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In Texas - seeking help in finding a puppy


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Hi all. I'm a longtime lurker, but only an occasional poster. I would really appreciate your advice, though.

 

My husband and I just recently lost our beautiful Penelope (the border collie in my profile pic) to a (previously undetected) heart defect. It was a sudden, tragic loss... And it's been hard, as you can imagine. While we really aren't ready for a pup right now, I know that it can take some time to find the right one, ,so I want to start my search sooner rather than later.

 

First off, I should say that I have already contacted Penny's foster mom and asked her to be on the lookout for us (Penny came from a local bc rescue here in TX).

 

In addition to looking at rescues, I would really appreciate recommendations of folks breeding nice working dogs that I could contact. I am in Texas, but wiling to travel anywhere for the right pup. I am an agility person, looking for an athletic, happy pup that i can train up for agility. I will be looking for a young pup - 8 wks-6mos. I know that every pup is a gamble, but given my training plans and goals, a younger pup will suit best.

 

So,if any of you all have advice, I would really appreciate it. You can post on this thread or pm me.

 

Thank you in advance,

 

Danielle

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Hi I am from Texas and we got our Effie from Centerville Texas. We live in Austin so it was only 4 hours there and back. She is ABCA an AKC registered. I can post pictures of her if you want. I'm not sure if her parents were used for working but they were on farm land...the breeders were older and told us they had to get rid of a lot of their animals due to health problems. They were from South America and said that their dogs were from champion bloodlines from somewhere in that region. She was only $350 which was way better than some other breeders we contacted. Only odd part is our girl has wavy hair coming in so her coat will probably be wavy or curly but its hard to tell right now (If you have a preference). I have their email and phone number...they don't have a website they seemed old fashioned.

 

Also we have been researching other breeders to find Effie a good companion one day. You should check these three breeders out. I know a few of them have puppies right now if you have a change of heart.

 

This breeder has beautiful red merle working dogs in south Texas.

http://www.banderagypsyranch.com/bordercollies.html

 

Also check these two out I have heard good things about them! Not sure if they use their dogs for working though.

 

Red River Border Collies:

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-River-Border-Collies/231626626929526

 

http://www.bordercollieconnection.com/

 

Seven Links Ranch:

 

https://www.facebook.com/sevenlinksranch

 

http://www.sevenlinksranch.com/

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Thanks for the reply. I definitely am looking for a dog from working parents, as that will be most likely to give me the temperament, biddability, and athleticism we look for in awesome agility dogs.

 

I have a couple of friends who got awesome, stable, athletic dogs from a local rancher a couple of years ago... I'm following that lead right now, too, but definitely appreciate any others. Many (most?) of my agility friends got their dogs from sport breeders.... So that is most of the advice I'm getting right now. I'd prefer to get a working bred dog, though... Hence asking here...

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Seven Links at least used to be associated with Emil Luedecke, whom I think highly of. (Edited to add that after I got home and was able to view the website, I would not tend to recommend this breeder in spite of some good dogs in the background of their breedings.)

 

I'd avoid anyone involved with AKC, even just dual-registering and anyone who breeds deliberately for color.

 

I'm sure others will give advice. I'm on the phone and am limited in checking out other suggestions.

 

If you haven't read the "read this first" I suggest that you do. There are some good breeders in Texas and good rescues.

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Brookitar, I'm sure you have a lovely dog... but it doesn't appear to me as if any of the breeders you've referred dmadrid to *do* anything with their dogs. The first one looks like a color breeder (lots of merles and reds). The second also has lots of fancy candy colors, including some I've never seen in a working dog. Although the (edit) *third* one has dogs with some nice dogs in their pedigrees, I'd describe them as more like "working LINES" than like "working BRED" dogs. I'd feel better about them if they included photos of dogs working stock on their ranch.

 

Dmadrid, I'm sorry for your loss. I don't know anything about rescues to recommend in Texas; I don't live at all close. But if you are also considering getting a working-bred puppy or pup, my suggestion would be to try to attend local sheepdog trials. Meet some dogs, meet some handlers, watch how the handlers interact with their dogs. Volunteer at the trial(s) - you'll start to learn more about just what these wonderful dogs have been bred to do! (And who knows, you may get sucked into stockwork... it's happened before!). Ask handlers if they know of any upcoming litters, and ask them who they'd recommend you contact. You can find local trials by visiting the Texas Sheepdog Association website. They also have a classified ad section that includes puppies. I've heard of many (but not all) of the people who are currently advertising here - don't know what that means as I don't live in Texas or hang with Texas handlers!

