Jump to content
BC Boards
SoloRiver

Sport Collies

Recommended Posts

Kristine, the problem is that it is a continuum. Robin and others are making the distinction at the first step on that continuum, and you, Mary, Paula, and others are making the distinction much later along the continuum.

 

I think the place along this continuum where one finds their personal line in the sand depends on how big a picture they are seeing with regard to the border collie losing the working traits that define the breed.

 

No offense intended at all to anyone!

 

That makes a lot of sense. And I certainly don't mean any offense to anyone here either. I am enjoying this discussion - it has helped clarify some things I've wondered about for a long time. I really, really appreciate the efforts that so many of you take to keep the working Border Collie what it is. Even though I come from a different place as a sport person, I love these dogs for the unique package that they are and I want to see that kept intact and I know that the working stockdogs are the reason why the Border Collie is in the first place.

 

I know the point of this thread has been in regard to breeding, but it has made me think a lot about where my next Border Collie will come from. That won't be for some time yet, but that time will eventually come and I will have to decide between rescue, working breeder, or sport breeder.

 

The point Robin made about supporting working breeders is a good one I had not considered before and I really do like my working bred (rescue) Border Collie even though he isn't exactly the sport dog I expected him to be. Of course, I always will always have rescues, but we might keep a mixed pack of rescue dogs and dogs from a breeder as we have now. Or do I want to try a dog like Roseanne described that might really be more suited toward sports. I am getting more serious about Agility and I'm close to being a halfway decent handler. Should I try a Border Collie bred with Agility in mind? I never really considered that before this discussion, but now it's in my mind.

 

I like these discussions that really make me think! :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
These dogs are already here and begging for homes. If someone needs a nice companion or sports partner, rescue is a good a place as any to get one, and encouraging people to forgo those dogs in favour of a purpose bred pup is pretty cold, IMO.

 

You're right, it is cold but i don't see where those rescue dogs deserve homes more than rescued labs, kelpies, the dogs at the pound, etc. I do see where working dogs need to be perpetuated and those breeders trying to preserve the ability need to be supported though. Anyway, i know we disagree on this and i don't really want to take the conversation that way. We're coming at it from different places and that's okay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But lots of agility people with other breeds would argue the exact same thing. Kelpies are becoming the "new" border collie locally - they are incredibly agile, remarkably focused, particularly intelligent canine sports partners. Does that make them border collies too?

 

I think that's a whole different can o'worms.

 

RDM

 

 

Right. In fact, I made the point here a few years ago that if I put my mind to it, I could probably get a Kelpie ROM'd into the ABCA and, logically, could then breed a border collie to him and produce "working border collies" as many on these Boards define them. No, they're not up to a quality border collie (although IMO they do have certain features more or less unique to the breed and valuable in and of themselves), but there's plenty enough there to beat the pants off your run of the mill ABCA registered border collie.

 

Needless to say, I am not advocating sports breedings or any other type of non-working breedings, but I do see how this superior attitude can become quite irksome to many.

 

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, the only thing that distinguishes a border collie from "just a dog", is what it can do with stock - the original purpose of the breed, and the foundation and standard on which the breed was created. How is this so hard to understand?

 

That isn't hard to understand at all. What is hard to understand is the classification of the offspring of these same dogs based on the intent of the breeder.

 

To me there is still an apparent contradiction. Border Collies who are bred to be stockdogs from proven stockdogs, but are sold to pet/sport homes are still Border Collies. And Border Collies who are bred to be stockdogs but "wash out" for whatever reason are still Border Collies.

 

And then there is the factor of parentage. The idea that two dogs of the same "type" (breed, traits, etc) could produce a completely different "type" in one fell swoop doesn't make any sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i don't see where those rescue dogs deserve homes more than rescued labs, kelpies, the dogs at the pound, etc.

 

I'm glad you agree that the conversation needn't go there. But I do feel compelled to point out that the labs, kelpies etc. DO also deserve homes, but they have their own specific set of people working on getting those for them, and that the working/sport/show split and discussions thereof go on intensely in those breeds as well, among people with a vested interest in those breeds.

 

I think that people who want to need working dogs should support *ethical* working breeders, absolutely. But for the average person who wants a border collie companion, buying a superior-bred stockdog pup doesn't improve their chances of getting a good companion, nor does it perpetuate the working stockdog, because theoretically, those companion-owning people would not be breeding those (unproven) dogs. So if "you" for the sake of argument, were producing top notch working pups and selling them to companion homes with other interests, it lines your pocket but doesn't go back into the working gene pool. And when those dogs go get bred, guess what they become? .... sport and byb dogs. I mean, they come from somewhere, right?

