The Beginning

Due to past bad experiences with various breeds with hips and other issues, I am extremely interested in Health and Temperament as well as Performance side of our breed. Hence all our own breeding stock is Hip and Elbow Scored, DNA Tested and Ophthalmology Tested.

DNA testing was a relatively new thing here for dogs in Australia in the early 2000’s but as soon as it was available I had "Thunder" done as he was my entire male.  My other two collies had been neutered so they would not be part of the breeding program.  I could see the benefits of using this new tool along with conventional methods of eye testing puppies at 71/2 weeks as each can pick up on things the other cannot.

The Beginning - Foundation Bitch - “Minnie” - Ch Foxbell Miss Finland

Minnie” - Ch Foxbell Miss Finland, a lovely Blue Merle Smooth Girl, was leased to us, with many thanks to Janice Cook, her Breeder, so we could have the very best of health which included some working background, to use as our Foundation Bitch for Brafferton Kennels.

“Minnie” had been DNA tested and was genetically Clear for CEA, she was MDR1 - Affected. When she was Hip Scored her results were 1/1 Elbows 0/0

(DNA for DM was not available back then but on getting 5 of the 8 in litter done later, it would show that she would be a Carrier for DM - (see the chart in the Health Section)

Minnie’s mother “Heidi” - Foxbell Hot N Fiery (A blue merle Rough) had a litter brother, “Link”-Tracking Champion Foxbell High Flyer TSD.  “Link” was owned and trained by Esther Smedley.  I was fortunate enough to help assist with their training when they first started and he was one of the best Tracking dogs I had observed at that time. They were also both learning Herding as well and were doing very well at that also.

I was especially happy to have these lines in my breeding program.

During the few months “Minnie” was living with us during 2010 and 2011 I also gave her a go at Tracking and Herding as a training exercise. She was a very quick learner and took to new things very well.  She also fitted into our household and got on well with the cats of the house as well as my other 3 Collies. She had a wonderful temperament and just loved all our house visitors too.

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Herding Photos by Karen Edwards


Foundation Sire - “Thunder” - Dual Ch (T) Vimtar Thunder Lord TSDX HT.

Further Information on Thunder can also be found on his own page in Past Dogs. Click "More Information"

“Thunder” had been DNA tested and was Affected for CEA and was Genetically Clear for MDR1.  His Hip scores were 6/6 Elbows 0/0.  At the time very few dogs were genetically tested and even Ophthalmology eye testing was not compulsory when he was young.  As far as I was aware he was never done as puppy but I knew he never had eye issues his entire life. As he was not done this was another important reason to get him tested.  His results along with "Minnies" I knew would mean that the entire Litter would be Genetic Carriers for CEA and MDR1.

What was good is all 8 in the first litter were all Ophthalmology Clear as puppies.  Hence all 8 being Clear but Genetic Carriers via parentage.  However at least as a beginning of a long term breeding program I now knew what I was dealing with and what likely results I could possibly anticipate. (DNA for DM was not available back then but on getting 5 of the 8 in litter done later the results would show that he too, would have been a Carrier for DM - (see chart in the Health section).

Of the 6 pups in the litter of 8, that were Hip and Elbow scored at a later date, we got nothing higher than a Total of 5.  We had 3 with 1/1; 1 with 2/3; 1 with 3/2; 1 with 1/4:  All elbows came back 0/0.  The other 2 were neutered by their owners hence not done.

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Herding Photo By Jeni Sach

This combination of "Thunder'' and "Minnie" has been the dream litter with all 8 in loving homes.  Later 2 gained Australian Champion Titles in Show Ring. 4 Gained their Tracking Champion Titles. 3 gained their Track and Search Champion Title and 2 have gained their Track and Search Grand Champion Titles.  One of the litter has also become a Dual Champion by gaining both Show Ch Title and Tracking Ch Title. We also have 1 Tracking Dog Title, 2 Track and Search Dog Titles.  In Herding all showed interest as puppies when I took them all to look at sheep at a young age.  2 have Herding Instinct Certificate, 1 Herding Test Title and 2 have progressed on and gained their Herding Started A Course on sheep. 1 also is doing Nose Scent Work and has passed all 3 odour Tests and A Title (NSW1),  2 have passed their Rally Novice and 3 of the girls have produced litters of their own that is seeing some of their offspring also now achieving.

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