top of page


Puppy Policy

Puppy Policy

At Gold Creek Ranch Border Collies, we do our best to match the right puppy with the right owner/family. The addition of a puppy to your home should be a joyful experience for everyone, including the puppy. If you have an interest in owning one of our puppies, we would like to learn a bit about you, your lifestyle, and what your plans would be for the puppy. We like to start by having you fill out our Puppy Questionnaire, and usually follow up with a phone call so we can get to know you, and you can get to know us. Our puppies are sold to approved homes only. Please don't take offense when we request references, this is a due diligence step on our part to help ensure our puppies are going to the best of homes.

We receive puppy questionnaires daily and I respond to questions posed, request a phone call if more information is needed by either party and then the new contact questionnaire goes into the appropriate file for existing or future litters. 

When filling out the puppy questionnaire, please be as complete as possible. One word answers will not get a response from me. This is where I learn what you are looking for and how much you are interested in doing what is best for your puppy. Additionally, if specific eye color or a lot of white is more important to you than the heart and soul of your puppy, please look elsewhere. Eye color and a lot of white have the potential link to deafness. 


What we require

If you are considering a new puppy, it is essential for that puppy's success in life that you understand that I as a breeder, despite all my best efforts in choosing my breeding stock, my care and nutritional efforts, and most importantly, starting our puppies at day three utilizing the Early Neurological Stimulus protocol, the impact a breeder has on a puppy's future equals at best 35% of the outcome. That leaves 65% at minimum up to you, the new owner. We know that the first 14 weeks of a puppy's life is a small window, but the most important one, in their future success and development. It is essential for you as a new owner to understand the importance of your role and have the resources available to help you ensure that your puppy will meet and exceed all of your expectations going forward. 

Under Resources are two wonderful items I want all of our new puppy owners to purchase in advance to learn the most current information on puppy and dogs communication and understanding processes and the best way to start your role in your puppies development from day one. 

Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 5.30.40 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-08-05 at 3.50.21 PM.png


Leslie McDevitt's book “Control Unleashed Puppy” is absolutely perfect for all dogs and is heavily based upon her experience with Border Collies as an agility trainer. However, the book's insight and suggestions are appropriate for any puppy or dog with any background, breed or age.



Absolute Dogs (a complete training package with DVDs and downloadable videos, books and informational training and resource website) - which is the perfect follow up as they have developed a development program from puppy (Pups to Perfection is a great video) to adulthood and can be used on any age and really helps with rescued animals as well. 

These processes are very similar to the natural horsemanship we incorporated into our Arabian horse breeding program over 30 years ago. Observing the interaction between members of herds or with canine packs with and within litters and the various ages and temperaments of the members Is so amazing.  Very clear and clean roles and rules.

Our animals read our body language. They read our emotions via eyes and mouth, they see the tightness or looseness of our bodies.  They know our current health even as it changes.  They hear minute variances in our tones of voice.  Canines can smell our bodies differing information in split second data.

You cannot lie to a dog and when you add in the superior brilliance of our breed, well we are toast if we do not invest in their mental health by first learning how they communicate and then by taking advantage of these games to continue keeping their minds engaged. Short, simple games can accomplish an amazing growth in your relationship daily and the rewards are a happy devoted companion for life.

This approach to development can and should include all family members, even the youngest ones and it is positive for any job you have for your dog as these games build confidence, sensibly, builds calm, encourages excitement for learning tasks, and really ensures consistency by removing the fear reactions and wasted energy distracted dogs suffer from.

I hope you will embrace these tools and prepare prior to taking any new dog or puppy into your family environment be it on a farm, ranch, a home in the suburbs, or a skyscraper in Manhattan.   

I look forward to your Pupdates as you move forward with a GCRBC puppy.


What to expect

The Breeding Has Happened

When the litter is confirmed, I contact you from the list to get a commitment and update for clear info from you on what is the final and most significant criteria you are looking for from sex to color and most importantly job. We have seen these criteria change many times while on a list so clarity at this point is essential to ensure everyone receives the perfect pup. At this point you can verbally commit. If you have not already sent in a deposit but have been added from the backup list you will need to get us your deposit right away to have a place held until the litter is born and we know what we have.


Puppy Selection - The Actual Process

The ranking for choosing is based upon the date we receive your completed puppy questionnaire and secondarily, priority goes to veterans, law enforcement, competitors, and breeders. This is the way we can measure the success of our breeding choices and the needs of our priority buyers are very specific to their purposes.

