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Hi Everyone including Kelliwic Border Collies,

I have a question. Yes I have been ranting all week. But this is not a rant. I would like folks to look at Megan's website, (I did), and I wonder what and why she decided to breed. I am also asking her to comment on why and what she decided to breed.I have "been" in border collies for almost 13 years and never been interested in breeding. Well for about a month, and talked to a friend with Border Collies and she just invited me over to see the 4 of 6 of the litter she had back due to people divorcing, not happy with dog (3 years later), moving, all sorts of reasons. She took any dogs back at any time and kept them with her till they passed. I realized the life long commitment and also that my dog wasn't the sort to keep bringing on... Anyway, not wanting to pick on Kelliwic, as her site actually seems fairly decent and thoughtful. Anyone care to chat about this?

Caroline and Charlie and Luke

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Hi Inu,

Well I was making a reference to a posting about OCD in the Health section and this breeder's website is the following: http://www.kelliwic.com/

It does in some ways look like a decent breeder and I didn't really want to evaluate her in particular, but as an example of what is now called Sport/Performance Breeding. Which is not breeding for traditional work as a sheepdog as the breeding standard.


I was fairly competitive in USDAA agility and then NADAC with my older dog, soon to be 13 years old. It just never entered my head seriously to try to breed. I wondered why some people do that are not driven by sheep work and /or trialing.


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Caroline -


I just got done looking at Megan's site. Megan ... I, am not looking to pick on you, either. With that said, and looking at it from a buyer's perspective (I'm not a breeder), I'd like to see what other people thing of this:


Performance Incentive Award

(For those that haven't seen her site and just clicked on that link, note that puppies are $800 with a $100 discount to any USBCHA member in good standing.)

While I can see it's geared that things other than conformation, for USBCHA, it says: "USBCHA/open herding trials: Three completed runs at any level, with minimum of 50%

points earned for each element." First off, it says open herding trials, and then says 'any level.' Not sure what that's about. But in any of the USBCHA trials I've seen, been to, or participated in, I've never seen the 50% on each obstacle requirement. That's an AKC thing. Maybe it should say something about coming in the top 10 or 20% of three separate trials?


But Caroline, like you, I've got mixed feelings. I don't think I would want to pay that much for a pup and then feel like I have to "earn" my money back. But I could see the performance people liking it. The confusion came in with me when I was looking at the dam's pedigree and noticed her mother is a conformation champion. But that's another whole thread.


Just my $ .02.


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Hi Jodi,

I am not getting any puppies anytime soon from anyone :rolleyes: I just got my younger dog from rescue and am working him with sheep with the intention (gasp) of trialing next year. Who knows if we will be ready or not by then though. The mention of USBCHA and ABCA might lead one to think that is what is supported, but then the conformation stuff is found if you search the site more thoroughly. It is confusing! My gut feeling, while this person does not make me think byb at all, they are not breeding using real herding work as main selection standard.

thanks for your thoughts

Caroline, Charlie and Luke

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Well thanks Caroline for contacting me to let me know you were discussing me.


I am really not exactly sure what is in question over my site or my opinions regarding AKC. Since the question is unclear to me, I will try to guess what you're questioning...???


My dogs are in fact directly out of herding lines and active herding dogs, and I take herding lessons as my budget allows. I feel that the selection criteria for continuing the Border Collie breed should be herding ability. Period. As stated in the opening paragraphs of my website: "The traits of the Border Collie which make it the world?s best sheepdog are exactly what performance competitors need for success in other dog sports." I am not opposed to any person enjoying other dog sports with their Border Collies, but I think traits of the stockdog are exactly what makes them successful in other sports. Therefore, people interested in other sports would do well to continue to select their dogs based on stockdog criteria.


My dogs are not currently registered with AKC. It seems you have mistaken me for the owner the dam of one of my dogs. Some of the dogs related to my dogs have finished their conformation championships, but this was not a factor in my choosing to buy my dogs (both of which I bought from the stud dog owner not from the dam's owner; the second as a two year old). I am not opposed to showing Border Collies in the conformation ring. I AM opposed to selection of breeding dogs based on a "breed standard" which is appearance-based. Naturally, this is a conflict between the typical "show" folks and the "working" folks, because unfortunately most of the "show" folks will only breed based on the show standard, and therefore will breed to dogs that are successful in the show ring. It's not the show championship itself that is bad for the breed--it's selecting breeding stock based on appearance. Even overseas trials have (or used to have) awards for appearance or "Best Border Collie type." The exact name of this title escapes me at the moment, unfortunately. However, I know it exists or existed--my point being that even trialers can appreciate a good looking dog.


