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"Breeder"

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Regardless of what I think of the operation in question, it's wrong to use these boards to cast innuendo on private individuals. It's a slippery slope that invites all sorts of abuse. I know that you have the best intentions, but nevertheless I think you are misusing your posting privileges.

 

Do you think that there are more constructive ways to deal with this?

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Well, excuse me for getting it wrong- some on this board certainly weren't shy about posting MY website on here for ridicule.(and sites of some others)

I guess the point is, these folks (at least they CLAIM) that these dogs "work" every day. Does that make it right to breed dogs like cattle? No matter how GOOD a working dog it is?

I want to know if these are the kind of folks that the ABCA is proud of.

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Whether it's right or not to pass judgement on someone's operation, it does bother me that they refer to their dogs as "breeders". I thought that was a term referring to fish & birds. Just the use of that term alone & the fact that they have 16 females & 4 males indicates to me a factory type operation.

 

It sort of makes one wonder if their dog's main purpose is to help with cattle operations or use their uterus' & penis' to maximum potential.

 

We have a family operation here in Ohio, on a much smaller scale. They've been doing it for over 20 yrs. Always 3-4 bitches on the premises with a male or 2 to serve them. Multiply that by "x" amount of pups per year per bitch--it's not surprising that some of their dogs have wound up in rescue. And these aren't stupid people. They just know a cash crop when they see it. What scary is this Texas operation is on a much larger scale.

 

The reference to ABCA eludes me though. I don't see the purpose in bringing in ABCA on this thread, not unless you're willing to talk about the staple, the bread & butter of AKC, the financial backbone of AKC, the registrations from midwest puppy mills.

 

Vicki

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No, no, no. I am NOT trying to make a "statement" about the ABCA registry!

What I am saying is, that on this board and many other places, I have heard repeatedly that the ONLY criteria for choosing breeding stock in Border Collies is "working ability". Fair enough.

So, if these folks ARE breeding dogs with proven "working ability", where do you draw the line? I mentioned the ABCA because they say this is their registry of choice. So I am asking, is THIS the kind of breeder that is OK with the "code" of the ABCA- promoting the working BC?

Personally, I don't care WHO their registry is, to me they are a puppy mill.

And, really, not to sound defensive at all, but the AKC has taken it in the financial gut over the last ten years by suspending most of the puppy mill operators from the registry. They conduct hundreds of inspections each year and will suspend for lack of record keeping and/or "failure to maintain their dogs and/or facilities in a manner acceptable to the AKC".

In case you don't already know this, most puppy millers now "register" their dogs with their own registry, created by them specifically for the purpose. That way they get money coming and going! They even hold "shows" for puppy mill registered dogs.

But really, I am not here to discuss the various registries, but what kind of BREEDERS are acceptable. Would you defend this breeder over someone with 1-5 BCs that they show in AKC events and occassionally breed a litter from?

I REALLY want to know this! I am NOT "trolling".

Bonnie

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Folks

 

Now having looked at this site, I see they state they work the dogs on cattle on their ranch and it raises several questions. How many cattle and what dogs do the work? Who has seen the working ability of the dogs? Have the dogs trialed or worked off the ranch? Rather than saying this place is a puppymill it would be nice if someone knew these folks and would pipe up. who knows.... it could be a real working ranch.

 

I have never heard of these folks myself.

 

Diane

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Bonnie, I don't remember when people were posting about your site. My activity here goes in spurts, so I must have missed that. However, Margaret has been very consistent with regards to her stance on saying things about particular breeders. I am guessing that if I go looking for that thread, I will find that Margaret made similar posts then. I think her point is well taken, that this is not the way to address the problems encountered in the world of breeding. It is not about whether or not I (or anyone) approve(s) of the web site or the way things are languaged there. It is only about the appropriateness of taking a swipe at someone (including you) when you really don't know anything about them or their operations.

If someone really is doing something wrong then a real attempt should be made at remedy, not merely gossip on the internet. If they were posting here with a puppy factory attitude you know we would all let them know exactly what our feelings were. But as far as we know these people have no idea that they are being talked about.

