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Kassidy

Getting puppy, look like a reliable breeder?

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We are getting another border collie this spring, and we've found this breeder, here is her website- http://www.spurbar.com

 

We have been searching for a good breeder for a while, we would prefer not to have it shipped, so the breeder should be located in Michigan. We would prefer a breeder over a shelter, only because we would like to get a puppy, our current border collie seems to get along with puppies better than adult dogs, and we want to ensure that the dogs will get along. She sells all of her pups for 750 dollars each, does that seem a little over priced? I know its pretty hard to tell from just looking at the website, but does this seem like a reliable breeder? Thanks for your input! :D/>/>/>/>/>/>

 

Edit: I'm not going to this breeder, too many red flags. If anyone knows of any reputable breeders in Michigan, let me know! Thanks!

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In short, no. Emphasis on lots of fancy and rare colors; mention of accomplished dogs well back in the pedigree (just about any dog can have that) but not of accomplishments of real merit in more recent generations; over-priced (you can get really well-bred working-bred pups for less than that generally); and a website that seems more about selling pups with a cute and colorful presentation.

 

Call me cranky - I've just come in from using my 10 year old dog to help my husband and myself get a first-calf heifer and her two-day old calf into the barn because it's 14 degrees out and blowing snow. She's an anxious new mother and didn't want to leave her comfort zone outside away from feed, water, and shelter from the wind, but the calf needed some shelter for a while. It's particularly when we have a job like this to do, a hard job, that I most appreciate a dog that can work - and least appreciate people selling candy-colored pups at an inflated price to pet/sport dog people primarily and with nothing really showing to back up their claims of working ability.

 

I hate to say it but the good breeders don't really advertise their pups on fancy websites. They make a wise breeding choice and they usually have buyers lined up even before they make the breeding. The best way to find a good pup is to go to trials and clinics, volunteer, ask around, make connections, think and study it out, ask recommendations, and go from there - not searching on the internet.

 

Michigan - try checking FB and asking people who live there, like Robin Queen or Susan J Garrett (not the dog trainer), Mary Whitmore, Jim Valley, and others who know where the good breeders are in that area. I think all of them are in my friends list if you want to check out and contact them.

 

Best wishes in finding the right pup for you from the right kind of breeder!

 

(Sorry to be blunt to the point of rudeness - I shouldn't have been but I don't have time right now to redo this.)

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I may have counted wrong but 15 females and 3 "up and coming" ... Lots of unique colors, Wow that is a lot. They even said they breed for color and their business is breeding dogs. Sue said everything that needs to be said.

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I sent Kassidy a pm with info on people I know in Michigan who trial in open USBCHA trials and have very nice dogs.

I would agree with the advice everyone has give about the website in question. One thing I noticed is that there is no evidence of any of the dogs doing actual farm work, lots of pretty pictures. Not even youtube videos of their dogs doing daily chores or anything related to stockwork. I would shy away from a place like this not to mention all the dogs they have, and it seems that color is a big factor in showing off their dogs on the site. Without actually seeing their dogs working stock it is impossible to know just by looking at pictures and saying great things about them.

 

Samantha

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Getting opinions of people on this site who don't actually know Spur Bar is great, but a little bit of research will tell you all you need to know. Their prices are not outrageous, and in fact, several very well-known, well-respected working breeders charge the same prices for pups. So, no, the price is nothing to raise any red flags. And some well-respected working breeders are using Facebook now, just like their puppymill counterparts, so that's not necessarily a red flag, either. Social media is all the rage now.

 

However, if you take a look, let's say, at Doc's pedigree ... he goes back to names like Cindy McCoy, Richard Swafford, and Mary Ann Harrison. A simple google search will show you that all three of these breeders have been expelled from ABCA membership for one reason or another. Looks like the pedigrees on those dogs aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

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In addition to what the others posted I was alarmed that they had links for both nextdaypets and puppyfinder...puppies for sale; IMO no reputable breeder I have heard of would sell puppies through these sites. I was also alarmed by the lack of working photos. Also, the fact there there is a litter of puppies for sale right now with only one sold and they are 2 months of age; the reputable breeders that I have spoken with in the past collect a list of buyers so most, if not all, of the litter is spoken for prior to it even being breed.

