Who to Choose?
By PAPIA ROWE
Choosing a puppy – how?
Most people have to decide on the breed and normally choose based on looks or hype or perceived status of having that breed. Hopefully more and more people will research the energy levels and personalities of breeds and be honest about their own lifestyle to find a breed that matches them in these respects. You can use a breed selector program to help you.
For me – it was quite simple. We have two breeds that we have worked with for over fifteen years. We have learnt so much about these breeds. There is no doubt that both breeds have had their challenges when it comes to their education but for different reasons. While setters are stable and proud and demand respect as well as patience for their learning, collies need the stability and calm from you to find joy and focus in their education.
With two Irish Setters reaching eight years old, and having just lost two Border Collies, the time was right to look to Border Collies again.
Finding the right breeder
I won’t look on trademe or the classified for a puppy. I won’t ask around people who are wanting their girl to have the “one litter” with whatever nearby male they can get hold of. I won’t support amateurs who are looking to make money out of their supposed “best friend” to “get their money back”. Personally I have never understood how a person says they love their dog and at the same time is happy to pimp them out for money. But there you go – hypocrisy is everywhere in society. Back to the main point though – I am looking to support professional breeders who actually look into maintaining healthy, well-balanced dogs with good genetic history.
A professional breeder is registered with the New Zealand Kennel Club and knows the parents, grandparents and great grandparents of the litter and has taken care to breed carefully – avoiding health issues where they arise and avoiding being “trendy”. They are more interested in the puppy having the right home than focusing on profit.
We were so lucky to find such a breeder local to us in the Waikato. A good quality breeder is fussy – ours are rightly fussy:
- They don’t want to give one of their pups to anyone who has not had dogs before; This may seem strange to you but Border Collies are a demanding breed and too many end up in shelters, broken and messed up because people fall in love with their looks on TV and have no clue what it takes to care for one properly.
- They don’t want to give a pup to a family with children younger than five years old; this rule must really annoy families who want to get a dog for their child. But this was such a relief – a child younger than five is a baby and can’t take responsibility for another life. When mum’s and dad’s do this – it’s always the pup that suffers when the child does something wrong. A dog should be brought into the family with the parents understanding that they are bringing a youngster who will remain the equivalent of a two year old and that they as parents need to commit to caring for the dog with this in mind and to train their children to play respectfully with the dog and to supervise and maintain safe manners from both.
- Our breeder was happy for us to come and visit them and see their girls in litter. This is an important sign – it shows their confidence in what they do as an established breeder.
Darran followed up with his contacts, looking for references and checking the register for breeders until he found what we were looking for : Penteronda Border Collies.
We are one step closer ..?