My name is Alicia Dawn Ward (formerly Barrett). I live outside of Dallas, Texas. I am a small hobby breeder and exhibitor of Border Collies. My kennel name, Red-Dawn, is me: I have red hair and my middle name is Dawn. I grew up a hour from Dallas in the country. I have a handful of horses, like to keep goats and have owned many species of farm animals. My parents bred Golden Retrieves and I grew up showing in obedience and juniors with those dogs. I also showed horses, geese, rabbits etc. Starting at 15 I began teaching obedience classes to the public and have continued ever since. I own a dog boarding & training kennel and solve behavior problems in my client’s pet dogs every day. More recently I’ve become a fan of Chinese Cresteds and have a slew of little nekid dogs and puffs running around my house. I’ve found little dogs are addictive, like potatoe chips, you can not have just one. I compete with the cresteds in agility, obedience and conformation. My Crested, Snowbird & I are the 2005 High-in-Trial Obedience Crested at the Nationals and #2 overall USDAA Agility Crested and Top Ten AKC Agility Crested.
My first dog was a wild Border Collie named Bandit. He came from the same breeder as my dog Alli’s paternal side, Jim Olsen. My father got Bandit at a year old as a family pet, I was 5 years old. He was driven to work, so he took up herding me and my friends- he enjoyed keeping us ‘together’. Unfortunately he was not trained, and his herding became nipping at our heels and tearing our clothes. Bandit’s favorite hobby was to jump to the top of our 6 foot fence and bite the top, the fence quickly reduced in height…. He also had a well worn path along the back fence from ‘herding’ the cars that went down the alley. All in all, he was a nuisance and hard to live with as a pet. He escaped from the yard one day and was never seen again. It was very unfortunate that a dog with such work ethic and desire was trapped in our yard to be a pet. Bandit was born to work, and we did not allow him to become the great dog he could have become.
I admired Bandit, as difficult as he was to live with. I learned a valuable lesson. Border Collies are not house pets nor yard ornaments. They must have a job. Not giving a Border Collie a job is like denying a child of love; they deteriorate. It is with this in mind that I have structured my breeding program. I only breed to produce the ultimate working dog. No pets. Now that is not to say that a Border Collie is not a family member deserving to live as a house pet. They make great house dogs, only if they have a job.