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libby-at-home

what DOES define the border collie?

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What "sport" breeders aren't realizing is what makes the BC such an awesome sports dog in the first place is the selective breeding which "made" this breed in the first place, which is breeding for a true working dog. Take that out and just breed for sports and all you'll end up with is a ballistic, psychotic rocket-dog with no brain. Yuck - No thanks.

 

I'm a sports-first person, just because that's what I do and know well (and can do by myself in my backyard!), who gets out herding whenever my pocketbook, schedule and daylight allow. I have an awesome pup from a true working farm, who can do it all and definitely has herding ability (although we haven't gotten far yet because of the constraints above). You better believe I'm going back to good working lines for my next dog, who will be spayed/neutered just like all my other dogs, and will never compete in any AKC-sanctioned event.

 

-Laura

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Well you know guys it was told to me that there is an akc herding trial (believe it is akc anyway, might be ahba) anyway, it is being held on Rabbits. I am very sorry who I offend, but I think that is the most embarrassing thing I have ever heard. It is laughable to the point of being sickening. I mean I am offended for the dogs in general...Just my rant for the day and it sort of seemed to fit in with the trend this thread has taken.

 

I think what people are missing is the respect that these great dogs should be afforded...the reverance that they should use to view the lifestyle, culture and history of this sport, these dogs and their ancestory. Breeding these dogs isnt a right, it is a priviledge...it should be earned through years of research, training, mentoring, and personal reflection. If they turn out to be the best pet in the world and that is their task in life, that is great. If you want them to chase a ball, do agility or obedience, that is also great...Just for gods sakes, I think all Eileen, Denise, Melanie and the like are saying is PLEASE PLEASE dont breed them.

 

I just had a farmer come to get his dog today, he has some 250 head of cows and his bitch is not really able to be trained for that purpose...We dont need anymore "sport" border collies and diluted working dogs being bred and represented as the real thing. People like this man get lost in the shuffle and he who really does need a dog for other than chasing a ball is left without the tools he needs to help feed his family. Not trying to be harsh, but just trying to show the other side of the coin...for some ppl this really is an important issue..

 

Anyway, back outside to finish my dogs...

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What "sport" breeders aren't realizing is what makes the BC such an awesome sports dog in the first place is the selective breeding which "made" this breed in the first place, which is breeding for a true working dog. Take that out and just breed for sports and all you'll end up with is a ballistic, psychotic rocket-dog with no brain. Yuck - No thanks.
what the heck makes you think we dont realize that? we breed working dogs(the good sport breeders anyway) we just keep sports in mind at the same time. happy is in not a "ballistic, psychotic rocket-dog with no brain" I and I have in my entire life met one like that. misty is the only dog I have ever met that meet your little description and she is a BORDER collie, she is right off a cattle farm, bred to herd cattle and has agribtion winners very close in her pedigree. happy was bred for sports, AND herding. she is extremly smart, NOT ball crazy, because that is NOT a desired trait in a sport dog believe it or not. she is not psychotic she is very calm, and only hyper when shes supposed to be, for example on a run. she is every bite your typical border collie, who just happend to be bred with sports in mind too. my border collie(by your guys standerds) is the only brainless, psycotic rocket dog, here. she doesent work, she plays and she fights, thats it, she is just plain out insane. I dont even know how to describe it.

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I think we also have to remember that just because your BC looks like a BC and has lots of BC characteristics, it may not mean he/she is a purebred BC. There are so many variations as to looks, size, and coloring that it can be hard to tell. I'm not saying in every case-but it is possible. There are irresponsible breeders. And many people who rescued a dog or don't know their dogs background may well not have a purebred. I'm only saying this because Bailey is BC/beagle. (an accidental litter) His father is a working BC, herds sheep on the farm where I got him. As to Bailey's herding ability I have no idea, my guess is that he wouldn't be able to herd livestock. He is excellent at sports. He looks like a purebred-has even been mistaken for one by responsible breeders, vets, and basically everyone I meet. He has the characteristics of a BC-intelligence, energy level, intensity, the BC stare, the BC walk. But he isn't a purebred BC. He could easily be mistaken for a purebred by the wrong type of breeders, be bred with a BC (or not quite BC) female and the puppies would most likely be sold as purebred BCs. So here you would have people thinking they have a purebred BC puppy-but they really don't. There are always people who will buy "purebred" puppies without papers. So they get away with it. I seem to remember that black and white is the dominant gene over other colors, I could be wrong. Which is why most mixes end up with the black and white BC coloring. And I definitely agree that a BC who is not the best example of the breed should not be bred. I feel strongly that BCs should be bred to retain that quality that makes them BC-their herding ability. I'm not trying to offend anyone or say you definitely don't have a purebred BC, just that there is also that possibility.