 

Any dog you get will, with luck, be with you for a very long time. You're wise to recognize that you may be embarking on a long process, but waiting to find a well-bred, working-bred dog will definitely pay off.

 

ETA: Looks like Toney was posting her response while I was composing my long-winded answer. Count that as two votes for checking in with the Texas Sheepdog Association!

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Brookitar, as others have said, please read the Read This First page for these boards to understand the philosophy of the organization that hosts it.

 

It is completely inappropriate to refer anyone to breeders who affiliate with ACK, who are breeding from working "lines" without proving their dogs as working stockdogs, are breeding for color, for spots or for show, etc., all of which are antithetical to the mission of the USBCC, whose Boards these are.

 

Also please note that ABCA registration alone is not a guarantee of a quality working bred dog (just as ACK registration is not a guarantee of a well bred dog). It's simply a registration.

 

Dmadrid, I'm sorry for your loss. I wish you all the best finding a good dog when you're ready.

 

ETA: I'm beginning to think that that new members should be required to read Read This First and answer a couple of questions that demonstrate that they've actually read and understood the philosophy. I've seen that done before, on a site for an animal assisted crises response team. You don't even get to go the the full website or access the application until you've demonstrated you've read their introductory material. I thought it was a PITA at the time, but now I understand why they do it.

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Since I have gotten home, I did take a look at the Seven Links website and based on what I saw there, in spite of some of their dogs parents coming within a few generations from a person I respect, I don't see anything that would cause me to recommend them as a breeder. Color, okay with AKC registration, and nothing to show that the dogs they use for breeding actually do any work (the only comments seem to be about personality traits, like "eager to please" or "sweet"). That leads me to believe they are really producing for the pet market rather than for real working dogs. I have edited my previous post to reflect that.

 

As Roxanne pointed out, ABCA registration is no guarantee as it is simply a registry (it does support the working Border Collie through support of educational events and National Finals, these boards, promotional/educational material, and philosophy).

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Brookitar, I'm sure you have a lovely dog... but it doesn't appear to me as if any of the breeders you've referred dmadrid to *do* anything with their dogs. The first one looks like a color breeder (lots of merles and reds). The second also has lots of fancy candy colors, including some I've never seen in a working dog. Although the (edit) *third* one has dogs with some nice dogs in their pedigrees, I'd describe them as more like "working LINES" than like "working BRED" dogs. I'd feel better about them if they included photos of dogs working stock on their ranch.

 

Dmadrid, I'm sorry for your loss. I don't know anything about rescues to recommend in Texas; I don't live at all close. But if you are also considering getting a working-bred puppy or pup, my suggestion would be to try to attend local sheepdog trials. Meet some dogs, meet some handlers, watch how the handlers interact with their dogs. Volunteer at the trial(s) - you'll start to learn more about just what these wonderful dogs have been bred to do! (And who knows, you may get sucked into stockwork... it's happened before!). Ask handlers if they know of any upcoming litters, and ask them who they'd recommend you contact. You can find local trials by visiting the Texas Sheepdog Association website. They also have a classified ad section that includes puppies. I've heard of many (but not all) of the people who are currently advertising here - don't know what that means as I don't live in Texas or hang with Texas handlers!

 

Any dog you get will, with luck, be with you for a very long time. You're wise to recognize that you may be embarking on a long process, but waiting to find a well-bred, working-bred dog will definitely pay off.

 

ETA: Looks like Toney was posting her response while I was composing my long-winded answer. Count that as two votes for checking in with the Texas Sheepdog Association!

 

Effie is a great dog and I'm not sure what purpose her parents were used for but the breeders were not color breeders. She came from a large litter of eleven mostly black and white siblings with several red pups. She was my first border collie so I did not know to search for breeders who have working dogs. I joined this forum shortly after I got her to learn more about the breed.

 

Also for the color breeders they don't have any info on their website (its pretty vague mostly about horses) but I did contact the breeder on email. They said the puppies were from working backgrounds. On puppyfind before I found Effie's breeders who were a lot closer it said her pups were from this kind of background. Also she/he breeds horses and is against color breeding so I doubt she's breeding her borders for color.

 

Brookitar, as others have said, please read the Read This First page for these boards to understand the philosophy of the people who host it.

 

It is completely inappropriate to refer anyone to breeders who affiliate with ACK, who are breeding from working "lines" without proving their dogs as working stockdogs, are breeding for color, for spots or for show, etc., all of which are antithetical to the mission of the USBCC, whose Boards these are.

