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Old 04-28-2008, 08:32 PM
AllieMackie's Avatar
AllieMackie AllieMackie is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 6,600

Hey RD,

No problem. I think my post seemed more snippy than I intended, too, so I apologize for that.

I understand the desire to maintain the working/herding aspect of the border collie, it's very important. I never wanted to claim otherwise! I'm just looking at all ends of the spectrum, for what I'd like to do with my dog. Right now I'm backing off a little from the internet forum side of things, simply because I've been getting bombarded by opinionated folks (mostly from other forums, actually - you guys have been pretty spiff!). And I think that this is a decision that I should mostly be making for my own wants and needs for a pup.

This is not to say I'm ignoring you guys - I appreciate all the input everyone has given me, and I'd gladly accept more if you guys have anything to offer! I just hope you understand what I'm doing here, and that I'm trying to make a decision that doesn't wind up with anyone in tears, because that's the opposite point of getting a canine companion! (except in those lovely puppy stages when they'll make you want to tear your hair out, one time or another).

Cheers, guys!
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:03 PM
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RD RD is offline
Are you dead yet?
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 15,572

I think you're making a good choice. Look at what YOU want, and don't limit yourself to just one breed! Border Collies are amazing dogs and I will never be without one again, but there are a lot of awesome breeds out there (and to be fair, some without the tremendous drama between breeders) that would make terrific companions and sport dogs.

Best of luck =)
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:49 AM
flyballpups flyballpups is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
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Default Ontario BC breeders

I just found this thread today, so I am WAY behind the wagon on this one, but since AllieMackie said she’s looking for a pup in Fall 2008 at the earliest, it may still prove useful… and if I found this thread through a Google search, perhaps someone else will.

This is going to be a long post, but I do hope to address all the questions/ concerns brought up. My “experience” is that I have spent the last four months looking for a border collie. I play flyball and agility, my agility trainer (Julie) also herds, and her herding friends also breed – so every dog I’ve looked at gets passed through all those channels before getting the seal of approval. That is a big part of why it’s taken this long to get one! :P

First off, there was some discussion about herding dogs versus sport dogs. The main reason that most people don’t do EVERYTHING, is time. I spend minimum two hours a week training my dogs in flyball, plus another 2hrs a week training one of them in agility. I went out to watch Julie work her border collies on sheep, and yep, they have to be taught how to do it. As someone posted earlier, there are rules when trialing in sheep-herding, and the dog is not allowed to grip. On a farm, people want their dogs to grip when needed. Some dogs can do well in both arenas, other dogs are not cut out for trials. Julie’s friend who is a working shepherd, BC breeder and trials with her dogs – she trained one in flyball just to prove to the skeptics that yep, a herding dog can play flyball too. Anyways, all I’m getting at with this, is that people have to choose the activities they like best, because there isn’t time for everything. Most also have to work full time to pay for all this! :P

On a similar topic - breeding for a purpose: people who breed for flyball are looking for fast dogs. The dog that can break 4.0 seconds regularly is the one that catches people’s eyes. Agility, they look at national level competitions and steeplechase/ grand prix winners – those are the lines people want to breed. A lot of sport people also like color on their dogs. Herding people (I have found out) look at who the great-grandparents of the pup are, and how many Open Trial champions are in a dog’s pedigree.

Show lines – I hate to say it, but they have their place, though it will never be in my home. I know a local woman doing agility with her AKC border collie (they’re the Australian type). Meg is a nice little dog, great little size and pretty to look at, but her movement… how do I describe it? It’s more ‘rounded’ than the usual border collie, a little slower, more thoughtful. Back to Julie, her dogs are from working/ herding lines, and they do well in agility, but their movement is quicker.

Health checks – Beanie asked, and I didn’t see a real answer.

There is a DNA test now for Collie Eye (CEA). A dog can be Clear/ Normal, a Carrier, or Affected. Affected dogs should not be bred. Period. A Carrier can be bred to a Clear dog. If the sire and dam are known, then the status of the pup (which can only be Carrier or Clear) only matters if it is going to be bred. If the status of the parents is not known by DNA (or parentage – two Clears will never produce a Carrier), then you should look for pups that are CERF tested.

Ears – This is generally only a concern for most breeders if the pups carry a lot of white. The test for this is called BAER. This is the only way you can know if a pup has full hearing. A pup deaf in only one ear (unilaterally deaf) can still show normal function/ response to noises, etc – and can live a normal life – just should not be bred.

