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Border Collie Breeders
If you were going to buy a BC puppy, which breeder(s) would you go to and why? 

I'm saying this tongue in cheek, but in a way I do kind of mean it. I would find a breeder who was not a top agility competitor, simply because it's too tempting, when you are involved in a sport and also sell a pup to someone, to want to tell them exactly how they should raise and train it. I think I've been guilty of that in the past (not in agility or with BCs) and I have certainly bought dogs from breeders guilty of that.

Of course if the breeder was also someone I wanted to study and train with, that would be different since getting a pup from them would make it a whole lot easier to convince them to find time for my lessons!

Border Collies

It depends on what traits you desire the most in a BC, but I'd get a BC from Talisman Aussies and BCs. Cause I got my Aussie from her, and loved Deirdre! Want to work with an amazing and helpful breeder, I'd check her out. :)

I've had my next pup picked out for a while...hopefully coming this next spring. I'm going with a Lockeye dog (Michelle Weese in OK). A couple of things I was really looking for in a breeder--working dogs, a wide variety of temperments (and color--less important in my case, but important for some people) to choose from, success in multiple arenas of competition, health checks, and VERY willing to work with someone to find the right pup for their situation. I have seen some of her dogs that I really like and she puts a lot of work into socializing and basic puppy training. She places pups in a wide variety of homes--everything from top notch competition homes to active pet homes to SAR to working homes. When I first graduated from school and started seriously looking around for my next dog, I was turned down point-blank by several breeders because I trained by myself and I didn't know a lot of people at that point. Last year when Wendy was invited to Incredible Dog Challenge, I was contacted by one of those breeders wanting to know if I would consider an upcoming litter. Since I'm the same person now that I was 3 years ago and since I still train by myself for the most part, I told them no without a second thought :) I think the most important thing is not only finding a line you like, but someone who is willing to work with you and help you find the right pup for your interests and your household. Just my two cents.

Yah, having someone who understands what your plans are for the dog is so important. I suspect there are breeders so familiar with the sports world that they can just tell by who you are and what you've "won" if they want to deal w/ you or not... but I think upcoming people who are dedicated are just as "worthy" as someone who has a bunch of titles on their dogs. I mean, you have to start somewhere right?

Having just bought a BC puppy I will tell you why I chose Karen at Contact Point.
I went with Karen because out of all of the BC's I have met (I have met many) none of the CP dogs I met had any weird issues. They have all been people, dog friendly and don't seem to have weird traits. The temperaments are FABULOUS! I have been extremely pleased with Freddie and would go back to her if I ever decided to get another one.
He is whip smart and I think he is pretty cute myself.
Her dogs all seem solid and are very fun to live, work with. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me privately.
Although Karen is involved in the sport and with her dogs, she does not over burden with her own opinions. She is there every time I e-mail or call. I like that.
I am very pleased with the way things have turned out.

A friend got a Compass Point pup earlier this year, and from what I've seen, she's a great dog, and it was a good experience for my pal. Congrats on your little monkey.

For me ... I'm not sure I'd ever get another BC. Lilly is my first (and a rescue). Then, I'm not sure I can ever have a dumb dog again, so I might be hooked. :o)

Ultimately, though, I think I would pick temperament over performance lineage. I'd also want someone who took raising the pups seriously and did all the brain development and socialization work.

Tough question ... especially for a girl like me who comes from a sheltering background.

Too many sugar cookies ... I meant Contact Point, not compass. Silly me!

Hmmm, that’s a pretty loaded question in that people can have pretty strong opinions about it. I’m basing my response below on the assumption that we are talking reputable breeders, not the puppy mill types. Personally, I think that it really depends on why you want the dog in the first place. What is important to one person, may not be important to another person, and they may choose different breeders as a result. Or on the flip side, what turns off one person, may not turn off another person. Then a third person comes along and chooses to rescue. All three would be making the correct decision for themselves. So for me anyway, choosing a dog breeder is a highly personalized decision. My BCs come from Contact Point in California (same as Freddie and London) and I’m very happy. I’d get a dog from her again.

