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krista

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If I can chime back in here for just a minute, Missy's hips actually seem to be fine (Krista's dog has the sore hips). Never been x-rayed, but she'll play ball for an hour or more with no apparent soreness. Even rough encounters with the sheep have not seemed to bother her.

 

Does inbreeding to the extent that her mother was usally lead temperment issues? Does it all depend on the dogs and who got what genes?

 

Although Miss was extremely withdrawn when I got her, she is not so anymore - just a little shy. Before I got her she had little interaction with people, and had ridden in a vehicle only once or twice. But the car has never bothered her. And she always wants to go places with me. I take her to TSC often and even took her to a elementary school for a day of dog obedience demonstrations. Her main fobia is of loud power tools. Fireworks don't even bother her if she is in the car or house. And nothing makes her day more than to go do chores. I have a feeling that my lack of knowledge is holding back her herding potential.

 

So reading this thread has got me wondering - is my dog a fluke? is she pretty much the exception to the rule considering all that inbreeding?

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Oops, got confused.

 

Actually, like I said, I've seen several instances where even closer breeding was done with no apparent ill effects. We've got an awfully healthy breed. We can't KEEP doing that without messing something up, no doubt, and I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner.

 

The really bad ones I've seen, where there were no branches top or bottom, were physically sound but mentally whacked out (severely shy, aggressive). We're only talking maybe half a dozen of these really inbred dogs in my whole (short) career so not a scientific sample, but it leads me to think the mind goes first. Hey, you know that was the case among European royalty, too, right? George III and all that.

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I think what hasn't been mentioned in this discussion is inbreeding/linebreeding in the hands of responsible, knowledgeable breeders vs. everyone else. My best dog is in part the product of years of line breeding back to John Thomas' Don. She has many of the working traits that the linebreeding was intended to keep within the line. And it's those traits that I really like--they are what make her a great working dog for me. The fact of linebreeding is what enables us to see those dogs work and know they go back to Don just by watching them.

 

Now take a look at another dog I have and whom I took as a private rescue as a favor for a friend. He also happens to go back to the aforementioned breeder's lines. He's a bit loony (OCD, fear aggressive, inappropriate social behavior). Some of that may be the result of nurture, but no doubt genetics (nature) also plays a significant role. I do not recognize the names of the people who bred this dog (that is, they are not known working dog breeders), but he is basically the result of an uncle-niece breeding, which means that the top half of his pedigree and the top of the bottom half of his pedigree are the same. (His sire and his dam's sire were littermates.) Oh, and he may be one of those to whom Rebecca refers. He's physically sound and extremely athletic, but mentally he's a nut.

 

So what's the difference between these two dogs? The former breeder has been linebreeding, assessing results, fixing working traits, etc., for years. And he's produced some top working dogs. He knows what he's doing. The latter are likely backyard breeders who each had a purebred border collie and thought they'd make some money selling pups. So what if those two dogs were extremley closely related? I wouldn't be surprised if the breeding was done to get a particular color. I doubt they even gave passing consideration to the implications of the cross they were making (beyond maybe color).

 

Linebreeding has its place, but it should be undertaken with care and by those who know what they're doing (and that certainly wouldn't be your average breeder).

 

J.

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