Border Collie Breeding question General Chat

Discussion in 'Border Collie' started by Sahani, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Sahani

    Sahani New Member

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    Border Collie Breeding question

    Hello,
    I have a wonderful Blue Merle Border Collie, she is 3 1/2 yrs old. We got her as an adult, and she had previously had a litter before she came to us.

    I'd like to have a litter from her and have narrowed it down to two possible studs. I've already asked about their parentage to ensure that the Merle isn't in them, or in the parents.
    So as I've identified other qualities I'd like to see blended with her, such as health needs, skills of a working dog, etc. now I have to decide which one I'd like to use. Also as a factor is how close in proximity the studs are for the obvious reasons of repeat matings, travel, etc.
    Just to note, these will not be champion show dogs - simply working dogs, for myself, and also to sell the remaining pups on to homes as pets, or working dogs.
    So now I am left with 'looks'. Obviously this may seem inconsequential to some, but to others a rather important piece as people look at an advert and often are compelled 1st by a look they like. Hopefully it goes deeper than that, as so many of us find many things first by looks, then if good, develop more meaningful relationships in many aspects of our lives. Dogs will be one of those areas.

    So the two in question are:
    1. A lovely Red stud. Both of his parents are red, and he is of course, red! He comes from a long line of reds. He's had a litter recently, which I've seen and the pups, with a black/white mother, have been b/w or tris. I understand that for red to be expressed, both parents have to be red?

    2. The other is a White/Black collie with blue eyes. He is a white based collie, so more white than is normally present in a collie. His mother was similar with more white - her parents were both B/W. His father was a r/w and that had parents also that were r/w.
    Our girl is a Blue merle. Her parents were b/w and blue merle. I do not have information further back than this. I got her as an adult dog, and was mostly concerned at that time with her health, and saw her parents on the working farm she came from.
    The border collie genetics are a challenge with dominant, recessive, extensions and alleles! So I was wondering if there was anyone who could assist with a really basic idea of what sort of pups will be produced in these pairings.

    It would be nice to have a red merle, but not sure if that is possible as I am not sure our lass has the red gene. She's got a small amount of reddish fur on her haunches but it's more black but red. I am sure for the collie experts this will be commonly understood. I'd guess that with stud number one, she may get tri merles?

    A nice feature on stud 2 is the blue eyes. Our girl has brown eyes but I believe with the merle gene, it is a dilute, but as she has more dark colours to grey ratio, her brown eyes are reflective of that. Though she has a slight butterfly nose. So she'll have some dilute. But with the other, as he is carrying beneath his colour, his father's red genes - could they be expressed in the pups? Or is that highly unlikely since they are expressed in him as he takes on his mother's appearance with mostly white with black?
    I'd appreciate any help in trying to do the final selection of stud!
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  3. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Look at,
    www.bing.com/images/search?q=border+collie+colour+genetics&qpvt=border+collie+colour+gene
    By my reading, mated to a red you could get Blue merle, Red merle, Black and white and Red and white, but I'm no expert! We have a bull breeds contributor who has a DNA panel done on her stock which shows her the colours that they potentially carry, and a lot more! - I'm pretty certain that it's the Embark panel.
    Do be aware that BC's have other health problems besides that of the merle gene. It is difficult to avoid lines which carry epilepsy - even with a pedigree to guide you. Please read up on this problem, and also those relating to Collie eye problems. You are sure to find more information on breed club and specialist BC sites.
  4. Sahani

    Sahani New Member

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    Malka and CaroleC like this.
    I have done the health tests to avoid certain common pitfalls common to the Border Collie breed.
  5. Sahani

    Sahani New Member

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    Would the white with blue eyes, since he had r/w, father be able to produce red offspring? Or is it not possible since the red hasn't presented in him?
  6. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    As I understand it, red is recessive, so would only become visible if both parents carried the recessive red gene.
    Breeding Border Collies, and Working Sheepdogs is such a complicated process - for working dogs, colour, health and working characteristics all need to be considered. One BC breeder showed me her black and white male had little black spots on his feet - the only indication, she said, that he was carrying merle.
    www.bordercollie.org gives an overview of considerations, but has very little on colour genetics.
    @Bulldogs4Life is our member who does the Embark tests. If she spots this thread, she may be able to offer a little more help than I can. I really think that you could do with finding a mentor who is immersed in the breed though, - if your dogs are primarily for work, a serious WSD trialler would probably suit you best.
  7. Sahani

    Sahani New Member

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    Thank you very much Carol. I read similar things about the red recessive. I have considered many other aspects of these studs 1st, which included health, eye, seeing them in person so I could ascertain their character. I just can't decide between the two of them since they are so wonderful on their own. But then - to me - they are both gorgeous as well!

    How could I not want to see miniatures of those beauties combined with mine? All of the good qualities give the dogs stability of being good pets, or good working dogs. Health tests keeps the breed going strong, plus adds in the good element that the pups do well and don't suffer unnecessarily. But there will be the undeniable element that people will be often attracted to an animal. I love animals, have had so many through-out my life. I love something that is cute. I'll firmly stand by and defend that that isn't superficial, it is has created a deep love that spans many decades. And all of my animals, including rescues, stay with me for life - through thick, thin, medical costs, even long distance international move etc. That isn't your typical fly-by the seat of your pants fickle person. Too often, I find that so many people judge a book by its cover and if someone is interested in - as a final selection - colour, it must mean they are superficial. I'd say - not at all. My father, who only recently passed away, taught me a great and deep love of animals. He rescued many, despite being highly allergic to many of them. It has given me commitment, an ability to understand and seek out the needs of my animals, beyond food, water and shelter. I am sure that there are those out there, with far more qualifications in border collie dogs, that can get rid of an animal without much thought because they didn't pass muster - ultimately those dogs get euthanised or go to homes with people, like me, who just love the dogs. Without the people who just love them, there'd be other problems.

