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libby-at-home

what DOES define the border collie?

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Ok...so how does the Peach Tree analogy work here? Is it a peach tree or not?

 

I honestly think that by saying that a non working/herding dog is not a Border Collie is pushing it a bit...but that's just my very layman's position on the whole situation.

 

I can respect that, as a whole, in the interest of preserving the origins of the breed and its working abilities you shun the rest of the BC's out there and the breeders who in your opinion take away from the breed, but I think it's wrong to tell a person what their dog is not based on its lack of herding abilities.

 

As I've said before, and I have no qualms repeating it, would there be a separation of the Border Collie (as you define it) and the fluffy-butts (as I call mine), I would have nothing against it. Everyone picks and chooses their causes. This is just not one of mine.

 

Maria

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she has not worked sheep, that does not mean she has not worked other stock, ducks, geese, and even critters. also you said you assumje she was bred by a sports breeder, she was sort of, it is a sport and woking dog breeder, more of there dogs go to working homes then to sport homes, so all the dogs are prooven stock dogs as well, they dont personally have sheep, but they have many friends with sheep, and they work them there. she is mostly border collie, with a couple sport collies, thrown in, and a barbie or 2 in her distant background. which is why your explaniation had me really mixed up.

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Maria,

 

I think it's been made clear time and time again now, in this and other threads, that a dog can be a Border Collie by heritage even if can't herd worth a damn. It just isn't an exemplary Border Collie and it isn't one that should be bred.

 

I'm not sure how many times someone has to say this before it sticks. I feel like answering the question is a waste of time because I feel like you are not reading anything that I am typing.

 

Shayna mentioned that her dog was great at flyball (which is nice, but irrelevant to its Border Collie status) and that her dog was a great herder, which puzzled me because I remembered her stating in other discussions that she has never worked her dogs on stock. That's all.

 

I'm not shunning anyone. I was very careful to make it clear that a dog can be a fantastic, loveable, wonderful dog without being a good example of a Border Collie, or a Border Collie at all. But you can't start breeding for something different and still have the same thing, and that's why when you change things you don't have Border Collies anymore. Some people call it a "split" within the breed, I call it a different breed. No more, no less. We can all be on some discussion board that's about Border Collies, but if we don't all have the same idea about what the breed is meant to be then we're talking at cross-purposes, we're talking about apples and oranges.

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A fantastic herder is a dog that I can take to the gate of an apparently empty field, say "shuuush!" and go have a pee while he finds the sheep. Five minutes later, the sheep are at my feet, ready to be worked through the gate, my dog is there to keep the flow going in the right direction so that the sheep on the inside of the fence don't start following the sheep on the outside.

 

Then he's by my heel as we work the flock down the lane to the handling pens, where he pens the flock and assumes his post at the back of the crowding pen while I load the chute and drench the ewes.

 

The next day, we can go to a different field, split out a ewe that needs doctoring and hold her lambs out of the flock while I work on her to keep them from getting mismothered. That afternoon, we might move a flock of sheep through the woods over logging roads from one set of fields to another.

 

Next week, when the neighbor's cows are out, he can help get them back where they belong, then load a trailer of lambs for market

 

Happy may or may not be a fantastic herder. I don't know what you mean by "critters," but I do know that working a few ducks and geese doesn't provide a basis for calling a dog a fantastic herder.

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Maria,

 

In my first post, I wrote:

 

There may be individuals who are lacking in some of the traits needed to satisfy that working standard, but they are still border collies. Likewise, there are many that have never been tested to see whether they meet the goal--like the unweighed Cavalier King Charles--but they too are border collies. Only if you depart from that shared goal of border collie breeders and begin to breed for a different goal are the resulting dogs you produce, IMO, not border collies.

 

In my last post I wrote:

 

I hope it's clear by now that an individual border collie does not cease being a border collie just because it lacks herding ability, just as an individual Cavalier King Charles does not cease being a Cavalier King Charles just because it has oval light-colored eyes.

 

In between, AK dog doc wrote:

 

I think the consensus is that if you have a BC that is not a good herding dog, it's still a BC, but it may not be a good example of the breed (like the peach tree that has tiny sour peaches is not the best example of a peach tree, but it still IS a peach tree).

 

and Melanie wrote:

 

For a dog to be recognizable as a Border Collie, it has to have Border Collie ancestry and to be from a lineage of dogs that was bred for the purpose the breed was developed for. It can be the world's worst herding dog and still be a Border Collie if it has that heritage, but it isn't a good example of the breed and isn't a dog that should be bred.