Candace

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>>So YOU, at least, are saying that if this is a "true working ranch", then their breeding practices are OK? This is what I am trying to get to the bottom of.<<

 

NO, read my post. I ASKED if anyone knew of these folks!!

 

Here is my exact question

 

"Rather than saying this place is a puppymill it would be nice if someone knew these folks and would pipe up. "

 

Then I said it it might be a working ranch. I DON'T KNOW and that is WHY I ASKED if anyone knew about them.

 

They might need 16 plus Border Collies working one thousand head of cattle..who knows...I DON'T and HENCE the QUESTION.

 

and ALSO how did you get the IDEA that I said their BREEDING PRACTICES ARE OK!!

 

IF YOU READ the above lines in my prior post you will see I ASKED about working ability etc....I mean "real working ability" not agility or flyball or obedience.

 

I go back to my orignal question. Does anyone know these folks?

 

Diane

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Candace,

I appreciate your kind words. I wish I could say that I deserved them. Unfortunately I don't. I haven't always been concerned with this issue. In fact, in a post of mine from last winter, I made a thinly veiled reference to a person I know who bought a border collie that was bred expressly for dog sports. I was wrong to post that. It didn't occur to me until recently how important it is to avoid this sort of behavior in order to maintain the board's integrity.

 

Bonnie is right. Her site's address was posted and she was roundly criticized for raising conformance dogs. Her credibility was questioned. Personally, I think Bonnie is a pot-stirrer and insofar as she breeds for the conformation ring believe that she has no right to comment on the working border collie or the working border collie community. However, I don't think that takes away from my current position: The USBCC and in fact all of us who post to these boards are in some part responsible if someone is hurt in real life thanks to some idle or meanspirited post.

 

That doesn't mean that I like it that this operation raises three litters of pups at the same time, or that some guy holds himself up as a rescuer when he's in fact a very disreputable troublemaker, or that a shelter would destroy a dog with a badly infected eye rather than give it humane care. I certainly don't like it that Bonnie registers her border collies with the AKC. But, I think the board will be useless for helping folks like Tebucky's mom or for constructive discussion of any of the bigger issues if private individuals are identified and criticized here.

 

The anonymity of the web makes it far too easy for angry, vindictive or simply careless people to slander others free of any consequence to themselves.

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Margaret is right in what she says above. However, I would also point out that Bonnie has invited criticism of herself in the past by criticizing working breeders for not testing for things like deafness in pups.

 

The point I raised in response to that contention was that you do a lot more harm to the breed by breeding non-working parents, selecting for color, and breeding for the show ring than by not conducting a test for a condition that may or may not be genetic.

 

Bonnie's web site and the claims she makes on it have come under scrutiny in the past, as has the web site of Sue Barta, again because she was making claims here that she couldn't substantiate, and that contradicted things she said on her web site. (These contradictory statements were quickly removed after they were pointed out here, so I think we may actually have done some good in that case.)

 

These cases are qualitatively different from this one; in the cases of both Sue Barta and Bonnie, people who breed for pet and conformation traits have come onto a board sponsored and hosted by an organization opposed to the showing of Border collies in the conformation ring and made unsubstantiated statements that dogs bred to a working standard were somehow of lesser quality than the dogs they breed to whatever standards they have selected to follow.

 

They should expect what they get.

 

The Buchanan Border Collies people have not made any claims on this board. Based on what I read on their web site, I can't make any judgment about the operation. Sure, they have a lot of dogs, and sure they say they are breeding them. They also say they are breeding working cattle dogs. There's an easy enough way to find out if that's true.

 

Watch the dogs work. Find out where the pups have ended up. See a few of them work.

 

I can't condemn them or praise them without knowing the dogs. They seem to produce a lot of puppies, but the demand for cattledogs is very high right now -- much higher than it is for sheepdogs. They very well could be the kind of breeder that the ABCA is proud of, if they are producing good working pups and a lot of them, and the genes are being tested and proved on the ranches of Texas and elsewhere.

