Updated July 2021
About Cliffhanger Kennels - Border collie breeder in Rotorua, NZ
Breeding working Border collies in a variety of colours and coat lengths, suitable for working dogs, performance dogs, or best mates who will delight in accompanying you wherever possible.
My own dogs have competed in agility and jumpers, canine freestyle, flygility, and dabbled in sheepdog trials, obedience, rallyo, and scent detection.
I have trained multiple grand champions across agility, jumpers and flygility.
They also tag along with me on many different adventures, with the quad, when I ride my dirt bike, trail dogs at the mountain bike park, behind the horse, anywhere they can come.
I like dogs that are leggy and athletic, keen to work and easy to train (but also nice to look at!). Dogs that are fast, smart and go all day, no matter what type of work they're doing.
My stud dogs are mainly from English/Scottish working & trials lines and have some great bloodlines behind them.
They all work stock and currently compete as performance dogs or are retired/ under age.
These dogs are certainly not for the faint of heart - they will need a job to do, plenty of exercise and outings and firm rules and boundaries, or they will drive you insane.
All breeding stock is DNA health tested, lives here as part of my team and has to fit in and be good natured. Pups are sold on non breeding contracts.
The working Border collie is not for everyone - they are strong willed, extremely energetic, and should be gutsy enough to stand up to the most stubborn stock! However they are very smart, willing to please and always ready to get the job done. Just bear in mind they need enough exercise, discipline and training!
A day out with the Cliffhanger dogs
The Border collie breed
The Border Collie is never seen at dog shows and unlike dog shows he is not to be judged by any physical characteristics. He need not conform to a particular colour, shape or size, length of muzzle or height of shoulder. His coat may be fine long and glossy, harsh and curly, or very short and sleek; all that matters is his brain, temperament, reactions to work and the consistency of his performance behind sheep. If he has a cast, a wide gather, a strong eye to single out a required sheep; if he moves freely, never barks, never bites; if he is prepared to take orders, is affectionate towards those he knows, regards his master as a sort of god and the sheep pastures as the equivalent of heaven, then and only then can he be called a first class specimen of his breed. No man-dictated fashions have governed the Border Collies bodily proportions; his outline has been modelled by the bleak mountain run with its gullies, screes, stone walls, wind, rain snow and miles of heather, fern and rock. Centuries of running on wide hills have evolved a small lightly built animal with a light well co-ordinated frame and a stamina for work mentally and physical beyond anything else on four legs. Despite the apparent insistence on breeding for working qualities alone, most Border Collies are in fact of a handsome appearance. The homozygous tendencies are very strong and although greys and tans occasionally crop up, about ninety percent of these dogs are a smartly proportioned black and white. If the dog is well-marked in black and white in the right places and is generally pleasant to look at, it is of course so much the better, but a collie which a layman might find striking handsome would look ugly and ridiculous to the shepherd if his head and tail were held high. The dog’s "intelligence quotient" is shown more clearly in the carriage of his tail than by any other physical sign, and it is perhaps a pity that we cannot test a child's IQ so simple and with such a degree of accuracy. In any case the plain mismarked miscoloured sheepdog whose breeding is right can give a stylish performance which is fascinating and beautiful and will easily surpass the performance of the most splendid looking dog with less good breeding. *Written by Roy Saunders, from the book "Sheepdog Glory" 48 years ago*