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Frequently Asked Questions


HOW MUCH WILL PURCHASING A COLLIE FROM YOU COST?:
I am not breeding Collies at this time.
If you are interested in acquiring a Collie, please visit
the
Collie Club of America, Inc. website (
http://www.collieclubofamerica.org )
and
contact the district director for your state for breeder referrals.

DO YOU OFFER COLLIES TO SHOW HOMES?:  Even though a litter may contain multiple show prospects, my preference is to place any available puppies in companion homes on spay/neuter contracts.  The availability of show prospects can be further discussed on an individual basis.

CAN YOU SHIP A COLLIE TO A BUYER?:  Yes, we can ship a dog to a buyer at their expense.  In such cases, the full purchase price, seller's handling fee for shipping (**see below), the airline shipping expenses, the cost of a health certificate etc. are due prior to shipping as well as a crate & two dishes that attach to the crate door or money to purchase those.  || NOTE: If a buyer wishes to have their Collie shipped, there will also be charge of $300+ which is "seller's handling fee".  ALL FEES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?:  We are located near the town of Brookneal, VA & about 30 miles southeast of the city of Lynchburg or 2 hours west of the city of Richmond.  Other cities all of which are about 2 hours are Roanoke, Raleigh, & Greensboro.

WHAT IS THE BEST AGE TO GET A COLLIE?:  Any age after 7-8 weeks old is fine.

HOW DO I GET ON YOUR WAITING LIST FOR A COLLIE?:
Due to not breeding Collies at this time, I am not keeping a waiting list.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NOVICE JUST STARTING OUT WITH SHOWING?:  My suggestion is to read the breed standard often & read as many breed books as you can.  Study, study, study!!  No one should ever stop learning!!  Go to as many dog shows as possible, study the dogs that you see there, & talk to breeders and handlers.  Go to breed seminars & make an effort to attend National specialties.  The Nationals are the best way to see many dogs from different bloodlines, all under one roof.  Visit the kennels of many breeders & examine the dogs.  Some bloodlines are known for a specific "look."  Don't just limit yourself to getting a dog from a breeder that is local (although you may be able to find a nice one locally from a reputable show breeder); if the right show prospect for you is across the country, then go for it!

Once you have religiously studied the breed standard, have read many breed books/magazines, & have seen many dogs both in person as well as print, you may begin to visualize in your mind the ideal Collie as described in the standard.  As time goes by, your mental interpretation of the standard may change; this is a part of learning.  If you find that a specific bloodline is noted to have a look that you love, then try to purchase a show prospect from that breeder.  Saying all that, I would have to add that no matter how beautiful a dog is, if it doesn't have a good temperament or has health or genetic problems, then the beauty is meaningless.  Find out as much as you can about genetic problems before purchasing a show prospect.  Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions!!

Once you have purchased a show prospect from a reputable & knowledgeable breeder, seek their advice about caring for & showing your dog.  A reputable breeder will be there to answer your questions throughout the dog's life, provided you are a good & willing listener.  Many breeders & handlers have a wealth of information to offer & are happy to share it.  A breeder can tell you about any growth patterns their line may have whereas other bloodlines may not develop in the exact same way.  Realize that Collies are a slow maturing breed with many not reaching full maturity until 3 or 4 years of age; a slow maturing Collie often holds its quality well into old age.  I would much rather have a dog who was slow to mature than to have one who was fully mature early on & did not hold its quality into what should be its prime.  Many people give up on dogs because they aren't ready to win as puppies; in my opinion this is not a wise thing to do.  DO NOT give up on a young Collie just because it may go through ugly stages where it's quality is questionable; some dogs go through stages as puppies that they later come out of.  Whether a young Collie's head goes through awkward stages or whether the body or movement does, any of these things can come back to being good depending on the bloodline as well as the individual.  The main thing is to have PATIENCE while waiting for a Collie to mature; always remember that the end result is what counts most!

If you plan to show your own dog as opposed to hiring a professional handler, take the time to learn how to properly present your dog before you ever walk into the ring.  Take handling classes.  Travel to shows with Collie handlers or offer to assist them at shows.  Learn as much as possible.  A major part of the proper presentation of Collies is great grooming whether it is a rough or a smooth.  Good grooming comes with a lot of experience & many owner-handlers or breeders though they've spent years showing (& working hard at it) will never be able to achieve the optimal results that a good professional handler (or an experienced breeder-owner-handler) achieves with ease; for example, trimming the rough Collie head is a task best left to someone who has the 'know-how' to create the ultimate image.  Yes, professional handlers win a lot & many times they have an added advantage over an owner-handler.....this is often due to the fact that a professional handler works very hard at what they do on a day-to-day basis & a good one knows how to get the most out of the dog in the short amount of time they spend in the ring at each show....a good handler usually has a dog that is well-trained, well-groomed, & in the proper condition to win; because it is their profession, they often spend more time working with the dogs, keeping them in great condition than an average owner-handler has time to spend due to their jobs etc.  If you decide to hire a handler, know that there are good handlers, great handlers, & those who are horrible handlers or untrustworthy.

