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#41 pammyd

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 06:27 AM

Bo Peep, I noticed the tail thing too
Was going to comment because I thought part of the breed standard was tail curling up at hocks? - havent looked for a wee while but that would mean that these bred for conformation dogs are not following the standard

I think there is too many dogs just for show or whatever, but its not just in the show ring. I read on an agility website one womans rant about how its not fair that the b/c get all the attention in agility and not her dog, and she had actually got herself a b/c so she could compeate but "found it impossible to train" so she couldnt do agility with it so she had given it away - more like she had only got it for agility, haddnt bothered to bond properly with it or learn about the breed and because it wasnt a star had given it away

You are so right - Ben works (well does stuff not real work) because he wants to do things for me - because he likes to make me happy
He did his whole puppy agility course the other week without a single treat

I cant imagine the dogs on this board standing in the ring with their people and not having a waggy tail! ball treats or just because they love doing anything with their person

#42 Root Beer

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 06:45 AM

I cant imagine the dogs on this board standing in the ring with their people and not having a waggy tail! ball treats or just because they love doing anything with their person


If I took Speedy into a ring with, say, 4 or 5 other Border Collies - with or without treats, he would give me an eager look and be happily ready to do whatever I wanted, even if that was simply to go in brisk circles around the ring. The leash would need to be loose or off, though. He would heel or simply go around with me at my side - my choice. And his look would resemble that of the dog in the Freestyle video that I posted in the sport section.

But if I choked up on his leash and yanked it like those handlers were doing, he would be very worried, and I could see his demeanor becoming very "lifeless".

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#43 bexie

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 07:04 AM

The whole question with confirmation is how much confirmation has an impact on working ability. In horses, for example, there are both confirmation and working classes. I would never choose a stallion that only did confirmation showing, but does that mean it's a bad thing that Quarters have confirmation classes? Does it mean that I am going to rule out a stallion for my mare just because he doesn't do well in confirmation classes? No. But might I take that into consideration? Yes.

I think the question is really the sort of standards that are used and how much these standards impact the working ability of the breed. In horses, I know confirmation can impact important parts of the horses body structure and that can impact how well the animal can run and hold up in the long term to the work you want it to do. You're using an animal for breeding before the end of its life and you want to consider how well it can resist injury and how long and how intensely it can work.

I can imagine that parts of this apply to dogs as well, even though we are working with smaller and more resilient animals that aren't needing to carry a rider along with their own weight. If their legs and the rest of their bodies aren't put together properly for the work they need to do, they are going to be more prone to injury and less able to work day after day in the long term.

In a world where we aren't judging a dog by how well it works every day day in and day out on the farm, we may need to consider some aspects of confirmation as well as its placement in trials to properly consider its potential. We have a great deal of medical care available today, but it isn't healthy to breed animals that rely on that. We can't tell in a 2 or 3 year old dog when it's joints will start giving it trouble or when arthritis will take it out of work.

The real problem, as far as I understand it, with AKC breeding and confirmation is that the standards are based more on fashion and popularity than good sense. What the border collie needs is confirmation standards that reflect a typical good healthy build of a good working sheep dog and don't fluctuate with fashion or the personal preferences of a few top judges. It also needs for these confirmation standards to be considered only a _very small part_ of the basis of evaluation of a border collie. With the primary standards being working standards and personality aspects. Color should be irrelevant because it is not an important aspect of this breed. It is to other breeds because it impacts who they are as a breed, but the border collie is different.

Am I thinking this through properly or is there something I'm not understanding? I'm really very inexperienced with this, even in horses, but this is what I understand as the purpose of it all. I also thought half the point of the confirmation classes in horses was also to have something to do with the youngsters so they could get used to the noise and bustle and learn to behave properly and also to show off their potential when they were still too young to do any "real" work...
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#44 Carson Crazies

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 07:38 AM

The problem with that line of thought, Bexie, is that no-one can point out a set of abitrary physical attributes that determine or suggest why this working dog or that working dog IS a good one. The only thing that determines that is the work itself. If the dog cannot stand up physically to the task, it doesn't get bred. If the dog cannot stand up in other ways to the task - it doesn't get bred. Judging a Border Collie in ANY way based on it's conformation - even in the way you mention - will (as obviously seen in the KC type dogs) result in losing vital parts of the working ability... the working ability is not tied up in physical attributes.

