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#81 Katelynn & Gang

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 04:42 PM

If we try to go beyond that, and try to "wipe it out" by excluding every carrier from breeding, we are reducing the diversity of our gene pool and increasing the likelihood that other bad recessive genes -- ones that we may not yet know about or have a test for -- will pair up in future dogs and make those dogs unhealthy in a different, previously unseen way.


This couldn't be anymore true!

Conformation breeders have already went along and proven this point. No, not with excluding dogs because of health defects (such as testing out to be a clear or carrier) but because they do, indeed, exclude dogs because of coat, color, eyes, ears and build. They have taken a tiny strain of what they consider to be top dogs out of a country which had nothing to do with the breeds development in the first place and inbreed them heavily, scared if they crossed out to something new and different they'd lose that "perfect" conformation the Aussies worked so hard to put on a breed they have no hand in making.

Now the show breed of Border Collie has TNS and CL. Gwad only knows what is next and I'm just glad it wont be my heart breaking over it. Beauty was never worth that much to me and it surely isn't worth one of my dogs or any of my puppies!

Sure, I'll give the conformation people some slack and even go as far as to say that MAYBE the Border Collie does indeed carry TNS and CL but the likelihood that working breeders are going to stumble on it, after soooo many years of breeding these amazingly healthy animals the same way, isn't very high. We out cross our lines more then anything, with a little bit of inbreeding here and there, being done by those who've owned and known those lines for probably more years then the Border Collie has been in the AKC.

Working breeders don't like their dogs so inbreed they are spitting out new genetic defect after new genetic defect, that is a drama that must only strike the fancy.
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#82 Rebecca, Irena Farm

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:49 PM

Working breeders don't like their dogs so inbreed they are spitting out new genetic defect after new genetic defect, that is a drama that must only strike the fancy.


I have to check you up a bit there. Some working breeders do keep their lines pretty tight. But, it's interesting to not that sensibly done, tight breeding for the sake of maintaining working style (usually expressed by the breeder saying something like, "bringing up Old Grip in the line"), tends to also identify and cull out unhealthy mutations pretty quickly.

Such breeders are looking for a very, very precise habit of working, and style, and anything outside of what they expect, will give them pause. Many will simply cull without looking further into it - but the result is precisely the same as the breeder who spends hundreds on clinical tests and discovers a problem latent in the line - that branch of the line is at a dead end.

The late onset deafness problem is a good example. Vets won't acknowledge it until science proves it is an inheritable problem seperate from environmental causes, or "normal" aging - but working breeders aren't waiting, not the ones I've seen who are now on the trail of this issue. I'm looking forward to resolving this issue and possibly even having a DNA test - such a test would actually allow us to confidently re-integrate excellent lines which are experiencing this.
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#83 Katelynn & Gang

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 07:01 PM

We out cross our lines more then anything, with a little bit of inbreeding here and there, being done by those who've owned and known those lines for probably more years then the Border Collie has been in the AKC.


I never said we don't inbreed, see quote above. There is a healthy amount of inbreeding that can and needs to be done in every breed to keep its traits (working traits in the working breeders case) and then there are those who want to lock in certain looks and start inbreeding on a unhealthy level in order to insure those looks for future generations.

Do a bit of research on the pedigrees of the dogs with CL and TNS, go as far back as possible. You'll see what I mean when I say unhealthy.
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#84 Flamincomet

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 08:57 PM

"Again, it's a matter of authority. You yourself note that you are new to all this. You are trying to maintain a position that "working" breeders manipulate their puppies' earsets in a way comparable to show breeders. Many of us have said, "Not that we've noticed." Your reaction is, "You must be wrong. I am new but I saw it once on the internet, and it looked like a working breeder to me!"

Now, if you moved to Australia, and saw one mail carrier who drove on the wrong side of the street, you might draw the conclusion that it is common practice for mail carriers to drive on the wrong side of the street in Australia. So you mention this on an internet forum. Many Australians say, "No, that's really not how we do things here." You say, "I am new here, I have no idea if you are right, so I'm going to assume I'm right!"