I mentioned above my two dogs are not currently registered AKC. I am in the process of registering one, so I can participate in AKC herding trials. I know they are not "real" trials, but they are the level at which I can afford to participate and do something with my dog. We get the pleasure of working together at lessons, and the challenge of competition (even if it isn't a 200 yard outrun). My dog is talented and it has been remarked on by experienced handlers and trainers, but I don't have unlimited funds to buy land and sheep and train several times a week, so unfortunately our exposures to sheep are limited to about once a week. I don't think any handler as novice as I am, and probably no dog no matter how talented, could hope to compete at USBCHA level with once a week training.


Why breed? Some people wish to, and some people don't. We could open a can of worms and discuss the many well-known triallers who breed many litters a year, regardless really of the success of the dogs being bred. This is my first litter ever, and it would not be untrue to say that I have been thinking about it and planning for it for over 10 years. It's hardly an impulsive decision, nor is it financially driven. The purpose of the breeding is for a pup for ME. I have total confidence in the breeding. I don't understand why so many people breed and sell off all the pups.


The Performance Incentive Reward is the best way I can ensure that the pups go to using homes. Ideally, of course I would hope they will go to herding homes. However, since I am "unknown" in the USBCHA world, I don't think that I'll have a lot of buyers there. I think my buyers will be performance people, and hopefully the PIR will motivate people to develop close bonds and long-term relationships with their dogs.


As for the 50% accomplishment requirements in open, it is not a conflict to say "any level." My reference to open means a trial anyone can enter and any breed can participate. The level can be Novice/Novice, Pro/Novice, Ranch...or Open. I wanted to set criteria that was challenging, but not SO challenging as to seem insurmountable for a new owner or a novice stockperson to achieve. I want to encourage participation and success, not intimidation by setting the requirement too high. I was having a hard time coming up with a way to set and measure specific criteria when it came to open (ie, "non-AKC") trials, so I used the 50% criteria from the Border Collie Society of America.


Well now that I have "explained" myself far more than neccessary, I hope I have answered all your questions. But, I suspect what will really happen is that people will pick apart my post and will question one sentence or three words strung together or whatever. I'll try to answer questions posed with sincere interest, but since I am not "opposed" to AKC just on the general principle of its existence (LOL), I will probably never be able to answer everything to your satisfaction. :rolleyes: Anyway--I'll try.

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In my opinion, you're the type of person worth putting some time into. You obviously have some good ideas, you just started out on the wrong side by working standards.


I don't have a lot of time to write more now, but I hope this can develop into a useful discussion. At any rate, stick with it.



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Thanks, Megan. I appreciate the post. Yes, it cleared up a couple of things for me. I agree with Denise ... you do have some good ideas.


I bought a dog a few years ago before I knew anything about herding. I actually bought him because I thought I wanted to do agility. He's got some nice herding lines on one side, and some pet lines on the other. I got bit by the herding bug right before signing up for agility lessons, and started working my dog several times a week. I, at the time, was talking to someone whose claim to fame is taking the working dog into the show arena. This person convinced me to register my dog AKC so that he had more herding trials available to him. Well, we competed in some AKC trials, some AHBA, and some USBCHA novice trials thus far. I watched a well known conformation bred Border Collie receive his herding championship on "A" course and decided never to run on "A" course again, as it made me feel stupid running my dog on a course that another dog could run without ever looking at the sheep. He's now representing the Border Collie proudly as a dual champion, and he couldn't even put the sheep away after the trial was over. So, if I ever do run AKC again, it will be on the "B" course, if at all, and only if it's conviently located and only if someone else pays my entry fees and begs me to enter! LOL. Would I ever dual register another dog? No.


When I finally got the guts up to run my dog in a USBCHA trial, I figured out all the stress was for nothing. The novice course is very similar to the AKC "B" course, and the people were very friendly, helpful and encouraging. Much more so than I found with any AKC trial I had been to. And no one brushes their dog before their run, and everyone lets them jump in the big water trough afterwards! LOL. I agree it can be intimidating at first. Have you tried it yet?


Oh, what is the person doing now that first talked me into registering my dog AKC? You don't want to know! LOL



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Hey Megan

The only thing I wish you'd have done differently was wait to breed.

