A BREEDER PROFILE by Nancy Anstruther

Interview with Len & Shirley Perry (Page 4)

KirkHaven Willie Of Lewwyons
Ch. Omega's Aristocrat
Omega's Conversation Piece
Ch. Omega's Life-Style
Twin Oaks Card Shark
Omega's Class Act
Am.Can.Ch. Sandpiper's Solitaire

Of all the dogs you have bred, who has come the closest to your personal vision of perfection? Why?

This would have to be Am.Can.Ch. Omega Going In Style. Style was a very feminine, well-balanced bitch, with a lean, clean head and an exquisite expression. She possessed a true collie temperament, with her desire to please and a sparkling personality. Style always had a twinkle in her eye that made you laugh every time you looked at her.

What do you look for in show/breeding prospect?

The "Total Dog" is what we are looking for. A perfect headpiece with flat skull and even planes needed to give you the correct expression with a temperament and outline to help show off this expression. A balanced profile of body, a lovely arch of neck which, when used properly, will portray that majestic look collies are famous for. It has been said we "stop judging collies at the neck". This is not true, but you do need the collie to have the distinctive look of a collie, or it will not matter much how good he moves without it. Having all these parts in harmonious proportions to each other and then sound movement is what gives you the "Total Dog".

Am.Ch. Twin Oaks On The Right Track
Am.Ch. Twin Oaks Steel Bars
Twin Oaks Gallant Blu Sonnet
Ch. Omega's Silver Lining
Am.Can.Ch. Omega Sabelin Highway Man
Ch. Omega's Black Magic 2nd
Ch. Omega's Fan Fare

What do you consider to be the major problems facing collies today?

There are several problems facing collies today. We continue to have some of the same health problems such as eye problems, D.M, bloat and an increasing amount of epilepsy. Also, in the show ring there is a problem with lack of "type", or too many Common dogs winning, that does not depict a picture of True Collie Type. There seems to be a total disregard for what is clearly stated in the Breed Standard.

Regarding your last statement, how do we as breeders/exhibitors correct this disregard? What direction do you feel the breed is currently going in?

We would like to think that the collie is going in the right direction, however, sometimes this does not appear to be so. The breed standard is the guide breeders must follow in order to produce the ideal collie. The standard is broken down into various sections outlining what each part of the dog should look like. We need to follow this closely if we are to maintain the VIRTUES that are so important to our breed. How often do we hear that a dog did not win because he/she is not a good mover, and after all, herding dogs should be able to move. One would not dispute this if all other aspects of the dogs were considered before making this judgment. If we continue to judge the collie based on only one characteristic, we will lose that individual look that defines the collie. "The collie is an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole". If we select healthy breeding stock that is as close as possible to the standard and breed them to dogs that are as close as possible to the standard, we will be on the right track.

KirkHaven Willie Of Lewwyons
Ch. Omega's Aristocrat
Omega's Conversation Piece
Ch. Omega's Copyright
Twin Oaks Card Shark
Omega's Class Act
Am.Can.Ch. Sandpiper's Solitaire

Looking back at your breeding program, what would you have changed or done differently?

We have been very successful with our breeding program, which was in part due to some really good advice we received from experienced breeders who paved the way for Omega to become successful. We regret not having bred Ch. Sandpiper's Satin Slippers to Am.Ch. Twin Oaks Joker's Wild.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

We received a great deal of good advice over the years, but two things that stand out are: study the breed standard until you truly understand it completely, and that your brood bitch will be the most important investment you will make in establishing a line.

Was there a pivotal turning point in your career when you realized that you were on the right track and were achieving your goals?

We may not have completely achieved all of our goals yet, but we had an idea we were on the right track when our dogs could win at All Breed and Specialty Shows and that they could be bred to other lines with the same successful results we were having. We now have a line that defines Omega, but we will continue to strive for that "Perfect Collie".