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 (Diane Stirling - Working Collie Breeder in Minnesota)

FAQ - StirlingCollies

Rev 22:12-14

"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

(Updated Periodically-last updated 2016)

Q. Is the Collie a good dog for children?

A. Yes, Collies are excellent with children. They are very gentle, and are quick to learn. Collies are known as the guardians, or keepers of children. If you take your collie on walks, they will herd the family, and worry about keeping everyone together when you are walking down the road. They adore their families and always watch over and protect them. They are a Working Dog, and bred for the purposes of Breeding, Guarding, Herding, Security, Service and Therapy work.  We always suggest reading up on "Collies" to educate yourself about the breed, if new to this breed of dog. You can check out the website, search for any breed description to learn/find out what type of breed is best for your situation.


Q. What is included in the price of my Collie?

A. Price includes: the puppy/adult Collie (or puppy/adult Collie/Shepherd mix), AKC Registration paperwork (where applicable), Vet Check, CERF Exam (when needed), *1 Year Health Guarantee, Interstate Health Certificate (when needed), Acclimation Certificate (when needed), Shots, Worming and sometimes a Rabies Vaccination (dependent upon the age of the puppy).*We offer a *Lifetime Free Replacement Puppy Health Guarantee if your puppy/adult Collie/Collie-Mix is kept on Life's Abundance Premium Health Food for Pets that are ordered through: or one of our other websites, or NuVet Supplements that are ordered through:  Please check before ordering your Pet Food to make sure you are signing up under the right website, or Rep. Id# for Life's Abundance.*Lifetime Free Replacement Puppy - this does not include the vet check, cerf exam, shots, worming, transportation, carrier, puppy's care/food, or travel kit fees.  This Health Guarantee is for the health of your Collie, or Collie-Shepherd Mix, and does not cover accidental death, neglect, abuse, diseases, or injuries that your dog may sustain while being a part of your family.  We believe that Life's Abundance Pet Foods and NuVet Supplements are a great combination to provide your dog with optimal health, so that your Collie, or Collie-Shepherd mix can live a long and happy life with your family!  It doesn't cover allergic reactions to certain drugs or medications, viruses, bacterial, cancers, or fungal infections that your dog might come in contact with.  This Lifetime Free Replacement Puppy Health Guarantee does transfer to new owners (if you are unable to care for your dog), when no lapse in the use of these products occurs. 


Q. Are you able to transport your Collies anywhere in the U.S.A., Canada, or Int'l?

A. Yes, we regularly use the airlines and/or ground transportation. Sometimes this is dependent upon the destination and/or weather as to which way we will deliver your puppy. We desire to provide the safest route possible, with the least amount of stress for your new Collie. We have personalized delivery service to your home for a fee, and do meet families en-route, if preferred.  We require face to face contact with our puppies, or you must designate someone to authorize the approval for the adoption of your puppy. On November 18 2013, the USDA has changed the Animal Welfare Act.  Stirling Collies is no longer able to ship a dog/puppy to you “sight unseen”, if it is only a pet without a "working purpose".  Stirling Collies is now required to physically be in the same “location” as the “buyer” and the dog/puppy. While Stirling Collies has always encouraged families to come to the facility, I realize this is not always possible. I do have a few options available.  I apologize for any inconvenience that the new regulations create for families, however in order to stay in compliance with the USDA regulations I have had to alter my shipping policies.


Q.   What does this mean for each of my families and their potential dog/puppy?

A.   Stirling Collies can no longer ship a dog/puppy to you the “buyer” that I have not previously met.  See explanations below:


Q. So, you ask…  How can I get my dog/puppy shipped to me?

A. These are the conditions in which I can ship a dog/puppy to you according to the new USDA regulation:

1) If you come out to the facility to meet with me and the dog/puppy, then I can ship the dog/puppy to you, when it is ready to go home.  You will need to schedule an appointment.  Usually I will schedule appointments only after the puppies eyes are open and they are starting to move around a bit.

2) If someone acts on your behalf as the “buyer”, and meets with me, and the dog/puppy, I can ship the dog/puppy to you. (The USDA allows that the “buyer” and the “ultimate owner” are not necessarily the same person).  Our documents explain this option, which will be provided after a potential dog/puppy selection has occurred by you.

