curve here, you have inquired about a hot bed issue (breeding without knowing what you're doing quite yet and for color to boot)

Please don't get pushed away, we are all just hugely vocal on our thoughts and ideas about breeding good working dogs.

Your are so right, Everyone has to start somewhere, we the board as a collective just don't want you or anyone to start with breeding first. I sure didn't understand that you were asking for 10 years out. I don't think it was clear in your first post and sometimes people don't read beyond that before feeling the need to give their well meaning strong opinions.

Laura didn't call you an 8 year old, she compared your border collie knowledge to that of a young person starting out. Which I think you are(maybe not young but starting out). Don't take more meaning than is intended.

 

Stay, read and even ask more questions. I swear you will learn and come out the other side with way more than you came here with.

 

I know you've been here a while, maybe you hadn't realized how writing or asking about breeding is taken to heart so quickly.

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To the rest of you- remember where your next generation of dog breeders is coming from before you get on anyone's case for not knowing everything immediately. Everybody starts somewhere. Being a little more welcoming may encourage others to listen to what you're saying rather than push you away because you meet their inquiry with hostility.

The next generation of *good* dog breeders will generally come from people who get involved one step at a time, who realize they are starting on the bottom floor, learning about something brand new and amazing, and prepared to learn about the dogs, the livestock, the many parts that go into this whole stockdog thing.

 

They'll start off understanding and admitting that they don't know much; they'll be fascinated by and amazed at the dogs; they'll get a first dog or pup, find some training, maybe get another, go to some clinics, start trialing, maybe get another dog or pup, listen to experienced handlers and breeders - and one day, they will realize they have a very good dog or bitch that *people who know a lot more than they do about the dogs admire*, and maybe then they will be ready to breed.

 

They will start at the beginning and not at the end of the journey. They won't start out with the idea of finding a "foundation bitch" before they have even begun to learn the basics about the dogs, dog handling and training, livestock, and all the rest of it.

 

The next generation of mediocre (or less) breeders, will come from somewhere with an "I know better than anyone else does" approach - that is, unless "anyone else" agrees with them.

 

I'm sorry you found many of us "hostile" - we are passionate about the breed, a number of us have a lot of experience, some have done a bit of breeding (no one that I know on here has done a "lot" of breeding because these people are careful, responsible breeders), and we are serious about the future of these dogs. To have someone come on and say they are wanting a foundation dog for breeding (and in a certain color, no less) is just asking for people to react unfavorably. Maybe we have found your attitude "presumptuous".

 

Have you read, "Read this first" at the top of the boards? I need to quit wasting time on this argument. I am grateful to the many people who have taken the time and made the effort to try an explain things to you in a kinder, gentler fashion. They are much better people than I am.

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If breeding for two traits is impossible, why is it that almost all Border Collies have certain breed traits in common? The crouch, the white tail tip, the white collar, the blaze. These are physical traits that have been selectively bred in addition to working ability.

 

 

Three Border Collies so far and none of them has had a blaze. Only one has had a full white collar. One was heavy boned, mostly black and rough coated. One is light boned, small slick coated brindle. The last is medium boned and the most "Border Collie" looking one of the 3. Just from my observation - working Border Collies are about the most diverse breed out there. You have as many traits that are different as are the same.

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It was presumptuous to assume that I am going to start breeding dogs right now, or tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or in the next ten years, or ever. Am I looking for a foundation bitch? Yes. Will I find one anytime soon? No. If I never find what I want, will I settle for something less? No.

 

I cannot even take on another dog right now because of my living situation.

 

I do not have the resources to breed right now. I do not have the knowledge to breed. I do not have the experience. I never assumed any of these things were simply going to be handed to me. I asked about one concept- whether looking into breeding for a quality working dog of a specific color- was worth it.

 

This is the most unwelcoming group. I've been a member of this forum for almost three years now and have actively participated in a few discussions but this is the first time I have felt completely unwelcome, stepped on because I might not know everything there is to know.

 

You made assumptions rather than ask for clarification, all based on past conversations you have had with people on this forum. In what way is that not presumptuous?

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I've heard the whole "breeding for color in working lines is not okay" spiel and I generally agree. However, if producing quality working dogs that are red in color can be done, is it still unacceptable to do so? Your thoughts?

 

 

I'm going to address this question with our personal situation, we own a red bitch that has produced what some feel are quality working pups, to the point where one of her males pups that is by my male dog has just been recently bred to a open cattledog that was a previous nursery champion, he has now sired 7 pups. We do not select for red, all of her pups that we have produced have been black and white or tri-color.

 

Now, I know of a couple of respected red and red factored males that I could breed her to, to ensure that I get red pups. But, when I evalute their individual traits, strengths and weaknesses and also consider if they themselves are what we consider to be in line with our vision of the type of working dog we are wanting to produce, they fall short in comparison to the male dogs that we have used on her.

