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Kuva (C) Tiia Hämäläinen

Introduction

I'm 33-year-old veterinarian and dog sports enthusiast from Ruutana, Southern Finland. I got my fist dog, border collie Sara (Moonlight Mania's Charisma) on 2005. With Sara I was introduced to dog sports world and tried almost all possible sports that can be done with a border collie. Three years later, 2008, I got my second border collie Step (Wildmagpie's Muffin). Sara and Step are both show line border collies, but since I got interested in herding, my third border collie Fisu (Tending Piraya) is a working line border collie.

 

I train and compete in agility, obedience, working trials and herding with my own dogs. I have been competing in a high level in both obedience and agility, Fisu has been a team member of Finnish Obedience Team in 2017, 2018 and 2021, and represented Finland in World Agility Open and Agility Nordic Championships. My dogs are my beloved family members and they follow me in everyday life wherever we may go. 

Breeding ethics

My goal in breeding is to produce healthy, easygoing border collies for different dog sports. Border collie is a herding breed and and in my opinion, the herding qualities are the reason why BC is such a good dog for other sports (agility, obedience, tracking, SAR etc) as well. I think it’s our responsibility as breeders to make sure that these herding qualities will be preserved in this breed. This is the reason why I want to try my own dogs in herding and evaluate their herding qualities even when I don't have a farm or own sheep. My goal is not to breed farm dogs or extremely fine quality herding dogs for competitions, but to make sure that the dogs I use in breeding, are interested in sheep and could be trained for basic herding tasks.  

 

For me a perfect border collie is a stable dog who is calm and relaxed in everyday life and always eager and ready to work together with owner. In my opinion, a border collie should be social to people and other dogs, willing to please and co-operate with its handler, and easily motivated with food and toy. My goal is not to breed the fastest agility dogs in the world, but stable, level-headed dogs that are nice and easy in everyday life and have great potential for different dog sports. A border collie should not be aggressive or very shy/sensitive. Border collies should be easily adjusting in different situations and find themselves comfortable in new environments. 

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Kuva (C) Emma Alve
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Kuva (C) Emmi Lavikka

About health

In border collies, there are some hereditary diseases that should be considered in breeding selection. Most significant health problems in border collies are osteochondrosis of shoulder joint, hip dysplasia, hereditary spinal defects (lumbosacral transitional vertebrae and spondylosis), idiopathic epilepsy, immune-mediated diseases and early adult onset deafness (EAOD). To be able to evaluate the risks for different health problems of a breeding combination, it is important to have objective information about health situation of breeding dog and its relatives. My breeding dogs comprehensively examined before breeding: x-rayed (hips, elbows, shoulders in age of 6 months and again as adult, spine), eyes are examined as puppies and adult, knees palpated for patellar luxation and DNA-tested with MyDogDNA panel. 

In my breeding work I will follow the instructions and recommendations given by Finnish Kennel Club and the breed club of border collies (SBCAK). I want to be completely open about health problems of my dogs and their relatives, I don't see any point in hiding problems and concealing unpleasant health results. In breeding I try to use only healthy dogs who are reproducing naturally. Since high genetic diversity is known to improve the health and lifetime length expectancy of the dog breed, I will avoid to use high inbreeding rate in my breeding combinations. 

background of my breeding work

I got interested in breeding of border collies for over 15 years ago. My first border collie Sara was outstanding dog with her character and working abilities, but due to health problems she was not able to be used in breeding. I have been following Finnish and European border collie lines for many years and collected a lot of information about working abilities and health in different families and lines. I have been competing in a high level in both obedience and agility and traveled a lot with my dogs, so I have seen lots of border collies both in Finland and abroad. A dog that is competing at international championship competitions abroad must have certain strength of mind to be able to do its best in such a situation, in a strange, stressful place with major distractions and loud noises, after traveling many days. My goal is to breed dogs that has this kind of strength and that are easily adjusted in situations that they might experience while competing in a high level. My personal demands for a breeding dog are very high, so it has taken over 15 years before I have been able to start my own breeding work. As a breeder I must be objective when I evaluate my dogs, every dog is not a good breeding dog. Every litter that I breed, is a litter that I find interesting and I would be happy to keep a puppy from my all litters. 

I'm a member of Finnish Kennel Club and Finnish border collie breed club SBCAK. I have been a member of breeding committee of SBCAK in 2012-2015 and 2017-2020. In the breeding committee of SBCAK I have been participating in creating the breeding guidelines and recommendations for border collies (JTO) in Finland. My both veterinary medicine publications consider hereditary diseases that are seen in border collies (primary narrow angle glaucoma and osteochondrosis dissecans).  

I have carried out the breeders basic class operated by Finnish Kennel Club in spring 2021. I got the kennel name For Example in october 2022. The idea behind the name "For Example" is my goal to be an exemplary breeder, who will proudly stand behind the breeding combinations that I plan. 

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Kuva (C) Emmi Lavikka
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