top of page
IMG_0093_edited_edited.jpg

Vycaran
Newport, South Wales

About us

Like many, I was first exposed to the world of purebred dogs through dog shows - in my case, a very fateful trip to Crufts for my 17th birthday! This was quickly followed up with a foray into shelties, but before long I had fallen in love with the Rough Collie, and my heart was set. 

Even from this point it was clear to me that I wanted the 'classic collie', although back then I didn't know enough to fully understand what that meant. It was a great choice and everything I've learned since then has affirmed it.

I spent the next few years making small steps towards my dream. In 2017 I joined the Young Kennel Club, in 2018 I registered my own kennel affix 'Vycaran' in earnest, and in early 2019 I brought home my first Collie, Cambrogan on the Bonny Banks for Vycaran. Navi was my first hands-on experience of dog exhibiting, and we qualified for Crufts 2020.

Our foundations

I am extremely grateful to study under some of the most experienced breeders the dog world has to offer. 

In 2019, I met my mentor Angela Harvey, of Wicani kennels. The knowledge I have gained from Angela has truly changed my life. At my first kennel visit I walked away wondering how her Collies were always smiling and so full of life, and that experience never changes no matter how many times I visit! Angela has always allowed me to form my own opinions and gives me honest and open answers to my notebooks full of questions - I wouldn't be where I am today without her guidance and trust.

At Wicani I admired so many Collies, but fell especially in love with Ch Churchoak Temptress at Wicani - 'Jezebel'. Later in 2019 I brought home one of her granddaughters, a beautiful blue bitch who I named 'Juliet', registered name Wicani Moon Dew Stars over Vycaran. She's my best friend and my heart dog, we have a special bond. She is exactly what I was looking for in a brood bitch to start my programme.

In 2020 I also began to study Dog Breeding under my tutor David Cavill, publisher of Our Dogs, breeder and judge at BIS level, and Chairman of Southern Counties show. As part of the syllabus I have studied canine musculoskeletal structure, genetics, heritable disease, conformation, whelping and rearing, and much more. This has given me a holistic view of dog breeding, and supports me to make decisions that I feel are ethical, to produce the best dogs I can. 

I also conduct my own research and write about breed topics where applicable. I've researched the history of the black and white coat colour in the breed using historic stud books and literature, forming (to my knowledge) the first conclusion on the genetic heritability of the colour. Currently I am starting a research project on the Rough Collie gene pool as part of my Dog Breeding college course. 

Our aim

My aim for Vycaran Collies is to come out the other end with a Collie that could stand next to Juliet and look like her daughter! All the while being at the forefront in improving genetic health, not limited to inherited disease but also diversity, temperament, and structural confirmation. Over time more breeders eventually get onboard with new findings, but for me it's important to stay on the pulse and expand my knowledge of genetics - after all an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and it's better to tackle things before they are completely lost to the gene pool!

 

In the 80s and 90s most lines diverged away from what came before, in my opinion to the detriment of the breed. A lot of work has been done to recreate the classic collie phenotype, and now we need to preserve it. This throws up a different set of challenges, but if we have an open and discerning mind, we can use a lot of new tools and an improved understanding of genetics in the modern day to tackle these issues. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, but to continue the work that's been done to create it and ultimately, help it survive the next few decades! 

 

My belief is that genetic testing is an important tool rather than an end result. I don't pick up a hammer and call it a fence, likewise I don't look at COI measures and say my dogs are genetically diverse. Things like DNA testing, inbreeding measures (both pedigree and genetic COI), and pedigree analysis are always in my toolbox and I am trying to use the right tools for each job. By doing this rather than just looking at skin-deep genetic results, I can understand better the situation the breed is in and can make more informed decisions. One of the biggest issues facing the breed right now is a lack of genetic diversity. I first came to this conclusion by creating my own pedigree database and seeing how all Collies go back to one founder dog. Then I found Kennel Club research quantifying it and telling us that the breed is at risk. Now, we have a wealth of resources showing how serious the situation is. So, I don't know what exactly the future will hold for us at Vycaran Collies, but I do know that we will keep using this mindset to do whatever we can to improve the health of our beloved Collies. We'll continue being outspoken and honest about these topics and putting our dogs first - so if that sounds like something you want to be part of, come along for the journey :)

Our Collies

With all that being said, we are finally ready for our first litter and anticipate puppies born March / April. If all is well they will be ready to go home in June 2024

Puppies from our chosen combination will be unaffected by CEA, MDR1, and DM, as well as other less common conditions such as PRA. 

We will release more details when they are born however if you are interested in this litter please contact me at vycarancollies@gmail.com as we are already getting interest. 

Photos of the dam are below.

Wicani Moon Dew Stars over Vycaran

Sire: Ch Wicani Simon Templar (By Dispiritos Shasta Madre ex Ch Churchoak Temptress at Wicani) 

Dam: Wicani Spins Silver Dreams (By Wicani Paint by Numbers ex Wicani Veiled Promise)

CEA unaffected carrier, MDR1 clear/clear, DM clear/clear, DMS AabbCC Low Risk

 

Juliet is a super affectionate bitch who is happy following your schedule - whether you're staying in, or going out, she just enjoys being part of it. I have had health challenges for the last few years and Juliet has always been just as happy to cuddle up with me as go out on an adventure when things are looking up. Her favourite was going on holiday and staying in a holiday cottage, which she decided was no less than she deserved and spent the trip strutting around every room. She's very biddable and easy to train, plus is food motivated. She's exceptionally clean and even dries herself off on the rug if it's raining! Juliet lives with other dogs and has never picked a fight with another dog or person, and is not nervous around new people or animals. If you have any questions about Juliet please get in touch at vycarancollies@gmail.com

IMG_0338_edited.jpg
IMG_0093.JPG
376847178_10217308817671950_4602712610577228831_n_edited.jpg
IMG_0109.JPG
239642002_10214402827344008_6327060559013199744_n.jpg
239791329_10214402832184129_951129734596753210_n.jpg
bottom of page