A note about this article from us...
We have been breeding for many years. However, we are always learning and working towards breeding better. We always learn something new... every day. If we ever feel we "know it all" or are "above learning", we need to stop and re-evaluate our lives on that day.
We have evolved, especially over this last 8 years. We have learned that it takes a balance of everything, and working towards ALL goals to get the best we can produce. We have laid all cards on the table and each and every time we have bred we roll the dice, no matter how carefully we choose, or how good it all looks on paper. There are things we can predict and things we cannot.
But, there are some things that we just never want to take chances on. When there are obvious things, like Tom has written about and we definitely agree. We pick from the best we can here, and we watch them grow to see if they are the desired selection for our breeding program when matured. A few do not make the cut, and that's ok. They'll still be a wonderful companion.
Go read... It's awesome. After all, it was written by Tom Coen - Master Breeder/ Macdega Shelties.
Our progress over 12 years...
"The importance of the Bitch in the breeding program"
Written by Tom Coen
It is a matter of record that over the past 35 years we have housed many influential sires. Having an active stud force has allowed us the opportunity to live with and evaluate literally thousands of bitches. Since there is not a lot for a person to do while holding two dogs that are tied, I usually spend the time studying the bitch and evaluating the combination of the two individuals, wondering whether it will be history in the making or just another litter of puppies.
My advice to others over the years has always been to LOOK TO THE DAMS OF THE STUD DOGS. Tail male charts are interesting but they leave out a very important element of the story and that is the bitch. It is the bitch who provides the complement to the sire and determines the distinction among his offspring, both in quality and producing ability.
Breeding dogs is a creative process that combines the eye of the artist with the laws of nature. Also included must be a large measure of common sense. Breeding dogs is a process of building generation after generation, of constantly gaining in one area and losing in another. The breeder is like a juggler trying to keep the pins for correct type, stable temperament, and good health in the air at the same time. The bitch is the building block utilized in the process of creative breeding.
When selecting a foundation bitch or planning a breeding there is one principal that I have witnessed as law: WHAT YE SOW YE SHALL REAP. If you don’t want something to show up, don’t start with it or add it to the gene pool. Recessive problems will slip by through lack of information, but to knowingly add a serious problem to your program shows no common sense. You may try to close your eyes to something but Mother Nature will provide a wake up call at some point up the road.
Quirks of temperament, tendencies toward physical weakness, and reproductive problems are inherited as well as physical characteristics. We have certain lineal descendants who get panicky during thunderstorms. Another family group gets violently car sick as puppies. These behavioral idiosyncrasies continue generation after generation. Thirty-five years ago I had a bitch shipped in for breeding who possessed the most beautiful eye and skull that I had ever seen. She was unshown due to a crooked front leg that she had fractured during puppy hood. No problem, I thought, as I was interested in the genes for skull and eye. I acquired a daughter from the breeding and at four months of age she broke her front leg but went on to be a very influential producer. She would have had more champions herself but one of her best daughters broke her leg as a puppy – a statement on the inheritance of physical weaknesses.
Not all great show bitches are great brood bitches. We had a multiple Best in Show bitch that looked like she would be a tremendous producer as well. She had exceptional quality, substance and great attitude. We bred (her) several times and each time she whelped perfectly formed puppies that were still born. This was particularly frustrating since we could feel the puppies moving a few days before whelping, indicating they were dying just before or during the birthing process. Trying to outsmart Mother Nature, we had our vet take the puppies by cesarean section several days prior to her due date. The puppies were tiny and weak but through constant vigilance and tube feeding we did save one bitch puppy. She was bred and produced one beautiful daughter who finished easily and in style. When this bitch was bred, she whelped litters of perfectly formed still born puppies. This was our wake up call and the bitch was culled. Again, what ye sow ye shall reap. Keep in mind that the tendencies toward skin problems, thyroid problems and other defects are also inheritable.
When evaluating a bitch from a breeding standpoint there are several key areas to consider: health, temperament, physical quality (phenotype) and pedigree (genotype).
