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Ellie

Breeding but wait....

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My main thoughts would be, does she work? At this time you can't answer that ?. She might or might not. But till you know that for sure and then what kind of working dog she truely is, I feel it would be a huge jeopardy to breed her.

You sound like you love her. You've had tons of answers to what might happen to your special girl if you do choose to breed her. At this time it's just not worth the risk of either creating puppies that won't work or have temperment issues or the health of your beloved Ellie.

 

I'd spay her and keep looking for your next dog. But breeding should be left to those that know more about BC's than you at this time. If you do all your homework, maybe someday you might be able to beed a great addition to the Border Collie breed, but by the time you finish learning what all that is, I'm afraid Ellie will be to old. So enjoy what she is and let the ranchers in your area find their own good dogs.

 

Good luck on the job of getting her to enjoy your company, but please don't breed her. Live, Learn, Love and Learn some more. Don't breed!

 

Kristen

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Personal experience is where all that we/ I have said comes from that "is" relative to this matter.

What questions would you have me ask? I already did ask questions, you didnt answer them.

The breed does not need folks that empathize, it needs folks to realize that you breed for working abilty first and foremost.

Im through with this, its getting nowhere. If some one doesnt sugar coat thier advise and suggestions, that "do" come from experience, you dont want to hear it anyway.

 

 

me too What questions did I not answer? Sugar coat? You don't know what I want to hear because I don't know what I want to hear. I am looking for as much information based on the facts presented. If I can't make that clear maybe I should not even have a dog to be groomed

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Aside from all the other reasons NOT to breed this dog, lets not forget the ONE reason to breed the dog. PROVEN WORKING ABILITY! So, she can come back when she's called, can she bring in the stock? can she hold stock for you? Sort, shed, what are this dogs positive attributes for even considering breeding this dog? Im confused as to why the thought has even crossed your mind if the dog hasnt proven herself on the feild on/with stock. Your work with this dog in order to prove this is a viable candidate for breeding has not even begun yet.

 

 

These questions all good ones and she is working cows not sheep probably an easier task; cows I mean.

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I thought you had no stock? I thought she wasn't working at all?

 

You need to make up your mind ... or get your story straight. Whatever.

 

If you only want people to give you the answers you want to hear, then just say that instead of pretending to be soliciting input. It'll save everyone some time and energy. Because I seriously doubt anyone is going to tell you that breeding this bitch is a good idea.

 

RDM

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Hey Ellie,

 

I have a little bitch that is very well bred...some of the folks on this list know her. She has areas of talent and I really adore her.....but I spayed her for a number of reasons. My vet supported my decisions...he said he saw worse dogs bred but knew my heart....I have a pretty high expectation of what a breeding bitch should bring to the gene pool..and not just on paper but in work. Anyway, after I spayed her...her personality changed quite a bit! She is calmer, more people and dog friendly, and is rounding out as far as being steadier and taking a bit more pressure when we work stock. She is very soft....but has some naturalness about her....will walk into anything....and now that she is not coming into heat, I see such a consistency about her. She is my right hand girl as far as getting the pushy ranch work done. I don't know if any one else has seen this happen....but it happened for her. Two of my other border collies are rescues and I agreed to spay them when I adopted them. So I don't know how spaying them impacted their nature...just the girl that had the nice breeding behind her that I kept intact for over a year.....and I am well pleased with her spayed.

 

Good luck!

 

Lora

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Breed her. Breed her again and again and again. Those will be the best pups ever!

Heck folks, just go with what she wants to hear. She is just on here to defend the fact that she is GOING to breed that dog! Her eyes and ears are shut so tight! I guess there aren't enough wacked out BCs in the world. Instead of breeding for working ability, lets just breed for the crazies!

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Having lived with a fearful, anxious dog, seen other similarly fearful, anxious dogs, and heard from countless owners of fearful, anxious dogs, I am of the strong, strong opinion that pathological shyness, as you have described with Ellie, has a major genetic component. I think it is actually very, very difficult to MAKE a dog that way. I believe that there are some dogs who are predisposed to shaky temperament and that trauma can bring it out or enhance it (and I think this is the case with my own dog).

 

There are also dogs out there with temperaments "too good to ruin" as the saying goes -- that have been through such horrible abuse you would not believe it and still come out the other end with their tails wagging and thinking that the next person they meet will be their best friend.