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Hello Kassidy,

 

Best wishes in your search for your next Border Collie puppy, and hopefully the responses here will help you decide on a breeder. Also, please make certain that you read the Tips on Getting a Border Collie on this website. It is Here

 

What follows is my input about the breeder you are considering, and, for me, there are quite a few "red flags" from the information on their website.

 

Red Flag: The website states: "Our main business here is breeding, raising and training ABCA registered border collies." In my opinion, the large scale production of puppies as the "main business" says that their primary purpose in breeding is for the money, not for the betterment of the breed.

 

Red Flag: The website states: "We offer a tremendous selection of Red and White, Black and White, Blue, Red and Lilac Merles for sale." The opinion of most working Border Collie owners is that breeding for "candy colors" is not in the best interest of the breed.

 

Red Flag: The website states, "Our working Border Collies are trained to herd cattle and sheep on our ranch." But, there are no photos that I could find of their dogs actually working livestock on the website. That makes me wonder if the dogs are trained for stock work and to what level are they trained.

 

Red Flag: There are 15 bitches (plus more "up and coming") and 4 stud dogs shown on the website. Good grief!

 

Red Flag: In the pedigrees of some of the breeding dogs, the names of breeders who have had their ABCA registration privileges revoked because of fraudulent practices appear. Hmmmm....

 

These are just some of the red flags that would prevent me from purchasing a puppy from this breeder, and it is good that you have asked for the opinions of others before deciding on a breeder. Best wishes in your search.

 

Regards,

nancy

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Thank you for your input everyone, Spur Bar does not seem like the direction I will be going, lol thanks for steering me away from it! I will check out the people Samantha recommended.

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Good luck; searching out the right breeder and waiting for the right puppy will be well with the wait! We are so happy we didn't buy a puppy just for the sake of getting one, Timber is worth every day we waited.

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Stay far away. why? At the end of this page (http://www.spurbar.com/border_collies.htm), you can see the ethical breeder award.

 

This is award you give yourself. All you have to do is go to this page (http://www.spurbar.com/border_collies.htm) and fill in your own details, and you get an award to put on your own website. Need proof? See my blog post where I proudly display my ethical breeder award (http://sheepdogtrialling.blogspot.com/2011/07/anyone-can-be-ethical-breeder-its-so.html)

 

But on the site, Spurbar says "thank you for awarding the Spur Bar Ranch web site" the ethical breeding award.

 

Anyone who is that cynical can't possibly be mistaken for ethical.

 

If you want a pup, I suggest you go to a USBCHA sponsored sheepdog trial, and inquire about legitimate breeders near you.

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I am staying far away from this breeder. Does anyone know of any reputable breeders in Michigan, preferably in the lower peninsula?

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Samantha sent you some recommendations (or contacts) by PM; you can also try contacting the people I mentioned through FB if you are on there.

 

There is a Michigan Border Collie Association listed on the USBCHA website. This is their website. I don't know how current it is but if you go to the Officers page, you will find contact information for Jim Valley, Ann Lamar, and others (this seems to be dated 2007-2008, so some information may be out of date, but the contacts may be current).

 

You may have to consider broadening your search area to find the right pup. Many top breeders have waiting lists but that doesn't mean you couldn't find a pup from someone who breeds a good litter occasionally and may not have all the pups lined up with homes.

 

Also do consider contacting rescues - there is a Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue linked on the MBCA website. Rescues do sometimes get pups or young dogs. Pups are often received into an existing household with "puppy license" but some dogs do well with youngsters or even older dogs if properly introduced. I have had a small number of very short-term fosters/transports come through my household, and my dogs have not had an issue with them coming into the house as long as I introduce them intelligently.

 

The USBCHA website will list trials (go here for that listing, and scroll down to see what will be happening in your area. Volunteer to help at a trial, meet people, make connections, let it be known that you are looking for a pup (and be perfectly honest what you plan on doing with that pup, stockwork, performance sports, pet, therapy, etc.), and see where that leads you in terms of getting recommendations.

