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Hey all,

 

I'm sure the breeder posts get old, but I'm looking for something pretty specific, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Does know of a breeder who:

 

1. ABCA registers

2. Does CEA/CH, CL, TNS, etc., health testing

3. Raises puppies in home with extensive puppy socializations with kids, animals, different situations

4. Raises puppies with dam and sire

5. Positive reinforcement training with their dogs/low stress environment for mom

 

​I don't want to start any arguments on training methods, this is just what is important to me. Looking for a sweet, medium drive dog with a solid temperament to be a companion and participate (not necessarily compete) in herding, agility, and dock. Possibly SAR work as well. No preference on appearance, and I'm willing to travel anywhere in the US for a dog.

 

Thank you!

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Not sure how important 3 is if enough attention is given to breeding for good temperament.

 

My pup was raised in an outbuilding and the first time he was ever in a house was when I picked him up and we were doing the paperwork. Handled but not used to being picked up. His breeder describes their pups as "semi feral" and that's how he wants them for work.

 

The manner of his early upbringing didn't concern me because I had been following the breeder for 10 years or so and knew a fair number of people with dogs from them.

 

Mine is a pet, agility and obedience competitor and does occasional sheep work. You couldn't wish for a more resilient and non aggressive dog. When I took him home he took everything in his stride (except for his crate). Wouldn't describe him as "sweet" though. Just competed at Crufts in agility at the age of 2 in front of a crowd of thousands, loud music, lights, very unfamiliar environment and didn't bat an eyelid.

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Dear OP,

 

You have set hurdles some agility breeders may meet. If there's a North American sheepdog breeder who meets all your criteria I don't know him.

 

Donald McCaig

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Agree with Mr. McCaig.

 

First time that I have heard of requirement #4. What does having the sire on site add to the benefit of the puppy?

 

Personally, I would want the breeder to have carefully considered a sire for the dam that matches up well rather than use whatever sperm donor is most readily available (i.e. owned by breeder, local to breeder, etc.). [Note, I am not saying that a breeder can not own a female and male that match up well for breeding, but it shouldn't be a requirement. If the breeder has gone to the trouble of searching out a sire compatible with the bitch, (to me) it shows that they have put some thought and effort into the breeding.] If you trust the breeder, you shouldn't have to see the sire.

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If you trust the breeder, you shouldn't have to see the sire.

 

Or if you really feel you need to meet the sire and he's not on site, chances are you can arrange to meet him separately.

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I am curious if anyone here has any thoughts about or experience with that particular breeder who is mentioned above. I ask because my Kit is 15 and in another year or so I am likely to be looking for another border collie. I have exclusively had rescue dogs, never a puppy, and would like to raise a puppy if I can arrange that.

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I have exclusively had rescue dogs, never a puppy, and would like to raise a puppy if I can arrange that.

 

Y'know what we always say . . . if you're patient you can find a puppy in rescue. ;)

 

Just sayin' . . . . :lol:

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If I were looking for a pup and came across that web site I would move on. They may well produce decent working pups and in their favour they don't seem to be breeding for volume or colour but the tone is wrong for me - too much talk about the people, not enough about the dogs, and too many testimonials from sport people. I just get the impression of breeders who may not be breeding entirely for working ability.

 

I don't need a detailed personal bio, to hear how great their kids are or to know their religious beliefs. All I want is enough info about the dogs and their work to interest me enough to find out more.

 

Not to be generally recommended but I didn't see either sire or dam of my pup. I trusted the breeder both from reputation and having long conversations. A friend had seen the sire and described him as lovely, plus I knew of his working success. I've met him since on several occasions but at that particular time he was working elsewhere. I wasn't told why the dam wasn't around but the pups were old enough not to need her and I saw a couple of the dam's sisters. I since found out she was living with the breeder's son and I have met several people who have seen her there. It's a small world here.

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mum24dog, I'd be interested to hear how you chose your breeder, since you were looking for a pet not a working dog. It's crazy how different dog cultures define a "good" breeder. For most responsible pet people, health testing and socialization are non-negotiable (not a judgement).

