Posted 26 August 2005 - 03:01 PM
Posted 26 August 2005 - 03:33 PM
A BC should only be bred because it is a great working dog. Working ability should measured by trials, or by a farmer/rancher with many years of BC and livestock handling.
The best thing to do would be to start attending and running your dog at trials. There she would be measured up against the proper BC standard of a working dog. You will also meet many others in the working BC community. If your dog does well at trials then you would be in a position of talking to other trial dog owners to find a good working stud dog.
Why are you considering breeding her?
Kenzi & Kolt
Kipp, my little dude 2004-2014
Missy, my good girl 1999-2011
Posted 26 August 2005 - 03:52 PM
As far as trialing, I am not that great of a handler, but I am learning and plan on starting soon. I have also began going to clinics etc. to learn more.
Posted 26 August 2005 - 04:36 PM
Sorry to say this but most top trial dog owners will not stud out for any price to a girl who does not at least work all day every day. You pretty much would have to earn the right to breed in that crowd by them watching you walk the walk over time.
There is more to a nice new pup than choosing his daddy based on daddy's merit. Bloodlines pair up better with certain others and some others flop in the presence of the same. If you don't know what your bloodline crosses best with then you'd best not breed your girl.
I'd highly recommend talking to handlers/breeders at trials (whether you enter or not) and learn from them that way and perhaps purchase your next BC based on them choosing a pup for you.
If you decide to do this anyway I'd ask you what kind of homes you have lined up? Not serious working homes I'm guessing. Would a pup with a top working trial daddy be happy in the types of homes you pick out? Or will they spend their lives waiting at the back door with a frizbee in their mouths and no one to play with for 10 hours a day?
Are you truly aware of the responsibilities of a breeder? If your girl has 7 babies, did you know that you are responsible for those seven lives for the next 15 or so years? Ask yourself if all seven grown BCs came back home to you with neurotic problems, would you take them back possibly never to leave again? Because this is your ultimate responsiblity as a breeder.
My next dog will be an already trained dog that I can learn from- no more puppies for me for a good while.
Posted 26 August 2005 - 04:49 PM
Posted 26 August 2005 - 05:54 PM
I've talked with several experienced breeders and I've been struck with one principle they hold in common. It is important to visualize the worst possible scenario from each parent. Imagine a bit of hesitation lifting heavy stock combined with a good bit of eye on the other side. Or a sulky personality combined with a forceful approach to the stock. Or being over-strong on the heads and super strong willed.
Do you know what makes an outstanding cattle dog? The best way to find out is to visit around different farms, especially of available studs. Watch them doing tasks similiar to what you will need, and also watch them performing a wide variety of tasks - especially ones they don't do every day. Visit on days when there is fresh stock as well as when things are more settled.
Similiarly, your dog needs to work in a wide variety of situations for you to get a full guage of her work. As has been mentioned, stockdog trials are an easy way to work your dog on different stock in different situations, but it's important for a farm dog to also do things like work stock in unfenced areas, work fresh stock, work a variety of species and breeds, and work on strange farms. Have you evaluated your bitch's abilities in these situations?
There are so many dogs dying in shelters - PLEASE don't breed your dog unless there's a REALLY good reason. There's so many nice pups available that probably share your female's bloodlines. Just sit down with her pedigree and start running the names and numbers through Google. You will be surprised, I can guarantee you. Go watch some of those dogs work at trials and maybe you'll meet someone with more experience breeding Border collies with similiar lines. Get a pup from them, have them mentor you, and down the road you'll be ready to breed with confidence and an expert eye.
I've been in Border collies for ten years and spayed or neutered my first six dogs. I MAY breed my current pup if she's healthy and I get her trained to the Open level. That will be a few more years - I'm in no hurry - there's so many nice dogs out there that I have to remember I have reached my limit.
Cord, Ted, Gus, Sam - plus Maggie, Zhi, Lynn, Jetta, Lu, Min, and Tully
Posted 26 August 2005 - 06:30 PM
I've got a bunch!