We all had/have to start somewhere and with that in mind, I've changed my mind a hundred times since I started with BC's on what I consider a breedable dog. Plus....you really need the approval of the Open handlers which only comes from getting there yourself if you want to be successful at breeding and not a pet breeder.


I hate to see you do something now that you will come to regret in a few years.

I'm not saying you have...just saying I would have, if I had bred anything I've owned before now!

I'm still not breeding because I still don't feel qualified and my one good dog is not looking like any sort of breeding material at this time. It would take me till he's in Open and beating other Open dogs that I would feel like I might be able to even think about it.

Plus the other hundred reasons I won't bother to write for now.

Glad your learning and growing.


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Hi Ladies (and any Gents),


I'm not really sure if I'm insulted or amused by some of the comments. :confused: I'm trying to be amused. I *think* ya'll mean well, but the things that are said sort of seem to be talking down to me. So if I'm taking it wrong because I'm reading text and don't have the benefit of person-to-person contact, let me know.


I'll give examples. Originally I took Denise's comment as postive, but in re-reading it, "you're the type of person worth putting some time into" and "you just started out on the wrong side by working standards" don't really sound positive after all. It sounds like you want to change my opinions (ie, putting time into), or that I started out intending to breed for conformation (ie, wrong side by working standards). I am open minded, but it sounds like you're trying to change my opinion and that you think it would be an "improvement" of my person.


I don't know how it would be said that I started on the wrong side by working standards, because someone else started this thread about me; although I offer a link to my site through my profile, I didn't open the topic of my personal opinion on AKC and invite people to weigh in on whether my opinion is "wrong" or whether my site is "questionable" regarding whether I am pro-ABCA OR pro-AKC. I felt it would be good to be direct and try to explain where I'm coming from. I'm not always very good at that, LOL. :rolleyes: I don't think I HAVE to be ONLY pro-ABCA or pro-AKC. They are not diametrically opposed. It is only the breeding of BCs to an appearance standard to which I am opposed. (And before someone feels the need to say that AKC is all about an appearance standard--no, they are not. AKC is about the breeding of purebred dogs. The appearance standard applies ONLY to the conformation ring. AKC doesn't give a rat's behind what the dog looks like if you compete in any other of the many events AKC offers.)


Jodi, I SINCERELY hope that some day Perky and I, and Perky's pup and I, will be able to compete at a USBCHA trial, even at Novice/Novice level. It is a goal for me with the pup, at least. Perky and I are not ready at this time. Competing in AKC "psuedo"-trials, in addition to the benefits I listed in the post above, will at least allow us to gain experience in different settings, on unfamiliar sheep, and in a situation in which I myself will probably be more nervous, which could easily transmit itself to my sensitive dog. I don't think that my choice to register my dog with AKC in order to gain steppingstone experience is a bad thing.


Kristin, I am not sure you read my post carefully if you wish I'd "waited to breed." I got my first BC (Kaylie) 11 years ago. By the time she was a year old, I know I hoped to breed her someday, but when she was about 4 or 5, I still wasn't ready to breed her. Then I discovered some information about a pup in her litter--a hermaphrodite. To outward appearances, Kaylie is perfectly normal, but to me, the littermate with such a dramatic genetic flaw was too close for comfort, and I knew Kaylie could be carrying something recessively that I might not like. So I spayed her. It really broke my heart, not just because she showed enough talent that her breeder and our first herding instructor both tried to buy her from me, but because she was so special to me. I literally cried when I dropped her off at the vet for the surgery, but I knew I was doing the right thing.


Later, I bought Perky, who fit the criteria I specifically went looking for in a brood bitch candidate--because yes, I still hoped to breed a dog of my own to be proud of. Animal husbandry is simply something I'm interested in, and that's the way it is. Perky proved herself worth passing on her talent, and I set out looking for the right stud. The stud dog I'd chosen for Kaylie, although he's fantastic, wasn't the right dog for Perky. One stud does not fit all, no matter his accomplishments, so my new search took about two years to find just the right one.


Now I've had Perky nearly five years and I'm breeding my first litter. I don't think I rushed into anything. If you are saying I should have waited till my dog was trialling at Open level...that would take us the rest of her lifetime, for the reasons I explained in my previous post. Meanwhile, Perky will be 7 years old in February; not too old to breed by some people's standards, but *I'd* prefer not to wait much longer as the older she gets the harder it will be on her. I have faith in the nationally-ranked triallers who have complimented and admired her abilities thus far, and I don't have a question as to whether she is a capable sheepdog.