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One thing I would like to emphasize here is that it normally takes years of work and training (on livestock, of course) to decide whether a Border Collie is a truly good working dog. You just can't tell whether a dog is any good at herding and/or worthy of breeding by its untrained behavior on livestock of any kind - or even after a few lessons, for that matter.

 

charlie torre

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Originally posted by border_collie_crazy:

what the heck makes you think we dont realize that? we breed working dogs(the good sport breeders anyway) we just keep sports in mind at the same time.

First of all Shayna, I believe you could not contradict yourself any more in this thread than you already have. Your dog is not necessarily an excellent worker because she rounds up geese, so you shouldn't really advertise her as such.

 

Secondly, you've already said you aren't a breeder at all, so maybe you should stop speaking for breeders, period.

 

And finally, the point you aren't getting here, is that you cannot breed a border collie for sports AND herding. You breed for one or the other. People who breed good herding dogs may sell their dogs to sport homes, but they do not breed FOR sport dogs.

 

she is every bite your typical border collie, who just happend to be bred with sports in mind too.
How does one breed "with sports in mind" exactly? Here's the reality - DOG SPORTS ARE NOT INTRINSIC TO DOGS. Unlike herding, which is something that is a defining characteristic of a breed and is bred INTO the dog - nay, even defines the dog, as has been discussed here - ANY dog can do dog sports.

 

You cannot breed "agility ability" into a dog, that's just nonsense. Agility or flyball ability is not something passed on from parent to offpsring. So it's virtually impossible to breed "a sport dog" - but it IS possible to breed a border collie for reasons other than herding ability, and that's just selfish and ignorant breeding. And it does a disservice to the breed.

 

Does that make things more clear?

 

RDM

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I simply want to say that this thread is fascinating to me, and I am learning a great deal by reading it. Thank you to all of the knowledgeable people who are taking the time to post this information.

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Because Shayna, I see it every day. I regularly train and compete with people who have these sports-bred dogs from all up and down the East Coast and Canada. So even if YOU don't have a dog like I describe doesn't mean they don't exist elsewhere and are a sad example of where this sports-breeding type dog is heading. And I honestly don't understand how you can "represent" sports breeders when you aren't one?? I've been actively competing in agility and flyball on the East Coast for the past 7 years and I for damn sure know these "sport" dogs very well and have seen the slow detriment these "sports breeders" are causing to the true Border Collie breed as I know and love it. But I guess I can't expect an 11th grader to understand that...

 

-Laura

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My head hurts :D , I need to print this off and read it at home I will look forward to page 3 in the near future. From what I can tell I have two real BCs an old fake, and a greyhound who is very confused :rolleyes: . Sorry I am taking this seriously it's just I can't absorb it all and work at the same time. I love thes discussions I learn so much.

Andrea D.

P.S. Oh and as many angels as want to, can dance on the head of a pin, peice of cake really.

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If you want to have a working breed in the border collie with the definitions of that breed being it's working ability, you need to quit registering all such dogs just because they can present you with a pedigree for both parents, as is done today.

 

Make the requirements for registration reflect your tight ideas of what that breed should be, here some demonstrable and qualifiable herding ability, if you can keep enough numbers up for a viable registry doing so.

 

If any dog from two border collie registered parents can be registered directly as a border collie, all the hair splitting and bemoaning about other people breeding registered border collies from working lines and then you not wanting to call them border collies just because they are not herding is not very logical.

 

The quarter horse registry just lost in court such a case, where they wanted to keep offspring with two registered parents from getting official papers on a technicality, that they were embrio transfers.

I know, not the same, quarter horses are "versatile" as far as many areas of what constitutes their breed, but the legal question sets a precedent.

A border collie is a border collie. It may be a good or poor herder, but it is still a border collie, even if you don't like it.