We sell to great companion homes every litter and I assure you that you are free to contact every owner we have ever sold a puppy or dog to, they all feel they received the perfect pup for them. Many are on both our website and our Facebook page. Also, please feel free to call and ask me for contact info for our references.

Puppy Pricing / Payment

Each Gold Creek Ranch Border Collie - regardless of sex, color, or parentage - is priced the same. 

Payment Methods: I prefer Venmo or ApplePay. I also accept personal checks. Final payment is due at the beginning of week 7 if shipping or at pickup, but no later than 8 weeks.

I call interested parties in order of request date but deposits that do not come in within the stated time frame drop lower or off after the list is full by those who have paid their deposits in a timely manner. I am always willing to work with our clients if special accommodations need to be made. My number one responsibility to this process is to be the advocate for our puppies and ensuring, to the best of my ability, that our pups get the perfect home and to my clients, that they receive a new family member who will bring joy, love, and be a great partner in all of the plans the family has for them.


What if I sent a deposit on time but there is not a puppy in the litter that I want or if something unavoidable comes up in my life and I have to back out of the purchase? What happens to my deposit?


We will apply the deposit to a future litter of your choice. Should you or an immediate family member be injured, become ill or some life altering event happens that would prevent you from being able to provide the financial, physical, and emotional support a puppy requires, we will certainly consider a 50% refund. Once a puppy is chosen it goes off the market for a new home. When, at the last minute, we have a puppy available that is ready to move to his/her new home, this critical time for the puppy to be bonding with his/her new family is lost and we have to start from scratch to secure the perfect situation for the pup.

It's Take Off Time


When can the puppy come to its new home?



Your puppy has been chosen, their baby education has produced a sweet, calm, and charming new member of your family. They have had time to be comfortable in crates, driving distances, meeting lots of people and been exposed to different situations. Now they are ready for the trip to their forever home.

We allow pick ups at 7-1/2 weeks. We encourage up to eight weeks but we also have to consider your availability for travel, weather conditions for shipping and situations that come up that we will try to accommodate if possible.

If planning on having your puppy transported, we need destination location and date options as far out as possible but no later than week five. I take care of airline reservations if the puppy is shipping air cargo or by ground transport and I assure you we have never had a problem with the condition of the puppies when they arrive be it a quick direct flight or 18 hours to Puerto Rico, the wilds of interior Alaska, or a long drive with a dog ground transport.

If transportation is required, full payment for the puppy is due at week 7. Finding the best flight takes time and the airlines are great to work with. There is quite a bit of paperwork, photos, and good communication between myself and the new owners, plus purchasing the airline-approved travel crate and accessories, and finally transporting the puppy to the airport for arrival 2 1/2 hours before departure to meet airline regulations. Payment for travel (based on airline estimate, will bill for actual cost at time of shipment with adjustments made either a refund if less or request for the difference prior to take off) is due one week prior to departure. One good thing about air cargo is that the dates can be changed at no additional fee. This is to accommodate weather and other issues that make a change necessary at both ends. 

I will provide current health records, information on the food and various needs your pup will need from day one, and I'm happy to answer any questions and concerns you might have.

When The Puppies Arrive at Their New Home

The consistency of my breeding program allows me to send off puppies to their new homes knowing that the basics of what we all want - a great attitude for learning, loving, exploring, calm and sweet, silly and ready for fun but most of all the traits mixed together - to have the potential of great citizens in any environment. How they are developed from then on is the key to how they turn out. 

As mentioned earlier on our website, research now tells us that the first 14 weeks of a puppy's life is the most critical time for social development and enrichment of their mind and physicality. This is where it all falls on you for the end result. We have done everything possible (as mentioned above) to ensure a calm, curious, sweet-tempered pup is joining your family. They have learned on their own how to accomplish basic environmental changes and challenges. They have had lots of socialization and stimulation. We have introduced enhancements to their daily life that encourage mental stimulation and growth. Our number one job has been to allow each puppy to learn how to find calm.


