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Originally posted by Eileen Stein:

[QB] Surely you aren't saying that Joe Public would use the word "mismarked"?

 

Probably not,but certainly the performance dog people would recognise the term

it. >>

 

No, a dedicated conformation breeder would show more than that. But it makes you someone who is breeding for appearance. And you associated yourself with conformation breeders in your posts.

 

Well I can hardly associate myself with stockdog breeders can I, especially as I have so frequently been told my dogs have no chance of herding stock in any shape or form.

 

Yes you can call me someone who is breeding for appearance, if you like, my personal colour preferences are also the colour preference of many people here in the UK especially amongst the

Obedience fraternity and agility fraternity,and this is where the greater majority of my dogs go.

I have bred performance BC's for a great many years, I don't just pick a dog because he is the colour ,I like to get a good dog that is capable of doing obedience and agility there has to be a selection process that goes far beyond just using a Merle because it looks good.

 

 

Might they by any wild chance have become conformation breeders after the standard was written?

 

 

Some may well have but I should imagine the ISDS folk just carried on with what they were used to.

 

 

Karin

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Probably not,but certainly the performance dog people would recognise the term
I am a performance person, and nope, in general preformance people breed for just that, PREFORMANCE. I have NEVER heard the term "mis-marked" out of the mouth of a preformance person/breeder, other then you of coarse. in the preformance world if the dog can do what you want it to do then no one gives a d*mn what the dogs markings are :rolleyes: one of the fastest BCs in our region is solid black with one whit paw with black speckles. that dog can run, they dog is amazing, do you really thing anyone cares that she does not have a blaze and a collar and boots? nope, not a one.

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Karin, this is what you originally wrote:

 

>

 

I let that pass with a wry comment, but now that you've implied that some of the breeders setting the breed standard were ISDS folks who went back to sheepdogging afterwards, I think we should be more specific.

 

Yes, the ISDS was involved in the process by which a kennel club breed standard was set, so in that sense "in conjunction with" is not false. Does that mean they supported the setting of a breed standard? No. They opposed it. To the extent that they did cooperate, they did so only as a quid pro quo, to stop the KC from designating border collies as Champions based on showing in the breed ring. In return, the KC agreed to give border collies the title of Show Champion (Sh.Ch.) rather than full champion, in order to signify that success in the breed ring does not make a border collie a Champion. Only by passing a working test administered by the ISDS can a Sh.Ch. border collie become a full champion. Very, very few Sh.Ch. border collies have ever done this -- two or three, I believe?

 

The impetus for setting a breed standard came entirely from the KC and from people I would not hesitate to call conformation breeders, because that was their interest and purpose. They were setting a standard so that they could show border collies in conformation, and they were the ones who cared what the standard said. They drew heavily on the Oz/NZ standard in doing so, and the dogs who are put up under their standard look just like the Oz/NZ champions, not like ISDS working dogs. Yes,the ISDS was represented at the table, but that's about the extent of their role in determining the standard.

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Colin did, indeed, coin the term "barbie collie." I think it may have been more than 10 years ago on the old Bordercollie-L when it was owned by someone who worked at Lawrence Livermore Labs. I can't remember the guy's name. I do remember Colin's post suggesting the name change although I had it in my head at one time as being posted by Colin but made-up by his wife. Not so. All Colin's.

 

I can't remember whether that masked rider "Mornrising" had galloped into the discussions yet.

 

Anyway, the phrase is so apt that it took hold immediately.

 

Penny

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Originally posted by border_collie_crazy:

[QB]

Probably not,but certainly the performance dog people would recognise the term
I am a performance person, and nope, in general preformance people breed for just that, PREFORMANCE. I have NEVER heard the term "mis-marked" out of the mouth of a preformance person/breeder, other then you of coarse. in the preformance world if the dog can do what you want it to do then no one gives a d*mn what the dogs markings are :rolleyes: one of the fastest BCs in our region is solid black with one whit paw with black speckles. that dog can run, they dog is amazing, do you really thing anyone cares that she does not have a blaze and a collar and boots? nope, not a one.

 

 

In that case then something is lost in translation then as the term is very frequently used here in the UK for two lots of folk who both supposedly use the queens english we do seem to have terminology that is not the same on both sides of the Atlantic. The term performance dog is also not used over here, and as I said before coloured dogs and mismarked dogs are very popular, all down to individual preference. I have my preferences you have yours, I stand by my choice you can stand by yours.

 

Karin

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Sorry Eileen the breed standard in the UK at the time it was drawn up was not like the NZ/Australian standard. Marion Leigh, Doug and margaret Collier Iris Combe and Mary and John Gascoigne,Pam Harris were some of the people who drew up the standard which was approved by the ISDS before it was submitted to the KC, all of these people were involved with Border collies in the performance fields and Pam Harris and Doug Collier are still active unfortunately Mary suffers from ill health so she is no longer particularly active in the BC field.