The ideal bitch should be an easy keeper and a good doer. A hearty appetite that keeps her in good flesh with no coaxing is of great importance. A bitch who won’t eat, especially when she has a new litter of puppies depending on her, is not well suited to motherhood and can make your life miserable. Avoid bitches from families who require medication and supplementation to maintain their condition and fertility. The goal is to produce good sized healthy litters to provide selection within a creative breeding program and to keep the process as natural as possible. We are living in a time when veterinary medicine has become quite sophisticated in the area of reproduction. Thyroid medication and hormone therapy make it possible for bitches who would not ordinarily come in season to do so and produce litters. There are tests to monitor silent or irregular seasons so that ovulation can be pinpointed and problem bitches can conceive and produce offspring. Although it is impressive that we can overcome Mother Nature and produce litters out of such bitches I question the benefit in the long run.
Ideally, the bitch should be as free a possible from hereditary defects. To be entirely genetically free of hereditary defects is not a possibility but it is in the area that common sense must be employed. Don’t breed bad eye checks, entropion, testicle problems, bad hips or other such problems unless you are willing to deal with more of the same. I repeat: WHAT YE SOW YE SHALL REAP.
The ideal bitch possesses a stable, sensible temperament with intelligence and trainability. These qualities of correct Breed Character, not only make good show dogs, but are what have drawn the pet buying public to the Sheltie for years. The bitch is the role model for the puppies and in the area of temperament accounts for more than her genetic fifty percent. There is no excuse or place in the breeding program for a shy, flighty or nervous Sheltie bitch.
When selecting for physical quality in a bitch, it is important to keep in mind which qualities are most difficult to achieve and maintain. While not every bitch can be a CH Larkspur of Pocono or a CH Riverhill Rare Gold, the purchase of a foundation bitch requires extensive study followed by careful thought and selection. This, by the way, is not the time to become frugal. Go for the very best bitch you can find as she can save you years of disappointment, frustration, and wasted time.
Head qualities are of great importance in the brood bitch. All will have some deficiencies but the degree of fault is what must be considered. It is extremely difficult to correct severe lack of skull, snipey muzzle, depth of head, lippiness and certain bite problems. While on the subject of bites, be wary of a narrow underjaw, missing premolars and inverted molars. The virtue of flat frontal bone, clean sides to the skull, tight lip line and roundness of muzzle will definitely increase your chances of producing exceptional quality. The greater the degree of virtue your bitch possesses the better are your chances of producing a great one.
It is almost impossible to radically change body type and structure through breeding in only a few generations. Therefore, it is necessary to select and maintain bitches who approach your mental picture of the ideal as described by the Standard. Correct body type is a matter of the proportion and angles of the skeletal structure. While abundant coat is a real plus in a breeding program and can enhance a good outline it is still only the icing on the cake. It is what is under the coat that is important, i.e., arch of neck, a strong back, well laid back shoulders, long stifle, good definition of the hock joint and sloping croup. These are the qualities that your ideal bitch would possess and these are the qualities that create the picture of correct Sheltie type, standing and in motion. It is these same qualities that make certain individuals stand out in the huge classes at the National. Since soundness and elegance are priorities in our program we continually select for the curvaceous and sweepy body lines with deeper angulation and more neck. Just as the head naturally reverts to commonness so does the body and outline.
Unless you have had first hand experience with dogs in a pedigree the document is of little more value than a list of names. With study a pedigree becomes a valuable tool for creating and predicting quality. No where on the pedigree does it tell which dogs were strong producers or which were producers of problems which still haunt us. The title of champion means very little when evaluating producing ability. It is our responsibility to study and research individuals and family lines and to choose the ones who “look” appeals to you and who shortcomings you can abide. The qualities that a bitch possesses should reflect the qualities of her ancestors. She should be the physical demonstration of the strength of her pedigree. Bitches who are the exception for a family rather than the rule cannot be counted on for predictability.
It is impossible to place a value on a bitch of extreme virtue and strength of a pedigree without taking into account breeder judgment. However, when utilized in a creative manner by an astute breeder, it would be fair to say her value is nothing less then the future of the breed."
Rescue? or Breeder? It is a personal choice.
Recently there was a rescue of 200 dogs from a breeder in the midwest. A criminal case is pending but we choose to remain neutral on this part of this topic. What we want to discuss is the dogs.
When something like this happens, everyone wants to help. Everyone wants to show that pup/adult dog what love is all about. So many have hearts of gold, and if they cannot help by rescuing a dog, they help with much needed supplies and monies for care of these dogs. This is amazing and wonderful.
