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Mark,

If you and Renee are going to be at Verna's this weekend, I will make a point of getting a photo of Jasper. Even with his extended layoff, I still think he's more muscled than the dog pictured at Westminster. Not to mention that his build is somewhat different. I could try to find a pic of my mom's ex-racer, but that may take some digging through boxes....

 

J.

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lol yes the photo of the lab is real straight off the westmisnter website! my mom said when she saw that lab and I quote "what are they doing dragging that dog to dog shows? that dog should be laying at someones feet in front of a fireplace"

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I don't know why, but the Lab judges seem to want these really obese dogs for some reason. I almost choked to death on my tea the first time I saw televised breed ring Labs (2 years ago, I think, not Westminster but some other big show.) It was like watching walruses on parade - all those slabs of fat rolling majestically along. It completely sucks for the show dogs, but more so for the zillions of pet Labs, since people who see that think that THEIR lab should also look like a 55 gallon drum with legs. I have the WORST time convincing lab owners (and Rott owners) that their dogs are too fat. (Sigh). Maybe people think they'll float better if they're round as a cork (although the feild trial dogs that we see - who actually DO swim - are uniformly lean, muscular, whipcord dogs).

 

The other thing I hate about the breed ring BC thing (besides the obvious) is that they seem to look so hunted - not happy, joyful upbeat dogs (as I'm used to seeing mine) but as if they're undergoing dog abuse. Which they are, in a number of ways, I suppose. Didn't watch Westminster this year (or most years), so not sure if that's how these ones looked.

 

Going to go play in the slush with mine (we've had 40 degrees plus for 3 days and MAN is it a mess out) so I can remember HAPPY BC faces, and I'll remember to be properly grateful that none of mine have even half the coat of the BOB one... all the less mud and wet for me to clean up...

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I remember several times when we met people in England with really nice -looking black dogs. Asked what they were. Labradors. Gee, they didn't look like what we see as Labs in the US.

 

"Oh yes. What you Yanks have are AKC Labs. These are working Labs. They're different".

 

Also met a working cocker spaniel. What a radically different dog from what we see here - the dog that steps on its own ears.

 

Dare I say? I think that any time you take a genuine task and turn it into a game, you cheapen and destroy it. So AKC is, by nature - or is it anti-nature? - designed to ruin any breed that was originally designed to do a job.

 

It's sort of like deciding that NASCAR has any relationship to really driving. Yes, it can be lots of fun and provide valid competition. But in waht?

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HAHAHA! I knew there'd be a thread about it, but the ironic thing is that I was talking to my mom on the phone last night... and she said "You know, Sasha doesn't look anything like that Border Collie. Are you sure she's BC? She looks a lot more like that Belgian..."

 

While we aren't absolutely sure that Sasha is a BC, after flipping the TV on, I realized what she was talking about. (And then followed it up with the obligatory AKC rant)

 

Oh well.

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Where is a good web site to see the winners? I thought I could find some humor to show to some of my more breed specific friends.

 

At least there is still some fight around the BC. That is my thinking as to why the Westminster Kennel Club breed specific info for the BC shows a non-stereotypic, attractive BC and warns against BC as pets.

 

This is in contrast to the Jack Russell terrier or as it is known in the AKC, "Parson Russell Terrier". I have never seen such a long necked poorly muscled Jack Russell. They say a "Parson Russell is a wonderful companion and family member when properly trained". Yeah, right. I suppose you could say the same thing for a BC.

 

The best thing that the Australian Kelpie has going for it is that it is not popular or well known in the USA.

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A bunch of random comments:

 

I believe that in Australia, smooth-coated dogs are not accepted in the show ring, or short hair is a fault in the breed standard. Since the vast majority of conformation dogs here in the States trace back to Oz/NZ breeding, it is not surprising that none or very few of the dogs in the show ring are smooth-coated.

 

If you go look at some AKC "Border Collie" breeder websites, nearly all of the puppy photos will show pups with glued ears, if you're wondering what that looks like. They kind of look like they're sitting up and begging on top of the poor pup's little head.

 

The Barbie Collie person who told me that Solo had "turned out nice for a working dog" and that it was only "too bad about his ears" suggested that it was a shame I hadn't had a chance to get to them when he was younger. This person's own bitch had these weird, bent-at-a-45-degree-angle ears that I couldn't stop staring at.

