Who Are We?
Herdabout Permanent Registered (Herdabout Mudi) is owned by Jeff and Kellie Whiteside. We are professional, accomplished dog trainers who own Herdabout K9 Academy as well as being Canine Good Neighour judges with the Canadian Kennel Club. We are long time successful breeders of Shetland Sheepdogs (Herdabout Shelties). Our dogs are not just a hobby, but a lifetime commitment.
While our actual start into showing and breeding dogs was in 1988, it wasn't until 1999 that we were successfully breeding and showing Shetland Sheepdogs in all venues. We started doing all genetic DNA testing available at the time, eliminating all the genetic diseases we can test for in our line of shelties, and we began earning titles on our dogs in conformation, obedience, herding, rally, and agility. Some of our shelties (trained and handled by us) have been in top dogs of Canada in performance sports such as agility. Then in 2012 we fell in love with the Mudi breed while watching the FCI agility world competitions in Europe.
How Did We Get Into Mudis?
We did a LOT of research before finding top Mudi breeders in Europe before getting on their waiting lists. We watched the European dog shows for three years, looking for the top winners and then finding Mudi breeders who do all the health testing and stood behind their dogs for both health and temperament. It was very important to us to only purchase Mudis whose pedigrees were free from epilepsy in their lineage. We took our time. We learned all we could about showing, breeding and pedigrees from these top breeders in Europe, consulting them with any questions we had, because they ARE the only ones with true knowledge of the breed. We were able to obtain and import our first three Mudis in 2015 and immediately started showing these three Mudis in conformation with great success.
Where Are We Now?
Today we are happy to own some very high quality Mudis that have been tremendously successful in representing the breed here in Canada with both their people friendliness and their accomplishments in the conformation ring. Our Mudis have consistently been in the top dogs in Canada for conformation (owner handled). These are not just our dogs competing against themselves, but our Mudis have many group placements, top puppy in show wins, reserve best in show, and best in show awards.
While we (ourselves) have not yet put many performance sports titles on our breeding Mudis many of our Herdabout Mudis, who were born and raised at Herdabout Perm. Reg'd, have been successful in performance sports such as agility, obedience, rally, barn hunt, flyball and even one Herdabout Mudi (Qatar) is the first Mudi ever to earn a title in the sport of French Ring.
We are breeding structurally sound, mentally stable, health tested Mudis in Canada to both preserve and improve the breed for future generations. We do not breed a Mudi simply because it's a Mudi. We eliminate dogs from our breeding program that do not meet our measure of quality in structure, temperament or genetic health.
We Are "Colour Breeders".
What does that mean? It means we breed for all colours recognized by the FCI and CKC breed standard. This includes Black, Ash, Brown, Fawn, White, Blue Merle, Ash Merle and Brown Merle.
Occasionally we might get a "colour surprise" in one of our litters because of a throwback from unknown colour genes being passed along that cannot be tested for by DNA prior to breedings taking place. Colour surpises happen to many Mudi breeders and there is no shame if a puppy arrives that is Albino, Black & Tan, Grullo, Parti, or Wolf colour. No breeder goes out of their way to make such a colour on purpose, but it can happen. While many old school breeders used to cull these colour surprise puppies, we don't, we love them all, colour is only a colour, (and some "colour surprises" can be pretty cool looking).
We have been involved in research with a very well known and respected laboratory, veterinarians, and scientists who have used our Mudi's DNA so look farther into the Merle gene, resulting in them being able to discover different lengths of the gene and map a chart of what length of the genes can be safely bred together. Then we did some breedings to help further their research. We are breeders who willingly offer our dog's DNA in order to help advance the science of DNA testing for real genetic disease and colour locus.
It should be noted that the term "Black Merle" is only used in the USA. It is the AKC colour name for what the rest of the world recognizes as a Blue Merle. So if you are looking for a "Black Merle", remember that in any other country (other than the USA) you will actually be looking for a Blue Merle.