Do you see why you are making some of us apply our foreheads to the desk here?
*headdesk* Case in point. Being new is perfectly all right. It is not cool to be new and claim authority over those who have "done their time" training dogs, raising sheep, building fence, participating and judging trials, and most of all soothing the broken hearts of people who get taken in by slick internet or magazine ads, and end up with dogs that fall far below their expectations."


Whoa, I am not saying that at all. True, I did say that working breeders glue up their dog's ears for prick, but that doesn't mean that ALL, or even MOST do. I certianly would agree with anyone that says ear gluing happens a hell of a lot more with conformation border collies than working border collies.
Yes, I am new to this, and I did think that Lockeye was a working breeder. My mistake, internet websites can be very slick and deceiving, and I should have actually talked to the breeer in question before making that assumption.
However, even though I personally cannot prove it, two other people have said that they know of people that do this. Maybe you should ask them for names before continuing to say that gluing doesn't happen with working border collies.


"It is as if I were to demand the same respect for my little pet Chinese crested, as the Eukanuba winner, though I haven't put the work into her, her hair is fragile and has a curl to it that is a standard no-no. Well, you know, you people who consider Eukanuba winners to be better candidates for breeding, you are just snobs with standards that are too high. I am new to Chinese cresteds, Zhi is my first, and therefore you all can't possibly know what you are talking about.

I am not trying to bait you. I sincerely hope you can understand that you aren't going to make any headway trying to argue that because you are new, we have no idea what we are talking about."


First, I do not consider Eukanuba winners to be better candidates for breeding. Take as an example the border collie that won the breed at the Tournament of Champions this year. I would NEVER consider breeding to that dog, or even any dogs from that kennel.

Second, though I am fairly new to owning border collies (I have owned border collies for 5 years, not much) I have done a lot of research on the breed, even before I got my first border collie, so I am not completely ignorant on the topic. I am not however claiming that you, or any others, have no idea what they are talking about. I can easily admit that a lot of people on here know a lot more about border collies than I do, and this is first place I would (and do!) come to for advice for that reason.

"Sorry, I guess my whimsical example caused you to miss my point. I will restate: If, as the AKC claims, its conformation system is designed to select the best exemplars of a breed as champions and the most worthy to be bred from, but most of the judges the AKC licenses to make these selections are incompetent to do so, that is a flaw that discredits the entire system. The fact that the standard applied by these incompetent judges is insufficient to identify the best exemplars of the breed is also a flaw that discredits the entire system, of course, but I was talking about the first of these two flaws because that was the one you wrote about. "

No, I did not miss your point. I don't know how much experience you have with conformation showing, so maybe in your next post you can tell me that before I continue with MY point on this topic.

"My mistake, what I meant to say was "meaningful judging ends AFTER the breed ring"


What does that mean?"


It means that once breed judging is complete, and best of breed has been chosen, what happens after (group placings, best in show wins) aren't very important. (To some people anyways) Because even though there are some judges that just pick based on the 1-2-3 system, there ARE good judges out there, and they really do try their best to pick out what they feel is the best example of the breed on that day, with those dogs. After this happens, at group level and beyond, everything is basically judged on movement.

"When two copies of them meet up in the same dog, they cause a health problem in that dog. By maintaining a diverse gene pool and avoiding inbreeding, we minimize the chances of that happening."

This is a good point and one I hadn't thought of, however, I don't see why we can't maintain a diverse gene pool and avoid inbreeding without having these horrible diseases FORCING us to do so.

"If we try to go beyond that, and try to "wipe it out" by excluding every carrier from breeding, we are reducing the diversity of our gene pool and increasing the likelihood that other bad recessive genes -- ones that we may not yet know about or have a test for -- will pair up in future dogs and make those dogs unhealthy in a different, previously unseen way. As more and more gene tests are developed, if we pursue this course of action with each of them -- run every test and exclude every carrier from breeding -- we could soon constrict the genetic diversity of our population to the point that it could prove extremely difficult to find matings which would avoid one genetic defect without reinforcing another. We would also decrease the general vigor of the breed."

I am not saying that we shouldn't ever breed to carriers, we would lose some very valuable lines that way. A healthy way to do this, is if you have a line that you want to continue, but there are carriers, simply breed them to CLEAR dogs, test the whole litter, pet home the ones that are carriers, and continue your line with these clear dogs. You won't lose valuable lines that way, you won't be inbreeding and creating more problems in the future, and you will be making the breed healtier as a whole.