 

RDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
people would not be breeding those (unproven) dogs. So if "you" for the sake of argument, were producing top notch working pups and selling them to companion homes with other interests, it lines your pocket but doesn't go back into the working gene pool. And when those dogs go get bred, guess what they become? .... sport and byb dogs. I mean, they come from somewhere, right?

 

RDM

 

Another thread, another day, like i was saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RDM, I think what Robin said about the rescues is something many working breeders have thought but not said out of a soft spot in their hearts or out of respect for the work people like you do, or maybe fear. It's not PC but it is true. Someone had to say it eventually.

 

And it's not that working breeders are pissed off that homes can't be found for the pups they have on the ground already because of rescues being adopted instead. It's that less quality working breeders will breed to start with because the homes are being taken ahead of time by a variety of other border collie "breeders," including puppy mills, poorly bred farm dogs, BYBs or even poorly placed well-bred working bred dogs. Homes given to these pups, whether directly or through rescue, decrease the homes available for quality working bred pups.

 

Too many dogs are being bred. Okay. I agree. But is the answer to preserve the breed to breed less quality working-bred border collie puppies? Because it is the people breeding quality working bred border collie puppies that will probably *not* breed due to lack of homes, while BYB and puppy mills increase and are taken in by rescue? Thus the working gene pool decreases little by little.

 

I don't expect I will be alive in the morning because of this post but it's something to consider. Have at me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RDM, I think what Robin said about the rescues is something many working breeders have thought but not said out of a soft spot in their hearts or out of respect for the work people like you do, or maybe fear. It's not PC but it is true. Someone had to say it eventually.

 

And it's not that working breeders are pissed off that homes can't be found for the pups they have on the ground already because of rescues being adopted instead. It's that less quality working breeders will breed to start with because the homes are being taken ahead of time by a variety of other border collie "breeders," including puppy mills, poorly bred farm dogs, BYBs or even poorly placed well-bred working bred dogs. Homes given to these pups, whether directly or through rescue, decrease the homes available for quality working bred pups.

 

Too many dogs are being bred. Okay. I agree. But is the answer to preserve the breed to breed less quality working-bred border collie puppies? Because it is the people breeding quality working bred border collie puppies that will probably *not* breed due to lack of homes, while BYB and puppy mills increase and are taken in by rescue? Thus the working gene pool decreases little by little.

 

I don't expect I will be alive in the morning because of this post but it's something to consider. Have at me.

 

This seems like a bit of an alarmist view of things. Why are working breeders unable to find homes for their pups? I thought that if you were worthy of breeding working dogs, then all your pups were spoken for even before they hit the ground. At least, this has always been my impression from what I've read on these boards. I guess I don't see the connection between dogs in rescue and the ability of a working breeder to place their working-bred dogs in working homes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest blastoff

If you can't find homes for your puppies, don't bring them into the world in the first place! Whatever happened to the idea that a GOOD breeder would have all of its puppies spoken for before they are even conceived? MOST sport breeders that I know of not only have all of the puppies in the current litter spoken for, but a waiting list for the next litter...and then next...and the next. These puppies rarely end up in the hands of border collie rescue groups. At least rescues will keep their dogs until they find homes for them regardless of age, gender, "working" ability, color, health problems, etc, etc, etc. It breaks my heart to hear what some of these "working" breeders do with dogs that don't cut it in the "working" world and a home can't be found for them. All I can say is, thank God rescues exist!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you can't find homes for your puppies, don't bring them into the world in the first place! Whatever happened to the idea that a GOOD breeder would have all of its puppies spoken for before they are even conceived?