 

The BEST border collies are the ones that herd well and the ones that should be bred from.

Even in the best proven set of parents, there may be some offspring that won't herd. They are still border collies.

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all the hair splitting and bemoaning about other people breeding registered border collies from working lines and then you not wanting to call them border collies just because they are not herding is not very logical.

 

That sound you hear is my head banging against the wall.

 

No one, and I said NO ONE here says that a dog isn't a Border Collie because it doesn't herd. Why, oh WHY, please someone explain to me why we keep having this discussion when no one, I mean NO ONE, is espousing this position?

 

What we are saying is that you can't take something and breed it for TOTALLY DIFFERENT TRAITS and then say, at the end of the day, that you still have the same thing. It would be pretty sad if you could, because it would mean that selective breeding isn't effective, although we all know that it is. If people are trying, by design, to create dogs that are meant for different purposes and have different characteristics than Border Collies do, I don't understand why they even want to call them Border Collies, any more than I would call an apple an orange. I like apples, and I like oranges too. They're both good, but they are very different kinds of fruit.

 

I give up.

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hmmm....Designer Dogs....good description!

 

Melanie, all your head-banging is causing the ground to shake out in CA. :rolleyes:

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Hey, Melanie, don't give up!

I like your posts!

 

I forgot there was a first page, thus repeating what had already been said.

Shame on me.:-(

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But I guess I can't expect an 11th grader to understand that...
oooh gee thats right, I am in grade 11, guess that means I am a cluless, punk teen. :rolleyes: give me a break. age means nothing, I know more about dogs then most adults, I know WAY more then most people my age when it comes to animals in general. my mom used to be a sheltie breeder(shekora kennels), I have been studying animals, dogs in particular since I was a little kid, I am not stupid. my mom grew up with dogs, she did all sorts of stuff including breeding, I already know more then she does. I dont know everything and I am still learning a lot but to say I wont understand just because I am young is just plain out stupid. anyway that is WAY off topic.

 

I was not contridicting myself,its not hard to breed for both, you find 2 dogs that exel in both herding AND sports, as in they are fast and exele in herding, and breed them, not that tricky. you breed with sports in mind by having sport qualitys in mind as well, again not that tricky,I dont see why this is such a hard concept to grasp.

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Originally posted by border_collie_crazy:

[i was not contridicting myself,its not hard to breed for both, you find 2 dogs that exel in both herding AND sports, as in they are fast and exele in herding, and breed them, not that tricky. you breed with sports in mind by having sport qualitys in mind as well, again not that tricky,I dont see why this is such a hard concept to grasp. [/b]

Well, by that logic then Shayna, it's prefectly okay to breed "borderjacks" then, because they also have the drive and speed that people are looking for in a "sport" dog.

 

You cannot breed for performance in dog sports, plain and simple. It's not a genetic quality that passes itself on, so you are mistaken. My best agility dog can't herd anything, period, but he's good at agility ... because I TRAINED him to be. Dog sports are a game, herding is a skill. There is a really fundamental difference. Border collies are herding dogs. That's what defines them (do I hear an echo in here??). Agility and flyball do not define the breed.

 

RDM

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I have to agree with RDM. I do agility with Bailey, and everything he learned had to be taught to him. Now he is amazing at it-because I too trained him. BCs possess the qualities that help to make them great sport dogs-intelligence, stamina, speed to name a few. And that is why they excel at sports. But so do many other breeds, and also tons of mutts! They just need to be trained. And on the other end there are breeds that are obviously not good sport dogs because of size and speed. Could you see a mastiff racing around and keeping up with a BC? Therefor the BCs qualities make them much better at sports than many breeds, this isn't bred into them.

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Eileen,

 

You don't actually disagree with me, only with what I wrote, if you understand what I am saying.

 

It's patently obvious to me that AKC Border collies are a separate breed from working Border collies. They are bred to a different standard -- one based on appearance. But the fact remains that at the moment there is no legal impediment to calling them Border collies -- they are registered as such.

 

The gray area is in the dogs that are bred to no standard at all, or the the sorts of "wishful thinking" standards that Shayna describes. Janet Larson's legacy -- they myth of the versatile Border collie -- lives on. They are still Border collies in the eyes of whatever registry sends out the papers on them, no matter what you and I might think of them.