 

THOSE are the temperaments I would choose to breed.

 

Your dog is still recovering from her horrible past. Motherhood is a heavy mental and physical burden to impose on such a damaged soul. Were she my dog, I would not even consider it. There is the added factor of her terrible shyness. If this is in fact genetic, which I strongly believe it is, it is possible you will produce an entire litter of similarly fearful or perhaps even aggressive dogs (anxious dogs are often defensive). Dogs like these have difficulty finding and staying in homes and cause a lot of heartbreak for their owners. If I were you I would not take the chance.

 

Please spay your dog and enjoy her for who she is. I cannot think of any good reasons to breed Ellie, and lots of great reasons NOT to.

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I know I'm new here and don't actually have a BC but just going to add my 2 cents coming from an all breed type of standpoint. I've been reading and I couldn't stay out...

 

If I understand correctly your dog is a rescue and doesn't work stock (or does she? It's kind of unclear). Anyways, if your dog doesn't really work then there's no reason to breed, but I think there's actually a bigger reason not to breed regardless of whether or not your dog can work. And that's that since your dog is a rescue you don't know what's behind your dog. A dog isn't completely what you see, it's what it's carrying as well. How do you know your dog's background is disease free? That's my main concern. You don't know her pedigree and you don't know what kinds of problems could be lurking there. How do you know what traits you have? She could be fine but her parents/grandparents etc could not be. Why risk breeding an unknown dog?

 

There are plenty of border collies out there, trust me. In our shelter alone we get a lot- and puppies too! I'm sure some of them would be okay on sheep. Why breed more so-so border collies while plenty rot away in shelters? No one looking for a dog to actually work is going to want one from an unknown line and background. To put it into a breed I know we used to have a field lab. My father hunts and wanted a hunting dog that could retrieve all day long if he had to. Sure, some rescued labs (most) will retrieve but if you actually want a dog to do what it's supposed to do then you need to know that it comes from good working parents. Heck, this is even true for companion breeds and conformation showing. I always giggle when I hear people say that their dogs/pups are show quality or bred 'to work' when in actuality these people don't do anything in the way of these activities that they're saying their dogs can do. I saw a GSD breeder who said they were breeding to 'better the breed' and breeding dogs that 'were conformationally correct with good temperaments and working ability'. All their dogs had were CGCs and they didn't seem to do any ScH with their dogs or anything like that. But oh their dogs could do that if they wanted to simply because they said so. The bottom line is you go to someone with experience and many proven dogs in the field that you're interested in.

 

Also, why breed a dog with a poor temperament? I have a super shy dog (also a sheltie) and it's a lot of work. I'm pretty sure your average owner would not want to deal with his issues. He's actually got some herding instinct (he was tried on sheep as a youngster) but why bother breeding something like that? He did well in agility, had more herding ability than most shelties (not saying much, lol. No one looking to do much more than AKC trials would've gotten far with him) but why breed? His temperament is not conducive to being a good working/sport dog really. He's a good pet for me because I've worked with him. There are plenty more shelties out there that can do what he can as far as performance goes AND they have a good temperament. Once again, why breed?

 

Bottom line is you shouldn't breed in hopes to make your dog less shy. (I have never heard of that before anyways) An unproven dog of unknown background is just not a candidate for breeding, imo.

 

*goes back to lurking*

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In my opinion, it doesn't sound like you have enough "pro" reasons to breed this dog. You said that her shyness is most likely genetic, so I'm just wondering as to why you would want to continue that gene into pups that you want to give to your rancher friends. She also has just gotten over being afraid of stock, so although she may prove to be able to work, she doesn't have the desire and drive for it, which is the exact thing a *good* breeder should breed for. If you can't be confident in the temperament and working ability/instinct of the pups that will come out of your bitch then I would highly advise against the risk.

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I have a little bitch (Eilidh) who, on about 10 goats and a dozen or so cows, has shown some potential. Or at least so my stepfather says (I know nothing about herding, really, but he runs a farm so uses dogs daily). She's quick and she listens well when on stock and is just really keen. But we can't push her or try her on bigger groups or for longer distances....

