Which dogs deserve to be bred?

There are many people, primarily those in the USBCHA herding community who believe that a Border Collie should not be bred unless it is running in the Open (highest) level of USBCHA herding trials. If the dog is not running at that level, then it at least should have a proven pedigree. This may be a good rule to follow if you are producing USBCHA trial dogs as it takes a special dog to make it into the Open level. Many do not make it no matter what their parentage.

Gel is essentially the first dog I’ve trained. Back in the early 1980’s I trained a Doberman to a CD title, then got out of dogs and bred cats. I am not a good trainer, I try hard and I’m getting better, but I still have a long way to go. That I have managed to train Gel, with very little outside help, to run at the Pro-Novice (or even Novice) level of USBCHA trials says a lot for Gel’s ability. Will Gel ever make an Open dog? Perhaps if I had steady access to a good trainer or sent him away to a trainer (which I would never do); but driving three hours one way to get to a good trainer is hard on me, especially when I drive an hour each way to and from work. I have to decide where I want to go with Gel and Midge when it comes to herding trials. Midge has been bred to be a trial dog and I can see a difference in their work style and how they respond to training. Remember, Gel was my first Border Collie and early on I created a monster by not being consistent and setting boundaries; then had to exorcise the monster and to some extent, I’m still exorcising, so that could very well be where the difference is in how they take to training and nothing to do with pedigree.

That said, although this breeding was accidental, I would not have purposely done it to create USBCHA trial dogs as that is not, nor will it ever be, my market. I will only sell puppies to raw-feeding, minimally vaccinating homes. I will not sell a puppy to someone who is going to keep the puppy/dog in a kennel. It is the sports (agility, flyball, obedience, etc.) people who are going to be open to this, not, for the most part, USBCHA trial people.

I am not knocking USBCHA or the people who trial in USBCHA as what they are doing is preserving the Border Collie for its herding ability which is extremely important.

Finally, as a breeder who is committed to maintaining the health of her dogs (and cats!) naturally, I feel that I am doing more to preserve the working abilities of my dogs and their offspring than most. An unhealthy dog cannot work properly no matter what its pedigree or training. I am doing everything right to assure that these puppies will be healthy, stable working dogs and companions. What more can you ask for?