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Hello everyone,


We currently have a 5 year old Border Collie my daughter has trained since she was a puppy and whom she is currently training in agility. We are now looking for a second Border, a pup up to about 6 months, to eventually train in agility as well. We have checked the websites of some breeders around the Portland/Vancouver/Salem Oregon area but have not found any pups still available for this summer. We would be perfectly happy with a rescue as well. Is anyone aware of coming litters that are not all spoken for? Ideally we would pick up the puppy after June 15 so my daughter is home from school and could be constantly available for the dog.


We have checked with the following breeders websites and have not found any puppies available for this time period, or else the dogs are all spoken for.


Oregon Trail Border Collies http://www.oregontrailbordercollies.com/


Highland Kennels http://herdeverything.org/

Hill Crest Border Collies http://www.hillcrestbordercollies.com/

Come Bye Kennel http://comebyekennel.com/

Hidden Valley Border Collies http://www.hiddenvalleybordercollies.com/


We would appreciate both tips about puppies and opinions about these and any other local Oregon/Washington area Border Collie breeders and rescues.


Thanks,

David


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Pacific Northwest Border Collie Rescue is a network of rescuers all over the Pacific Northwest, including That'll Do mentioned in the previous post. The web address is www.pnwbcrescue.org Also check out the photo in the Gallery called "But I Need A PUPPY For Agility." All the dogs in the photo are rescues from That'll Do, as it happens. You don't need a puppy to train in agility. A good fosterer knows which dogs have potential to excel in this area.

 

Good luck with your search. One thing I would recommend is that you NOT get a puppy from an AKC breeder who is breeding for agility alone. I know a bunch of dogs from this background and many of them are nuts and very hard to live with. (Granted, these are dogs owned by serious agility people and they are not primarily pets.)

 

Kathy Robbins

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Hey Maralynn, thanks for the response! I haven't seen That'll Do Border Collies and will have to contact them to see if I could be put on their radar for young Borders.

 

David

 

Bordercentrics, I've looked at Pacific Northwest Border Collie but will continue to check if they get any puppies / young adults. While you're totally right about not needing a puppy for agility - we started training ours at 5 years - we were planning on getting a puppy because of our other dog - who's very timid. We're thinking she could adjust to the younger dog and become the "leader," at least until she was more comfortable with the new dog.

Thanks for the advice about the AKC dogs, I'll stay away from any just agility dogs. We are looking for a less neurotic, more casual agility dog and daily tennis-ball-fetcher!

 

Thanks, David

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It's often a good idea to get paperwork filled out/go through the approval process with a rescue even if they currently don't have a dog that's right for you. That way you'll be all set to adopt once they get a dog/pup in that's a good match for you. Good luck in your search - sounds like you'd be a great home for another BC :)

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An outgoing and bold puppy can actually be pretty overwhelming for a more timid adult. A confident but easy-going and affable young adult/adult dog might be a comfortable fit for your timid dog. It's hard to predict so don't discount the known quantity that an adult rescue can be.

 

A reputable rescue will foster their dogs and learn a lot about them before they put them up for placement. A puppy, from any breeding, is always still a gamble. A good breeding helps with predictability but it is not a foolproof guarantee.

 

Best wishes in your search!

 

PS - I would avoid any breeder involved with AKC, whether it's for show or sport or pet breeding. If you read the "Read this first" you will understand the philosophy that most on this board agree with.

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That's a good idea Maralynn, I will have to get a few adoption forms to keep filled out for whenever they may be needed - thanks for the idea!

 

Hey Sue, Your point about the differences between a small puppy and young dog make a lot of sense and I'll need to consider this. We plan on visiting any puppy or dog that we consider getting with our current dog first, as it is most important our furry family member is happy with the new addition, or at least isn't too overwhelmed. I have recently read over the "Read this First" article and found it very informative, as AKC is bred for looks I understand it is not a good idea to buy from a breeder who is AKC registered - and I plan not to. Thank you again for the input and advice!

 

Thanks everyone, David

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Good luck with your search. One thing I would recommend is that you NOT get a puppy from an AKC breeder who is breeding for agility alone. I know a bunch of dogs from this background and many of them are nuts and very hard to live with. (Granted, these are dogs owned by serious agility people and they are not primarily pets.)

 

The thing is, there are way too many ABCA breeders producing the same kind of dogs. You really have to do your homework.

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The thing is, there are way too many ABCA breeders producing the same kind of dogs. You really have to do your homework.

So true! ABCA is not a guarantee of quality but, on the other hand, that's where the breeders of quality working-bred dogs register. It's a buyer-beware situation.

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That's a good idea Maralynn, I will have to get a few adoption forms to keep filled out for whenever they may be needed - thanks for the idea!

 

Hey Sue, Your point about the differences between a small puppy and young dog make a lot of sense and I'll need to consider this. We plan on visiting any puppy or dog that we consider getting with our current dog first, as it is most important our furry family member is happy with the new addition, or at least isn't too overwhelmed. I have recently read over the "Read this First" article and found it very informative, as AKC is bred for looks I understand it is not a good idea to buy from a breeder who is AKC registered - and I plan not to. Thank you again for the input and advice!

