Collie Breed Magazine - Showsight

became the foundation bitch of Ward’s smooth line. Th ese are some of the breeders who strive towards producing puppies capable of earning the proverbial “titles at both ends.” In selecting their breeding stock, they aim to choose collies who will pro- duce show prospects which also have the talent and temperament to excel at jobs outside the show ring. Shoemaker states that she has stayed within the same family of dogs since she started with Jasmine. “ Th eir temperament suits my temperament,” she stated. “Dif- ferent lines have di ff erent temperaments and you have to find the family that suits you.” In picking puppies to keep for her breeding program, Ward looks for intel- ligence and elegance, as well as a good body. Bergstraser stated that she looks for temperament, attitude, and work ethic. “ Th ese dogs should be alert, full of sense. Th ey should be intelligent. Th ey should be extremely easy to train. A collie with a good work ethic not only has to have an active mind and be interested in going and doing things, they need to have a willing- ness to work with you.” Both Bergstraser and Ward note that great bodies are something they strive for in their breeding program. Bergstraser observed that some breeders focus on the headpiece to the exclusion of structure. “I think that is wrong. I think it’s been prov- en not just by me but by many breeders that you can breed an all-around dog. You can breed a dog with a beautiful body and very pretty head.” Shoemaker cautions that the starting point for any prospective future conforma- tion and performance star needs to start with conformation. “In choosing a puppy, it has to be a pretty puppy. You can train so much and teach a puppy how to learn and how to love to participate in things. But you can’t fix them if they don’t fit the standard. I can’t compromise on that part. It’s important that we have dogs that meet the standard.” Kathy Moll, Deep River Collies, per- forms puppy aptitude testing and herding testing on her pups in addition to a detailed structural evaluation to aid her in select- ing puppies for her breeding program. She

active, high-drive dog. “ Th ey say they want a dog that would be a problem in the aver- age pet home,” she explained. Bergstraser wants the drive, but also wants a dog with focus. She stated that she currently has a “very busy” young puppy who would rather follow her around than play with other dogs, and she appreciates that kind of focus and attention. Bergstraser cautioned, however, that in breeding for high-drive, active collies, it’s important not to lose the sweet temperament that the breed is known for. “A good collie should have an o ff switch. Th ey should be able to come in the house and lay down and kick back and be a good dog.” “Our standard is one of the most descriptive standards in the body and movement section,” states Bergstraser. “It is as descriptive of body and movement as it is of heads. To have a dog that can do advanced performance work, you’ve got to have a good structure.” Bergstraser also believes that good structure has allowed collies to be more competitive at all-breed shows at the group level. “You’ve got to have a dog that is sound and physically able to gait like a herding breed should gait to be successful in the Group and Best in Show ring.” Moll stated that she believes the overall quality of collies has improved in recent years, both in conformation and tempera- ment. “Most collies are outgoing, steady, and animated these days,” she said. Shoe- maker stated that the improvements breed- ers have made in the overall soundness of the breed was on display at this year’s Col- lie Club of America (CCA) national spe- cialty, and that the agility trial showcased “wonderful working dogs.” In addition to being one of the larger breed nationals, the CCA national special- ty includes collie-only herding tests and trials, agility, obedience, and rally events. A significant number of collies compete in multiple events during the national, and some compete in every venue. Shoe- maker notes that while she never feels like she’s in a hurry in her training, she does feel a bit of stress preparing for a national when she is trying to get multiple collies ready to compete at an advanced level in multiple venues.

looks for a moderate- to high-drive puppy who prefers people to other dogs, is willing to please, and has “presence.” Moll notes that she finds these traits equally impor- tant in both conformation and perfor- mance prospects. Currently, Shoemaker is trying to decide if she wants to do more breeding than she has been. She only breeds when she wants a dog for herself, and she likes to have her own litter because that allows her to have first choice of puppies to keep. She stated, “It’s fun to produce a puppy that can change how other people feel about dogs and what they do.” Shoemaker added that while she has not bred enough puppies to feel like she has done that with her own litters, she has helped steer people towards the right puppy for them, “and that opens their eyes to all these other venues and they end up doing things with their dogs that they never thought that they could do. I want to share the joy of that kind of dog.” Bergstraser notes that many of her pup- py buyers compete in agility and want an of the breed was on display at this year’s Collie Club of America (CCA) national specialty, and that the agility trial showcased ‘wonderful working dogs.’” “‘MOST COLLIES ARE OUTGOING, STEADY, AND ANIMATED THESE DAYS...’ Shoemaker stated that the improvements breeders have made in the overall soundness


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