Do you know what you can expect when you rescue a dog who has never been inside a home? Sometimes the conditions are so bad they have no clean place to lay. They are matted and in their fur are burrs, fecal matter, and urine. Many when you reach out to pet and love them shy away and cower at your hand or approach. Some withdraw into themselves and retreat to a corner afraid of touch or any contact. A few do not want to know you or look at you. And a few fall to the ground and cry like you've injured them if you touch them. Some will not walk no matter how you coax them and need to be carried outside to potty. How do I know these responses?
These are the responses we have overcome in our experience with rescue in past years. Because of doing this a few times, we know this is not something we could do every day and our hats are off to those that do this time and again. They have very special hearts and souls indeed. When I deal with this, I cry and my heart is crushed. I feel pain for these dogs, and it's very personal to me. Therefore. I can only do this as needed once in a while. Those are my limits.
As breeders we work every day with our dogs. We groom all the time. Our dogs are housetrained, crate-trained, and live with us as family. We shovel a lot of poo. We are Master poo shovelers. haha We are very scheduled and structured here. We have to be or we would have unwanted litters, dogs fights and more. Our home is in constant rotation putting dogs into different groups to keep peace and happiness within for us all. We spend time with each of them in small groups, and we love them all. All our dogs are amicable and loving. Kind and big hearted.
We have a waiting list. It's not long if you're flexible the time goes quickly. If you want a certain color or match, it can take longer. We do spam with puppy posts because we love sharing, and not because they need to be sold. :) If you watch, there is a big difference and our dogs place themselves. Every one of them is a perfect match for someone. We get such awesome reports back. Oh and we love hearing how they are doing. Good or bad we are here to share this with you.
Our puppies. Our puppies are raised next to my chair and computer in our living room. I can reach out and touch them at all times. So while I'm sitting here talking to you or writing something to share, I can reach out and play with the babies. This is what I love the very most! They are so interactive. Our current litter loves being spritzed with water. That is so funny! They bark at me begging for it. haha I share much of this with you as sharing makes me so happy and I hope it brightens your day.
I guess the biggest point in all this I'm trying to make is when you choose where to get your collie... ask questions. Ask what to expect if you choose a rescue. If you choose or are looking at breeders, Ask them what they're doing to prepare these puppies to become a wonderful family or farmily member. Ask Ask Ask. There are no silly questions. You need to know things about your puppy. ALL the things you can. If that is us, please know that I am here for you through the good and not so good. Things happen. Life touches us with things we couldn't have planned for. When you become part of our extended collie family... we want to hear how you're doing.
Much love from our home to yours,
Suzi, Marc, Brittany, Lilli, Andrew and our Wind Whispers Collies
Can our anticipation of a reaction affect our dogs?
Our dogs are incredible beings… man's best friend. They can feel and detect hormone changes, bodily functions, low blood sugars, diseases, and so much more. They can even sense what a person was feeling at the time of death once they have passed on.
So… Can our fear of them reacting to fireworks, loud noises, sudden movements and more lead to them developing a fear themselves of some things? Of course it can. They sometimes know us better than we know ourselves. They can be a mirror to our feelings.
This is why it is so important to begin desensitization as part of our training so that both us and our dogs know alternatives to fear, a healthy reaction or non reaction.
I get asked all the time what we do to help our dogs not react to fireworks, loud noises and more. Over the years we learn and add things to our puppy program here to desensitize our puppies from a very young age. One of the first things pups are exposed to and hear are storms playing at night. When puppies are just weeks they are exposed to normal household noises like vacuum, pots and pans, washing dishes, dogs barking loudly, fireworks and music playing, loud bangs from dropping a noisy pot or pan, slapping two metal bowls together to music and more. Some of our new owners who have had previous dogs with noise sensitivities are so relieved. I tell them… If you don’t react or look for a reaction, he/she will less likely react. :) This is a great thing.
We have many dogs here, and would you like to know how many react when the neighbors go crazy with fireworks, gunshots and the like? NONE. Not one dog reacts to the noise. Charlie occasionally will bark “hey… did ya hear that?” and that is it. Ours sleep through them. It’s usually at bedtime hours and they are resting.
We do also realize that some dogs come to you with these fears, and all we can do it to recommend working on this using desitizing as part of your working to better your dogs life and your own as well. I had a Collie 25 years ago who was afraid of storms. Everytime one would come she would crawl into the bathtub until the storm passed. This was exhausting and worrisome. So when this type of training came out, I was so excited to see a solution, but also a preventative. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Thank you for reading and we hope this helps someone!
