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Looking for a recommended breeder

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I kind of figure that if it's a cross I want a pup from and there's no way to tell who's going to be the great working dog at 7-8 weeks just by looking, then I may as well pick the pup that appeals to me the most, whatever the source of that appealing is (looks, behavior, whatever).

 

I did keep two pups out of a litter I bred (the littermates mentioned earlier) because one was my pick and the other made it clear I was *his* pick, but one of my favorite dogs is one I took sight unseen based on a description from the owner of the bitch. The dog who picked me and the pup I took sight unseen are now 7 and are the two dogs I use for set out at trials.

 

The advantage to being willing to let a breeder pick, or to choose from photos or some other means, is that you can expand your breeder search a little to folks not within easy driving distance (as in you might want to make the trip to pick the pup up, but it's not close enough that you're going to make weekly trips to visit with the pups).

 

Anyway, I know there are handlers in SoCal aren't there? Surely someone could point you to them, or if you're willing to travel a bit further afield, you could talk to folks in northern CA or even WA/OR. There are a number of good breeders of working dogs in that neck of the woods.

 

J.

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Julie, I would have guessed your picks were based on ear size ;)

 

I second what others have said about being open to not meeting the puppy or letting someone else pick. Had we met Timber prior to bringing him home he wouldn't have been our pick, I wasn't even in love with his picture he was the plain looking chunky puppy, but DH picked him. Upon meeting him he was shy and kept to himself. We had one of his litter mates for the first week too who was completely outgoing, friendly and adorable. However, Timber quickly stole our hearts, has turned into a handsome confident dog and is proving to be incredible on stock. I am so happy DH picked and he reminds me he deserves the credit all the time :)

 

Try not to be in a rush either. It was about a year prior to finding a breeding that matched what I was looking for and then the wait for that breeding, and then the puppy wait. But it was so worth it!

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Sorry we're not much help so far as actual breeders! California was practically overrun with litters of puppies just a few months ago - some of them probably folks breeding in hopes of having prospects for the 2015 National Finals. It seemed everywhere I looked, someone had a litter of pups! Nice ones, too - hard on my self-restraint. :P

But I don't know of anyone planning or having a litter just now in California. As Dave said, these were good folks with good dogs who just don't breed that often. If I hear of anyone, I'll come back here and leave a note, but at the moment, I can't think of a soul. Wish I could help! You might have to consider out of state, in the event someone in Oregon or Washington or Idaho might have something coming.

~ Gloria

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If you gave names of breeders, maybe he can contact them and get on their waiting list early. There are some breeders that it would be worth the wait to get on their list long before they have concrete plans to breed.

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The last litter I had (5 years ago), I had a family (with children) come to me for a puppy. The mom was very insistent that she wanted to train the pup for "herding" and they had taken some lessons with the older rescue border collie in residence. I had a suspicion that despite working aspiration the puppy might end up a pet.....and then there were small children to consider. I picked the biggest, easiest going, laid back but confident pup for them. When they arrived, the pup plopped down in the middle of them and chilled out...he was cool with being picked up and smothered and manhandled by the children....but didn't cling or adore them. When they walked off, he hung out where he was (in the shade). They were disappointed and told me that they didn't feel the "bond".

 

They desperately demanded that I switch another pup I had that was high drive and jumping all over them. But that pup was already sold to a working home and I was not going to budge on that.

 

I did have one pup unsold that I thought was kind of needy and maybe a little fearful....I thought he might be a little sensitive in light of the child situation, but not unreasonably so....I just thought that the confident pup was the better choice for children. However, I did bring him out and he clung to them and went limp when the children picked him up. They asked one more time for the high drive pup and my answer was still no. Then they decided that the needy pup was the perfect pup and bonded with them.....because he clung to them and gazed adoringly in their eyes.

 

That pup did in fact become a pet.....they never once took him to stock. He was a great family dog, very much loved and got along great with the kids. He grew up to be outgoing and very active.

 

The confident mellow pup was the left over pup. I kept him and he is my right hand and Open trial dog......strong and forward like a freight train and gets all the muscle jobs. He's very high drive when working but kick back at rest. He's my buddy Craig.

 

So who knows....what is the right pup. I'm pretty sure that the high drive pup they wanted so badly was a poor choice for a family with children who might not end up working the dog....probably a disaster in the making. They were sure that he loved them and was THE ONE. I was equally sure he was NOT. They got a good pup that made them happy. I got a GREAT pup....and I'm quite happy too.

 

Here is Craig as a pup....didn't bond with his intended family....but became a great working dog and buddy:

 

41222059-d77b-4f5e-bd29-b00f93c8d865_zps

 

I get calls all the time to inquire about puppies but a bitch worthy of breeding (or even intact) at this time....and don't know when I will. I'm not really that enthusiastic about selling puppies. Dealing with buyers is stressful. It's most important for me to place the pups as I think best....not necessarily satisfy puppy buyers needs. I've had good people come to me who could offer good homes....but I did not have a puppy that I felt was the right fit. So, I've passed on good homes....not the fault of the home but just not the fit I felt right for the pup.

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Thank you all, especially for the leads. While I've mentioned how Kona first met with me, what I've not mentioned was his energy after that. Living next door to an elementary school, meant we had 100 small kids in our firont yard each morning. I did not let him out in front during that time until he was about 6 mo old. Of course he saw that that choatic bunch of kids clearly needed his herding guidance, and while fun to watch, we had to curb that immediately as the parents did not see the value. Kona was very high energy in play (3-4 times a day with the ball), we transferred his need to herd kids and animals to sprinklers, eventually he had 'his' sprinklers that he'd wait for then herd when on, fortunately it was set in the front yard so we controlled his opportunities. Never hurt his teeth but I did go through 100s of sprinkler heads through his life. Nice thing was aside from the very satisfied look he had, he would give himself a cooling bath on hot days. Eventually we figured out that following that with a session of ball dried him off. The other side of him was the lap dog, As gentle as you can imagine (very sensitive to my wife's issues) he would crawl up and lay on or next to us for up to hours at a time, He would sleep cuddled next to my wife at night when I traveled to keep her calm. Like I've said an amazing dog.

 

Thank you for all the leads, I will start contacting them. We're not in a rush, but we're also not going to force ourselves to wait. I've read enough folks saying to trust the breeder on picking the pup, I'll try, so I guess its up to me then to describe the type of lifestyle we have.

 

Thank you.

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I guess its up to me then to describe the type of lifestyle we have.

 

That's definitely true . . . and be completely honest and open about expectations and limitations.

 

And please don't rule out rescues. Some of the best dogs come from rescues!

 

Good luck. I'm sure you'll find the perfect dog for you and your wife.

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Just a word of warning about sprinklers. Some dogs can swallow so much water in a sort of obsessive play that they become sick or can even die from water intoxication. That may sound silly since Kona was ok all those years, but it can happen.

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I'm so bad at getting my entries in in time, but I have missed this trial too many times to leave it off this time. By golly, I will be there this year!

 

See you there!

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Jen, try my tactic. I make out the entry form, address the envelope - then leave it on my desk with the entry date written on the envelope where the stamp goes. In red ink. :P Then all I have to do is write the check and slap the stamp on, and since it's lying there looking at me every day, I have a better chance of actually getting it mailed on time.

Note to self: PRINT Hopland entry form tomorrow. :rolleyes:

~ Gloria

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