INFORMATION FOR PHF PUPPY BUYERS

The following information is directed at persons who have already made the decision to purchase a PHF dog or puppy.  This information applies to Border Collies or Anatolian Shepherds (ASDs).  Specific information about each breed will be mentioned as needed.  Thank you for your purchase and please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the information on this page.

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INFORMATION FOR PUPPY BUYERS

CARE AND FEEDING

PART 1. DIET

Six week old puppies will have been eating a diet of dry puppy food or dry food slightly moistened with water.  If your puppy develops watery diarrhea, have it checked immediately by your vet.  Be sure to ask your vet to check for Coccidea and Giardia, two parasites associated with farm animals.  Your vet may not look for these parasites unless asked.  Diarrhea can kill a puppy in as little as a few days.  If your puppy begins to act tired and doesn't want to eat, take it to the vet immediately.

At 4-6 months old you will need to change from puppy food to adult maintenance food.  Look for a lower protein content of about 24%.  Do not feed high protein puppy food during this fast-growing period in your puppy's life.  High protein food is directly connected to CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia).  For more information, refer to About Dog Food.  Provide glucosamine biscuits weekly and continue providing NuVet Plus supplements daily.  This feeding program can be continued throughout the dog's life.  Some Border Collies will be more interested in bouncing around than eating.  If your dog is too thin, try feeding it twice a day even as an adult. You can also try sprinkling a little powdered bouillon (dry) over the food.  Also, check your dog for worms.

Your adult BC should have enough meat on its bones so you can't feel the ribs, but not so much that you can't feel the spine.  When you feed each day, run your hand along its back and make sure you can feel the spine (taking into account rough coat vs. short coat). If you can feel the spine, but not the ribs, your BC is at a good weight.  Anatolians should also have good coverage over the ribs, but otherwise should be fairly slender.  You should not be able to feel an Aanatolian's spine as easily as a BC.  Your dog is better off a little thin than a little fat.  Ask your vet if you aren't sure whether your dog is in shape or not.

PART 2. HOUSING

Your BC or Anatolian puppy can stay outside all year round, even in cold months.  Your puppy was born either inside in a whelping room that is cool in winter and warm in summer and then moved to the barn at about 2 weeks old or was born outside (in a barn stall) and has lived outside all its short life.  BCs will be happy with a 5x10ft kennel with a good doghouse.  Short haired dogs may need more bedding on nights below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  Provide plenty of shade and a rainproof house (igloo style houses work well).  Always provide plenty of fresh drinking water.  Anatolians will require extensive fencing usually including an electric wire along the bottom to prevent digging out and sometimes along the top to prevent jumping out.  You can also use invisible fencing in conjunction with a welded wire fence.  An invisible fence alone has been used with Anatolians but does not stop them if they are seriously about leaving the confined area.  All an Anatolian needs is a place where they can get in out of the rain when needed.  An Anatolian that is working will not leave its livestock to go into a doghouse.  It will likely just use the same shelter as the livestock.  BCs may or may not adapt well to invisible fencing.  Some intense working BCs will go right through invisible fence boundaries.  

Do not allow your BC to run freely in your fenced yard and most especially in an unfenced area.  BCs will herd anything that moves, including children, other animals, pedestrians, bicycles and cars.  PHF dogs are bred to work and in the absence of a job, they will create their own entertainment -- and likely not the kind you would want.  Anatolians can and will destroy your neighbors property and may kill neighboring pets thinking they are predators. 

Your working or companion BC or your companion ASD can also stay in the house with you.  Do not keep an ASD in the house with you if you want it to work with livestock.  If you prefer to keep your dog inside, you will have to house-break it.  Here is a suggestion...When you get home with your puppy for the first time, give it the opportunity to relieve itself.  When your puppy has finished or you have decided it isn't going to go to the potty, take it inside directly to a crate where it will be sleeping.  Leave it in the crate for at least 10-15 minutes.  After that time has passed if your puppy went to the potty before, you can take it out and play with it.  If it did not relieve itself, take it back outside and try again.  The idea is that the puppy should associate indoors with its bedroom where it wouldn't want to go potty.  A house is a big space for a dog and they have no problems considering their crate to be their space and the rest of the house to be just a climate controlled "great outdoors" where they can go if they need to.

