Breeding Ethics

Our aim is to breed healthy Border Collies with
good temperament, working ability, correct 
structure and Border Collie type. We hip score and eye test our breeding stock whenever possible (occasionally with imported frozen semen it is impossible to get 100% guarantee of the hip status of the dog) and we use only healthy dogs for breeding. I believe that using a
non-related dog (which in our small population usually means imported semen or dog) is every now and then needed to keep the gene pool wide enough to stay healthy. We study several generations of the pedigree to make sure we minimize the risk of CL (storage disease), and we keep all possible hereditary diseases in mind when deciding the suitability of each dog for breeding.

        We do not mate any bitch under 2 years of age, more often our
bitches tend to be three or closer to four years when we breed them. The
main reason for the delay usually is the lack of a suitable stud. I believe
in using only top quality bitches for breeding. Finding a suitable stud for
a high quality bitch is often very difficult, especially as we do not breed
for titles, not show or performance titles, but the actual quality of each
dog. That often means studying hundreds of dogs, relatives and progeny prior
mating. I have also decided that the distance should not be the reason not
to use a certain dog. If I can´t afford to use the most suitable dog for my
bitch, I must save a bit longer to get it instead of compromising by using a
dog that is not quite good enough.
        Each dog planned for breeding is eye tested as a puppy (dogs bred by
other people are naturally not under my control) and they are re-examined
prior mating. Also hips are scored before deciding the suitability for
breeding. The more littermates are scored, the easier the decision from that
point of view will be. The bitch is de-wormed and vaccinated just before her
        If the bitch lives on breeding terms, we decide prior to mating
whether the litter will be born with me or with my friend who the dog lives
with. If she comes to me, we have made sure in advance that she has spent
enough time with me to feel comfortable with me. As we meet rather often
with most of "my pups" (=all the dogs I have bred), especially those living
on breeding terms, they usually have no problems settling down. Usually the
co-owner want to join the whelping, and visit and see the pups as often as

Choosing suitable homes

As the Border Collie is a hyper active breed bred to work all day, the
future owner must be motivated enough to spend time socializing, training,
exercising and organizing enough work for the dog to keep it happy. For that
reason we, both the co-owner of the bitch and I, question the prospective
owners, not because we suspect them or we don´t like them, but simply
because we believe that the right dog in the right home is a pleasure for
both people and the dog, but a frustrated dog and an insecure owner is a
combination that can have a sad ending. In making sure that the right puppy
finds the right owner we can avoid a lot of tears in the future.
        It is ideal both for the puppy and the owner to meet each other a
few times before the puppy moves to the new family. It is also good that the
new family gets to know at least the dam of the litter,and in the very best
case both parents. If the sire can not be seen, it is useful to see
videotapes of the sire doing whatever he does, obedience, agility, character
test, or even playing in the garden. Even the video of a show gives some
sort of idea of what the dog is like.
        A Border Collie puppy is not chosen by the coloring in it´s body. A
Border Collie must be chosen for it´s temperament and suitability for the
needs for its new family. Therefore it is so important for the prospective
owner to think in advance, "what do I want from my Border Collie". This will
help you to know what you are looking for, or realize that there is a more
suitable breed available in the dog world. Personally I follow the puppies
temperament changes from three weeks or even younger up to seven weeks, and
can see differences in the character of each puppy. As well as different
kinds of puppies, there are also different kinds of owners. One wants to
have their very first obedience dog, which should be moderately active, open
dog  that is not very soft, but definitely not too hard. Someone else may
want to have a dog to do dozens of different performance activities, and
looks for a tough dog that has got plenty of energy and has a lot more of
its own will than the other one. All of these things should be planned in
advance.  Watching the puppies mature helps to see how their characters
        When planning a puppy from us, please expect to answer lots and lots
of questions. We also like to hear you asking as many questions as possible.
The better you have planned for having this puppy, the better will it work
        If it is possible for you, visit a couple of litters BEFORE you plan
to have a puppy of your own. That gives you better chance to consider and
ask questions than to try to remember the questions, even important ones,
when you have the world´s cutest puppy on your arms.
        For us, the co-operation does not end when you take the puppy home.
You can feel free to contact me or the co-owner of the dam whenever any
problems arise, and naturally we would also be happy to hear the good news
too. There are other Border Collie owners living all around the world.  It
is good to get to know them as well, to share the experiences and to get
opinions in situations when you are not sure what to do. Most of the owners
of Pikkupaimenen Border Collie puppies help each other and travel together
to the shows and trials. For that reason I also talk about "our" this and
"our" that. We work as a team, and it makes it lot more fun. To compete with
somebody is nice as you can cheer both your own and your friends dog, but
when alone, people seem to compete against each other, and that isn't as
fun. We believe there is strength in co-operation and it is twice as nice
when you gain something.

Health checks

All our puppies are eye tested by an eye specialist  between 6 and 8 weeks
of age. It is very important for the future of this breed, that every dog be
eye tested and hip scored and preferably elbow scored when adults. The dog
must be at least 12 months of age before official scoring can be done. Every
result helps us to breed healthier dogs in the future.
Also we hope that we are contacted in any case of health problem, no matter
what it is, as the information might be valuable for the future.
        We keep all the health results public, and all eye test results and
hip scores are published at the web page, even if the result is dysplastic.
We hope that even the sad cases will help us in the future to breed
healthier dogs. Like CL, hip dysplasia is a breed problem, and therefore
nobody´s to blame. But the information is important, as it will help us in
the future.