I have spent my 11+ years "in" Border Collies constantly learning, researching, and asking questions. But just because you don't recognize my name or my dogs, and I because I ask a lot of questions, please don't assume that I am a "newbie" or that I'm a backyard breeder, or that I haven't done any research to base my opinions and decisions on. Having said that, please don't think either that I am being any sort of "know-it-all," as I am quite sure that I have a LOT yet to learn. I've changed my position on things over time, which doesn't mean that I vacillate from one camp to another at the drop of a hat...it just means as I gain more knowledge and see other points of view, I can make better decisions or may have a different perspective than before.


Best to all,

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How has Perky proven she is breed worthy?


I am not putting you down. Just asking How?


IMO and in my case, I could ask just about anyone with lesser knowledge of working dogs than me, or even my nice "open" friends weather my dog has potential for breeding.

The normal people would say absolutely.

The open friend?s I have would politely say that she might have the right lines and the right beginning looks(of working) but without some very intensive herding, either trials or every kind of herding situation in real life that I could ever find. (like working 300 breeding ewes everyday for some extended period of time or other similar situations which require my dog to be thinking and working on her feet using her brain in constantly changing instances)they could not comment on if she was true to her breeding or she would further the working world of BC's.

So yes I might not prove it till she was to old to breed.

I'd have to wait for the next dog or bitch.

While improving my training and herding abilities so I'd be able to prove my dog before they were to old to breed.


All the knowledge you can possibly acquire by reading or researching, or asking open polite handlers or herding trainers, will not be a true evaluation of your dogs breeding potential. She must prove it by merit.

and YES the majority of the views seen here (or at least in the list objectives) is of the opinion it's the work (herding and nothing else) that can or should be the only criteria in which to breed.

Didn't you say yourself that you don't know that much about herding. (once a week or whatever) is all the experience you have.


That is why I say I'd wait if I were you.


What you do is your choice and maybe you'll never change your opinions, there are lots of people breeding for other reasons, but that in my mind, and some of the other out spoken people on this list is why I say your not ready.


No insults intended and sorry if I came off not understanding how long you've been in BC's. I did not know how long...nor do I think the length of time is important. The work of the dog is.


I hope you don?t' read anything in my words that might misconstrue meanness, put-downs or insults. That is not my intention.


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posted by Kim off the Buchanan thread.


This is such an important thing - I think it requires a degree of trust by the non-working / less experienced herding folks. Part of the reason I don't post a lot of messages in the herding section is because after 9 years of owning sheep, I'm feel like I'm finally getting an appreciation of the dogs. For example, the other day we were asked by a neighbor to help move 100 LAMBS from a pasture into his greenhouse. He has several dogs of his own, but his best dog is now about 15 and is hard of hearing and slowing down, and his young dog is only 1, so he needed help. I took my Zoe dog since she's sensible, and those of you who have worked with lambs know that this important. The 2 dogs gathered the sheep from a large field and crowded them into a small pen. We then moved them straight across an asphault road, past a group of mamas with young lambs (seperated only by flexinet, through an area littered with farm equipment and then into the greenhouse. When we finished, my husband, who should know better, said, "those lambs just went on their own" The dogs had done such a good job that it seemed as if they hadn't played a role - but anyone who's ever tried to move young lambs knows that this would simply not have been possible without good dogs. My friend was amazed that the transfer was so smooth. A few years ago, I might have directed my dog more, had her push the lambs - now I know that when my dog patiently holds back, doesn't take the direction I tell her, or diverts her eyes, she's doing it for a reason (based on my directions). This is a good dog - she makes the work look (and feel) easy. It's something that isn't easy to see and isn't easy to articulate.

This is an example of proving what I think is a breedable dog. But only one, and only Kim can tell what she has for a dog, she is the one that works it every day, no one else.


Can you say Perky can do that or anything simular?


Only Kim can make the decision on if she'd breed her dog. but I think she has a better feel as to what is breedable in working lines then you at this time.


Again...I'm not trying to insult you or Perky.


Just a different perspective.


I hope Kim doesn't mind about me using her or her dog as an example...I'm not saying she is breeding or not. Please don't ask her to defend anything I said about her, I don't even know her

My opinion only.