It sounds like a good idea... and at least the KC folks initially paid lip service to the exact reasoning you point out. We can all see how that worked out. :rolleyes:
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#45 BustopherJones

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 07:52 AM

If I took Annie (ABCA-registered, not AKC-registered) into a show ring, the same thing that happened at the local frisbee trials, and at the local Scottish Festival (where they actually show working dogs working), would probably recur. You see, Annie loves everyone and everything; so instead of focusing on the show, she would want to go visit the other dogs, the handlers, the judges, the spectators...in other words, she would be focused on everything except the conformance requirements...and would be looking at me as if to say, "Gee, this is fun! Now, where's my ball?"
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#46 bexie

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 07:56 AM

The problem with that line of thought, Bexie, is that no-one can point out a set of abitrary physical attributes that determine or suggest why this working dog or that working dog IS a good one. The only thing that determines that is the work itself. If the dog cannot stand up physically to the task, it doesn't get bred. If the dog cannot stand up in other ways to the task - it doesn't get bred. Judging a Border Collie in ANY way based on it's conformation - even in the way you mention - will (as obviously seen in the KC type dogs) result in losing vital parts of the working ability... the working ability is not tied up in physical attributes.

It sounds like a good idea... and at least the KC folks initially paid lip service to the exact reasoning you point out. We can all see how that worked out. :rolleyes:


So there aren't even a few basic points that do make sense or is the anticonfirmation reasoning that the points are so few (basic good health) that there is no value in judging it at all?
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#47 Carson Crazies

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 08:11 AM

So there aren't even a few basic points that do make sense or is the anticonfirmation reasoning that the points are so few (basic good health) that there is no value in judging it at all?


I think any good working breeder takes into consideration health, temperament and soundness of their dogs (and most do some sort of testing - CEA and hips if nothing else). The thing is - health, temperament, and soundness are also part of the working package so to speak. Breeding for working ability and taking into account the physical and mental soundness of the dog go hand in hand. A dog that is unsound will break down under the strain of working - and that dog shouldn't be bred. Conformation certainly doesn't take into account the dog's mental soundness (ever see them holding their dog's mouth closed as the judge touches them???), and how can it possibly test for physical soundness? One trot around the ring and feeling up the dog won't show the judge that the dog can stand up to the work. Working the dog to a high level and standard will though. :rolleyes:

I think when it comes to conformation maybe it IS a good thing for some breeds... some breeds (such as say... the Papillon) NEED a standard by which they're judged, and an appearance standard may be all they have. The Border Collie already has a standard - a working standard - and it's a standard that's served the dog well for many years. It weeds out the bad, and seperates the wheat from the chaff - in ALL respects.

I think the idea of "a working dog should have THIS much angle to his hock" or "a border collie needs a rough coat to keep him warm in the winters" or whatever sounds good in theory - but when you look at the working bred dogs one may have THIS much angle, and that one has THAT much angle, yet they're both superb dogs and physically sound. Why would we limit the gene pool by chosing only one of those dogs - we might accidently weed out something very good based on this arbitrary angle that we *thought* made up a good working dog.

Editing to add - I don't mean to pick on you specifically Bexie, just the concepts that you've outlined. It's obvious to me that you're working hard to work all of this out, and I really commend you for stretching yourself.
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#48 bexie

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 08:32 AM

Editing to add - I don't mean to pick on you specifically Bexie, just the concepts that you've outlined. It's obvious to me that you're working hard to work all of this out, and I really commend you for stretching yourself.