3) If a representative from Stirling Collies flies with the dog/puppy to your home city/state, the representative can meet you anywhere as long as the “buyer”, “seller” and “animal” are all in the same place at the same time, which fulfills the new regulations requirement for “face to face” sale.


Q. Are there other options for getting my dog/puppy home?

A. Yes. You can fly out and I can meet you at a local airport with your dog/puppy for you to take home with you. Contact your airline for rules & regulations on taking a dog/puppy on the plane as “carry on”, or “checking in” as cargo.I still offer “Door to Door” service.  A representative of Stirling Collies will provide all transportation services from our facility to your home. A representative of Stirling Collies will drive or fly the dog/puppy as requested.   The costs will vary depending on each destination.


Q. How old does my puppy have to be before it can be delivered by the airlines, or ground transportation?

A. The puppy is required to be at least 8 weeks old.


Q.  How does the selection process work - If you would like to have the ability to choose first...?

A.  If you would like to see photos of our upcoming litters before they are posted on our website, a $100. is required.  The $100. DOES apply towards the purchase of your puppy.  The $100. is non-refundable, but is completely transferable to any upcoming or future litters.  Once a litter is born, I will send out photos to each family, that have placed their $100. deposit.  These families have the option of selecting their puppy first, if interested, before any selection is possible from the rest of our waiting list families.  I usually allow a few days for review of photos before I allow other families on our waiting lists to choose.


Q. How do I reserve a puppy/adult Collie, or Shollie?

A. A deposit of 1/2 the total purchase price is required to hold any puppy/adult until delivery. The remaining balance is required to be paid in full at least 7 days before the transport date, unless a direct deposit is made. All funds need to clear, once the puppy has been adopted, before delivery.


Q. Is my deposit transferable if I should change my mind and want a different puppy from one of your litters?

A. Yes, the deposit is transferable to any of our available puppies/adult collies and upcoming litters.


Q. Is my deposit completely refundable if the puppy/adult Collie, or Shollie does not pass the health check, or cerf exam?

A. Yes, your deposit is completely refundable, or transferable to a different Collie, if the puppy/adult Collie or Shollie does not pass the health check, or cerf exam.


Q. Is my deposit completely refundable if I change my mind on purchasing a puppy from an upcoming litter, or available litter, after I have reserved it?

A. No. If you change your mind after reserving a puppy, or potential puppy from an upcoming litter or available litter, there will be a non-refundable fee of at least 1/2 the amount of your puppy, up to the full amount of your puppy, depending on when your cancellation occurs.  If you change your mind after your puppy reaches 6 weeks of age, all payments are non-refundable.  If you had already paid for transportation fees, and your puppy was not shipped yet, these might be refundable to you.  Your deposits are completely transferable to a different puppy, if you decide to wait for a future litter, due to circumstances in your family.  Please make sure you are looking for a puppy before putting a deposit down on one. If you are a minor, I require the parents to notify me that the purchase is approved. We have placed certain policies in force within our business, to assist us in placing our puppies into "forever" homes. If every family was to place a deposit down on an upcoming litter, or puppy, and then change their mind because "another puppy came along sooner from somewhere else", "decided to wait", (for examples), a lot of additional work is then required to find new loving homes for the puppy(ies) left behind. We plan our breedings around families that are on our wish lists. This is one of the reasons that I have a FAQ's page to assist families before purchasing a puppy. Our desire is for each family to be "sure about their decision, and committed to their puppy" once deciding on purchasing one from an upcoming litter, or one that is already available.  Your deposit is transferable to a different litter, if you choose to wait for a different puppy at a later date.


Q. What forms of payment do you accept?

A. We accept cash, paypal, personal check, cashier's check, money orders, direct deposit into our checking account and visa/mastercard/discover.  Please make your checks payable to Stirling Collies. Email us for our complete mailing address. We are located in Clearwater, Minnesota.


Q. I don’t want to take possession of my puppy at 8 weeks old. Can I wait until it is a little bit older?

A. Yes, we occasionally will make arrangements to hold onto puppies/adults for longer periods of time; a small fee is involved.