 

because she's already had to have surgery on one hip - and she's about to have to have replacement done on the other. Oh, and then there's the part where she's SO super shy that we can barely get her to the vet without sedating her. Oh, and she gets started easily and will snap at people out of fear - including myself and my mother - who she adores. She is terrified of new situations, sounds, places, scents, and people. She is SO hyper and will not settle until she's nearly exhausted herself. I have had her since she was approximately 6-7 weeks old - she has never been abused. She has been socialized as a youngster, taken care of, treated nicely, trained with consistency and patience, and just generally treated well. There is no reason for her to act the way she does - except bad genes.

 

Her full sister is gorgeous. She's played on stock but not enough to judge her ability. She's calm, obedient, not at all skittish, really people-friendly, she loves to ride in the car and her hips are only "slightly" bad - not enough to tell by just looking at her. She's been spayed, though, because her owner is rational and doesn't want to breed unknown dogs even though she MAY turn out to be decent on the cows. Why? Because she might deliver a litter of 10 little Eilidh dogs because those genes are lurking in there somewhere. I love Eilidh a LOT. I put in a lot of time and effort with her every day. But my God, I would not wish her on any other person in this world because really, she must be miserable, and she doesn't exactly make day to day living easy.

 

Your dog is shy already. I couldn't even IMAGINE breeding Eilidh and ending up with a litter like that. How could you? It really just isn't fair, and it's actually kind of cruel.

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I rescued a bitch that was intact. She has had pups before. In fact, I believe she was a brood bitch. And if it improved her over-all well being, thank God I didn't get her BEFORE she had pups! Since spaying, and also getting her on thyroid meds, she is so much better. Even my muttley Cheyenne got a lot better with people after being spayed. I think if you get her spayed, you will find she has a totally different "outlook" on life. And trust me, an unballanced dog only gets worse when with pups. If she has had reservations of trusting you, it will intensify when she is with pups! She may have them, but you will not get your hands on them! I have a male, intact, great bred dog, and if he went to the nationals, I would not breed him. Because he has other behaviour issues. He's "needy", pushy, indoor noise phobic, and a bully. He's great with people, babies to weird looking grownups, but he does have some issues with some dogs.

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My Tess was very shy of people as a pup...her nickname was pee pee princess...we worked very hard in making her a social butterfly...and she is quite the social butterfly (ask Lora).....however she was shy because her breeder shot her with a shotgun at 6-8 weeks, kicked her and all sorts of stuff like that. I found out quite a bit about her history to see if shyness was in her lines but it was not...it was manmade (as far as I know/could find out)

 

Some of her pups in her litters are shier of people while others in her litter throw themselves in your lap...go figure.

 

I know Lora's dog quite well and she did what she though what was right for her dog....that dog will do anything for Lora....she loves Lora so much!!! Lora put a LOT of thought into her decision.

 

 

Diane

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...there are so many at shelters

 

There is a possibility we would keep one pup but we would not breed for that.

 

She did come from a breeder that IMHO runs a raggedy operation. I have asked for assistance and guidance in investigating this operation but with little success.

 

And yes we are still unsure about breeding her.

 

Oh if we did breed her it would be one time and then under the knife.

 

She has no proven working ability

 

I'm surely not looking to just breed a dog.

 

QUESTION: Above and beyond all the excellent points others have made about her being a parvo survivor and her questionable temperament, if you know there are so many dogs at the shelter needing homes, and you wouldn't be breeding the litter because you want to keep a pup yourself, and you know she comes from a shady operation, and you're unsure about breeding her, and you feel she's only good enough to breed once, and she has no known working ability, and you're not looking to "just breed a dog" ... why ARE you considering breeding her?

 

...the ranchers are always looking for new dogs.

 

Question: Why would a rancher who wanted a working dog go to a "poor old combat vet" to get a pup from lines he knows nothing about out of a bitch who has no proven working ability, whose biggest accomplishments are getting in and out of the car (but not the truck) and sitting on the couch instead of hiding behind it?

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Putting aside the working issue (others have already covered it), my answer to your question is also no.

 

You asked whether breeding a bitch can help settle her down/improve her temperament etc, and while I have heard of people finding that bitches improved in some traits (usually to do with their work or taking pressure in training) after breeding, I think it is very unlikely that having a litter will make Ellie a happier dog. The few bitches I know who have temperament "issues" (very very minor ones compared with Ellie's) haven't changed at all with motherhood.