Preparing for Fireworks & Noises
This time of year always brings up the topic of dogs being afraid of Fireworks and other loud noises. We have found using desensitation is key to helping with this. Here is an article from UC Davis.
“To Shave or Not to Shave your Collie”
Written by Suzi Newman
A Collie has a beautiful Coat and they do shed. As such they are not the best breed choice for someone with Allergies. Also, both Rough and Smooth Coated Collies are a double coated breed. In a double-coated dog the first layer of fur, the undercoat, consists of fine, fluffy hairs that are short and close to the skin. This is the fur that keeps you busy sweeping and dusting. This is the fur that sheds. Not only is this layer great at plugging up your vacuum, it’s also excellent at trapping air and insulating your dog. The second layer consists of tougher texture guard hairs that don’t shed, rather they protect your pup from bugs and the sun.
Many ask if shaving their Collie in the summer will keep him/her cooler. The answer is a definite no. In fact, here are a few reasons why you wouldn’t want to shave your Collie:
You can De-shed your double coated dog instead! Your dog’s soft undercoat needs to be shed out, not shaved down. Double-coated dogs shed a lot. It’s natural and healthy. However, their undercoats need to come out, often and regularly. Undercoats are easily brushed out with an undercoat rake or removed with a high velocity dryer.
Mats can be worked through and the hair detangled with some cornstarch or detangler. Also, I have found that carefully clipping through the center of the mat releases the hairs and you can detangle easier. Gently brush the matted area with a soft bristle brush alternating directions. Place your fingers under the base but above the skin to help keep tugging the skin to a minimum when brushing. Sweep the brush sideways to break up the hair fibers. Make sure you do not bathe your dog until all matts are detangled.
Note: There may be medical reasons or rescues who will (in their best health interests) need to be shaved. In most cases the hair will grow back within 4-6 months when this is necessary.
Satin Ball Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to combine well.
Pinch out a small amount and using your hands and form it into a 1 to 1 ½ inch ball.
Continue until all the mixture is used. Place on wax papered Cookie sheet, and then into freezer. You can then put into freezer bags once frozen.
Note: These can be frozen and thawed as needed. To thaw, place them in the refrigerator overnight. Do not leave out on counter to thaw.
Ebony & Dar Litter
Marc & Suzi
Dori & Dar babies arrived 1-2-22
Loving them for life
Living with a very old dog means being aware that some of the things you'll do together may be the last.
Living with a very old dog means thinking ′′ this is their last summer ", ′′ this is their last July ", ′′ This could be the last morning".
Living with a very old dog means they bark at any noise at any time, not because they know what they are barking at, its they feel they need to bark and let us know.
Living with a very old dog means, you have to lift them up into the truck, the bed, the couch, the stairs.
Living with a very old dog means putting off commitments because it's important to be close to them.
Living with an old dog means we trip over them because they are so sound asleep they don't hear us approaching them.
Living with an old dog means accidents in the house, its ok they don't mean to do it.
Living with a very old dog means feeling guilty because you know you could have done more, giving them more runs, more travel, more hugs, more caresses, more everything.
I would like to say that living with a very old dog also puts us in the face of our own death, fragility, vulnerability.
Living with a very old dog means we got to experience life with a very old dog, which is one of the best joys on earth!
Our Danny Boy will be 14 on February 1. We celebrate each and every day we are blessed with. He follows us still from room to room. When he comes to us we stop whatever we are doing to give him hugs and cuddles. We love this boy always and forever to the moon and back. We can't even express the amount of Joy he has brought to our lives in his lifetime.
#cherishthemoments #lovingseniordogs #roughcollies #windwhispersfarm
Main part of this Shared from a facebook post by Analese Peters
Dar & Demi Boys Available
These puppies have the most amazing personalities, and temperament. They are calm and friendly. They will make a great addition to your family. These are Sable headed white, and Tri headed white boys. The puppies will never get CEA, PRA, CN, HUU, VWDII, DM, and are MDR1 n/n or n/m.
They are UKC Registered and come with their pedigree and parental testing.
If interested, please complete our application! <3 APPLY NOW
(waiting list given preference)
Hi We're Wind Whispers Farm, We are growing and changing all the time, and learn something new every day. We raise some of the best Collies around, and they are our family and first loves! Thank you for joining us! Marc