When you start to show, it is important to find out as much as you can about various judges & their preferences before you enter shows.  Again, ask lots of questions.  Showing is expensive & there is no reason to waste money entering under a judge who wouldn't be good for your dog.


DO COLLIES MAKE GOOD HOUSE PETS?:  Yes, Collies can make excellent house-pets provided that they receive adequate exercise & training.  For example, we once took a seven year old Collie that had never had any prior "in house" exposure & made that Collie a house-pet; despite her age, the dog adjusted immediately to being a house-pet & didn't have any accidents.


ARE COLLIES GOOD WITH CHILDREN?:  Yes, most Collies are great with children & adore them.


DO COLLIES GET ALONG WITH CATS?:  Yes.  However, it is important that puppies regardless of their breed be exposed to cats while they are still young so that there will be a better chance of them getting along with cats as adults.


WHAT SIZE ARE COLLIES?:  The AKC breed standard for Collies, states that males are 24"-26" high at the shoulders & weigh between 60-75 pounds; Females are 22"-24" high at the shoulder & weigh between 50-65 pounds.  Of course size sometimes varies from this & some Collies can be smaller or larger.


WHAT VARIETIES AND COAT COLORS DO COLLIES COME IN?:  Collies come in two coat varieties, which are the
Rough and Smooth.


The breed standard recognizes
four coat colors in Collies: Sable and White, Tri-Color, Blue Merle, and White.
Descriptions of coat colors as quoted from breed standard:
BLUE MERLE
"The "Blue Merle" is a mottled or "marbled" color predominantly blue-grey and black with white markings as in the "Sable and White" and usually has tan shadings as in the "Tri-color."
SABLE & WHITE
"The "Sable and White: is predominantly sable (a fawn sable color of varying shades from light gold to dark mahogany) with white markings usually on the chest, neck, legs, feet, & the tip of the tail. 
A blaze may appear on the foreface or backskull or both."
TRI-COLOR
"The "Tri-color" is predominantly black, carrying white markings as in a "Sable and White" and has tan shadings on and about the head and legs."
WHITE
"The "White" is predominantly white, preferably with sable, tri-color or blue merle markings."
 

Click on the links below for some examples of the various color types in both rough & smooth coats.  We do not breed whites, so unfortunately we don't have any photos of those.
ROUGH SMOOTH
Blue Merle Blue Merle
Sable & White Sable & White
Tri-Color Tri-Color
Sable Merle Sable Merle

WHAT DIFFERENCE IF ANY IS THERE BETWEEN ROUGH & SMOOTH COLLIES?:  The absolute only difference between Rough and Smooth Collies is the coat.  Smooths are ideal for those who want a dog with all of the beauty and intelligence of a Rough, with less hair.  Smooths require much less grooming than Roughs and do not get mats.  Both Roughs and Smooths are great dogs and make excellent pets, show, or performance dogs.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN ROUGH & SMOOTH GENETICS?:  When a Rough is bred to a Rough, there will always be all Roughs in the litter because a Rough has two rough genes.  A Smooth that has one rough gene & one smooth gene is rough-factored which means that they can produce Rough puppies in addition to Smooth puppies.  If a Rough is bred to a rough-factored Smooth, the resulting litter can contain both Roughs & rough-factored Smooths.  If a rough-factored Smooth is bred to another like itself, the resulting litter can contain Roughs, rough-factored Smooths, & pure-for-smooths.  A pure-for-smooth is a Smooth that has two smooth genes which means that if they are bred, they will always produce only Smooths no matter what.


HOW MUCH GROOMING DO COLLIES REQUIRE?:  The amount of grooming that a Collie requires can depend on several factors: the environment in which the Collie lives, whether the dog is shedding, whether the Collie is a Rough or a Smooth, & if the Collie is a Rough it can depend on the amount of coat that the dog has.  Naturally, Roughs require more grooming than Smooths do due to the difference in coat types.  A good brushing once a week is needed for most Roughs, while once every two weeks can be adequate for Smooths not being shown.  Nails should be trimmed or grinded at least twice a month to keep them short.  If a Collie lives outside & is exposed to the weather elements, the dog may require more frequent grooming than a dog who spends most of the time in the house.  We recommend only bathing Collies when you feel the dog needs it.


HOW DO I GROOM MY COLLIE AND WHAT SUPPLIES DO I NEED?:  A few necessary things are a large Pin Brush, a soft Slicker Brush, a Comb, A Spray Bottle filled with water or a combination of water/conditioner, & Pet Nail Clippers or if you prefer you may use a Dremel Rotary Tool to grind nails.  If you decide to use a Dremel, never hold it on the nail for more than 5 seconds at a time because they tend to heat the nail if left longer than that.  NOTE:  If you do not know how to trim or grind your dog's nails, have an experienced person do it for you or either have them show you the proper way to trim or grind nails before you attempt to do it because you can injure your dog if you don't know what you are doing.  BRUSHING A ROUGH: *Completely brush through the entire coat using a slicker brush making sure to get out any mats, tangles, or loose hair.  Brush with a gentle hand as you do not want to rip out coat. *You will next be using a pin brush.  Mist the coat with the spray bottle & rub the water in against the lay of the coat.  *Using the pin brush, brush through the coat in sections misting the coat with water as needed.  BRUSHING A SMOOTH: Grooming a Smooth is easier and generally takes less time and effort than on a rough.  *As in the rough, completely brush through the entire coat using a slicker brush.  Next, mist the coat with the spray bottle & rub the water in against the lay of the coat.  Take a pin brush and brush through the coat, misting with the spray bottle as needed.

