Finding A Breeder
Congrats! You have decided to start your journey on finding a puppy...how do you begin? First step is to do your research in the breed you are looking at. Make sure the breed you want is the right match for your personality and lifestyle. Once you have determined the right fit, now you need to look for a breeder!
Getting a puppy from an ethical breeder will be starting a new relationship with someone for the next possible 12-15 years. Some of our closest friends we have met through our puppies. How do you know if a breeder is ethical? Being honest about their dogs and breeding program is the first step. A good breeder will not only be able to tell you all the great and wonderful things about their dogs, but they will also share any flaws or improvements they see. You will want to ask about Health Checks. There are many breed specific Health screening tools used by breeders. For Border Collies what you should ask about are:
Radiographic Testing: OFA and Penn Hip are the current means for this. Where PennHip only scores hips, OFA does a range of other things. Border Collies should have their Hips, Shoulders, and Elbows checked.
DNA Testing: There are a number of genetic diseases that can be checked for. For Border Collies currently the best option is Optimal Selection..which covers most of these tests. Always remember- there is nothing wrong with breeding carriers of a disease, as long as they are not bred to another carrier!
BAER Testing: Deafness is an issue in the breed..either from color pattern or hereditary. Its important that puppies be tested prior to going to their new homes.
CAER Testing: There are some eye diseases that don't have DNA testing available at this time. It is important that any dog used for breeding has eye exams done.
Temperament is also very important. Your breeder should not be hiding any temperament issues, and also not breeding dogs that have severe temperament issues.
Knowing pedigrees and the lines of the their dogs is also important for a breeder to know. Your breeder should be able to tell you what they know about their dogs pedigrees. An ethical breeder is looking to BETTER THE BREED - not just breed for the sake of breeding. They should also encourage you to speak to previous puppy owners and ask lots of questions!!
Hopefully this information has helped you to learn about what you should be asking any potential breeder, good luck on finding your perfect match!