(c) Ilona Marjakoski
(c) Ilona Marjakoski

About the breeder

My border collie hobby started at the beginning of 2010, when I got my first own dog Jeriko. Jeriko took me deep into the depths of the dog sports world and with it I got seriously bitten by the training and competition bug. We were most active in toko, agility, herding and tracking, in all of which we competed up to the highest class.

After Jeriko household's border collie composition grew up to five, we moved to the countryside in 2014, and sheep became a part of our everyday life.

I have competed with my dogs in a total of eight sports, five of which (agility, toko, herding, tracking, IFH) I have competed in the highest class. In addition to these, I have used my dogs in shows a little more than the "mandatory minimum", I have learned a bit about training of ring presentation and I have familiarized myself and studied the structure of dogs quite a lot.

I am also very interested in pedigrees of border collies and especially the diversity in the breed and in the individuals I use for breeding. I have spent a lot of time researching and collecting pedigrees and evaluating the individuals repeated in the pedigrees with the goal of low inbreeding and ancestry loss coefficient, as well as the highest possible diversity. In the future, my interest is to monitor the development of diversity in my lines on a genetic level as well.

My strength as a breeder is extensive experience with different sports and different types of border collies, which enables me to see and consider strengths and also weaknesses in breeding plans.

I am a member of the Finnish Kennel Club, the Finnish Border Collie and Australian Kelpie Association (SBCAK), and a herding and service dog test administrator. I was also breedclubs breeding comittees chairman between 2016-2022, which gave me even wider perspective on breeding issues. I attended the Kennelliito's breeder's course in the fall of 2019, after which I began a long thinking about a suitable kennel name. In the end I made my choice and the kennel name became Tasapainon. My breeding started with Jeriko's two daughters; Troja and Noomi, who was on breeding loan/co-operation from her owner.

The word "tasapaino" translates to english as "balance" and it is ambigious to me; The important things for me in border collies are a balanced character, a balanced unexaggerated structure, balance of course also in herding, and in breeding work a balance with the desired character and working traits, health features and inevitable risks.

My goal as a breeder is to breed border collies that have good preconditions for a healthy and balanced life as a sports dog. The goal is a well-balanced nervous structure as well as character and working traits that would provide the premise to work in many sports. Good health is an extremely important feature for the dog's own well-being and, on the other hand, to enable versatile sports.

I value the origin of the breed and wish to be able to keep the herding traits in my breeding lines as much as possible, and for this reason I like to see my breeding dogs or the dogs I plan for breeding herding. However, those who are looking for an actual herding dog (for farm or competition use), I will guide to look for a suitable puppy from the litters that are better suited for this. I am by no means a "line believer", and I see good aspects in the different breeding lines of border collies, also in terms of genetic diversity. I see the possibility of using dogs of different breeding lines as a strength.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as a perfect or completely risk-free dog or breeding combination. However, there are different levels of risk, and there are things and risks that I cannot overlook. I want to be open about the risks of combinations and families of my breeding dogs, and on the other hand keep the risks at a reasonable level, and be careful not to take the same risk repeatedly. By this I mean that if I have to take some risk in particular combination, my idea is to avoid this same risk again in the next generation. I might then have to be flexible in some other matter, but at least I won't take the same risk again. I also don't want the same risk to come from close relatives on both sides.

As a breed Border Collies are associated with certain health risks which the puppy seeker should also be familiar with: osteochondrosis (OC/OCD), epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, spinal changes (lumbosacral transitional vertebrae or LTV, spondylosis, vertebral anomalies or VA) and hip dysplasia.

My ideal border collie is a strong-minded and balanced dog with a high motivation to work, enough desire to please, but also self-confidence to use his own head when necessary. In addition, it is confident with loud sounds and different surfaces. It is open to both people and other dogs, although the border collie's typical "racial racism" and the desire to do more of its own don't bother me. My ideal border collie has high drive for working, but always knows how to calm down when there is no special task, and it doesn't boil over. In other words, it has a working on-off switch. Since Finnish working trials have always been the closest to my heart, I also hope to succeed in breeding stable, healthy and well-built versatile border collies well-suited for working trials.