 

Now you have written:

 

>

 

What we have here, it seems, is a failure to communicate. Damned if I know how to remedy it.

 

Libby,

 

A Barbie collie is a show "Border Collie."

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Originally posted by Bill Fosher:

A fantastic herder is a dog that I can take to the gate of an apparently empty field, say "shuuush!" and go have a pee while he finds the sheep.

Which begs the question ... why didn't you just pee before you went out to get the sheep, Bill?

 

Or

 

If a shepherd pees in the field when there's nobody around to see it, will his neighbor know when he steps in it?

 

To me, there is the "essence" quality that you can't qualify in these discussions. When I see good dogs working stock I say to myself "Wow, now that's a border collie." When I see a dog doing a great agility run I say to myself "Wow, that dog's really good at agility." When I see a border collie work, it's a border collie, completely and utterly.

 

I have also been known to say: "Your sheep really suck, Bruce, how do I get Kelly Lee off my toes?" and "Wow, puppies are so cute when they are at YOUR house." So maybe what I have to say isn't very relevant, in the end.

 

RDM

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RDM, you noted:

 

Originally posted by Bill Fosher:

A fantastic herder is a dog that I can take to the gate of an apparently empty field, say "shuuush!" and go have a pee while he finds the sheep.

 

Which begs the question ... why didn't you just pee before you went out to get the sheep, Bill?

 

Obviously you are a tad younger than Bill and I. Or you'd know that a before does not eliminate the necessity of a now.

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Ok, so my two dogs don't herd. Are any of you going to flat out tell me that they aren't border collies? Their looks, lines and breeders say they are but hey, what do they know huh?

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Ok, so my two dogs don't herd. Are any of you going to flat out tell me that they aren't border collies? Their looks, lines and breeders say they are but hey, what do they know huh?

 

Methinks we have a reading comprehension problem here.

 

I'll be damned if I can understand why some of you want to keep having an argument that none of the rest of us are having, but I'll just refer you back to Eileen's post above.

 

It always helps to read all the posts before you start getting all pissed off for no reason at all.

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ok now I am more confused, someone in either this thread or another one, said that there BC had beardie in it but was still a border collie, but happy is basicly border collie, with a little barbie thrown in in her distant background, and her dad is border collie, used for sport, makes happys a mutt, yet mixing in a beardie the dog is still a pur bred border collie. :confused: that makes no sence whatsoever.

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melanie....... i agree with some of the things that you stated, such as border collies should be bred to herd, but, to say **showdogs and sport dogs are not border collies** just blows my mind. no matter how much you disapprove of border collies being used for things other than herding, they ARE still border collies.. every bc can't herd but that should not be a reason to put people down for using them to do sports or anything else that benefits the dog. i would think that you would be pleased with people for giving non herding border collies a chance to live a great alternative lifestyle. after all, it sure beats shooting them just because they don't have what it takes to work stock..but i do agree with you on the part about not breeding them.

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I dont agree with combining sport and barbie collies, at all, I can group sport and border collies howver because neither are bred for looks, while a select few people breed sport collies for looks, most dont give a damn what they look like as long as the dog can work, we could not care less if it fit any standerd for looks, we breed for top WORKING dogs, as is herding AND sport, and wont even consider a "pet" home, or show home, its working or sport homes ONLY, we refuse to breed down the instinct like show people do, and we dont breed for looks, we breed for good structure,good health, and ability in BOTH areas, very few of happys siblings are in sport homes, most are on sheep farms working with the best of them. see what show people so is breed the orginal right out, what sport people do(personally knowing tones of them) is take the orginal and keep speed in mind, as well as ability.

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Melanie said.....

 

"Since the definition of breed has two components (common ancestry and distinguishing traits), if you change either of those two components you no longer have the same breed. So it follows that show dogs (Barbie Collies) and sport dogs (what I like to call Sport Collies) are not Border Collies because part of the essential definition of the breed has been lost or discarded. Those who insist on calling them Border Collies adhere to only one part of the definition of "breed" -- common ancestry. Barbie Collies and Sport Collies lay claim to the name "Border Collie" solely because, somewhere back in their ancestry, the dogs they came from were indeed Border Collies. But since then, breeding goals have changed and they have become (in the case of the Barbie Collies) or are becoming (in the case of Sport Collies) their own special gene pool that is distinct from Border Collies proper. A different breed."

 

************************************************

 

Eileen,

do you think this might be where some of the confusion is coming from???

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Okay, let's see if I can have a go at this.