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I remember you from the Border Collie lists (can't remember which one -- maybe BC-L). I'll say what I said then. I think your intentions are good, but the problem is that you don't have a program in place to carry out your intentions. You may be limited by time, income, and lack of independence (if I remember correctly you're very young), and life isn't fair but it's still a problem in terms of the type of dogs you say you want to produce.


You can't say you want to breed great herding dogs without testing their abilities to work stock. You can't really test their abilities to work stock without lots of real-life work situations and getting them out there to compete in real trials against other dogs and seeing how they stack up. That's just the way it is -- going to lessons occasionally and a couple of handlers (no matter how good) telling you that you have a nice dog just isn't enough.


Dogs change a lot as they develop as working dogs. There are sort of "critical stages" you reach, or turning points where you look at your dog and find out if he can go further or not. When I first started working Solo, neither my trainer nor I had any reason to think he would never trial. He looked like he had all the goods. It took more work and more learning and, I might add, a lot of growth on my part as a handler (which would never have come had I not acquired a truly talented dog to learn from) before I realized that he had certain shortcomings that will prevent him from ever being a great working dog. And it was hard to admit that to myself, but it's true. I think that someday, with a lot of work and love he will be a useful dog for certain farm situations and may eventually trial in novice classes. But he performs poorly under pressure (handler pressure, new field pressure, sheep he's never seen before pressure) and the fact of the matter is that a really good working dog doesn't require as much effort to be made good as Solo would.


Solo would have no problem earning AKC titles on trained sheep in a 100x200 foot pen. He's also really pretty and red and agility people love him. But even if his temperament were normal he still wouldn't be worth breeding, never mind that he is so nicely put together and likes agility so much that he gets propositioned at agility trials, and never mind that he's got some really great dogs in his pedigree.


I've had my bitch Fly for two years. For our first year I thought she was pretty much perfect as a working dog. I was a hopeless novice handler and yet would manage to place nearly every trial in Novice-Novice, less frequently in Pro-Novice but still most of the time. I felt like I could do no wrong with this dog, because she was so easy and so good and would always put things right if I screwed up. Now that we are trialing in Ranch I see a more complete picture of her and yes, she is still a fabulous working dog but I can actually describe her strengths and weaknesses now instead of just thinking she is perfect. These insights would never have come if I had stayed in novice classes with tiny outruns and no crossdrives (and less competition). What kinds of insights can you make on an AKC A course?


Conformation people would not have much sympathy or many nice things to say about someone who said, "I don't have time or money to show my dogs but I am sure they are pretty dogs and will produce wonderful champions." They'd say thanks but no thanks, sorry, close but no cigar. I can't imagine someone trying to produce top field trial Labrador Retrievers with dogs who only retrieve fake ducks tossed around in the backyard. The fact is that if you don't test your dogs, you don't know what you've got. You cannot differentiate among dogs in order to select from the best unless you undergo some exercises that will sort the dogs. You recognize yourself that AKC trials don't cut it. You rarely work your dogs at all so you have no practical farm experience to fall back on either. How on earth can you breed good working dogs without seeing if your breeding animals are actually good working dogs?


I'm not trying to pick on you. I just really want to know. I would never dream of breeding Fly (although the guy who sold Fly to me, who himself has bred a Scottish National Champion, thought Fly was "well worth breeding from") because frankly, I don't know what the hell I'm doing. And I'm not a dummy, and I do think about these things. I can recognize that I simply don't know enough to be able to responsibly produce working Border Collies regardless of the fact that I take herding lessons and have a wonderful imported bitch who is the apple of my eye and who other, GOOD handlers think is a really nice dog. There's so much more to it than that. I personally get hung up on my inability to figure out what sort of stud would be the best match for her. Last year I thought she was weak and lacked power, this year she has really blossomed and become strong. Last year I thought her sheep-spotting capacities were without peer, this year I realized that she's lousy at looking for sheep and I just didn't notice before because in NN and PN the sheep area always right in front of you on the field. It'll take years for me to learn. By then Fly will be so far over the hill that breeding her would be unthinkable.


The reason you won't sell puppies to USBCHA people isn't because they don't know who you are, it's because they don't know who your dogs are and have no idea if they are any good. If I were looking for a puppy I would want one from parents I knew something about and who had proven themselves to be talented and to be the kind of dog that I like to handle. Your dogs remain an unknown quantity. Unknown quantities should not be bred. Without rigorous testing and selection of breeding stock this breed will not remain what it is. And I think you know that, and that's why you talk the talk, but you don't walk the walk. What it boils down to is you just really really really wanna breed dogs. Well, I'd really love to fly a fighter plane, but there's sort of a lot of things I have to learn before I could be competent enough to do so without doing more harm than good. Breeding dogs is kind of like that.


