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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.

 

Well said! I was trying to think of how to express this and you said exactly what I was thinking!

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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.

 

And it probably never will because it's outside your frame of reference. Get a working dog and work it for awhile, then come back and let us know if it makes sense then. I'm not trying to be snotty here, really i'm not. But you can't know what you don't know (or didn't know) until you know it.

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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?

 

First of all, we are apes. We're also not the only species of ape left.

 

Second of all, the world clearly does not NEED us. We found a niche, enlarged it, and exploited the hell out of it. Is this good for the world in general? Well...

 

Yes, things change. Yes, there is a market for candy-colored, $1200 sports dogs. And yes, you sports breeders are clearly going to exploit that niche and it is the way of the world. Although I think the idea of breeding dogs FOR SPORTS is totally pointless, I recognize that the sport dogs are not going to go away. I also recognize that they are either heading toward, or have already reached, an endpoint at which they are Not Border Collies Anymore. Do you?

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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.

[emphasis mine]

 

So you're saying that the traits desired for agility are needed traits? So you can play a game? To me, needed traits are those exhibited by the dogs in Denise's picture. The dogs need those traits to get a job done.

 

A

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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,

 

I have.

 

only to be disappointed with what your dog did, or didn't, do?

 

"Disappointed?" Maybe. Resigned to what I have perhaps, but I didn't have high expectations in the first place. I put Piper on sheep (Briggs too) for Piper, less for me. I sure don't need her to work. I like to joke about what a flop she is, but ultimately I don't actually care.

 

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.

 

So this is ultimately about YOU and not about the breed, except as how it can feed YOUR addiction to working stock?

 

I don't *need* a working stockdog. The most a dog like that could do for me would be a pleasant diversion on a sunny weekend, but I do not and do not intend to ever be a "rancher" and my livelihood will never come from a working sheep farm. And after almost a decade on these boards, I know that a heck of a lot of you can't claim much more than me. A lot of you have land, and some sheep, but you have day jobs too, and you don't make your living off your dogs. That's fine, nothing wrong with it, but let's call a spade a spade shall we?

 

I think it's really just clutching at straws at this point to say that working puppies deserve homes more because it may turn some Suburbanites onto stockwork and make them champions of the breed. And if buying a well bred stockdog so I can become "obsessed" with sheepherding and turn into someone who thinks that as a result my purpose-bred puppies deserve homes more than a rescue dog, I'll pass thanks!

 

If working stock was so important to me that I felt failed by my rescue, maybe I'd go out and buy a puppy. And there's your sold puppy, so I don't understand the philosophy, really.

 

I don't think the pool of working border collies is shrinking because pet owners are not buying your puppies. I think it's shrinking because there is less demand for working dogs as the world becomes more urban. I agree it's sad, and I agree the breed needs to be preserved when possible, but I maintain that selling puppies to companion homes doesn't alter that course in the slightest. What is the benefit of producing a litter of well bred pups who all go to live in the suburbs of Coquitlam with families, exactly? I still don't see how it benefits the breed, though I can certainly see how it benefits the breeder.

 

I guess now *I'm* being obtuse :rolleyes:

 

RDM

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Hey blastoff!

 

I'm a sport person. Tried stockwork and found it wasn't my cup of tea. My dogs do sports and are my companions.

 

My question - and I'm specifically asking blastoff this question because I have not heard this said or implied by anyone else on board . . .

 

Why do you think that I (as a pet/sport person) shouldn't have a working bred Border Collie if I feel that is the type of dog that I am looking for and will best suit my needs?

 

Sorry to go off topic, but this has me too curious not to ask. Words in bold are just for emphasis because I don't want to be misunderstood.

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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.

 

Big, huge sigh as you will, Melanie, but this really is an absurd statement, and smacks of nothing more strongly than a regurgitation of the Boards ethos at the expense of logic and rationality. The intention of the breeder is surely a factor in the likely outcome of a particular breeding, but you're way out on limb saying that it is definitive. I could just as well say that therefore, my (former) Kelpie IS a border collie because he WAS the product of a breeding program meant to produce stock dogs.

 

A

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Guest blastoff
And yes, you sports breeders are clearly going to exploit that niche and it is the way of the world.

 

For the record, I am not a sports breeder. I have never bred a dog in my life and don't intend to.

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I think the issue is about poor breeding (sport breeding in particular) taking homes from good working breedings. Nobody is denying a Rescue dog a home - and that's where most of us I daresay send pet interested people first.

 

Similar to Denise here in that I prefer homes for most of my few pups to be pet type homes. Those are the people who keep the dogs for life, and the unknowns (ability on stock later primarily) of of little relevance. They are speutered, happy family members.