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Originally posted by Margaret M Wheeler:

That doesn't mean that I like it that this operation raises three litters of pups at the same time, or that some guy holds himself up as a rescuer when he's in fact a very disreputable troublemaker, or that a shelter would destroy a dog with a badly infected eye rather than give it humane care.

Your sentiment is appreciated, but since you've brought up my post I will have to point out again that:

 

A) I never identified the shelter that did not treat the dog

:rolleyes: I already explained the purpose of my post with respect to Ayla the one-eyed dog, which had nothing to do with the shelter and everything to do with the dog and

C) I didn't condemn the shelter, I simply stated what was true - the shelter decided to euthanize Ayla instead of treating her, and the vet clinic chose to treat her instead.

 

(And her eye was not infected, BTW, her eye had been removed in some sort of trauma.)

 

So please don't include me in your diatribe when you are condemning people for posting things you find inappropriate. You may persist in believing I had some slanderous motive for posting about Ayla on the board if you like (even though your suspicions were already refuted) but please keep them to yourself, since holding up your persistant assumptions as an example of an inappopriate post is unfair and untrue and it also weakens your argument significantly.

 

I also think it's up to the board moderator to moderate the board, and not the rest of us. While I appreciate the ethics behind the stance you take, and even agree with it in principle, I also think you're trying to police the board and I think we should leave that up to the moderator. I wonder if it wouldn't be more appropriate in the future to simply email Eileen with such concerns.

 

RDM

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Diane,

 

We have four people that work our dogs on this 1200 acre ranch. Each of our 16 females and our 4 males are on Black Angus cattle at least twice a week out of breeding season. 80% of our puppies sold are currently working livestock on Hill Country ranches in the Central-West Texas area.

 

Marilyn, Buchanan Border Collies Texas

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>We have four people that work our dogs on this 1200 acre ranch. Each of our 16 females and our 4 males are on Black Angus cattle at least twice a week out of breeding season. 80% of our puppies sold are currently working livestock on Hill Country ranches in the Central-West Texas area.<

 

Thanks for coming on these boards and clarifying some misconception some people cast.

 

Sounds like these dogs *work* for a living. I admire a dog that can work cattle. Two of my males works cattle nicely -one Bill F. knows quite well.

 

 

Nice working dogs are what the breed is all about.

I appreciate Marilyn coming and telling us about her operation.

 

Diane

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80% of our puppies sold are currently working livestock
Hi Marilyn,

 

Thanks for replying. I do have a couple of questions. On your website, you mention that while quite a few of your pups go to working homes, some do go to agility & other sport homes, but that most of the pups you sell are sold as companion dogs because of their calm nature. Wouldn't that be in contradiction to the above statement? So do you primarily breed for the pet/companion market or for a working livestock market?

 

How many pups do you produce a year? The phrase "when they're not breeding" really bothers me.

 

I'm also interested in the Welsh border collies you mention on your website, different body type, etc. My oldest border collie, going on 14 yrs. has on more than one occasion been thought a welsh bred dog, so that really interests me.

 

Quite honestly, I'm under the impression that you're producing a lot of pups, and while your pups may be nice, it doesn't sit right with me.

 

Thanks.

 

Vicki

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Hi,

 

I went to the site as well, I don't see how the numbers alone translate into irresponsible breeding. The main questions I would think of have already been answered- that is:

 

1. Do the dogs work? Answer: Apparently Yes.

 

2. Are they health tested & guaranteed? Answer:Yes

 

Thats my two priorities right there..

 

Before I could make a judgement on the rest of the operation- these questions occur to me:

 

1. Does the breeder stand by their pups for life- keep track of them, etc.?

 

2. Does the breeder cull inferior stock -including sold puppies(by cull I mean do they control what does or does not get bred out of their kennel)?

