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New Dog! (almost) and Blue Ridge Border Collies


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Hello Team BC!

 

I must once again draw from the pack wisdom of the group. As suggested in many forums, and after much hemming and hawing, I contacted Dwight at Blue Ridge Border Collies, a ranch that also breeds working dogs. I explained that I was looking for a dog on the lower end of exercise and energy range to be a companion pet, and did he know of a dog of any age like that looking for a home. He said he had a six month old pup he had traded one of his $800 puppies for that he's looking to sell. He described the dog as very level, quiet, calm, and not having any of those obsessive quirks that border collies sometimes have. I don't think he's been started on herding (or maybe he wasn't cut of for it?). Anyway, I'm going to meet him next week!

 

I also contacted Red River Border Collies in TX, but they seemed really eager to send me off with a 8 week old puppy, no questions asked, which made me a bit wary.

 

Has anyone worked with Dwight before? He seemed like a stand up guy.

 

Are there any specific things I should look for during my visit? Any questions I should ask? I'm definitely asking about exercise requirements, how he is alone, and whether I can bring him back in the event of a catastrophe.

 

What do you think?? This has been such an ongoing process and I feel like I finally did it the right way.

 

Comments for other non-working types looking for a BC: I was totally scared to call farm/ranch people (as so many on these forums suggest) to ask about their dogs because I though they'd look down on me for wanting one of their crazy amazing work dogs to be a cuddle buddy in the city. O contraire! They we very friendly and open, and listened to what I was looking for in a dog, and genuinely wanted to help me make a good match. Moral of the story: city pup, don't be scared to talk to you friends the country pup.

 

Disclaimer: I have also spent a LOT of time trying to get a dog from a rescue, but of the three in my area, only one wants anything to do with me (I was basically told "no foster parent is going to approve you because you live in an apartment" and I straight up never heard from the other after multiple emails). If only I lived near Glen Highland Farm; I'd be a certified rescue dog hoarder by now! And I kind of have a dog deadline since I want to spend my last year as a student bonding with him while I still have so much free time, and before the realities of moving/full time job hit in.

 

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Dwight is an honest man and a good working dog handler/trainer. I have a friend who has several dogs from him and has been happy with them.

 

As for what to ask, I'd certainly ask about any health issues of which he is aware (also whether the pup is up to date on shots, has been on HW preventive, etc. At 6 months he's due for a rabies vaccine, though some folks wait longer, but do ask, and if vaccinated already see if you can't get the vet records so you don't have to redo anything with your own vet). It's not clear from your post if the pup you're getting was bred by Dwight or accepted from another breeder in exchange for one of his own breeding. I'm assuming the latter. In that case, I'd want to know as much as he could tell me about the health/temperament of that breeder's dogs.

 

J.

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Dwight is a great guy and very willing to answer questions/work with you/show you how the dog works/etc. He will also take the time to introduce you to the world of working BCs, if you are interested in seeing what his dogs can do.

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I am glad to know that you are on the path to getting a great dog, but sorry to hear you were treated that way by rescues. I think it is ridiculous to refuse someone a dog *only* because that person lives in an apartment. I adopted Jester while living in one room in LA with no yard, and have approved people who lived in apartments for adoption of foster dogs. The quality of attention and level of dedication to providing for the dogs needs is what is important, not the size of house or yard.

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We have a lot of rescues like that out in my area. The humane centers will adopt out to pretty much anyone, but the breed rescues are nearly impossible. No fence? No dog. Apartment? No dog. Kids under 10? No dog. Anything but retired? No dog. Ever let your dogs off leash? No dog. Have livestock? No dog. Rent not own? No dog.

 

It's very frustrating. They eliminate SO many great homes for some short sighted reason. I get why they do it, but I think it's a little extreme.

 

Congrats on your potential dog though!!

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Cat rescue is no better. I went to a place that will adopt cats to homes that will leave them strictly outdoors, but since I have a barn, they wouldn't adopt to me, never mind that I wanted an indoor cat.

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Cat rescue is no better. I went to a place that will adopt cats to homes that will leave them strictly outdoors, but since I have a barn, they wouldn't adopt to me, never mind that I wanted an indoor cat.