 

With that said, yes, I feel it would be unacceptable to make the mating to one of those red or red factored dogs, even though they are also accomplished open level dogs and may produce what some would deem to be quality working dogs, please remember that what one person accepts as quality another may not agree and vice versa. Referring back to the son of our red bitch, while some feel that he is the greatest thing since sliced bread others don't see it and would not use him in their breeding program even though he displays a high quality of work.

 

Now if one of those red/red factored male dogs was better then the male dogs we have and had already proven to produce the type of dog we like then yes it would be acceptable to make the cross and in reality it would be wrong to avoid making the cross. In my mind it is not about the color, but instead about trying to select the best mates based on my vision and expirences with working dogs which on it's own in constently evolving and changing as we learn more and have different expirences both with the dogs themselves along with encountering different work situations.

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I'm going to address this question with our personal situation, we own a red bitch that has produced what some feel are quality working pups, to the point where one of her males pups that is by my male dog has just been recently bred to a open cattledog that was a previous nursery champion, he has now sired 7 pups. We do not select for red, all of her pups that we have produced have been black and white or tri-color.

 

Now, I know of a couple of respected red and red factored males that I could breed her to, to ensure that I get red pups. But, when I evalute their individual traits, strengths and weaknesses and also consider if they themselves are what we consider to be in line with our vision of the type of working dog we are wanting to produce, they fall short in comparison to the male dogs that we have used on her.

 

With that said, yes, I feel it would be unacceptable to make the mating to one of those red or red factored dogs, even though they are also accomplished open level dogs and may produce what some would deem to be quality working dogs, please remember that what one person accepts as quality another may not agree and vice versa. Referring back to the son of our red bitch, while some feel that he is the greatest thing since sliced bread others don't see it and would not use him in their breeding program even though he displays a high quality of work.

 

Now if one of those dogs was better then the male dogs we have and had already proven to produce the type of dog we like then yes it would be acceptable to make the cross and in reality it would be wrong to avoid making the cross. In my mind it is not about the color, but instead about trying to select the best mates based on my vision and expirences with working dogs which on it's own in constently evolving and changing as we learn more and have different expirences both with the dogs themselves along with encountering different work situations.

 

Exactly the reply I was looking for. Thank you. Very well said.

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I asked about one concept- whether looking into breeding for a quality working dog of a specific color- was worth it.

 

To address this one concept, no, I don't think it is worth it. In fact, I think it's detrimental to the breed as a whole. I think that once you take even a little bit of the focus away from the working package you start losing crucial elements of what makes the border collie what it is (and I mean the generic you, not you specifically Christina). Once you start considering anything beyond the working package you are both narrowing your gene pool and potentially decreasing the quality of what you're breeding, whether you realize it or not. This has the opportunity to affect the border collie breed as a whole, and that's where the rubber meets the road. One can quite easily lose working ability in very short order, as the working traits are very complex.

 

Could it work for a while? In theory, yes. But what I'm hoping is that you'll consider the big picture, and that is the health of the breed as a whole. How did the conformation dogs get to where they are? Selecting for something other than working ability. It's a slippery slope with dire consequences for the dogs, and for those of us who love and need them.

 

I don't know that I would say "ohhh, you should never breed your red bitch to another red dog" but what I would say would be, "breed your outstanding red bitch to an outstanding dog that is going to give you the desired combination of working traits that you're breeding for." So once you know what kind of dog you need, and what kind of dog you like, you will begin to know what traits you're looking for.

 

I would encourage you to continue to do what you're doing - asking questions.

 

Had you said to any of us, straight up, "Hey, I want to learn about working dogs", we would have said, "Pull up a chair and warm your feet by the fire." I am hoping that you can see the difference there.

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It was presumptuous to assume that I am going to start breeding dogs right now, or tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or in the next ten years, or ever. Am I looking for a foundation bitch? Yes. Will I find one anytime soon? No. If I never find what I want, will I settle for something less? No.

 

But Christina, I don't think anyone is presuming you are going to start breeding dogs right now. And since you said in post #26 that you "have already made up my mind to breed," I don't see anything presumptuous in people's concluding that you had a firm intention to breed at some point.

 

Unless I am misreading what you wrote, your plan is to start looking for a red foundation bitch right now, with the assumption that it will take you years to find the foundation bitch you are looking for. What we are saying -- or at least what I am saying -- is that this is not a good way to go about it. It seems to me that you are underestimating the amount of hands-on learning you will need to do in order to become a good breeder of working dogs. If you started by getting the best dog you can now (or as soon as you can -- you didn't mention earlier that you couldn't get another dog now) instead of waiting to get what you think, at your current stage of knowledge, to be just the right red foundation bitch, you could start that long learning journey now. IMO that would be a more sensible way to proceed. I think most people were saying a variant of that, because it makes sense to us, given our experience, and your approach doesn't, and we were trying to give good advice. When after some back and forth, it began to seem that the problem was a lack of understanding on your part of just how much one needs to learn, and how hard it is to learn it, to be a good breeder of working dogs, that is what we focused on. Not to blame you for not having this knowledge yet, but to try to convey that there is SO MUCH to learn when you're starting out that the best plan would be to start learning without settling on a hard and fast scenario at this point and waiting for it to materialize.