 

Thanks everyone, David

Remember, too, that in any introduction to a new home and family, there is an adjustment time. First intros are very helpful but also relationships develop, and you need to be prepared for that, too.

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I'm surprised no one has addressed this yet, but the only working breeder on your list is Karen Child. The other websites show dogs with agility titles, very beginner-type and possibly staged herding photos, or no herding photos at all. That's not to say that puppy buyers have to be serious about working...but that breeders need to be making crosses that are about the work.

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I think people did address this ^^, if obliquely. I haven't looked at all the sites listed, but I'm guessing they are what generated the comments about staying away from strictly AKC breeders and sport-only breeders.

 

David,

To add to what Sue said, a young dog I fostered briefly was just adopted by someone who had previously adopted from the same rescue. This dog is a year old and very outgoing and energetic. One reason this adopter chose this particular dog is because her current dog is more timid and she felt that the outgoing youngster (who gets along with everyone) would be a good "partner" for her more shy dog. That was my experience with my first and second dogs. The first dog was everyone's friend, and the second dog was extremely shy. The first dog's friendliness and exuberance really helped the second one to come out of her shell. Of course you have to be aware of the more outgoing dog to make sure it's not too exuberant or a more shy dog could just find it overwhelming.

 

I'm not trying to talk you out of a puppy, but one thing you might want to consider is that an adolescent (12-18 months) could be ready for real agility training pretty much right away. This means that your daughter could get to the serious business of training while she's off school for the summer. With a pup, she can do basic manners, obedience, etc., but she won't really be able to do any training for sports for at least a year (other than basic foundation stuff).

 

The other thing I would say about an adolescent is that the foster home should have some idea about the dog's affinity/ability for sports/performance. With a pup, you really just don't know. Granted, one can train pretty much any dog for sports or performance (within reason), but with an adolescent/young adult you'd get a pretty good idea right up front what sort of dog you're getting with respect to temperament and also with respect to aptitude for whatever activities your daughter wants to engage in.

 

If you have your heart set on a puppy and nothing comes up in rescue, please do take Emily's advice above and try to find a breeder of working dogs. She has mentioned which breeder above meets that criterion. DeltaBluez Tess (Diane Pagel) is a member of this forum and is also in the PNW and could be a good resource to help you find well-bred working litters.

 

Good luck!

 

J.

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Here's the thing that doesn't get mentioned often enough, and is becoming an issue in our modern, internet-connected, must-have-it-now world:

 

A lot of great stockdog breeders and trainers don't have websites, don't update websites, or don't list potential breedings and available puppies. There often AREN'T available puppies, because a lot of folks don't breed until they want a pup from the cross AND enough other people have expressed interest in the cross. Most pups are pre-sold, and unless a litter is unexpectedly large (I know a bitch who can't count less than 10, apparently. Once was a surprise, twice was a fluke!) or a buyer backs out, pups are often not available.

 

You're in the PNW. There's a sheepdog trial every weekend in the summer and fall, often more than one. Some are small, some are huge events. Every one of them is filled with people who will answer your questions, talk to you, and help you on your way. The WA Assoc of Stockdog Handlers and the OR Sheepdog Society page both list trials, as does the USBCHA website. Word of mouth and personal connection goes a long way in the stockdog community. Many people are happy to talk about their dog's flaws as well as its good points. You might even come across someone who has a stockdog prospect who just isn't working out or doesn't have the working instinct (You never know, though. I know someone who was practically given a young dog who "wouldn't work sheep" as a pet/agility dog. At 3 yrs old, that dog turned on to sheep and was doing pretty nicely in local trials.) A lot of those folks are involved in rescue, too, and a good recommendation from one of them can rocket your application to the top of the list for a dog in rescue.

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That's a good point, Ben, about the lack of an Internet-based community. Sure there are good breeders here, on FB, and with their own personal websites, but there are lots of good breeders who don't do the computer thing. I think new people may find that confusing because in many other breeds, quality pet and show dogs are often easy to find online. In this community, the best way to find a dog is usually by word of mouth, same goes with rescue dogs who may be available but not posted online. That's great advice to contact local rescues even before you see a dog you may be interested in. The approval process can take time, so you will want to be approved before your perfect dog comes along and is snatched up by someone who has already been approved and in contact with the rescue group. And definitely visit local sheepdog trials, because those will be some of your best resources. Starting here was a very good idea! But don't limit yourself to what you can find online. Good luck :)

 

And BTW: a trial every weekend? Jealous!

 

Edited to address Ben and not his dog ;)

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I'm surprised no one has addressed this yet, but the only working breeder on your list is Karen Child. The other websites show dogs with agility titles, very beginner-type and possibly staged herding photos, or no herding photos at all. That's not to say that puppy buyers have to be serious about working...but that breeders need to be making crosses that are about the work.

 

I noticed the same thing, but it was late when I started to read this last night, and I needed to get to bed. I know someone with a nice young dog she got as a pup from Karen Child. I'd stay away from all the other breeders on your list. I'd consider rescue (and you've gotten some good suggestions), or I'd go to local trials and chat with people.

