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Thanks for taking the time to ask the questions. One more story about the reality of having a female in heat.

 

I got Samantha from a breeder who was thinking about using Sammi to breed. Due to some inherent shyness and a few other things, we spayed her after we'd had her for a year. She went thru either 2 or 3 heats before her spay. When other posters say that dogs will come from miles around, they are not kidding. A huge and intimidating Akita hung around our yard for each heat. I couldn't take Sammi to the dog park (which she totally loved at the time)for 3 weeks for each heat. Even walking around our neighborhood was a challenge, several times we met very interested males, and it's a bit frightening to be followed by male dogs, intent on your female.

And, she smelled and was very, very messy.

 

We've got 2 rescued bc's, in addition to Sammi. Buzz, our boy, we took from the county shelter literally minutes from being euthanized. They are all, in their individual quirky ways, the light of our lives. No, we don't work sheep. Yes, they keep us very busy. And any bc's we get in the future will be rescues.

 

Enjoy Madison, I'm sure she's wonderful. One of the hazards of this board is that I tend to fall in love with everyone else's dogs! And please, consider saving another dog's life in her honor.

 

Ruth n the Border Trio

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An aside on human overpopulation:

I suppose if this were a human overpopulation board then we would certainly be discussing human overpopulation, but it's a border collie discussion board. Last I looked, in general, humans aren't being bred to make their parents money by being sold, nor are unwanted humans as easily disposed of (in general) as unwanted pets. Two very big differences IMO.I'm pretty certain that, at least in this country, we aren't euthanizing thousands and thousands of unwanted humans each day.

 

And back to breeding border collies:

I think many of the posteers here have already given you plenty to think about with respect to whether you should breed your dog. I just want to add something about a comment you made regarding your vet. For me, communication with my vet is *very* important, and would be *even more so* if I were planning to breed. When my young bitch had her first heat I had all sorts of questions about it and the false pregnancies that follow. My vet was very patient and answered all of my questions thoroughly (even over the phone, for which he wasn't getting paid). So my comment is this: consider also your relationship with your vet when/if you consider breeding. Others have explained the dangers of breeding and whelping, and frankly, if I were breeding my bitch, I'd want to assurance of knowing my vet was right there for me--to answer my questions--no matter how silly they might be (in the vet's opinion)--and to help my dog should the worst outcomes happen.

 

Two other points: No one has mentioned the increased risk of pyometra, which is infection of the uterus, in intact older bitches. Such infections aren't always obvious and so aren't easy to catch early and very often are fatal. So whether or not you ultimately breed, your intact bitch will be at risk for mammary tumors and pyometra, with the latter being much more dangerous, IMO, than the former.

 

The other point is more of a story. One of my dogs was bought from a gentleman who got her from a friend. The reason the friend gave him this dog was because he lost his favorite bitch and the puppies during whelping. The little dog of which I speak looked similar to the dead bitch and may have been similarly bred. But even so, you can bet she never replaced his Kit dog, which no doubt is part of the reason I was able to buy her.

 

Oh, and one last thing about heat cycles: first heats may be significantly shorter than heats that occur later when the dog is more mature. So Madison's first heat may last a week or 10 days instead of the normal 21. Dogs are individuals and so of course heat cycles will vary from individual to individual, but don't let a short first heat fool you into thinking they will all be that way.

 

J.

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I have a BC I love and neutered him right away as I do all my dogs now. the earlier the better.The reason why is below.

 

I decided to breed my precious Papillon Sasha to my male papillon Devlin. The first pup was early and still born. So we tried again. This time we had 4. The first on came out backwards, the second one dead, the third one dead, the fourth one alive. I was able to recesitate the third one but while doing it Sasha bit off the umbilical cord and tore the 4ths pup's stomach open. I don't mean to be harsh but this is my experience. Of the 2 pups that survived we kept one and gave the other away as a gift to a close friend.

 

The one we gave away was not cared for properly , never spayed and now has cancer. Even though she was on a "pet" only contract. Which isn't surprising cause her Sis(which we had) died of cancer 8 mths ago.