 

Even more compelling for me is the risks you face if you breed her. Having a litter may make her worse, especially if she suffers from stress with hormonal fluctuations now. She may well freak out at the pups (especially with a first litter)- refuse to mother them, overmother them (I know a bitch who obsessively licked her pups and then herself almost to death with her first litter, some chew bits off their pups by accident etc and stress will make this more likely), even attack them (again, I know a bitch who killed one of her pups with a single bite, when it approached her food).

 

And then, what if she raises a healthy litter but they all turn out to have temperament issues like their mum? I know she's been through a lot, but we really don't know how much of her problems results from her past experiences and how much her inherent personality/temperament traits... she might well have had some issues even with a stable loving home. I have a dog who was an RSPCA abuse case and had a fairly horrible past, but he is happy, outgoing and really has never had any issues, and another dog that has lived here all her life and is a bit of a fruitcake.

 

And bitches do die having pups, even healthy active young bitches with experienced breeders...

 

Just weighing up the potential risks and benefits, it seems safer for Ellie to spay her and see if that helps her temperament. At least it will remove the hormonal issues.

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I think it is actually very, very difficult to MAKE a dog that way. I believe that there are some dogs who are predisposed to shaky temperament and that trauma can bring it out or enhance it (and I think this is the case with my own dog).

 

I think this can't be emphasized enough. One of the more important bits of a good stockdog's personality is adaptability - the dog that can roll with the punches and handle pressure. The best way to test whether the dog really has that is by working it on stock day in and day out, and in a variety of situations.

 

Is this dog genetically predisposed to shyness? Does she have the type of personality that would cripple her ability to work stock, and that of her pups? Well, if you breed her right now you'll never know will you? You can't guess. As your comments show, you can't sort this out properly in hindsight - and your tendency will be to give her the benefit of the doubt.

 

If you are standing and trying to get 80 stocker cattle fresh off the truck, through a chute for medicating and tagging, and she keeps backing down and turning tail on you, you will be less inclined to make excuses for her. "Yes, every darn calf just busted down the lane for the twentieth time tonight, but you know, she'll come when called most of the time and she usually will get in the car when I ask her!"

 

So, the problem is not only that her pups would have a tendency to fear, that fear will come back to haunt their owners not only when they are trying to take pup to the vet, but also at the worst times when trying to use the dog to work stock. And what happens to the pup that was purchased to work cattle, that ends up being useless? I would never want to bring pups into the world on that great a risk.

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As a livestock person, let me look at this objectively for you.

 

I need good dogs.

 

You have pups for sale. The dam is fearful, and relatively untrained. You have no written or verbal lineage for me to evaluate if this is not individual, or a line problem.

 

You couldn't pay me to take a pup out of that. I won't take the risk I end up with a shy, non-working, pup because I know *I* won't give up on it. I'll end up going the extra mile to help it learn, or at a huge financial and emotional loss to do what needs to be done humanely to give that pup a good life.

 

The people who will buy your pups - are either stupid, or are going for a cheap pup over any other option. Which is stupid too btw - for endless reasons. These are the people who will drop you pup off in the middle of nowwhere because its not good enough, let it die of neglect (run over, no medical care) or just put a bullet in it's head.

 

Or are you going to take all the pups back that don't turn out? That's what good breeders do.

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I really don't think you should breed that poor girl. She has been through so much and really needs YOU. Not another dog and puppies. IF you breed her will you get a male dog? Or just have her bred somewhere else? I have a very fearful BC myself and I know how much time it requires to work through their problems. If she's still that fearful of you, how will you help with her puppies? Dogs get very protective of their puppies.

 

Being mananger of an animal shelter and volunteering with the WBCR I know how much time goes into placing a dog. To me it seems that the ranchers around you don't really care about their dogs to much. I live in ranching country also and up around here they care for their dogs more than their hired men. Are you ok selling a pup to a rancher, just to hear it gets killed a few months later? All that love and all that work gone in a moment. How would you feel if Ellie got killed a day from now? If you truly love her you would feel dead inside for a while, then kind of numb, then lost, then alone. Then maybe, just maybe start to remember her, and remember the good times with her. Well not everyone cares that much. With all of that you feel, how do you think the dog feels? Going to a new home with nice people that love you, only to live a short life. Pupppies only have love for the world and it's people. How is it fair to breed, then sell it to someone that you know damn well it'll be killed?