 

Please prepare for a long wait if you're getting a puppy (less than six months old) from a breeder or from a rescue - the better breeders may only have one or two litters a year, and all may be spoken for from (before) birth, as Ben pointed out. I know it's tempting to succumb to "instant gratification" (oh, look, they have a litter of six week old puppies right now with four to choose from!), but lots of availability is itself a huge red flag from a breeder. There is often a waiting list for puppies from rescue.

 

As others have noted, getting a young adult dog will reduce some of the "gamble" (does this pup have the drive I seek for agility?). It'll also reduce the time you'll have to wait before getting started.

 

Good luck! You've gotten some great advice here. I second all of it.

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As others have noted puppies can be a wild card, especially for sports. The pnw rescue site that was posted above has some very committed, experienced fosters whom post to the site. Several if them even introduce dogs to equipment, so you can get some idea on whether they like trying new things and whether it appears the are going to like the game of agility. The other thing I like about adopting a slight older pup for sports is you can see how it's physically maturing and often get a glimpse into how it handles stress, new situations, new people and other dogs.

 

Best of luck, thanks for researching prior to diving in.

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I'm surprised no one has addressed this yet, but the only working breeder on your list is Karen Child. The other websites show dogs with agility titles, very beginner-type and possibly staged herding photos, or no herding photos at all. That's not to say that puppy buyers have to be serious about working...but that breeders need to be making crosses that are about the work.

This!

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Handhills is Vickie and Norm Close. Good folks.

 

Both http://www.freewebs.com/jumpinwfarm/ and http://www.handhills.com/ had a couple pups available a month ago. Not sure if they still do but it doesn't hurt to ask. Both have very nice working dogs so you might ask about future litters as well.

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I have a dog from Butte Ranch, there are things I disagree with about them, but my dog is smart, outgoing, talented and healthy. She's the best! I know of another breeder too, puppies due in June. Predominantly ABCA bred. You can PM me :)

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Emily, a good number of the stockdog folks in western WA call both me and my dog Nick. He came with the name, but I doubt I'll ever give a dog a human name again! Our names have even been reversed on a score sheet- I apparently have a great outrun but a mediocre cross-drive :) No one has called me Hoot yet...

 

And yes, there really is a trial almost every weekend in WA/OR/ID, especially western WA. It's VERY hard to start a new trial because every weekend is taken. Most trials are small, local affairs, but there are the big ones, too. Even in the winter, a couple people hold training trial series- you're likely to run in a downpour, but the entry fees are cheap & you get all your time even after you retire.

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Wow, all of you have been very generous with your time and thoughts – many thanks! You have given my daughter and me a lot to think about and we’ll mull it over. While I would lean toward an older dog, as many of you have suggested, I know my daughter really wants to begin working with a puppy – starting with meeting the pup by 6 weeks, coming home at 8-9 weeks. She has lists of socialization situations to introduce the puppy to including strange adults, children, our cats, other dogs, horses, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, grooming, etc. And then, of course, a training plan to work on until the puppy is ready for real agility work in a year and a half or so. To say she is obsessed might be an understatement but as we are talking about Border Collies this is likely a good thing.

 

Many of you made specific recommendations or had possible links for rescues or puppies. We will look into all of them and then post what we have come across and any insights from the process - in the meantime – if anyone has any other thoughts, suggestions or tips, they will be greatly appreciated!

 

Again, thanks so much for your time and efforts :)

 

Best regards, David

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David,

 

Washington Association of Stockdog Handlers: http://www.wastockdoghandlers.org

 

Oregon Sheepdog Society: http://www.osds.org

 

These are the largest regional working sheepdog associations in the PNW. You can check their calendar of events to find a sheepdog trial nearby…..or you can keep watch at their classified ads. I don't think you'll ever find an AKC/sporty collie ad…usually all good quality working bred ads. There is a good breeding advertised now.

 

However, if you are thinking about rescue then I whole heartedly support and encourage you to look that direction.

 

Regardless of where you find your dog, don't miss the opportunity to check out a sheepdog trial with your daughter so you can understand and experience the skill, talent and heritage of these dogs. And if you haven't found your dog yet, a sheepdog trial is a good place to watch and meet dogs and introduce yourself to handlers. Someone is likely to point you in the right direction to find the right dog or pup.

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Hi Elizabeth,

 

Your advice about going to the trials and paying the most attention to working dogs makes good sense. We are planning to attend the Scio trials/festival to watch and talk with the handlers and will look for a few other good events soon. An emphasis on work vs "breeding" seems to be the right approach. We have never had a purebred anything before, our current BC being (aprox!) 87.5% BC and 12.5% "Sharpei" according to the family we got her from, so for us it's all about who they are not what their papers look like. That being said, our little girl does have some issues with her rear legs (over-straight and given to getting pretty sore and she's only 5) so health and temperament are our primary concerns.

 

We have sent inquiries to a few of the people mentioned in the posts and will also be contacting PN Border Collie rescue and submitting our adoption papers ahead of time and letting them know what we are looking for. I'd really like to rescue if that's possible but also want to honor my daughter's strong wish to work from the ground up with a puppy.

 

Thanks so much for your insights, regards, David

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