 

Also the pup we kept got all the worse qualities of both parents..she was cute, but she was her own personality.

 

 

Finally my precious Sasha, who was bought to breed, ended up with a uterine infection after giving birth. Refused to care for the pups and was ill. Caring for orphan pups is no fun and I only had 2. Later she was spayed and found to be full of cysts. Then came the mammary gland cancer..$1200 later, a dog full of stiches, she lived 3 mths past her expected "death date"

The cancer went all through her lymph nodes, she never cried after all the surgeries I put her through even the one that opened up her entire neck. Finally a lymph node swelled in her leg and she was in agony. Rather than put her through anymore surgeries I made the decision to put her down. This cancer can be almost totally avoided if you just spay your dog early.

I miss my girl and wish I had never bred her. I only have the male left and he was heartbroken to lose his mate and daughter within mths. of each other. He still will carry Sasha's dish around and look for her.

If you love your dog don't chance it. I will never do it again. I would have rather had Sasha live into her golden years than end it for 2 pups, one which is also dead and the other barely hanging on. If I had known this before I would never have bred her.

Please do the research...and if you do breed her be ready for anything. Things never go as planned.

Jennifer

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Thanks everyone, for the advice. I will definitely consider it. First and foremost, I would never do anything that could endanger Madison as we love her as if she were our own daughter (weird, I know, but most dog owners seem to understand).

 

However, I do believe that Madison is really a special border collie- physically, she appears to easily meet all the breed standards (except she has blue eyes, she is blue and gray). Her parents are both prize-winning border collies as are her grandparents. She seems exceptionally smart and sweet-tempered, and I am going to try to find a place for her to try herding. The male we had picked out is also a great dog, and his line is also known to his owners. We would only breed her once, and do it in an educated manner with the best health care available. We would have her eyes, hips, etc. tested before hand. We would only give the puppies away (not sell them) to family members who understand the nature of border collies. Also we would likely keep one and so would the sire's family. Also, the people that would take her pups would most likely not go out and adopt a dog on their own. So if Madison did not have pups, they probably would not have any dog. I do not think that breeding her once would in any way endanger the special qualities of the border collies breed.

 

However, we will do whatever is in the best interests of Madison. Now that she appears to be in the midst of her first heat, is it too late to alleviate the risks of cancer if we neutered her now?

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I do not think that breeding her once would in any way endanger the special qualities of the border collies breed.

check out this link

 

In six years, one female dog and her offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs.
Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year:

6?8 million (HSUS estimate)

Number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year:

3?4 million (HSUS estimate)

 

Number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year:

3?4 million (HSUS estimate)

 

Number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from shelters each year:

Between 600,000 and 750,000?15?30% of dogs and 2?5% of cats entering shelters (HSUS estimate)

 

Number of animal shelters in the United States:

Between 4,000 and 6,000 (HSUS estimate)

 

Percentage of dogs in shelters who are purebred:25% (HSUS estimate)

Even if you make sure that Madison's litter were well take care of by the new owners(say for 15 years)will you be able to keep eyes on their litters and the litters of those litters and so on...?
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Just out of curiousty, you say that Madison's "parents" are prize-winning Border Collies. Prize winning in what? Herding?

 

I do second that what Madison is today at 8 months may not be what she is in 2-3 years. For example, Keegan comes from working heritage, both parents worked and lived on farms. We got him for a companion but we got sucked into agility and I would love to get him on sheep more often. He was VERY well socialized with other dogs. At 14 months, that changed...he is now dog aggressive and I'm very leary of taking him very close to any other dogs. So they will change over time.

 

Also, as far as the question as to whether BC's can be just pets. Well, I would have to say no!!!! People think that Keegan is just out pet, but many people have just pets that they put in the back yard and do nothing with. Keegan is MUCH more than just your average pet...he is smarter, more active, but I can't leave him in the back yard as our "pet" because he is more than that whether his job is herding on a farm or living with us...our live changed as I'm sure yours did too!!!!!