 

When you sell a stockdog puppy you need to be prepared, as a responsible breeder, to take it back if it does not suit. That involves keeping a financial reserve as well as space. For Denise that is 2 dogs. Everybody has a different limit of money and space. Nobody has room to take back 7,10, 15 litters a year...so when people with multiple litters are claiming they take back "any pup at any time" they are not quite on the up and up.

 

My "surplus" (those pups that I let go to pet homes) pups are good ones - healthy, well raised, out of solid parents. They make nice pets for active homes that are suited to the breed. (and no, I have no litters planned, so I am not advertising thank you)

 

It is those type of homes that the poorly bred pups are taking up. What too bad for all is they are often not good examples of the breed and end up either dissapointing the home and/or badly representing the breed. They to, you see are being called "Border Collie"

 

Why? The surplus of a litter bred for good herding work is bred for a baseline of a dog capable phsyically and mentally doing Open level work. That's tremedous stability, inpulse control, trainability, and athletic ability. If a pup ends up below that baseline it's still a high enough baseline that the pup is healthy, trainable, and stable. Basically you breed for genius Olympic athletic and if you get A-B student who's decently atheltic it's ok - not all of them will be top of the game. But you still get a nice example of a "Border Collie"

 

when you have breeders who only requirements of a breeding are "fast, jumps well, pretty healthy, can be trained to obey well at up to 50 feet from the handler" the baseline drops steeply. Pups that naturally drop below baseline on the litter's curve will have problems with major issues.

 

I'm not guessing it - I've seen it. The well bred herding "fall out" from a litter is still a pretty nice dog in general. The same issue in sport litter gives this breed a bad name. And unfortunately both takes actual homes and future homes away from good breedings and breeders.

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QUOTE(Shoofly @ Sep 5 2008, 12:08 PM)

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...

 

This is exactly the opposite of what happened to me. Quinn (if his being sports bread makes his parentage dubious) went berserk with excitement the first time he spotted sheep across a field (30 minutes earlier, he stared at cows in another field with only mild and brief curiosity). We were taking an agility lesson with someone who had sheep. Before the lesson, she demonstrated her dog working the sheep and I made quiet, unkind comments about sheep to my friend. I had zero interest in my dog doing stock work. Quinn had other ideas and while he is not breed worthy, the instructor states he'd be handy on a farm and has encouraged me to trial with him. While I now view sheep very kindly and enjoy watching dogs work stock, especially my dog, I no longer see the activity as a realistic one for me to pursue due to the 90 minute drive to the instructor (I know! Not far compared to what many on these boards are willing to do), not being able to work sheep regularly, the cost and time involved, etc.

 

I made the effort. I love watching Quinn work. I will continue to take him to sheep 90 minutes away and continue to love watching him work. Despite that, my next dog will be a rescue.

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Guest blastoff
My question - and I'm specifically asking blastoff this question because I have not heard this said or implied by anyone else on board . . .

 

Why do you think that I (as a pet/sport person) shouldn't have a working bred Border Collie if I feel that is the type of dog that I am looking for and will best suit my needs?

 

Uhrm, I don't recall saying that if a working bred border collies is the type that would best suit your needs that you shouldn't have one. I said that if the working crowd is so concerned with the "other" breedings of border collies that they ought to just keep their dogs within their own circle. That'll never happen, though. So if you want a working bred border collie, go get yourself one. It sounds like there are more than the working breeders can find homes for.

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Guest blastoff

My dogs are rescues and they've seen livestock on multiple occasions. They are quite good at hobby herding. But herding is extremely boring to ME and I have absolutely no desire to ever purchase a working bred border collie.

 

And regarding the breeders that aren't able to afford to take puppies back...why then is your first reply to someone rehoming a border collie "Have you contacted the breeder?" when you know good and well that if it were YOUR puppy you couldn't take it back. Last time I checked 99% of rescues REQUIRE that any dog that doesn't work out be returned. And last time I checked, rescues place a whole heck of a lot more dogs per year than working breeders do. Take responsibility for the dogs you produce or stop complaining about what happens to the breed after it leaves your farm. You've no room to complain if you're half the problem.

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And it probably never will because it's outside your frame of reference. Get a working dog and work it for awhile, then come back and let us know if it makes sense then. I'm not trying to be snotty here, really i'm not. But you can't know what you don't know (or didn't know) until you know it.

 

Just to be clear, I do not agree with Robin that if it does not work it isn't a Border Collie. If you have two working Border Collies and you breed them and one or two of the litter turns out to be total sheepduds, I think they are still Border Collies. They aren't good ones (they may be great DOGS, but they are not good Border Collies) but they are Border Collies.

 

Now, on the other hand, if you start selecting the sheepduds out of every litter and breeding those, eventually you will not have Border Collies anymore. Does that make sense?