I know no one could convince you back then and probably it won't work now, but you seem like a thoughtful person and I hope you think about these things. Most of the folks here have "dumb things I did before I knew any better" stories and have owned up to them. The thing I don't understand is why you want to walk right into the middle of one with your eyes wide open. You DO know better. So why not DO better?

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By the way, I live on an extremely limited income (graduate student stipend, and yes, they do like us living at or near the poverty level for some reason, maybe it's supposed to build character). It isn't easy, but because it is important to me and because I have nice, generous and patient friends I get my dogs out there as much as I possibly can. I have worked Solo enough to see a true picture of him as a working dog and to know that he has faults I could not have spotted at the beginning. I have worked Fly enough that she has been able to teach me how much I still have left to learn.


I have done enough to know that if you don't even know if your dogs could get around a Novice-Novice course, they have no business producing puppies. Period.


It doesn't mean you should never breed dogs. It means you shouldn't breed the dogs you have right now. Delayed gratification can be a hard thing to deal with, but frankly it's the responsible thing to do. YOU ARE BRINGING NEW LIVES INTO THE WORLD. You owe it to them not to make a half-assed effort. You mentioned that there are a bunch of crappy "working" breeders out there who breed dogs that may not be worth breeding in order to meet market demand, and you're right about that. How exactly does that excuse you when you plan to do exactly the same thing? How is it that you recognize the mistake and persevere on in your effort to repeat it?


Please. None of this is really about us. It's about the dogs.

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Sorry if you came to think my comments were not positive but instead a put down or even worse (and a put down to me, BTW) "amusing." My intention was to be positive and to help keep this thread positive.


My initial impression of you was as you wrote above:


I've changed my position on things over time...it just means as I gain more knowledge and see other points of view, I can make better decisions or may have a different perspective than before.


That's where I was hoping we would go with this. I think we both agree border collies should be bred to a work standard. I believe it's just the definition of the work quality of that standard that we differ on.


You wrote:


"I have faith in the nationally-ranked triallers who have complimented and admired her abilities thus far, and I don't have a question as to whether she is a capable sheepdog."


This is the thing, to me -- "abilities thus far" (as in not ready to compete even in novice/novice ISDS sheepdog trials and no real work experience) does not a "capable sheepdog" make. Just what has Perky actually done, other than looking promising at the very most beginning level, that makes you say "Perky proved herself worth passing on her talent"?


If she were a stud dog instead of a bitch, and you owned a proven top working bitch, would you consider her training and experience "worth passing on her talent" to your top working bitch? If not, and you would require a more proven dog than the male Perky equivalent in a stud dog to breed to your top bitch, then why would you not require more in Perky?


In my opinion, it's not a good enough indication for the genetics of the future pups to use the excuse that you can't properly prove her in time to breed or that you don't have land/sheep/time/money to prove her before breeding. But if you did have the land/sheep/time/money, you know she would be the best. They are not proven just because you think they could be. Even good potential is not the same as proven. To prove them worthy for breeding to a work standard, you have to actually do the stuff to prove them. For some reason, this seems to be a really hard concept for some people.



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Hi Megan,

I appreciate your time and effort in detailing your reasons for wanting to breed. I am pleased with the conversation here about this. You do seem to have thought a lot about your plans. So many on here know more than I do about this, and I am so glad people are reading this thread and discussing the topic. My hunch is that many(well, some) "performance oriented" breeders feel as you do and perhaps discussing this with you here will help some of us discuss it with others in a way that will get what we feel across without insult. Thank you for your comments and the other folks too. I am interested in staying with this. I will add that I believe many types of performance, flyball and agility,obedience, for example, do not require as complex or independent thought as sheep herding at the Open level. For me the statement

" I don't think I HAVE to be ONLY pro-ABCA or pro-AKC."


is a complete contradiction. However I did not open this topic to have it be personally about you, I felt your website was informative and well thought out enough by you that it was worth discussing here to see if some of us could understand how you got to where you are in your thinking and then that might help us talk to others about this topic.

Thanks for being here,


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I don't think any handler as novice as I am, and probably no dog no matter how talented, could hope to compete at USBCHA level with once a week training.
That is a direct quote from what you wrote earlier. What makes you think that as a less than novice handler and given the rest of what you write, qualifies you to breed Perky at this time?