HOW CAN I BE ASSURED MY COLLIE WILL HAVE A GOOD COAT?:  Naturally genetics are a huge factor in the amount of coat a dog has or will have once he or she reaches maturity; many Collies are at least 3 years old before they are fully matured, sometimes older.  However, aside from genetics there are other factors that can have a positive or negative influence on coat such as, grooming, diet, and environment.

HOW DO I GET MY COLLIE'S EARS TO TIP OVER?:  As stated in the breed standard, Collie ears should be carried about 3/4 erect with about 1/4 of the ear tipping or breaking forward and are carried well up on the backskull.  There are some Collies who truly have "natural ears" that do not require any artificial training; unfortunately, most Collies do require some ear training in order to achieve the desired tipping.  We begin training puppies' ears at six to eight weeks old & keep the ears over at all times except when the puppy is in the show ring.  We continue to train the ears until the puppy is about a year old, but some Collies may require longer ear training depending on the nature of the ear type.  There are some Collies' ears that regardless of the amount of training they have had, will never stay perfectly tipped for long; this can be frustrating because those types of ears have to be kept glued or taped at all times.
There are many effective methods of ear training such as the use of: Japanese Ear Tape, Tear Mender, or Moleskin.  Japanese Ear Tape can be purchased online.  Tear Mender can be purchased at Tractor Supply, certain fabric stores, or online.  It is a matter of personal preference in choosing the method that works best for you.  For detailed information on how to make your Collie's ears tip, contact the breeder of your Collie or a Collie Handler; there are also several websites which offer helpful instructions on ear training.  I have listed a couple methods below which I have had success with....

Two simple & quick methods I have found to work well involve using Japanese Ear Tape or Tear Mender (whichever method you choose, it is important to start with clean and dry ears; if the ears have been previously taped or glued, use an adhesive remover for any remaining residue of tape or glue prior to cleaning the ears with shampoo or alcohol):

**Method #1 - Japanese Ear Tape:  Step #1: Clean out the ears with rubbing alcohol that is applied with a cotton ball or use an alcohol prep pad.  Allow to dry.  Spray a cotton ball with Doc Brannen's Grooming Adhesive (clear) or Sullivan's Prime Time Adhesive (clear) & rub on the inside tip and base of both ears; wait a few seconds while the ears dry.  Step #2: Cut four small squares of tape (two for each ear) & two pieces of tape about 2" long each.  Step #3: Place a square of tape at the inside tip of ear & another square at the lower part of the ear at the base just above the little bump on the ear; repeat with the other ear.  Step #4: Next, take one of the long pieces of tape & roll it sticky side out.  Place the rolled tape on top of one of the tape squares that are already in the ear & fold top half of the ear over to the lower part of the ear at the base just above the little bumps on the ear; repeat with the other ear.  Hold ears for a few seconds to make sure the tape sticks.  NOTE: For dogs with ears that break too low, tape ears over less than in half.  If ears also need bracing to create a tighter placement on the skull, a strip of tape may be used to bring them up on the skull tighter; place one end of the tape strip on the lower tape squares in each ear prior to step #4.

**Method #2 - Tear Mender:  Put a drop or two of Tear Mender on the inside tip of the ear & fold the ear over to the longer hairs at the lower base of the ear along the inner edge.  Hold ear for approximately one minute while the Tear Mender dries.

DO MALES OR FEMALES MAKE BETTER PETS?:  We feel that both make equally good pets.

DOES COLLIE EYE ANOMALY (CEA) AFFECT VISION?:  Most Collies have some form of Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), but it does not get worse as the dog gets older and unless severe it rarely affects vision.  Even most normal-eyed Collies are carriers of CEA and will produce it.  In fact, most Collies with CEA see no worse than normal-eyed Collies.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF COLLIES?:  About 10-14 years.

WHAT IS A RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNER?:  A responsible dog owner is someone who realizes that purchasing a dog is a 12-14 year commitment (sometimes longer).  If a person isn't willing to accept or take on this responsibility, then they should not acquire a dog.  Dogs aren't something that a person can just get rid of because they get tired of it; too many people seem to have the attitude they they can just "throw away" a dog whenever they feel like it.  People get rid of dogs for the dumbest reasons sometimes; a responsible owner does not do this.  A responsible pet owner provides their dogs with adequate medical care as well as loving & LIFETIME homes or if for some reason, they are unable to keep the dog for its entire life, they find the dog a suitable home.  They never allow their dogs to roam freely where they might be endangered.

WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLIE?:  Find out more information about the breed by visiting the following links: Collie Club of America & the American Kennel Club websites.



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