Below, we provide answers to some of the most common questions we receive. Remember to feel free to contact us with any more questions you might have.
Q. Are collies good with children?
A. The AKC gives this comment on the collie as a family dog - "Although the exact origin of the Collie remains an enigma, both smooth and rough varieties existed long ago in the unwritten history of the herding dogs of Scotland and northern England. Being no longer in great demand as a herder, today's Collie has transferred these abilities to serving as a devoted family dog where he shows a particular affinity for small children. For many years his general popularity has placed him among the top twenty of the favorite dogs registered by the American Kennel Club. Elegant and beautiful in appearance, loyal and affectionate in all his actions, self-appointed guardian of everything he can see or hear, the Collie represents, to his many admirers, the ideal family companion".
American Kennel Club (n.d.), Collie History. Retrieved December 5, 2011, from http://www.akc.org/breeds/collie/history.cfm
Collies are wonderful with children. They are very protective and gentle and will most often just follow the kids around or sit beside them. I have seen my collies quickly run over and lie down beside one of my toddlers who might have fallen down, as if to give them a "hand". They will often "herd" the kids or other animals back into the yard if they wander too far. They are also great guard dogs - they are not extremely aggressive, but they do protect our other animals from predators. Collies love to be around people, so they greatly enjoy all the interaction with children and adults.
Q. Do collies get along with other dogs and animals?
A. Collies do very well getting along with a variety of animals. Since collies are very protective of their home and family, I think it is preferable to expose your puppy to other dogs and animals at a young age. If they are an adult collie and have never been around other dogs, they may have more trouble adjusting to a new animal in the home. Collies are very loyal to their owners.
Q. Do collies bite?
A. We have never had any of our collies even come close to biting someone. They are very gentle. There may be some confusion here with the"border collie" which is more prone to nipping. When the collies are puppies, they may try to bite at your hand in a playful way or sometimes snap in irritation. If the puppy tries this, just hold its mouth closed and say "no"; they learn very quickly to stop. If they still continue to bite, a pop on the nose along with "no" can also help discourage this behavior.
Q. Do collies bark a lot?
A. Collies will bark if alarmed, as they are very protective. Sometimes, if a collie does not get enough interaction with people, they may resort to barking out of boredom. As long as you are spending time with your dog, they will not tend to yap for no reason. We also teach our collies to quiet on command.
Q. What do you feed your dogs?
A. We feed our dogs dry Life's Abundance Dog Food from weaning to adulthood. It is a veterinarian formulated pet food and has no corn, soy, chemical additives, or preservatives. We believe that it is the best food on the market today and have seen clear evidence of improvement in our dogs' overall health since being on this food. Their coats are much more silky and smooth and easier to brush. They eat a lot less of Life's Abundance because it is so nutrient dense and does not have any corn in it (dogs cannot digest corn - it is just wasted filler). Therefore, they eliminate way less than before when they were eating other brands. They have more energy and they love the taste of Life's Abundance.
We start our puppies on the Large Breed Puppy Food, and after 8-10 months, we transition to the All Life Stage Dog Food. We have much more information about when and how much we feed on our "Feeding Your Collie" page. When purchasing a puppy, you will receive a bag of Life's Abundance food and samples of treats and vitamin supplements. When you order your food through our website, you are supporting kids' college funds and Rescue Foundations for animals.
Q. Are collies difficult to train?
A. Collies are very easy to train, as they are extremely smart and eager to please. We have had many breeds of dogs, and collies have learned more quickly than any other dogs we have had. Be firm but gentle, and they will do just about anything for you. When you purchase a puppy, we provide materials and recommendations on training resources.
Q. Do you recommend crate training?
A. Yes, we highly recommend crate training. The puppy will learn very quickly to wait to potty till it goes outside. When you purchase a puppy, we provide detailed instructions and recommendations on the most effective way to crate train.
Q. Do collies need daily brushing?
A. No, collies do not need daily brushing. We brush our dogs once a week on average. They also do not need frequent baths, as this will dry out their fur. The frequency of the brushing will vary depending on your activity with your collie, but usually a quick brush over once a week or so does the trick. Of course, the brushing is needed more frequently during times of shedding. Collies are naturally very "clean" dogs and will avoid areas with lots of mud, brush, etc.
Q. What is the difference between Limited and Unlimited (or Full) AKC registration?
A. AKC stands for American Kennel Club. Limited AKC registration means that your collie is a purebred, registered dog with registered lineage, but that offspring of your dog would not be eligible for AKC registration. This also means there is limited participation in AKC sanctioned events. Full AKC registration means you are allowed to participate in all AKC sanctioned events and that future offspring produced from your dog can be registered with the AKC. If you would like more information on this subject click on one of the links below, which will take you to the AKC website.
Note: The prices quoted on our Purchasing Info Page are for limited AKC registration. If you are looking for full AKC registration, contact us for pricing.
