Hello friends! I have been breeding Rough Collie’s for many years, and in doing so, I’m always watching trends in breeding. What is a trend? It’s a general direction in which something is developing or changing.

In the Collie world, I’ve watched a trend where everyone wants a clear dog, free of all Collie anomalies. Isn’t this true? Wouldn’t you love to have a Collie dog who had Normal Non-Carrier test results on CEA, PRA, CN, HUU, VWDII, DM, MDR1? Many people agree. 

Today we are just going to touch on the subject of breeding and genetics. So… you are or want to be a breeder? You look for two genetically flawless dogs who’s testing results are clear like above… right? You want the best! 

What if I said No? Let me tell you why I said No.

As a breeder we have the responsibility to look at everything… the big picture.

Genetic testing is just a foundation to our breeding program. Genetic testing will not help at all if the dog doesn’t meet Collie breed standards which have been set for over 100 years. Genetics won’t help if your Collie is foul in temperament or lacks basic Collie traits and attributes. Finally, Genetics won’t help if we breed only the DNA flawless dogs as this limits our gene pool so much that we would have a genetically clean extinct line in very little time.

So… where is the Balance in a breeding program? How do we preserve and improve the collie breed? The answer is much simpler than you think. We breed those genetically clear dogs we have to? We find a Beautiful boy or girl who has Collie anomalies, and who compliments our choice for mating perfectly! Just as an example… let’s breed a genetically clear dog to a CEA Affected dog. The offspring would only have one copy of the CEA gene instead of two. This means we have improved this line, and those puppies would never get CEA.

If, in turn we breed this CEA Carrier puppy when it grows to a genetically clear Collie, now we have 50% Normal Non-Carrier, and 50% Normal Carrier who will never get CEA. You’ve then done a good thing for the breed. And it feels so good. This can apply to any anomaly; We are only a few generations from cleaning up any Collie line. Isn’t this amazing? You are not part of the solution to improving Collies.

In light of this, if you come to us for a breeding dog, we’re going to ask for your dog’s testing results. We are going to provide you the best dog for your breeding program, keeping in mind always improving and preserving the Collie breed. I always say Progress, not Perfection. This is how we grow. 

One thing I can’t stress enough is that we don’t want to eliminate dogs from our breeding programs just because of their testing results. We want to improve them! See this beautiful Smooth girl on the left? She is CEA Mild Affected, and MDR1 n/M. So, I breed her to one of our Normal Non-Carrier boys and she throws Normal eyed Carrier (1 gene) who are amazing!! Talk to a mentor and learn how to make clean up your lines. We are here to help.

Note: We have just used CEA as an example. This applies to ALL Collie anomalies. We (you and I) can make a difference!

Genetic Testing and Why
An article detailing why it’s so important for Scottish Collies to be genetically tested.


Reducing Genetic Disorders
Three Key Strategies to Reduce Genetic Disorders in Dogs
By Carol Beuchat, PhD


Does a Registry Matter?
We have learned over the last several decades that closed registries are detrimental to the health of a breed.


Denise Maher
I reside in the Black Hills of South Dakota, with my husband and three children. I am a founding member and the current president of the Scottish Collie Preservation Society. I live on acreage with horses, barn cats, and three dogs.  I have been a dog trainer for our local county 4-H chapter and have served as an agility judge for our local county dog shows. Titus is my first Scottish Collie, although I have owned other herding breeds, and I am continually impressed with this breed. I have worked with Titus in a wide range of activities to include agility, hobby farming, herding, trick training, barn hunt and promotional visits to the local youth communities. I have challenged him to test the versatility of this breed and he has performed well in every aspect. I am looking forward to a second Scottish Collie next year. My knowledge of SCPS is extensive as a founding member.

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