 

I do agree that the differences between good working dogs and dogs that don't or can't work may be lost on someone who has not worked dogs. That is at the crux of many disagreements here, and why so many sports breeders are totally unaware of what they are losing in their dogs, and why so many sports people, of which I am one, by the way, think what what their dogs do is "work." I love dog sports and so do my dogs, but I have done real work with my dogs, and sports just don't compare.

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What is the benefit of producing a litter of well bred pups who all go to live in the suburbs of Coquitlam with families, exactly? I still don't see how it benefits the breed, though I can certainly see how it benefits the breeder.

 

RDM

 

Again, from my perspective, I never intend to produce a litter of well bred pups who _all_ go live in the suburbs. I intend to produce the very best pups I can -- a few of whom may end up as high quality contributors to the working gene pool, and the rest as pups who will live out a happy life in a forever home.

 

Those that have the possibility of contributing to the working pool, will not be passed around, sent to rescue, sold to puppy mills, or bred indiscriminately. I will be responsible for them no matter how they ultimately turn out. But there is a limit to how many of these I can reasonably be responsible for.

 

So, I'm trying to make a contribution with each litter, just not with every dog I breed in that litter. It's the best I can do.

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Big, huge sigh as you will, Melanie, but this really is an absurd statement, and smacks of nothing more strongly than a regurgitation of the Boards ethos at the expense of logic and rationality. The intention of the breeder is surely a factor in the likely outcome of a particular breeding, but you're way out on limb saying that it is definitive. I could just as well say that therefore, my (former) Kelpie IS a border collie because he WAS the product of a breeding program meant to produce stock dog

 

Well, no. I didn't want to belabor the point even more by getting more specific about what differentiates a Border Collie from other types of stock dogs (nor am I qualified to do so) and I won't here. I guess I could also get into the whole "a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not a square" business but I won't do that either.

 

I will say, though, that if your ex-Kelpie was excellent at doing the jobs that a good Border Collie is supposed to do, he would probably have been acceptable for ROM into ISDS or ABCA and therefore would be welcomed into the Border Collie gene pool, like the working Beardies who are essentially Border Collies with a different hairstyle.

 

How do you define "breed?"

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And regarding the breeders that aren't able to afford to take puppies back...why then is your first reply to someone rehoming a border collie "Have you contacted the breeder?" when you know good and well that if it were YOUR puppy you couldn't take it back. Last time I checked 99% of rescues REQUIRE that any dog that doesn't work out be returned. And last time I checked, rescues place a whole heck of a lot more dogs per year than working breeders do. Take responsibility for the dogs you produce or stop complaining about what happens to the breed after it leaves your farm. You've no room to complain if you're half the problem.

 

Who on this board are you even directing this to?

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Guest blastoff

It's directed at those of you who say you can 'afford to buy/take back 1 or 2 pups from a litter' and then complain when those 'failed stockdogs' are bred by the homes you place them in for some reason other than working ability. Say your litter ends up being 8 puppies. That means that 6 go to 'pet' homes and if something comes up and those homes can't keep them, too bad (forget what happens if they breed the dogs). The dogs end up in rescue since you weren't prepared to be responsible for the entire litter for its entire life. But I guess those rules don't apply to working breeders, only 'other' breeders. And rescues are taking up homes that your puppies could go to?! It's sort of a vicious cycle, isn't it? Since the puppies you couldn't afford to take back are the ones that ultimately end up in rescue and hence in those 'pet' homes that you would rather sell your new litter of puppies to.

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Who on this board are you even directing this to?

 

I'm guessing that she is referring to both of us saying we limit out working homed pups to those we can take back.

 

To be clear, and I think Denise will agree, we take *any* pup back. The reality is that to do that in a well selected pet home is *rare*. Those dogs are family members. They'd sooner give their dog up before they did their own kids. Heck, the dog is their kid on a lot of occassions :rolleyes:

 

With stockdogs it is not. It can take 1-2 years to see if a dog is suited exactly to what that owner needs. Not I said *needs*...which often applies more here than wants. The likelihood that it might not is there in even the best of litters - so I need to be more prepared to take that dog back if needed. Especially since I, and apparently Denise as well (Denise, chime in if I'm wrong) will not allow it to be sold on, traded out, etc...as, right or wrong, happens to a lot of working dogs.

 

Now it's all said, and we can get back to the discussion at hand without running rabbits off into the fantasy land of "working breeders all don't care"

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But we do run into the problem that an awful lot of working breeders don't control the reproductive fates of the puppies they produce, thus providing fodder for sports breeders, BYBs, and mills. I don't agree with most of what blastoff said (sorry, by the way, I had you mixed up with a sport kennel due to your username) but unfortunately this critique is true. If pups aren't sold on spay/neuter contracts or limited registration, what's stopping people from using them as the foundation of their Sport Collie kennels?

 

Of course, we've already had this discussion before, and it makes me want to bang my head against a wall too.

