Its been said and widely accepted, that the Collie breed got it's start in Scotland and Northern England and are known for their herding abilities and watchful alertness over their herd.
Herding and protecting from predators the black faced sheep with black legs known as Colley Sheep, has been widely speculated to be the way the breed got it's name. This instinct is strong within the Collie breed and if you have ever owned one I'm sure you have witnessed it.
Welcome to ColleyCollies.com
Thus, our web site name was derived as: www.ColleyCollies.com. Our "herd" happens to a family of 5 including our young granddaughter, Casey. Our Collies are very watchful and loving of her, having been with her since she was a little over 5 years old. I have witnessed Connor "protecting" her by running up and positioning himself between her and our other dogs running towards her when she came outside. He would stand between her and them and look back at them as if to say "no jumping". If they tried to go around, he would reposition himself. There have been countless stories of Collies protecting young children.
A Collies Health
If you are thinking of buying a Collie please be aware of their needs. They need a lot of room, at the very least a large fenced in yard to keep them safe and have room to exercise. Don't expect to buy a Collie and keep them in a very small yard or worse, a pen all day. And they need companionship. If they don't have you with them during the day they need other dogs to run and play with. I sometimes like to stand at the back door and watch them when they don't know I'm there. Besides being beautiful to look at they can be really fun to watch because they are so intelligent. I have watched mine playing hide and seek with each other before; running behind a shed and then from one side to the other to peak around the corner to wait for the other to see them and then start chasing each other again.
We strive for happy, healthy collies. All of our collies are normal eyed 5 and 6 way non carriers. None of our pups will ever be affected with CEA/CH or PRA due to the health of their parents. PRA is addressed further down on this page. CEA better known as Collie Eye Anomaly in Collies is a big problem but can be effectively taken care of by the breeder that is willing to learn about it and take action to try to eradicate it from their breeding lines.
Collies share Collie Eye Anomaly with several other breeds – it’s not just a problem for collies. CEA is more technically known as Choroidal Hypoplasia (CH). It is a recessively inherited eye disorder that causes abnormal development of the choroid - an important layer of tissue under the retina of the eye. This disease is seen most frequently in U.S. collies. Since the choroid layer does not develop normally from the start, the primary abnormality can be diagnosed at a very young age. Regrettably there is no cure.
OPTIGEN; www.optigen.com, one company that does DNA testing for CEA/CH and PRA has this to say about breeding dogs:
Breeders should pay attention to protecting the genetic diversity of breeds that have very high frequencies of an inherited disease. In the case of CEA/CH, the genetic test can be viewed as an adjunct to traditional strategies for avoiding severe cases of CEA. Over the last 30 years, many animals have been examined and those with only mild CEA (no colobomas or detachments) have been selected for breeding. The result is the percentage of collies affected with choroidal hypoplasia remains high, but the severe grades of the disease (colobomas and retinal detachments) have decreased due to this conscientious breeding.
CERF Registration -- Canine Eye Registration Foundation -- registers "Normal-eyed" dogs. By their standards, If you just want a pet, a grade 1 or 2 CEA (and even a grade 3) are just fine. They say Grade 3 and over should never be bred. Grades 1 and 2 are still bred and shown, but reputable breeders are making an effort to not breed any affected dog. Right now it is difficult to do with the high rate of affected and carrier dogs. All of our pups will be normal eyed and almost all are normal eyed non-carriers.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA will result in blindness. rcd2 Background of Disease: “Collie PRA”, or rod-cone dysplasia type 2 (rcd2), is a form of retinal degeneration. In this disease, an abnormal development (dysplasia) of the rods and cones (the light sensitive cells in the eye) leads to an early onset of night blindness that is typically apparent by the time pups are 6 weeks of age. In most cases, the rcd2-Affected dog is completely blind by the time it is 1 year old. Since PRA in Collies is a simple recessive, it has been easier to control than CEA.
Our breeding adults are all normal for rcd2-PRA, meaning they will never develope rcd2-PRA and so their puppies will never have it either, we have truly been blessed with our companions.