Don't worry. I don't feel picked on. I'm just trying to compare it to something where I can see some value in confirmation--horses in horse breeding--and trying to work out whether there _ever_ could be a value for confirmation for BCs for something for someone (in a hypothetical universe) or if the entire concept really should be trashed for this breed of dog.

I think it works out to my comparison doesn't really work. I consider the Quarter horse a working breed of horse and although I still think it should primarily be judged by its working ability, I can imagine times when it is useful to know that potential breeding stock or ancestry of a potential horse has its confirmation in place, like if considering a stud when you can't get up close and personal as much as you'd like ahead of time and you want to be sure the animals have a good potential to be compatible. But despite being two working breeds, I think my comparison just doesn't work. For one thing, dogs don't bear near as much weight or have nearly so clearly problematic confirmation problems.

Part of why I'm thinking about these things now is that I've got a mare who clearly wasn't given proper farrier treatment as a foal. She has a few issues with her feet that are treatable but we don't really know how much is something she was born with and how much is something caused by neglect or oversight. But if I ever do decide to breed her, the confirmation of the stallion is going to be an essential point to consider.

So this is where my line of thought came from. Although I wouldn't accept a stallion only based on his confirmation (it is not unusual in DK for people to think that a Quarter stallion that has never been ridden or barely been ridden and only been shown at halter is valuable breeding stock), I definitely consider it very important for _my mare_ that a stallion have extremely good confirmation, especially in his legs, to potentially correct her flaw rather than risk worsening it to the point of creating an unsound foal.

Having this judged externally rather than having to judge it personally can help me rule out a stallion more quickly and it can also help to be able to check his bloodlines for any possible problems he might be carrying.

Sorry, I'm babbling about things no one cares about. Just trying to explain my reasoning in case it makes more sense than I do...
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#49 OurBoys

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 08:40 AM

Our Boys,
There's nothing wrong with getting a border collie and *never* getting sheep. It comes back to the same old mantra: breed for working ability; use them for whatever you want. It's the "breed for working ability" that is the sticky part here. One can argue that a dog may not have to make it to open to have proven working ability, but I think most would agree that novice-novice is not a proving ground for breeding dogs.

J.


Julie,

Thank you. You definitely know more about sheep & bc's than I do. Sometimes when I see JJ making sure all of the frisbees are gathered in the same area or watch Jake circle around and then suddenly face JJ and start walking toward him in a slight crouch, I wonder if I'm holding them back...not letting them reach their potential. Sometimes I feel guilty for not having sheep. But then again, just because they 'herd' frisbees, doesn't mean they would be good at herding sheep.

And your right (as always)....n/n wouldn't be a proving ground for breeding dogs.

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#50 Carson Crazies

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 08:46 AM

I can see where you're coming from in regards to horses - and I think it's just a little greyer there than with Border Collies. Particularly with things such as back problems and foot problems - I think with careful consideration of conformation and performance you CAN fix certain problems in horses (ie a slightly weak back, etc.). {Edit to clarify - maybe I would be more accurate to get across what I mean hear by saying "with consideration of a specific horse's structure and soundness in that regard - not necessarily conformation as a whole practice}

However, I absolutely ABHOR the practice of breeding based on horses that have only been shown at halter. I used to spend a lot of time around Arabians, and the dichotomy between performance horses and halter horses is just staggering. I know exactly where you're coming from there - and can tell you that you're right in thinking that maybe the comparison doesn't quite make it. In theory it should, but in reality it just doesn't when you try to compare that method to border collies. I think part of that has to do with the weight bearing jobs of horses.

You're in sort of a tough position with your mare (if you decide to breed her) - trying to determine how much of that is genetic and how much of it is environmental. I think you're right to consider even more cautiously so the soundness of the stud, even if you DO think the problem is environmental/early care related. Then you've got to consider if there is the possibility that the problem IS genetic, will it be fixable - and do you want to risk it. Tough spot - I'm feeling it there.
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#51 Kyrasmom

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:03 AM

Yes, Maria, I figured we didn't escape with your initial comment. ;-)

What is the point of this thread? I want to know what is the point of showing in conformation, breeding dogs that look like that, how anyone arrives at the conclusion that this is what the breed was intended to be, how dogs that look like that are supposedly built properly to work, and how anyone thinks that ANY of those dogs are actually enjoying themselves.