Hips and Elbows – There are two types of tests, as was mentioned. PennHip and OFA. Either one is acceptable, just educate yourself on the different rating systems. As well, it is generally thought in herding circles (so Julie tells me!) that if a dog has been working for 5 or 6 years and has not come up lame, then it’s hips are just fine.

While I’m at it, let me also mention PRICE! In Canada, the CBCA is the registering body, and BY LAW, Canadian BC breeders are required to charge the same price for all pups in a litter. If you look at US breeder sites, you’ll see that the black male pup is $200, but the blue merle male is $500 and the blue merle female is $800. As well – people breeding the lines popular in sport circles are WAY overpricing their dogs, because the market will bear it. You can get a well-bred border collie with full health checks for $500 in Canada.

And that brings me to Registration – Again, the CBCA requires – REQUIRES – that any litter of border collies sold in Canada as “purebred” MUST be registered with the CBCA. And to register a litter, the pups must be uniquely identified by a tattoo or microchip.

Now that said, there are also some farm breedings I have seen of ¾ border collie, ¼ ACD or the like, where you can still get a nice pup from herding/ working lines, if you’re not stuck on a purebred dog.

You asked for opinions and “have you dealt with” experiences on a number of breeders:
BurHill, TNT, MoyHall, PowerTripp, Amanda Milliken, Rival Kennels, Cedar Border Collies.

All breed good dogs - ** It depends on what you’re looking for **. PowerTripp crosses AKC lines in with CBCA/ ABCA lines, and personally, I don’t like AKC border collies. I did look at a non-AKC-mix litter from them, but all pups were spoken for. BurHill are breeding their bitches to Roy because he only arrived there a short while ago from Scotland. They have used other studs in the past (in reference to someone else’s comment about using their own stud dog). I looked into a Moy Hall litter, but the stud was owned by Linda Verna (Bo-Tyne) and she insisted on a spay/neuter contract on all pups. We wanted a dog we had the option to breed from, so it wasn’t for us. I have not personally dealt with Amanda Milliken or Linda Verna, but I know that their dogs (and Margaret Lambkin’s) are all well respected in herding and sport circles. If breeding was not a consideration, I would probably go for Milliken or Bo-Tyne lines.

If you want to look in herding circles, there are a handful of dogs that it is worth finding in the pedigree of the pup you’re looking at. This is a great way to find sport potential in a farm litter – and this is what I ended up doing. Some of those big names charge big prices for their pups.

I’m not sure if these are near you, but here is another good breeder out your way (I’m in BC) My friend Julie was on the list for a pup from this breeder, but there weren’t enough pups for her. You are looking far enough in advance that you may get what you’re after.

You can also look for sheep/ cattle farms online in Ontario, and may find a dog you like there. Often their border collies are working dogs on the farm. I found our pup on a cattle farm in New Brunswick. Bad as it may sound, she had listed the last two pups on and that was how I found her! There are lots posted in Ontario, you just have to weed through the unregistered litters to find what it is you’re looking for.

The boy we found should be shipped this week. He goes back to two of Amanda Millikens dogs – Craig and Hazel, both well known in herding circles. Also some other great imports that have made a real mark on the border collie as a breed – Dalziels Wisp and Dryden Joe, Aled Owen’s Ben, Alasdair MacRae’s Nan. Java at Rival is also behind this pup, as are some Lacy’s dogs (TBC now). And we found him on a salers cattle farm at the other side of the country, through an online ad, no less.
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:10 PM
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Lizmo Lizmo is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: AL
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I'd be really interested to see pictures of your new boy when he arrives. What great lines it sounds like!

l ~Jennifer~ l
l Handler for Team Blazin' l Photographer at Joy Photography l Nikon D40X with 35mm 1.8 Nikkor Lens l
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:12 PM
SizzleDog SizzleDog is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 9,449

I know a dog out of a kennel mentioned by flyballdogs. Ended up crippled before the age of two from bad shoulders. Not saying all dogs from that breeder are unhealthy, but in my area all BCs from their lines are either explosively aggressive or have health problems - or both, sadly. Takes two to tango however - could very well be the studs the breeders are using.

Morado Dobermans... and Talla the Mexidog too! (group photo pending)
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