Karin

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I suppose whether the original UK standard was similar to the OZ/NZ standard is a matter of opinion, but the ISDS's hostility to the adoption of any show standard was not. They "approved" it only as part of a bargain to keep show winners from getting the title of champion; I think to say they had little interest in its content would be an understatement.

 

And you aren't trying to suggest that the people you name here wouldn't be accurately described as conformation breeders, are you?

 

You do mean the Marion Leigh who is principally a show breeder and show judge of labrador retrievers under her married name of Hopkinson, right? Yes, I believe she was involved in taking the border collie into the kennel club. In fact, there is a little account by her about how bitterly opposed the ISDS was to this effort, and how the first standard adopted by the breed club was the Australian standard, at http://www.bordercollieclub.com/history.aspx**

 

Hmm, Doug Collier . . . isn't he a show breeder and show judge whose prefix is Borderbreeze, and whose kennel is founded on Clan-Abby New Zealand show border collies? And surely John Gascoigne shows border collies in breed, and is a breed judge also?

 

And I assume you mean this Pam Harris?

 

http://www.champdogs.co.uk/breeder/3201.html

 

As for "mismarked," it isn't just a matter of "bonnet" and "boot." Not only do sheepdog people (and, I believe, sport dog people) in the US not use the term "mismarked," we don't have any term to express that concept.

 

*Edit: I notice you added Iris Combe to your list after I wrote this response. She is someone who may have started out in obedience, I think, but she had long since left it to show rough and smooth collies in conformation by the time of KC recognition of the border collie, and if I'm not mistaken she bred one of the first Sh.Ch. Border Collies. She is mainly known as a conformation breeder and judge.

 

None of the people you list could by any stretch of the imagination be considered "ISDS folk."

 

**ETA: Since the Border Collie Club of Great Britain has apparently taken down the linked page, here is the relevant portion of it, obtained via web.archive.org:

 

The Early History of the Border Collie Club of Gt. Britain

 

by Marion Hopkinson, formerly (Leigh)

 

September 1972 saw the nucleus of what has now become a wonderfully successful Breed Club.

 

The instigation of this group was caused by the Kennel Club refusing to register my very nicely bred Border Collie bitch on the Obedience register as anything other than "working sheepdog".

 

I was quite annoyed to say the least, and originally the first six of our group banded together with some "high falluting" notion that the breed ought to be recognised. After all, it is a British dog! We became 'The Border Collie Enthusiasts Club' - which said it all!

 

We promoted our cause through jumble sales, raffles and coffee mornings held at my home, giving the proceeds to Guide Dogs but collecting support on the way. In 1973 we had our first "large" event - a Sponsored Dog Sit of Border Collies which looked very impressive to our local public onlookers.

 

Harry Glover gave us wonderful support and lots of coverage in his column in Our Dogs, this proved to be a great turning point. He steered both me and the Club through the various procedures and his encouragement was never ending.

 

In the very early days, we hoped for support from the I.S.D.S. and to that end I, and one or two more, went to the Sheepdog trials - no such luck!

 

I personally was spat on, sworn at and generally given "the boot"! One or two were good to us and quite sympathetic, Alan Robers always stood by us and we had a lot to thank him for.

 

The Trial's men were "up in arms" against us and an enduring battle of words in letter form took place in Matt Mundell's Scottish Sheepdog Handler, a monthly publication for the Trials scene.

 

In September 1976 an Exemption Show combined with Sheepdog Trial to be held at the estate of the Earl of Scarborough, we had everything ready but were forced to cancel due to the I.S.D.S. threatening expulsion to its members if they took part - how narrow minded it seemed then and now. October 1976 saw The Border Collie Club of Great Britain title registered with the Kennel Club and in February 1977, a Founder Members' meeting was held at Blyth Parish Hall and the Australian Standard was adopted as our interim. 1978 saw the Club request that the amended standard be considered and the Club was also concerned that C.C. status should not come too quickly. In those days C.C.s were allocated on registration numbers and these rocketed, due largely to the Obedience dogs.

 

All this happened a long time ago and there will be very few who are in the breed now who will know how much hard work and dedication went into the forming of the 'Club' and recognition of the 'Breed'.

 

That it is so successful is testimony to our original aims and it was all down to my own Border bitch whom I felt should have had her just title.

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Very good post Eileen!

 

Border Collie Conformation was clearly established for the wrong reasons in the UK: "it was all down to (Marion Leigh's) own Border bitch whom (she) felt should have had her just title (in Obedience)". I am trying to locate a page on Australian BC Conformation History. Please let me know if you find one first...