If not that, then breeders should at least test their dogs, so they KNOW what their dogs carry, and can avoid breeding to another carrier, thus producing affected puppies, sky-high vet bills, and a lot of heartache.


"I was just wondering. Have you ever even looked at the dogs names and where they are registered (as in how they are bred) who are either carries or affected with TNS? Or CL?"

"CEA/CH is the only current disease for which we have a genetic test that is common enough in the working border collie population to make testing advisable IMO."

I am responding to both of these comments because I feel they are related.

I'm not going to comment on CL, because I haven't done enough research on that topic, however, the TNS test is a very new development. (The test was only widely available in 2007) I have many pages printed out on this topic, which I am going to quote now, hopefully this will clear some things up.

"Once thought to be rare, it is now believed that the disease goes undiagnosed for several reasons. First, not very many veterinarians know about the disease to look for it. Second, even when looking, blood counts do not always show lower than normal neutrophil (white blood cell) counts. Finally, because it is an autoimmune-deficiency disease, young puppies present a variety of symptoms depending upon what infections they fall prone to. Thus mant cases are not properly diagnosed and have just thought to be "fading puppies"."
"TNS cases have been identified in New Zealand, Australia, United States and Great Britain. Research now suggests that the gene is widespread throughout the Border Collie breed. It is autosomal recessive, which means that both parents have to be carriers to produce an affected puppy."
--- From http://bordercolliehealth.com

"Most vets in the UK have never heard of TNS, which is why none of the puppies were ever diagnosed as having it." --- TNS information shared by Pam Harris

"Since February, we have typed 800 samples to reveal 180 carriers and 2 affecteds. Twenty-one of the carriers were from recent litters. We have identified 7 carriers from English ISDS lines to date. This supports the unconfirmed TNS cases from the ISDS lines on the Border Collies Health Website as true TBS. It also indicates the mutation is very old and has been around in the breed for a very long time."
"TNS has most likely been in the Border Collie breed since it originated as it occurs in several lines that are only distantly related. It occurs in show dogs originating from Australia/New Zealand, in pure English working dogs and in Australian working dogs that are unrelated to the show dogs. The disease can present as very different symptoms from one affected litter to another which has made it difficult to recognise as a genetic problem. It is probably the major cause of “fading” or “failing” puppies. Now a DNA test exists there should never be another puppy affected by TNS and eventually TNS can be eliminated from the breed. The purpose of this research, undertaken at University of New South Wales in Sydney, has been to assist breeders improve the health and welfare of the dogs. A side benefit is that the research could also assist in the knowledge and treatment of the disease in human patients."
--- From http://www.bordercol...dateReport.html

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#85 Journey

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:25 PM

"Since February, we have typed 800 samples to reveal 180 carriers and 2 affecteds. Twenty-one of the carriers were from recent litters. We have identified 7 carriers from English ISDS lines to date. This supports the unconfirmed TNS cases from the ISDS lines on the Border Collies Health Website as true TBS. It also indicates the mutation is very old and has been around in the breed for a very long time."
"TNS has most likely been in the Border Collie breed since it originated as it occurs in several lines that are only distantly related. It occurs in show dogs originating from Australia/New Zealand, in pure English working dogs and in Australian working dogs that are unrelated to the show dogs. The disease can present as very different symptoms from one affected litter to another which has made it difficult to recognise as a genetic problem. It is probably the major cause of “fading” or “failing” puppies. Now a DNA test exists there should never be another puppy affected by TNS and eventually TNS can be eliminated from the breed. The purpose of this research, undertaken at University of New South Wales in Sydney, has been to assist breeders improve the health and welfare of the dogs. A side benefit is that the research could also assist in the knowledge and treatment of the disease in human patients."
--- From http://www.bordercol...dateReport.html

Autumn


A thread that has come back to "life" too funny!

OK, to respond to the above, here is something to think about. One of the "ISDS" dogs has no pedigree. And, the others, if you look at "how" they were breed you would see the inbreeding. However, in the UK, one can maintain their ISDS registration and have a KC registration. So, my point it - "how" were the ISDS dogs bred? Were they bred based on their working ability or "bred" for the show ring and happen to have an ISDS number? Just because they have an ISDS number does not mean they are "working" or that the disease is "in working dogs". Look at their pedigree's. And supporting "unconfirmed" is impossible imo.