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Originally posted by Madison's Mommy:

We would never do anything that could endanger Madison.

 

However, I do believe that Madison is really a special border collie- physically, she appears to easily meet all the breed standards (except she has blue eyes, she is blue and gray). Her parents are both prize-winning border collies as are her grandparents. She seems exceptionally smart and sweet-tempered, and I am going to try to find a place for her to try herding. The male we had picked out is also a great dog, and his line is also known to his owners. We would only breed her once, and do it in an educated manner with the best health care available. We would have her eyes, hips, etc. tested before hand. We would only give the puppies away (not sell them) to family members who understand the nature of border collies. Also we would likely keep one and so would the sire's family. Also, the people that would take her pups would most likely not go out and adopt a dog on their own. So if Madison did not have pups, they probably would not have any dog. I do not think that breeding her once would in any way endanger the special qualities of the border collies breed.

 

Now that she appears to be in the midst of her first heat, is it too late to alleviate the risks of cancer if we neutered her now?

A non-neutered dog is at greater risk for a number of diseases and problems, as others have stated plainly. A bred bitch faces risks associated with pregnancy, parturition, and lactation. So, in general, a neutered dog is potentially a healthier, longer-lived dog.

 

Everybody on this board believes their Border Collie is really special. But that's no justification for breeding unless that dog or bitch has proven itself to be an outstanding representative of the breed, and a dog to potentially improve future generations of the breed - the proof is in the work, which is herding, not in how much one of us loves our particular dog. If that were justification, we could all be breeding.

 

In truth, you would probably be amazed at how few posters on this board do actually do any breeding, and only with great consideration after a dog has proven its worth on the trial field and in practical work (herding, not playing frisbee and searching for toys).

 

It sounds like Madison comes from conformation lines, not working lines. If so, as you say, though she comes from "prize-winning lines" (and AKC/UKC winning lines don't mean dirt to most knowledgeable folks on this board), she doesn't meet their standard. So, if you were breeding with conformation standards in mind, you would already be breeding an animal that doesn't meet the standard.

 

As pointed out earlier, when Border Collies are bred "just this once" for reasons that don't involve the betterment of the breed (the working Border Collie) but simply to satisfy a person's desire for "something" (a particular color, coat texture, sentimentality, whatever), it is a detriment to the breed. It is not "just one litter", it is also all the potential offspring of that one breeding.

 

A major concern to me is your statement that the people who would be "receiving" Madison puppies would probably not choose to adopt a dog on their own and would not have a dog otherwise. So, does that seem like a good situation to you? It sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

 

Raising a puppy is not easy and Border Collie puppies, by their intelligent and active nature coupled with herding instincts, can be particularly challenging. Check out prior listings on this board and you will understand what I mean.

 

So, basically, you are saying that you will "give" these pups to people who wouldn't otherwise even choose to have a dog. Does that make sense to you? Have these people already expressed a real desire to have a Madison pup? Or do you expect them to take on these pups because you enjoy Madison so much, and because they might enjoy her when they visit with you?

 

There is a world of difference between enjoying the company of a dog and being responsible for it 24/7. Kind of like having a human baby. Only folks probably wouldn't take a human baby to the pound if it didn't fit their lifestyle, was too much trouble, chewed on shoes and furniture, messed on the carpet, etc.

 

I expect I will be hearing a "spirited" reply from Madison's Father about my "condescending" tone of voice and my propagation of the "culture of fear". But, I do not intend to be insulting in any way but just to express my viewpoint on the issue of breeding for the reasons you have indicated.

 

As an aside to a prior comment Madison's Father made, I think you would be surprised at how many working Border Collies there are within 300 miles of Long Island. That includes a lot of upstate New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. There are many well-known and respected Border Collie people in that area.

 

I am grateful that Madison has a loving home with you two, and wish you three a long and happy life together.