I'm sorry you feel you have to defend your dogs. "Would I ever dream of disparaging the pets on this board?" I am not doing that here, either. But please don't attempt to defend or justify the showing of Border Collies in conformation by pointing out the number of "working" bred dogs that shouldn't be bred, either. As it has been pointed out over and over, it's all in the numbers. The AKC hasn't had Border Collies that long, but give it time ...


First of all, if you re-read my post, I'm not justifying anything, and you've conveniently attempted to turn around what I said. I don't defend my dogs (as they don't need it) nor do I justify the breeding of anything besides working ability when done responsibly. But most of the dogs on this board are pets and were not the result of real working dogs just because they're prick eared and smooth coated. Not that that really means much anyway as there are many fluffy working dogs, some much fluffier than mine.

They should not have been bred as mine should not have been bred. Doesn't change that we all love them...and should. I don't believe that two wrongs make a right but I also don't get a kick out of disparaging other dogs based on their appearance simply because I've got nothing better to do. For once, it would be nice if a Westminster thread went beyond "ugly, dumb, and fat". I never fail to be amused when I read, "lifeless eyes" well, duh, these dogs are bored beyond tears in that ring, I think my eyes would glaze over also! Heck, the eyes of a working bred dog may glaze over also if that was all he got to do!

If the intent of your post was as you prefaced in your first paragraph above, I really wouldn't have a big issue with it but it didn't seem very constructive as initially presented and nor did it develop, up to my reply, with anything terribly constructive. Why not specifically point out the drawbacks to adapting a breed to coat/color standards and/or flavor of the month? Why not take it a step further and add that the dogs are probably overweight because they don't get to have any fun because their owners don't do ANYTHING with them beyond trotting around a show ring? Make a complete point for any lurker who is reading of the difference between show bred dogs and working bred dogs are not in the coat but in the aptitude for work and that striving for coat eliminates the other?

I don't like conformation showing for many reasons, including the fact that the dogs don't seem to be terribly happy so don't even attempt to insinuate that I'm defending practices I neither participate in nor condone. I would hope that if a point needs to be made, it's made for the right reasons. :rolleyes:

Maria

#52 Sue R

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:07 AM

One trot around the ring and feeling up the dog won't show the judge that the dog can stand up to the work. Working the dog to a high level and standard will though.


Laura - Well said, especially that quote!

Bexie - I think one problem with conformation showing in many (any?) species is just what Laura alluded to. While lip service may be paid to performance requirements, winning is based largely on style. It is often based on extremes of style, which is even worse. And, as conditioning "tricks" often provide a misleading appearance, the supposed integrity of the showring is even more compromised.

Witness the recent discussion concerning Suffolk sheep in the US (versus the UK, where "show sheep" are similar to commercial sheep) where the winning show sheep have little resemblence to commercially viable stock. How about the tiny feet so popular (and part of a winning "package") in recent years in the Quarter Horse? Talk about being counterproductive to breeding sound, hard-working horses.

Look at the styles prevalent in winning show cattle over the decades - the short, stubby cattle of the fifties to the leggy, long, upsloped rumped cattle of more recent decades. Both have been extremes around a moderate build of cattle that is more thrifty, sensible, and commercially productive. And both extremes carry their own setbacks, whether it's breeding issues (upturned rumps in heifers/cows) or mobility issues (those stubby cattle couldn't cover much range). But if you look at commercially successful cows over the same decades, you will tend to see a more moderate, healthier, more productive animal.

Sorry to say it but I think conformation is often the fantasyland of the animal world. Sounds good but doesn't work, at least not what we see in the US. I can't speak for elsewhere. The problem is that people equate show winning animals with quality, just like they equate "champion lines" and other platitudes with quality. It's a delusion.

