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In a message dated 5/1/99 12:03:43 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:

<< I guess I don't get why they breed
 from Pal's line - Howard doesn't *look* like "Lassie"  so why only breed
 from him to get the next Lassie, why not find the new Lassie and start
 over? >>
Thanks to Ace Collins, all of the Lassies will forever be known by names they
started out with as a pup!  "Howard" will not even look at you or respond to
you if you call him by that name.   The call names in the book are sort of
like the names breeders give pups before the new owners come along.   When a
potential candidate is bred, even though he might have all the markings, you
need to wait a few months to see what the disposition is, how he responds to
training and other factors will be to make a final decision.     When that
decision is made, the pup takes on the name of Lassie from that point on till
the rest of his life.

On the line, the breeding has always been father to son for 8 generations,
likewise on the trainer!  :-)   It's part of the Lassie legacy that has
become traditional.

Today's Lassie has been bred bigger because of requirements in the business.
Lassie plays primarily against child actors and the larger the dog, the
longer the human child actor can play a part.    The blaze, full white collar
and white feet are geneticly required by the trademark.   The blaze is not an
exact science.   Just about all the pups are born with a blaze but it fades
out within the first couple weeks or months.   It's just not possible to
"clone" a dog's blaze (unless you actually clone!- YUK).