Q. Where can I obtain information about showing my collie in conformation or obedience shows?
A. The AKC website has a wealth of information about upcoming events in conformation, obedience, agility, etc. The link below will take you to their page on upcoming events and rules.
Q. What is included in the price of my puppy?
A. Puppy, Complete vet examination at 7 weeks, AKC Registration Papers, first shots, worming, one year health guarantee from Aspen Collies, and free samples of Life's Abundance food, treats, and supplements.
Q. How old does my puppy have to be for me to take it?
A. Your puppy has to be at least 8 weeks old.
Q. Can I come visit your kennel and see your dogs?
A. Due to insurance/liability reasons and county regulations we do not allow visits to our home. There is also the potential risk of contaminants through foot traffic, which can be dangerous to young puppies. However, we are happy to meet with you in the area when it is time to see your puppy or for pick up. We are also happy to bring along an adult when possible if desired.
Q. What types of payments do you accept?
A. We accept cash, PayPal, checks, and money orders. You can use your credit card or debit card through PayPal, but they charge a 3% fee, and you would need to include that in your payment. They do not charge a fee when you pay directly from your PayPal account. For final payment on pups (at time of pick up/delivery), a cash payment is preferred.
Q. If I make a deposit on a specific puppy, is my deposit refundable if I change my mind?
A. No, if you have put a deposit down on a puppy, and we hold it for you, your deposit is not refundable. However, it is transferable to a different puppy or a puppy from a future litter if you wish. Also, if we have held your puppy beyond the age of eight weeks, your deposit is not transferable.
Q. Can I make a deposit on a puppy before they are born?
A. No, we do not take deposits until we have pups born and they are about two weeks old.
Q. How can I get pick of litter?
A. We have an email update list. Once we have pups available, we notify families of what we have available. Choices on pups are given in the order that families contact me back. Contact us if you want to be added to this list.
Q. What if I cannot get my puppy at 8 weeks old and need Aspen Collies to hold him/her longer?
A. Aspen Collies strongly encourages families to get their puppy at 8 weeks, as it is a critical time of bonding and training should begin. However, if you have circumstances that make you unable to get your pup at the 8 week point, we can hold your puppy for you. In that case, there will be a $5.00 charge per day, or $35 a week until the puppy is 10 weeks. If it is extended beyond 10 weeks, the charge increases to $7.00 a day, or $49 per week.
Q. If I buy a puppy and circumstances arise that make me unable to keep him/her, will you take the dog back and will my money be refunded?
A. If you cannot keep your collie, we will definitely take it back and try to find a new loving home for him/her. However, we cannot refund for puppies once they are bought. That is, unless there is a genetic defect (within the written health guarantee time limit)- in which case, we will refund the price of the puppy or provide a replacement.
Q. My puppy's ears are starting to stand straight up. How can I get them to "flop" over?
A. When a collie puppy is teething, the puppies ears will sometimes start to stand up straight. The process to correct this, which is called "ear tipping" is very simple and easy to do. If your puppy's ears are starting to stand up, go to a hardware store (e.g. Ace Hardware) and get a glue called "Tear Mender" - it is a nontoxic glue that will not hurt your puppy. Put it on the upper third of the puppy's ear and press the ear down. Hold the ear until the glue dries - it will take a minute or two. Leave the ear alone until the glue comes off. If the puppy's ear is not staying down, repeat the process. Sometimes it takes many tries before the ear tipping is successful. If you really want the ear to tip, you must be consistent and persevering. However, it may only take once or twice depending on the dog.
The goal is to get a certain muscle in the ear to relax, and sometimes this requires the ear being glued down for a period of time.
Q. What is CEA?
A. CEA is Collie Eye Anomaly. CEA is more technically known as Choroidal Hypoplasia (CH). It is a recessively inherited eye disorder that causes abnormal development of the choroid - an important layer of tissue under the retina of the eye. Cases can range from mild to severe. Mildly affected dogs have choroidal thinning, but their vision is not impaired. In severe cases, the dog can go blind or be severely impaired visually.
Q. Are your dogs tested for CEA?
A. All our dogs are normal eyed, in other words, they are not affected by CEA. They can, however, carry the recessive CEA gene. Most of our collies are non-carriers of the CEA gene. With any of our "carriers", we only breed them with a non-carrier. This means that all puppies from our litters will be normal eyed and non-affected by CEA. When you breed a non-carrier with a non-carrier, the whole litter is non-carriers. When you breed a non-carrier with a carrier, it is a 50/50 chance on having a carrier or non-carrier puppy. However, the puppy is still completely normal-eyed.
Q. Are your dogs tested for PRA (rod-cone dysplasia type 2)?
A. Our dogs are non-carriers of PRA.
Q. What else do you test for?
A. We test for DM (degenerative myelopathy), CN (gray collie syndrome), DMS (Dermatomyositis), and MDR1 (multi drug resistance).
Q. Do the puppies get a CERF exam by an ophthalmologist?
A. Because our dogs do not carry CEA or PRA, there is no need for the puppies to have a CERF exam.