I've got 8 month old Cody, a gorgeous black and white male.
I've got a lovely 1 year old red and white female named Twist.
I've got a 4 month old super pretty sable merle boy named Rip.
I just placed an ABCA registered tri bitch named Tess. You missed her. I also just placed an ABCA registered tri male named Alfie who loves to work. Missed him too. Placed a very sweet merle named Divot with oodles of drive. Sorry about that.
Not looking for a puppy? I've got a real keen working dog named Marley who's a little older at 5 years. And a keener named Riley who is also 5 years.
Not your cup of tea? How about 6 year old Teddy who was bred every heat until her womb collapsed? She's looking for a home too.
I could go on all day, but maybe if you visited the website and took a look through the 300 border collies I placed in the last 3-4 years you'll see what great dogs are out there looking for homes.
I wish I had more to offer you, but I just can't take in all the dogs people keep trying to dump in my rescue; you see, I don't have enough foster homes to keep up with demand, and there just aren't enough homes out there to adopt them. Sadly, some of them will have to die because I can't help them out.
TDBCR - "Where every dog is a Star"
TDBCR / 3 Woofs & A WooTWoo / Big Air Photography
Posted 26 August 2005 - 10:39 PM
Posted 27 August 2005 - 04:26 AM
My guess is um...no.
In any case, RDM what does Marley look like? Just curious
kt, spaying your girl if you don't decide to breed her is a good idea. Years ago I did keep coupld of girls that were intact, one had been bred before and the other had never been bred but she'd had a couple of false pregnancies. The girl that had been bred developed pyometra and I almost lost her and the girl that had had the false pregnancies got mammary tumors starting at age 4.
It became real costly to have her operated on multiple times and this did not stop after I got her spayed either.
I have 2 BC girls now one I got from rescue who is a super dog - and if someone more experienced at handling than me takes her on sheep, she looks great. With me we still are able to move the beasties where we want 'em in practical terms but it isn't pretty by any means. We get the job done better than I could alone. She is my heart dog and because of all we went through together we have become perfect for each other.
The other girl I have was picked out for me by a sheepdog breeder and trialer. They own fairly large herds of sheep & goats and they have been doing this a long time. I tell you, I'm a very experienced dog person, heck you could even consider me a professional since I actually make money everyday in the petcare industry and I admit that if I were given a choice in that litter that I would have done an ok job picking out a dog but I would have not picked Buffy so I would not have picked the dog BEST suited to me. I can't say enough good things about the experience. It was just too easy.
You don't have to answer any of these posts but I suggest you really think about some of the questions I put to you because the worst case scenario is always a possibility and it's better to prepare for it.
Posted 27 August 2005 - 05:10 AM
Now, no I don't have as much experience with bc's, but my family has had/bred working cattle dogs since b4 I was born (as well as having the random strays/rescues). And with these dogs you have to pick the best possible match between the dogs, you have to make sure they are healthy, and raise the pups, and find homes for the pups that do not have as much working ability.
That being said, I have never said I was going to breed a bc. I just wanted to be as informed as possible on the subject while making the decision. I do know her faults, and so I can keep from pairing her with the same faults. We also breed horses (on occasion) and it is a similar process trying to match the best mare with the best stud for them. Just because a horse is a champion doesn't mean he is going to work with that particular mare to make a great cross.
I have spoken with several bc handlers/trainers, and other breeders to learn more about this subject. I have read countless articles online. Seriously I am doing the homework. I just wanted to know more about picking the right stud dog so I would be independently informed, and not just going by what these people say. I believe that it is a must to check out everything before reaching a decision.
Now on to the homes question above. They would not go to homes where they would be waiting for someone to play with them all day. They would go to people who have an interest in herding, but not people that are going to treat the bc like just another dog or a tool.
No I don't work her everyday but she does go three times a week to work sheep, and has cows to herd everyday when we go to visit the parents.
