All our females, undergo temperament testing and evaluation.
What we look for in our females is a
- sweet gentle nature, especially towards people
- absolutely no fear biting is tolerated,
- laid back when nothing to do.
- ready to give everything when they are asked to do something.
Dogs that show brains are favoured above all other characters, though this can lead to tricky temperaments and behaviour; especially if the environment (rearing situation and handling) is not rewarding enough to the dog .
The dogs with brains find work for themselves and can be extremely amusing to humans until they start costing extra money in damages.
We have dogs that
- love water: digging in water dishes causing the never ending filling up cycle.
- Smile or grin; some visitors sometime mistake this gesture as a snarl but it is always accompanied by a waging tail and soft eyes.
We look at behaviour in respect to the dogs attitude to become one of the family (including the kennel pack) the dog must be entirely sociable with humans and other canines.
Cats and small toy dogs should be accepted and not treated as prey.
Highly excitable dogs are not encouraged especially if they cannot or will not calm down.
We do not like dogs with obsessive and stereotypic behaviour though this is usually caused by boredom and stress, rather than a hereditary fault.
Some behaviours are hereditary but most are man made through bad socialisation, handling, ignorance, lack of stimulation, too much stimulation.
Mostly they are caused because of a lack of guidance, though there can be genetic predispositions towards many behaviours.
This is a very important aspect in our breeding program, only healthy dogs with
- DNA normal for CEA or exceptional dogs that are CEA carriers
- Low hip scores, or come from lines of proven elderly workers, Read here for our HD scoring policy.
- Dogs which thrive well; as this will usually indicate a more reliable temperament and character, thin or unthrifty dogs are either unhealthy or highly strung.
- Epilepsy - So many forms of Epilepsy
Epilepsy can be caused or diseases, both viral and bacterial.
Epilepsy can also be caused through stress and some foods, chemicals and other environmental factors.
Sometimes epilepsy by trauma and is the result of minor damage to the brain, through injury or perhaps more commonly, as a result of oxygen starvation during a difficult birth.
Usually the seizures start many years after the damage had occurred, so it is not easy to make a connection between the two events.
Diagnoses of the various forms of epilepsy is very expensive, and difficult and It is yet to be confirmed as being hereditary, though as advances in Veterinary diagnoses and Gene research continue we may well find it is.
At the present time to the best of our knowledge our lines are clear of this affliction, but we must remain observant, and keep up with modern research and scientific progress.
Read more about Epilepsy.
We look at structure in an entire sense, it is essential that the dog presents a balanced picture giving the immediate impression that it can run at speed, turn on a dime, leap a six foot gate and come to a dead stop from speed.
We do not specifically look at angulation as we believe that the shepherds of old have handed us down an extremely athletic animal that needs little intervention from us to retain these characteristics.
Certainly to try to change the working dogs structure may well do severe damage to its health and working ability. Check out the "Show bred KC Border Collie".
Good feet are a must as the working life span of a dog is severely curtailed by arthritis in loose feet. we want nice tight CAT LIKE paws in our dogs.
Stamina is essential too but is influenced greatly by the fitness of the dog and correct nutrition.
This feature goes hand in hand with all the above issues and is extremely important to us in our breeding program. All our breeding dogs show high levels of natural herding instinct and are very willing and quick to learn anything we teach them.
We look for a dog that;
- when it first sees stock, lights up and attempts to go around the stock or at the very least tries to keep them together.
- that will walk right up to stock, showing no fear -with the stock showing obvious respect
- A dog that accepts training in its stride, without sulking or trying to "out do" the handler.
- A Great listener, eager to please, quick to learn.