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Health Testing My Border Collies

This blog is for the client(s) that are interested in our BC (Border Collie) puppies specifically for agility or herding. I need to begin by saying we would love for our BC’s to end up with persons or families that truly understand what it takes to train and live with a breed like the BC, and the demands that are placed on you as an individual(s), and are aware of the activities that most BC’s love doing.

As much as I enjoy watching an exciting dog trialing/ agility competition, I have some idea of what it takes to train a dog at this level. Plus, many times documentation of OFA (hips/elbows) and CAER (eye exams) is also required for some competitions.

Note: **This is one reason I DO NOT purposely breed for the Merle color trait. Very often eye issues and deafness is prevalent in the genetics (color trait) of this type BC.**

The clients that I sell to aren’t necessarily looking to involve the dog in these competitions but know what this breed requires. I actually get concerned when someone calls me and asks about these test, and lets me know how much they’re on the road competing, the dog trainers etc., and I have to say I’m not impressed. Most of the time, red flags pop up in my head. I have seen and heard too many stories of running the dog(s) down so badly that either the dog needed to be euthanized (they were that broken) or in the case that I will mention shortly, the dog was in traction. I recently heard about this woman and she was planning on suing a breeder because the dog’s hips were damaged after a few short training sessions. The breeder had provided proof of the OFA indicating the dam was clear/normal for any hip/elbow abnormalities. The rest of the story was: the puppy was only 10 months old so his bones were still soft AND this was the *4th* Border Collie she had done this to.

My advice for those of you that are interested in competing with my dogs (puppies) is to have the dog tested. I test for genetic health issues that can cause lifelong debilitating struggles for the animal and heartbreak for the owners. Are these tests perfect? Of course they aren’t, but this is my focus along with temperament.

I’ll end with this- many of the people that buy with the intent to use the dog(s) in various sports arenas have put so much focus on OFA/CAER that they have failed to concern themselves with temperament.

The end result for the dog is “rehoming” (I’m aware of these individuals) because the dog just wasn’t interested in trialing or agility. How fair was this for the dog? How did the OFA/CAER test help with this?

Many times the dogs that are considered for these sports have very high energy and they aren’t always the easiest to train- not even for the competitor. They (Border Collie) are so over the top (anxiety) that they have trouble focusing on the task at hand. Sometimes this is more about the humans ego than for the dog.

Thanks YouTube!! "She said sarcastically."

Happy Puppy Tails 🐾

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