With novice anywhere in your own explanation of yourself, who are you planning on selling your pups too? People with less working knowledge than you?

I have fell for that kind of handler/breeder before (some of my earlier mistakes that I'm glad I didn't duplicate) I have learned and am learning the hard way. Only now it's on the trial field and not at my expense of someone else's lack of knowledge.

I have several of those dogs snuggled down in the bedroom with hubby waiting for me to come to bed. Wonderful dogs...just not breeding material or to put it another way...I'm not handler enough to get them even looking like it, weather they are or not.


All have been spayed or neutered with the exception of my puppy who came from top working lines and whose parents are participating in the finals or at least qualified and can not go because of illness.


Does that make my puppy breeding material? No but

at least I know we might have a chance one day... maybe not in time for this dog before he gets to old.

The whole time I've been with BC's I've been herding with them. Only bought sheep after I started with the dogs. I also have 3 kids and a car buying fool of a husband. He buys cars like I aquire dogs...more than the average. We are not wealthy in the monetary sence.

I'm broke too but ya gotta do what ya gotta do and it's not breeding for me.


If it's animal husbandry your into...breeding sheep is less costly and you eat your mistakes :D I enjoy breeding my chickens also. I think I spend less on feeding my sheep per month than I do feeding 5 dogs. Not to mention large animal care is less expensive than small animal care. I hear horses are really expensive but I have found sheep to be pretty reasonable.


Like I said before...You are not there yet.

Heck, neither am I, difference is...I know that.


You will hopefully be regretful of this decision one day in the future, when you finally do earn that right for your dog to breed. Don't say we didn't try to warn you and nicely at that.


I sincerely hope we help, and not spur you on to breed just to prove someone wrong. We'll never know, as we won't be seeing or hearing of you if you don't get out there, and as Melanie puts it..."walk the walk".

If you don't, you might find yourself in the same situation you see other breeders here being raked over the coals because of the same issues. Worse...you will only find pet homes for your future herding champion dogs.




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I am really understanding why I got my first BC from his owners and why part of the agreement of ownership was to neuter him. Even championship lines don't mean automatic champion.

And I remember being approached several times by folks who wanted him as a stud!

This board is so educational!

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I am done "defending" my postion, because clearly no answer I can provide will be satisfactory until I say what most of you seem to want to hear. I am not going to respond to every question asked as it has become pointless, such as who besides me thinks my dog is capable or worthy of breeding, although I will assure you it is not some person with lesser knowledge of working dogs, nor are the open handlers giving lip service to me or being paid to "say something nice" about my dog. I'm not as young (or naive) as it seems you think.


The good news is I have a list of people already interested in the pups, and I didn't post here hoping to gain anything but knowledge. Further good news is that no one here is under duress to buy from me, and I'm not trying to convince anyone here to do so. You are all free to buy from one of the many, many other people who will have a pup or a dog for sale at some point in the future when you are ready to buy.



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I just wanted to put my two lurker cents in . I was in a similar frame of mind as Megan when I started out with Border Collies over 10 years ago. From the beginning I was rabid (some may remember my posts from those days ) about breeding for working ability only. While I never was involved with AKC reg. or sports- and always critical of those who did dual register- I did have in common with Megan this belief that having the principle (breeding for working ability only) was enough- that I was experienced enough compared to the AKC/sport folks to make fine breeding decisions and improve the breed. My bitch was a decent, but not consistent, Open cow dog. The first stud worked- although never trialed- and was from very well known working lines. I bred two litters from her- the first litter I bred was an utter failure working wise. Oh, they all "worked", however each one had faults that would have prevented any successful trial career at the level I wanted to work at (I trial in Open on cows mostly). All found pet homes, and had good lives - but did nothing to improve the breed. A few years later, I bred one more litter. I did make a better stud choice and out of a litter of 5 pups I got two decent bitches, two mediocre males and one total washout. Not the "super" litter I was hoping for, but respectable enough. The pups from that litter are now coming on 5 years- I have not bred since. If I could do it again, I would have never bred that first litter- and while I see now I shouldn't have bred the second- I probably couldn't pass up the opportunity to have my Nellie- who is my heart dog. Nellie is a very useful dog for me, and she's fast and fun to trial. I think she is a better dog all around than her mother, an improvement, but 10 years into this sport I can see that she is just a decent dog, but not above average in many areas and below average in more categories than I'd like to see. I took many years of working, trialing and rehoming a few dogs to find out what a good working dog is. At this point, I realize that I don't have the time, the facilities, or the trialing budget to create a true "breeding program". What I do have is two very good dogs, Nellie and the young Jane (whom I did not breed, although I wish I could take the credit :rolleyes: ). They both are good enough dogs to trial for many years, I suspect Nellie's strength will stay in her Open cow dog trials while Jane shows very good promise as a sheepdog. I have never had such good dogs as I do right now. I recently spayed them both for various reasons, but the critical reason was that I wished to concentrate on becoming a better handler and trainer. I have enough "dog" to work with for at least 6-7 more years- I don't perceive that I will outgrow either dog as a handler. I will have steady dogs not affected by heat cycles and can concentrate all my limited budget on working and trialing- not the costs of breeding. It was a tremendous relief to come to that decision- as hard as it was especially to spay Jane- I feel free to move forward in my "education" and have put breeding decisions on a back burner until the next dog- which won't be needed for quite awhile.