I would never take this decision lightly, or would breed pups so they can end up in a rescue. That would never happen, because I Have the financial means to take a dog back if by some chance someone no longer wanted it. I am not adding to the problem with bc's. I am not a backyard breeder who pairs any dog up because they can. I am someone who has spent years with there dog, and truly believe they are a remarkable example of a bc. So I didn't come here for lectures an=bout how horrible I am, I just wanted more information on the subject because doing random searches online isn't always the easiest way to find things, asking people who can point you in the right direction is. Seriously this isn't a done deal, I have been thinking about this for a really long time. Breeding isn't something to be taken lightly, and I want to make sure I know everything I possibly can before reaching a decision
Posted 27 August 2005 - 05:12 AM
Let's talk about Kip. Her hips and eyes were tested. She worked for several years on a dairy farm where her parents, and their parents before her worked. She aided her elderly owner in ways that only a good working dog could do. I'm not a breeder, will never be a breeder, but I do believe that down the line she would have been considered very breed-worthy.
She was bred by some careless people who didn't have a concern in the world for her general health. They bred her with a stud dog that can supposedly work cattle. She was in horrible shape when she was bred.
After 60+ days of trying to nurse this dog back to health, of spending oodles of money getting her through rocky points...that spunky little dog delivered 5 perfectly healthy beautiful puppies. She was, actually, in decent physical condition when she gave birth. She died less than 16 hours later. And I almost lost the puppies because...it's darned hard to bottle feed puppies for weeks.
So, ask yourself that before you even consider breeding - before even you look at the working ability or whatnot. Are you willing to lose your dog, the one you claim to care so much about?
Are you willing to get up every hour to check puppy temperatures and feed them and rub their bellies? Are you willing to watch the one that almost died at birth continue to gasp for breath days later?
And honestly, I had an easy time of it. I had help from friends, neighbors, and my sweet Recon who stepped in to play the role of mom. Do you have the resources to pull from to ensure you give possible motherless pups every opportunity? By the grace of God (or whomever/whatever you believe in...) these puppies survived and if I watch carefully, will go to homes that will love them and care for them until the day they die.
And if the puppy's new owners cannot, at some point, take care of them any longer...are you willing to take that dog back weeks, months, even years later?
I don't give a flip if my dog could single-pawedly move 800 sheep from Scotland to Minnesota with grace and style - I wouldn't breed her.
So. Everyone knows my opinion. Don't breed your girl. Leave it to the experts. If you want a dog "Just like her" it won't happen anyway. There's not a puppy in this group "just like" Kip. Kip's gone, and no puppy of hers could replace her, no matter how cute and cuddly they are.
Contact a rescue organization, go to your local human society, foster a few dogs...find another dog that meshes well with your family.
Loving my pups - the amazingly prim and proper Recon and Lady Sage.
Posted 27 August 2005 - 05:29 AM
Posted 27 August 2005 - 05:59 AM
I do understand what you are going through in your head. I've been there many times before. It all comes down to once it's done, it's done and you can't take it back. I went through that with both Sheltie boys I've had. Both were sired by dogs who have produced over 50 champions. The boy I have now, Indy is a brother to an agility Ch who has won the gold for the world team for the minis. So proven beauty and brains there. I also happen to know what I'm doing in regards to breeding shelties but I neutered my boys instead. And before I did I went through exactly what you are going through. I even had some major anxiety on the day of the surgery because I knew I couldn't take the decision back so I understand where you are coming from.
Aerie does have a point and you have to understand that her traumatic experience will forever color how she views the issue. Unfortunately, neglect is a form of abuse that is all too common.
One other question. Do you understand that BC culls (dogs that don't have as good a working drive) still don't make great dogs for people who want an average pet? And are you prepared to be very selective and sell your puppies with contracts which will give you the first right of refusal to buy back in the event the new owners can't keep them? Or better yet a clause that states if the original owners can't keep the dog that they must return it to you and cannot transfer ownership at all?
Are you thinking about selling pups on no breeding (NB) registration?