There are going to be working-bred dogs that show poor quality in one aspect of soundness or another. Those dogs won't/shouldn't be bred if that particular trait will adversely affect soundness. One of the strengths of the breed is variability because it reflects genetic variability, which is a healthy attribute. Physical variability also reflects the fact that responsible working dog folks aren't breeding for superficial traits, but rather breeding the good ones to the good ones, to perpetuate and improve the breed.
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#53 bexie

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:15 AM

You're in sort of a tough position with your mare (if you decide to breed her) - trying to determine how much of that is genetic and how much of it is environmental. I think you're right to consider even more cautiously so the soundness of the stud, even if you DO think the problem is environmental/early care related. Then you've got to consider if there is the possibility that the problem IS genetic, will it be fixable - and do you want to risk it. Tough spot - I'm feeling it there.


The Quarter Horse is rare here, making her valuable breeding stock simply by location. Her father is a very high-placed reining stallion in Sweden, so she's got good bloodlines and my trainer, who shows internationally, is quite pleased with her progress. I only want her as an at-home horse, maybe a little work, so for me it isn't a big deal either way. But she is showing an excellent temperment in training and so far her problems are treatable. I'd tell you what they are if I could remember the English terminology. She's only five, so I've got some time yet before I have to decide whether I want to put foal in her at all let alone more than one and to be looking for a decent WORKING stallion. She's got to prove herself as a good stable riding horse before I do anything. The farrier input we're getting so far is that she was trimmed wrong for a very long time (our farrier didn't catch it but has never had American horses before and isn't even trained to shoe, just trim) and that put a lot of strain on the hooves. The trainer's farrier has corrected it and she is getting shoes on the front now. And we're getting a new farrier for her and the paint for the future that will hopefully be better able to maintain and manage them. So once she's recovered from the damage, we can have a serious talk with farriers about what kind of issues we're looking at and with the trainer as well. And if I get as far as considering breeding, I've got the good trainer with whom I can consult about breeding potential and stallions. I'm not about to do it just to do it unless I really think she's worth it. Otherwise it's probably better in terms of price and animal treatment to import one on an equivalent level from the US or Canada. I think half the "quality" stallions over here wouldn't make it as geldings at low-end club shows in the US. If I'm going to breed, I need one of the other half.

But all this gets me back to me at least half agreeing to throwing out the confirmation stuff. At least until someone can find a sound basis by which to judge. This would probably be a vet check before the work test...
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#54 Little Bo Boop

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:21 AM

Don't worry. I don't feel picked on. I'm just trying to compare it to something where I can see some value in confirmation--horses in horse breeding--and trying to work out whether there _ever_ could be a value for confirmation for BCs for something for someone (in a hypothetical universe) or if the entire concept really should be trashed for this breed of dog.

I think it works out to my comparison doesn't really work. I consider the Quarter horse a working breed of horse and although I still think it should primarily be judged by its working ability, I can imagine times when it is useful to know that potential breeding stock or ancestry of a potential horse has its confirmation in place, like if considering a stud when you can't get up close and personal as much as you'd like ahead of time and you want to be sure the animals have a good potential to be compatible. But despite being two working breeds, I think my comparison just doesn't work. For one thing, dogs don't bear near as much weight or have nearly so clearly problematic confirmation problems.

Part of why I'm thinking about these things now is that I've got a mare who clearly wasn't given proper farrier treatment as a foal. She has a few issues with her feet that are treatable but we don't really know how much is something she was born with and how much is something caused by neglect or oversight. But if I ever do decide to breed her, the confirmation of the stallion is going to be an essential point to consider.

So this is where my line of thought came from. Although I wouldn't accept a stallion only based on his confirmation (it is not unusual in DK for people to think that a Quarter stallion that has never been ridden or barely been ridden and only been shown at halter is valuable breeding stock), I definitely consider it very important for _my mare_ that a stallion have extremely good confirmation, especially in his legs, to potentially correct her flaw rather than risk worsening it to the point of creating an unsound foal.