I wish I had gotten smart about this much earlier than I did.




Las Vegas,NV

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I'm sorry, but just because you have a list of people interested in the pups, does not justify breeding the dog. I'm quite sure I could breed a litter of border collies and have a real long list of people interested in the pups as well. Would I do this? Heck no, a good many would probably end up in rescue or worse. It's not about having a list, its having the right people on that list. I beg only one thing here, please carefully consider the people on your said list, scrutinize them like any good breeder or rescue organization would, and amend your list, as necessary. As I'm sure others can attest, there are far too many border collies in rescue already.

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I am done "defending" my position, because clearly no answer I can provide will be satisfactory until I say what most of you seem to want to hear.


That's the thing. This isn't about what you say, it's about what you actually do.


I am not going to respond to every question asked as it has become pointless, such as who besides me thinks my dog is capable or worthy of breeding


I remember the most of the questions as being what has your dog actually done to make her worthy of breeding? That was the one response I was hoping for from you.


The good news is I have a list of people already interested in the pups


Well, if you're going to breed her, it's fortunate that you have buyers for the puppies. I just hope you aren't presenting yourself as breeding to the highest standards to those who want that but have no way of knowing better, because you may be taking puppy homes away from those who are breeding to the highest standards.



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I'm just going to speak in personal terms (relating to me, not anyone else).


I have a very nicely bred little bitch and was approached by a well-known handler who thought a nice dog of his would make a good cross with her(this is weird. because I understand it's not common for the stud owner to propose a match - but he didn't really directly propose it, just brought it up - anyway).


I got all starry-eyed because I've liked the stud for a long time, seen his pups, determined at some point that I'd get something from him. Moreover, the handler is a well-known breeder and I trust his judgement.


I wrote a friend of mine asking for advice. The bitch wasn't two yet so I had some time to think about it.


She said the smartest thing I've ever heard on this subject. She asked me how I thought I could assess the breedworthiness of my bitch, and how her style would match up with the potential sire, if I'd never trained up a dog, MYSELF, to the Open level.


It's true. That's the level of knowlege that you need to really know how these dogs are put together and what seperates the greats from the mediocres. I don't have that at present - and it will be a tremendous amount of time before I do have that experience. My young bitch will probably be geriatric by that time, so I'm most likely going to spay her and look to my next pup. And I will plan on being very involved with the last stages of that first bitch's training, and hope I'll be able to train my next pup from the bottom up (without screwing her up too much :rolleyes: ).


That's my own personal standard now. I don't neccessarily think I'll be qualified de facto to start churning out pups once I've reached that level. But I think it's a good place to start THINKING about taking the breed's future into my hands on even that small scale. My standard helps me make the more difficult decisions (there will be no tears when I spay Jen or neuter my husband's new dog for the same reasons) and keeps temptation well at bay. There's a lot of pressure in the competitive venues to breed talented dogs so one needs all the help one can get.

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Megan Writes:


"I am done "defending" my postion, because clearly no answer I can provide will be satisfactory until I say what most of you seem to want to hear."


We seem to have lost Megan, which is unfortunate, however, Megan, if you're lurking, I need to say the following:


Conversely, most of the folks here are not saying what you seem to want to hear, which is putting you on the "defensive" on your position. Noone is asking you to necessarily defend your position. Sooo, don't give up on the discussion just yet, it's a good one. This thread can have super educational value, if not to someone involved directly, to anyone who may be silently lurking.

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