Often, when we think of getting a Collie, it begins in a cloud of nostalgia, remembering back to our grandma’s beloved Collie on the farm, or the one we had growing up when Collies really did know what to do without being told. Uploading that sentimentality to modern life is often what begins the search for the perfect collie to take us back to when life was blessedly simple.
And so it begins: we see this dog in our imagination, we think about him, we romanticize the day he comes home. We turn to the internet, combing every nook and cranny looking for any clue as to where we might find him. We join Collie groups on Facebook, friend other Collie fans and ask for recommendations of reputable breeders. We put an enormous amount of energy to the task of finding The One because we are already utterly smitten and devoted.
As novice breeders and long time dog owners here at Rosewyn, we’re not experts, but we have learned a few important (and painful) lessons about buying a puppy. Good breeding is essential, but it isn’t the defining potential of your dog’s destiny.
We Provide the Paint, But You are the Artist
So often, we think that if we pick the right breeder, puppy life will automagically be perfect. This might be true if we were raising unicorns. In the real world, though, it doesn’t work like that. A good breeder is more like an investment, not an outcome.
Think of yourself as an artist. Every artist knows that the paint is simply potential; if you do nothing with it, you don’t have anything to show for it except for dried paint. A true artist appreciates quality pigments, and is excited and motivated by the possibility and potential, but he understands that it is his task to create a masterpiece on the canvas. The bright colors of love, care, and relationship; the careful brushstrokes of training; the step back for observation and discernment; and the inserting of regular pauses to bring rest, joy, and perspective to the big picture…this is how to create a beautiful dog that is a joy to everyone he meets. It is this understanding – your love, your training, your stewardship – which has the biggest influence on life with your dog. Our job is to do everything in our power to maximize every puppy’s potential; your job is to make the most of that.
At Rosewyn, we observe our dogs for a long time, in all kinds of situations to determine their worthiness for breeding. We run all the genetic testing under the sun (and then some) to make sure that we’re producing the healthiest dogs we possibly can. We ensure that the dogs we breed are solid working dogs, or at the very least, have real instinct that will be useful to people, and they are as beautiful to look at as they are to own. We provide excellent nutrition, quality veterinary care, and complementary care when appropriate. We are constantly looking for ways to make our home safer and less toxic for people and pets, such as using woolen dryer balls instead of dryer sheets and avoiding harsh chemicals in our home and on our property. We raise our pups the Avidog way and spend eight solid weeks in constant observation and care of the litter. In other words, we do our absolute best to raise the absolute best puppies that we possibly can.
What do you imagine your dog’s life to look like? Is it a dated print on your doctor’s waiting room wall?
Or are you after the masterpiece?
This article originally appeared on our Firewick Scottish Collies website on March 12, 2018. We have since changed our kennel name to Rosewyn, and this article reflects the update. It’s still the same us, though.