MDR-1, multi-drub sensitivity, is most commonly associated with Ivermectin, a drug used to prevent heart worms when given orally at monthly intervals, like Iverheart or Heartguard. If your collie is affected with MDR-1 or you don't know if they are affected, a simple solution is just not to use a heart worm medicine that has Ivermectin in it. An alternative is the Interceptor plus brand. Just look for a brand where the active ingredient is milbemycin oxime. ***Update, we no longer use chemicals preferring to use all natural products instead. We use Heartworm Free, there is a link to their site on our available puppies page. if you have a collie you should have them tested for MDR-1 because there are more medicines that can affect and even kill your collie if a medical procedure is needed and your vet does not know your pet will have a reaction to them. If they are not tested then it's best to tell your vet to treat them as if they were affected. For breeders here is some additional information from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine with accredited link. http://vcpl.vetmed.wsu.edu/breeding-guidelines.
A Collie's Needs:
Although it's said that Collies were first made famous by Queen Victoria of England they are widely popular in America today due to their high level of intelligence. They've been used as rescue dogs, guard dogs, guides for the blind and, of course, movie stars; being made famous by shows like Lassie. The early collies were between 25 to 40 pounds. Today the female typically weighs between 50 to 65 pounds and the male weighing in between 60 to 80 pounds but might even push 90
Collies have VERY low rates of hip dysplasia, the OFA puts it at 2.8% compared to other canines. Website information can be found at: http://www.offa.org/hd_grades.htm. Further information on OFA may be obtained by writing or calling: OFA at 2300 E. Nifong Blvd, Columbia MO 65201-0418, telephone 1-573-442-0418; Also information may be obtained from The American Kennel Club, at 1-919-233-9767.
From a genetics website - Degenerative Myelopathy caused by Mutation of the SOD1 gene is an inherited neurologic disorder of dogs. This mutation is found in many breeds of dog, including the collie. While it is not clear for some of the other breeds, collies are known to develop degenerative myelopathy associated with this mutation. The variable presentation between breeds suggests that there are environmental or other genetic factors responsible for modifying disease expression. The average age of onset for dogs with degenerative myelopathy is approximately nine years of age. The disease affects the White Matter tissue of the spinal cord and is considered the canine equivalent to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) found in humans. Affected dogs usually present in adulthood with gradual muscle Atrophyand loss of coordination typically beginning in the hind limbs due to degeneration of the nerves. The condition is not typically painful for the dog, but will progress until the dog is no longer able to walk. The gait of dogs affected with degenerative myelopathy can be difficult to distinguish from the gait of dogs with hip dysplasia, arthritis of other joints of the hind limbs, or intervertebral disc disease. Late in the progression of disease, dogs may lose fecal and urinary continence and the forelimbs may be affected. Affected dogs may fully lose the ability to walk 6 months to 2 years after the onset of symptoms. Affected medium to large breed dogs, such as the collie, can be difficult to manage and owners often elect euthanasia when their dog can no longer support weight in the hind limbs.
DM - Breed-Specific Information for the Collie
The Mutation of the SOD1 gene associated with degenerative myelopathy has been identified in collies. The overall frequency of this disease in the breed and approximate age of disease onset are unknown for collies. However, in a study of 151 Collies tested, 25.8% were carriers of the mutation and 25.8% were at-risk/affected.
Grey Collie Syndrome (which is a kind of neutropenia)
Grey Collie Syndrome is a blood disorder. It is present at birth, and is cyclic in nature. These puppies rarely survive more then a few days. Symptoms are puppies with extremely washed out greyish coloring, some may have a beige or pinkish tint to their coats. They look very different from their healthy litter mates. There is no cure for Grey Collie Syndrome, but with a lot of health care there have been dogs that survived for a year or two. Dogs affected are at great risk for any infection they come into contact with. Inheritance is autosomal recessive meaning it can be passed down through the parents if there are 2 copies of an abnormal gene present. Dogs that exhibit the disease, or are carriers for the disease, should not be used in any breeding program. Carriers of this disease do not exhibit the disease themselves, but can pass it along to their puppies when bred to other carriers or affected.