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#86 Katelynn & Gang

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:37 PM

First, I do not consider Eukanuba winners to be better candidates for breeding. Take as an example the border collie that won the breed at the Tournament of Champions this year. I would NEVER consider breeding to that dog, or even any dogs from that kennel.


Okay but when you show your dog in conformation, these are the dogs your dog is being compared to. Why would you even consider putting your dog in a event where it will be judged based on a dog whom you'd never ever consider breeding to? I'm lost.

Second, though I am fairly new to owning border collies (I have owned border collies for 5 years, not much) I have done a lot of research on the breed, even before I got my first border collie, so I am not completely ignorant on the topic.


Five years is a great start but personally, I've never heard of you or your dog(s). Some people just "get it" and there are those whom have to experience everything before they can take someone's word for it (raises hand, that is me all the way, BTW). I'm guessing you are pretty young, just as I am. I've had this breed more then half my lifetime (12 years now, going on 13) and I'm still learning, day in and day out.

I got lucky though and have a amazing mother who watched her beloved GSD breed be turn and crippled by the AKC and explained to me at a very young age just what breeding for a conformation standard rather then a working standard does. Soon after my first dog, a GSD, passed a untimely death, she brought home a tiny little black and white fluff ball and my love began (I bet she wishes she could take it all back every time she sees all four of my current working bred dogs charge up the stairs when I come home). That fluff ball was a border collie heeler mix that probably could have been ROM’d into the ABCA had he been in the right hands before he died a young death. Then I got even more lucky, got myself a amazing little female off a working farm and then stumbled across an amazing trainer who has became like family to me over the past six years of my life.

Both you and I have many MANY years before either of us should start choosing and breeding dogs on our own and why should we want to anyway? There are a great number of amazing people in this breed that we should be spending our "learning" years learning from.

I am not however claiming that you, or any others, have no idea what they are talking about.


Well, I'm not going to lie, it feels like you are telling the people on this board they have no idea what they are talking about. You have your mind set a certain way and it seems like no matter what is said you have a "but, what if . . . “

If you aren't willing to learn what a Border Collie is and should be bred for from people who know, there are a good number of conformation groups you could join and be welcome with open arms in your present attitude but do you want to burn your bridges here before you’ve even got your feet wet? Conformation looks fun but it’s a dirty business and not just for the dogs and their health, the people too.

I can easily admit that a lot of people on here know a lot more about border collies than I do, and this is first place I would (and do!) come to for advice for that reason.


Okay, that is good but don't come in here telling us what we already know to be untrue. If you have questions ask, don't tell. It makes everyone ticked and no one wants to do anything but be angry in replies. I'll attest to this and openly tell you, I'm ticked that you’ve come in here stomping your foot the way you have, telling us this and that.

I respect everyone on this board and they sure the hell know what they are talking about, considering most of them have far more experience in this breed of dog then you and I have put together.

This is a good point and one I hadn't thought of, however, I don't see why we can't maintain a diverse gene pool and avoid inbreeding without having these horrible diseases FORCING us to do so.


We don't have horrible diseases forcing us to do anything in our gene pool, we are pretty much free and safe to bred to whatever lines we want without having anything popping up. You must be thinking of the AKC and conformation gene pool for the Border Collie which is shallow. Indeed, I must agree with your above quote then - they really should do something different because what they are doing now clearly isn't working too well for their dogs health or ability.

I am not saying that we shouldn't ever breed to carriers, we would lose some very valuable lines that way. A healthy way to do this, is if you have a line that you want to continue, but there are carriers, simply breed them to CLEAR dogs, test the whole litter, pet home the ones that are carriers, and continue your line with these clear dogs. You won't lose valuable lines that way, you won't be inbreeding and creating more problems in the future, and you will be making the breed healtier as a whole.


Isn't that almost what she just said? Besides the part of placing carriers in “pet” homes?

When working breeders breed, they breed for whole litters of puppies that can all go into working homes. Both our clears and carriers (if any) are able to go on and be the very best they've been bred to be. Those same puppies may go on to produce sound puppies of their own if they prove themselves worthy of being bred.