 

*Edit: by responsible pet people, I mean as opposed to people who buy from pet stores and bybreeders

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I'm having a hard time because most of the guidelines for finding a breeder are on what they *shouldn't* be doing. That's fine, but does the absence of red flags means the breeder automatically has great dogs? To me it should be the absence of red flags, plus positive things, which to me are things like health testing, socialization, etc. Does that make sense? Are there other "positive" aspects I should be considering? Obviously doing well at trials is great, but since I don't need a dog to work I'm not sure if that would really make much of a difference in my case.

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Aviary - I come from a culture where everyone has access to working dogs if they are inclined that way. I saw a dog I liked in agility, but really I think I just liked the name. I idly checked out the breeder's web site and was hooked by the lack of hype. This was someone secure in what he was producing and who had no need to push. At the time I never imagined buying a puppy but I decided that if I ever did that breeder was a distinct possibility. It was only when a friend got a pup from there that I was stirred into action.

 

The only way I could quiet my conscience over not rescuing this time was to get a pup that had been bred for a useful purpose. I didn't need him to be a working dog but I wanted it to be an option if I decided to give it a try.

 

It's not hard to check people out here.

 

Pet and show breeders exist but they're not a big thing and most people seem to get their pet collies from farms or rescue, at least where I live. More sport breeding but often those are a mix of sport and working and there are plenty of real working bred dogs taking part in sports. In fact the most successful agility handler in this country has seen the light and turned to working dogs.

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If you get in the local sheepdog "network" and attend a few trials you should be able to find a person here and there who has a litter that will fit your needs. Lots of people aren't breeders but have a nice dog that they (and others) want a pup from and will breed an occasional litter. They generally health test and the pups are nicely socialized (though they may not fit quite all of your list). And you see other pups/dogs from different lines and get to know their temperaments, what you like, etc.

 

Oddly enough, I recently saw a young Border Collie at a canine fitness seminar who I really liked - solid temperament, happy, try anything attitude, quite biddable. I asked about her and, while, they were doing flyball with her, she came from a "big hat" sheepdog person. After seeing her, I'd get a put from that person in a heartbeat provided basic health testing had been done.

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I am curious if anyone here has any thoughts about or experience with that particular breeder who is mentioned above. I ask because my Kit is 15 and in another year or so I am likely to be looking for another border collie. I have exclusively had rescue dogs, never a puppy, and would like to raise a puppy if I can arrange that.

 

D'Elle, I went through all the breeder posts on the boards and the following have been recommended at one point or another:

 

- Red Top Kennel

- Blue Ridge Border Collies

- Serendipity Stockdog

- Kathy and Jack Knox

- Broken Circle Border Collies

- Dianne Deal

- Orchard Run Border Collies

- Status Stockdogs

- Creekside Farm

- Herbert Holmes

- Stephanie Goracke

- Ron Enzeroth

- Bruce and Linda Fogt

 

:-)

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Aviary....thanks for going to the trouble to do that.

Gentle Lake....I agree with you, and am going to PM you a little bit more on that. :-)

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For what it's worth, I think too strict of adherence to items #3 and 4 could be rather limiting. While lots of folks whelp in the home, not everyone has children or access to children and the only animals they own may be dogs, sheep and perhaps a guardian dog or some chickens. I wouldn't discount a breeder simply because they lack kids or a menagerie. Also, not everyone owns both the sire and dam. In the working world, I'd say this can even be a rarity because people will often bring their bitch to someone else's dog.

Anyhow, just food for thought.

~ Gloria

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Worth remembering that rules are aimed at the pet market, especially at people who may not have much experience with dogs. People who work their dogs tend to be more pragmatic and do what works for them.

 

Rules are fine for guidance but experience tells you when it's OK to break them.

 

I'll be honest and say that I was amazed how adaptable my pup was. I'd had all the conventional opinions on raising pups drummed into me and I was expecting to have to do a lot of work with him to get him used to a domestic environment but I didn't.

