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Ok so, we have been on our search for a breeder. We found a very responsible breeder, that some of you recomended, and we were all set to get a pup from her, but unfortunately there wasn't enough pups born for us to get one. (on the x-ray it looked like there would be enough). She then recommended a breeder in Minnesota who she is friends with. Also, the mother of the litter we were originally going to get a pup from is the mother of the father of the litter in Minnesota (sorry that sentence was very confusing ;) ). Anywho, thats not really important right now. So, she seems like a very responsible breeder, and although she is in Minnesota (we are in Michigan) if a drive is what it takes we are ok with that (although of course we would prefer one closer). One of the things we are concerned about is, she wants us to wait to spay (we want a girl) the pup until she is at least 2, preferably 3, years old before spaying her. Really we would prefer to spay her at around 6 months, thats what our vet recomends, but we are willing to spay at 1 or so, because I know its safer. But really, 3 years old? We have no knowledge of heat cycles or anything of the sort because we have always spayed at 6 months, so that would be a new challenge for us, and one we are willing to take if it is better for our dog. So what do you guys think, is 3 a little old? Should we just wait until she is 3 to spay her? Or should we try to talk the breeder down to 1 year or so? Or should we look for a different breeder? Any suggestions are welcome, and if we do wait past 6 months, we are going to need a lot of guidance for raising a intact female! :P Thanks for the help!

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that seems a little old to me....lots of people weight till 18 months(2 heat cycles), but 3 years old? the more heat cycles a bitch goes through, the higher the risk of Pyo and certain cancers, and after going through the stress of a dog I waited with getting a Mammary tumour AND Pyo, I will never wait that long to spay again. at the same time I don't like spaying too young either, 8 months to 1 year is my my preferred age range for a spay.

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Have you really discussed your point of view with the breeder? Perhaps that is her preference but she might not be concerned if she realizes why you want to do this sooner. Did she give you a reason for her wanting you to wait? I could more readily understand this if you were buying her for stockwork, you were experienced with training and handling stockdogs, and she might prove herself worthwhile as a future breeding prospect for that reason.

 

I did my one male dog at six months, thinking I was being "responsible". I would not do another male prior to 18 months from what I have learned since. If I got a bitch pup, and wanted to neuter her without waiting, I'd be looking more at a minimum of 12 months, and maybe even 15-18 months if I felt that was when her growth would be completed. Many Border Collie bitches don't come into a first heat until at least a year of age as they are frequently not fast-maturing.

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I read a study recently whose authors suggested that at 3 years old the females were likely to have benfitted the most from the effects of her hormones but still young enough that the spay will be easier to recover from (spays are harder on older bitches sometimes).

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I would not spay a dog of mine before a year old, preferably around 18-24 months old. There is information coming out that makes me worried about spaying any earlier. Personally, I feel like I can manage an intact female for a couple heats, but I think that is a big factor to consider if you're going to wait. I know plenty of people who don't feel like they would want to keep a dog intact for a prolonged period, and I would not begrudge anyone for making that choice.

 

Edit for spelling fail.

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The best thing to do is have a conversation with the breeder as to his/her reasoning. Ask why and if the policy is negotiable.

 

Why wait until 3? Certain health benefits. Make sure you are not spaying a genetically valuable animal.

 

Why to not wait? Certain health benefits. Avoid unwanted pregnancies. Not having to deal with heat cycles.

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Ok thanks everyone, I will talk to her about it. Also, to help my argument a little ;), and maybe just knowledge me a little more, what are the pros and cons of spaying at 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months? I mean if the health risks are that great when spaying early, of course I would suffer through a couple heat cycles! :P But with the risk of an unwanted pregnancy, and having to deal with the heat cycles, especially for someone like me who knows nothing about them, spaying earlier, basically any time before her first heat cycle, would be preferred, as long as the risks weren't too high.

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Most of the research is now saying It is better to wait until the dog is done growing to Spay. Sexual hormones play a huge part in the development process and bone development. The is especially true if you plan on doing any sports/herding they say that early spaying can lead to orthopedic issues. With that said by 12-18 months most dogs growth plates are closed so I don't see the reasoning in waiting until three. I spayed my Current dog at 6 months because I knew in my mind I didn't want to breed her, but at the time I didn't realize the harm it could cause. If I had it to do over again I would have done it at 18 months.