That is crazy. I guess they don't trust anyone.

 

In our area, we have a group called "Barn Cat Buddies" that specifically look for barn homes for those cats that would not do well as an inside cat.

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My vet, who was on their board, thought they were crazy too. She gets a lot of their cats into her practice from owners that aren't nearly as attentive to their cats as I am. And my 3 feral cats are often treated better than many people's house cats.

 

There's just no telling what any particular rescue's hot button issues are going to be, but they all have them.

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Are they sending out intact dogs? If not, then what difference does it make?

 

J.

 

I've run into this a lot. I don't bother with rescues/shelters any more for a variety of reasons (not out of dislike, but things in my life that are factors), but I definitely know that having an intact animal at home will stop people adopting from you quite often. Even if you have an intact dog and want to adopt a cat, where clearly there will be no breeding going on AND the animal was altered prior to adoption.

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Are they sending out intact dogs? If not, then what difference does it make?

 

J.

This is similar to the situation that Gideon's Girl mentioned - where there are "things in your life" (as CptJack says) that are red flags to that particular rescue group indicating that you are not a responsible pet parent. For many rescue people, I am guessing that having intact animals means you are not responsible - regardless of the fact that none of them may have ever been bred.

 

Even though I have fostered, I probably would not pass the test for many rescue groups because I have no fenced yard and I do not keep my dogs on heartworm meds. (Actually I do since I use sheep drench, but since I do not purchase that from a vet, the vet reference check would show me as negligent in that aspect.)

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The irony of the intact animal thing is that for those people who've made the decision to keep their animals intact for health concerns and conscientiously keep them from reproducing, it actually shows that they're much more responsible than the average pet owner, not less. :P

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Yep, we have the intact dog problem here too. Obviously having an intact dog means you are directly responsible for the "overpopulation problem" and are too irresponsible to own a rescue dog.

 

The chances of me bringing home a dog from a traditional rescue are slim. I surely will own rescues, but I'll go about it differently. I also feel pretty strongly about early spay/neuter, and would be very nervous to own a dog who was "fixed" early. I recently found a neighbor an AWESOME border collie. An intact male, a year and a half old, fully working bred. He was owned by a rancher who had lightly started him on stock before he got in a nasty horse wreck. He wasn't able to finish him (obviously) and listed him on Craigslist. This dog is papered with a fantastic temperament. He wasn't going to be enough dog to be finished, so he was willing to let him go to a pet home. Not a rescue, but a dog who needed a good home. That's probably how I'll come across dogs in my life. I also know a really nice McNabb who wasn't working out in their home, so they re homed him with one of our local cowhorse trainers. Good dogs needing homes are everywhere!

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I know you guys aren't doing this, but just for anyone who might lump all rescues together... I'd just ask that if you truly want to rescue, you give it chance. One rescue may turn you down, another may not. Just like you might talk to a couple of breeders before settling on one, talk to a couple of rescues. They don't all have the same one-size-fits-all rules. :)

I just adopted a 4 month old puppy from a breed rescue. From 1000 miles away, no less. The rescue understands the issues with young spay/neuter (particularly for performance dogs) and let me take him intact. Now, it's true I have to have him neutered at 15 months, but it's a lot different than a rescue refusing to adopt out a 3-4 month old pup without altering it first.

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I always manage to find border collies that need homes. I think 2 of mine came from my vet from people who brought them in to have them euthanized for no good reason. Pam takes in dogs that need temporary shelter until someone can take them so I have gotten some from her.

 

They are all purebred border collies that just found themselves in unfortunate circumstances.

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I have fostered a fair bit and all my dogs have been rescues from either a shelter or rescue, but I see why people give up with rescues. In the states we looked like the perfect home on paper, owned our house, 6ft fence, excellent vet references, no kids or grandchildren, neutered dog in residence etc etc and it gets frustrating when rescues don't respond or you get a blunt this dog would not suit etc.

Living in Spain it is very different as I am offered a rescue weekly! There are just so many cute dogs needing a home, I can't even get involved as it is just an endless problem of careless breeding, and in the case of border collies if they don't work then they get dumped, and these are young dogs 9 months on.

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