 

What alot of people don't understand about dog breeding is that it does take many, many litters to make an impact on the breed, to really screen out health issues and provide consistency of working ability. I have only breed twice, right now I only have one female I MAY consider breeding at a later date but I very well may not- even if she's as good of a dog as I think she will be. The point is this- maybe I would have one very good litter- but what could that really contribute to the breed? I'd rather see a breeder with a dozen litters that are consistent, healthy and responsibly handled & culled than see one good litter. The dozen litters will show heath issues quicker & give the breeder more of an opportunity to improve the breed. The flip side of course is that a dozen poorly bred and irresponsibly handled litters are disasterous to the breed- but that can't be judged from the site.

 

I also agree, breeding for cow dogs is a high demand market- and the fact is that cow dog work is very picky on the abilities of the dog. Alot of dogs that can do well on sheep cannot cross over to difficult cows. And vice versa- many cow dogs I know are a disaster on sheep. Yes, the ideal dog can work both well- but I think sometimes thats expecting too much and have seen dogs that can handle that to be the exception and not the rule- even out of quality, well bred stockdogs. This is not a sheepdog vs. cow dog argument- after all my best cow dog is almost exclusively sheepdog bred. Its just that it takes a very specific set of qualities to make a good cow dog and I've seen that even the best cow dogs don't often produce a whole litter of good dogs, might be lucky to get 2-3 good cow dogs out of it. To get a cow-calf dog is even more lucky than that.

 

 

J. Green

Smokinjbc@msn.com

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I don't see how the numbers alone translate into irresponsible breeding.
I have to agree with you on that one, Jaime. And more than likely a large percentage of the dogs that wind up in rescue are those of occasional breedings.

 

And I also agree that in order to get what you want out of a breeding program, a lot of pups will be born & culled.

 

But something doesn't quite sit right. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that the 14 breeding bitches are breeding bitches first that happen to work when not in whelp and not primarily working bitches that are taken off the job once in a while to have a litter.

 

OTH, Marilyn might be someone we can all learn from.

 

Until then, we can only draw our conclusions from the website and any conversation here is only speculation.

 

Vicki--

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I have to say I'm with Vicki. The fact that the dogs "work" doesn't make everything magically OK -- we all know that the definition of "work" can vary greatly depending on who is doing the talking.

 

Breeding on this scale does bother me, because it is difficult to impossible to be responsible about planning breedings, evaluating breeding stock, nurturing puppies, and placing them when dealing in such volume. I also get the strong impression that this is a moneymaking venture and we all know that if you are responsible, and if you keep all your dog-related costs in one book, it's near impossible to turn a profit on breeding, unless your dogs are so damn good that you can charge whatever the heck you want for the pups and folks will still buy.

 

It's true, though, that the most damage is done by occasional breeders. I can't remember where the stats came from, but my understanding is that the majority of unwanted dogs come from the "we only wanted Fluffy to have one litter so the kids could see the miracle of life" type folks.

 

I disagree strongly that one litter at a time has little impact on a breed. There are many, many breeds that have been essentially ruined by the "miracle of life" and "why not?" and "she has to have one litter before she's spayed" people producing thousands of poorly-bred dogs who barely resemble in either appearance or behavior what those breeds are supposed to be. For the most part, the days of Max von Stephanitz and Herr Dobermann are over -- the landed estates with focused breeding programs producing dozens and dozens of dogs who are to the last dog evaluated, used, or culled with ruthless Teutonic efficiency and a singleminded purpose as to what the breed is supposed to be -- no one has that kind of money or time anymore, nor anywhere to put all those surplus dogs (back then, culling MEANT culling).

 

I don't think the future of the working Border Collie has ever, at any time, been in the hands of breeders who were literally producing dozens and dozens of litters per year -- if my breed history is wanting, please educate me. A breeder can work their dogs, and depending on what their standard of "work" is, those dogs still might not be worth breeding, much less over and over and over again.

