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Hello! I am new here. I am a member of the the GSD forum, germanshepherd.com, but they couldn't help me on this question. I am looking around for a good BC breeder, and I found one awhile ago that I just love. The dogs are beautiful, good at agility, and it just seems like a nice little family rather than a breeder. The breeder is Hob Nob Border Collies; www.hobnobbordercollies.com . I can't really decide whether a breeder is good or not, but I just really like this one. Jan DeMello, the breeder, seems like she really loves her dogs, and loves what she does. Well, please just give me some feedback! Thanks! :)

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Be prepared. You're not going to get any endorsements of AKC border collie breeders here. If you haven't already, you should read the introductory material offered on the General Border Collie Discussion page. Here are some direct links.






Not to be rude, but this is a forum for people who support breeding of border collies strictly based on their working ability, not for dog sports, not for colors, and definitely not for conformation.


It's funny that I was thinking of Janice DeMello just recently. Over 30 years ago she'd contacted me inquiring about breeding to my blue merle border collie. Merles were still quite rare at the time; Mirk was, AFAIK, only the 2nd on the east coast. I was just finding my way in the BC world, but I very quickly came to agree with the USBCC (the oldest border collie breed club and champions of working border collies) position that border collies should be bred first and foremost for their working ability.


Janice, at the time, was doing competitive obedience with her dogs. There was no agility then. She was interested introducing merle into her lines, and she decided that Mirk wasn't a suitable stud because he had ticking (freckles) in his blaze and on his legs. I decided she wasn't a suitable candidate for him, either. Eventually, when the AKC railroaded recognition of border collies, Janice became an AKC breeder. I, OTOH, abandoned competitive obedience in favor of working my dog as he was meant to be worked, on sheep, and acquired a small flock for that purpose.


So, again, with all due respect (and I'm not saying that sarcastically), the short answer is that you're not going to find support here for any AKC breeders, nor any breeders of dogs "from working lines" who breed for color or agility or other non-herding dog sports.


The reason for this is that working ability is genetically fragile, and to breed for other purposes will dilute the gene pool and risk keeping border collies the dogs they were originally bred to be, excellent working sheepdogs.


ETA: If your intent is to do agility with your dog, you can't go wrong with a well bred pup from working parents, or a border collie from rescue. They're just as good at agility as agility bred dogs, and many here will tell you they have excellent temperaments, as well. :)

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BCLover2000, welcome to the Boards, but I have to say your post strikes me as odd. If you've found a breeder "awhile ago" that you "just love" and "really like," why are you asking for feedback? Your post sounds more like a litany of praise than a question. Gentle Lake's response would be hard to improve on. If you'd really like more, there's a Search function in the upper right-hand corner of your screen that you can use . . .

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If you have Facebook. Join the fact or fiction uncensored opinion of breeders. They recently discussed hobnob. :) not gonna get into it but it made me reconsider some breeders or at least made me more aware.

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What a coincidence... I ran into someone today (an agility person, but who has never had a purebred Border collie, only a Border collie/lab mix) while hiking with my dogs. She admired my three (working-bred) Border collies, while asking me about breeders (I told her I couldn't endorse any local "breeders"). She told me she'd narrowed her search to two breeders: Hob Nob, and Red Top. I recommended she eliminate the first, and I endorsed the second. Why? Only one of these (IMHO) seeks to improve what should be valued in Border collies: working ability.

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Hmmm - the 'Quote' function is not working for me, but ...

I sent a request to join the fact or fiction uncensored ..... Facebook page a little over an hour ago and no response yet.


Border_Collie_ Crazy - how fast did it take for you to join?? Or am I doing something wrong (i.e. how do you join? I sent a request.)

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Hi There,


I'm pretty new to BCs, but since I've actually met Jan and been to her Kennel, I figure I'd chime in.


I actually visited Jan's kennel a while back while searching for my first BC as she's fairly close to me and has a pretty high profile website for a border collie breeder. She's been involved with the breed for a very long time, and was at one top a top competitor in obedience. I can tell you that she has a nice, clean property and the dogs are well cared for and yes, she is really into her dogs. She has some very nice dogs and is well regarded by dog sports folks. She's quite accessible for a border collie person (actually responds to emails and even phone calls), so contacting her is certainly an option.


The folks on this board won't endorse her kennel as I think she breeds for sports and "all around" rather than strictly working/trialing and she registers with the AKC (though seems to hold that org in low regard) and seems to consider color in her breeding program, all 3 big red flags for most folks here.


She does have livestock, however, and she does participate in herding at some level (or did, she has health problems and I'm not sure she participates in any dog sport any longer) and she was once a top obedience handler. I do think herding instinct is something she considers with breeding (judging by the fact that she has livestock for the dogs to work, though I didn't know enough then to ask questions about it). I think most folks interested in her pups these days are agility folks, whom hold her in high regard. I've met a few owners of her dogs and they love them and think she's great.