 

Here is an article with more info:

http://www.caninesports.com/uploads/1/5/3/1/15319800/spay_neuter_considerations_2013.pdf

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I'm still in the 6 months or should I wait internal debate. So much to consider. As for waiting I would say once you X-ray the growth plates and confirm they are closed, go ahead and spay. That will be my waiting guideline should I choose to wait on either male/female.

 

It's not just responsibility on your side either. Yea, Some European cultures don't spay or they all wait longer, and are confused at our society's way of 'mutilating' an animal for no reason.. But on responsibility, do they have to deal with so many roaming untrained dogs, untrained/unfixed dogs in general (even on leash, so many careless owners that don't realize how strongly the need to breed is ingrained). It's not just you trying to be responsible for your intact animal, you hope that even the safe places to walk are truly safe without having to deal with untrained intact animals. Common sense, seriously lacking in the North American culture honestly.

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I'm still in the 6 months or should I wait internal debate. So much to consider. As for waiting I would say once you X-ray the growth plates and confirm they are closed, go ahead and spay. That will be my waiting guideline should I choose to wait on either male/female.

 

 

Yes, X-rays are the definitive indication that the growth plates are closed, but you don't necessarily have to spend the $$$ for X-rays if you are comfortable using 'average' maturation ages. For example, my vet told me that a lot of the small terriers mature faster and their growth plates are closed by 9-10 months of age. He felt that a good age for the growth plates of a Border Collie to be closed was 14-18 months. (I took his word for it.) I felt comfortable neutering my guy around 14 months of age because he had probably achieved most (greater than 90%) of his growth by then, and I felt that I wasn't going to worry about that last little bit of growth because I was pretty tired of his smelling and chattering with his lips and licking pee spots starting at about 10-11 months of age. I was originally going to wait until about 16 months, but pulled the plug at 14.5 months.

 

Jovi

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Ok thanks guys, I guess we are just going to meet at about 24 months. Also, sorry this is kind of off topic, what do you think of a pup from a "farm breeder"? Like, a breeder who is a responsible breeder, but the parents don't trial, just do farm work, but do it well. And also, not registered? We know a local farmer about an hour away from here that fits that description. I feel like if the parents are great at herding, what does not trialing matter, you know?The pups would be a bit cheaper than if we get a pup from Susane (the Minnesota breeder), and instead of driving 10 hours, we would only have to drive an hour.

P.S. we won't be breeding the pup, so not having a big name pedigree doesn't really matter to us, actions matter more than a peice of paper.

If you guys want i can put this question as a new topic.

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This thread would probably go a long, long way towards answering your question: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=34520

 

I'm curious what the breeder ended up giving you for reasoning? Is there some kind of breeding clause in the contract, such that should the dog be proven and bred she has some kind of say? Or is it just about health? Because ultimately once that dog is in your hands it's your dog and its health care decisions are yours to make. Personally, I'd never buy a dog from a breeder who wanted that much oversight. Way too much Nanny State Mentality for me.

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Its just about health. Or at least that's the argument she gave me. She knows I have no interest in breeding the dog.

 

I checked that thread out, and it was really helpful! We are seriously considering getting a pup from him (the farmer). The pups aren't born yet, so I have to rely on the parents right now as far as quality of the pups. I think we are going to go to his farm to see the parents work (one advantage of him being so close) before we agree to anything, to make sure the dogs have great herding ability, and also just to meet the parents. I am not quite a pro on herding yet though lol, so when we go watch the parents work, what should we watch out for to signal that they would be good parents for the future trial competitor? :-)

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I think we are going to go to his farm to see the parents work (one advantage of him being so close) before we agree to anything, to make sure the dogs have great herding ability, and also just to meet the parents. I am not quite a pro on herding yet though lol, so when we go watch the parents work, what should we watch out for to signal that they would be good parents for the future trial competitor? :-)

 

And therein lies the problem with getting a pup from "farm dogs." There are, of course, great farm dogs who work on large flocks over challenging terrain doing varied, complex work. But there are also lots of farm dogs who bring the same ten sheep in every day from the five-acre pasture. It would be highly difficult (actually, impossible, I'd argue) for a novice to judge the breedworthy merits and qualities of a farm dog, particularly in the latter case. It'd be a crapshoot. With successful trialing dogs, at least, their breedworthy merits are judged within a proven impartial system, so--arguments about personal preferences of different working traits aside--you needn't be an expert to be assured you are getting a nicely bred dog.

