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#21 Kelliwic Border Collies

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 04:44 AM

I think what you're missing with this statement is the rancher who has always used some other breed, one that is good enough for the tasks he needs done. If the dog gets the job done, and the rancher happens to like that breed, he has no motivation to go find something better.

Of course; I'm not in disagreement with this at all. Maybe my example wasn't clear enough; it was intended to illustrate a shepherd (or hunter, or whoever) had witnessed a Border Collie (or whatever hunting breed, etc) in action, efficiently and successfully doing the work they themselves needed done--better than the dog they had. Therefore, they gave one a try for themselves and found that the Border Collie (or whatever breed) did the job that needed doing better. As with my original post, I'm still referring to shepherds (etc) whose livelihoods or even literally their lives depend on their dogs (of any breed).

I can't imagine that someone depending on a dog to help put food on the table (directly or indirectly) could keep an okay-working breed just out of nostalgia.

On the other hand, if I misunderstood, and you or others simply disagree that this could be a contributing factor to breeds being lost due to the development of other breeds more talented at the job, that's okay too. I promise I won't try to make anyone agree with me by replying to each post with a 10 paragraph essay about why I think my point of view is right until I finally force people to just give up... :rolleyes: :lol:

Megan Q.

#22 Crawford Dogs

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:05 PM

How incredibly sad and well stated Donald. I've seen some amazing aussies working over the years and I'd hate to think of them dying out.

#23 Mark Billadeau

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:13 AM

One must not forget that breeds as we know them are a modern invention of mankind (Victorian period). As mankindís whim shifts so does the interest in maintaining breeds and creating new breeds. Prior to this period there were simply "types" which were loosely defined by function and looks and were regionally based (partially due to limited travel and partially due to environment).

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#24 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:24 PM

Very true, Mark! The Victorian era was the foundation of most if not all of our modern breeds.

I've read of the varied types of sheepdogs and droving dogs who once existed around the UK and British Isles, and old paintings often show "sheepdogs" that don't look much like anything we have today. Hard to say how much is correct representation of those dogs, and how much is artistic license because a painter didn't really know the dogs, or chose not to pay detailed attention to them.

But ... I've often wondered what we'd see, if we could go back and walk the farms of 300 or 400 years ago. There's been a "shepherd's dogge" for centuries, but as you say, each region and sometimes each valley or watershed might have their own particular types. There are any number of breeds or types of sheepdogs that simply don't exist, any more.

It's actually kind of wonderful that the border collie DID evolve and survive, when you consider how many of those old dogs are gone. If only because the men who bred them died out and their lines of dogs died with them. That may be a bigger cause of extinctions than anything else: farmers of a given region created a type of dog, but their sons and daughters left the farm and when the old guys passed on, there was no one left to carry on their breeding practices.

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#25 Donald McCaig

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 09:34 AM

Dear Caniphilosophers,

Because we are so dismissive of fatasy claims ("My show champion could work stock if we had time", "There's a woman in British Columbia whose Rough Collie Champions work a thousand range sheep" etc,etc.) we sheepdoggers are often accused of being Breed Snobs.

Far as I'm concerned "Purebred dogs" mostly serve human fantasies and human vanity. Owning Border Collies says nothing about me.

I am a work snob. I don't care whether a Border Collie accomplishes a difficult piece of work or some other breed or a mutt does. I care that stockwork be accomplished efficiently and reliably and, by God, if those British Columbian Collies can do a better job than my dogs, I'll buy one and win all the trials.

But: there's work and work. If I need delicate work steering sheep, I'll use June. If I want a dog that can always find her sheep, I'll send Fly. If I have a couple hardnosed old Suffolks, I'll use Luke.

And, of course, there are kinds of stockwork my dogs never do: droving long distances, pen and chute work in the hot sun, moving five thousand ewes at once . . .

I believe that some of the work once done by now-extinct dog breeds can no longer be done as well by the breeds that have survived. We haven't lost "breeds": we cannot do the jobs we once did as well as we did.

Donald McCaig

#26 Sue R

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 03:25 PM

I believe that some of the work once done by now-extinct dog breeds can no longer be done as well by the breeds that have survived. We haven't lost "breeds": we cannot do the jobs we once did as well as we did.

Donald McCaig

Isn't that why there are new breeds evolving, to meet certain needs that exist today in certain areas and situations? Some breeds or types might have a history shorter than that of what we call "Border Collie". Of course, there is a longer history, as they all have ancestors, but the history of being selected for a particular job or need may be a shorter one.

In addition, within the Border Collie, there are lines and types that might be more suited to pen work, hill/range work, finesse, cattle work, and so on. An average Border Collie may be able to accomplish all these jobs to some useful degree, but one dog or line or type may be more suited to do one job better than another.

So, while we may lose a breed or type that has been superceded by another more successful or prevalent breed or type, perhaps we are always gaining new breeds-in-the making or types to fill those needs that come along (or even re-arise) as time passes by.

Sue Rayburn - Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, but not the brightest firefly in the jar.

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#27 KnottyClarence


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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:11 AM

I personally am enjoying the evolution of the names Mr. McCaig has for us interested parties, from Doggers to Caniphilosophers with some funny permutations in between.

#28 Tea


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Posted 08 November 2011 - 09:25 AM

His is Sheepdogging Geezer

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