Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
Root Beer

I see what you mean about the difference . . .

Recommended Posts

This past week I was at a dog show. I went up to do some Rally with Speedy, and after we were done, I went over to the building where they were doing breed Conformation to shop at the vendors.

 

Just for the record, Speedy and I do not compete in Conformation. In fact, this was the first time I had ever actually seen it in person. I'm not advocating it - I just want to share my observations a bit because I learned a great deal.

 

I met up with some people I know and they knew someone who had a Border Collie in the show, so we went over to that ring to watch a bit. I was really interested in seeing what these dogs would be like after hearing so much about the breed split here.

 

I was really able to see the drastic difference between the dogs bred to meet the AKC standard and what I have come to know as the typical Border Collie.

 

And I came to understand why many of the members of this board are so passionate about this particular issue.

 

I affectionately refer to Speedy as my "Barbie" ('cause he is an AKC Border Collie - we got him before we knew anything at all about Border Collies), but watching those particular dogs changed even my perception of him!! He's no Barbie - not even close!

 

This is what I saw in the Border Collie ring: All of the dogs were black and white and had ears that were slightly tipped. Most of them had a bigger build - more like an Aussie than the average Border Collie - and they were groomed to be very puffy. They obviously looked well-cared-for and healthy. Their expressions were interested but in a docile, very controled way.

 

I realize that the dogs were in a situation that isn't a normal life situation, but I didn't see much of the characteristic Border Collie behavior in those dogs. Not to say they don't display it outside the ring since I wouldn't know that but in the ring they hardly seemed like Border Collies in a way.

 

When I think of Border Collies, I think of bright eyed, insatiably curious, busy, busy dogs that are almost always in some sort of motion doing, doing, doing!! Circling, circling, circling. Or else so still that the stillness is about to erupt into motion. Intent dogs that seem to be aware of everything around them. Dogs that constantly have something going on in their heads and obey their handlers (when they obey - LOL!) with an expression of interest and anticipation and a zest for the task at hand.

 

These dogs just weren't the same. In fact, I overheard one of the handlers talking to a bystander who thought her dog was an Aussie and she was saying, "the Border Collie has a tail - that's what distinguishes it from the Aussie" and I was thinking . . . um, no - there's a lot more than that! I'm not putting down Aussies here, the two breeds definitely have distinguishing characteristics!, though.

 

Seeing a bit of that show coupled with the fact that Speedy and I have been doing some beginning herding really helps me to "get" more of what this issue is really about.

 

In the past I have gotten very rankled when AKC Border Collies were referred to as "Golden in a Tux" because Speedy doesn't act anything like a Golden - he is an extremely high drive Border Collie in a tux!

 

But seeing the dogs in the ring the other day, I was thinking, "oh, THAT'S what they are talking about!!" Maybe my particular dog doesn't fit that description, but I see now that there are those that do.

 

Usually when I'm around Border Collies, I stare at them constantly and just wish I could take every one of them home with me! These dogs didn't make me feel that way at all and that definitely makes me think! When the "weiner dogs" I saw there appealed to me more than the Border Collies . . . definitely something to think about.

 

On the positive side, it made me appreciate my own high-drive quirky guy more for what he is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But seeing the dogs in the ring the other day, I was thinking, "oh, THAT'S what they are talking about!!"
Kristine,

This isn't really what I'm talking about -- you can't tell in the "breed ring" whether a dog is a working dog or not -- this can only be determined on stock. Some people focus on the "looks" of the conformation bred dogs as evidence of a breed split, but I think this is a false distinction and kind of reverse "AKC-ism" (because it's based on the same criteria the AKC uses to define the breed). In fact, one of my guys is quite like you describe: very laid back, beautiful coat/mane, big boned BUT he works stock and was bred for working ability. So, while I appeciate your insights, I'd encourage you to now go to a farm that uses stock dogs or to a ISDS-type dog trial to really see the distinction. I think you'll be REALLY amazed!

 

Kim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's something about the eyes IMO. The look in their eyes is not the same. Too soft, too doe-like, and they don't scream intelligence to me. Kinda blank I guess.