From a genetics website - Hyperuricosuria is an inherited condition of the urinary system affecting several breeds of dog. The SLC2A9 gene codes for a protein that allows the kidneys to transport uric acid from the urine. Dogs with mutations in both copies of the SLC2A9 gene are predisposed to have elevated levels of uric acid in the urine, hence the name hyperuricosuria. Uric acid can form crystals and/or stones (uroliths) in the urinary tract. Dogs with hyperuricosuria most commonly present with symptoms of recurrent urinary tract inflammation, which include frequent urination, blood in the urine, and straining to urinate. They may also have loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, vomiting and pain. Urinary stones in the bladder can cause urinary tract infections or more seriously, blockage of the Urethra. Both male and female dogs can be affected, but obstruction of urine flow is more common in males due to differences in anatomy. Although an x-ray can be used to exclude other types of stones, urate stones cannot typically be seen using x-rays and must be evaluated by ultrasound. Not all dogs with mutations in both copies of the SLC2A9 gene will have symptoms of disease, though they will have increased uric acid excretion in the urine.
Breed-Specific Information for the Collie
The Mutation of the SLC2A9 gene associated with hyperuricosuria has been identified in the rough and smooth collie, although its overall frequency in these breeds is unknown.
Collies and Cancer:
Taken from a web article on dogs and cancer, http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/14_Types_of_Dogs_Prone_to_Cancer.html
There are 14 types of dogs prone to cancer. Collies can be prone to cancers within the nasal cavity. Unfortunately, this can often result from the inhalation of second hand cigarette smoke. Collies and other long snouted dogs have more tissue within the nasal cavity and more susceptible to absorbing toxins in the air. We are a non-smoking family, however collies and canines in general can and do get other types of cancer just as humans do. I talked to our vet about this and they contacted their specialists for canine cancer. The specialists say they believe this to be caused 90% by environmental issues; lawn chemicals, chemicals/preservatives in food, etc... The FDA has approved usage of these chemicals and pesticides in our own food (nitrites, nitrates, bht, bvo, hfcs, artificial flavor, artifical color, food grown from genetically modified seeds, and the list goes on), what they call preservatives to maintain "freshness" and seeds synthetically designed to resist pests. What they mean is to make food last forever no matter how bad it is for us, then sell us drugs to "help us" get over illness that they caused to begin with. And they tell us it's safe in "small dosages". But what happens when we have small dosages every day in our life that builds up in our bodies over time? Cancer, heart disease, kidney failure, inflammation in the body, etc...I myself am trying to get over this lifetime of diseased ridden and "diet" foods. And the same goes for food for our canine companions, we have to be very vigilant about what we "see" is on the dog food labels and what is "actually" in the food.
We have to pay very close attention and start trying to buy organic and/or at lease preservative free and whole and fresh as much as possible and that goes for our pets too. We have made the transition as 100% raw feeders. The benefits of doing this are nothing short of amazing. Yes, it takes extra time, Yes, it does take a little extra money. But the fact is there are other ways you can benefit your pet with doing small things even, adding an egg to their food and a 1/4 can of sardines are great additions. Or substituting one or two meals a week with fresh food. Do your own research and do what benefits your pets without subtracting from your own family.
At any rate, back to pets with cancer, we understand the love and loss of pets and companions and have decided that we will give a guarantee for at least 2 years if your pet dies from cancer but the following conditions must be met:
1. You use NO chemicals on your lawn; you eliminate exposure to ANY lawn chemicals such as weed killers, etc. Dogs are known to chew on grass if they have an upset tummy for some reason so those chemicals could be ingested. They will also lick on their legs and feet as a natural grooming tendency so if they have walked through lawns or play areas that have been treated with chemicals those chemicals will be ingested.
2. Have annual wellness visits that includes blood work (CBC's and Blood Chemistry tests) that might catch any issues, there are cancers that can be cured if caught early enough. You must be able to present proof of those annuals.
