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Reputable Border Collie Breeders(6 Posts)
Hi, I live close to the NewForest in Hampshire and would be very grateful for some advice on reputable Border Collie Breeders in the locality Please? I have previously had Labs and am aware that BCs need just as much exercise and much more mental stimulation. Does anybody know of any BC breeders who breed healthy, friendly BCs which are not too neurotic/ highly strung? Many thanks, Sarah
The healthies collies are going to be working ones, so I'd get in touch with a few local farmers, and ask them?
Would you consider rescuing? Collies are the most common breed found in rescue in Ireland and many - including litters of pups - are sent to English rescues.
Valgrays, Heathlands, Border Collie Spot, Dogs Tryst and Border Collie Trust all have a constant stream of collies coming in. Not all are traumatised - many just need a chance.
My DSIL is hoping for one more litter from her BC bitch, if I was successful we'll know soon. I have a 2 year old bitch from her last litter, DS has a dog and SIL and DN each have a bitch from the same litter. My two old bitches were from the same line, originally bred by DMiL. Usual BC traits, chewing until nearly 2, excellent recall and off lead, not so good on lead and will walk for miles. Need lots of excercise but lovely and cuddly too. PM me if you're interested if she's taken, DSIL is SE NF Soton side.
IMO there is no such thing as a reputable breeder of non working working breed dogs as far as I am concerned.
The exercise and mental stimulation mentioned yet again re this breed concerns me.
I have a border collie, working line.
Lots of high adrenaline exercise, like ball throwing or agility, particularly if mixed with mental stimulation on top makes my collie whiny, hyperactive, bitey, pacing, unable to settle down.
When i drastically reduced high adrenaline activities and mental stimulation she transformed into a very placid, lazy dog.
She will literally sleep all day and isn’t bothered in the slightest about missing a walk.
That said, once you get her out there’s no stopping her.
She can go literally all day.
The typical working collie often has large periods of time without work where it has to largely entertain itself.
Have you done your research on this breed because they are very different to a Labrador.
They aren’t gregarious and ‘love everyone’ dogs generally speaking like you’d expect a Labrador to be.
They are usually one person dogs, prone to jealousy and aloof (shouldn’t be aggressive) to strangers.
Mine is more bonded to me, she likes DH but he doesn’t get the same level of obedience that I do.
As an adolescent she did experiment with trying to break up any hugs etc between me and DH.
You need to be really firm re this behaviour, dog needs to know it’s unacceptable and consequence will follow it.
My collie will welcome guests that I welcome into the house warmly.
She is indifferent to everyone else.
Strangers on walks she will ignore.
If they stop to talk to us she’ll tolerate one or two strokes then back away and start pestering me to resume the walk by nudging my hand, looking at the route then back to me repeatedly, whining.
She likes children, she will be happily be petted by them.
They are usually very high prey drive dogs although often lack the instinct to follow through and kill, not always though and it can differ with different animals.
For instance, I am 99.9% my collie would kill a squirrel if she caught one but she used to herd up our chickens and never harmed one.
Don’t underestimate the problems a high herding instinct can cause.
I couldn’t reliably walk mine near groups of cars for over a year, ditto runners and cyclists.
Only groups, she didn’t react to singles.
The herding instinct is usually present from 6 - 8 weeks.
It’s really important not to allow it directed on people.
I used to interrupt her with a stern AH and put her in another room and ignore for a few minutes as a puppy if she tried to herd anyone.
It’s not funny and it’s not cute.
Border collies are consistently fairly high on the bite scales.
Allowing herding to be directed to people is a bite waiting to happen.
I find that other dogs are often not terribly comfortable around her.
Even at distance when she doesn’t know they are there.
I think the way she carries herself/moves and the fact she is fairly hard eyed upsets them.
After many negative experiences she is wary now of other dogs.
Fine usually with small dogs, pugs are her favourite, she will avoid larger dogs.
If forced to interact she’ll usually growl and lip curl at them.
Allowing her to interact with other strange dogs to socialise her is my second biggest regret.
The first is too much exercise and mental stimulation that I was told to do by absolutely everyone (who’s never actually owned a collie!)
These dogs need very careful socialisation with other dogs.
Calm, good natured dogs you trust.
If I had my time again, I would have trained her to walk, play, fed treats etc around other dogs to get her totally comfortable with the presence of other dogs, but I wouldn’t have let her interact unless I knew them well.
You need to be careful to interrupt herding behaviour like staring at them as other dogs don’t like it.
Re neurotic/high strung.
Again, I am a teensy bit concerned as to how much you’ve researched this breed because to a certain degree, this is a trait of the breed.
Collies are very quick to react to stimulus and they are very sensitive dogs, both to your emotions and to correction.
A mildly raised voice will have some collies cowering though mine is pretty ‘hard’.
All of the common herding breeds are very quick to react to stimulus and they are all very sensitive and they are all prone to nervousness if not correctly socialised and they are all typically one person dogs and they are all typically high prey drive.
There certainly are border collie breeders out there, the Kennel Club show/Crufts type, who breed super friendly, placid, little to no herding ability, ‘Labrador like’ temperament border collies but IMO those are not ‘real’ border collies.
They look like them, but the personality is very different.
Think it would be tragic if you bought one and contributed to the destruction of all the best loved working breeds.
Making them all friendly retrievers in their various ‘working’ breed coats
I absolutely despise the Kennel Club.
Completely agree with everything @frostedviolets has said.
Main things to be aware of - All dogs of that type of intelligence are highly strung/prone to 'nipping'. They are also prone to dementia in later life (which can be really dangerous, as confusion makes them more fearful/defensive).
Good idea to adopt a rescue - especially an adult, then you'll be able to have an idea of what it's nature is like.
Also, you must must must be careful with them, on walks around sheep. Especially at this time of year, as farmers do shoot dogs off the lead.