 

I agree. Go see some working BC's. They really are amazing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doe-like is a good description - I think you are right - it is very much about the eyes.

 

I actually have seen Border Collies working sheep and I agree - it is amazing. Breath-taking even! Seeing that for the first time was a really impressive and I have never ceased to be impressed by it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Miztiki:

It's something about the eyes IMO. The look in their eyes is not the same. Too soft, too doe-like, and they don't scream intelligence to me. Kinda blank I guess.

Hmmmm, so what does this say?........

KK130505.jpg

Kali may be a pet, but he's from working parents, and very little escapes his attention!

 

Snorri

:rolleyes:

When he was a pup, he used to look like Steve McQueen preparing to shoot someone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Kali's eyes! No - it doesn't strike me that he misses very much based on the expression in the photo!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yea, bring that camera just a little closer,... closer.. come one just a little more and I can eat that thing. Bet it can't take a picture when I get done with it."insert evil grin here"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about this same topic recently. At first, I really didn't quite "get" all the uproar about AKC recognition. But I've had my first BC, Violet, a month now, and I think I'm starting to understand at least part of it.

 

I actually did used to show conformation at AKC trials. I started in Junior Showmanship as a kid and as a young adult handled dogs for clients - mostly chows, although I helped out with the occasional sighthound since that's what the ladies I travelled with had.

 

So I thought maybe the fuss had to do with the faults that can be engendered from breeding for an exaggerated "type," e.g. entropion when heavy heads and "closed" faces were the fashion in chows. Not a good thing, I'll admit.

 

But then, some breeds have been improved, IMO, by breeders producing puppies for the conformation ring - Norwegian Elkhounds, for example, used to have godawful dispositions, but thanks to AKC judges not "putting up" nasty Elkhounds, and breeders paying attention to temperament, they became really nice steady dogs by the late 1980's. Of course, maybe the people who use them to hunt bear didn't see this as an improvement, but it sure made them easier to be around.

 

But having known Violet for a month now, I certainly would never want her shown in breed ring. For one thing, keeping her in show coat would limit her lifestyle to the point where it would make her very unhappy. And I cannot imagine her fitting into a household like I and the other handlers used to keep our show dogs in. We certainly weren't cruel to them, of course, but neither did we have time to interact individually with each one for hours out of every day. We simply weren't we able to give them the opportunity to amuse themselves the way Violet will - herding cats, herding little dogs, bouncing her ball off sedentary humans and catching it on the fly (serves OH right for refusing to play fetch :rolleyes: ).

 

Our clients' dogs lived in comfortable runs in a nice kennel, had opportunity for exercise and interaction every day, and were in general well-adjusted and content. Violet, however, who must be in the midst of *everything* going on in the house, would have been miserable with that sort of arrangement.

 

I bet people breeding for the show ring would want the sort of doe-eyed pacific creatures Root Beer described, because a dog like Violet would no doubt make her handlers very unhappy. To say nothing of the damage she'd do to her coat by nervous chewing if confined very much. I imagine that not only will herding traits be lost through neglect, since that's not what wins in breed ring, but actively selected against because those traits are a detriment to a show career.

 

I may be full of it, I realize, because I never have seen a working BC - but I intend to do something about my ignorance. I'll definitely be at Dr. Ben's Memorial Day weekend. Watching Violet herd housecats has made me really want to see what a BC could do with sheep!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll definitely be at Dr. Ben's Memorial Day weekend. Watching Violet herd housecats has made me really want to see what a BC could do with sheep!
Yay! We're going too! I don't know whether we'll be able to "get in" to compete the next day in Novice, since I can't send my entry until next weekend. But we are still planning to go Sunday night to see the double lift championship. Try to arrive about 2:00 Sunday afternoon and you will see some of the last Open runs, and then you'll see the runoff, too, which is a sight to see!

 

Maybe we BC Boarders should wear a special badge - a dandelion on our shirt or something. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be there too. I haven't decided yet what to do about entering N/N on Monday. I'm planning (regardless) on going early Sunday Am, and staying the night in my tent and staying to watch on Monday too.