Q. What type of "Canned" Dog Food do you use?

A.  Life's Abundance does have 2 flavors of canned food available for pets that love canned food.  We feed our collies Life's Abundance Dry Puppy/Dog Food.  We are happy that we have found Life's Abundance Premium Health Food For Pets!  It is Formulated by the former HOLISTIC Veterinarian, Dr. Jane Bicks along with a team of industry experts, and includes only the finest ingredients!  NO recalls like so many other brands have had on the market!  They also offer a 30 day money-back guarantee if not delighted! 


Q. What type of "Hard" Dog Food do you recommend?

A.  We recommend what we are using, which is Life's Abundance Premium Health Food For Pets. As a former holistic veterinarian, Dr. Jane Bicks (retired in 2020), along with a team of industry experts, formulated many of the product recipes still in use today by the company, which includes only the finest ingredients, to ensure the health and well-being of dogs (and cats).  This means a healthier Collie / Collie-mix.  It contains no wheat, corn, or artificial preservatives.  Their holistically formulated foods are made with an exclusive "fast-cook" process, to lock in natural flavors and nutrition, in order to help build a strong foundation for a long and healthy life for your pet.  They eat less, poop less, and their stools are firmer - it is very cost effective and is delivered right to your home!  We will provide a sample of dog food with your Collie/Collie-Mix when it is delivered. We don't recommend switching, but if you intend to switch brands you may do so gradually. This helps to minimize loose stools and stomach upset. We stand behind their products with a 30 day money-back guarantee, if not satisfied.You can order Life's Abundance for your Collie/Collie-Mix at: or check with me.  Life's Abundance: 22 reasons for feeding it to your pet!  Here's why:  Or, you can call your orders in at:  877-387-4564, mention "Stirling Collies", or 20024479.

1. No corn, No wheat

2. Our foods contain lecithin which is a derivative of soy.  We do NOT use soy as a protein source.

3. Not sold in stores - Life's Abundance Premium, or High Quality products are generally delivered within 4-6 weeks of being made - usually ground UPS shipping fee is $8.85 for multiple bags.  Save more on Automatic shipments to your door!

4. Made in small frequent batches

5. Formulated by a former HOLISTIC Vet, Dr. Jane Bicks who devoted her life to nutrition (Pharmaceutical background) - she won 3 presidential award citations, has written 4 books, has been on numerous tv shows, and she opened the largest animal rescue shelter in America.

6. Made in the USA:  Life's Abundance makes every effort to source their ingredients from the USA for their dietary supplements, pet foods and treats, pet supplements and pet care products.  Foremost is their commitment to quaity and safety...  all other factors, including price and country of origin, come later.  At present, the majority of their ingredients are source domestically.  However, there are a few ingredients (for example, monk fruit, taurine and pomegranate extract) that they source from Asian countries, including India and China.  Rest assured, they use only a handful of trusted USA suppliers who from time to time import this small minority of items. 

7. No recalls

8. Company in business for over 25 years

9. Manufacturing facility is APHIS certified

10. No by-products

11. We HAVE probiotics  

12. We HAVE chelated minerals - which increases absorption

13. We HAVE antioxidants, natural enzymes, etc.

14. Farm raised Cat Fish - test for pcbs, mercury, arsenic, dioxins, lead, etc.

15. Nutrient Dense:  Feed less - poop less

16.  Food naturally keeps for 1 year - no artificial preservatives, or flavors, or colors

17. The Treats are made in a Human bakery

18. The Supplements are manufactured in a Human Pharmaceutical Plant

19.  30 day Money Back Guarantee on ALL our products! 

20.  Our Canned Food - The chicken and crab does have organic chicken!

21.  Obtain Wholesale pricing - when placed on Automatic shipment orders

22.  Networking Business Opportunity for the Pet Lover and Pet Professional - check out our Opportunity page - watch the short videos. When you join my team, you will be able to obtain wholesale pricing on everything, regardless if you autoship, or not, and obtain commissions from your own food!


Q.  Do you offer your dogs something hard to chew on?

A.  I prefer that our collies have something hard to chew on to help keep their teeth clean (I still believe they need to have something hard to chew on periodically, so we provide them with raw beef soup bones).  There are many healthy chew treats on the market. Through trial and error, we have discovered a few treats that our collies adore (Horse hooves, and Porky Puffs are their favorite, among the standard soup bones, of course).  For Healthy Delicious Treats, please check out:  Life's Abundance Dog Treats! 