 

There is no prohibition against showing working dogs, but doing so would be ultimately pointless all around. I've been told that Solo is "typey" enough to be competitive and maybe even to finish if he didn't have really tough competition from the Barbie-bred dogs, by people who didn't realize how insulted I would be (I did put on a nice frozen smile and didn't let on). But a dog like Solo wouldn't have a chance in "real" competition, with the real Australian Barbie Collies, who are way hairier and squarer and squatter than he'll ever be.

 

solostacked.jpg

 

Judges like dogs who show well, and real Border Collies generally just don't. They're not flashy, they don't go with their heads and tails up on the air, they tend to be a little cow-hocked. There are people in the AKC parent club who think they can preserve "working ability" in AKC "Border Collies" (defined how, I don't know) by changing the breed standard to specify a dog closer to what most working-bred dogs look like, and I think the revision to the standard passed recently and will be put into effect, but it won't make any difference because judges pick what they like. No show dog judge in his or her right mind would put a dog who looked like Fly up over a dog like that thing in the first picture, even if Fly is entirely within standard (which she is) and very nicely put together (which she also is). Fly is bald and plain and does a good impression of having Basenji ears and skulks around like a jackal.

 

All show dogs fit a certain basic phenotype. It's like you know, there are blond supermodels and brunette supermodels and supermodels from all different countries, but they're still all supermodels and they're all more alike in many ways than they are different (tall, skinny, sullen-looking). Show dogs are upright, square, flashy, high-stepping, and (in breeds where dogs can be coated) as hairy as possible. Breeds that more consistently meet these criteria than others are the ones that tend to win Best in Show a lot -- Poodles, for example -- when was the last time you watched a dog show on TV and a Poodle was NOT in the final seven? And, wellllllllll, most show dog people would love to win Best in Show, and so you end up with these Faustian bargains where you try to produce a dog that meets the generic Show Dog ideal, regardless of what your dogs are actually supposed to look like, so that you no longer have real Poodles or Afghans or Kerry Blue Terriers and you end up with these Show Things. It's illustrative, I bet, to take the photo of the winning Siberian Husky and put it next to that Barbie Collie. I bet they have exactly the same posture, length/height ratio, amount of bone, and blank look on the face. And these are two breeds that are supposed to do entirely different jobs that require different sorts of builds (sled dogs are all about build and efficient movement -- Coppinger has a great discussion about this).

 

Anyway.

 

Re: the fat Lab -- show dogs are generally shown much fatter than performance dogs, because dogs with little body fat don't grow as nice coats, and because you can fill out all sorts of little bumps or divots or deviations in the straightness of the topline with either a lot of hair or a bit of body fat. If I ever did go insane, implant a set of Neuticles into Solo and take him into the ring, he'd have to gain at least ten pounds to not look scrawny next to the other "Border Collies" in the ring. (I do sometimes have evil fantasies about trying this. I imagine the judge asking, "May I see his teeth?" and answering, "Heh -- be my guest!")

 

But anyway, at the end of the day, I don't like to judge any dog by the way he looks -- not even that Barbie Collie at the top of the page, even if he is a dog I don't personally find aesthetically pleasing. To me the real beauty of the working Border Collie is expressed by just how variable he is in appearance. I've seen a number of nice dogs at trials who were hairy enough and handsome enough to probably not get laughed out of a show ring. At the same time, though, Barbie Collies do tend to have a certain sort of phenotypic stamp that makes them very easy to spot, and so when I see one I know I'm looking at a dog whose breeder didn't understand the first thing about Border Collies or what this breed is supposed to be.

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Perhaps the reason show people don't understand why the rest of us are frustrated is because we put on the frozen smiles and don't let on that we're insulted...

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Julie,

 

we'll be at Verna's Sunday (only).

 

Deafbat: "Perhaps the reason show people don't understand why the rest of us are frustrated is because we put on the frozen smiles and don't let on that we're insulted... "

 

Naa, I don't think they care what we think; they only care how their dogs match what the show judges like or how to change what the show judges like to what they are breeding (or importing). It must be exhilarating for show judges to have that much influence over the "shape" (fat, short, dropped butt, cross-eyed, long eared, etc.) of the breed.

 

Mark

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We have a very nice couple in our performance dog club that has two of those conformation border collies.

