THIRTY LESSONS… on Collies…on dogs…on breeding
By John Buddie, Tartanside Collies
I have been so blessed to have been involved with Collies for the past 50 years. Th e excitement that was there at the very beginning, is still the driving force that keeps me active in breeding and participating. I have learned so much in fi fty years, but some of those lessons were slow in coming, as I really didn’t under- stand the real meaning behind what was coming my way. I once asked someone who I mentored what they felt were the most important lessons that I taught based on all these years in the breed. Below is the list that they returned to me… saying that I repeated these things over and over, so they were obviously important to me: 1. Leave the sport no worse than you found it. 2. Th e number of champions fi nished or ribbons earned is not the true measure of being a successful breeder. 3. Some of the breed’s most important and in fl uential dogs do not have the pre fi x Ch. before their names. 4. Look to history to learn its lessons; it is the one thing all Collies regardless of “family” have in common. 5. Look to the grandparents! 6. You don’t need to be a “big” kennel to be a great breeder or have far-reaching impact on the breed.
7. Th e three “R’s” Reverence, Romance and Respect—are the common quali- ties found in all great breeders. 8. You can never outrun a problem—it will always catch up with you. Stand and face it before it overtakes you. 9. Learn to see and appreciate quality in all families. 10. Selection is what separates great breed- ers from good ones. 11. Study a pedigree for its lessons about consistency, dominance, key/benign individuals 12. Know as many of the individuals in a pedigree as you possibly can through personal contact with them. 13. Pictures lie! 14. Don’t fault judge at the expense of virtues. 15. Never give up virtues when doing a breeding…nor exchange virtues for “easy fi xes”. Th e breed’s future depends on the preservation of virtues. 16. Breeding and culling for health and temperament are the responsibilities of every serious breeder. 17. Line breed, line breed, line breed, but know when it is time for a judicious outcross that can add hybrid vigor to your breeding program. 18. A breeder is part artist, part scientist. 19. Know when to intervene… BUT… know when to listen to Mother Nature as well!
20. A responsible breeder faces prob- lems, acknowledges them (without blaming someone else) and works on correcting them. 21. Know what you can and can’t live with when it comes to virtues and faults. 22. In order to establish a line, have a pic- ture of your perfect collie fi rmly etched in your mind and follow it to your goals. Pictures—males and females! 23. Look to breed type to type when outcrossing 24. Never start believing you are invinci- ble or that your dogs are perfect. 25. Puppy development di ff ers from fam- ily to family. Study your family to understand its speci fi c maturation process and pattern, and enjoy learn- ing about a di ff erent process in di ff er- ent families. 26. Cultivate patience; Individual (dogs) don’t often reach their full potential until they are 3. 27. Better to have a late developer with staying power than a puppy fl yer that loses its early bloom for good! 28. In brood bitches, a good doer is just as important as a good dog. 29. Never think you know it all. Approach every new situation, show, or day with what it can teach you. 30. Most of all, practice courtesy and respect (as a re fl ection of our breed)… and the same will come back to you.
“I have learned so much in fifty years, but SOmE Of THOSE LESSONS wERE SLOw IN cOmINg, as I really didn’t understand the real meaning behind what was coming my way.”
264 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2014
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