Q. Do you recommend any Vitamin Supplements for Collie puppies, or older Collies?

A. We recommend Life's Abundance Wellness Food Supplements.  It will help bridge the gap between average and optimal health.  They are a chewable tablet with a rich, natural flavor, supplying select nutrients from wholesome foods like poultry liver, pineapple, cranberry, carrot, egg, tomato pomace, alfalfa and flaxseed.

We also recommend NuVet Plus for Puppies/Adults, and for older collies, NuJoint Plus. Allergies, skin and coat problems, arthritis, tumors, cancer, cataracts, strokes and heart disease are just a few of the 50 major diseases caused by free radicals. Unfortunately these diseases lead to suffering and premature death in pets.The Veterinarians, Physicians, Pharmacists, and Nutritional Scientists of NuVet Labs have blended a precise combination of "human grade", natural vitamins, minerals, herbs and antioxidants proven to combat the ravages of free radicals.We highly recommend continuing to keep your puppy on these vitamins. These powerful antioxidants added to their diet, will give your puppy a tremendous boost to the immune system. This means your puppy's skin and coat should NOT develop problems and it will have a strong defense against over 50 diseases, as well as extending the life span of your puppy. It is so important to build a strong immune system to prevent things from happening and maintaining overall good health. NuVet Plus will save you from having expensive vet bills. These vitamins can not be bought in stores. By using my Breeder order code #58606, you will be allowed to purchase NuVet from the company directly at about 45% less than vets charge. They also have an "auto ship" program that will save you an additional 15%.We encourage you to order your puppy's vitamins before picking up your puppy, since the samples that are sent home with him/her will only last for a few days.For more information about NuVet Labs, and their other products:, or 1800-474-7044. We HIGHLY recommend them, as we have SEEN fantastic results!***We offer a lifetime free replacement puppy, from one of our future litters, if your puppy is kept on daily NuVet supplements that are ordered through and Life's Abundance Pet Foods, and does not reach life expectancy of 10-12 years.  This does not include the vet check, cerf exam, shots, worming, or transport fees.***  Restrictions apply to our lifetime free replacement option - see above.


Q. Do you recommend MicroChipping?

A. We highly recommend MicroChipping your puppy/adult collie for their health and safety. Many collies are lost, or stolen each year, never to be reunited with their families due to lack of proper identification. Collars can be removed, and tatoo's can be altered.  MicroChip is a safe way to permanently identify your collie as belonging to "you". If your Collie is found by an animal shelter, they can contact you immediately. If you intend to have your collie OFA certified, and Cerf certified, a MicroChip is required. We offer this service at a very affordable price, usually less then what a Vet would charge.


Q. Are your Collies MicroChipped?

A. Yes, all of our Collies are MicroChipped for their health/safety, and for AKC proper identification purposes.


Q. Do you participate in the rescue of abandoned and owner-relinquished purebreds, or broker other breeder’s litters?

A. We prefer to find good homes for any/all Collies, instead of allowing them to end up in dog shelters/pounds/or homeless, due to a variety of circumstances. Yes, we will help other breeder’s find homes for their AKC litters and/or adult AKC collies. We do not authorize, or suggest euthanizing any puppy/adult Collie.  We do have a “wish list” for notifying a family if a dog becomes available that suits their description.


Q. Do you breed your females every heat cycle?

A.We usually do not breed every heat cycle - usually ever other, sometimes longer. We feel our females need time to recover and just have fun being a part of our family and have time to do the jobs they were bred to do. When we have a large wish list, we then decide on which Sire and Dam to pair off and breed, in hopes of obtaining that particular "lineage-look, or color", while trying to remain true to the AKC Collie conformation. We continue to strive to improve our collies, while maintaining the tempernment and health of each litter.