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There certainly are plenty of top handlers, working farmers, and respected breeders of working Border Collies within a few hours' drive of Long Island. We spent a couple weeks up there this summer, buying top quality sheep to improve my flock, training dogs and visiting folks all around your area. There's a ton of very prestigious sheepdog trials up there in spring and again in late summer/early fall, that I intend to try to catch next year if possible.

 

As it turns out, my bitch that was spayed today had cysts and likely would have had horrible trouble breeding, a problematic pregnancy (if she survived), and a high likelihood of pyometria whether or not I bred her. My vet knows I feel good about this decision, so she knew I wouldn't mind when she came out grinning and congratulating me on dodging this bullet (heaven knows we've had enough plunk squarely on target lately!). She also said she will likely work a lot better for me now that she's not one huge raging out of control hormone - moodiness and flakiness are big problems for her. That would be great! But it's enough to know that I'll have her, barring any freak accident or disease, for ten or twelve more years without having to worry about heats and litters and botheration. And if she turns out to be the best thing since McKnight's Gael, well, the bloodlines are there a-plenty - she didn't fall off a turnip truck like my Rick dog did. :rolleyes:

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The question is not "will this harm the breed?" The question is "will this improve the breed?"

 

There's no need to breed a bitch simply on the basis that it will do no harm to the breed.

 

I had missed where Madison's "Father" said "if you're talking about hearding sheep, then no BC within 300 miles of us works."

 

That is pure rubbish.

 

There are 1,000s of working Border collies within that circle, including some of the best in the entire US. The reserve Nursery Champion for 2004 is from Connecticut. Seven of the top 20 nationally-ranked open sheepdogs for the 2004 season are from within your 300 mile circle, including four of the top 10. If you were to extend that circle out to 350 miles, I'd wager that you'd get 14 out of the top 20.

 

In addition, there are thousands of farm dogs working the small flocks that dot the countryside of New England and northeastern US. According to Mapquest, I am about 200 road miles from Islip (a location I chose for lack of a specific location on Long Island), and I make my living with working sheepdogs. I have four right now, and help look after another six. Just within 20 miles of my home, I know of at least dozen others.

 

I know of working Border collies on Long Island itself. Upstate New York is the home of hundreds of working Border collies.

 

The sheep industry in the northeast is small but vibrant, and working Border collies are an integral part of a large number of the sheep operations around. Many farmers labor without the benefit of a good dog, but many have learned that they can keep more sheep with less labor (which is usually the limiting factor on flock size) if they have a good dog.

 

They are out there, and they are working. If you knew anything about the breed, you would know that. I'm not faulting you for your ignorance of the breed, just pointing it out. It is evidence of the fact that you have not done your apprenticeship.

 

You also make reference to the physical standards of the breed and how Madison meets them. There are no physical standards for working Border collies; the standard is the work. I don't care if your dog is the very one that the AKC uses as the illustration of the breed. Unless and until it can gather up a field of ewes and lambs, I don't think you should even think about breeding it.

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It's unfortunate to see that the culture of fear not only dominates contemporary journalism and politics but has ostensibly infected canine dicussion boards, which, one would normally look to as an educational resource.
I would think that before posting on this forum, you might have perused the rest of the site and noticed the philosophical position that the site has taken regarding the breeding of Border Collies, and the reasons for that position. That your post would elicit the kinds of responses it has should not have been a surprise to you, had you done your research before posting. It should not have surprised you that you would not recieve support for the notion of breeding your Border Collie simply because you think she is special and looks nice.

 

Funny how others are "condescending" and yet you are "spirited". Pearse's original post is exactly what I thought to myself when I read yours. In fact, simply the title of your thread had me rolling my eyes because dogs do not have monthly menstrual cycles. The heat cycle of a bitch is very different from the menstrual cycle of a human female in many fundamental ways. To make the comparison shows a lack of education that, while you should not be faulted for in and of itself, is disturbing in the context of someone wishing to breed their dog.

 

For a quick explanation of what makes a Border Collie special, pay special attention to this page:

 

http://www.bordercollie.org/bcchar.html

 

As far as general information on canine heat cycles, a quick google search would have provided you with that information.