If both of those conditions are met we will give a replacement puppy in that case if and when a litter becomes available. We ask that you do all you can to ensure your puppies health by keeping them on a great food with equal or better ingredients, or even home cooked food as a couple of our puppy parents do, and ELIMINATE exposure to ANY lawn chemicals. In the case your pet passes aways from cancer we would need to see copies of the CBC and Blood Chemical Serum tests. I also currently suggest you visit this site for a little more information on canine cancer. We take extreme preventative measures for our pets by eliminating exposure to ALL chemicals (with the exception of initial vaccines given as a puppy, see more about that on the available puppies page) and expect that anyone that gets a puppy from us does the same. And I want to say I'm not "hard" folks, I just care about my babies. If anything happens with your pet's health, call me!
I've been reading lately about pre-biotics and probiotics for digestive health for dogs and hear that it can inhibit growth of cancer cells. It's worth a search on the internet to see what you can find out about it. As raw feeders part of the benefits to our pets health is a healthy gut. As an addition I also add kefir and kelp and/or phytoplankton to their raw food.
First of all it is important to note, according to the two vets that I use that work together, Atopy accounts for 90% of the cases that walk through a Vets doors. It is not breed specific and affects many, many dogs and cats as well. I suspect many pet owners either own or have owned pets afflicted with atopy even though they may not know it. Dogs experience allergies through their skin as opposed to respiratory like a human would, although most certainly humans have skin conditions as well.
Copied from http://www.labbies.com/atopy.htm(Please visit their website, the excerpt provided here is only a very small portion of their information): ****Note this information was taken before DMS tests were available or talked about.
Atopy is a disorder by which dogs have a predisposition for developing antibodies to environmental allergens. Atopy is the most common disorder causing hypersensitive skin reaction in non-flea allergic patients presenting with dermatitis and accounts for up to 70% to 90% of all hypersensitive conditions. As such, atopy is significantly more prevalent than food allergy in the canine, which accounts for up to only 10% to 30% of hypersensitive conditions. Furthermore, although it has been found that up to 10% of dogs with atopy may also have food allergy, up to 80% of the dogs diagnosed with food allergy will also have atopy, thus accounting for the high rate of failure to treat food-allergy patients through manipulation of diet alone.
Symptoms: The most common symptom of atopy is "pruritis" (itching) usually beginning around the face and paws and which may eventually become more diffuse over other areas of the body particularly the ears, the armpits (axillae), the elbows, and the groin. Recurrent ear infections (otitis) are present in up to 75% of dogs diagnosed with atopy. Skin lesions are not usually apparent, unless resulting from excessive scratching, however, a raised, pustular rash with or without hair-loss may occur as a result of secondary skin infection (pyoderma). Some dogs may develop conjunctivitis.
Treatment: Conventional therapy for atopy typically employs treatment with glucocorticoids for their anti-inflammatory benefits. "I" personally feel, and this is attributed to my own opinion, that since 80% of the dogs with food allergies develop atopy that it is a common binding reason for this affliction found in most animals due to the low nutrition levels of a lot of dog food on the markets today.
Dog Food; my own feelings:
Heather was diagnosed with allergies early on. So for the reason of Atopy and food allergies which can cause Atopy I have done lots of research on dog food and made many changes over the years. Finally, after 10 years of raising collies, I finally came to the conclusion that raw was the way we wanted to go. Then it took another year of supplementing with raw while researching to find what we could not only afford to do, but also figure out how feeding raw works. Thank goodness for you-tube video's from Dr. Karen Becker (you tube her raw feeding videos) and raw food co-ops! We are now into our 12th year this year with our beloved collies.
You may not feel raw is the way for you, so just do your best research. There are a lot of great freeze dried and dehydrated foods out there as well. Honest Kitchen makes a human grade lightly dehydrated dog food in a human grade facility. I really like it for the way they make it and their company standards. A 10 lb box rehydrates to 40 lbs of food and has excellent nutrients. They also have a 100% AAFCO nutrient list on their website which I find admirable. In addition to their full course meals they also have a base mix of fruit and vegetables made to supplement your own variety of raw meats, which is what we do. Although I've never bought it, Grandma Lucy's looks to be a good one as well and I know their are many more. Yet another wonderful option is home cooked or lightly steamed meals, but here, as with raw, you have to really pay attention to make sure you are including the correct amount of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iodine and vitamin A and D to name a few because there can be "to much or to little of a good thing".