All my BC's (except my rescue) have always and will always come from true working homes. I'm a strong supporter of preserving the Border Collie for what they were originally bred for and continue to excel at today... being the world's premiere sheepdog. So I will support the people who hold the same ideals I do and get my pups from them. It's the same reason I personally will never support AKC.

Personally, I choose Speck's breeder because she had athletic dogs, and her dogs did very well with herding. I thought (and still do), that if I get a line that does well with herding and had a reasonable athletic structure, I would get what I wanted in an agility dog.

My other concern was to get a breeder that didn't have alot of litters. NOTE: I don't want to start a flame war here, I know that there are lots of good dogs coming from breeders that have alot of litters, this is just my personal opinion. I wanted someone who didn't make their living at breeding dogs. As someone who works with BC rescue, it's important to me.

Diana picked Speck out for me, and if I trusted the breeder, I would do that again. One of my main concerns is getting first pick or close to it. I *know* what I want in a dog, and *know* what I don't want.

There are a few other breeders I am looking at for my next dog. I am not sure if Diana will be breeding again....I want to keep my options open. I won't be getting another puppy for a few years, so I have time to look. I am looking at structure of dogs, how well they move, and also trying to figure out temperament. If I had a fault with Speck, it's that he doesn't have the greatest temperament; he's kinda snarky. I have to manage that. That said, if I could get a Speck clone, I would in a New York Minute.

I personally like herding-bred BC lines. Again, not to start a flame post, but I agree with the person about about going to a breeder who doesn't have a lot of litters. That said, I don't think I'll own another BC for a LONG time.

I have one who came from herding lines, has great structure but a shaky temperament. She's scared of certain men, certain situations and at this point, she's 7, I'm going to take her for the dog she is and work with it. It's NOT something you can train out of her, because the settings/people she is afraid of changes every single time. One time it's a man, then she could see him 10 minutes later and love him to death, another time it's my hardwood floor, which she is scared of one minute and happily sleeping on the next.

I did get another BC who I co-own who is again from herding lines, rock solid temperament and structure, we just didn't bond. Which is why I now have a Sheltie puppy. ;)

It's not really about which *breeder* to go with, I wouldn't start with that. I would start with the SPECIFIC TRAITS your looking for in a BC, and go on from there. If you're looking for herding lines, a softer dog, or agility lines and a harder dog... it's more about that. I find (usually) breeders tend to have, for the most part, the same types of dogs, because they are somehow related to other litters they have had in the past.

Hang out with lots of BCs, talk to the owners about good/bad traits, look at structure, and then go from there. I tend to like harder dogs who are a pretty independent, and if I ever got another BC I know I would want to go to a herding line to get that type of dog.

Karen does breed lots of great, great dogs, but I'm not from the west coast, and have only met two of the dogs she's bred... as far as the dogs I have goes, I've been able to meet the parents and some of the offspring, which has been great for me!

I'm also a big fan of repeat breedings... not as much in BCs, but in Shelties, because they tend to be all over the place size wise, it's nice to see what was produced the first time around.


I too would go back to the breeder of my newest bc, but importing is a pain, so I'm hoping I'll get something from him or his sister or a stateside cousin for my next bc. I'm generally more interested in specific litters than specific breeders. Seems like a lot of nice dogs come from a lot of different places. :-)

I agree, it is the dog that usually calls to me, not always the breeder;)

I wouldn't personally get a dog from a breeder but speaking hypothetically I also wouldn't go to a breeder who was pumping out a lot of dogs merely on principal. I'd also be suspicious of breeders that had AKC conformation titles on their dogs and/or lots of unusual colors-are they breeding for these things at the expense of health and temperament? Just my own personal opinion based on my own ethics and concerns.

I don't know much about breeders in general but if you're looking for one to avoid and can give me a way to contact you privately I'd be happy to tell you the tale of woe one of my friends had with a popular agility breeder and the dog she got.

