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Marty&Abigail

eye color

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Hi! My first "real" topic. :rolleyes:

I want to ask you a question.. that I can't really ask in Italy, I will cause a real big war between people with working dogs and people with show dogs.

Do you think that the eye color in working dogs can do the differece while working? I will try to explain my self better. A dog with yellow(or light) eyes put more pressure on sheeps than a dark eyed dog? I thought it was like that(because they told me).. until I looked for enlish champion dogs on the web.. and all dogs have brown eyes. All the working standard say.. "brown eyes"(in shepherd and in hunt dogs). Not only the BC's standard. I'm reading a very good book about morphology in breeding, and they say that a light eye is more sensitive than a dark one? So.. maybe it's better for working dogs to have dark eyes, so the sun can't cause problems. Someone reply: wolfs have yellow eyes!In nature is not a problem.

That's right.. but wolfs hunt in twilight and during the night.. so they don't have the "sun problme".

Our Border Collies have to work during the day.

:confused:

What do you think?

I think that is not the eye that does the difference betweed a very good dog and a medium one.

(sorry if my english is not very good, I'm trying my best!! :cool: )

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Personally, I think it's what's "behind the eye color" that counts! There is no "standard" for working Border Collies in ISDS or American working registries - just in the conformation kennel clubs.

Also, When you mention light eyes and sun, I think the reference may be to blue eyes, vs. a shade of brown. I HAVE seen blue eyed dogs squinting in the bright sunlight, but never noticed squinting in my yellow or light-brown eyed dogs any more than my dark-eyed dogs.

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Originally posted by laurie etc:

Personally, I think it's what's "behind the eye color" that counts! There is no "standard" for working Border Collies in ISDS or American working registries - just in the conformation kennel clubs.

Also, When you mention light eyes and sun, I think the reference may be to blue eyes, vs. a shade of brown. I HAVE seen blue eyed dogs squinting in the bright sunlight, but never noticed squinting in my yellow or light-brown eyed dogs any more than my dark-eyed dogs.

I agree with you.. Maybe is just the blue eye that have problem with the sun. but do you think there is difference between yellow and brown when they are working? I mean for Sheeps..

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There are many dogs with light brown eyes that are fine and effective workers. It really doesn't make a difference. The dark brown color is really an aesthetic preference (it's prettier because it gives the face a softer look than the hard yellow eye).

 

I think people who DON'T work their dogs make up stories like this to justify their personal beauty preferences. Like, supposedly the rough (long) coat is better because it's more weather proof, a square body works hills better, more bone makes the dog tougher, a certain angulation of joints give the dog more endurance and are sounder.

 

It's all just made up in the end because the only way you can REALLY figure out whether a dog can run fast, last all day, work well in sunlight, work in heat or cold or bad weather, is by working the dog in those conditions.

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Peaple here in Italy thinks that a dog with yellow eyes works better than a dog with brown eye.. the same is for straight ears.. that are more "wolfish" and so the sheep are more afraid..and the dog works better.

but I don't think the same.. I was wondering if I was wrong or not.. I think that are many the factor that make a dog a good worker!

I'm glad You think the same..

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there are some farmers in england that would'nt give you tuppence for a red dog because the think the ewes will think its a fox. yet others have told me that white dogs are no good cos the sheep think its another sheep!

but admittedly these were the same people that said i should'nt have sheep as i'm 'only' 5 feet 4 inches and i'll never manage them. funny how they forget that when they want a small hand and arm at lambing....

for the land that played a big part in creating the border collie we sure can be spectaclulary stupid about them!

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An observation:

I had a light colored (not blue but yellow)eye dog who was never settled in his work. I don't think it was eye color, just his make up.

I have a llama for a guard animal and this light eye dog was the only working dog that my llama ever spit on or tried to stomp.

I don't think it was because of eye color or coloring of his coat, I think it was because the intention of this dog was a bit confused and the llama and sheep picked up on the different intentions of this dog.

There was a time when I took him to a friends place to work sheep and they had lots of guard dogs. There were probably over 8 working dogs chained to the fence and all the guard dogs ignored them except this dog in particular. They were very leery of him the whole time.

 

Again I do not think it was coat color or eye color, I think it was the intention of the dog that created the situation. I can see how someone making casual observations without knowledge of our working dogs could say it was becasue of his eye color or coat color and would bet that's how rumors of eye and coat colors gets passed on.

 

None of this would sway me from getting another light color eye dog, but it did teach me to be very aware of a dogs intentions when going out to work livestock.

BTW, this dog was red.

Kristen

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I read once in a old hard to find Border Collie book that eye color has a lot to do with the dog.

 

If I recall correctly, below it what it said.

 

Light colored eyes (yellow, I think it said) means cowardice.

Medium colored eyes (*edit*amber, I think it said) means intelligence.

And dark eyes (I find this funny because I always think of show Barbie Collies because they like the dark "chocolate" eyes) mean stupid/stupidity.

 

I find it very interesting. It?d be interesting to take notes on it with different dogs you meet.

 

Katelynn

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Katelynn - Maybe that medium color was described as "amber" not "albumen" (albumen is the white of the egg).

 

Show folks like the dark eyes because they give a "softer" appearance (so do the tipped ears compared to pricked ears). In addition to dumbing down breeds, kennel club standards also seem to "infantize" dogs to make them "soft" and appealing to the general public. These characteristics elict the "ohhh, isn't he/she cute?!?!" reaction from people (just like babies of all sorts do).

 

This includes a larger, more prominent eye, blunter and shorter muzzle, and what you might call a "baby face" appearance.

 

Compare conformation beagles with hunting-bred beagles and you will see this - the conformation-bred beagles have a more "immature" face, shorter and blunter muzzle, etc., than the more pointy-nosed, longer-headed hunting-bred beagle.

 

You can also see this in comparing conformation-bred Border Collies and working-bred Border Collies, and other breeds where there is a split between purpose-bred and show-bred dogs.

 

I think it's related to the impractical and excessive flowing coats that showing promotes. Dogs with lush, luxurious coats just make you want to touch and pet them, don't they?

 

I think it's just a marketing ploy, conscious or otherwise, to make the dogs more appealing to the general public.

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