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First and foremost, I would never do anything that could endanger Madison as we love her as if she were our own daughter
Don't you GET IT? Breeding can endanger her life - and for NOTHING. You will NOT get a carbon copy of your puppy by breeding her.

 

Go back to where you bought her and ask for another pup from the same breeding. Your chances are much better and Madison's health will not be endangered.

 

If she is in heat now - you can still spay her. Probably not during her heat but you need to find a vet that is willing to sit you down and talk to you. An appointment should be made now to spay her - after her heat - the sooner you do it the better her chances are of avoiding breast cancers, cysts, etc.

 

Listen to what people are telling you. Don't breed your bitch. It's not a matter of "it's my right and I'll do what I want with my dog." It's a matter of doing RIGHT by your dog.

 

Denise

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To answer the question about alleviating the cancer risks if you spay now, while she is in heat:

 

Mammary cancer in dogs is driven by the hormones the bitch produces while in heat. Each exposure of the mammary tissue to these hormones will increase her risk *up to a point* - at which time your risks of mammary cancer from hormonal influences on mammary tissue are maxed out. So, every heat cycle increases the risk up until about the age of three, at which point the tissues have recieved enough stimulation that further stimulation does not increase the chance of malignancies. Since Madison is already recieving some hormonal stimulation, her risk is already climbing, but if you spay her now, the risk will stop climbing now. While you can no longer completely avert the heat-related risks, you CAN certainly minimize them. I get to see a lot of mammary cancer up here, due to the sled dog population (many of which are not spayed before the first heat since the good ones become part of a breeding program, and it takes a few years to see which ones are good enough to breed.) However, I see very little in the way of mammary tumors in dogs who've had only one heat cycle. Not that it NEVER happens, but it doesn't happen much. It's a lot more common amongst the ones who were spayed later.

 

Bear in mind that even if she were maxed out on mammary tumor risk, the other risks of being an intact female persist and continue to rise as they get older. Hence, your 7 year old intact female has no greater risk *of mammary tumors* than your 3 year old intact female, but the 7 year old DOES have a greater risk than the 3 year old of the OTHER health problems of being sexually intact (as in pyometras, uterine and ovarian cancers, etc).

 

Spaying an in-heat bitch is harder than spaying a diestrous (not-in-heat) bitch, but we do it all the time. It costs more, as the uterus is much more vascular and there's more bleeding, and it's also more turgid and harder to manipulate. You also have to be VERY careful not to allow a breeding after the spay, since she'll still smell like an in-heat bitch for a while and may act like one as well, and the internal sutures are not capable of withstanding a breeding.

 

Hope that answers the cancer question clearly enough to make sense of.

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If Madison's got fabulous parents that may be an argument for breeding her parents again, but isn't necessarily an argument for breeding her.

 

There is very little to be gained from breeding an unproven bitch "just once." It is not the foundation of a breeding program. It is an enormous risk to the bitch for not much of a reason. Take heed of Jen's story about her Papillons -- it's not an uncommon story from breeders, even the most careful ones.

 

If you like Madison, go back to the same breeder and get a puppy bred similarly. If your friends and family like Madison, refer them to her breeder. It takes the onus off of you. There is nothing particularly romantic about dog breeding, especially if you have no long-term breeding goals in mind and plan on giving away all of the puppies. To me the romance lies in implementing a worthwhile breeding program and down the line seeing the positive impact your dogs have made on the breed. Without this, it's just a lot of expense, pain, risk, and mess.

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No offense, but exactly how many Border Collies have you met that leads you to believe Madison is so "special"?? And how many of these have been more than just companions? You have an eight month old backyard pet that has not proven her worth in any regard because she's just too young. Did you know dogs typically reach social maturity at around three years old? So you haven't even seen the "final product" yet in your own dog, in terms of temperment and behavior.

 

Go watch a herding trial or go find a working farm to see how "special" these dogs truly are...then maybe you'll start to understand why most of us are so passionate about protecting this truly special breed as a whole. Then try your own dog out on stock...maybe she is a special girl...you just won't know until you try.