Q. Why do you breed Collie/Shepherd Mix Puppies or "Shollies"?

A. The reasons we breed Collie/Shepherd Mix puppies, or "Shollies" on occasion is a lot of families will trust having a mixed breed, rather then a purebred dog for a working family companion; or they can not afford the price of a purebred, but like the Collie personality. Both breeds are VERY smart, loyal and loving.  They are also a working dog. They are bred with the purposes of search/rescue, service or therapy work, guarding, security or breeding.  They have a dual coat, so do well in all types of weather.  The strand of hair is usually thicker, which lays nicer, less tangling then a Collie.  Life span is usually longer then a Collie, due to the Shepherd lineage.  12-15 year average.  We plan our Collie/Shepherd Mix, "Shollie" breedings very carefully, once we have a wish list. That way, most of the puppies are promised a home that is waiting for them, before they are even born. 


Q.  What is your visitation policy?

A.  Due to the risk of diseases such as the Parvovirus, Coccidia, Canine Influenza, etc., we've had to change our visitation policy.  We've always taken people at their word that they had not visited another kennel for at least 14 days prior to visiting our facility, but we know that is not always the case.  We have learned that other breeders have had outbreaks of various illnesses at their facilities and protecting our puppies from illness is FAR more important to us than "making a sale".  With this in mind, we've decided to change our visitation policy, and not allow people to just "window shop".  Puppies are very fragile when so young, especially before they've had all their vaccinations as their immune system is just developing.  So we've decided to change our practices and only allow people that have placed a deposit to come to view our puppies.  This way we're assured that no one has first been to someone else's breeding facility where they could potentially carry illnesses with them to our place.  After a deposit is placed, you are free to set up an appointment to view the puppies and choose your pick, if you haven't already.  We are not a Puppymill, we have nothing to hide.  We just value our puppies and need to protect them from diseases and parasites, etc.


Q. Do you require a visit to your facility before the purchase of a puppy?

A. You are required to visit the puppy you would like to adopt, or have someone, that you approve of, visit and visually approve of your puppy. You are welcome to visit our facility to see where the puppies are born, and how they’re being raised, after you have placed a deposit down for one. Just let us know if you would like to stop by and visit our Collies and our facility. We can then schedule an appointment when they are old enough.  Our Collies are our family, and yet have jobs to do… The puppies are played with, socialized, and nurtured until arriving in their new homes. We desire our puppies to become members of their new family and fit right in, and become the working dog they were bred to be…


Q. Do you require all non-show quality puppies that are for sale to be spayed/neutered?

A. Usually, working non-show quality, or pet quality puppies are priced at a spay/neuter price. Spaying or neutering is done (at the appropriate age) by the new owner.  We recommend waiting until your puppy is at least a year old before spaying or neutering.  Many studies have shown that it is better to wait until the dog is fully developed first, and we agree with these studies.


Q. What is the difference between Full and Limited AKC registration?

A. AKC stands for the American Kennel Club. Full AKC registration means you are allowed to participate in all AKC sanctioned events. Full AKC registration also means that future offspring produced can be registered with the AKC.  Limited AKC registration means the puppy comes from fully registered, purebred parents and can be registered with the AKC. Limited registration does not allow for any offspring produced by "limited" AKC registered dogs to be eligible for AKC registration. Limited participation will be allowed in some AKC sanctioned events.


Q. If for some reason we are unable to keep the dog after we purchase it, do you require the dog to be returned to your facility?

A. If your family is unable to keep the dog, and if we have space available, we will take the dog in, and find it a new home. NO REFUNDS ARE GIVEN. Each family does have the option of finding a new home for their dog on their own, to try and recoup their expenses (updating Stirling Collies is required). If the family is not interested in taking the time to screen all new potential families for their dog, the dog is required to be brought back to our Facility. Dogs are not allowed to be given to the Humane Society, or Shelters as an option.  We do not authorize, or suggest euthanizing any puppy/adult collie, or collie/shepherd mix.  We do charge a surrender fee of $100. to help offset the costs of trying to find your dog a new home.  If shipping is required to return your Collie to Stirling Collies, these fees are the responsibility of you, the owner. 


Q. Do you sell/consign your AKC Collies to pet shops, or research facilities?

A. No we only sell our Collies to individuals/families.


Q. How do I obtain information about showing my Collie in conformation or obedience?

A. The AKC website has a wealth of information on Dog Shows. The three types of dog shows are specialty, group and all-breed. Remember, your AKC registered Collie must be at least six months old to enter a show. Dogs that are spayed or neutered are only eligible to be shown in stud dog and brood bitch classes.