Your Anatolian needs to stay with the livestock always.  If you want your Anatolian to guard the livestock it must be confined to their area, especially when it is young.  If you want your Anatolian to guard your entire property, including livestock, home, barn, etc., then you must fence the perimeter of your property but keep the puppy with the livestock until it is about a year old before allowing it to roam the entire perimeter.  You cannot take your Anatolian inside at night and then put it outside in the day.  It will not bond to the stock and you may end up with problems.

PART 3.  HEALTH CARE

When you pick up your PHF puppy, it will be current on all shots and deworming.  It will be on a flea/tick/heartworm preventive program.  A typical schedule of veterinary care (puppy shots, etc.) would be as follows:

3 weeks old -- Deworming. (already done at PHF)
6 weeks old -- First puppy shots, deworming, first flea/tick/heartworm treatment, physical health exam. (already done at Rutherford Veterinary Hospital)

9 weeks old -- Second puppy shots, deworming.
12 weeks old -- Third puppy shots, deworming (includes Rabies).
15 weeks old -- Fourth puppy shots, deworming.
1.5 years old -- Yearly DHLP booster.
Every 1-3 years -- Rabies booster.

We give our own puppy shots.  We use quality 9-way shots for all of our puppies.  We deworm our puppies at 2 weeks and then every 2 weeks until they are sold or outgrow the primary stages requiring frequent deworming.

Give your puppy things to chew.  Do not give your puppy plastic chew toys (including those made especially for dogs) as these can be chewed into small pieces and swallowed possibly resulting in surgery to clear the intestines.  Use only dry foods.  Rawhide treats are great, but be careful not to feed too many.  One a week is plenty.  An excellent way to keep your dog's teeth looking wonderful even into old age is to buy ball-and-socket joint bones or knuckle bones from the butcher.  This type of bone is very effective in cleaning teeth and the dog gets a bit of nutrition at the same time.  Cooked (store-bought) bones can end up being stored in the stomach as small pebbles and causing digestive problems.  We have also noted that toys made with ropes will end up being digested.

Check your pups ears now and then.  If you see your pup excessively scratching its ears, shaking its head or holding its ears in an unusual manner, it may have ear mites and you will need some drops to put in them.  These are common and easily treated.  Farm dogs may have problems with flies biting the ears causing wounds.  A good preventive is an Equine fly spray applied once daily.  If sores appear, mix a salve using 1 tube Balmex for babies, 1 tube triple antibiotic ointment, and 1 small jar of Swat for horses.  Mix all these together and apply about once a week or two depending on the problem.

PART 4.  MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Border Collie puppies may not develop their "collie" coat until as late as 8 months old and will look like they're going to be short coated.  They should have their adult coat by the time they are a year old.
Border Collies may have
one ear up and one ear down even as adults.
Lots of dogs will
eat droppings from livestockThis is not a diet problem, but more likely an energy or nervousness problem.  Exercise your dog every day until it is panting and tired.
Many BCs will play in their
water buckets, especially when it is hot.  To help curtail some of this behavior, attach the bucket to the wall as high as possible and still allow the dog to drink to the bottom of the bucket. 
A puppy allowed to
bark when young will not usually stop just because it reaches adulthood.
A puppy allowed to
jump on you, climb in your lap, drag you along on a leash, or ignore you will not stop just because it reaches adulthood.

RAISING AND TRAINING

These are some suggestions for preparing your pup for working. 

For all pups:
- Never allow your pup to chew on your hands, tug at your pants, or growl at you for any reason. 
- Teach your pup to
wait until you say ok before it goes through a door or gate.
- Teach your pup to lead quietly and to tie out quietly.
- Teach your pup to
ride quietly in a crate in a car or truck.  Do not allow your pup to ride in the back of an open truck bed.  Many "won't-jump-out" dogs have been killed or seriously injured as a result of this action.
- Allow your adults dogs to discipline your puppy, but do not allow them to show aggression if the puppy is not bothering them.
- Take your BC puppy everywhere.  Encourage many, many people to pet it.  Be cautious to not allow children to pet your puppy and inadvertently frighten it.  Tell them that they must be quiet and gentle when petting your puppy.  
- Take your companion Anatolian everywhere.  Same as for a BC.
- Do not take your working Anatolian anywhere except the vet and inside the pasture where it works.