These are all things you should be thinking about implementing if you breed your dog.
You should probably have a laywer draw up a contract so it's legal and binding but that usually doesn't cost too much.
Not a lecture just some info that might help and questions about things that you may not have considered.
Posted 27 August 2005 - 06:07 AM
Frankly seems like you talk the talk but aren't walking the walk. The people here have mentioned what it takes to attain the level of experience neccessary to judge a Border collie, you admit you are still new to them (on your first dog, not your seventh) and that she only works three times a week, possibly only for the duration of a lesson (an hour??? or a bit more) and that she "works" cattle "everyday" whenever you visit your parents...yet you neglect to metnion how often you are visiting your parents?
You have been told that a trial is a good place to start and network with truly informed people, yet you haven't answered that issue at all, nor have you expliained how you think she would measure up against an open level trial dog or a dog that works everyday on its own farm doing a variety of chores. Possibly because youhave no conept of what is expected or needed froma dog of that caliber.
You have side stepped every single reasonable question that has been posed. While insisting the whole time that you have come to this point after YEARS of thinking (my goodness.. it would take less that a week to gather most of the information through random internet searches, reading the archives and current threads on this board alone etc etc). It sounds to me that regardless of the slow pace you think you are at; you do not/cannot seem to comprehend the true value of time and experience with a given breed and working style. No one likes to be told they are rushing in to things, or that they are not acting in the best interests of their dog (who I'm sure is delighted you are willing to sacrifice her life for a few puppies who will be NOTHING like her).
Slow right down, decide NOT to breed this dog until you can adequately judge the true merits of a good working border collie and by the time you have this perspective you may be retired and have plenty of time to raise the poor motherless pups if the worst case scenario happens.
I'm afraid far too many threads in the recent past of innocent dogs dying, being euthanized in shelters and being poorly bred with horrible temperaments has left me completely disilussioned with "Betty breed my dog 'cause she is so talented and pretty" and "stu stud my dog 'cause I can't neuter my poor boy.. he needs to exercise his semen 'cause its his right to". Otherwise known as the hardheaded ignorami of the world.
Posted 27 August 2005 - 06:33 AM
Perhaps some of them are close to you, besides taking puppies back, the no breeding contract is incredibly important if the dog is not going to a serious working informed home. That is where some people get their start in hobby breeding. Buying a pup that is not on a spay/neuter contract. Please don't run off mad from the posts here. But think seriously, double think and triple think and ask at the above site for people close to you for help.
Posted 27 August 2005 - 06:59 AM
Annette- thanks for understanding that it is a hard decision to make. And I have already read all about puppy contracts, non-breeding homes etc. But I don't think the pups are leaving the family, but if they did I would def. make sure there was a contract (good thing there are so many lawyers in the family!) Like I said I have researched a lot of aspects on this topic. kajarrel thanks too! I am trying to be responsible because this is a big deal.
Also rebecca I do know what it takes to make a good/great cattle dog. Our current dogs (although not bc's) are great dogs, (my parents used to raise cattle so they had a large herd that the dogs worked in various situations). So its not that I haven't been around dogs/livestock my whole life, I just take the decision seriously and wanted to weigh all aspects. And bc's are a unique breed and wanted to learn more about them specifically. Also, someone mentioned above do I have the resources to help take care of sick pups? Yes. I have spoken with vets about their policy about being on call during emergencies (no need to consider any farther if you don't have someone to help in an emergency). And waking up to feed babies doesn't bother me (I had a calf a couple summers ago that had to be bottle fed). Also, my parents, would be willing to help me with anything I would need. So I also have friends that could help me with pups if I needed it.
RDM- I am truly sorry about all of these dogs, and before considering breeding I carefully thought about having a rescue (actually contacted a couple of dogs but they were adopted and another was in a shelter I drove to see her but she was gone). I have taken in many homeless animals (I have two stray cats right now that I love to death). I also donate to the local shelter every month to try and help these animals, I go to benefit dog washes and all the other stuff trying to help these animals. I haven't completely ruled this out, this has been weighing in on the decision as well. There are a lot of things I have been weighing back and worth.