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For what it's worth, I think too strict of adherence to items #3 and 4 could be rather limiting. While lots of folks whelp in the home, not everyone has children or access to children and the only animals they own may be dogs, sheep and perhaps a guardian dog or some chickens. I wouldn't discount a breeder simply because they lack kids or a menagerie. Also, not everyone owns both the sire and dam. In the working world, I'd say this can even be a rarity because people will often bring their bitch to someone else's dog.

 

Anyhow, just food for thought.

 

~ Gloria

Gloria described #3 and #4 perfectly in regards to being realistic in expectations. While those things would be nice, it's not always possible. We had someone bring their female over to our house for breeding purposes who didn't live nearby. If you can meet both that would be awesome, but I wouldn't dismiss a breeder because of it. We met my boys mother, but the father was out working a herd.

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D'Elle, I went through all the breeder posts on the boards and the following have been recommended at one point or another:

 

 

- Status Stockdogs

 

 

:-)

 

 

If you mean Satus Stockdogs, they are great. They don't health test though.

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To the OP: if you are concerned about having a dog who gets along with cats, don't be. If you have mature cat(s) and bring in a puppy, the cats will let the pup know straight away who is boss.

 

I fostered border collies for years, while having a cat. Often, the rescue had no way to know whether or not the foster dog had ever been around cats. I had a deal with the rescue that if a dog was aggressive to my cat, I would send him or her back to be fostered by someone else. In 8 years I only had two foster dogs who were a problem around the cat, and neither one of them tried to eat the cat, they just followed and harassed and tried to herd the cat until the cat was driven almost crazy, poor thing. I did what I could to correct it, of course, and protected the cat, and I got those dogs adopted post haste. But if you are getting a young dog, you can train whatever behavior you want or need with regard to other animals.

 

If you are too picky with all these conditions, you may wait a very long time to get a puppy. I recommend that you get a young dog from a rescue. At 6 to 12 months the personality of a dog is much more visible. A puppy is always a gamble.

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If you are too picky with all conditions, you may well end up with a puppy bred with very poor priorities in mind.

 

I'm not dissing your priorities, they are mostly fine IMO. I will say that I know personally of some depressing backyard breeders who have no idea what they are doing with border collies. What they do know is that they want to appeal to a buyer like you, who will pay much more for a puppy simply because of health tests than those who are willing to go to a farm and get one from a line that they know and like.

 

In their favor, they do the health testing that is important to many. Unfortunately, passing the tests is about the limit of their criteria for breeding decisions. A breeding pair that can pass health tests is not necessarily indicative of a good breeding decision.

 

One such "breeder" that comes to mind had her first litter 2 years ago due to the fact that she sent her female (her first and only border collie) out for training, unaware that she was in standing heat. An accidental breeding with an Open trial dog resulted; thus, an empire was created. Two years later, the current sire is on site (a puppy she bought specifically to use as stud on her females, of which she now has 5 - without any clue about how he works, but health tests look good. First litter he sired at 10 months of age). This is a plus because she can just keep the puppies coming and not ever have to pay a stud fee.

 

I won't name names, but if I did, I think that many would find her website and Facebook presence impressive. There are pictures of puppies with children, flowers and colorful ribbons. Testimonies from happy customers.

 

I believe that most of the "breeder" websites that present like this are suspect. In my experience, those who are breeding the really good border collies don't have that type of web presence. You will see more of a focus on the accomplishments of the dogs.

 

So - bottom line is, I think you're going about this a little backwards. Why not be on the lookout for dogs that you really like, and see where they came from. Find other people who have dogs from the same place and talk to them. From there, investigate about the health tests that are important to you.

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From there, investigate about the health tests that are important to you.

Health testing is non-negotiable for me. I used to work with a BC rescue, and in that short time we had a dog surrendered to us from a "good" breeder completely blind at a young age. And thank you, but I am able to tell the difference between a BYB and a good breeder who also does health testing.

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D'Elle thank you for the suggestion. I've fostered with BC and all breed groups in the past, and it's not what I'm looking for. I'm fine waiting and meeting people and hearing different perspectives along the way :-)

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