 

I asked about one concept- whether looking into breeding for a quality working dog of a specific color- was worth it.

 

And folks tried to answer you. It's open to you whether to give any weight at all to the opinions given or not.

 

This is the most unwelcoming group. I've been a member of this forum for almost three years now and have actively participated in a few discussions but this is the first time I have felt completely unwelcome, stepped on because I might not know everything there is to know.

 

Is that really fair? You broached a subject you said you knew was "extraordinarily controversial," saying you've "heard the whole 'breeding for color in working lines is not okay' spiel." Despite the dismissive tone of that, people genuinely tried to explain -- tried to be helpful. There IS hostility here toward breeding for color, but no hostility toward you. I struggled to come up with an analogy that would elucidate the staggering knowledge gap between where you are now -- where any beginner to livestock and stockdogs is -- and where you would need to be to reach the stage of being able to breed a line of quality working dogs, and couldn't come up with one. Laurae tried, but the only thing you perceived from her attempt was that she was comparing you to an eighth grader. That knowledge gap is vital information. How can it be expressed in a way that would have helped you to really, truly grasp it, yet not caused you to take offense? I'd genuinely like to know.

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So after four pages of discussion, you changed your original post. If it had read like that in the first place, it would have been much more understandable and much less provocative. Well, other than the "breeding for color" concept.

 

I am very grateful that kind, patient, and level heads have contributed because there has been a lot of good information put foward. To those of you who have, thank you!

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They will start at the beginning and not at the end of the journey. They won't start out with the idea of finding a "foundation bitch" before they have even begun to learn the basics about the dogs, dog handling and training, livestock, and all the rest of it.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think more people than like to admit have felt this way back when they first started. I know I sure did or something like that. I don't know when it comes about that you learn how much you (not the personal you but the general you) really don't know and could be with these dogs a life time and still learn something everyday.

 

It's a natural thing IMO, these dogs get way into our hearts and souls, only natural to want to breed your special dog or make a special dog like you have seen out there, it's just some learn faster than others why that's not really possible without putting in the time it takes to learn all you need to learn.

 

And that says nothing about you Christina, I don't think you are irresponsible at all, just naive and accidentally touched on a hot bed and didn't like what came of it. Oh well, get over it and soak up all the info you can, You are at the beginning of a wonderful journey that will make your heart sing if you continue!

 

And that's all I have to say about that! B)

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It was presumptuous to assume that I am going to start breeding dogs right now, or tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or in the next ten years, or ever. Am I looking for a foundation bitch? Yes. Will I find one anytime soon? No. If I never find what I want, will I settle for something less? No.

 

I don't think people can be considered presumptuous when you don't provide all the information at the start, which apparently you have now added to your original post.

 

This is the most unwelcoming group. I've been a member of this forum for almost three years now and have actively participated in a few discussions but this is the first time I have felt completely unwelcome, stepped on because I might not know everything there is to know.

 

Are we only unwelcoming when we disagree with you? You haven't considered us unwelcoming before now.

 

I, too, want to add that Laura's comments weren't meant to be demeaning, but to make a point. A point I had made earlier about learning about the dogs and the work before considering breeding. Your response to me then was that it was your preference to consider breeding first. Can you see how that would astound a few people?

 

Yes, you have since clarified, and for all I know you have changed more than just your original post, but it boggles the mind that you have been on this forum for three years and yet posted a question you knew to be a hot button issue and then are somehow surprised at the reaction you got.

 

I am not against you breeding dogs. I am against you doing so without first taking the time to learn as much as you can about the dogs and the work so that you have some hope of making good breeding decisions. There are plenty of folks out there already breeding dogs "from working lines" that are not doing any service to the breed. I'd hope you wouldn't want to become part of that group but instead would embrace the idea (as Laura tried to explain) of gaining as much useful knowledge as you can first and then if you still feel a need to breed, at least you'd be doing it from a foundation of knowledge of the working dog.

 

I imagine you could start with the dogs you have. It's possible one or both of them has some talent, at least enough to get you started. That way you could start learning the work aspect of this before you go looking for that special bitch. I can say from my own experience (and others have already said this) that the ideal dog for you when you start out can and will likely change as you gain knowledge of the dogs and the work. What I really liked at the start is not the same as what I prefer now. There are some elements of what I started out liking that I still like, but there are other things that I realized I liked/wanted only after I had spent time and taken a dog all the way to the open level in trialing. That's the point many people have been trying to make.