This question wasn't supposed to turn into, hey should I breed my dog discussion, but if I do, does anyone have any sites about stud dogs, matching bloodlines etc. And no I wouldn't do this alone a breeder/trainer said she would help me with this. I just wanted some prior information. But honestly we aren't even at that point. I'm just trying to be informed so if I decide to I will have collected as much information in the next year as humanly possible.
Also, the dogs I have looked at I did research them, their parents, and what their pups have done, so before anyone says it I know what's behind them and in front of them is important as well. I know no one believes it but I have been reading up on this.
So now, back to my question. Does anyone know any sites that I can do further research on? Any sites on matching bloodlines? On stud dogs so you can see them work online? Any great sites that will give me more insight into herding so she can finally trial with me, so I will be more knowledgeable?
Posted 27 August 2005 - 07:00 AM
I'm sorry, but you can only responsibly breed as a novice if you have a chance to produce exceptional dogs. And how can you judge that if you don't even know who the exceptional studs ARE? Have you even laid eyes on the top Border collies of our time? Have you seen what constitutes the standard of work in our breed? Can you spot a weakness in a stud dog (yes, they have them too!)? Can you spot a weak flank versus a strong square one at 200 yards? Can you appreciate the good points of a dog used to working lighter sheep, as you watch it learn to handle range ewes, even if it's not successful? I say again, have you seen a variety of good cattle and other stock work other than your parent's farm?
If you are still with me, regarding your dog, what UNIQUE feature does she bring to the breed? Is she the end result of a breeding program that has proven its worth on a national or international scale? Does she have some rare talent which she has demonstrated widely? Is she the product of an old cross which has been proven exceptionally productive and itself has been crossed successfully with the lines available today? Is she imported and possessed of unique bloodlines to the majority of what is available in your area? Has she been bred before by an experienced breeder and has pups that are working at the open level and showing a high degree of talent?
For an unproven dog in the hands of an EXPERT breeder, I like to see a "yes" to at least one of these (there may be more I'm not thinking offhand, but this is the type of uniqueness I'm talking about). For a female in the hands of a first timer in breeding Border collies, I'd feel squeamish unless there's MULTIPLE positive responses on this front.
And again, please don't proceed until you have established a mentoring relationship with an experienced breeder, not to mention until you've talked with some of the other top breeders of our time about what makes a good Border collie.
As to your blythe statement that you "won't be adding to the problem" - how do you know unless you know what the problem is, and how you COULD potentially add to it? I came face to face with that with my last pup, and when she was two I spayed her. I didn't think it was worth it to breed what I honestly had to admit was a mediocre dog, compared to some of the fine bitches already being bred. She's a nice little bitch on the sheep but she has some holes that, although I could probably make them up with the right stud, why do that to MAYBE make ADEQUATE workers when there are lots of people producing EXCEPTIONAL workers?
What do you think - how does she look? Would you breed her?
Cord, Ted, Gus, Sam - plus Maggie, Zhi, Lynn, Jetta, Lu, Min, and Tully
Posted 27 August 2005 - 07:50 AM
What you are proposing is both bringing new lives into the world, and making an impact on a fragile breed that is presently in crisis partly BECAUSE OF the attitudes you are displaying. I apologize if I've read your intents wrong but I'm definitely seeing the typical attitude that sends shivers up my rescuer spine:
"I love my dog. I think she's the best regardless of what others think. I have my mind made up that I'm going to breed her even though that might kill her, kill her pups, or kill any dogs in the shelter that MIGHT HAVE BEEN adopted by people who will now be buying pups from ME, MY PUPPIES."
Please think. It's life or death whether your young heart accepts it or denies it.
Cord, Ted, Gus, Sam - plus Maggie, Zhi, Lynn, Jetta, Lu, Min, and Tully
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