Sunday, May 6, 2012

Look to the past when choosing your future...

As I look at the faces of my newborn collie puppies, I see not only this current generation, but also the faces of the collies of the past.  Knowing the names of all the collies in my puppies’ pedigree, I can't help imagining how each of those dogs contributed to the creation of this litter.  Will these puppies have CH Magnet’s outstanding temperament?  Will they have the beauty and elegance of the Parader collies?  Will they have the sweet, lovely expression of the Marnus collies?

When breeding a collie, or any dog, it should never be about profit.  Instead every litter that is bred should ultimately be a labor of love.  Most dog breeders if they breed responsibly and carefully raise their puppies to be healthy and well-socialized, will be lucky to break even.  When I chose to breed my collie, I did so cautiously, with concern for choosing the perfect stud dog.  Knowing I would not have many litters, I chose to follow some advice I once read, "breed each litter as if it were going to be your only litter."  I did the research, I studied pedigrees, I evaluated temperaments, and I looked at the puppies the dogs were producing.  Then I took a leap of faith and bred the litter.  And it was a leap of faith, because there are no guarantees in dog breeding.

The evening the puppies were born I sat terrified, waiting anxiously for each puppy to be born.  After the first pup was born, it was a long wait for the second puppy to arrive.  And as the minutes passed, my apprehension grew until I began tearfully pacing, fearing the worst.  Fortunately, the second puppy arrived, large and healthy, followed almost immediately by his sister.  Finally, as the evening wore on, the fourth and final puppy arrived.  The fear and worry I felt waiting for those four puppies to be born was overwhelming, I don't know how others can do this multiple times, over 20, 30 or even 50 years.  But without all those reputable breeders of the past,  I wouldn't have my own beloved collies.  Breeding a litter should never be done without careful consideration of exactly what you are hoping to produce.  And to do that, to know where you want to go with your line of collies, you have to educate yourself on where your collies came from - by looking to the past.

1 comment:

  1. I like the way you write and feel about your Collies. I am an ATP fan and envy that you've got dogs with Sunnybank bloodlines. I'm looking for a Collie breeder in the southwest, preferably one who is a careful and professional breeder of dogs with wonderful temperaments (Sunnybank lines would be miraculous!). I've had Retrievers for 30+ years, but I want just to have a Collie--to honor ATP, Lad, Treve, Wolf, and Sunnybank. This will probably be my last dog. Can you recommend any breeders? Thank you. (; in the mountains of NM)