 

As I've said before in other contexts, any selection program that takes emphasis off of working ability will work to the detriment of working ability. I believe this is the case whether that selection pressure is put on flat out speed for sports or ability to pass radiographic tests. The question is not whether it hurts working ability, but how much and how quickly -- at least in my mind.

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I am also from the sport dog world (flyball mainly).

 

Many of the sport bred bc's in this area are INSANE... I agree with Laura on that point. Her and I see each other and the sport bc's all the time. These same dogs have littermates all over the US and Canada.

 

The sport bc's are so good at flyball and agility BECAUSE the border collie has been such a great herding dog. If you start breeding for just sports, you will loose the herding instinct/ability which has made them such great sport dogs. I don't think dogs should be bred for sports only. A border collie should be bred for herding ability, period. If the so called litter is sold to sport homes, those dogs should not be bred unless they have proven themselves to be great herding dogs on sheep/cows. Otherwise, the dogs should be spayed/neutered.

 

Personally, I do not like the the AKC and try hard to find non-AKC dogs. To me this same argument can be made when you talk about acd's. My acd comes from a farm, one of which most would consider a backyard breeder. She is hard wired and has drive to die for. She is a great flyball dog and I think she is such a great dog because she comes from direct cow herding lines. I have seen some AKC bred acd's and many of them do not run as well, as fast, as consistantly, etc... as she does. Some of that could be from her training but I believe the main reason she is so good is because she is from herding lines. In the future, my next cattledog will also come from direct herding lines and does not have AKC in the line. If choose to get a purebred border collie, I would want one from herding lines and does not have AKC in its lines. Of course, I have also seen some great AKC border collies one of which is on my flyball team but my preference would be direct herding lines.

 

I don't think anyone is saying that your dogs aren't border collies just because they don't herd. I think they are saying that you should never think about breeding your border collie unless they are proven on sheep/cows, period.

 

I also think that there should be a split in the border collie world that way no one would be confused by what kind of dog they have (working border collies called border collies and the others have some other name).

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Well, by that logic then Shayna, it's prefectly okay to breed "borderjacks" then, because they also have the drive and speed that people are looking for in a "sport" dog.

 

You cannot breed for performance in dog sports, plain and simple. It's not a genetic quality that passes itself on, so you are mistaken. My best agility dog can't herd anything, period, but he's good at agility ... because I TRAINED him to be. Dog sports are a game, herding is a skill. There is a really fundamental difference. Border collies are herding dogs. That's what defines them (do I hear an echo in here??). Agility and flyball do not define the breed.

yes as a matter of fact I DO agree with breeding borderjacks, and am thinking about getting one some day. also I never once said that if you breed to trained sport dogs your going to get puppys that know how to play the sport lol, I said that if you breed to fast dogs, in all liklyhood you are going to get fast puppys, and prooves itself in happys lines, both happys parents are very fast dogs and every single offspring of theirs are extremly fast, I never once said that the ability for sports is inherited, I said that alonge with herding ability you look for speed too, for good speed you need good structure, the same structure that true border collies, have, barbies do not fit any of the needs of a sports dog, toss a little extra speed into a border collie and ya got your perfect flyball dog, and that is EXACTLY what we do. I am speaking on behalf of the sport breeders even though I am not one because I personally know several of them, its very apperant that you guys dont know any good ones. :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by Cholla1:

If you want to have a working breed in the border collie with the definitions of that breed being it's working ability, you need to quit registering all such dogs just because they can present you with a pedigree for both parents, as is done today.

Ah, finally. There's the rub. Bravo Cholla.

A.

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Originally posted by rtphokie:

But I guess I can't expect an 11th grader to understand that...

 

-Laura

I would expect people to be a little more mature. I understand it's frustrating to keep saying the same thing over and over again without getting through to people, but insulting them is not going to get your point across.

 

as for me, I *finally* understand what it is people are trying to say, and by their definition, I completely agree. I just think it needed to be worded better in the beginning, although I'm not sure how to do that. I guess Melanie said it best with <<What we are saying is that you can't take something and breed it for TOTALLY DIFFERENT TRAITS and then say, at the end of the day, that you still have the same thing. >> (which wasn't all that clear in the beginning, in my opinion.)