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This thread was very interesting to me. I currently have a five month old bitch pup and also having a vet who is more than willing to spay at six months. Just not before that. Her in RSA we have similar problems to you guys in USA with unneutered loose running dogs. The only two cents' worth I can add is this: April two years ago, my bitch had a litter, one bitch pup from that litter also stayed behind. she was taken to be neutered at six months because her father is also mine and he's still intact. I DO NOT want him to breed his own daughter. She really took the anesteasia (sorry if my spelling is atrocious) really hard. She went in 08h00 and when I went to fetch her at about 12h00 she was still very much out of it. She was only really recovered to my liking by about 20h00. 08h00 the next am she was her old self.

Last monday I took her mother a three year old bitch to be spayed. By the time I got there at 12h00 she was awake, got up, walked out of the (ground floor) kennel by herself and almost walked to the car by herself, execpt she wanted to take a wrong turn and go out the back door so one of the workers decided it's safer if he carried her to the car for me. She was obviously a little sore, but very much "with it". I am, especially in light of this and other similar articles seriously considering waiting with little Meg untill she's at least a year old. I will have to have a serious talk with my vet about contraceptives, Dad is still intact, and some of our workers have intact males.

OP as for your question of "farm breeder" or "trail breeder". It's very interesting to me, when I advertised this last litter more than one person who called wanted to know if my puppies were SASDA (SA Sheepdog Association, where we register our working sheepdogs) registered because they were tired of buying unregistered pups and finding them inferior to the registered pups. Whether or not your breeder actually trails is not as important, but especially if you are thinking of ever working your pup, rather buy from trailing lines. I have five BC's. One male, four bitches. Papa dog Zorro, Mama dog Rusty (spayed last week) Jess (from their 1st litter) and Meg (Boo bear from the last litter) they all even "little" Boo are extremely driven dogs, but both Zorro and Rusty come from trailing lines. And then I have Xena, I bought her as a six week old barely socialised puppy from a local farmer four years ago. She has no clue whatsoever what to do with a herd of goats. She is nervous, neurotic and runs pathways around my yard. Sounds to me like the other breeder only has the pus best interests at heart. Think carefully.

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I have known Susane personally for many years, I can assure you she is one of the most responsible breeders I know...puts a huge amount of time and effort into planning her breedings and doing all the health testing. She breeds only once every 4 years and only when they are ready for another string of trial dogs..she is hugely active in the stockdog community and very knowledgable....I know if she recommends her females aren't spayed until they are older it's because the latest research indicates that's what's best for the health of the animal and she takes the future health and well being of all of the animals she produces seriously...

 

Knowing others who's dogs have been plagued by genetic or cicumstantial health problems with there dogs/and working with rescue groups, having a breeder be so concious about what they are producing is relief..

 

She CAN be a little over the top with some things.....but it's only because she cares so much about the well being of the animals she has and the ones she intends to produce...

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Here is about where we stand right now. First, before we even consider getting a pup from the farmer, we will be making the sure the parents are 100 percent healthy and checked for everything and found clear. If everything is well with that, we will visit the farm and meet the parents and see them work. If it is ok with him, I will be video taping them. Since i am a novice, I wouldn't be able to say whether they were great or not, so I will be showing the video of them working to Sharon Woolman, a very intelligent person, and the future pup's herding instructer. She should be able to tell me a little better than I could myself of how they are. If everything is good, we face the decision. I found out the farmer actually lives 10 minutes away from us. Way shorter. Cheaper. We can meet the parents beforehand. We are still leaning towards Susane just because basically, if we get a pup from her there is no question about whether they will be healthy and if the parents are talented. But, after reading all of those articles, and listening to your oppinions, even if we got a pup from the farmer, we would most likely still wait until at least 14 months to spay the pup. We will have to be getting some bitch britches. :-)

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I have known Susane personally for many years, I can assure you she is one of the most responsible breeders I know...puts a huge amount of time and effort into planning her breedings and doing all the health testing. She breeds only once every 4 years and only when they are ready for another string of trial dogs..she is hugely active in the stockdog community and very knowledgable....I know if she recommends her females aren't spayed until they are older it's because the latest research indicates that's what's best for the health of the animal and she takes the future health and well being of all of the animals she produces seriously...

 

Knowing others who's dogs have been plagued by genetic or cicumstantial health problems with there dogs/and working with rescue groups, having a breeder be so concious about what they are producing is relief..