Q. What is the standard size of the Female and Male Collie?

A. The standard size of a Female Collie is 22”-24” tall and 50-65lbs. The standard size of the Male Collie is 24”-26” tall and 60-75lbs. The larger, what I call “Farm” Collies can/do grow to over 100lbs. The “Lassie” used to be bred larger, as the child actors matured, which is one reason why we see the larger Collies around today.


Q. What is the difference between a “smooth coat”, and a “rough coat”?

A. The Smooth Coat Collie has a short, hard, dense, flat coat, with an abundance of undercoat. The Rough Coat Collie is the “Lassie” look, or longhaired Collie.


Q. What colors do Collies come in?

A. Collies come in a variety of colors.1. Sable/White is predominately sable (a fawn sable color of varying shades from light gold to dark mahogany) with white markings usually on the chest, neck, legs, feet and the tip of the tail.2. Tri-Color is predominantly black, carrying white markings as in a “Sable/White and has tan shadings on and about the head and legs.3. Blue Merle is a mottled or “marbled” color predominantly blue-grey and black with white markings as in the “Sable/White” and usually has tan shadings as in the “Tri-color”.4. Sable Merle is a mottled or “marbled” color predominantly brownish merling on the body or head and may or may not remain at maturity, with white markings as in the “Sable/White”.5. White is a predominantly white, preferably with a sable, tri-color or blue merle markings.


Q. What does “Wf” mean?

A. “Wf” is an abbreviation for “white factored”. White factored dogs usually have a large white frill, a heavy white tail tip, possibly a body splash of white hairs and white extending upward from their hind feet over the stifle and will meet the white underbody.


Q. What is a “Tri-factored Sable”, or “Tf”?

A. Sable Collies carrying the tricolor gene in conjunction with the dominant sable gene.


Q. What products do you recommend for fleas and ticks?

A.  This is the BEST product on the market and is sold worldwide, with delivery in 3 days! Website:  AMAZING and SAFE - NO CHEMICAL product to protect against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and all other external parasites.  This disc lasts for 4 years!  I even use them on my horses and I wear one - love this product! 


Other safe products:  website:

Some of the more common oils that act as flea and insect repellents are: lavender, citronella, cedar, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass.


A sweet-smelling, all-purpose insect repellent, lavender essential oil performed well in recent studies as both a tick deterrent and a method of preventing tick eggs from hatching. Additionally, Ohio State University recommends it for controlling fleas. A 2007 South African study found that formulas containing diluted lavender at rates of 10 to 20 percent lavender performed well as tick repellents when compared artificial DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) sprays.



Oil of citronella naturally repels insects such as mosquitoes, black flies, fleas and ticks, therefore, preventing bites. Citronella oil is a natural, non-toxic alternative to chemical insect repellents such as DEET , therefore, is usually the preferred choice. A combination of the citronella oil and cedarwood oil also helps to repel mosquitoes.

A wonderfully fragrant oil that provides a pheromone interruption agent that impairs the insects mental capacity and repels them.  I use cedar shavings around our dogs kennel areas.

An oil high in menthol - it repels fleas, spiders and even mice.

While better known for its anti bacterial properties it is a great natural pest deterrent as well.

Deters fleas and especially tick. According to Ohio State University. Lemongrass oil contains a pleasing citrus scent that is useful in controlling oily scalps and skin conditions, making it suitable for use on dogs with skin conditions in lotion, spray, soap and shampoo formulas.

Please use ONLY therapeutic grade essential oils . I only recommend and personally use Young Living Essential oils and products as the are pure and safe enough to be taken internally - I don't know of any other essential oils that are as pure.

Essential oil formulations will need to be applied more frequently than synthetic pesticides, but the benefits far outweigh the exposure to harsh chemical smells and toxic side effects. They are great for misting your dog's legs (and your own) any time that you go out where fleas would be likely to be found.