For herding dogs:
- Do not take your dog around livestock until it is ready for a puppy test.  Many, many good working dogs have been ruined by unknowing handlers. 
- Do not allow your dog to lie and
stare at the stock (even through a fence).  When it comes time to begin working, your dog may think it is supposed to just lie there and stare.
- Do not allow your dog to work stock through a
fence.  Your dog may become dependent upon the fence or be unable to move around the stock as if an imaginary fence were separating it from the stock.  Do not scold it, just go get it and take it away from the fence.
- When teaching your pup a recall, use "
here" instead of "come."  Come is part of the herding command "Come Bye" that your pup will need to learn later.
- Do not play with
toys with your pup.  Allow it to play with toys by itself or with other dogs only.  Some pups will become so focused on a toy that when it comes time to work, they will be distracted by the toy.  For example, one lady played fetch with a stick with her pup and when she began training it for working, the dog would constantly be picking up sticks and bringing them to the handler instead of focusing on the stock.
- Take your pup to a trainer for an "
instinct test" when it is about 5-6 months old.  The trainer can tell you more about your dog then.  Instinct tests are free at PHF for PHF puppies.
- When you begin to teach your pup to
stop, do not use Lie Down unless you are prepared to make it lie down every time.  Teach your dog to stop in a standing position with "Stand" or to stop lying down with "Lie down."  Many handlers use Lie Down as a  slow down command but we feel this is confusing to the dog.  For additional information about commands and what they mean go to About Border Collies.  
- Your BC pup will not be
ready to work more than once in a while until it is at least 8 months old and most should wait until they are a year old.  Even if they have very strong instinct and desire, a pup younger than this simply is not mature enough to handle the pressure of training and may develop problems early on or even later as a result of starting too early. 

Lessons and clinics are the best way to learn about herding and to get your dog trained to work with and for you.  Sending dogs to trainers helps but the handler still will need to learn how to handle the dog.  When your puppy is old enough to start serious training, go to as many clinics and lessons as you can afford.  Each one will be worth much more than a day of just training the dog.  Each trainer will help you to see and learn something new.  Trainers never stop learning...neither should you.

Videos are one of the best ways to learn about training your herding dog before it is old enough to go to lessons and clinics.  Here is a list of videos, books, etc. that may help you...

The Stimatze Way: Puppy Training Vol. 1 (video) -- an excellent source of information for getting your BC or Heeler puppy off to a good start.  Contact Joe & Laura Stimatze at RR#1 Box 54, Macksville KS 67557 (316-348-5815).

The Perfect Stockdog by Ben Means (video) -- very useful and informative showing techniques that are useful for Border Collies as well as Heelers.  Ben is a Kelpie breeder.  Contact Ben Means, PO Box 186, Port Byron IL 61275.

Will I Grow Up to Be A Cowdog? by Anthony McCallum (video) -- provides information about selection of BC puppies, your puppy's first day home, and raising and starting puppies.  Contact Border Collies in Action at www.bordercollies.com .

Starting Your Border Collie on Cattle, Sheep or Ducks (video) -- well produced video showing general information and basics for starting a herding dog on livestock.  Contact Rural Route Videos at www.ruralroutevideos.com .

Lessons from a Stockdog by Bruce Fogt (book) -- a very enjoyable book loaded with lots of need to know information.  Here's a good place to start.  Available from www.bordercolliesinaction.com .

