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Pam Wolf

What is a Border Collie

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Hello everyone,

 

I feel that a Border Collie is a dog that has been developed over the past couple of centuries to be the premier sheepdog in the world (and more recently, an all around stockdog), one which happily works in partnership with man, but can also do its job using its own initiative and intelligence.

 

Regards to all,

nancy

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What is a border collie? A border collie to me is an athletic speedy dog with the drive, brains, and smarts to back it up. They are a quirky breed that tend to obsess. They are pressure sensitive and people smart. A very diverse breed that excels at almost everything.

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All breeds are defined by the breeding goals used by the majority of breeders.

 

To win contests of appearance.

To win at games/sports.

To be a helping hand/working partner.

etc.

 

My definition of a Border Collie is the same as Nancy's.

 

 

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I really like Nancy's definition.

 

I also find it fascinating that the premier sheepdog can take it's working ability and excel at other jobs and activities. It's an interesting conundrum that only by breeding a dog with a single purpose in mind can you create a dog that is so diverse in it's abilities

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I really like Nancy's definition.

 

I also find it fascinating that the premier sheepdog can take it's working ability and excel at other jobs and activities. It's an interesting conundrum that only by breeding a dog with a single purpose in mind can you create a dog that is so diverse in it's abilities

 

I also like Nancy's definition.

 

And you bring up a really good point Maralynn. A point that I debate with my "dog sport" friend quite often.

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Hello everyone,

 

I feel that a Border Collie is a dog that has been developed over the past couple of centuries to be the premier sheepdog in the world (and more recently, an all around stockdog), one which happily works in partnership with man, but can also do its job using its own initiative and intelligence.

 

Regards to all,

nancy

 

I think that's a very good thumbnail description!

 

One could be pedantic and add notes about physical traits, but those vary so widely it would make pretty bewildering reading! ;)

 

"They are rough coat, except when they're smooth. They have tipped ears, except when they have pointed, or one up/done down, or else floppy like beagles. They move in a creeping, crouching style, except when they are more upright. They have lots of eye, except when they don't. They have medium bone, except when they are refined or big-boned. They are 35-45 pounds, except when they are 30 or 60. They are black and white, except when they're red or brown or tri or merle or ... " :)

 

~ Gloria

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"They are rough coat, except when they're smooth. They have tipped ears, except when they have pointed, or one up/done down, or else floppy like beagles. They move in a creeping, crouching style, except when they are more upright. They have lots of eye, except when they don't. They have medium bone, except when they are refined or big-boned. They are 35-45 pounds, except when they are 30 or 60. They are black and white, except when they're red or brown or tri or merle or ... " :)

 

 

 

I like your description :D

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While I like Nancy's definition, I think that it's not the past that defines the breed but the present. Border collies are the premier sheepdog. If you look at the variety of situations in which they work (range sheep, small farms, dairy farms, cattle, hills in GB) it's not surprising that they are versatile - they are versatile in their bred-for work too.

 

Kim

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While I like Nancy's definition, I think that it's not the past that defines the breed but the present. Border collies are the premier sheepdog. If you look at the variety of situations in which they work (range sheep, small farms, dairy farms, cattle, hills in GB) it's not surprising that they are versatile - they are versatile in their bred-for work too.

 

Kim

 

I kind of presumed that's what she meant. ;) She referenced the past but spoke in the present tense. So, I can just add your definition to hers! :)

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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Hi Gloria,

 

My sensitivity relates to the people who argue that border collies either don't do/aren't needed for their traditional roles and, then, it follows that their years of breeding are what matters in making a border collie a border collie. I know this isn't what Nancy meant, but none of us are people who believe that working border collies aren't needed.

 

Kim

 

ETA: this sounds uptight - sorry, I'm not really an uptight person :-)

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Hi Gloria,

 

My sensitivity relates to the people who argue that border collies either don't do/aren't needed for their traditional roles and, then, it follows that their years of breeding are what matters in making a border collie a border collie. I know this isn't what Nancy meant, but none of us are people who believe that working border collies aren't needed.