She is certainly not a conformation breeder, backyard breeder or puppy mill. It's up to you to decide whether or not she's breeding for the right reasons. Keep on open mind on this and learn and make a decision.


She charges a *lot* of money for her pups. She does stand behind her dogs and is no backyard breeder or puppy mill, though she does breed a lot of litters. She does a lot of socialization and early stimulation type things with the pups as well (which I witnessed), has a good contract, screens those who buy her pups very carefully (down to personal references, which she does check, etc). I think she does all the appropriate health clearances, but you should double check on that.


My advice would be to read some of the stickies on this forum and learn why the folks here are against, in general, breeding for anything but working ability. If you learn where they are coming from and still have an interest in Jan's dogs, then I would urge you to give her a call and talk with her about her program and any concerns you have based on the research you have done her and then make an informed decision.


FWIW, after doing the reading and research you are being encouraged to do, I fell into the camp of supporting only working dog breeders, though I actually ended up adopting a dog, which was a very good decision for me as she's been a great dog and a great match for me (she's from a working breeding program). I would encourage you to consider adoption as you also consider breeders - the perfect dog might come up while you are on your search as happened to me.


Good luck with your decision.

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But she is an AKC breeder, which by its very definition is antithetical to the mission of these Boards.


Right, I know, but the point I was trying to make was that she's not some kind of puppy mill or backyard breeder or breeding solely to an appearance standard. Yes, she's not the kind of breeder that any of the working border collie enthusiast would care to endorse, but there are a lot, lot worse out there (from high class conformation breeders who only care about the way the dog looks to low class puppy millers who only care about money - she's not with that lot).


To be clear, I'm not endorsing her kennel (and seeing the number of planned litters and the price she's charging, I'm really going 'hmmm....' at the moment) - I was just encouraging the OP to do some research and come to their own conclusions and adding my own anecdote to the thread. Jan definitely has a point of view and can counter anything said about her (whether or not any one here would buy her argument is beside the point), but she's not here to state her case.


Hence, steering the OP to do research and then speak with her directly. Good or bad, she's out there and willing to speak with folks.


NOTE- my own dog is AKC and ABCA registered. I do not know how common that is, but she was bred right on the farm to work cattle. Her previous owner happened to also do agility, hence the AKC registration. I wouldn't think that registering with AKC means exactly that you support everything the represent, however, Jan does seem to be promoting that, so again, hmmm....


I'll refrain from commenting further on this thread because, if I'm being honest, I'm out of my depth being so new to BCs, etc., and wouldn't want to steer someone wrong.

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Good or bad, she's out there and willing to speak with folks.


You wrote good replies and made dispassionate and considerate remarks. As for "being out there and willing to speak with folks" - that is good marketing and it obviously works for her.


Most breeders of quality working-bred pups do not market on the internet, and are not really marketing a "product" or producing very many pups at all, largely breeding when they want a pup for themselves from a particular mating. Some are not interested in selling to non-working homes although many will sell pups to non-working homes. Many are busy farmers and ranchers and while they will generally respond to requests about pups when they can, a lot of them have little time to spend on the internet or engaging with a lot of folks that *might* be interested in a pup. No excuse for not being polite but there is a lot of seasonal demand on some people's time.


The best quality working breeders I have found that I might consider purchasing a pup from are those I have met at trials and clinics, and other locations where people who are serious about working dogs congregate. I don't trial but I do volunteer, and that's a great way to make acquaintances and connections with people who might be the kind of breeder that I would endorse if I were making a recommendation or that I would consider if I was looking for a pup or started dog.


Just my experiences.

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PS - If I remember correctly, the breeder under discussion here was on these boards once when a question was raised about her kennel (I'm not remembering the question). I did remember her making the comment that any of her dogs could "be an Open dog" (running in USBCHA Open classes) if she "just had the time" or a similar explanation. That alone was enough to sour me on someone who once was a proponent of the working-bred dog but apparently went whole-heartedly into AKC-registration when the breed was recognized there. That's where the money is...

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I'm willing to concede that this breeder is perhaps a reputable breeder of dogs. However, she is in no fashion a breeder I would endorse for border collies. She does not select for working traits and she is AKC. Giving money to the AKC is giving money to the devil and winking at all the breeds ruined under AKC auspices.

Plus,how many litters is a lot? While I have no idea how many litters Hob Nob puts on the ground annually, the definition of a "puppy mill" does not mean, IMHO, that someone keeps their dogs in dark and smelly barns. It means they crank out an inordinate number of litters per year for cash.

I'm sorry to be negative, BCLover, but this forum does not and will not lean kindly towards this breeder or those liker her. She breeds AKC dogs, not to retain and refine the traits that make the border collie what it's meant to be.


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