Carriers are fine to have in a gene pool, so long as they are not matched up with another carry. To remove carriers is to shallow our gene pool out (probably of some really nice working dogs) and why do that when we don't have to, for any reason? That is what the DNA test is for.

I'm not going to comment on CL, because I haven't done enough research on that topic, however, the TNS test is a very new development. (The test was only widely available in 2007) I have many pages printed out on this topic, which I am going to quote now, hopefully this will clear some things up.


Okay, well I've put hours (and I mean MANY hours) into studying the pedigrees of the CL and TNS dogs and even corresponded with Alan Wilton himself in emails when the test for TNS was being developed. There is much more there then meets the eye (read Karen's post) and unless you are willing to sit down and go thru pedigree after pedigree again with me I’m not going into depth as I’m almost sure what I'd have to say would have very little influence on your belifes anyway and I just don't want to waste the time here once again.

You can IM me on AIM if you'd like at DiceyDoLotz, I'd love to go over all this with you.
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#87 Flamincomet

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 09:32 PM

"Okay but when you show your dog in conformation, these are the dogs your dog is being compared to. Why would you even consider putting your dog in a event where it will be judged based on a dog whom you'd never ever consider breeding to? I'm lost."

I just show Ghost for fun, I don't plan to seriously show border collies, thanks to this site actually, I changed my mind about that quite a while ago. That doesn't mean I'm going to get rid of Ghost though, I have him already, he's turning out nice, I may as well show him to his CH, then I plan to get him neutered. I do find conformation showing enjoyable however, and I'm currently researching other breeds that I can continue that in, but you can bet that my next BC isn't going to be a conformation/sport bred one.

"Well, I'm not going to lie, it feels like you are telling the people on this board they have no idea what they are talking about. You have your mind set a certain way and it seems like no matter what is said you have a "but, what if . . . “ "

I have never said that anyone on this board has no idea what they are talking about. And as for having my mind set, that is defidently not true, I came to this site as a completely PRO-conformation border collie person, and I think I have changed a lot. Just because I don't agree completely with what everyone is saying, and I am questioning some things, doesn't mean I don't have an open mind. I read all of your responses with an open mind, but it doesn't mean I'm going to change in a few days. I have been Pro-conformation since I was 9 years old, that is a lot of un-doing to do.
I guess I just come off as a know-it-all. I have been told this before, even though I really am not trying to act like that, I just say whatever is on my mind and am a take-it-or-leave-it kind of person. I get that from my mom I guess. (Who BTW is completely anti-AKC.... go figure)

"If you aren't willing to learn what a Border Collie is and should be bred for from people who know, there are a good number of conformation groups you could join and be welcome with open arms in your present attitude but do you want to burn your bridges here before you’ve even got your feet wet? Conformation looks fun but it’s a dirty business and not just for the dogs and their health, the people too."

Well, once the BC conformation people see some of the comments I've made on this board, I don't think I'll really be welcome there anymore... and in fact I wasn't really welcomed by everyone to begin with.

"Okay, that is good but don't come in here telling us what we already know to be untrue. If you have questions ask, don't tell. It makes everyone ticked and no one wants to do anything but be angry in replies. I'll attest to this and openly tell you, I'm ticked that you’ve come in here stomping your foot the way you have, telling us this and that. "

The purpose of this post was to get a conformation point of view, which I supplied, and was attacked for. I'm sorry this made people angry, I really am, I respect everyone on this board, and I was hoping to stay here for a long time, learning everything I could about this breed. I guess that just isn't possible.

"Okay, well I've put hours (and I mean MANY hours) into studying the pedigrees of the CL and TNS dogs and even corresponded with Alan Wilton himself in emails when the test for TNS was being developed. There is much more there then meets the eye (read Karen's post) and unless you are willing to sit down and go thru pedigree after pedigree again with me I’m not going into depth as I’m almost sure what I'd have to say would have very little influence on your belifes anyway and I just don't want to waste the time here once again."

I'm sorry that you think this has all been a waste of time, I have actually learned a lot.

"You can IM me on AIM if you'd like at DiceyDoLotz, I'd love to go over all this with you."

