Chapter 7 - The Journey To Collie Ownership
Final Stop: The CCA Breeder
Quality puppy and adult dogs are available throughout the year in all parts of the country since litters can be born during any month of the year. Quality Collies are not produced in large breeding operations such as a puppy mill but rather in small, intimate kennels focused on producing a few quality individuals, rather than many puppies for a mass market.
The time it takes to find your ideal Collie companion depends upon the age, variety, color, and family of Collie you are seeking. Roughs are more numerous than Smooths. In both varieties, the sable color is most common, followed by tri-colored, blue merle, and white. All Collies, Rough and Smooth, are bred to the same Standard. Any CCA District Director will be able to discuss this in detail based upon the specific kennels in your search area.
Finding a Breeder
The choice of a family dog is a combination of passion and practicality. The expertise of the breeder will be the single most important factor in determining the success of matching the needs of your family with just the right dog. Breeding healthy, beautiful Collies is a fine art with a background of science. It requires tremendous time, effort, and commitment. The Collie Club of America is very proud of its member breeders whose knowledge comes from years of study and experience with Collies. A CCA District Director will refer you to breeders who are knowledgeable, responsible, and involved in breed activities. For contact information on the District Directors in your area, click: www.collieclubofamerica.org/cca_district_directors.html)
Responsibility to the Breed is reflected in the quality of the individual dogs, the limited quantity that is bred, and the breeder’s lifetime commitment to their dogs. Collie breeders care very much about placing their dogs in the right homes. When a puppy or adult dog is purchased, responsible breeders provide a contract, health checks and information, a pedigree, and AKC registration papers. They provide detailed information to new owners on day-to-day maintenance and health care of the dog. Breeders are available to offer advice and help even after the dog has gone to its new home.
Hallmarks of Quality
The Collie’s extraordinary versatility makes your dog a wonderful family companion. Collies excel in conformation, obedience, agility and herding activities; or as working dogs on farms and ranches, therapy dogs, service dogs, and even as guide dogs for the blind. No single breeder can be involved in all of these time-consuming activities at the same time, but you should find involvement in some of them by the breeder and by dogs closely related to the ones you are considering. Most important, the Collie is an ideal family dog, responsive to its owners and a loving and devoted companion for all ages.The Collie’s extraordinary versatility is a hallmark of its good breeding, combining the qualities of physical soundness, beauty, proper temperament and intelligence. Dedicated breeders also tend to be engaged in activities that benefit their health and well-being. All breeders who are members of the Collie Club of America sign the CCA’s official Code of Ethics; your assurance that your journey to Collie ownership starts off successfully.