Whoops, that was me, I didn't mean to post anonymously


All my dogs are rescues, but I always have two cents worth of advice:)

If I were to buy a dog from a breeder I would look for someone who breeds few dogs, but good dogs. Strong working lines and dogs that have proven themselves as workers. I would also look at longevity of their working careers. Did they hold up? They don't breed for weird colors or cookie cutter looks and they do all the appropriate health tests.

Don't over think it to much and go with your gut feeling. I did with my Beep and I'm glad I did!

I would do the following:

Find dogs that I liked and meet as many offspring/littermates as possible. Get out to a herding trial and see what they're really supposed to do. Parents are only one side of the story. You have to see what the parents throw and whether they were a good combination. They call it breeding true. Being the brother of so-and-so wonder dog does not make a littermate so. One of the most bred herding dogs (although a Supreme International Champion in herding...the highest distinction in herding) was nicknamed "the man eater"...terrible temperament and never passed along his working greatness. The one thing he did pass along was his bad temperament.

I would not go to a BC breeder who breeds for agility. I would look at a working herding line. This doesn't mean imported herding dogs bred for agility. This means dogs working a ranch or competing in USBCHA herding trials. AKC herding doesn't count and ASCA not so much. Then I would find as many offspring to see if there is consistency.

Temperament should be first, structure second. Not worth having a dog you can't live with or is unsafe around people and other dogs.

Health checks/certifications are only part of the story. Just because a BC is OFA excellent does not mean they are a great mover. BCs shouldn't have super, super tight hips anyway.

I'm not a fan of either breeder mentioned above. Breeding loads of dogs at young ages...you can't know what you have with a 2 year old dog. I thought the comment by someone earlier about "variety of temperament" was interesting. In my mind, there is only one kind of temperament...solid! Maybe they meant working ability or work ethic.

You should know what you want and what you don't want. Confidence is different than independence.

You can't make a determination about a dog by watching an agility run. Great dogs can look terrible with a bad handler and vice versa. There is a saying in the herding world about a very successful herding trialer that you never buy a dog from him because he's so good, he makes any dog look good.

Finally, just because someone is successful in agility, does not make them an authority on BCs. Many of the top agility handlers have no clue about finding a good dog, let alone breeding.

There are so many opinions out there...go with your instinct, ask tons of questions and DO YOUR HOMEWORK! :)

Very nicely said. Agree 100%.

I'll throw my 2 cents in as well :-)

First I watch dogs- and LOTS of them! Even the worst breeders can throw a nice dog and vice versa so I watch the breed in as many venues as possible. I try to spend as much observation time behind the scenes- how are they to live with?

Then I get hands on- I try to meet the Dam & Sire if possible since temperament and structure is so influenced by their genetics. I want to check out the breeders set up. How are the pups raised? Are they raised in the house where they are exposed to everyday noises and so they can achieve optimum social skills? As a breeder I know how much focus and time it takes to raise a litter so I agree that I would red flag a breeder that breeds many litters. They may breed wonderful dogs but I want that extra special breeder that focuses all their energy into my puppies litter.

I look at a breeders intentions- are they breeding with a road map of where they are going with their program? I want a breeder that is basically breeding like I do- breeding for themselves, those breeders put a whole lot more into a breeding- if they are breeding just to sell puppies it's pretty easy to find dogs that look good on paper that will fetch a pretty penny.

I don't focus on drive and titles, I think if you find a dog with a good head on it's shoulders, that has a body that is comfortable moving at speed, and you train them well they will give you everything they have and it will be plenty.

What defines an agility breeder?

This is an interesting discussion. I've seen a lot of references to breeders who breed for agility. But I'm not sure what this means exactly? Does this mean a breeder who breeds their dogs specifically for doing agility only and as such, will only sell to agility homes?

Re: What defines an agility breeder?

My personal definition of an agility breeder is one who breeds agility dogs, or for the purpose of producing agility dogs.