 

From a Humane Society, Border Collie Rescuer, and Border Collie lover's point of view. Do the right thing and just have her spayed, then enjoy years and years with her. I'm not trying to put you down, or say your a bad dog owner. Because I'm not. I just want you to think about it. Think about it deep down in your heart. Go to any shelter and look at the BC's (or other dogs) that have days to live and tell them that your going to breed your dog so you can sell the puppies to people that could have adopted them. Then if you can still stand the thought, go ahead and breed your dog. After that no one cares.

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Hear! Hear!

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Questions seem to work better than assumptions.

 

... a question or two is a better way to elicit or provide information. Try it sometime.

 

Tried it. Got no response. I'll try again.

 

What is your goal behind considering your dog for breeding? What are you hoping to produce? How do you feel breeding your dog would positively affect the future of the breed? Do you feel that the best way to produce working puppies is by breeding non-working parents? If so, please explain how you came to this conclusion.

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I have a male out of wonderful lines. Both sides. Even if he does well in herding, I got him clipped at 12 months. If they want a stud, they can go straight to the source. His father. I don't see any reason for offering my dog up for stud, why should you want to breed your gal? Mine doesn't have any issues other than being stubborn. He's great with kids and I love him and he's beautiful, but that doesn't mean I should let him reproduce. Leave that up to the experts. Look at all the border collies in shelters and rescues. Most of us own one of them, too.

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Strikes me that you may be of the "old school" when it comes to dog breeding and ownership. You say a few things to make me think this. First, you seem to describe your neighbouring ranchers as while needing "new blood" in their working dogs, at the same time not terribly interested in keeping them safe from harm (i.e. "coyotes" and other life-shortening scenarios). Second, you seem to think that Ellie would be fulfilling some sort of female dog destiny by having pups and this would, in some mystical way, cure her of her shyness. I have met many people who believe this -- but I think that you can fulfill your destiny without reproduction -- hell, I have! And third, you don't seem to want to go to the "onerous" trouble of filling out forms to adopt a rescue. I don't know why this would be difficult. You were clearly moved enough to adopt Ellie and extricate her from a questionable breeder who was going to breed her himself; although you may have seen her parents while you were there, I assume these people didn't share her health records with you to allow you to *know* that Ellie is from healthy stock.

I hope you write back and tell us that you have given thoughtful consideration to all of the recommendations that you have gotten here AND as a result, have decided to spay her. Don't be like my dad who believes in recycling and organic food and then dumps a whole bag of Weed 'n Feed on the lawn, killing it by the next day. I know, it's a strange analogy but I thought it might speak to the issue.

And by the way, WyoBC is a guy that you should listen to.

Ailsa

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Seems that the OP has fled this thread...probably didn't hear what he wanted to...

A

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Ok, so what happens when this terrified dog has to be dragged into vet thanks to complications with pregnancy/whelping??? How easy is she going to be able to handle all that? How emotionally traumatizing is it going to be for this dog to be poked, prodded, Xrayed, etc... in order to produce healthy pups? Hell, for all you know, she may not even be capable of producing healthy pups to begin with! You cannot prove that her fearfulness is a genetic of behavioral quirk. I can't think if a single 'ranch hand' who would want pups from an unproven dog to work the animals they rely on for their income.

 

No. No. No. She does not need puppies anymore than you do.

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Just to add, I wouldnt breed the dog either. There are so many great BCs you can get, rescue or from a reputable breeder without having to breed your own. There are too many factors on the "con" list that scream "No!" to me. I would never buy a pup from someone if I saw the mom was very shy. For one, I dont have time for a overly shy dog that is going to promote challenges (yes I understand that if I found a stray on the side of the road that they may have their quirks which I have worked with several times with countless dogs..but I am talking about actually purchasing a dog..I dont have time to deal with a lot of shyness or problems), especially if I am BUYING one as a pup and I am paying money so I want to shape them the way I want them to grow up!!! I want to know what I am getting, (I know pups can be a gamble) but I want both parents to have sunny temperaments!

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THE reason to breed a border collie is to improve the gene pool in terms of working ability or to pass on desirable working characteristics from the crossed lines. The only way to accomplish this is to first determine the working ability of the dogs to be bred (train them up to a high enough level for an experience eye to know what they are in terms of working).

 

Breeding for any other reason is only adding to the over population of dogs. This holds true even if you have places for all your potential pups since your pups will remove potential slots for dogs already part of the over population.

 

Mark

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