 

Also please note that ABCA registration alone is not a guarantee of a quality working bred dog (just as ACK registration is not a guarantee of a well bred dog). It's simply a registration.

 

Dmadrid, I'm sorry for your loss. I wish you all the best finding a good dog when you're ready.

 

 

I read the first page before I joined these forums. My Effie is the only one AKC registered and ABCA....just noting where my dog was from because I take pride in her. I'm not going to say Effie was a mistake just because she is an AKC dog. She is very smart and her trainer says she has "herding instincts".

 

Also for Red River Border Collies they are only ABCA not AKC. Seven Links Ranch is ABCA registered and can be registered AKC. I recommended them because they appear to have really good reviews from a lot of people.

 

As far as working backgrounds...they say they are from "proven working lines". But of course they do not show this visibly in photos. Red River claims to have working dogs but I have never contacted these breeders before.

 

Red River Border Collies :

"We always enjoy talking to folks about our wonderful working cow dogs. We've been raising quality border collies for more than 20 years & hope that our years of experience manifest themselves in our superb working dogs. We offer proven imported bloodlines from this strong foundation working dogs we have built a working dog dynasty that has lasted for generations. We're happy to provide references for our dogs!"

 

Seven Links Ranch:

"Our dogs are registered with the American Border Collie Association, of which we are lifetime members. Our Border Collies are from proven working lines. They are our family and we treat them as such with lots of love and attention. Several of the puppies born from our Dam's are on working ranches and doing well. We feel certain that our border collie pups are bred with the instinct to herd and with proper training will perform excellently in that environment."

 

My dog is AKC registered and I myself am searching for breeders who claim to have working backgrounds (now that I know reading the first page and different posts). Just offering what I have found so far. Didn't mean to ruffle any feathers...

 

Best of luck to finding a good breeder and sorry for your loss.

 

-Brooke

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There are many posts in the archive explaining the difference between dogs from "working lines" or "working backgrounds" or "herding instincts" (which is most definitely not the same thing as actually being able to work) and dogs who are themselves proven working dogs.

 

I'm sure Effie's a great dog and no one's asking you to apologize for her.

 

But we are asking you (and others) not to maker referrals to breeders who do not prove their dogs before breeding. There are lots of cleverly worded evasions on many breeders' websites that fool people into believing their dogs actually work when they don't. Working backgrounds does not necessarily = working dogs, and unless they're breeding only working dogs (and good working dogs, at that) then all the background in the world does not make them responsible breeders of working border collies. It's not like show dogs; you have to breed the good working dogs and weed out the poor ones -- and how will anyone ever know which is which if they haven't been proven to actually work (not instinct, but trained, competent work)? -- to continue to produce good working dogs.

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That's okay, Brooke, what you don't know, you don't know - yet!

 

"Working backgrounds" or "working lines" is not the same as "working-bred". Working-bred involves proving each generation's working abilities, strengths and weaknesses, before making breeding decisions, not just getting a couple of animals together who have working ancestors at some point or another in their background.

 

As for "good reviews", those reviews are only as good as the people who write them - even the worst of breeders can get "great reviews" from people who have purchased their pups (and, let's face it, how many breeders would post a negative review on their website?). And if the people that get the pups never truly test their stock working ability, who's to know if those pups are truly a good result of a breeding decision (at least by the definition that is inherent in the philosophy of these boards)?

 

Read through some recent topics that discuss these ideas and you may find a lot of questions answered and explanations for why responsible breeding involves truly breeding for working ability.

 

PS - We've loved and enjoyed our less-responsibly-bred animals as much as any of our responsibly-bred animals but unless I was getting one from rescue or a shelter, I will support what I consider a responsible breeder in the future.

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As to terminology:

 

I can be called "from Lithuanian lines". All that means is that my mother's parents were born and raised in Lithuania. It does not mean that I am Lithuanian in any way other than that my grandparents were Lithuanian. It does not mean that I speak or understand the Lithuanian language or can cook Lithuanian foods. It does not even mean that I know anything about Lithuania.

 

In fact, based on my Lithuanian heritage, I could also claim to be "from Tartar lines" as my grandfather knew that a female ancestor was "quite friendly" with a Tartar solder who was passing through.

 

The whole "from lines" bit would sure put me off. I'd want to know who and what he or she actually did and how close is that dog related to the one you get. Then again, I've adopted rescues, with no real knowledge of "lines". But all I want is a smart pet who will take me for walkies.