 

Kim

 

ETA: this sounds uptight - sorry, I'm not really an uptight person :-)

 

 

Hi Kim!

 

You don't sound uptight to me, at all. You sound like someone who loves and respects the breed, both who he was and who he should still be. I'm good with that. :)

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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I think that's a very good thumbnail description!

 

One could be pedantic and add notes about physical traits, but those vary so widely it would make pretty bewildering reading! ;)

 

"They are rough coat, except when they're smooth. They have tipped ears, except when they have pointed, or one up/done down, or else floppy like beagles. They move in a creeping, crouching style, except when they are more upright. They have lots of eye, except when they don't. They have medium bone, except when they are refined or big-boned. They are 35-45 pounds, except when they are 30 or 60. They are black and white, except when they're red or brown or tri or merle or ... " :)

 

~ Gloria

 

I love this addendum... a perfect description of their physical characteristics, now if I could only memorize it for when people wonder if my dogs are Border Collies.....

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How do they work?

 

 

For Gunny and Cap

------------------------

 

Everyday in heavy rain

or

snow that stings the eyes in a wind so thin you could feel its edge with your thumb.

they work

in the midday heat of a dusty summer framed by memories of a hundred

sheep

they work

in the mud of trails that clings to boots and hooves and tired, swift paws.

they work

 

Before they are fed

 

In the middle of a stormy night

 

they work

 

they work

 

a calm strong presence before a curious calf with mother standing behind with lifted ears, thinking.

 

 

they work

 

 

behind the eyes of a new hill mother with day old triplets

 

 

they work

 

 

to catch sheep for me to shear

 

and lay and wait while the blades part this year from last.

 

 

They work

 

 

Until....one day

 

Creation takes them back from us......

 

And lonely we watch the fields

 

Where

 

They worked.

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OK, I guess now I ask, HOW does a Border Collie work? this is open to all commers.

 

Depends on how much vision the trainer/handler has.

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Thanks, Tea, lovely as always!

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Doggonnit, Tea! Some day I'm gonna bill you for all the kleenex you make me use up.

 

Beautifully said, as ever. I don't have a thing to add. Thank you. :)

 

~ Gloria

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Thanks, my friends, I write these because you wish to hear them, and my dogs and this work inspires it.

 

But...Oh My Gunny and Cap.

 

Retiring them is hard. Not so much on my Cap he is getting to be content to sleep on the arm chair next to my wood stove. I am have a bell to put on him when he goes out with me. He has ID on his little collar.

He can't hear....he sometimes gets confused as to where he is.

 

But Gunny, she will find this hard. I give her little jobs that are easy on her hips. (I guess.) She gets deramaxx

 

Taw and Sweep are learning their work. Sweep's next trial is nc Open and a pro/novice run

We hsve been trialing a year now.

 

I never would have except for what Gunny and Cap taught me, as well as my handler friends. Including you..guys

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Funny how a seemingly simple question is anything but.

To me a Border Collie is a breed of dog. Originally defined/selected and I suppose, one could even say created, for it's ability to work effectively to assist his handler.

Charming in the fact that there is no breedstandard as far as appearances as so eloquently stated earlier. And loved by so many for its working skills and unique abilities.

 

Question. The ISDS is only Border Collies?

Question two. If so, is a "true" Border Collie then only a dog that can be tracked via registered bloodlines and everything else "simply" (yes nothing simple about it I know) is a Sheepdog (with possible Border Collie bloodlines) that is selected by ability?

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Sorry to bump an old thread, but I just wanted to say how much I respect you all for keeping the border collie everything that it is--I was patronized by a conformation collie owner the other day and had to really bite my tongue. She was about the most ignorant person I could every imagine, and when I countered with some of the arguments you all post here on the boards all she could do was continue to blabber about how her dogs were intelligent AND to standard, and they worked livestock too (poor sheep. ]: )!

 

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I really respect all of you guys for it. Thank you for being such great teachers and role models, honestly. You learn a lot from this community just by sifting through all the different posts and threads.

 

Thanks again.

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