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Space_Cowgirl

AKC Ethics

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Originally posted by blackacre:

No reason to, though, since USBCHA does not limit participation in its sanctioned trials to ABCA registered dogs.

 

A.

There really is no reason to register another breed with the ABCA unless someone was trying to prove a point.

 

I have a spayed, unregistered Border Collie bitch that people frequently tell me I should ROM..... until they learn she is spayed and that there is no practical advantage to doing so.

 

The same would go for any other breed or any altered border collie.

 

If registration was a requirement for running - especially in National Finals - I'd ROM her, but as it stands there's no reason to unless I simply wanted a piece of paper.

 

I go to about 20 trials a year plus visit a fair number of ranches and have yet to see a Kelpie that was trained to the standard that I think would merit ROM. There may be a few, but I think they are the very rare exception, and not the rule. In fact, I've never seen a kelpie run an open class. They're usually in Open Ranch or Novice, and I suspect there's a reason for that.

 

P.R.

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P.R.,

Fortunately, the ROM program provides for an objective test of working ability as an alternatve method of qualifying for ROM status, so neither your opinion nor anyone else's would matter in the least:

 

 

"II. Working Qualifications (One or the other of these options must be met.)

 

 

A. Written proof that the dog seeking registration on merit has placed in the top 10% of three open, advertised National style and size trials judged under ISDS or USBCHA rules.

 

B. To pass the working qualifications, the dog must demonstrate outstanding abilities in outrun, lift, fetch, driving, and must satisfy the Directors as to his good balance, power, and eye. At least three of the Directors must see the dog in person working livestock at a place other than his home on livestock that he is not used to."

A.

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Andrea,

 

Well, I don't know of any kelpies at present who would qualify under the objective part (A) of the ROM standard, do you? Which is not to say that they couldn't. If the kelpie really is descended from a border collie immigrant to Australia called Kelpie, and if the breed has been rigorously selected for herding ability since, there's no reason in theory why significant numbers of them couldn't meet the A standard. But I have so seldom seen a kelpie working that I really have no opinion.

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My understanding is that, in general, the Kelpie is a better dog than the border collie for sheep work in Australia. Apparently, the quality of the working border collie (or what's left of them) in that country is not what it is here. What I'd like to know is, are the Kelpies there working to a higher standard than here?

 

BTW, I mean real work not KC herding trials.

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Too many times, things seem so much easier in theory, then they actually are in practice.

The only people who really know how difficult the ROM process is, are those that have been through it, or a part of it. How many dogs have successfully been ROM'd? My guess is not very many. And if my guess is correct, even though there may be limited reasons why someone would have a dog ROM'd, if it were easily done, I'd bet the farm that the list would be longer.

 

P.S. That is not to say that the serious working dog folks do not have a pretty good idea what the difficulty level is, though. :rolleyes:

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OK, here's my take on it. Let me make it perfectly clear that I am absolutely onside on using USBCHA Open as the standard against which excellence as a working dog should be judged. Let me also say that my experience with Kelpies is limited, more or less, to this one dog. Nonetheless, it's human nature to generalize and that's what I'm going to do. Hopefully, some Kelpie people will be willing to jump in here and express their own opinion. Lauren, are you there?

So, to answer your question Denise, I think that the working style of the Kelpie is quite similar to that of the Border Collie.The key difference in this department that I have observed is that they are prone to flanking off and going wide. If this tendency is not handled carefully in training, they will tend to give to pressure when push comes to shove. For example, if they have to hold a line on the fetch against extreme pressure, they will be damned good at preventing the stock from escaping but won't push on them to keep them on line. In other words, the tendency is to play defense.

Is this a fault? To me, yes. It may well be, though, that this is a character trait that has been bred for and valued in the context of the work required in Australia, where the dogs must manage extremely large flocks in more or less open terrain. I won't venture an opinion on this since I really know nothing about the type of stock work that is done over there.

Second difference, and this is the critical one: mental stamina and intensity. It is a LOT harder to train a Kelpie to achieve the precision and finesse required to run USBCHA. They just can't take the TRAINING pressure like a border collie can. This has been a real challenge for me, since I am used to border collies and have expectations in this regard. It takes at LEAST twice as long to get something fixed securely in their brain. More accurately, if you are trying to teach something new, their default is NOT to try and try again until they hit on what you want (like a border collie) but to quit trying. Because of this, some would say it was not worth the time and effort to train a Kelpie to this standard. Hey, some have.

So, all and all, exasperating. Believe me, I would understand if you as an individual thought your time could be better spent with a border collie. Training this one, though, has taught me a lot about working with a soft dog that lacks TRAINING intensity. (They're plenty intense on stock). And again, I have no opinion on whether this is a character trait that is valued in Australia, where excellence as a stock dog might require more independence of thought and less willingness to give to their handlers.

A.

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I know several people with working Kelpies and they are very very similar to the Border Collie. The ones that I had seen have very strong eye. They are an upright workers, and stay on their feet and have less of a tendency to want to lie down when stopping. They have a much more straighter front end assembly, so if they want to drop their body down, they go into a slight "bow" position as opposed to a crouch.

 

I find that is they have a lot of bite to them, and when starting them out, you really have to keep them off the sheep, as they are very very grippy. They like to grab on and hold on, often trying to pull the stock down, as opposed to going in, a quick bite and release, and it can be hard to get them off - been there, done that!

 

They are mentally a lot tougher breed -leaning towards the ACD this way, and will take more abuse in training, which is why these people have them - they kept screwing up the Border Collies and turning them off stock.