Having this judged externally rather than having to judge it personally can help me rule out a stallion more quickly and it can also help to be able to check his bloodlines for any possible problems he might be carrying.

Sorry, I'm babbling about things no one cares about. Just trying to explain my reasoning in case it makes more sense than I do...





There is nothing wrong with taking an animals conformation into consideration when evaluating said animal. Especially if the animal in question is to be a 'using' animal. And that would be especially true of horses. But thats not the problem, the problem comes when people, and the QH is a prime example, start contriving artificial standards, fads really, that some, sorry can't think of anything else to call them but idiots :-( decides, wow this horse is nice...but wouldn't he look better with REALLY tiny feet :D or maybe a really small head! and hmmm ya know what, the way these horses carry their heads? well wouldn't they look so much better if they carried them really low...you know with their noses practically dragging the ground. I could go on, but it makes me too angry LOL IMHO the QH is very much like the Border Collie, in that they were both bred to be working partners with man, they both have a rich heritage and history, yet it seems people like those in Ack and the QH Ass. totally disregard all of that. THe thing that really makes me sad is the total disrepect for the breed it seems to be fostering in young trainers and handlers (and I'm talking strictly horses now) but I got into a 'discussion' with a gal the other day on some of the 'techniques' used in WP horses...injecting tails with alcohol, so they wouldn't swish them...tying heads up high in the stall for hours...regular hock injections....this young woman thought nothing of any of this and freely admitted advocating it ;-( said I just didnt understand the discipline :rolleyes: thank god for small favor eh?
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#55 Kyrasmom

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:23 AM

I think that's why I enjoy these boards so much. Everyone here is as nuts about the quirks of border collie attitudes and such that it seems they are the only ones that understand WHY I am so hooked on the breed.

A lot of my question is guilt. I wonder if "I WAS" a BYB. My dogs never made it to open level, never past n/n. I don't know why so many people called me wanting to be put on my waiting list for puppies. I had 5 litters in 20 years and never a return. I had hips tested and certified and then the eyes had to be done every year. I was as picky as one could be before I sold a pup or even took a deposit, but yet I still fell a little guilty. So, I probably shouldn't have typed that, but........ can't change it now.


We can only learn through sharing and honesty and I commend you for "confessing" the five litters. As Julie said, it's not about volume and while you did almost everything right, those pups should not been bred and hopefully someone reading this can learn from what you've thoughtfully shared.

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#56 Bo Peep

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 10:19 AM

Actually, in defense, all of my males litter mates were in open. My male was a rescue and the only reason my dogs never got higher than novice was me. I waited to long to teach them how to drive. I'm glad I fessed up and feel much better about it. That was a long time ago and I have learned my lesson. Usher is neutered.
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#57 jay7347

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 10:34 AM

Lots of interesting comments on this thread to get one thinking. I have to admit to a bias against show situations because I don't feel comfortable with the whole concept of a narrow breed standard in the case of Border Collies. The breed is so wide ranging, and I'm just plain smitten with diversity of size, shape, color etc. Having said that I sure don't mean to put down the show dog people here. I know they love their dogs as much as I do, want the best for them and give their heart and soul to their dogs.

But my reaction to the video was one of OMG what fat and out of shape dogs they have there being held as a breed standard. Poof is one thing but those dogs looked like they weren't ever exercised. They moved heavy. We all know BC's, and we know what happens when they don't get enough exercise. Ok, I may be off base here as I like my BC's lean and in shape from lots of running and play. Active, is imho, a requirement of the breed physically and mentally. (I wouldn't approach raising a German Shepard or a Rottie the same way.) I don't herd with my dogs although I have almost reverential respect for those who do. My BC's are my companions 24-7 and the days are usually quite active. I know my BC's are happy. I just have this gut reaction though that the show stuff was almost like trying to shape a square peg into a round hole.

-jay

#58 jdarling

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 10:50 AM

First of all, if you re-read my post, I'm not justifying anything, and you've conveniently attempted to turn around what I said.