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Hi,

 

Just wanted to clarify something- I dont' believe one poorly bred litter will have little impact on the breed- I feel very strongly that they do. Not just for being poorly bred, but irresponsibly handled. Its that one very good litter is not as likely to have the kind of impact that a dozen very good litters bred with the same goal/ideal will have. If a breeder only breeds occasionally and is trying to gain information on their line and the success of that breeding- its going to be very very slow going if they are breeding one litter a year. I think more questions need to be answered if the breeder in question is judged irresponsible or not. I don't feel, and don't feel my post implied, that working ability makes everything "ok". Actually of all of those questions I had, the final one is the one I feel is most important- are the litters culled for breeding quality and handled responsibly- both the dogs kept and the dogs sold?

 

 

On another board, there is a discussion about a health issue and how hard it is for a breeder to prevent that with the info available. If I ask a breeder what health issues they have- but they've only bred 3-4 litters on different outcrosses- what they say may not be verifable. I think there is a place for multiple litter breeders and the occasional breeder. But its the multiple litter breeder who will make the most impact- good or bad- on the breed and who will be most likely to provide solid information on health and working history. Neither type of breeder should be excluded from the basics of responsible breeding- that is be responsible for what you put out there and have a high "cull" rate for what gets bred in the future.

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Jaime,

 

I see what you're saying -- more puppies = more information about what you've got in your lines. But at the same time, I don't know any good breeders who breed in a vacuum; I can't think of anyone who is working exclusively with in-house lines, either (doesn't mean there aren't any, I'm sure there are, I just don't know them, and there are a lot of people I don't know!). One of the benefits of being part of a breed community is the sharing of information, and even if you're not consciously part of one big breeding program, knowing what your peers are breeding and how their dogs are related to yours is a really great way to get information on what you have. Or at least, that's how it would seem to me.

 

I didn't think you were saying that as long as the dogs "work" that makes it all OK. And I do think there is value in a larger-scale operation as long as it is focused, rigorous, responsible, and balances the welfare of the dogs produced against the welfare of the breed. Unfortunately, I can't think of a single such large-scale operation, in ANY breed -- but I can think of plenty of large-scale operations that pump out puppies who end up in non-working homes, who won't take dogs of their breeding back, and contribute disproportionately to filling up rescues, in many breeds.

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You all have made some good points both for and against, however, I am leaning to the something just doesn't sit right group as these pups seem to be being bred for colour choices and not for specific work ability.

 

The site states that they work (in between whelping and humping etc) but it makes no mention of their responsibilities or working style. Instead they are separated by colour and the litters are advertised by colour more so than the possible working abilities of the parents.

 

Likewise, I am mulling over the issue of the number of litters and can see your point jaime, but at the same time without a standard of work ability or some measure (ie: trialing or even a description of day to day chores and responsibilites and the reasons behind each planned litter such as a combination of $$$$ kind of eye and #### working style) it is rather difficult to understand the need for such a large scale continuous operation.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that the it is easy to draw assumptions for either side based on the limited info on the site and our own areas of experience/issues... what we need is to hear from locals from the area with experience or knowledge of the breeder or from any of the local refuges, shelters and rescues that may also have knowledge of their practices!

sara

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Okay this maybe a dumb question but here goes anyway. Does ABCA monitor or investigate breeders that are registering pups? I mean it says "to promote and foster in North American the breeding, training, and distribution of reliable working Border Collies."

 

Point in case our Briar, she is registered ABCA. Briar has seizures and was spayed at 6 months. We adopted her from rescue in Feb, she is almost 4 years old. There is a GB International Champion in her pedigree and she loves woolies when she has seen them. But I can't help wondering about the others in the litter that were sold to people like Briar's first family that didn't have a clue.

 

I believe this is a working breed and that is what they should be bred for. I believe in rescue for those that have come from an unfortunate situation. I do believe there are people capable of giving a border collie the stimulation and environment they need to thrive in without working stock. But it's sad to think that someone could run a place like this, with the ability to register litter after litter. Is it wrong to think that only those proving work ability and training based on ABC guidelines be allowed to be registered?

 

Gosh I hope I haven't offended anyone. :confused:

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