 

I can't help but wonder if you have ever said: "That dog herds beautifully, but it is not a Border Collie because it doesn't do... ... ..."? I am specifically interested to know how Kelpies herd differently to Border Collies. Or are they all the same to you?

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Hmmmm, I guess by Bill Fosher's definition, then, Finn is "mismarked", since today he managed to urinate on my left elbow... :mad: (GRRR! - Sigh. NOT my day today.)

 

(We apologise for this frivolous and no doubt tasteless interruption. Now, back to the relevant part of the discussion, which has been very interesting....)

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Originally posted by Doug Boyder:

[QB] Very good post Eileen!

 

Border Collie Conformation was clearly established for the wrong reasons in the UK: "it was all down to (Marion Leigh's) own Border bitch whom (she) felt should have had her just title (in Obedience)".

 

 

Doug you have misread this, the just title she is referring to is the right to call her dog a Border Collie not a working sheepdog, which is the term the KC uses for anything that is not either registered or recognised by the KC ,these dogs are entered on the obedience and working trial register and all seem to be lumped under the term working sheepdog regardless of what the dog actually is, my friends dog was a smooth Collie(rough lassie variety not bc) and he too ened up as a working sheepdog.

 

 

The ISDS newsletter is called (or was when I still held a sub) working sheepdog news, and indeed the ISDS stands for Sheepdog or it would be the IBCS, so perhaps for the working fraternity the name should be synonymous with the job the dogs are doing.

 

Naming people who were involved in the first breed standard, is pointless because all it has done is to get fingers pointing and the chant of conformation breeder going! Pam Harris has been involved with BC's for over 40 years and I think she has probably bred more obedience titled dogs than the rest of the UK together, I don't think she needs defending by me and I feel sure she feels just as strongly over her right to breed her Border Collies as I do.

 

 

As for calling the Obedience/agility dogs "performance" dogs I say again it is not a term that we use here in the UK and really to me it smacks a little of circus dogs.

 

 

Tucks BC Buddy, you asked me to let you know when I had heard back from the ISDS on ROM, well this is what they said, Incidentally this came as a letter so have to quote here! although I will keep the original is needed

 

 

Dear Karin,

I enclose the Copy of ROM for your guidance.The dog must be a border collie and confirmation must be obtained from a director of the society.There are a number of breeds that herd but as a guide we would not accept a dog that looked like a german shepherd!

 

Regards Sue Fisher

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Originally posted by AK dog doc:

[QB] Hmmmm, I guess by Bill Fosher's definition, then, Finn is "mismarked", since today he managed to urinate on my left elbow... :mad: (GRRR! - Sigh. NOT my day today.)

 

 

Just got to ask does Finn have an extremely good aim or were you prone on the floor at the time LOL

Karin

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Eileen, You may consider the people I listed as pure conformation breeders, but between them they have produced and are still producing dogs that compete in both agility and obedience, so therefore regardless of the fact their dogs can and do show in the breed ring I do not consider them "Pure" conformation breeders, i.e. people who breed purely for how they expect their dogs to "look".

 

 

I think the first Australian breed standard was as far back as 1927, the first UK breed standard was not the same as the australian one because the UK accepted, more coat variation and colour and ear set than the Aus one. A bit irrelevant

really as the herding fraternity accepts and all all variations pure or not

 

Karin

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Doug, the conversation you will hear is more like, "look at the way that dog holds a line, too bad it rarely gets around the course/blows up at the shed/can't lift sheep"

 

We rarely talk about "herding". It's work and just like work has different steps or phases to accomplish an overall goal, so does what we do. The Open trial course raises certain expectations that a well-rounded dog can accomplish all the parts. A dog that can't, isn't really considered worth breeding, which is the question here.

 

Just for instance, here's my Ben:

BenWalkFris.jpg

 

Looks great, doesn't he? He can search for and gather every sheep out of four different fields without a single command from me. That, you could call "herding". It might even be a type of "work". But it is not up to the Border Collie standard - he will run out 425 yards for sheep but when he gets there he can't lift them without a disaster. He also refuses to drive more than 50 yards. He lacks a natural ability to feel his sheep and a stubbornness to do things his way, which you rarely see at home but comes out in a hundred ways on the trial field.

 

Don't get me wrong - I love Ben and he's always got a place here. But he is SO not going to pass his useless genes on to the next generation - he's neutered. He IS a Border Collie - but he's not up to the Border Collie standard of work.

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>

 

I don't believe I ever used the word "pure" -- you are introducing it here for the first time. Conformation breeders will usually produce some dogs who compete in agility and obedience, unless they require their puppy buyers to refrain from competing in agility or obedience, and I don't know of anyone who does that. I think it's fair to say the primary focus of these people is conformation. It is certainly not working livestock.

