Originally Posted by Dogdragoness
Do you have many cattle ranches up there? We are not talking one or two "pet" cows the owners have & borrow someone's bull so they can have a baby to but he their own meat every once & a while ... I am talking about hundreds sometimes thousands of acres of land with hundreds of BEEF cattle.
Yes, we do. There are two or three beef operations within my small cluster of towns, and lots of dairy farms. Plenty of cows here. Not many use dogs anymore, they use ATVs and clever fencing now. I lived in Florida and Texas as well, which have plenty of cows too.
Originally Posted by meepitsmeagan
And on the subject of working breeder and not health testing. I agree with crazed. Just because a dog comes from working parents does NOT mean the dog shouldn't be health tested for things that COMMONLY GO WRONG IN THE BREED. For example, ACD's. Since they are "my" breed, and I've done hours and hours of research on them, I will hit them. Progressive Retinal Atrophy, hips, knees, and hearing are ALL things that should be health tested. Just because a dog can work it's a$$ off with cattle doesn't mean that it is healthy in all these areas. He could have super poor hips, but because the breed is tough as nails, never really show it until they fail miserably. He could be a carrier for PRA, and be bred to a carrier or PRA, but because they didn't health test for PRA, NOBODY KNEW and now you are going to end up with a litter stock freakin' full of carriers and PRA affected dogs. And guess what? YOU CAN'T WORK CATTLE EFFECTIVELY WITH A BLIND DOG. Also, just because a dog can work cattle fantastically doesn't mean they have a stable temperament. Good breeders breed to better the breed in all aspects, and choose dogs who bring something to the table that the mate doesn't excel in, or has a compliment to a conformation weakness.
I'm not saying that every single breeder who breeds un-tested dogs are terrible and should end up in hell and can't produce a good dog. However, they are still BYB, and if you are dog knowledgeable, it is still pretty darn unacceptable in most cases to buy from them. Also, it is not impossible (in the breed I am specifically talking about especially) to find a breeder who has stellar working dogs who are health tested.
Sorry this became a book.
Absolutely. Especially with a popular breed where there are people managing to do it 'right' already. I would consider any person that breeds ACDs without health testing a BYB. Romeo is from a BYB. He has PRA. He is totally blind in low light. He kind of makes my point here. He will turn seven in June and he isn't good for any 'work' at this point. I was delving into herding when I really came to grips with the fact he is going blind, and decided it wasn't safe to continue with it. What good is that to anyone? Simple DNA test ensures if you breed the right dogs, the puppies will not get this disease. Seems like a no brainer to me.