 

She CAN be a little over the top with some things.....but it's only because she cares so much about the well being of the animals she has and the ones she intends to produce...

Thanks for telling me, I could tell she was a very responsible breeder, but its nice to have someone who knows her personally that can confirm she is a good breeder.

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Here is about where we stand right now. First, before we even consider getting a pup from the farmer, we will be making the sure the parents are 100 percent healthy and checked for everything and found clear. If everything is well with that, we will visit the farm and meet the parents and see them work. If it is ok with him, I will be video taping them. Since i am a novice, I wouldn't be able to say whether they were great or not, so I will be showing the video of them working to Sharon Woolman, a very intelligent person, and the future pup's herding instructer. She should be able to tell me a little better than I could myself of how they are. If everything is good, we face the decision. I found out the farmer actually lives 10 minutes away from us. Way shorter. Cheaper. We can meet the parents beforehand. We are still leaning towards Susane just because basically, if we get a pup from her there is no question about whether they will be healthy and if the parents are talented. But, after reading all of those articles, and listening to your oppinions, even if we got a pup from the farmer, we would most likely still wait until at least 14 months to spay the pup. We will have to be getting some bitch britches. :-)

I just want to point out that you can't ever truly know that a puppy will be healthy. Having tested, healthy parents certainly tips the odds greatly in your favor, but when it comes to breeding and genetics, there are no guarantees, unfortunately. I'm not trying to pick on you, but I think sometimes people have unrealistic expectations regarding how much health can be guaranteed beforehand.

 

Your trainer also won't be able to tell a great deal from one video of dogs on their home property and known stock. She'll be able to see if there's some sort of talent there, but she's not going to be able to tell you that the dogs are exceptional workers (unless they're working on unbroke, challenging stock or similar). Still a video in front of someone knowledgeable is better than nothing at all. Forgive me for not remembering, but were you planning to work stock with the pup or trial? If not, then whether the pup comes from a local farm or a trialing breeder might not be as consequential.

 

J.

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Well, yes, I realize that, but I'm saying, you would be ensured basically as much as you can be. We will be trailing with the dog, so yes it will be working stock.

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For me, when I see a dog work, it is less about getting the job done (so trialing on a field to a set pattern is not all there is to me), but about how the job gets done. How responsive! How physical! How focused! How much feel! How much does the handler trust his dog! How does the stock handle to dog! I am missing several things I am sure.

The glitch here of course is that over the years I have learned more and more what matters to me, suits me and how to judge what I am seeing most of all. Judge the stock for example.

Training is obviously to bring out strong suits and assist with the weaker points. A skilled handler can put many different spin on things. A less skilled handler may be much less able to show a dogs potential. And everything in between.

So although I am in general not of the belief that good trial dogs only come from trial breeding, consider this.... IF you have a trainer in mind you will work with, try asking their advice. Sometimes it helps to have the trainer you trust, give you some lessons with an older dog. Evaluate your style and personality and try to see if they have some ideas as to what to look for.

When I bought my boy it was because I just adored him from day one.

But as I worked him more I was initially a bit sad that my trainer did not have more faith in me. But he has so helped my skill that I am way over the tiny bit of sadness. Plus, my personality has also made him bloom if you ask me. So it is not just all good, but wonderful!

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Actually, once the ground dries up me and Chloe will be working on herding. So we will be able to see my style soon. And I have thought about it, and I won't be getting a pup from this farmer. I would rather just go with Susane and know I'm getting a pup from a great breeder and talented parents. Thanks for your opinions!

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I know Susane and she and her husband are very dedicated to their dogs. They both run in Open and do well with their dogs.

As far as when to spay, from personal experience I've had a variety of ages. My first Annie was spayed around 6 months, and now she's 15, never had any issues. Belle was spayed at 3, had some issues with the type of anesthesia they used, but lucky the vet was good and no after effects from that. Floss and Wisp were spayed at 2. Floss, Wisp seem to have mild incontinence problems, and I don't know if its due to spaying or not. Meg, I had spayed at 6 months and she is 4 now, no issues. So I don't have any answers.

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Well, thanks Sue. With Susane being such a responsible breeder, I know she just wants the best for the pups. Instead of trying to convince her any more I think I will just agree with the around 2 years, it can't hurt, only help. :) (I hope :P) Hopefully everything works out well. And don't worry, i know the rules. As soon as we get the pup, pics will be on the forum. ;)

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