 

Maybe it's worth re-capping how this side issue came up.

 

You wrote:

 

>

 

Apparently this was in response to my having said earlier:

 

>

 

and possibly in response to my having said to wildairbc:

 

>

 

I understood you to be claiming that the UK standard was written by the ISDS and some border collie breeders who were not conformation breeders, working together, as opposed to being written by people who had never worked livestock with a dog. If that WAS what you were saying, it was incorrect, and I thought it was worth pointing that out. If that WASN'T what you were saying, then this offshoot of the discussion is irrelevant.

 

As far as the letter you received from the ISDS, I would just repeat what I said earlier: I'm not an expert on the ISDS ROM requirements, but the ISDS now recognises ABCA registrations and will register the offspring of any ABCA-registered dog, and the ABCA has no appearance requirement for ROM, so I suppose a German shepherd looking dog could theoretically be ROMed by the ABCA and its offspring registered with the ISDS. But this is THEORETICAL, because in practice the whole point of rigorous breeding for herding ability alone is that it has produced a breed which herds far better than other breeds (unless they are very, very closely related, like the occasional working beardie or kelpie), and therefore dogs from those other breeds would not as a practical matter be able to meet the standard. If German shepherds COULD work to that standard, that would suggest we didn't need to worry about the BC breed losing its working ability if the dogs are bred without regard to working ability. But they can't.

 

When a working dog person says, "The ABCA would register a basset hound if it could meet the working standard," apparently those who are listening hear only "basset hound," whereas the important, meaningful part of the sentence is "could meet the working standard."

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. . . because in practice the whole point of rigorous breeding for herding ability alone is that it has produced a breed which herds far better than other breeds (unless they are very, very closely related, like the occasional working beardie or kelpie).

[emphasis added]

Whoa there girl. While I don't dispute that the border collie is the greatest all rounder that ever was or will be, I really can't agree that it is only the occasional Kelpie that has a pretty high level of herding ability. The Kelpie is, after all, the premier stockdog of Australia and continues to be bred both there and here for its working ability. There are thousands of them doing a good day's work in that country and not a few doing the same over here.

 

Andrea

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Andrea,

I interpreted that a bit differently than what you did. 'Course, I've misinterpreted before. My interpretation was not that the beardie and kelpie do not work, or even put in a good days work, but instead, that there are probably only occassional kelpies or beardies that would exhibit enough ability to possibly be considered for the ROM process, i.e. only occassional dogs of these breeds, that could work to the border collie standard of work. I interpret this way, due to the context of the remainder of the post, and where this statement fell in that post.

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The Australian Kelpie is very similar to the Border Collie in Herding Function (according to some knowledgable friends of mine). Kelpies are extremely intelligent and are also bred to have a strong eye when working.

 

The problem I have with the Function-based standard is that the Kelpie could easily be classified as a Border Collie. As Herding Experts, without knowing all that much about Australian Kelpies, or taking note of their form, how would you distinguish between these two breeds of dogs? Is the basic form/structure of the Border Collie breed completely irrelevent?

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Is the basic form/structure of the Border Collie breed completely irrelevent?
Yes, for all practical purposes and in the sense you mean. Obviously, Dachshund legs or a Bulldog face might be problematic, but any appearance standard you could come up that did anything but exclude those types of extremes would be so generalized as to be meaningless. To quote Intel's ads, the Border Collie is "driven by what's inside".

 

As to getting a Kelpie ROM'd, yes I think you could. Could you do it for more than an 'occasional' one. Oh, I think so, if you made it a goal. No reason to, though, since USBCHA does not limit participation in its sanctioned trials to ABCA registered dogs.

 

A.

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Doug,

 

Is the basic form/structure of the Border Collie breed completely irrelevant?

 

It is not irrelevant, it is selected for through function. The range of functional structure for the work border collies do is fairly wide, at least wide by breed conformation standards.

 

This is a good thing because all work situations and livestock are not the same. Should you need a superfast, smaller, lighter-boned dog for hill work on extremely flighty sheep, you can find one. Should you want a more substantially built dog because you think it will hold up better under conditions such as chute work with cattle, you can find one. However, in general, almost without exception, most structures you see in the working dogs are functional structures because they have been stringently selected for by function.

 

I don't know if your question is: "Is what they look like cosmetically irrelevant?" Or "Do you believe their structure is irrelevant?" I gave my opinion on the second. As for the first, there are unimportant physical things I like better than other things. I LOVE the look of half-white faced border collies. However, I don't have any because that's not the type of thing I use to select the dogs I want.

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Andrea,

 

As an owner of a working Kelpie, would you mind telling us differences you see in its working style compared to your border collies? And how you compare the working styles of those two breeds in general.

 

Denise

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