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Hi guys, I am planning on getting a border collie puppy and have been looking at breeders. There is one that is nearby and has a litter that will work out well with my timing, but there are some iffy things about them, like the number of litters they produce. The only threads I have seen asking about breeders here have either been the "no way" (AKC/colour breeders or puppy mills) or the "perfect" breeder. In my completely novice opinion this one seems to be somewhere in between, so I'm really not sure what I should think.

This is the site:
http://www.hanginarch.com/Border_Collies/Home.html

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If you are in Alberta, how about checking out Alta-Pete Stockdogs (Scott and Jenny Glen)? I would think that if they did not have something to suit you, or if all their expected pups (if there are any) are spoken for (which is likely), they could give you some recommendations. I would take their recommendations seriously.

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I would think that Scott and Jenny could give you recommendations anywhere in Canada. They have a website (http://www.altapetestockdogs.com/) and you can get contact info on them there. They are probably on the road right now, trialing for much of the spring, summer, and early fall in Canada and the US. I expect if you email them, Jenny will get back to you.

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I can't say that I've heard of these people but that may not mean much. They seem to do mainly arena or stockdog trials - main dog Ben ran novice-novice last year at age 4 - but their website does sound like they use their dogs regularly on the ranch, which I find a plus.

But I'd be wary of pups from dogs who are untested because they are "known genetically." If both parents are CEA clear, the pups will be DNA clear, and that is okay. But if they go a few generations of breeding without testing, things can creep in. Likewise with hip dysplasia. A dysplastic pup can still come from sound parents, but I'd want to up the odds a little by knowing the parents were tested OFA Good or better. There is no heartache like discovering your precious working partner is dysplastic.

Scott Glenn is a very knowledgeable man and I think if you contacted him about these folks, he would be able to give you sound advice.

Sorry we're been no help so far!

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I don't think that I'd automatically rule them out but I would have to personally get to know them and their dogs before considering a pup from them. Just glancing at their site I wouldn't go with them and would move on to someone who worked dogs at a higher level, did some basic health clearances and seemed a bit more interested in raising high quality working dogs vs. just producing pups.

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Thank guys, that's pretty much what I was thinking about these folks but I wanted to double check that no one saw any huge warning signs that I missed. I'll be pretty close to the ranch this summer so I'm thinking I'll go for a visit and look around a bit. I'll be honest, since I live in an apartment and don't have experience with border collies, I am not sure how willing certain breeders will be to sell to me. I am able and willing to move if the apartment doesn't work for the dog, but I guess we'll see how it goes. I talked to Jenny tonight and got a few more recommendations from them, so we'll see! Thanks again (and I still am happy to hear opinions if anyone has them).

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Glad to hear you talked with Jenny. She'll have given you names of good folks up your way. Networking is such a good way to go when it comes to things that count -- like puppies or training. And Scott and Jenny are as good as they come.

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Chene, I applaud you for wanting to find a good breeder, but the most important question you need to ask yourself, "Are you a good home for a border collie, inparticular a working border collie puppy"? An apartment is not a good fit for these dogs,

 

I have to say I really dislike when I hear this. I live in an apartment and give my high-drive, energetic a great home. Just because you have a yard or land doesn't mean you are automatically a better home for a Border Collie.

 

When I first was looking to add a BC to my home many people (including some rescues) wouldn't even consider me since I live in a apartment. They didn't take anything else into account.

 

It might take a bit more creativity but as long as you have a plan for meeting your dog's mental and physical exercise needs an apartment can be a fine home for a BC.

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I have no recommendations but, I to find the idea of a nicely bred border collie living in an apartment not an issue. They live well anywhere as long as the owners interact with their dogs in a manner fit for a border collie.

There were a few years in my life where I was restricted by circumstance to not be active with my dogs. None of us suffered in the least. We prefer the farm life but don't find it an absolute must. Just are preference. While not being really active my dogs were still the center of my life.

Good luck with your search.

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While I agree that rescue is a great way to go for people wanting an active pet or sport dog, I also think that a well bred border collie is pretty adaptable IF you are commited to meeting the dog's needs. The dedication of the owner makes it work much more than the type of house they live in.