My apologies. That was not my intention.

I don't defend my dogs ...

With all due respect, you might want to re-read your own posts.

Doesn't change that we all love them...and should.

Please point out to me where I said you shouldn't love show dogs.

I don't believe that two wrongs make a right but I also don't get a kick out of disparaging other dogs based on their appearance simply because I've got nothing better to do.

Neither do I. I am simply questioning the showing of the dogs in conformation itself and questioning what it proves. I saw the video and found it even more disturbing than what I had pictured in my head. I honestly don't get it.

For once, it would be nice if a Westminster thread went beyond "ugly, dumb, and fat".

It would be nice if Westminster itself went beyond ugly, dumb and fat, but that's what they want. So that's what they get. What else are we given to judge these dogs on other than their looks? It's the exact nature of the beast.

If the intent of your post was as you prefaced in your first paragraph above, I really wouldn't have a big issue with it but it didn't seem very constructive as initially presented and nor did it develop, up to my reply, with anything terribly constructive.

I fail to see how this is my fault. I cannot control what other people post.

Why not specifically point out the drawbacks to adapting a breed to coat/color standards and/or flavor of the month?

Because that's not what I wanted to know when I posted the thread. Next time I'll check with you on what I would like to know before I post, okay?

Why not take it a step further and add that the dogs are probably overweight because they don't get to have any fun because their owners don't do ANYTHING with them beyond trotting around a show ring?

I know why they are fat. I don't need to "disparage" the dogs publicly. The draw to what drives people to prance their dogs around the ring is what is escaping me.

Make a complete point for any lurker who is reading of the difference between show bred dogs and working bred dogs are not in the coat but in the aptitude for work and that striving for coat eliminates the other?

Aren't there 40 bazillion threads like that to be found here?

I don't like conformation showing for many reasons ... so don't even attempt to insinuate that I'm defending practices I neither participate in nor condone.

Well, considering everyone tells me that there are NO conformation dogs in rescue, it would stand to reason that you bought your conformation-bred dogs, and by doing so, isn't that condoning conformation?

I would hope that if a point needs to be made, it's made for the right reasons.

I agree. What is the point of attempting to defend show dogs on a working dog board every time the subject comes up? You talk about the theme of these thread getting old. It's as old as your dissertation.

I was hoping this thread would have sparked some interesting conversation, and it has. But, as usual, some are taking offense. But, being that this is a working dog board, I guess I should have asked my question on the AKC Yahoo Group. ::shudder:: Nevermind.

Eileen, my apologies for posting this thread. It was not my intention to insult anyone or their dog(s) on this board. Please feel free to delete this thread.

Into lurk mode,
Jodi

#59 Lenajo

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 10:55 AM

The point is actually rather simple:

It is as wrong to say a dog *will* work by looking at it stand and trot, as to say it *won't*.

That said, most conformation dogs *are* fat, and many are being deliberately bred to have docile, passive personalities that don't cause any issue when they are crated for long hours and not exercised more than ring training.

Basic structural correctness can be judged by any person familiar with livestock and dogs. It is not the same as a superficial "standard", and is the equivilant of knowing the basics of how the farm tractor works. You don't give a darn about the tractors paint, or if the seat is as a 45 or 48 degree angle, or if the tire rims are white or green. Things that matter is that it *functions* well doing the job that it was created for.

A significant part of evaluating structural correctness is actually using that conformation in a functional manner at work. If the "look" doesn't equally functional soundness, then the "look" isn't worth anything.

We all have history, with mistakes and triumphs. It is as the quote, I think by Maya Angelo goes...Success and growing is about that ..."I did the best I knew at the time, and when I knew better, I did better".

#60 bc4pack

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 11:13 AM

Quick point on QHs...
Remember that with 'using' horses a lot of their working ability is inherited, just like Border Collies ...ie a cutting horse has got to have a lot of 'cow' in them...if they don't then no matter how athletic they may be and no matter
if they have the best conformation for cutting, well....


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