I assumed all along that they were aussies with tails and so had ILP numbers.

 

Boy, did I get informed once, when they were looking at my scrawny, all ears and long tail, split faced puppy that she was cute but too bad about her ears (they were starting to stand up and they are big) and I told them that of course border collies were not suppossed to be as pretty as their aussies.

I was trying to be complimentary, to say something nice. :D

 

Once getting the right information, I will admit that they are really good dogs for that kind of border collie. They look just like the one in the first picture here.

To each their own. :rolleyes:

 

The male is seriously agressive towards my puppy, we found out so I try to stay out of his way (club members meet Sunday afternoons for some extra agility practice and socialization).

 

I forgot about Westminster, missed it but saw some of the Eukanuba Cup and the border collie there was less aussie looking than most have been lately, had a hint of length to it, so maybe some are getting away a little from the boxy look.

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Hey Melanie- If I were Fly I would look sulken too when my owner dresses me up in embarrassing costumes for Halloween

 

I have to agree I don't like the looks of many of these breeds in the AKC ring. I don't like the AKC bred border collies but then again I prefer a leaner dog with more leg. This is what I prefer in my dogs. For those that do flyball and have seen my dogs, all my dogs have a lot of leg for their breed. I am also disgusted by the AKC bred acd's. The red acd Bob was bot as bad as some of the others but I still don't like the boxy build and shorter legs of the AKC acd's. and don't get me started on poodles...

 

There is a lab on my team that looks like a working lab but is a rescue so we will never know for sure. The labs owner keeps her very lean and it is great to see. There is another lab on the team that is from field trial lines and when she was in shape she looked good. The one lab weighs about 40lbs and the other lab weights about 55lb now (she has age and arthritis fighting her). When was the last time anyone saw labs this small?

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Originally posted by Cholla1:

We have a very nice couple in our performance dog club that has two of those conformation border collies.

I assumed all along that they were aussies with tails and so had ILP numbers.

 

Boy, did I get informed once, when they were looking at my scrawny, all ears and long tail, split faced puppy that she was cute but too bad about her ears (they were starting to stand up and they are big) and I told them that of course border collies were not suppossed to be as pretty as their aussies.

I was trying to be complimentary, to say something nice. :D

Boy, I'll bet that drew a reaction!!!!!!!

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: I would have been rolling on the floor in laughter (I'm obviously not as nice as you are.) :rolleyes:

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I caught on to this posting a little late but had to add this...

 

I actually didn't see the BC's on the show, but had seen the greyhounds-which was pretty scary. Anyways, someone actually just asked if I had seen the BC that won and said it didn't look like any of the BC's he had seen here, and my reply was "What, there wasn't dirt caught in their belly hair, a long twig hanging from their tail hair...of course they don't look like the ones here in Alaska!"

 

Almost every walk with Piper, I'll look down at her and she'll be dragging a twig behind her because it is caught in her tail :rolleyes: . Definitely not a show dog, DEFINITELY more fun than a show dog and DEFINITELY BETTER LOOKING and WITH MORE CHARACTER!!!

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My beef isn't with the dogs. I don't blame the show dogs. They're dogs, with the same honesty & needs as a Heinz 57. A lot of them are victims as well----like the top borzoi in the country a few years ago, who never knew what it was like to be a dog, because he lived in airconditioning (to keep him in coat) with his fringes wrapped. They're victims of man's vanity & manipulation, the same thing that has made them cripples like the GSD or a genetic misfit like the bulldog, who can no longer even breathe naturally.

 

I think a lot of made though make fine companions, or would, if they were given the chance.

 

And it's not the barbie collies who claim they could work---it's their owners & breeders. I think even the barbie collies would love a roll in a cow pie every so often and would probably think they've achieved nirvana if they ever did.

 

 

Vicki

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breathe naturally.
Sorry, I meant "breed" naturally, although breathing problems aren't too far off for them either.

 

Vicki

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Ak Doc-usually an Alder twig or Sitka Spruce. Piper learned early on in life to be cautious around Devils Club, but the ol'Hubby continues to come home with little pricks in his hands at times...nasty stuff but TONS of healing properties.

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I just want to add that I watched a conformation show a few months ago and talked to the woman whose dog won BOB at the show. Nice red BC, more of a working dog build, although a bit chunkier, no excessive coat (actually a medium length coat), and almost upright ears.