Thank goodness there are sites for raw feeders such as B-Natural's. They have an abundant list of nutrient additives for your pets. I prefer not to use fish oils or capsules myself because they go rancid quickly. For that reason, If I'm not using mackerel or sardines (preference of whole food always to supply what my pets need) I use a high grade kelp or marine phytoplankton instead. I want to take a minute also to say I gain no monetary value by telling you of these sites or products, they are just what I happen to think are good sites to check or products or video's to check out. As a legal disclaimer I should also say I maintain no responsibility for their sites, products or video's should you decide to use them.
I can not tell you what food to buy but I highly suggest you research nutritional values yourself of a "lot" of different brands and food types comparatively. Then select the one you feel will best benefit your pet that will not subtract from your own family financially. And believe me that is easy to do. I have seen some brands that are as much as $149.00 for a bag of kibble! A lot of dog foods are atrocious with allergen producing products and sprayed on flavors to make the food palatable to pets and then labeled as "Natural". Once you start doing the research you will be amazed at what you find. As far as brands to research, that part is easy, just go to a local pet store, "not" department store and write down at least 10 or 15 of their best brands; higher priced ones, including raw, freeze dried and kibble. While you are at the pet store also ask for the manager, ask them what they suggest and why; what nutritional values are gained from the brand they suggest? Then get on the internet and also search for "pet food raw food suppliers" and "raw feeding co-op" and start researching them. I also suggest you take the time to visit the "Dog Food Project" web site at http://www.dogfoodproject.com and really give it some serious reading. Read up on all of their 5 star brand kibbles and compare them to their 3 star brand kibbles, you will soon be able to spot the differences between those. Then compare their 5 star kibbles to dehydrated, freeze dried and raw. Once you have the right information you can make the best choice for your pet, and again I repeat myself, without subtracting from your own family financially.
Does your pet get black crusty ear tips during the summer?
In some of the hotter states during the summer, like here in Arkansas, your pets might experience "biting flies", that will attack any breed. They will literally chew the tips of your dogs ear off if left unattended. I get a paste from my vet called VIP, it is a fly repellent paste that you just rub on their ear tips and no more nasty bites. It lasts for a good long time and is well worth the investment.
Collies and other animals
Collies are very social animals wanting to be with companions. They love nothing more than to be with you, but they also like being with other dogs. Collie puppies are VERY playful, if you put one with a smaller or older dog, they may be overwhelmed by the new collie puppy. Puppy will want to play and nip, even with you, cause that is what collies do. Most love to become built in baby sitters with their new families and I have been told by some of our extended families that have puppies from us, they are just that. Remember, they are herding animals, it is in their ancestry. If you have farm animals, they may chase them, be prepared for this. If you do have farm animals and get a collie, I would suggest you nuture their herding instinct. This is just my theory as I have no practice with it, the only animals I have are dogs. I would suggest maybe renting and watching a dvd about training for herding before buying a pet with those instincts if you do not know anything about the training or the breed. As far as nipping at you, remember, they are puppies and they are practicing what has been bred into them for centuries. You can rap them on their nose with your fingers and tell them very firmly, "No". They will eventually get the meaning and some may never do that, opting instead to rub their head against you and keep it against you off and on while they are walking with you. It is impossible to predict which puppy will do what. But like I said, they want nothing more than to be with you. I have had them do both. If this is something you do not think that you can handle or are not prepared for, please *do not* get a collie as a companion.
Training Your Collie
Collies are very sensitive to your mood and your tone of voice, they are very intelligent and usually quick to pick up commands if done in the right manner. You can not yell at your collie, or push on them to try to get them to lie down or sit. If you start getting aggressive with your collie you will find yourself with one very "aloof" and stubborn collie. If you use a calm voice and soft hand they will not only pick up voice command but hand gestures as well. I will cover some basic commands such as sit, stay, lie down, come, and tell you how to teach your collie not to jump on you when you go outside, and you use the same trick to teach them not to jump on visitors when you get them.
Sit - Hold your dog's treat in your hand and put it out in front of their nose to let them get a good smell... raise it above and slightly to the back of their head pushing forward as you go, your dog will starting backing up and eventually sit! Tell him how good he is, repeating the word sit, good sit and give him his treat. As you are teaching him and as soon as he catches on to "sit!", start giving him hand signals as well. I can use my pointer finger on my right hand, slightly curved and Connor would immediately sit every time I pointed, without saying anything.