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I'm not familiar with these breeders, but based on their website, I see nothing that would rule them out as the source of a good puppy. They appear to be very honest, based on the way they address possibly "negative" topics rather than just saying whatever is the accepted "right" thing to say, and that's an important indicator. I would want to check them out in person rather than relying exclusively on a website, but luckily you're in a position to do that -- you can visit, talk with them, see their operation, and ask whether they think the pups from a particular litter would have personalities that would suit you and your situation. I wouldn't hesitate to follow up with them if I were you.

 

ETA: From what I see on their site, they do test all breeding stock for CEA. It's only CHD where they test only those they don't know well genetically. I would not reject a breeder outright for that practice, especially where the dogs are heavily used on the ranch. I think you're right that there is no "perfect" breeder.

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Thanks everyone for the advice. MossyOak, I have of course considered this as much as I can, and based off of my lifestyle, the amount of time I spend at home, and the surrounding areas and parks here, I do believe the fact that I live in an apartment would not be detrimental to the dog. If I found that this was the case, then I am in a position where I could decide to move. If you can think of reasons why you think it's still not a good idea I'm happy to listen, because maybe there is something you've considered that I haven't, and I do not want to inadvertently put a dog into a bad situation.

On the other side of it I do appreciate the support and I'm hoping the dog will adapt well! I can definitely understand the uncertainty of people as far as putting a border collie in an apartment but as long as it's acknowledged that, done right, it is often possible then all is good. I look forward to coming up with creative solutions to living in an apartment. It seems a good adventure.

On the other note, I'm glad to hear some positive feedback for these breeders, and I definitely plan on discussing all of these things when I visit. The problem is that occasionally people are dishonest and I wanted to be sure that this was the kind of breeder I could discuss with without running the risk of giving them a chance to cover up mistakes with nice words. It seems from what people have said that there is no reason to think they will be.

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I lived in apartments for years with dogs from some of the best working bloodlines in the world. It does take a very dedicated owner to pull it off, but it can be done. I would even say my dogs were much happier and better adjusted than your average Border Collie. Again, it takes a dedicated owner willing to go above and beyond.

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They live well anywhere as long as the owners interact with their dogs in a manner fit for a border collie.

 

There were a few years in my life where I was restricted by circumstance to not be active with my dogs. None of us suffered in the least. We prefer the farm life but don't find it an absolute must. Just are preference. While not being really active my dogs were still the center of my life.

Good luck with your search.

 

 

Yep, same situation of finding myself in an apartment having 1.5 jobs for a while with 3 busy active dogs including a Border Collie and we all did just fine. Our off time was spent together having fun and hanging out and they did just fine.

 

Is it easier to have dogs with a fenced yard? Oh yes, no doubt. Especially when its 11 pm and raining.

 

But at the same time, a fenced yard doesn't equal a great life and I know plenty of dogs who don't get enough exercise and interaction who have a fence.

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Dear Doggers,

 

No doubt there are easier circumstances for rearing a Border Collie but what matters is the character the owner is willing to invest in the dog. Carol Benjamin's Border Collies live in a New York City apartment and I've known a single woman who trialed three dogs from a Richmond Va walkup and a full time job.

 

I've also known Border Collies on farms that ran away every time they were offlead.

 

You will get from your Border Collie 1 1/2 times what you put into him. The reverse is also true.

 

Donald McCaig

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Actually, if you go on the website in their FAQ they specifically say that yes you can make it work to have a border collie in an apartment. So..

 

And considering border collies are the kind of dog that will work through pain, and that it's quite common for them not to show they have hip dysplasia I wouldn't go to this breeder. There are plenty of good working breeders that health test, and there is no excuse not to.

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There are indeed plenty of good working breeders that health test. The issue with hip dysplasia is that it's polygenic, there is no DNA test, and the best tests available (radiographic assessment of relatives, and rarely done more extensively than sire and dam) are not proven to be all that well correlated with development of DJD. I'm in favor of testing all breeding stock, and the ABCA Health & Genetics Committee recommends doing so, but there is more to be said for the arguments of those who do not test than most people who haven't looked in depth at the tests and test data realize. That said, since these breeders do test some of their breeding stock, you could presumably choose to hold out for pups produced by those of their dogs who have been tested free of hip dysplasia if you wished.

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But there are studies that show consistent screening and selection of breeding animals can at least reduce your odds of producing HD.

 

I've seen far too many dysplastic dogs that worked hard and were sound for many years to want to risk breeding without hip scores.

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