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Shayna,

 

It may be very easy to breed good sport dogs, especially when you have raw material like Border Collies to start with. It's not so very easy to breed a world-class herding dog. In the sports dogs I see, even from breeders who think they are preserving working ability, there is a consistent diminution in herding ability. A lot of times the dogs can work some, but they make it up to a novice level and can't go any farther because they just don't have the inherent talent, and never will even if their owners try and try and try (and some of their owners do). Working ability is a very complex thing, and when you relax selection for it (which any "versatility" program necessarily does) it is lost.

 

If it were that easy to breed for "it all," then these sports dogs would be winning Open trials. But they're not, and they never will, except as an occasional fluke maybe.

 

Working ability is something you breed FOR, not something you can take for granted. The more criteria you try to select for, the more you have to compromise in your breeding decisions. That's one of the major rules of both natural and artificial selection.

 

I study evolution; I'm getting a PhD in it. In nature, the most "extreme" organisms are those that undergo strong directional selection on very few traits with relatively weak selection on the rest of the traits. For example, the most colorful male guppies with the longest tails are the ones that live in sheltered pools with relatively few predators. The long, colorful tail is advantageous because females seem to prefer mates that have long colorful tails, therefore, males with long colorful tails end up having more offspring. The long colorful tail is a liability, however, if there are predators around, because it makes the male guppy very visible and slow. So, in areas where there are more predators, the males that have tails that are just long enough and colorful enough do better than the ones with the extreme tails -- because the extreme guys get eaten and don't have any offspring. You can see here that selecting for multiple traits makes it harder to maximize any of them, I hope.

 

It has been shown time and time and time again, in many other dog breeds, that selecting for things other than working ability always diminishes the working ability of the breed, even if you continue to try to select for it. There's a reason why no one thinks of Aussies as real working dogs anymore. "Having it all" is a nice idea, but it's not a simple proposition and, the way that every sports breeder I have ever seen does it (and I know sports breeders who have produced multiple MACHs and real big-time agility dogs, by the way) is not going to get them there.

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by the way, Melanie, what's philly like? ie is there anyplace quiet around the city that you can take your dog? I'm thinking of moving either there or to pittsburgh within the next year or so, but Ben's somewhat scared of loud noises and I want to be able to take him out to play.

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Ah, finally. There's the rub. Bravo Cholla.

 

That is the rub, but it isn't all of it. Responsible breeding, and breeds, can exist outside of a registry-based definition of breeds. The question about whether or not we could have a true working registry for Border Collies is an interesting question. The sad thing is that there would be no role for one if we could trust everyone to do the right thing -- but we can't, not even a lot of people who really should know a lot better. In the end it could be the only solution to protect the breed. What do you think?

 

The larger problem is irresponsible breeding, period. Some breeders breed for conformation and sports. At least they're breeding for something -- but unfortunately, what they are breeding for is not Border Collies. These breeders cannot, therefore, maintain and improve the breed and are of no help to people who wish to preserve working ability and essential Border Collie type. Other breeders just breed, for no discernable goals whatsoever (BYBs, millers, a lot of farm breeders). These breeders produce dogs who also are not good examples of Border Collies and also do not help maintain and improve the breed.

 

So, there are two problems: (1) breeding for the wrong things and (2) breeding for nothing but to produce puppies. Both of these problems come about because the breeders in question either do not understand the breed, or do not care. Together, the "wrong goal" breeders and the "no goal" breeders threaten the integrity of the breed. That's how the fundamental nature of working breeds is lost, and those breeds become "ruined."

 

It may come to the point where the only way to still have real Border Collies around will be for those of us who care to circle the wagons and take a LOT more control than there has been historically. I see a role for a breeder's code of ethics. I also wish more breeders used the "non-breeder" option for ABCA registration. This is a way to limit the number of dogs available to irresponsible breeders. In addition, AKC will not fully register an ABCA dog that is on non-breeder registration (I have a letter from the AKC that says so -- I checked). I don't know, I'm just thinking aloud. I've never bred a dog and I used to say I never would, but now I'm not so sure.

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eileen..... you should go back and read melanie's post on 12/20/[email protected]:59pm.. she states that "show dogs and sport dogs are not borders".. and yes, she says that she doesn't disapprove of dogs doing these things, but you should not call them border collies.. if you go back and re-read her post, it just mite be helpfull to you also. virg

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