 

J.

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And that's all I have to say about that! B)/>/>/>/>

 

It was all really quite well said.

 

Christina: I don't know if you've seen the Youtube video at this link, but look at this dog! This is what folks on the board want to preserve. Is this smooth, tri-color Border Collie, working 'her' sheep, not one of the most exquisite things you've ever seen?! It takes my breath away!

 

http://youtu.be/FUnjLPeU_2A

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OK, let's just say you want a nice, working bitch that happens to be red. That is your Personal Preference.

 

Ok so let's say want to breed this red bitch....that is a whole new ball game....

 

What are your criteras for breeding? It should be to better the bred, not the color. Color should not play a role at all.

 

Working ability, stock sense, balance, power, working to an Open level, etc as well as health, good hips CERF good, DNA CEA tested, placing at top 20%, be able to work in a real ranch situation.....the stuff we all are preaching about.

 

Now if you dog meets this criteria, and is red, well, then the color was not a criteria but just happened to be red. Don't bred for color, but if the dog you happened to have is an outstanding rep of the breed and is red, then you got your red foundation dog. But it not going to happen over night.

 

However, you will find over time that your perference will change...maybe in 10 years when you are ready to breed, you will find out your red bitch you got today, doesn't make the grade......or the b/w white one....etc

 

Get seasoning under your belt, trial, train, see what it is all about....and when you are ready to breed a litter, you might find a red that will suit you or you may found out there are NO reds that suit you.

 

I had an top Open red male that I sold a while ago....I got tons of agility or color breeders who wanted to bred to him. I bred him ONCE to my top Open tri bitch. I turned down the other offers as the pups would not be to my working standard but to a color or performance standard.

 

Do the ground work, put the time in and if you still want reds, after you have been around the block and trial field for a few years, people are more apt to be open.

 

At this point, get a good working dog and not worry about the color, and don't worry about getting a foundation bitch. The dog still has to prove her/him self and if you get one from a reputable breeder, you will be on the correct path. Foundation will come later after you will realize what you really want or not.

 

Ask a lot of question, be prepare to learn, take some hard knocks, be open and willing to change. Be ready to say, "Oh the dog I had selected to be my foundation dog isn't good enough and not be bred"

 

we have all been there before.............

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Ot but if she wanted to learn about working dogs(before deciding on a foundation bitch) and didn't have a suitable dog to work... do instructors actually loan out dogs? What means could she employee to gain experience?

 

I know reading would help but as stated in different post reading only gets you so far.

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I'm no expert, but why couldn't she go about it the same way the rest of us have to? Go to trials, talk to handlers in person, buy a working pup without regard for its color? My trainer actually has brought her own dogs out for me to learn with after my young dog's own lesson so that I can learn the nuances to look for from a dog that is already working. *shrug*

 

I guess I just don't see where or when that becomes an unreasonable suggestion. Personally, I'd have recommended learning about the stock itself even before the dog. I'm new to stock work with dogs, but not new to stock. I can only imagine how many more mistakes one could/would make if they couldn't read the stock either.

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Kinda OT, kinda not, this is a little test that helps you get an idea of what level you can expect to achieve as a trialer based on your present situation both as far as access to sheep and your current dog. You can play with it and answer based on what changes you are expecting to make to see how it effects your potential. It's for entertainment purposes but it does give some insight as to how personal beliefs, understanding and expirence can either inhibit you or aide in your advancement. http://www.bcdb.info/winners.htm

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That was kinda fun! A couple of the questions didn't precisely suit - I'd have liked to see an option for "don't own sheep but work at several other people's places" - but it pegged me, anyhow. Open handler, lower level - that's exactly where I am. Moved Nick up to Open just last fall. :)

 

~ Gloria

 

 

Kinda OT, kinda not, this is a little test that helps you get an idea of what level you can expect to achieve as a trialer based on your present situation both as far as access to sheep and your current dog. You can play with it and answer based on what changes you are expecting to make to see how it effects your potential. It's for entertainment purposes but it does give some insight as to how personal beliefs, understanding and expirence can either inhibit you or aide in your advancement. http://www.bcdb.info/winners.htm

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Let’s try a different analogy to make the point everyone has been trying to make.

 

Let’s say you wanted to breed a line a mice that were the fastest at learning their way through mazes. You start by finding a group of scientist that study mice and how they learn to get through mazes.

 

Should your first question for these scientists be about the color of mice or about what things you should look for when you assess mice learning to go through mazes? The color question has no bearing on the goal of breeding a line of fast learning mice while the second question directly bears on the breeding selection for a line of fast learning mice.

 

 

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