 

Of course, check out any recommendations you receive because not all breeders or participants in the sheepdog world are ones that you might want to deal with. You already have been made aware by others here of a number of "red flags" to stay away from!

 

Very best wishes finding your pup!

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Samantha sent you some recommendations (or contacts) by PM; you can also try contacting the people I mentioned through FB if you are on there.

 

There is a Michigan Border Collie Association listed on the USBCHA website. This is their website. I don't know how current it is but if you go to the Officers page, you will find contact information for Jim Valley, Ann Lamar, and others (this seems to be dated 2007-2008, so some information may be out of date, but the contacts may be current).

 

You may have to consider broadening your search area to find the right pup. Many top breeders have waiting lists but that doesn't mean you couldn't find a pup from someone who breeds a good litter occasionally and may not have all the pups lined up with homes.

 

 

Also do consider contacting rescues - there is a Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue linked on the MBCA website. Rescues do sometimes get pups or young dogs. Pups are often received into an existing household with "puppy license" but some dogs do well with youngsters or even older dogs if properly introduced. I have had a small number of very short-term fosters/transports come through my household, and my dogs have not had an issue with them coming into the house as long as I introduce them intelligently.

 

The USBCHA website will list trials (go here for that listing, and scroll down to see what will be happening in your area. Volunteer to help at a trial, meet people, make connections, let it be known that you are looking for a pup (and be perfectly honest what you plan on doing with that pup, stockwork, performance sports, pet, therapy, etc.), and see where that leads you in terms of getting recommendations.

 

Of course, check out any recommendations you receive because not all breeders or participants in the sheepdog world are ones that you might want to deal with. You already have been made aware by others here of a number of "red flags" to stay away from!

 

Very best wishes finding your pup!

 

Thank you!I'll be searching! Also I'll check out some shelters. I would prefer somewhere i can drive because flying a dog is just so dang expensive. I dont have a FB lol but I'll check out the trials also!

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Lol i just looked at the trials, there isnt one near me, actually theres not one in Michigan for the rest of this year. Haha seems like my luck ;)

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If you did decide you needed to fly, flying a pup as carryon with you isn't too pricey.

 

Remember, if it's going to be the right pup from the right place, you may need to consider a drive. Talk a friend into going along and enjoy the trip! If you expand your search zone by an hour or two in radius, it could open more possibilities.

 

And don't forget to check with rescues - many want in-home checks before adopting out but some can do that at a distance with a cooperator in another rescue, and sometimes they will arrange transport.

 

You never know until you check it out!

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There should be some trial in Wisconsin this year, where you could meet people, but most will probably mean a road trip for you. Nothing going on right now but we have clinics and fun trials throught the year as well. Check out our website.

www.WWSDA.org

 

Samantha

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What part of Michigan are you in? I'm in Southwest MI. You could check out Ontario, Ohio or Indiana too.

 

I'm in the midwest, I'll check about Ontario.

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You can ask them for pixs of their dogs working cattle.

 

I checked the pedigrees, nothing jumped out to me as I would want but that doesn't mean it might work for someone else

 

I am not into the color breeding and "IF" someone thought they could have a top level colored dog, I would like to see it's performance. Still waiting.....

 

I see on their website where they say they are too busy to trial so ask if their pups they sold have done any competing etc....

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If I were looking for a good breeder in MI, I would be contacting Jeanne Weaver. She is in Williamston, just east of Lansing. She is very knowledgeable, and produces excellent dogs. If she can't help you, she can probably refer you to someone who can. I am PMing you her email address.

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If I were looking for a good breeder in MI, I would be contacting Jeanne Weaver. She is in Williamston, just east of Lansing. She is very knowledgeable, and produces excellent dogs. If she can't help you, she can probably refer you to someone who can. I am PMing you her email address.

Thank you! Oh and I looked at the PM before I looked at this, that's why I asked where she was located...

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Oh, and obviously it doesnt have to be right in MI, southern Indiana, Southwest Ohio, Etc., work too,

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Linda Fogt has a litter right now. She's in Ohio.

 

mn

That may work, although we are aiming more towards the spring to get a pup, no snow just makes things so much easier.

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