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Since the puppies you couldn't afford to take back are the ones that ultimately end up in rescue and hence in those 'pet' homes that you would rather sell your new litter of puppies to.

 

You are going to succeed in pissing me off very shortly here. You need to back down and find out more about all of us on this Board before you start hurling insults and aligning us with backyard and mill breeders.

 

I would be willing to bet some serious $$ that Denise has never had a dog or pup in Rescue, and if she did it was a complete mistake, and as soon as she was told the dog was on a fast boat back to Momma.

 

I know I haven't.

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You're right about too few of the working breeders caring beyond the check. But some do, and a lot of them are on here.

 

Reading the pedigrees on agility websites will tell you a lot.

 

The problem with banging one's head on a brick wall is that it only hurts the head and not the wall.

 

 

But we do run into the problem that an awful lot of working breeders don't control the reproductive fates of the puppies they produce, thus providing fodder for sports breeders, BYBs, and mills. I don't agree with most of what blastoff said (sorry, by the way, I had you mixed up with a sport kennel due to your username) but unfortunately this critique is true. If pups aren't sold on spay/neuter contracts or limited registration, what's stopping people from using them as the foundation of their Sport Collie kennels?

 

Of course, we've already had this discussion before, and it makes me want to bang my head against a wall too.

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It's directed at those of you who say you can 'afford to buy/take back 1 or 2 pups from a litter' and then complain when those 'failed stockdogs' are bred by the homes you place them in for some reason other than working ability. Say your litter ends up being 8 puppies. That means that 6 go to 'pet' homes and if something comes up and those homes can't keep them, too bad (forget what happens if they breed the dogs). The dogs end up in rescue since you weren't prepared to be responsible for the entire litter for its entire life. But I guess those rules don't apply to working breeders, only 'other' breeders. And rescues are taking up homes that your puppies could go to?! It's sort of a vicious cycle, isn't it? Since the puppies you couldn't afford to take back are the ones that ultimately end up in rescue and hence in those 'pet' homes that you would rather sell your new litter of puppies to.

 

For crying out loud. Are you missing the part where TWICE I've said the non working ones will go to forever homes? What the hell?

 

I guess I should add I use NB designation too.

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I think it's really just clutching at straws at this point to say that working puppies deserve homes more because it may turn some Suburbanites onto stockwork and make them champions of the breed. And if buying a well bred stockdog so I can become "obsessed" with sheepherding and turn into someone who thinks that as a result my purpose-bred puppies deserve homes more than a rescue dog, I'll pass thanks!

 

[...]

 

I guess now *I'm* being obtuse smile.gif

 

You're not being obtuse. I don't think so anyway. I don't actually think there is a "higher purpose" to any particular breed of dog (although if there were, working Border Collies would have a good case). I do think there are certain attributes that make this breed what it is, and that it will not be what it is without continued selection for working livestock, and that there are a lot of us out there who would miss them if they were not around anymore. And that if they are turned into something else, that should be reflected in terminology.

 

I'd challenge anyone to tell me that any dog out there deserves a home more than Solo. And I would like to find my next dog in rescue. I'd prefer that "surplus" dogs are not bred, by anyone, while there are still so many perfectly nice dogs in rescue who need homes.

 

That said, I can understand why minimal breeding may be good for individual dogs but not good for the breed, and that it is a shame that good breeders' practices are dictated in part by what bad breeders do, which is flood the market. And I might add, as I stated in the first post of this epic thread, that I think there are an awful lot of "working" breeders out there who should not be breeding dogs either.

 

It is best for the BREED if the gene pool remains broad and deep, and from that perspective, it is easy to look at the situation as one where other dogs (BYB, puppy mills, sports, etc.) are "taking up" homes that "should" be occupied by well bred dogs from caring, working breeders. That sounds callous, and when you are someone who cares about individual dogs no matter where they come from, it is callous, even if it is true. All this means is that the world is complicated and often that it isn't fair.

 

ETA: blastoff, Wendy has rescued more dogs than you have probably ever SEEN in your entire life.

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Guest blastoff
For crying out loud. Are you missing the part where TWICE I've said the non working ones will go to forever homes? What the hell?

 

Sure, they go to forever homes. So do rescue dogs. But unforseen circumstances arise even in forever homes and then what happens to those dogs that you admittedly couldn't afford to take back? You said it, not me, so don't accuse me of hurling insults at people I don't know. Perhaps you need to clarify your initial statement of only being able to take 1-2 puppies back. Just because the pups go to forever homes doesn't mean they aren't being bred, does it? Unless you're selling your reject puppies on speuter contracts and following up with said contract you have no idea whether you are the direct result of the booming sport dog industry.

 

SoloRiver, I have no idea who Wendy is. Likewise, you have no idea how many dogs I have encountered in my lifetime.

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