A Border Collie's 125-year history is about taking a situation of chaos and bringing it to calm. Why is this important to know? The Border Collie developed in the low lands between Scotland and England. Raising sheep was a major economic concern to the era of the mid-1800s. At that time, the Border Collie breed was born from centuries of dogs working sheep. A certain criteria emerged that ended up being the Border Collie. The shepherd and his dog would spend time, he on a rock, and his best friend at his side. This could be for hours. Just being friends. Talking, petting, maybe some play. Then, the shepherd notices that a group of the sheep have broken away from the herd and are now not safe. Off he sends his dog. "Come bye," he says, and off his dog goes to gather the sheep. He may be required to go 300 yards at top speed, however as he approaches the sheep the dog knows he must approach calmly and quietly if he is to be successful. He also has to have a plan before he gets to the sheep of what will be needed to gather them and bring them back where they belong. So while at mock speed, not even seeing where the sheep are oftentimes, the dog once finding the sheep rapidly calculates what is needed and kicks in to gathering in a calm and well thought out plan to do his master's bidding. Once the sheep come in to sight of the shepherd, the shepherd may add some additional instructions as to what he wants his partner to do. The give and take between the two is successful due to the tight relationship they have created of mutual respect and time spent together, both as friends and working partners.

If as a new owner you are not dedicated to investing in mind development, also known as enrichment, with calm and caring developing (such as Absolute Dogs three-minute games), this breed may not be for you. What you will learn from our resources is that just as children learn far better from a trusted and valued teacher, so does a puppy and dog. Our resources will direct you in how to be consist in all of the rules of your home from day one. If you don’t like dogs on the furniture or bed, don’t start putting them there while they are little and cute. You will come to understand the differences between telling a dog what you want in your way of communicating with the help of these resources and instead you will learn how your puppy will communicate with you. This allows you to understand what the pup needs from you before it can meet your needs. With this new communication between the two of you and your commitment to a lifetime for you to be open to new ideas, suggestions and to act on them if appropriate. One reason I like to interact often with my buyers prior to actual purchase is to listen for "putting the puppy first over self" - that is the key to what all pups deserve and certainly what I require for my pups.

Puppies and dogs do NOT understand rule changes and it is so much harder on you and them if you change the rules.  Remember these kids will be puppies in their physical development until about 24 months. At six months they are nearly full grown and too many people associate size with mental and physical maturity. Both the physical and mental development of your pup need the full 18 to 24 months to reach the status of dog. The reality is, mentally a dog does not reach full adult acuity until age 3 years. Reality check - you are dealing with a puppy for a long time.


Allowing or worse yet encouraging jumping up on you while a puppy will ensure jumping up on you full grown, dirty paws and all. Too much of the "inappropriate for age" physical activities, especially jumping on and off of anything of any height until cleared by your vet is horrible on hips and joints. Stairs are hard on dog's bodies at any age, terrible on growing  bodies.

It is important never to react in anger, with a loud voice, or physically with any pet. With a Border Collie it is the worst possible reaction as they have hundreds of years as partners in the fields and mountains and in the cottage always trying to please. They can read your expression, they can smell how your body is reacting, they can tell the slightest inflection of your voice the truth of where you are mentally at any given moment. We have had many pups purchased for companionship that end up being service dogs as at 8 weeks they were reacting to their owner's impending anxiety or physical changes. The Border Collie is exceptionally intelligent - both for learning and for having an innate sense of reading us.

I highly recommend the book Control Unleashed: The Puppy Program (click on name of book to be directed to Amazon) that explains how puppies speak to us. If we understand that then we can better speak to them in a way that helps them figure out what their person needs from them. Additionally, the resource is worth every penny as it makes teaching and developing so much fun for both you and the puppy. Ditching the food bowl and playing a 3-minute game seals the bond between family members and their pup and adds consistency to all handling in the family. I encourage you to research and look for other positive-based resources as well.​

Puppy Deposit


If during the Covid crisis you have not heard back from us, we apologize. As of mid-October 2020 we have had over 1,400 puppy questionnaires at a time when we had almost nine months of interrupted internet service.


To protect people who know they want a puppy from a particular breeding, or any breeding and just want to secure a puppy, we are now accepting $500 non-refundable deposits on our puppies. When I say non-refundable, if a person has me hold a slot for them and then after the litter is born change their mind, I will not refund their deposit. Backing out at that point leaves me with the task of finding a perfect home for a puppy in a short period of time. I do not advertise except rarely to keep in front of ranches in the west. That said, I am blessed to have an excellent new client list on an ongoing basis and to be fair to those who contact me long before a breeding, the deposit is an insurance policy for getting a puppy. I will limit the number of deposits so that I do not oversell the litter. I know how many pups my dogs average and so as an example Jen has between 8 and 11 puppies every litter, average is 9. I will take up to 4 female and 4 male deposits. After that I will put names on the list in the order that they came in. If she should have 3 females and 6 males I will return the deposits to the buyers who missed out on a puppy or at their request put their deposit towards another current or future litter of any dog if so desired.


