Reputable Breeder

  • Reputable breeders have a solid knowledge of the collie breed standard of excellence as well as breed specific inheritable issues. Thier involvement revolves around an ethically-based belief of actions in accordance with the betterment of the breed.
  • Knowing that to attain this goal of betterment of the breed, they must align themselves with avenues of resources and learning; reputable breeders are most often members of collie clubs where they may stay advised of issues pertaining to the collie.
  • The breeders litters are carefully planned and researched. They will be able to answer indepth questions about the subsequent generations of the litter and have a purpose for their breedings other than to just sell puppies. There will often be a period of wait for one of their puppies as they are not interested in mass production of puppies as is the case with indiscriminate breeders who breed often and for profit.
  • Reputable breeders do not use "sales tactics" such as color, sex or the words "champion lines" to sell their puppies. They recognize their puppies as living creatures and take their placement in new homes very seriously. They will be more concerned about prospective puppy owners finding the right dog to fit into thier family, no matter who they buy from, rather than being concerned that the dog is purchased from them. Expect them to want to know some extensive information concerning prospective puppy buyers.
  • These breeders will not want their puppies going to new homes at too young of an age, being concerned with their emotional and social issues.
  • Often times dealing in contracts and health guarantees, these things offer protection to the buyer, seller and to the puppy.
  • Reputable breeders can be recognized by their accomplishments. Be wary of trusting mere words. Trust more in what the breeders accomplishments and actions tell you.
  • These breeders will make themselves available to people that purchase their dogs for assistance long after the dog leaves the breeders home.
  • They will be known as reputable among their peers and have no problem with offering references if they are asked for.
  • Reputable breeders will furnish an eye check performed by a certified veterinary opthomologist upon purchase of the puppy.

Evaluating a breeder

Visual evaluation - you can learn a lot about a breeder by visiting their kennel.

  • Kennel conditions - The kennel may consists of outside runs and exercise yards or it may simple be their home, but it should be clean. Puppies should be clean and their area should be free of excrement.
  • Puppies - Are the puppies kept in the house near people and everyday activities or a kennel? Human contact is very important in the first few weeks of life in order for the dog to bond to humans. You want puppies that have been raised in constant contact with people and household events and sounds.
  • Other dogs - Observe the other dogs on the premises.
  • Are their coats clean and brushed, do they have fresh water and a clean kennel.
  • Do they move around easily, and appear healthy?
  • Are the friendly and outgoing toward people?
  • Pay particular attention to older dogs.

Choosing a Puppy

  • Observe the litter and look for the puppy who:
  • Is active and playful (keep in mind, puppies sleep a lot and it takes them a while to wake up).
  • Eagerly greets people and does not appear shy.
  • Has no sign of discharge from the eyes, nose, or ears. Gums should be pink and firm.
  • Does not have a distended belly (not to be confused with a normally fat puppy)
  • Moves around easily, with no signs of lameness. Look for a puppy that naturally stands square with all four feet facing forward and sits squarely. This should be done over a period of time, as puppies lack coordination and muscle tone and will not sit or stand the same way consistently.
  • Look for a puppy that naturally follows you.
  • Watch the puppies' reactions to sounds. You want a dog that recovers easily and does not become hysterical over sudden sounds.
  • Notice puppies that have the confidence to explore new areas without fear.
  • Puppies should have had at least one set of shots and have been examined by a veterinarian.

Take the time to find the right dog for you, after all you will be together a long time.

The breeder should provide the following:

  • Written information
  • Pedigree
  • Registration papers (some breeders withhold registration certificates on pet puppies pending proof of spay/neuter)
  • Test results on both parents (hips, eyes, etc.)
  • Some kind of pamphlet or booklet on puppy care, feeding instructions, and a list of breed books and magazines.
  • Advice - The breeder should be available for advice on grooming, training and general information on dog care.