Lie Down - Repeat the sit, then hold your dog's treat in your hand and pull it down to the floor, he will most likely begin by lowering his head, keep repeating until he is laying down. Reconfirm how good he is, good Lay down! Give him his treat. Teaching with hand gestures.... after you get them to lay down a couple of times start by putting the treat in your hand and putting it down to the floor, they will catch on quickly that you want them to lay and will do it without you saying a word.
No Jumping - Practice taking your dog to the front door or entrance where company comes in at. Put him in the sit position and give him treats when he does what is needed. Then open the door repeating the process. When you get ready to go to answer your door bell ring, put your dog in the sit position and keep him there with a lead if neccessary. If you can, get a neighbor or family member to help you by being the guest coming to the door. To keep your dog from jumping on you when you go outside. Start with them outside (in a safe fenced in environment or someone holding them on a leash!), open your door and put them in the sit position and do not walk out until they are in the sit position and staying in it. Think about it, if they are sitting, they can not jump! Simple but effective.
Stay - Take your dog to the spot you want them to stay in. Put them in the sit position. Get their attention by putting your hand in front of your nose to make them look at you, firmly say stay, put your hand, open with palm facing toward their nose and almost touch it or gently touch it, repeating for them to stay. Take a couple of steps backward. Repeat this process until you can get them to sit in one position when you take your couple of steps back. Keep practice up as you get further and further away. This one takes lots of patience on your part because your dog just wants nothing more than to be with you! You are his companion, and pack leader. Again with the hand gesture, they will catch on that your flat palm toward them will mean stay.
Come - This one is much easier than the stay since they want to be with you anyway :-). After you get them to stay, each step along the way of your "stay" practice, at first only a couple of steps away, tell them "come" in a very friendly inviting voice and praise them when they come.
Leave it - Lay a treat on the floor with your collie watching, one he REALLY likes. While they are leashed, walk them past the treat, without stopping, saying "leave it", as you get to and pass the treat. If you are out and see something unsafe for them to eat, either on the ground or if you are in a nursing home and see a pill on the floor, not to go for it on your command of "leave it".
These training tips are all you need to know to get your dog certified as a Therapy Dog. How easy is that?!?
If you do an internet search on Collie health I am sure you will find all kinds of good information. Tests can be done for the known health concerns inherent in collies and I do all of them. The most important thing I can suggest to anyone looking to own any breed of dog is to RESEARCH. Research their health concerns, their traits (remember earlier I told you that collies go through a naughty nippy puppy stage because they are herding animals?), and very importantly research different brands of dog food for it's nutritional value.
A good place to start research for collies is at The Collie Health Foundation. They are dedicated to education and research.
If you would like more information use our contact us form and I will be glad to answer any questions that I can. It is not my intention to scare anyone off from owning a Collie, the fact is, if you search the internet for any breeds health concerns you are more than likely to find out many scary health factors for any variety of breeds.
I hope I have helped to enlighten anyone thinking about choosing a Collie for a pet, and lifelong companion. In my opinion they are one of the best breeds to own, they are loyal to a fault (would walk through fire with you), intelligent, polite, courageous and very protective WHEN they need to be, it is not something you have to train them for.
I know in my heart, I will never be without this wonderful breed of dog in my life. The loyalty, love and pure joy they will bring to anyone who owns one far outweighs the risks as long as you do your homework and adopt from a reputable breeder.
www.ColleyCollies.com has had an internet presence since 2007, we meet so many fascinating and wonderful people from all walks of life. This is one of the reasons I love sharing our pups when our pets give us the joy of having new litters.
Collies like to bark also, they are very alert and protective animals and will bark at most everything they see or are interested in. However we bring our dogs in every night to stay in the house with us, indoors they are very quiet dogs hardly making any noise except while you are loving on them and they are letting you know how much they appreciate it by making small sounds "talking" to you. After you have shown them your devotion and they have had a chance to show you their devotion they are content to lay quietly at your feet and just be in the same room with you. And quiet dogs at night make for happy neighbors as well.