 

A dog can be a Border collie because it is purebred and has registration papers that say so. If you have that, your dog is a border collie, in the strictest, letter-of-the-law sense. Even without such papers, your dog is a border collie if both its parents are border collies. It just isn't registered.

 

We have a process by which such unregistered dogs that are good examples of the breed can become registered border collies by proving their worth on farms, ranches and the trial field. The ISDS also has such a program. At one point in its history, the ISDS allowed the registration on merit of a fe dogs (fewer than 6, I believe) that had some bearded collie in their backgrounds, but which were able to work to a standard considered not just acceptable but worthy of overlooking the lack of pure pedigree in their ancestry.

 

Perhaps the best way to summarize this (at least it seems so to me) is for everyone to stop and realize that there is a difference between what defines a breed, and what determines whether a dog is a member of that breed. Parentage is the only requirement for membership in the breed. But what defines the Border collie breed is livestock work. Those of you who have Border collies that do not work livestock certainly have Border collies, but they are not valuable to the gene pool that defines the breed.

 

That doesn't mean they aren't great dogs and that you shouldn't be proud of their accomplishments. It does mean that you shouldn't breed them, however.

 

On another topic -- Why would I take extra time out of my day to pee when I know I could do it while waiting on my dog to bring the sheep? And the before/now dichotomy has less to do with my age than how much tea I've had that morning.

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Libby wrote:

 

do you think this might be where some of the confusion is coming from??? >>

 

Not at all. What you're quoting here seems perfectly clear to me, and perfectly consistent with what Melanie and I have written previously. What is it that you think is unclear or inconsistent?

 

Virg wrote:

 

>

 

Haven't you noticed how many, many, many times Melanie has said, in this thread alone, that she does not disapprove of border collies being used for things other than herding, that she does not consider a dog not to be a border collie just because it is used for things other than herding, and that she is not putting people down for using them to do sports? Really, haven't you noticed? If you haven't, try reading her posts again. If you have noticed, then you are both in agreement on these points (right?) so why are you trying to manufacture a dispute? Also, see my comments to Bill below.

 

Bill, I disagree with you that (former) border collies being bred for show and for sport are still border collies. (But I guess you know that, since I know you can read and understand what I wrote.) It's true they are misleadingly called border collies, and can be registered as such with most registries, but once they begin being bred for a different purpose than that for which border collies are bred, conceptually they are no longer the same breed.

 

Think, if you will, of the many "miniature" show breeds which were developed from big breeds. As breeders began to breed with a different purpose (creating a small dog), their dogs were still registerable as the original breed, and still called by the name of the original breed, but they had really begun to be a different breed. At some point that fact was confronted and the miniature dogs began being called a separate breed, but that's because they had already become a separate breed in reality. Heck, you don't have to think about miniature show breeds. Think about those ancestors of the border collie which began being bred for show and turned into the Lassie Collie, a separate breed. Just because we're in a time of transition and the new breed is being confusingly called by the same name as the border collie doesn't mean that it's the same breed.

 

Shayna, I don't know what to say. The border collie is a breed bred to herd livestock. Calling flyball "work" does not make it work, let alone make it herding livestock. If you breed (I hadn't realized you breed :eek: ) border collies for sports without testing their working ability you are "breeding down the instinct" just as much as if you bred for show or for ANY trait other than herding ability. That is just one of the basic principles of artificial selection. Why do you think herding ability would leave dogs bred for show, but somehow stick around in dogs bred for agility? And the fact that you call a dog who has not been to livestock "a fantastic herder," on the strength, apparently, of something she does with gerbils, is a classic example of the problem we face.

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Shayna, I don't know what to say. The border collie is a breed bred to herd livestock. Calling flyball "work" does not make it work, let alone make it herding livestock. If you breed (I hadn't realized you breed ) border collies for sports without testing their working ability you are "breeding down the instinct" just as much as if you bred for show or for ANY trait other than herding ability. That is just one of the basic principles of artificial selection. Why do you think herding ability would leave dogs bred for show, but somehow stick around in dogs bred for agility? And the fact that you call a dog who has not been to livestock "a fantastic herder," on the strength, apparently, of something she does with gerbils, is a classic example of the problem we face.
I dont breed, I meant I personally know several people that do. by gritters I meant small animals, like rabbits, and she has worked geese, and ducks. she is a fantastic herder from my view, and from what I have seen, none of you guys have ever seen her, I dont know if you guys would consider her a fantasic herder, but none of you have ever seen her work either. also I was not calling flyball work, I meant that we(as in sports people like myself) breed for herding too, you dont have to deviate from the original breed to keep another trait in mind ya know. I agree that not ALL sport people keep original purpose in mind, however the ones that I care to deal with breed, to exel at BOTH, remeber half the pups DONT go to sport homes, they NEVER go to pet or show homes, they go to real working(as in SHEEP farms) homes. herding ability is still kept in mind, since when did looking for speed, AND herding ability, deviate from what the breed was origanly bred to do.