    So having defended the looks factor, as well as the good working stock, I'll admit I've fallen for both of these lads in a way - their character and looks. And I already love my girl.

    I see the pups as primarily going into working homes or simply active homes which love the breed. I've seen plenty of BCs in both scenarios. I hope to bring to her litter the best qualities to give them options in both. And I'd like to keep at least one pup here too.
  8. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    I agree with most of what you say. Looks, temperament, fitness for purpose, and genetic health are all very important. Every mating has to involve a balance between those factors, and this decision is a big responsibility as it will turn you into not just an owner, but a breeder, and the person responsible for the future happiness of those puppies. It is not just about picking the cutest dog, but also the healthiest and most suitable sire for your girl.
    I used essentially to be a show/working dog person and for me, the only justification for allowing a bitch to have a litter would be to retain a puppy for myself. Otherwise, like your father, I would take a dog out of rescue kennels, - which is why my present two are rescued and rehomed Beagles - one a worker, and one a showgirl.
  9. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    CaroleC and Malka like this.
    You got Eddie the working (class) dog a showgirl, what a great pet mom you are, hahahaa
  10. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Unfortunately there are no health tests for epilepsy, which is the most common problem for BCs.
  11. Sahani

    Sahani New Member

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    I do know about the epilepsy, I just meant I've taken as many precautions with the health, as I can do with tests. Nothing is ever certain, I know, but where we can, we try.
  12. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    @Malka There is now a DNA test for Lafora - a variant of epilepsy that can affect Dachshunds and Beagles. The research has been supported by both Breed Health Co-ordinators, and the first batch of test kits were issued this Summer. Those results have been received within the last couple of weeks. Only this one form can be screened for at present, but this is a work in progress, and it is hoped that other forms will turn out to be identifiable by DNA analysis.
  13. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    @Malka I should have clarified, Lafora only affects the Min. Wire-haired Dachs. variety.
  14. Malka

    Malka Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    Thank you for that information @CaroleC - I am not on the Epi List any more so I had not heard about that test so will have to look it up. Actually as Ram will be coming here next week for Tikva's shots and Bravecto, I can ask him what he knows about it.

    As for epilepsy, what did I end up with after losing my beloved Pereg? A Dachshund/Minpin cross, both breeds having epilepsy in their health risks. That is why she is named Tikva - which means Hope. Hope that the Monster never comes visiting. But even after all this time I am still on seizure-watch. I do not think that ever goes away.

    No-one knew what was in Pereg's background - she was just a mutt of unknown origin, and we could never find any trigger for her seizures. I loved her and miss her so much - not that Tikki ever gives me time to dwell on it - too much. :)
  15. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Thank you Carole - I never did know much, if anything about Lafora as it was only "regular" epilepsy discussed on the List. And Tikki's dam was a humungous standard smooth Doxie, Tikki being small for her weight although she has done fantastically well since such a bad start.

    She is bigger than a miniature but smaller than a standard - what is sometimes called a Tweenie. :rolleyes:
  16. Malka

    Malka Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    Sincere apologies to @Sahani for hijacking your thread. :blush:
  17. Sahani

    Sahani New Member

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    Not a problem Malka! : )
  18. Sahani

    Sahani New Member

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    With our lass, she's a blue merle for sure but she has these odd black bits which seem almost dark red. If anyone were to look at her they'd never be able to tell - only maybe to us looking at her so often or if one looked closely, on her haunch, it's black but a bit rusty black. Also on her face there is merling, a lot, but it has slight reddish hints. Only slight. Does that mean she has red in her or is this a strange anomaly?
  19. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    I wonder if she could be a tri colour merle.
    Do you have a photo?
  20. Sahani

    Sahani New Member

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    I am not even sure if it would photograph. It's not an obvious sort of colouring. It's like she has the black, the obvious grey of the merle and then just in a small hint in maybe two places. The one on her head, is very faint, just a slight coppery hint...but you'd have to look at her closely and a lot to detect the difference. Then on the one haunch, which is a bit larger, it's sort of a different shade of grey - but to the human looking at her, no one would really notice it. So it isn't the icy grey of the merle, it's not black....what is it though, I don't know but it's neither of these.

    Not sure if this is normal in a merle, to be grey, black and some other hint and it's just the dilution at work in different ways but it seems localised.

    I could only see on her parents, and at the time, their 'looks' were of little consequence so I didn't look at them closely in that way. But they appeared black/white and blue merle. No obvious tri-colours. I will see if I can photo at least the haunch...the face would be very difficult as it is so faint, and only because I look at her so much that I notice. But she is quite a dark merle.
  21. Sahani

    Sahani New Member

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    Here are a couple of the haunch. I am not sure how obvious it is, and I'm a terrible photographer to boot! Sahani.jpg Sahani2.jpg

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