 

Since this is the second time in two posts this has come up, I'm going to address this. That WAS my point. Quality working breeders are NOT breeding because the homes are not there ahead of time like they should be. They are being taken by "other" breeders. This = less working bred border collies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest blastoff

It seems to me that the pool of working stockdog handlers has increased, not decreased, in recent years. A well-knowing working stockdog handler should know better than to go to anything other than a working stockdog breeder for a puppy. So who are these folks that are getting pups elsewhere and taking up homes of working stockdog puppies? As a working stockdog breeder one should only be interested in placing their puppies into working homes. Otherwise you run the risk of allowing your working bred puppies to enter the black abyss of "other" border collie breedings. So if that is the case (since it seems that the general consensus is that working breeders do not require speuter contracts) then the "working" breeders are just as big a part of the problem as any other sort of breeder. If you're so concerned with preserving the breed as "working" dogs then perhaps you should only look to place puppies within the "working" circle and not worry about where "pet" border collie owners are getting their dogs from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other point. How many of you with rescues and other dogs of unknown or dubious parentage, have made the effort to get your dog to sheep, only to be disappointed with what your dog did, or didn't, do? If you're the kind of owner who makes that kind of effort, i'd for sure rather you'd had a dog that got you hooked on working sheep, so we could welcome you to the obsession many of us live every with day - working our dogs on stock.

 

I, and several others i can think of real easily, started out just exactly that way. Fortunately my first dog (BYB) had at least enough interest to get me started, even if she didn't have the talent to take me very far. Many very vocal champions of the working border collie got started quite by accident, just like i did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest blastoff

Crap, sorry. The post didn't work the first or second time according to my computer but it looks like it DID work after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest blastoff

Dang, I know I didn't try to post it this many times but it keeps showing up again!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems to me that the pool of working stockdog handlers has increased, not decreased, in recent years. A well-knowing working stockdog handler should know better than to go to anything other than a working stockdog breeder for a puppy. So who are these folks that are getting pups elsewhere and taking up homes of working stockdog puppies? As a working stockdog breeder one should only be interested in placing their puppies into working homes. Otherwise you run the risk of allowing your working bred puppies to enter the black abyss of "other" border collie breedings. So if that is the case (since it seems that the general consensus is that working breeders do not require speuter contracts) then the "working" breeders are just as big a part of the problem as any other sort of breeder. If you're so concerned with preserving the breed as "working" dogs then perhaps you should only look to place puppies within the "working" circle and not worry about where "pet" border collie owners are getting their dogs from.

 

It's not like there is this limitless pool of working homes out there for working bred dogs. That's a ridiculous assumption. And many times, working stockdog homes are created out of pet homes, where the owner got interested in stockwork after getting the dog. It would be wonderful if it was always the other way around (need the dog first) but it's less and less so in this world. There just aren't tons of people giving up city life to move out to the country and be sheep farmers and then deciding they need a dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But, I don't see why some folks are so opposed to calling a dog a border collie just because it hasn't worked stock.

 

Big, huge sigh.

 

I'm about to give up on this because if people still don't get it, and remain hung up on one-by-one case scenarios as Sheena pointed out, I lack the energy.

 

But I NEVER SAID IT ISN'T A BORDER COLLIE BECAUSE IT DOESN'T WORK STOCK.

 

What I said was IF IT IS THE PRODUCT OF A BREEDING PROGRAM MEANT TO PRODUCE SOMETHING OTHER THAN STOCK DOGS, IT IS NOT A BORDER COLLIE.

 

If I were breeding giant Chihuahuas, and they were consistently large in size (now that I think of it, the idea of something with the proportions of a Chihuahua and the body size of a Border Collie is pretty darn hilarious), wouldn't you at some point say I am not breeding Chihuahuas anymore? Because "Giant Chihuahua" is an oxymoron? What if I decided I wanted to breed black Samoyeds? The point of Samoyeds is that they are snow white, so would you not at some point believe that I am no longer breeding Samoyeds, but that I am breeding black dogs that originated from Samoyeds but are now something else? Because "Black Samoyed" is an oxymoron?

 

Since everyone is hung up on personal examples, lemme trot one out again. I have three Border Collies. One is a dog from a careless breeder who is an unremarkable worker, structurally unsound, and temperamentally unstable. He also happens to be the love of my life, for everyone who insists on getting offended by the idea that their favorite dog is not a good example of the breed. I love this dog WAY more than most of you love your dogs (and yes, I feel totally confident in saying that) and think he is a more valuable individual than almost all of the humans on the planet, if that helps clarify things for anyone. But he is a badly-bred, poor example of a Border Collie. If he were typical of the breed, after meeting him, most people, whether they have stock or not, would never get a Border Collie.