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eileen........... i have read these post over and over.. and every time i read them melanie says the same thing: unless your bc herds, it is not a border collie.. that just simply makes no sence.. if the parents herd and the puppies don't, then they are still border collies and it makes no difference if you approve or not, you can't change the fact.. i raised beagles for many years and just because one would not hunt, it was still a beagle.. i would not ever breed that dog but it was a beagle even if i didn't like it.. i would spay the dog and sell it as a pet.. i do understand you wanting to preserve the natural instinct of the bc, but you can't change the facts.. virg

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One other thing, Bill.

 

>

 

I'd have to do some checking to be sure, but I'm not sure this is really accurate. The ISDS was established in 1906, at a time when the term "border collie" had not been invented. The dogs were called "collies" or just "sheepdogs." Some of them were bearded.

 

As will happen with directed breeding, the dogs within this group got better (i.e., closer to the working ideal) as they went along. (After all, the point of breeding for herding excellence is that you thereby produce dogs that are more excellent at herding.) Old Hemp was pre-1906; Wiston Cap came along around 1960. The more coherent the breed became, the better the dogs were, and the less likely a dog from different ancestry could work to the standard required to be registered on merit. The name "border collie" began to be used officially on ISDS papers, and became the name of the breed the ISDS registers, around the end of WWII, although it had come into existence much earlier to differentiate the working breed from the show Collie, which had taken its original name with it into the kennel club when it began to be bred for conformation.

 

Nowadays, it's highly unlikely if not impossible that a dog registered on merit would be anything other than a hereditary border collie (even if its purity of pedigree could not be established), but I would say that's because the breed has improved and become specialized to the point that dogs outside its gene pool would not add anything to the breed.

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>

 

No, Virg, that is not what Melanie is saying. I even quoted one example of how this is not what she is saying earlier -- she said, "For a dog to be recognizable as a Border Collie, it has to have Border Collie ancestry and to be from a lineage of dogs that was bred for the purpose the breed was developed for. It can be the world's worst herding dog and still be a Border Collie if it has that heritage, but it isn't a good example of the breed and isn't a dog that should be bred." Doesn't that sentence, which she posted 12-20-2003 at 09:59 PM, say exactly what you're saying here?

 

Please read what she wrote more carefully. It's worth it.

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Here's an example from working jack russells. Those of us in the JRTCA occupy a sort of middle ground in this (if there is middle ground). We show our terriers in our own conformation shows and we also have a strong set of policies and programs that encourage earthwork. Terriers who have worked well according to the judgement of a working judge are awarded a working certificate. Only dogs that have a working certificate can compete for Working Terrier Champion, our most prestigous conformation award.

 

A number of years ago a breeder imported a heavy boned smooth bitch. She had a huge head and looked like just the ticket to put some bone and head on the jack russell here in 'merica. Our terries tend to dwindle because our quarry lives in much smaller dens than those found in much of the UK. But I digress... the bitch was bred in such a way as to produce absolutely lovely pups. They had tiny, flexible chests, wonderful harsh thick coats tons of bone and boxy heavy heads that were to die for. Did the offspring work? They themselves worked for shit. Bred to strong workers they produced good workers, but I think it's obvious to everyone that they themselves brought little to no working ability to the cross.

 

The explanation? The big old bitch probably had more than her fair share of bull terrier in her. That's where she got that head and bone. She was a terrier, but in no way shape or form an earthdog as her progeny proved only too well.

 

It took one cross to lose the working ability in the progeny. Those puppies were white bodied terriers, but were they working jack russells? No way.

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So it follows that show dogs (Barbie Collies) and sport dogs (what I like to call Sport Collies) are not Border Collies because part of the essential definition of the breed has been lost or discarded.
I am not comfortable with people calling dogs who have obviously been bred for different purposes (i.e., Barbie Collies or Sport Collies) referring to their dogs as Border Collies.
(I'm not morally opposed to breeding Barbie Collies or Sport Collies, by the way, even if I do think it's misguided and sort of sad and pointless. But people should call them what they are, which is definitely NOT Border Collies.)
I'd call her a mix. Or, I'm assuming she was bred by a sport breeder, so she's a Sport Collie. I don't consider her a Border Collie.
All of the above seems very clear to me.

