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I think most of the people who post regularly here understand that Border Collies should not be bred for anything but stock working ability. I have looked over the "read this first" post again and gone to the pertinent links on what to avoid when acquiring a Border Collie. But I don't see much on who should breed - or what defines a good breeder of Border Collies.

 

Logic tells me that it should be someone who has trained and trialed successfully for some time, and/or someone who has worked dogs on their own livestock operation for some time. Added to which, both of these types of potential breeders should probably have a good understanding of the working, conformation and temperament strengths and weakness of various lines of working Border Collies. I would also imagine that in the early stages of their breeding program they should be mentored by someone who has a lot of experience with putting pups on the ground, evaluating their working ability and bringing them along in stockdog training.

 

So what else? How does a person know when they are ready to begin breeding Border Collies, and how does a potential puppy purchaser identify the "good breeder"? It seems to me that anyone (with sufficient funds) could obtain dogs who have made a name for themselves in stockdog trials. But breeding those dogs together would not necessarily produce desirable results.

 

So how do you know when a breeder is "the real deal"?

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Among the things you listed, I like to see someone who trains his/her own dogs. And has trained other dogs and to know how these other dogs do in trials/working on the farm(<-- not a must by any means, though) and to see what others have say about a breeder's dogs. Are they happy with them? Are they placing in trials? If not, why? What are other puppy buyers saying?

 

Those are just some things. My list changes as my knowledge grows, hehe. I'm interested to hear what others say on the subject.

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One other thing I would add is that the person *uses* their own dogs as well as training them. One red flag for me is a breeder who buys in dogs/trained dogs to trial but isn't successful with their own breedings on the trial field (and the same for on the farm or ranch).

 

In general, I think most responsible breeders breed when they want a pup or pups from that particular cross, not to produce pups for sale. Additional pups, over and above what the breeder wants/needs to keep, should get appropriate homes, preferable working and/or trialing homes, as that helps evaluate the value of the breeding. And I really appreciate a breeder who keeps in touch with their buyers, offers support and advice, and is always willing to rehome (or help rehome) a dog that doesn't work out for the buyer. On the other side of the coin, the buyer should keep the breeder posted on the pup's progress (and if the breeder isn't interested, I'd wonder about him/her).

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