I have bred my team of border collies with a combination of bloodlines to suited my wants and needs. They are smooth to medium coat, good framed and traditional marked, black and white.
My dogs need to be strong and forward with natural feel and stock sense. They need to be able to cope in tight on sheep and not go to bite. I prefer them to lift for a bark.
I am now one of the few Border Collie breeders in the country that is breeding a nice, strong, sound border collie that will work sheep yards and compete at a reasonable level, while still having the ability to do a days work in the paddock under most conditions.
My main team are expected to compete at yard, utility and 3 sheep trials and work cattle when required.
I have decided to work on breeding a general purpose Border Collie. Over the years I have seen a split in the selection process for Border Collies depending on the field they are to work in. There is 2 different groups of collies now. Cattle, Sheep – paddock, with this we have lost some key traits that are needed for dogs to be genuine stock dogs.
I find that you are better off working on getting the basics right to maintain the Border Collie traits, rather than later rushing around looking for a miracle when the foundations have been lost.
The most powerful tool anyone has when working and breeding dogs is the power of selection. To learn this it takes time to achieve and build up knowledge about dogs and bloodlines.
Things to consider:
- what you are breeding and what dog will suit each situation.
- the experience of the handler
- the stock to be worked
Not everyone needs the biggest hammer in the box for the job they are trying to do. A lot of stock work can be done with a correct, easy going dog. Along with working as a team to achieve a common goal. Working stock should be an enjoyable experience and as with all jobs ,having the right tools is half the battle.