I know that this is common practice among professional breeders, I have always felt uncomfortable taking money prior to puppy on the ground however recent events and the enormous numbers of new buyers has convinced me this is the only fair way to protect people who wish for a puppy that is not yet conceived.


After you read through our website where all of the most pertinent questions are answered, please fill out the puppy questionnaire and call me at 406-360-1344 to ensure I received it and we can discuss in depth what your goals are for your new puppy and how can I help you meet those goals.


Frequently Asked Questions

When Do You Have Puppies Available?

We live in the farthest southwest section of the Rocky Mountains, called the Bitterroot Mountain Range, a huge swath of high peaks and unlimited access in to the various wilderness areas and National Parks that divides the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. We encourage flexibility for shipping around weather constraints any time of the year depending upon both our Rocky Mountain weather as well as the connecting and destination weather. However, we have successfully shipped in every month of the year and never had any health or stress issues regardless of length of time in the process. 

Our litters sell out quickly. Often months in advance.


We will have multiple litters each year. All four ladies will have litters each year. Please refer to our breeding protocol to understand our policy and what litters can be expected each year. The girls determine the breedings, lately they are stacking up one coming into season within days to weeks of another. Keeps us hopping.  


We will be evaluating the puppies from our litters and their progress for years to come. We not only utilize our studs, but also reach out to outstanding stud dogs in other programs to ensure keeping top quality new blood in our program. Each female in our program has some shared top bloodlines yet also many new excellent lines as well. We strive to keep hybrid vigor while carefully line-breeding to ensure protecting the heritage and future of this breed.  

NuVet Plus - Supplement 

We offer a one year health guarantee exclusive of genetic disease as long as your puppy is being fed NuVet Plus on a daily basis throughout that timeframe. 

All of our dogs have been fed the supplement NuVet Plus. This is not just a vitamin, it is a full nutritional supplement that boosts the immune system - especially important as the puppies and dogs are exposed to environmental threats as their world is based upon the ground. Chemicals from flooring products, furniture, the nervous system bombardment from electrical devices, pesticides, household cleaners, etc. all have negative impacts on our pet's health. The product is amazing and while there are many benefits, the number one is boosting a strong immune system from conception to throughout their lives. When the puppies are receiving their shots, this product has found to boost the immunity by nearly double the strength over puppies without the NuVet Plus supplement.


We encourage our clients to continue this supplement from the day their new pup goes to your home until the day they depart this earthly realm.

Due to the quality and high standards of production, this product is limited in production and sold only through qualified professionals in the pet industry. For more information about this excellent product please go to their website or call 800-474-7044. To order you will need the following Order Code 11726.


What about Color?

I do not breed for color, however all of our females carry the red gene and several of the studs we breed to are red so there will be occasional red puppies. There is a high demand for merle and both Skye and Joy bring merle to our program. However, it is their pedigree, temperament, brilliance of mind that are the number one requirements of all the dogs in our breeding program. If merle or any color is your number one concern, or a particular coat length is the only criteria when looking for a puppy, I request that you look elsewhere. I have no problem with having preferred color or coats, unfortunately when it comes to coat length we do not always know for sure what will be the eventual outcome by eight weeks of age. 


What do you do with your dogs?

Our stud dog BCW Texas qualified for the 2019 National Sheepdog Championships in Carbondale, CO in just five trials and in just eight months of training as a novice dog. Jen has had stock dog training on cattle and sheep, she now works cattle on our ranch. Grace completed three months of training with Rocky Brown of Broken Circle Border Collies. Her breeding is from Robin Brown's Broken Circle program. The younger dogs will be attending puppy clinics in herding as they continue to mature and again, will be helping with the cattle on the ranch and possibly some sheep that may join us next year.

We breed for genetic and physical soundness and quality, athleticism, solid and calm dispositions and of course herding as that is the foundation of the breed. We have pups in service with PTSD and other mental health issues, search and rescue, herding of course, also doing very well with national level trainers in agility and various dog sports. We also are blessed with wonderful companion homes with active owners who are committed to the mental and physical development essential to a happy Border Collie.

Thank you so much for considering GCRBCs as a source for your new family member,

Suzy Foss


continue to
Step 2:

bottom of page