 

I have two other Border Collies who were produced by breeders whose goals were to breed better working dogs. Fly is an excellent example of the breed. She is a fantastic working dog, physically sound, with the most stable temperament I have ever seen in any dog. She is quick, agile, athletic, and exceedingly high-drive while retaining the supreme impulse control that is the hallmark of a true working stockdog (and which I think is sorely lacking in sport breeding programs -- but maybe those breeders don't want impulse control in their hot-rod dogs). Jett is a well bred pup whose quality as a dog is an open question. She has looked promising on sheep so far, but she might turn out to be a sheepdud, in which case she would be a not-very-good, not-breedworthy example of the breed, as Solo is.

 

ALL of my dogs are perfectly nice DOGS. They are all Border Collies. They vary in quality, but not in their value to me. (Well, OK, they do. I love Solo more than I love the other two. I probably love him more than I love the other two put together. Wait, what do I mean "probably?" I TOTALLY love him more than the other two put together.)

 

What I am saying is that if you are ON PURPOSE BREEDING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT, eventually (and probably fairly quickly) you will not have Border Collies anymore because they will not exhibit Border Collie characteristics and will not breed true for them. The latter point is very important. THE ENTIRE POINT OF BREEDS IS THAT YOU BREED TWO TOGETHER AND GET PREDICTABLE TRAITS IN THE OFFSPRING. If the offspring of Sport Collies are predictable for a different set of traits than Border Collies are supposed to be (namely, that behavioral package that makes a working stockdog), THEN THEY AREN'T BORDER COLLIES ANYMORE. They are Sport Collies. They have and live up to a different standard, just like my Giant Chihuahuas and Black Samoyeds. Please, please someone tell me this makes sense.

 

I am becoming inspired. I would like to start a breeding program, entirely made up of dogs that miss the point, and call it Oxymoron Kennel. I will also breed miniature Great Danes, and Chessies that are afraid of water. And Sheena and Julie can come join me since they are apparently the only ones who get what I am saying.

 

Excuse me while I go bang my head against a wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One other point. How many of you with rescues and other dogs of unknown or dubious parentage, have made the effort to get your dog to sheep, only to be disappointed with what your dog did, or didn't, do?

 

This is exactly what happened to me. Sophie-the-stray (okay, she's obviously a mix) was a herding washout. So I got Taz. And then Craig. Have been working to find an arrangement where I can have my own sheep. And one day in the not-too-distant future, I will have another working border collie...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems to me that the pool of working stockdog handlers has increased, not decreased, in recent years. A well-knowing working stockdog handler should know better than to go to anything other than a working stockdog breeder for a puppy. So who are these folks that are getting pups elsewhere and taking up homes of working stockdog puppies? As a working stockdog breeder one should only be interested in placing their puppies into working homes. Otherwise you run the risk of allowing your working bred puppies to enter the black abyss of "other" border collie breedings. So if that is the case (since it seems that the general consensus is that working breeders do not require speuter contracts) then the "working" breeders are just as big a part of the problem as any other sort of breeder. If you're so concerned with preserving the breed as "working" dogs then perhaps you should only look to place puppies within the "working" circle and not worry about where "pet" border collie owners are getting their dogs from.

 

Not that this post needed to be repeated again :rolleyes: but speaking for myself, someone who rarely breeds a litter but I do consider them good quality dogs when I do, I have a personal dog limit, which is six. When I can breed, I can only "afford" to place two pups in serious working/trialing homes because I can only easily buy/take that many pups back. Not every pup even from the best bred litters, although they may be all good, may not be "good enough" for the serious working/trialing person. Most would not know they aren't good enough until they have some training on them, therefore, they cost money to buy back. So, dog limit aside, there's that too.

 

The others, I try to place in homes where they will get worked, at least some, but mostly homes where they will stay put forever in most normal circumstances. It is these homes that are getting taken for people like me.

 

I should qualify this by saying I have no breeding plans right now, so I'm speaking as objectively as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest blastoff
There just aren't tons of people giving up city life to move out to the country and be sheep farmers and then deciding they need a dog.