Sorry, I don't have AIM, I only have msn messenger, which is flamincomet@hotmail.com

Autumn

#88 Lenajo

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:26 PM

This may sound pretty naive, but has this group tried to influence/educate the AKC judging/evaluation of BC's? Would it be possible to add categories for evaluation of a BC to measure working ability rather than looks? Does the AKC evaluation measure the same things regardless of the breed?

This group has such a vast knowledge on what will keep the breed what it was intended to be, and it seems a shame to me that AKC (who like it or not - NOT) is looked to by the uninformed as an authority in what makes a breed "good". What can be done to change AKC?


One attempt that was made, and isn't in the Dog Wars book, was a video done by some Border Collie people showing the different "types" of working BC. The Whitehope Nap, the Herdsman Tommy type..etc... (per Sheila Grew's book). Each "type" was shown standing, gaiting, and working sheep - basically a "it looks like this, and this is how it is in function" They presented this to an AKC judges education seminar - this was about the time the breed was just going into the show ring in this country. The judges were interested, but mostly because they were appalled at how "ugly" the crouching, high butt working Nap Types were, etc etc. They were not interested beyond that, and were very set that the one type "the show type" (as we see it in the ring today) was the "correct" one. They saw no beauty in the dogs at work whatsever - and why should they...as none of them make their living or depend on these dogs whatsoever in that regard. To them it was just elaborate obedience, and if you had to choose...why would you bother with an "ugly" dog if you could have a short, irish marked fluffy one.

Have you read Heather Nadelman's article on this stuff Ghost? It's enlighting, right up their with the Dog Wars by McCaig.

#89 Eileen Stein

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:04 PM

Autumn, I for one am not angry at you in the least, and I hope my posts haven't come across as attacks. I just disagree with some of the things you've written, and have tried to explain why.

"Sorry, I guess my whimsical example caused you to miss my point. I will restate: If, as the AKC claims, its conformation system is designed to select the best exemplars of a breed as champions and the most worthy to be bred from, but most of the judges the AKC licenses to make these selections are incompetent to do so, that is a flaw that discredits the entire system. The fact that the standard applied by these incompetent judges is insufficient to identify the best exemplars of the breed is also a flaw that discredits the entire system, of course, but I was talking about the first of these two flaws because that was the one you wrote about. "

No, I did not miss your point. I don't know how much experience you have with conformation showing, so maybe in your next post you can tell me that before I continue with MY point on this topic.


I have never shown a dog in conformation, and never will. I have what you might call a morbid interest in it, however, and have tried to learn all I can about it. I have friends who have shown other breeds in conformation, and I've quizzed them about it. I've read a lot. I've attended and observed conformation shows large and small, including Westminster. I've engaged in extensive dialog with people who defend the showing of Border Collies in conformation. For example, one well-known breeder and judge, in addition to discussing theory and practice with me, went over one of my dogs and critiqued her for me as she would if she were judging. Another well-known BCSA member and early advocate of conformation showing, who was also active in developing the standard and judges' education programs, has discussed the subject with me at some length and privately told me that she no longer believes she was right in thinking that it might be possible to make conformation showing harmless or beneficial to the BC and she will never again take a Border Collie into the breed ring. So, bottom line: what I've learned is not from direct participation.

But what I've said here really doesn't depend on my personal knowledge of conformation showing (except for my passing remark that I'd never heard an all-rounder called a "round judge," and I only commented on that because the term tickled me), since I didn't supply or vouch for any facts of my own. I just used the facts you supplied. You are the one who said there are only three Border Collie breeder specialist judges in the entire US, and that the far more numerous round judges put up dogs that should not be put up, prefer heavier bone, prefer parallel hocks, etc. (presumably because they don't know the breed), and occasionally do bizarre things like lining up the dogs and choosing every third one. I just expressed surprise that you didn't seem to see that this undermines and discredits the entire system. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree about whether it does or doesn't.

It means that once breed judging is complete, and best of breed has been chosen, what happens after (group placings, best in show wins) aren't very important. (To some people anyways) Because even though there are some judges that just pick based on the 1-2-3 system, there ARE good judges out there, and they really do try their best to pick out what they feel is the best example of the breed on that day, with those dogs. After this happens, at group level and beyond, everything is basically judged on movement.