 

Painted, don't forget your lawn chair and sunscreen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Becca - you could do what we do when we're not sure if we'll get to a trial or not. Enter and just pull by the scratch date if you can't make it. You have until May 10th to pull. Checks aren't cashed until the pull date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So if I can only be there for one day, would it be better to go Saturday or Sunday?

 

OH is being a big wet blanket and doesn't want to go, so I'm just making a day trip out of it, and bringing Violet's "other mother" (the lady who gave her to me and who still keeps her while I'm at the stable. So thanks for the reminder about the sunscreen, Laura - Violet's other mother is magnolia pale.

 

What's a "double-lift championship"? Sounds impressive.

 

LOL, Rebecca - the dandelions might be a good idea. My brother belongs to a trial lawyer's listserve, and at the last convention all the members decided to meet for happy hour in the hotel bar. All those brilliant legal minds and no one realized they'd have no idea how to recognize one another. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dixie Girl - it's the NC State Sheepdog Trial Championship, at Dr. Ben Ousley's farm in Lawndale NC, to be held Memorial Day weekend (three day trial).

 

Here's the link to the message with the entry form on Sheepdog-L

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sheepdog-L/m...17?viscount=100

 

Lawndale is near Charlotte, so it shouldn't be very far for you. Want to come?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Checks aren't cashed until the pull date.
How sure are we of that? :rolleyes: Last clinic I entered there was a pull by date and the flyer clearly said checks would be cashed on that day. Surprise! Checks were cashed about three weeks BEFORE that.

 

Thankfully I never count on a "cash by date" and had written the money out of my account when I sent the check. I can't this time. BUT, you've given me an idea - I can just contact them and I'm sure they'll be fine with it. It's JUST Novice-novice, lol.

 

All those brilliant legal minds and no one realized they'd have no idea how to recognize one another. [Roll Eyes]
Oh, my stars! There's GOT to be a joke in there somewhere. A bar and a bunch of lawyers trying to recognise other lawyers . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The entry form state May 16, 2006 checks will be cashed.

 

I always take the money out of my account right away too.

 

Painted_Ponies...I would go on Sunday for the double lift. A double lift is where two sets of sheep are set out and the dog brings the first set down through the fetch panels to the handler then goes back for the second set of sheep to bring through the fetch panels then the course is completed with the entire group of sheep. Last year there was an international shed as well so I'm guessing the same will be true for this year. The top three dogs from the two days competes in the double lift...it is the very last thing that day so plan to be there ALL day - you don't want to miss it!!!!

 

Becca - you are welcome to crash in my tent on Sunday night.

 

By the way - do we have to "reserve" a spot for camping or is it first come, first serve?????

 

Laura - we will have to find a spot next to each other.

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're hoteling in Shelby. The whole family. Or possibly just Patrick and I. Hmmmmm. Sort of a late Mother's Day present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rachel,

It's first come, first serve, but unless you need an electrical hookup, you shouldn't have a problem.

 

Rebecca,

I've always heard that Dr. Ben never turns anyone away, so chances are you'll get in. I doubt the novice classes fill as quickly as open...

 

Dixie_Girl and PaintedPonies,

Hope to see y'all there!

 

I have a favorite tent spot there that's a bit off the beaten path, but I like it that way. If I bring my camper, I'll probably still take it to my usual tent spot.

 

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've always heard that Dr. Ben never turns anyone away, so chances are you'll get in.
That's certainly been my experience! I always hate to be a pain, though.

 

Novice/novice has been pretty wide open in the past, but I know an awful lot of people planning to come this year - much more than the half dozen or so that have been in the class in the past. Ranch is usually hugemongeous and PN too. It should be really fun this year!! I'm entering both Ben and Ann in NN though I may walk Ann up to the sheep. I'll be very glad if we do any WALKING at all after that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Julie, Painted_Ponies I will sure be there! Sounds like fun! Camping sounds fun too! Don't know how I will work it. Come home everyday, motel, tent! I don't know but I will be there! Can't wait to see everyone!

 

How about if everyone from the boards wears a blue band on their left arm?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...