 

One of the guys used to trial his one Kelpie in the Border Collie trials out here. He was an awesome dog, however, he had one big strike against him on the trial field and that was he was not a Border Collie. He deserved to win at a lot of the trials he was at, but was never given his due because of that.

 

My goodness, you can't have a non-Border Collie win a stockdog trial!

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My goodness, you can't have a non-Border Collie win a stockdog trial!

 

I really find it hard to believe this dog didn't win trials solely because it was being discriminated against because it wasn't a border collie. Are you talking about USBCHA Open trials?

 

NORTHOF49, at what level do you run dogs in USBCHA trials that you can make this judgment?

 

The only Kelpie I've personally seen running in USBCHA Open was Butch Larson's Oscar. I saw him run at the 2000 Finals. He's older now but in his day he won plenty.

 

Denise

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Since my Gypsy is 1/4 kelpie, I thought I would add my two cents. I support the idea of breeding border collies for working ability only. However, I have never worked Gypsy and I am pretty much ignorant on the subject. Although, I have chased my share of cattle around several hundred acres.

 

Anyone interested might want to peruse the Working Kelpie Council's web site:

 

http://www.wkc.org.au/

 

Based upon history and location, I imagine the border collie and kelpie do have distinct working differences. The one difference noted by the WKC web site is that the kelpie does not have the same tendency toward clapping as the border collie. Although, both breeds evolved from the "working collie" in the late 1800's, the kelpie was developed from a fairly restricted gene pool and was aimed at the working conditions in Australia, not Great Britain.

 

The Working Kelpie does have a conformation standard. However, the WKC also seem to have the same issues with breeders breeding for the "show kelpie" rather than the "working kelpie". They consider color and coat to be "unsuitable qualities" for breeding working kelpies. However, the kelpie does not have the border collie's wide variability in coat type and color. The following quote is from the WKC web site:

 

"The production of a written description of breed type requirements for working Kelpies stems from the need to place prime importance on the dog's ability to perform efficiently and to remove the emphasis on the unrelated and unsuitable qualities set down in the standard adopted by the Australian National Kennel Control and which is used as a guide by breeders of Show Kelpies.

The drawing up of guidelines to describe desirable working Kelpie conformation and breed characteristics is not designed to encourage selection of dogs which comply to a written interpretation to the exclusion of natural working ability which must always remain the most important aspect of consideration by genuine breeders of working Kelpies."

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I really find it hard to believe this dog didn't win trials solely because it was being discriminated against because it wasn't a border collie. Are you talking about USBCHA Open trials

_________________________________________________

 

The stock world in different areas of Canada is very very cliquey and not the most welcoming group of people if you don't farm and earn your living off of livestock.

 

The dog I am referring to trialled quite a while ago. All you had to do was sit back at the trials and listen to the some of handlers run the dog down, including the Judges afterwards. Other handlers would comment about the bias against dogs that weren't Border Collies.

 

I started trialling my older dog 14 years ago and gave up because of the negative attitude towards anyone outside "the group". I then started again with my red bitch 9 years ago, and since the players were the same, said to hell with it. You're kept as an outsider. I am just not interested in going where you are not welcome. Being a very outgoing, willing to talk to anyone person, it certainly wasn't for lack of trying. I will talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere, and have no problem

 

There have been quite a few people over the last 3 - 4 years that have been very keen to become part of the trialling scene here, but have left because of the same thing.

 

When I feel my young bitch is ready, I am more than willing to give it another shot.

 

From a lot of the discussion on this list and others, there are lots of places in the States that sound like a lot of fun to trial in.

 

I work my dogs on sheep and over the years some of them on cattle, depending on the dog. I don't particularly like working cattle, but my landlord runs about 50 head of cows with calves on the quarter section. He lives quite a ways away, so out of necessity I needed a dog to be able to handle the cattle when the get out, need to move them to a different parts of the pasture, etc.

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Well, I've got to say, Northof49, that I have never experienced this and I've trialed this dog in Pro-Novice in Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, New York and Ontario so far. Any points we lost were solely due to our performance I fear, and several judges had nice things to say about Toby, including Alf Kyme and Bobby Dalziel.

Andrea

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Originally posted by Northof49:

The stock world in different areas of Canada is very very cliquey......

I can see very easily where outsiders (newcomers) would feel that it is "cliquey" and an fact, in some instances, it truly is.

 

But by and large, I've found the trialing community (both U.S. and Canada) to be open and friendly. Yes, it took quite some time, and in the beginning I spent a lot of time just listening and taking things in rather than jousting with the "in" crowd, but over time, as people came to recognize me, this changed.

 

Give it some time and don't be discouraged. There will always be people you don't care to hang out with, but you also have that in other aspects of your life.

 

Not many are truly shunned......unless they allow their dogs to bark uncontrollably :rolleyes:

 

edited to add:

 

And if you don't have thick skin to begin with, you'll develop it if you stick around long enough. Usually the trials that are the most fun are those where no one is immune.........

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I have yet to see Andrea's Kelpie, although I've heard it's one to watch. The other Kelpies I've seen (and I admit you could count them your fingers) could generally be said to be useful farm dogs if nothing else. I don't think that the ones that I've seen would be candidates for ROM, even though they could work the the level of utility on most farms, and some can even turn in respectable performances on the novice courses.

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I can't imagine that a judge would throw a trial against a Kelpie -- or any other dog for that matter. Judges who lack integrity are generally not asked to judge for very long, and even if "everyone" agreed with the outcome, they would know if it was crookedly arrived at.

 

Judging is hard enough without having to keep in mind that you have take enough points away from this dog or that one to keep him off the prize list. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

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