What defines the “best Border Collie Breeder”?

That is a question we see often on Facebook in our groups from people who are interested in the breed and looking for recommendations on who is the best border collie breeder.


The answer is subjective, and really comes down to what you type of temperament you are hoping to have with your Border Collie.  If you are looking for a working dog, who has a strong eye and will be spending their days in a traditional Border Collie job with sheep or livestock, then you are looking for a Breeder who focuses on working lines and stock dogs.



If you’re looking for a sport dog to compete in Agility, Disk or Dock Diving, you’re going to want to look at Breeders who have intense working dogs but possess excellent off switches like Tessa or Ivy.

Whether it’s a working dog, companion or a stock/farm dog, we believe there are basic ground rules for looking for the Best Breeder of Border Collies that you should not be willing to compromise.



First, foremost, and always.  Genetic Health Testing is not an option, it is 100% mandatory.  Do not listen to “my Vet said their healthy”, that just doesn’t cut it.  Genetic health testing is a bare minimum and should always be your first question.



Hips/Elbows, again basic stuff that should be graded on all breeding dogs.  You will find some very reputable breeders who do not believe in the importance, as dysplasia can present in pups bred from dogs with excellent scores, and it is impossible to determine if the Dysplasia is heredity or environmental.  While we do this testing, it will be a personal choice for you and we do believe there are reputable breeders out there who know their lines, know the health, and opt out of grading.



Epilepsy, this one is important in our breed.  When looking for the best border collie breeder, you should be able to easily chat with the breeder (this is critical) and they should be able to walk you through their lines, the history and any/all medical issues.  If you’re lucky enough to find a breeder with lines that go back over 4 or 5 generations or with older retired dogs (from the same lines), this will be a good indication as Epilepsy can present up to 6 years of age so young breeding programs who do not know their pedigree/history do run the risk of unknowingly breeding dogs that will produce epilepsy.  You can look on the Border Collie Database (OFA) however keep in mind, that many breeders do not report the issue.

Choose active breeders engaged with their owners, past dogs and have a solid MUST RETURN clause in their contract.

This is critical.  The bottom line, dogs would not be in rescue if owners purchased from responsible breeders who understand the offspring they produce, and inevitably is ALWAYS their responsibility.

Lastly, when deciding who the best Border Collie Breeder is, talk with the owners!  Talk with a lot of them, breeders should have no problem with you reaching out to any of their families and looking for programs where you see multiple dogs owned by parents, this is a great indication that their opinion isn’t just ‘talk’, if an owner is coming back for a 2nd or 3rd dog from the same program, I guarantee you it is because the breeding program is doing something right.

Willowcreek is the best Border Collie Breeder, and I don’t say that arrogantly, I say that with so much gratitude to every family.  We are selective and that has been incredibly beneficial.  Our parents are the best owners anyone could ask for. They are engaged, supportive, and very much a tight-knit family.

If you are looking for a Border Collie Breeder in Ontario or a Border Collie Breeder in BC (or willing to travel), we are here and we are truly dedicated to our own dogs and each and every puppy we produce.

Best Border Collie Breeder
Best Border Collie Breeder