Breeding ethics from Luna Tale

Depending on what kind of dog fits your personality most and depending on each individual interpretation of the breed standard, we all have different opinions on what a “perfect” Border Collie looks like and how he behaves. I don’t think it is wise to judge a dog pure on its appearance or on the bloodline he descends from. No bloodline is ever a guarantee for a “good” or “bad” dog. If a dog is different from what I will describe as “my perfect dog”, this does not mean that this dog is not a good dog, it might very well be the perfect dog for somebody else !

My " Perfect" Border Collie :
My criteria for the ideal Border Collie are based on things that are important for me and the dogs I work with. My overview is the result of meeting Border Collies with all kinds of different pedigrees. My goal is to breed a versatile, healthy, intelligent Border Collie, with a lot of drive to work and an open character so that the dog can enjoy itself in a lot of dog sports.

Choosing my dogs to breed :
Temperament and health are of utmost importance. A very handsome dog or an astonishing working dog that isn’t healthy does not give you or the breed any added value. On the other side, if the dog is perfectly healthy and is a very good looking dog but he does not work in the manner that I would like to see the pups work, I will not choose the dog, either bitch or dog, as parent of a litter. And then there is the sad fact that there is no guarantee that the selected dogs, with great qualities, will pass those qualities on to the next generation. I do realize that it’s still an open question if the “perfect” dog or bitch will give his/her qualities to the next generation.

Temperament :
After getting in touch with all kinds of dog sports it is clear to me that a good, versatile dog needs a lot of qualities to excel in sports like agility, herding, doggy dance… I like my dogs to always be willing to work with a high level of concentration but without being nervous. Titles, won by the parents, will not always be passed through to the pups but I do appreciate some sport results from dogs that are behind the Luna Tale bloodline. For me it’s important that dogs are willing to work in all kinds of circumstances. Besides, the owner of a sporting dog, looking back at the dog’s career, will always have much more to tell about his dog than the owner of a pet dog.

Health :
I want perfect health for the Luna Tale dogs. I thoroughly investigate the medical background of the dogs I’m interested in, as well as that of their brothers, sisters and other related dogs. In my opinion not only the hips should be scored for hip dysplasia but also the elbows and shoulders should be tested to see if they are clear of dysplasia signs. Eye affections like CEA, PRA, CL etc… are of course of equal importance.
Now a days we have MyDogDNA that has 112 DNA tests, that we also include in our breeding program.
I do not think it’s sufficient to only test the dogs that are bred from but also their siblings to get more information. You do not get anywhere by holding back information; you do not help your own dogs nor the people who are interested in using dogs from your bloodline to breed with.

Puppy's :
When the Luna Tale pups are really young I focus on some important “socializing” aspects. The pups will get acquainted with all kinds of domestic noises like the vacuum cleaner, the door-bell… and so on. When they are 3-4 weeks of age they move to the outdoor puppy-pen where they can, accompanied by their mother, get used to noises like singing birds, cars, bicycles, the sound of playing children, lorries… The pups have a lot of toys at their disposal. They also get acquainted with cats and other grown up dogs at our home. When they reach the age of 6 weeks we start going out on a leash on a regular basis.

Owner selection :
To select the right owner, to make sure the pup ends up with the family that suits him/her best, is almost as hard as taking the correct decisions for breeding. It’s important that a sensitive pup does not end up with a noisy, inconsequent owner. On the other hand it might also not be a good idea to give a real dominant pup to a calm, mild person. I believe that every Luna Tale pup deserves a home where he/she feels loved, gets fed and cared for in a proper way but also gets enough “work”, whatever this can be. I do not expect all the owners to compete in one sport or another, like I do. I only like to see that the pups can canalize their endless energy in something meaningful.
A Luna Taler, like every other dog, must get its freedom and should be able to run free, every day. I’m really interested in the development of the pups and I like to stay in touch with the owners.

Conclusion :
I know, from experience, that it is impossible to please everybody. Whatever decision you take for breeding or training dogs, there will always be somebody who disagrees, for whatever reason. Luna Tale wants to improve the breed, certainly not increase the number of Border Collies ! ! ! This is my point of view, and I will certainly not state that it is the only correct one.