 

The judge is a border collie owner - the woman whose dog won mentioned that this was probably one of the reasons her dog did so well; she knows the judge hates huge coats and likes a leaner dog.

 

The dog that went BOB does compete in AKC herding events and is doing well according to his owner.

 

Just thought it might be nice for everyone to hear that there are some more knowledgable judges out there. If there have to be Barbie collies, then it's nice to have some people who might be able to moderate the standard.

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Ok, I don't know much about judging show dogs but I did find it odd that some of the judges are breeders/former breeders of a breed of dog that is in the group that they are judging. How do they keep their passon for a certain breed of dog from affecting their judgement. I tune in and out of the Westminister. I only watch the groups that I like. I just have a irritation for those poor poodles that look like someones ornamental trees. Sorry if I offended anyone. I'll take my silly, mud loving dog anyday!

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oh boy lol I have now seen many many comments even from AKC lab people about how horrified they were to see those fat labs winning BOB! one person said "WHAT was the judge thinking?" they also said that they looked horrable in the pictures and that dog had better look amazing in the group ring or she would be really miffed! lol and another person said they nearly had a heart attack when they saw the fatties that won! lol trust me its not only anti show people who found that lab horrifying! :eek:

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"Just thought it might be nice for everyone to hear that there are some more

knowledgable judges out there. If there have to be Barbie collies, then it's

nice to have some people who might be able to moderate the standard."

 

Penny: If the judges genuinely were knowledgeable, they would not be judging border collies

in conformation because they would realize that the value of a particular border collie to the breed cannot be evaluated by how closely it conforms to written, appearance-based standard. It is not possible to determine anything positive about the relative merits of a group of border collies in a show ring.

 

I do understand that a couple of conformation judges may be knowlegeable about working dogs on livestock and may have become AKC conformation judges because they are making a living on AKC training, which is a different motivation.

 

Moderate the standard according to what? So that conformation border collies look less like stuffed border collie toys? Who cares?

 

Any conformation judges who have border collies that work livestock and who know how to train and handle their dogs at a competent level must also know that they (the judges) cannot tell one positive thing about the actual quality of a border collie from the breed ring.

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I know that a conformation judge that is familiar with border collies isn't going to do a whole lot to moderate things, and yea it would be nice if BCs weren't in the conformation ring, but isn't it just a little better for some people who refuse to put up heavily coated, un-BC like dogs to be in the ring?

 

I personally agree that conformation is creating a Barbie collie group of dogs - it would be better if no dogs were bred for looks alone, and you can't judge instinct/performance in the ring - but at least there are some judges with more knowledge than just what the AKC puts out for judges.

 

Just my 2 cents...

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>

 

I really can't see why. Judging the quality of a border collie by how it looks is fundamentally wrong. It doesn't matter what the standard is, the IDEA is wrong. To say one border collie is superior to another because it has short hair and a rangy build seems to me no better and no worse than saying one border collie is superior to another because it has long hair and a blocky build. That is just not a valid and meaningful way to judge a border collie.

 

IMO, tinkering with the breed standard or trying to change what show judges put up makes about as much sense as arguing about whether you should use Iams or Purina in a contest to judge border collies by how fast they eat. Because judging border collies by how fast they eat is stupid, no matter what they're eating.

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"but isn't it just a little better for some people who refuse to put up heavily coated, un-BC like dogs to be in the ring?"

 

No, it is not better.

 

Why do you think it is better?

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I didn't realize how strong a response I'd get to my posts...

 

I think it's better for judges in the ring to have enough knowledge to put up moderately coated, more lithe dogs for several reasons: breeders will hopefully moderate their Barbie collie lines to support a more natural look and the dogs will hopefully be a bit healthier since their traits aren't taken to the extreme (like GSDs). I know breeding for looks is awful, and I totally agree with people who say we should breed for herding ability rather than looks - but not everyone will now that dogs are involved in conformation. We can't turn back time to before AKC recognition, unfortunately.

 

I posted so that you all might see that, if there must be people out there who insist on breeding for looks and not ability, there might be a way to slow the division of the breed into "Barbie" and normal border collies - obviously not what we all would like, but still a small blessing.

 

I don't mean to upset anyone, I just wanted to offer another point of veiw.

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