Smooth Border Collies.. finding a breeder in the Midwest

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#1
Hello,
I have the puppy want really bad right now, and with my career change to be a dog trainer, I want a sport dog now. I still plan on getting a koolie, whenever that time comes. But for now, I think I will start with a smooth coated border collie.

I am starting to do research on several breeders and have a few in mind that have been recommended, but I would like to find as many as I can to help with research.

Ideally, I plan on doing mostly agility and disc with this dog. However, I would also like to dabble in dock diving and rally (and maybe some other stuff, who knows).

So preferably a breeder with smooth-coated BC's that are doing performance sports or from working lines.

I want dogs that have a reputation of enjoying (or at least neutral to) other dogs and people, good drives, but also have an off switch where they can curl up on the couch. I do not want dogs that are super soft.

Know of any breeders I should check out in the midwest?
 

Southpaw

orange iguanas.
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#2
When I was looking into BCs, I chatted with Eclipse Border Collies in ND. That was like 5 years ago and I obviously did not get a dog, but I liked everything online and from our email conversations, I know she has sheep that the dogs work and also was doing agility and rally at the time. She had a litter at the time I talked with her and I know was planning on breeding one of the females in that litter when they were 5-6 years old SO... if that's still her plan, that would be soon lol.

BC politics are weird so I really liked that her dogs seemed versatile and that she did multiple things with them. Variety of coat lengths.

On my phone so I can't link the website.
 

RD

Are you dead yet?
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#3
BC politics are ****ing dumb and I feel dumb for having participated in them in the past.

The smooth gene is pretty simple but you'll not get smooth puppies out of two rough parents, so keep that in mind when you're searching for the right litter. Even two smooths bred together (iirc) can produce rough puppies so really it's more of a matter of finding the right puppy, even, than the right litter. :/

Forgive me for saying this but I feel like I should - You seem to want a dog that isn't a border collie. Are you sure you don't want to wait for a Koolie? Border collies are soft, they aren't known for their off switch, and most of them have rough coats. There are certainly exceptions but you are guaranteed none of this when you buy a puppy, except coat length. I'm all for people getting border collies to do stuff with but I hate to see a dedicated owner wind up with a BC that they hate when they could've just sought out a breed with the traits they're looking for to begin with.

Eta: If my experience is any proof, a border collie, softness and all, will help you grow immensely as a dog trainer. They are so spatially aware and are great dogs to hone your skills in teaching impulse control, since they are generally a really fun mix of very high drive and very handler-oriented.
 
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#4
BC politics are ****ing dumb and I feel dumb for having participated in them in the past.

The smooth gene is pretty simple but you'll not get smooth puppies out of two rough parents, so keep that in mind when you're searching for the right litter. Even two smooths bred together (iirc) can produce rough puppies so really it's more of a matter of finding the right puppy, even, than the right litter. :/

Forgive me for saying this but I feel like I should - You seem to want a dog that isn't a border collie. Are you sure you don't want to wait for a Koolie? Border collies are soft, they aren't known for their off switch, and most of them have rough coats. There are certainly exceptions but you are guaranteed none of this when you buy a puppy, except coat length. I'm all for people getting border collies to do stuff with but I hate to see a dedicated owner wind up with a BC that they hate when they could've just sought out a breed with the traits they're looking for to begin with.

Eta: If my experience is any proof, a border collie, softness and all, will help you grow immensely as a dog trainer. They are so spatially aware and are great dogs to hone your skills in teaching impulse control, since they are generally a really fun mix of very high drive and very handler-oriented.

Thank you for your response. Yes, I am seeing BC politics are everywhere and very irritating. I have decided I should not be so picky about things that don't really matter, so I've opened up the possibility of getting a rough coat and a male IF it is the right pup. Roughs are much easier to find!

Yes, I think border collies will help me grow as a dog trainer. And after watching more and working with several I am realizing they aren't as soft as I always thought. However, I think this is dependent on the lines probably.

I did look at importing costs from Australia too and they are super expensive, much more than I am willing to spend for so little information on a dog, where it is such a big gamble.

I am still planning on getting a koolie, just not sure when. But I decided I do not want to wait so long for my next dog. And if I waited up to 2 years for one and then something happened where things didn't work out (like the breeding didn't take, there wasn't enough puppies, etc) I would be devastated. This way whenever the right one is comes along I will get one, but until then I will have another more sporty dog to be working with, learning from, and keeping me busy! I think the right border collie would match most of everything I am looking for, and no dog will ever be completely perfect.
 

mrose_s

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#5
I don't have a lot I can add in the way of a breeder. Being in Aus and all. But I do have a smooth BC.
I LOVE her coat, originally I wanted a rough but I'm so glad with what I ended up with. Lots of smooths in Aus.

I was just going to say, what you probably already know. Meet lots, be picky with your breeder.

I raised Quinn thinking she was a soft dog (hell, I picked a BC in part because I wanted a softer dog) and when she was about 18 months I had her at a herding clinic. I asked something about her being a soft dog and the trainer laughed and said "this is not a soft dog"
I've had people liken her more to a cattle dog in a lot of ways, a cattle dog with some typical poorly bred BC timidity. Its made for an interesting temperament.
A scared dog with a lot of bluff and front.
I think part of her issue is that being a shy dog, I raised her as a very soft dog. Since I relised she's as tough as nails in a lot of ways and started acting like it, her confidence has grown a lot also.

That being said, the vast majority of the BC's I've met have been incredibly soft (mainly pet/colour bred so go figs) and when I do get another BC I'll be going out of my way to avoid that. In some ways, a dog that responded to a lot less would be easier. In other ways, I love the challenge and I love having a "harder" dog that I can put pressure on and she will push through it. I know she can bounce back from stuff very quickly.

I feel in Aus its kinda skewed though, BC's are so often used for cattle work that they are breeding a different type of dog over here.
 
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