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Herbert Holmes in Texas just posted a 5 month old female he has for sale, out of superb working dogs (Ron Enzeroth, Stephanie Goracke) on Facebook a couple of days ago. He also is a Texas Sheepdog Association member and can be reached at herbert@holmesbordercollies.com. He is in Gouldbusk.

 

The pup sounds like a real firecracker!

 

Good luck with your search!

 

Amy

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I would recommend attending one of the upcoming trials listed on the TSDA page. There won't be any more until February, but I'm sure the members will be more than happy to help you in your search. My mom, who was looking for a puppy to start trialing with, came out from CA and went to a trial with me this summer. We talked to a few people there and were able to find a great puppy for her that I took out to CA a few weeks later.

I know that at least a few of the members also have friends or relatives who are into agility, so they might have some good connections for that also. The TSDA folks are a great group to get to know, and I'd bet they'll be able to help you find a puppy if you decide to try that route. :)

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Sorry you lost your sweet Penelope. It's never easy.

 

Ditto what everyone else said about working lines/working bred.

 

THAT said....I would strongly encourage you to look at rescue, such as the one mentioned by Ancient_Dog.

They often have young dogs, even 8 week old puppies. Sometimes they know the breeding, sometimes they don't.

But while "working bred" is a good criteria, and I whole-hearted support ONLY that for breeding, rescues can also make GREAT agility dogs.

 

My heart dog, Lucy, was a rescue (her owner died when she was 3.5 yr old). She was ABCA registered, and frankly had zero, nil, zilch, nada herding instinct! However, she lived for agility, won several national (NADAC) competitions, did well in USDAA, and lived for the sport. She lived to be 16+ years old, and was the best dog ever (we all have at least one of those, eh?!).

 

My latest youngster is from Arizona Border Collie Rescue (you might check out their new web page also - they get a LOT of puppies, and many of their rescues are very successful in agility), and is the sweetest thing ever. She isn't the fastest dog on the block - yet. But I have hopes she'll be speedier as she gains confidence, and she may be the most consistent dog on course that I've ever had.

 

Best of luck in your search - and you are so right that it may take awhile!

 

diane

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All, thank you for your input. I am emailing with Herbert about that pup he has... hopefully I'll be able to get out and see her before she gets snatched up by someone. She is cute.

 

I am in contact with a rescue (Border Collie Rescue Texas), and they are looking out for me. Penny came from that rescue, and her foster mom knows what I am looking for... So, we will see if anything turns up via that route. I am definitely open to getting a rescue dog, I know they can be super, I've had rescues literally my entire life, but I am going to be picky about a couple of things (age: less than 6 months, and sex: female).

 

Beyond that, there's all the things I'll look for that will make an awesome agility dog: happiness, resiliency, playfulness, nicely put together, willingness to work, and that certain something that tells me that a dog is capable of ruling the world. you know, the usual. =)

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As long as you can make a good kugula, I think you can qualify for Lithuanian On Merit (LOM)! :)

As to terminology:

 

I can be called "from Lithuanian lines". All that means is that my mother's parents were born and raised in Lithuania. It does not mean that I am Lithuanian in any way other than that my grandparents were Lithuanian. It does not mean that I speak or understand the Lithuanian language or can cook Lithuanian foods. It does not even mean that I know anything about Lithuania.

 

In fact, based on my Lithuanian heritage, I could also claim to be "from Tartar lines" as my grandfather knew that a female ancestor was "quite friendly" with a Tartar solder who was passing through.

 

The whole "from lines" bit would sure put me off. I'd want to know who and what he or she actually did and how close is that dog related to the one you get. Then again, I've adopted rescues, with no real knowledge of "lines". But all I want is a smart pet who will take me for walkies.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I found my pup!

 

Thank you all for the advice and suggestions (both in this thread and through PMs). I ended up driving out to Herbert Holmes' place to meet the 5 month old pup he had... Honestly, when I drove out there, I didn't think I'd be bringing her home... Thought I was going out there just to visit... But I sat down, she climbed in my lap, and it was game over.

 

Her name is Wren, she'll be 6 months on Sunday, and she's a total sweetheart. She's adjusting to city life, and definitely has a lot to learn. It's so fun, though, watching her figure things out and open up to us. And, she cuddles like a pro. If there is one thing we really needed in our lives right now, it was a sweet, snugly puppy.

 

Bonus: look at those freckles!

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post-12910-0-81918100-1418250860_thumb.jpg

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