Besides love and attention Collies require a lot of grooming! Grooming your Collie once every two weeks is recommended. It gives you both extra time to bond and cuts down on their shedding. Elegantly stated on another website, and well put, I read; "Once a month is not enough and once a day is not to much."
Brushing your pet daily or at least talking to them and loving on them every day builds a bond like no other known to humans. They will reward you with their complete loyalty, love, and companionship for the rest of their lives. We are Arkansas collie breeders and we love raising collie puppies. If you can fulfill their needs and are willing to show the devotion to them they will show to you then we have rough collie puppies for sale waiting for their new forever homes.
There are basically 3 types of breeders; professional breeders, hobby breeders and back yard breeders. Neither professional breeders nor hobby breeders breeds solely for money, but for the love of the breed and hope to defray some of the costs of ownership. A professional breeder will almost always show their dogs hoping to breed that one special dog that will take top honors from all the love and care put into them as pets, family and companions. A hobby breeder sometimes shows but not always and may try to train for therapy animals. They will always give top care and attention to their pets. A backyard breeder, I would like to think, loves their animals, but will breed for money and most often not be very knowledgeable about the health concerns of the animal nor have them tested.
We are not professionals but consider ourselves to be hobby breeders, Arkansas collie breeders, giving our pets top most care, love and attention so that we may pass on quality pets and companions to others who will gain from the years of owning such a wonderful breed. We live 9 miles west of Lonoke, AR, about 1 mile off of I-40. When one of my girls has a litter I am right there with her to make sure her delivery is a smooth one, and no, that does not always happen. There have been many times that I am on the phone with the vet even if its just for reassurance or running one in to the emergency animal hospital. And no we do not always make money from our litters when we have them. I typically spend around $8k a year or better. But when those precious babies come into our life and we are able to pass on healthy babies to others that love the breed it makes every ounce of worry and cost worth it.
My love for the Collie breed started as a young girl having a friend that owned a Collie. Our love, as a family, for the Collie breed began on Thanksgiving morning in 1999, when we took in a Collie mix stray who had heart worms and been dumped by some uncaring person who had no clue about what a wonderful companion she was. We took her to the vet and after some very painful treatments (Collies can not be medically treated for heart worms in the same way as other canines) and high vet bills, he was able to save her (Nellie), and we were rewarded with one of the best, sweetest, smartest and loyal dogs we have ever had the pleasure of sharing our life with. Our vet said when she came to us he believed her to be about 10 months old. She was a certified therapy dog for a while. Then she was just our sweet old girl. If you would like information on getting your pet certified as a therapy dog this web site is a good starting point for you: http://therapy dogs.net/. We lost our sweet Nellie on April 8th, 2011. She was the epitome of the collie breed and it is so painful to have lost her. Nellie was extremely intelligent, and she was loyal to a fault. I could take her out anywhere in the world and she would stay right by my side. Perfect manners, awesome with children and other animals. She never showed any thing but complete love, devotion, patience and tenderness towards everyone, from the babies that would pull and step on her to the adults that would let her show her affection to them.
The only tribute I can give to my Nellie now is to share my story of her and some pictures. Please see our "Nellie" page. My wish is that everyone has a "Nellie" in their life at some point.
Our pets were bought from reputable breeders working to eradicate the well known CEA issues so commonly associated with the Collie breed today, as well as other collie diseases. Our intention is to make the breed better by constantly striving to breed out the known diseases that plague Collies and to breed only those with the best temperament. Currently all of our breeding collies have been tested for the full collie panel of testing available by PawPrint Genetics and all the results are listed for you to see. I look for any new tests as they become available. The most recent came up in 2018, Dermatomyositis (DMS) and by end of year we had the DMS testing done, it returns results as either "Low Risk - less then 6%", "Medium Risk" or "High Risk". Testing for all 4 of our collies came back as Low Risk - less then 6%, the best possible outcome! Testing does not come cheap but we are willing to do what it takes to improve the breed we love so well. Take time to get to know your breeder and find out how they care for their pets. We use PawPrint Genetics for our testing and are members of the Collie Health Foundation.