Basic instructions for a flea, tick or mosquito spray for dogs:
Up to 10 drops or so of any of the insect repelling oils or combination of the same in a 32 oz spray bottle. Shake well and mist your dog daily. This may also be sprayed on bedding or around doorways and baseboards in your home to keep insects out.
Q. How do I house-train my puppy?
A. I prefer to use the Crate-Training method. A Collie, (as with any dog) would prefer to not mess where they sleep. If you can confine them in a small area, they will then notify you when they need to go. Give them the command, “outside” and take them outside to the area that you want them to go. If your puppy wets/poops in your home, wipe it up with a paper towel, and then place the paper towel outside where you want the puppy to go next time. Each time you take your puppy outside, immediately bring him/her over to the paper towel, and give the command, “go potty”. Remember to bring your puppy outside right away after eating, sleeping, and playing. Collies learn very fast, so don’t worry their bladders will become stronger, and they will be able to hold it for longer periods of time. This too shall pass… before you know it – potty training is done…

Q. What books do you recommend to read about Collies, or just dogs in general?
A. * The Collie Breeder's Handbook - by the Collie Club of America
* The Care Of The Collie-Written For The Amateur - by F.W. Avery
* Collie - by Samatha Moore
* Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats - by K. R. Schultze
* The Collie: Its Show Points - by Thomas Baker
* The Nature of Animal Healing - by Martin Goldstein, D.V.M.
* How To Raise And Train A Collie - by Sarah Barbaresi
* Purely Positive Training Companion to Competition - by Sheila Booth
* Collie Genetics And Breeding - by Dr. Lee Ford
* Collies As Pets - by Madeline Miller
* The Collie A Veterinary Reference For The Professional Breeder - by Sharon Lynn Vanderlip
* What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines - by Catherine O’Driscoll
* Training and Care Of Collies - by Edwin Andrew Rogers
* Emergency First Aid For Dogs - By Tamara S. Shearer, D.V.M.

Q.  What is the Socialization Technique called, "Rule of 7"?

A.  Dr. Carmen Battaglia created the Rule of 7’s as a guide to increase a puppy’s exposure.   By the time your puppy is 14 weeks old (never to late to start though, if you adopted an older puppy/adult dog.  It will take an older puppy/dog a lot longer to adjust, but it will help to develop a better companion.
1.    Been on 7 different types of surfaces:  carpet, tile, linoleum, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, and wood chips.
2.    Played with 7 different types of objects:  rope toys, plush toys, big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, squeaky toys, paper or cardboard items, metal items, and sticks.
3.    Been in 7 different locations:  front & back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, kids room, living room, hallway, Vet’s office, groomers.
4.    Met and played with 7 new people:  include children and older adults, someone walking with a cane or in a wheelchair or walker, someone tall, someone in a hat.
5.    Been exposed to 7 challenges:  climb on a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, go in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around a fence.
6.    Eaten from 7 different containers:  metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, human hands, pie plate, tin pan, frying pan, Frisbee, elevated bowl.
7.    Eaten in 7 different locations:  crate, yard, exercise pen, basement, laundry room, living room, bathroom, backyard.
Each new, positive experience will help your puppy flourish into a confident companion.  Allow your puppy to learn passively by letting it explore on its own, but make sure your puppy is 100% supervised and in a controlled environment.  Do not use any harsh training methods with a puppy, because you will break the bond of trust. Training should be fair and fun.


Q.  What is our response to the Report (lie) that was told about Stirling Collies in 2009?
A.  THIS STORY IS FALSE. Her collie is a "puppy", only 2 1/2 months (8-10 weeks) old. She was told about the "cosmetic" umbilical hernia repair, and it was disclosed on her Animal disclosure form that she has in her possession. The collie puppy was given a clean bill of health from the vet before transporting her to her new family. An interstate health certificate is required in order to ship with the airlines. The family was given the option of returning the puppy to the breeder, but it didn't work with the time frame they were hoping for. Her husband was the one recommending to kill the puppy and not spend any money on her for training. They live in a 2 million dollar plus home and didn't want to take the time to properly train her. The wife, Deanna, was upset because she missed her "luncheon with her friends" as she had to bring their Boston Terrier to the vet, due to the dogs fighting. The puppy did not get along with the Boston Terrier, of which they had figured this out previously, but they continued to leave the 2 dogs together. This shows poor responsibility on the owners part. The whole situation is sad - no one wins... This can be confirmed by the breeder and the vet.