 

I think it's been made clear time and time again now, in this and other threads, that a dog can be a Border Collie by heritage even if can't herd worth a damn. It just isn't an exemplary Border Collie and it isn't one that should be bred.
And this is in contrast with the above quotes. If someone takes this thread, and reads it at face value, they will be confused.

 

Now, I understand and fully believe also that Melanie is not really shunning the rest of the BC canine kingdom (that was the wrong word for me to use) and that she believes that all these dogs that should not be bred are still cool and great dogs, they're just not by her definition Border Collies.

 

But the bottom line, as far as I know, is that the official split between the real Border Collies (as you define them) and the rest has not come...and people are being told, in this thread, that their BC is not a BC. That's all that I said and the only thing I found incorrect about this thread.

 

This is not a personal crusade for me and as I mentioned earlier, I'm not being purposely obtuse, I get the varying nuances of this situation....but many aren't. But, if I look at my pups papers and I see Craig ISDS and various ABCA numbers along with Aust. Imports, for now at least, he is a Border Collie.

 

If and when there is a split, and there is an official Fluffy Butt registry, then he'll be a Fluffy Butt regardless of his abilities simply because I don't have sheep and don't plan on getting any.

 

I do respect your needs to preserve the working instinct/ability/training of the BC but while a few of you may be able to read between the lines because you're on the same wave-length, it's not so for everyone else.

 

Maria

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Maria,

 

By your argument, I can start breeding small Great Danes with the idea of making them tiny, and they are still Great Danes as long as that's what it says on the paper, even if they're 16" at the shoulder and weigh less than 30 pounds. Even if the papers say they're Great Danes, you've got to admit they're missing a pretty essential quality of Great Dane-ness -- and there are a whole hell of a lot of people out there who would argue, with justification, that my tiny Great Danes aren't Great Danes at all.

 

Same difference.

 

If common ancestry is all that's needed to define a breed, then where do you draw the line? Why don't we just call all dogs one big breed?

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I meant that we(as in sports people like myself) breed for herding too, you dont have to deviate from the original breed to keep another trait in mind ya know.

 

No, I don't know. Thanks for letting me know that. Finally, I can let up on the strict selection for work and still breed the same quality of working dogs. I didn't realize genetics of selection worked like that.

 

True representatives of the breed are not bred keeping livestock (sheep and cattle) working abilities just "in mind" along with other "Sport Dog" skills.

 

This beginning statement is part of the problem and why we can't make any headway getting people to understand. You don't know what you're breeding until you are truly testing them.

 

remeber half the pups DONT go to sport homes, they NEVER go to pet or show homes, they go to real working(as in SHEEP farms) homes. herding ability is still kept in mind,

 

The definition of "real" working homes varies considerably. Please define "real working homes."

 

 

herding ability is still kept in mind, since when did looking for speed, AND herding ability, deviate from what the breed was origanly bred to do.

 

The dog was originally bred exclusively to work livestock (sheep and cattle).

 

What is the main area of expertise of the breeder - sports or working livestock (sheep and cattle)? If it's sports then that's where I'm guessing the main emphasis will lie in breeding decisions. Pretending that you or others are breeding the best representatives of the breed because you want to use them for sports but are still keeping "herding ability in mind" is not the same as breeding dogs for work.

Denise

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>

 

I am sure you're not being purposely obtuse, but I'm equally sure you're not understanding what you're reading. None of the quotes you selected from Melanie's posts are in conflict with the quote I selected. They are all consistent, unless they are read carelessly, and with a preconceived, inaccurate idea of the "nuances of this situation."

 

Melanie is saying that dogs BRED FOR conformation showing and for sports like agility and flyball are not Border Collies. She is not saying that dogs which cannot or do not herd are for that reason not Border Collies. Those dogs are Border Collies unless they were BRED FOR a different purpose, such as show or sport, but they are not good examples of the Border Collie breed and therefore they should not be bred. It's a very simple thought, and I don't believe she or I could say it any clearer. For that reason, this will be my last attempt to say it.

 

If your dogs were bred for show, they have diverged from the border collie breed, since the whole point of the border collie breed is breeding for herding ability. You can still call them border collies if you want, but if the concept of the border collie breed has any meaning (and obviously whatever meaning it had is fast decaying), they are not border collies. You can also call your dog a fantastic herder because he keeps his tennis balls together. It's a free country.

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