Thanks for explaining that. I find it hard to believe that people don't consider group placings and BIS very important, even if many don't choose to campaign their own dogs, since people sure do brag about them, and I think they shape the image of what a border collie should look like for most judges as well as for the general public. I do agree with you that movement is paramount in Group and above, and this is certainly unfortunate because the prized flying trot with TRAD is not a gait that's relevant to the working border collie. I don't necessarily agree with you that breeder specialist judges are better judges of a good border collie than all-rounders, because breeder specialists can include those who have built their kennel on the Oz/NZ show Border Collie, and they probably have an even wronger idea of what makes a good BC than all-rounder judges. But again, these little particulars just don't matter, IMO. The rotten heart of the conformation system is the problem -- the idea that you can meaningfully evaluate and exalt border collies by how they look and how they trot. Given that, whether the judge tries his/her best really makes no difference.

"When two copies of them meet up in the same dog, they cause a health problem in that dog. By maintaining a diverse gene pool and avoiding inbreeding, we minimize the chances of that happening."

This is a good point and one I hadn't thought of, however, I don't see why we can't maintain a diverse gene pool and avoid inbreeding without having these horrible diseases FORCING us to do so.


Oh, we can. We do. We have. It's the other way around -- because the working approach has produced a diverse gene pool with minimal inbreeding compared to show breeding, we have not had so much experience of these recessive gene diseases surfacing.

I am not saying that we shouldn't ever breed to carriers, we would lose some very valuable lines that way. A healthy way to do this, is if you have a line that you want to continue, but there are carriers, simply breed them to CLEAR dogs, test the whole litter, pet home the ones that are carriers, and continue your line with these clear dogs. You won't lose valuable lines that way, you won't be inbreeding and creating more problems in the future, and you will be making the breed healtier as a whole.


A little of this, to clear a particularly valuable line, is fine. But if you try to do this in every breeding, as you are advocating when you talk of wiping out the disease, you WILL be narrowing the genetic diversity in the breed. Because of gene linkage, you generally can't eliminate target recessive genes from the gene pool without eliminating other genes as well. The impact of this is minimal if you're only clearing for one disease. If you're clearing for three, it's greater. And what about when we have genetic tests for every known disease, and try to wipe them all out by this clearance procedure? New diseases will pop up, because in the more restricted gene pool less common recessives are more likely to meet up than they were before. Do we try to clear them too, and narrow the gene pool further? In the long run, this is not an approach that will be good for the breed.

"Once thought to be rare, it is now believed that [TNS] goes undiagnosed for several reasons. First, not very many veterinarians know about the disease to look for it. Second, even when looking, blood counts do not always show lower than normal neutrophil (white blood cell) counts. Finally, because it is an autoimmune-deficiency disease, young puppies present a variety of symptoms depending upon what infections they fall prone to. Thus mant cases are not properly diagnosed and have just thought to be 'fading puppies'." --- From http://bordercolliehealth.com


Yes, I'm familiar with this and the other material you quote. I highlighted part of it to make the point that if your puppies are not dying in early puppyhood for no apparent reason, then the fact that TNS can be misdiagnosed has no significance as regards whether you've produced it or not. You can't have produced it. In my experience "fading puppies" from whatever cause are exceedingly rare in working breedings, certainly much rarer than in show breedings.

ETA: I think the Nadelman article that Lenajo is referring to is the one found here. It was written more than 10 years ago, just after recognition when debate still raged, and I too recommend it highly.

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#90 Caroline Reichard

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:08 AM

Autumn,

It's been interesting watching your point of view change as this thread has gone on.

You might want to consider that if you really want to learn about the working border collie that you're starting at the wrong place - at least for now. The best thing you could do for yourself right now is to focus on developing handling skills rather than discussing breeding philosophies. Until you understand the handling, you can't understand the motives of the breeders.

It's time to go to the sheep.

#91 juliepoudrier

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:28 AM

Autumn,
I also wanted to add that you haven't made me angry. Yes, we've been down this road before with other folks new to border collies, but it's refreshing to "meet" someone who actually can be influenced by the philosophies espoused here, especially someone coming from the "other side." I want to comment on the TNS/CL thing, but will have to do that later.

J.

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