While we appreciate the fertile imagination of the individual that posted the complaint, Deanna and John either suffer from delusions or they are looking to earn a Pulitzer Prize in fiction. It's quite fascinating to see a frustrated individual's targeted vents at another, instead of looking objectively at circumstances and realities regarding dog socialization (yes, sometimes dogs just don't get along). It's always easier to blame someone or something else instead of merely looking in the mirror.
There is no question that the puppy received was in fine health with a travel certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian.  What the customer possibly could have done to this puppy to have resulted in her behavior is beyond our understanding. She interacted playfully and without problem with 4 young children (11,9,7,6) and every other dog she came in contact with... until the complainant received the pup, and did "whatever" to her within a couple of weeks... either through over-inocculation, abusive behavior, and/or simple ignorance. John and Deanna's response is truly a real-life example of the movie "Down and Out in Beverly Hills". We pity them...
We did not tell them to kill their puppy - Deanna said that her husband wanted to kill the puppy because he didn't want to spend any more money on her. They were told they could ship her back on June 2nd and we would find her a new home (we were in TN at the time). Their puppy came with a clean bill of health from our vet - this vet check was required to be able to obtain an interstate health certificate in order to transport her, via the airlines. They have the paperwork, and so does the airlines - this is verifiable through NW Airlines. They have an animal disclosure form that states she is healthy, and it states about her "cosmetic" umbilical hernia repair - this was disclosed previously - it was not an issue to her health and wasn't required to be repaired. We had it repaired as it was less expensive in MN then to have it done in CA later (for cosmetic purposes), and my vet will state that I usually repair anything that is cosmetic before shipping, at my expense. It only required 2 stitches, and was fixed before the transport date. This umbilical hernia was caused by the mother dog chewing and pulling on the cord when she was born.

They picked the puppy out of the litter that they desired, and we shipped the puppy THEY chose. She was gentle with 4 of our younger children (6-11) and other dogs at our home. It is NOT our responsibility if their puppy does not get along with EVERY OTHER dog out there, or other animals for that matter. I know Deanna missed her salad luncheon due to the 2 dogs fighting and she had to bring their terrier into the vet, so she was VERY upset because she missed time with her friends. If they KNEW that the puppy didn't get along with their terrier, then the puppy and terrier should have been supervised so that the incident didn't occur--this is the responsibility of owning a dog, or dogs. Deanna said she live in a 2 million dollar home and that she didn't have time to find the puppy a new home, as she was busy with life. I told her that we are out of town until June 2nd, and that I don't have anyone that could go to the airport to pick her up, if she was to ship her before that. She said that her husband wouldn't be willing to ship the puppy back anyway, or bring her to a "no kill" shelter (that would cost money too), and that he would prefer her to be killed then spend anymore money. Deanna didn't want to take the time to find a home for her as she was "too busy".
We don't know how her personality could have changed so much in such a short period of time, but obviously she wasn't the puppy for their family, and NEEDED to be removed from their home and quickly. I offered her over the phone, and several other times, via emails, to ship her back to our home on the 2nd of June and we will try to repair the damage that had been done to her personality and then find the puppy a new forever family to call her own. I also offered to have Deanna ship her to another breeder before June 2nd, and she would help find the collie puppy a new home - all verifiable. We flew to California shortly after her calling about the puppy, and offered to come over and she refused, saying that they were too busy. I told them that the puppy NEEDED to be removed from their family as we felt that each day she will become more traumatized due to the lack of love that they felt towards her, since she got in a fight with their boston terrier. She is a puppy and needs to be loved and cared for. Puppies, especially Collies (they are very sensitive) can sense "anger and hatred", from their owners and this will only make matters worse for her life. We have requested an update on the whereabouts of their Collie puppy after seeing her listed online for sale (for a higher amount then what she paid for her), and any vet expenses that they are claiming occurred - to date they have NOT responded.

Stirling Collies cares very much for every puppy/adult that we find homes for. This was a very sad situation, and has caused us to reconsider how to "check out" families before sending our puppies to them. 

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