 

Okay, so if the need for working border collies is less and less then why is it so important to preserve the breed and produce more and more? Natural selection for needed traits and hence the morphing of a species and/or extinction of certain species that are no longer needed in the ecosystem are all natural occurances. Otherwise, how would we all be here (talk about an OT debate) instead of a bunch of apes? Now, I understand we're not talking about the ecosystem but the concept is the same. It only makes sense that if the demand for working border collies is down the supply of working border collies should be down as well. Whether that selection is made naturally or artificially doesn't matter. Perhaps the demand for working border collies will diminish completely eventually and that's just how life goes. There isn't really much need for working border collies anymore so the breed is, over time, morphing into something that has more of a demand (be it for agility or whatever) or purpose in modern day society. And if you want to cut off the supply of working border collies so as not to confuse them with all of the other border collies and call the remaining "other" border collies something else, so be it. But you still won't have the working border collies that you want anymore because there simply isn't an infinite demand for them anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps the demand for working border collies will diminish completely eventually and that's just how life goes. There isn't really much need for working border collies anymore so the breed is, over time, morphing into something that has more of a demand (be it for agility or whatever) or purpose in modern day society.

 

People have not stopped eating meat. As long as there's stock and rough terrain, there will be a need for border collies. Try going out west and see what you think:

 

79881681.jpg

 

We were trying to gather a group of 1,000 ewes from a spread in ND with 5,000 sheep total. They're normally in bands of 1,000 spread out over this vast property. After hours on horseback, four wheelers and gators searching unsuccessfully for the group, they finally went up in a plane to locate them. As it turns out, they had gotten in with another group of 1,000, so for reference this is a flock of 2,000 sheep.

 

In the blanket of sheep pictured, there were three dogs working gathering and directing the sheep to the gate. There's one dog visible on the middle right. I don't know if it's my dog or not. Note the large crevasse in the front of the shot. The terrain was quite rough in places. We were using four wheelers and gators but only the dogs could get to the sheep in many places. So much for four wheelers taking the place of dogs...

 

 

 

For more:

 

http://www.pbase.com/cdwall/mick_in_nd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay, so if the need for working border collies is less and less then why is it so important to preserve the breed and produce more and more? Natural selection for needed traits and hence the morphing of a species and/or extinction of certain species that are no longer needed in the ecosystem are all natural occurances. Otherwise, how would we all be here (talk about an OT debate) instead of a bunch of apes? Now, I understand we're not talking about the ecosystem but the concept is the same. It only makes sense that if the demand for working border collies is down the supply of working border collies should be down as well. Whether that selection is made naturally or artificially doesn't matter. Perhaps the demand for working border collies will diminish completely eventually and that's just how life goes. There isn't really much need for working border collies anymore so the breed is, over time, morphing into something that has more of a demand (be it for agility or whatever) or purpose in modern day society. And if you want to cut off the supply of working border collies so as not to confuse them with all of the other border collies and call the remaining "other" border collies something else, so be it. But you still won't have the working border collies that you want anymore because there simply isn't an infinite demand for them anymore.

 

Boy, talk about swinging from one extreme to the other. First you seem to imply there are tons of working homes, and now we've gone to there aren't any out there so let the breed die. Sheesh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest blastoff

Okay then. Sell your puppies to the beef production farms. Since so many people eat meat there ought to be plenty of those farms to sell your puppies to.

 

This is going to be a dead-end conversation. You'll cry out "rescue dogs are taking the homes of our working dogs" and when I say "too bad, your working dogs aren't needed anymore" you'll show me pictures like that one proving that they ARE needed. So why then do you complain that there aren't enough homes to go around for your working puppies? Make up your mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Big, huge sigh.

 

I'm about to give up on this because if people still don't get it, and remain hung up on one-by-one case scenarios as Sheena pointed out, I lack the energy.

 

But I NEVER SAID IT ISN'T A BORDER COLLIE BECAUSE IT DOESN'T WORK STOCK.

 

What I said was IF IT IS THE PRODUCT OF A BREEDING PROGRAM MEANT TO PRODUCE SOMETHING OTHER THAN STOCK DOGS, IT IS NOT A BORDER COLLIE.

 

Firstly, my post was not in response to your original question, but rather in response to some posts that had been made around the time that I posted it. Those posts, in fact, did imply that an unproven (or failed) stockdog should not be called a border collie, but should be called something else because it was not a border collie.

 

For the record, I have never argued that border collies should not be bred to the working standard. And, yes, I DO get the big picture. Yes, I DO believe that if some group of people were starting a breeding program in which they were deliberately trying to breed for traits other than the traits that make a border collie a good stock dog AND they were successful in creating a "breed" that was fundamentally different from the original border collie, then it would make sense to consider labeling it as a new/different breed of dog. But, were I have problems is when people want to pull the line in so tightly as to say that a border collie born of border collie parents is something other than a border collie if it hasn't proven itself as a working stock dog. That makes no sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...