 

For guardian dogs:
- Never take your dog away from the livestock unless you absolutely must.
-
Introduce your dog to new livestock (and new livestock to your dog) with a fence between them for a few weeks.
- Teach your puppy to
load up into your truck/car/trailer.  This will make vet visits considerably more pleasant once your pup has grown to over 100 lbs.
- If you have an adult LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog) available, this is the
absolute best way to train pups.  Try to leave your pup with the adult LGD as long as possible.  PHF offers this type of training for a limited number of  PHF pups.  The longer your pup is with the adult, the more reliable will be its behavior. The best case scenario would be to leave your puppy with an older LGD until it is about 8 months to a year old.  However, any extra time spent with the adult will be beneficial, even if it's just a couple of months.  See LGD Training on our guardian dogs page.
- Realize that LGDs of any breed are not
mature until about 1.5-2 years, so expect puppy play and a need for training for quite a while.  Puppies trained by an adult LGD will be ready to work much sooner than those trained by humans.
-
Spay/Neuter any LGDs you don't intend to breed.  An intact male will roam and an intact female may allow strange dogs into the pasture when she is in season.  Intact males and females also tend to fight more with each other.
- Your Anatolian should be allowed to be aggressive toward the stock to protect its
food.  If you encourage your pup to guard its food from the stock, you will be able to feed it right along with the stock every day.  Your pup will not carry this aggression over to non-feeding times and will not harm your stock.  However, it will sound like that are going to!
- If your Anatolian pup growls at you for any reason whatsoever, promptly push it to the ground by placing your hands on its neck and head and give it a good growling at.  Yes, GROWL at your pup.  Use that low growly voice that says "I'm may not let you live if you do that again."  Do not allow any
aggression toward you or your family from your pup.  This must be stopped immediately if it starts and it must be stopped very early in the puppy's life.
- If you use
herding dogs, be sure to teach your Anatolian to leave them alone.  Pups will want to play with the "new dog" and this can become very bothersome if not dangerous if not curtailed.  Your Anatolian will know if the dog is working as opposed to intending harm to the stock.  

 

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

PHF Border Collies are all registered with ABCA (American Border Collie Association).  This is a working Border Collie registry.  None of our Border Collie dogs or litters are registered with AKC and we will not assist in registration of Border Collies with AKC.  People wanting to compete in AKC performance events (such as agility, etc.) can register their dog under a special category.  For persons interested in registering their puppies with AKC, please contact AKC for information.  When you receive your registration certificate it will have a name like Possum Hollow 1 or Possum Hollow CL1 as a name. When you send in your certificate to transfer it to your name, you can replace the number with whatever name you prefer.  We ask that you retain the Possum Hollow prefix in the name for our breeding program.  Here is how to transfer ABCA registration to your name:

1.  Mark through the number and write in the name you have selected in the "Name" blank at the top left corner.
2.  Fill in your name and address in the blanks at the bottom left of the page under "
Transfer of Ownership."  You must have a PHF signature on the "signature of ownership" line.  If we have forgotten to sign, please contact us.
3.  Mail the completed Certificate of Registration and the
$8.00 transfer fee to...

ABCA
Patty Rogers
82 Rogers Road
Perkinston MS 39573

If you are not already a member of ABCA you will have to join.  Membership is only about $10-15 and you can join when you register.  If you have questions contact us at info@possumhollowfarms.com or call ABCA at 601-928-7551.  Expect it to take several weeks for your transfer to go through and your new registration certificate to be issued.  If you have not received your new certificate in 4-6 weeks, you may want to contact ABCA for a progress report.

PHF Anatolian Shepherds are registered with ASDCA (Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America) and/or the AKC (American Kennel Club).  Our Anatolians are bred for their working ability only.  Your Anatolian papers cannot be sent in until we have names for the puppies.  Therefore, at about 2 weeks old we will send in the registration information with a registered kennel name.  I you would like us to use a specific name, we must know before the puppies are 2 weeks old.  You can still give your puppy a "call name."  It simply means that they may have a different "official" name from the one you choose to use.  Your pup's registered name will begin with Possum Hollow.  

ASDCA Registration.  When you receive your ASDCA registration certificate, fill in the information in the "Transfer of Certificate" section.  You must have a Date of Sale of Transfer and Owner's Signature.  If we have forgotten to fill in these blanks please contact us.  Send the certificate with the $10.00 transfer fee to...

ASDCA, Inc.
845 Chariot Trail
Limestone, TN 37681

You may also have to join ASDCA as an associate member.  

AKC Registration.  When you pick up your puppy you will receive a registration application for AKC.  Your puppy's litter will have been registered with AKC.  As the new owner you must send in your official application. 

 

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