 

My 2 y.o. BC has proven herself a top competitor in dog sports (agility and flyball) and possesses a lot of the "special" qualities top sports handlers would desire in a dog, but even that is no reason to breed her - she's spayed.

 

-Laura

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I think you need to hop in your SUV, drive out of Long Island and take a drive through the rest of New York State. Our BC Piper came from a town outside of Syracuse, a working BC family. There are definitely working BC's inside a 300 miles radius of you.

 

Piper doesn't work here in the true sense (She's a SAR dog). There aren't any herding opportunities for us here and I bet there aren't any working BC's herding sheep inside a 300 miles radius here but that isn't why we decided not to breed Piper. Now that I can say because 300 miles is a mere step in Alaska.

 

We love our BC Piper in a freakishly, co-dependent way. When we first got her, we entertained the idea of breeding her for about a nano-second...Of the many reasons why we didn't is because of these boards, because I couldn't bare to drive through town and see one of her pup's at the pound and because we'd never have another Piper again.

 

Do your research, these are wonderful people on the boards with a lot of information to share, but above all, you will never have another dog like Madison so please, please spend a lot of time thinking of your reasons to breed and not one of them will be reason enough.

 

Sorry my comments are viewed harshly by your father...ok,not that sorry. :rolleyes:

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Madison's Mommy (and Daddy):

You won't see me posting here very often - I'm just a "lurker" who reads the posts here regularly to pick up hints and tips so that I can be a good Border Collie owner. Congratulations on staying here and reading the posts for as long as you have. Once you weed out the posts from those I call "The Crazy Gang" you will get some really worthwhile advice. If you can see past the rather blunt way some of the "Crazy Gang" have of expressing themselves you will learn even more. When I first came here I was the owner of two BC pups whose previous experience with dogs was limited to non BC's. I'm sure that, by now, you will have realised that the BC is something very special and that there are many on this board who will move Heaven and Earth to keep it that way. At first I couldn't understand just what it was that made some of the posters here so vociferous in their condemnation of breeding other than for the improvement of the breed for the job it does so well. I stayed with it and have now read hundreds of posts and I'm starting to catch on at last. My dogs were bred for their working ability but, sadly, the Foot and Mouth epidemic hit the UK just after the farmer had bred his bitch. Subsequently, all his livestock was culled and the same happened to all the other farmers in the area. I took two of the pups that were born in the middle of all this (a dog and a bitch) and had them both neutered as soon as the vet said that it was OK to do so. Although I didn't start out that way I now feel as strongly about this issue as anyone on this board and, if you stay here and read the posts for a while, I'm sure that you will too.

Enjoy your BC and give her the best life you can - I guarantee that she will be doing the same for you.

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Philologus,

 

She is blue and white and has long hair, but she is not a merle. She has blue eyes. The stud is black and white. We are still undecided, but we are considering everyone's advice. Btw, we do not own an SUV so we can't hop in it and drive upstate. I think Jason's point was simply that on LI, people that own border collies generally do not live on big farms, and border collie owners on this board have to understand that- it is frankly a little annoying that those that are lucky enough to have places for their dog to work somehow look down on us because we do not, and seem to consider us second class citizens (in the world of border collie owners). Last time I checked, buying acreage on Long Island of any type would cost millions. We have actually considered moving elsewhere (namely Prince Edward Island) for the sole reason of being able to afford acreage. We look out for our dog and other animals (we have rescued two stray kittens from our neighborhood)and give them a great life, and I believe we are not less qualified to be a proper owner of a border collie even if we do not own sheep. Btw, thanks to someone on this board, we have found a herd of sheep on LI and we are planning to introduce Madison to them. If we do decide to breed Madision with Astro, we would certainly do our homework on both of their lines, health, etc. and only breed if it would better the line. The puppies would go to my parents, us, Astro's owner, and, if possible, our siblings, therefore we would be involved in their care and upbringing and we could ensure that they are all spayed/neutered, so it would not result in 67,000 dogs. Also, I used the phrase "that time of the month" lightly (obviously I know they do not menstruate on a monthly cycle as humans do). I just thought that was a polite way of addressing the topic.

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One more thing. I know Madison is young, and that it would be years before we breed her. I do not know at this point if she is a good working dog. However, I am planning on getting her involved in agility training and whatever else I can do so that she does get a chance to "work" to the extent possible. If she is terrible at it, that would influence our decision. But what if she is great at it? We just don't know yet. Yes we are new border collie owners but we take it very seriously, and we were aware of the special qualities of BCs before we got Maddy. As an example, our golf course has four or five working BCs, who keep the geese away. They are great dogs and we love them and are very close to them all. Our good friends also have a BC (Astro). I do think Madison is special because she is extremely alert, extremely smart, and very athletic. She is a great runner and swimmer, and is very aware of everything going on around her at all times. We do not yet know how she is as a working dog, but we intend to find out (and I suspect that she will be very good). The reason I am asking questions at this early stage is because if we decide not to breed her (mainly for health reasons) we would want to have her neutered as soon as possible. So in some ways, we have to make an initial decision now. But you can't assume that she is not suitable for breeding merely because we do not live on a farm.

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>

 

I hope you have not missed the point as much as this would make it appear. No one has said that you are second class citizens, or are less qualified to be a proper OWNER of a border collie. Many of the people who responded to you do not own sheep, but are wonderful owners of their border collies. Part of what makes them wonderful owners is that they do not breed their dogs. They recognize that what makes border collies the wonderful breed they are is that they are bred for herding ability, and that you cannot breed for herding ability unless you know a LOT about it. Otherwise you have no way of knowing what would "better the line" and what would not.

 

>

 

If you think the puppies should not be bred (which I assume you do, if you're planning to ensure that they be spayed/neutered), why do you think it any more right that your dog should be bred?

 

All that said, I admire you for giving real consideration to what you have read. We all learn as we go along. You obviously love your dog very much, and take good care of her, and I believe you will want to do what's best for her and for her breed. Glad to have you with us on the Boards.

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I think what they are asking is why do you think she's special enough to the breed. I think all of us on here think our dogs are special for various reasons.

 

What you may have noticed is unlike many other dog breeds' owners/breeders, border collie people are not particularly interested in getting more people into border collies. We tend to be a cliquish/clanish (maybe that scottish connection) group of people. For those of us that have been involved with the breed for many many years and who until the last 10-15 years had to tell people what kind of dog we had, this sudden burst of popularity for a breed we love, is a bit sad. Seeing the dogs we love bred for reasons other than herding and to listen to people list as breed traits behaviors that have more to do with the misbreeding of the dogs doesn't make us very happy.

 

I'm sure you dog is a nice dog and it seems like your doing the right thing trying to find out as much information as you can before making a decision. Good luck.

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As a reason for why you thought it was right to breed Madison, you wrote:

 

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Laura (rtphokie) replied:

 

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That's a reasonable question, isn't it? Special implies that she is unusual and superior in some way, and how can you make a comparison if you know only a few other border collies? You more or less confirm her point when you reply:

 

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People who know a lot of border collies could probably tell you that these traits are pretty typical in the breed. This is not to downgrade Madison in any way. It's not surprising you think she's wonderful, because by and large border collies ARE wonderful. The traits you list are not things that, to those experienced with border collies, would be reasons to breed her, although they would certainly be reasons to appreciate and enjoy her.

 

Also, when we say "working," we mean working livestock, not agility or other dogsports. (That's playing. ) You cannot tell how she would be as a working dog without putting more time and effort into training her than you can probably imagine. Maybe you will end up doing that. All anyone could reasonably ask is that you don't breed her until she has become a genuinely useful stockdog, and you have learned enough about border collies and about livestock management with dogs to know whether breeding her would be likely to improve the working quality of the breed. If that is too much of an investment of time and effort (and it probably is, given your circumstances), then why not just ENJOY HER?

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