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sandra s.

the other side (conformation)?

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Christine,

 

This is a designation used in the UK. Unregistered border collies are allowed to participate in Kennel Club obedience competitions in Britain, but they are designated "Working Sheepdogs" (even though few if any of them work as sheepdogs), as opposed to the registered ones, who are designated "Border Collies."

 

Somebody from the UK correct me if I'm wrong.

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Does anyone else find this photo as creepy as I do?

 

Annemarie%20and%205%20dogs.jpg

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My four year old son just looked at it and said, "They look like ducks." I might add that we breed blue Swedes that have sort of tuxedo markings.

 

Actually, they kind of do look like a flock of ducks. Or put them on ice and it's March of the Penguins.

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"When a breed club has the margin of freedom to revise or replace one standard with another, no matter how horrid and derivative their standard may be, they are "setting the written standard."

 

Penny: Mostly no. The group that became the BCSA and parent club asked to have a minor livestock working standard included. The AKC flatly refused this. What the breed club wanted did not matter. The breed club had to toady to AKC requirements or the Border Collie Alliance would have been chosen.

 

The border collie is defined by its skill on livestock; that is the border collie standard in reality. The breed club asked to include some small measure of working skill for, I think, a breed championship award; the AKC refused; the breed club knuckled under. How can anyone say the breed club makes the rules?

 

The AKC makes the important rules. The breed club says, "Yes, sir," then is allowed to define whether cow hocks matter.

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I’m probably going to make some enemies here, but I really can’t stand it that you all are really thinking these things about conformation BCs are true. It probably won’t do any good, but at least I’m trying to explain, and before you flame me, remember that you’re the ones who asked.

 

These are my personal beliefs about Border Collies in conformation, keep in mind that they may differ from other people.

 

"I mean, HOW do they try to convince the public/the herding people/potential buyers that a BC needs to have tipped ears and nothing else?"

 

This is not true, in conformation BCs CAN have prick ears, they can even have one semi-erect and one prick ear, but the semi-erect ear is preferred by many. This is simply PERSONAL taste. Just as many people involved in working line BCs prefer or like prick ears better.

 

"The very cynical side of me thinks that the AKC doesn't set breed standards, judges do. Judges pick what they like and breeders try to give judges what they want so their dog will be picked by the judge. When judges' tastes change so do the breeding goals and the standard follows."

 

This is true in a way. There are 2 types of judges, Breeder Specialist Judges, (Who are breeders and owners of BCs themselves and know the breed very well) and Round Judges (Who know many breeds, some better than others)

Breeder specialist judges always judge specialty shows, but since there are only 3 in the entire U.S., they are obviously unable to judge at every show, and a round judge that will probably judge more on group movement (Straight front legs and back, nice flowing gait) will put up dogs that otherwise would not have won. Because this happens more, since there are more round judges, we see a lot more BCs with straight front legs and back legs, instead of being slightly cow-hocked, which is correct for a BC. Since these dogs with less correct structure are winning more, more people will breed to them, often thinking the judges know what they are doing, so they assume the dog must be nice because a judge says so.

This would not be such a problem if there were ore breeder specialist judges, but because of the critisim that somes with the job (You only put up that dog/bitch because it's similar to your own lines!) many people opt not to go this route, which is very unfortunate for the breed.

 

"I wonder what such a judge would say if someone criticised his decisions. Surely they can't just say "My personal taste is better than yours and therefore collies must be fluffy because I like it that way"."

 

There are good judges and bad judges, just as there are good people and bad people. I have heard many horror stories about the bad judges, and I remember their names, so I can choose not to show under them. I even know of one judge that often lines up the entries, and chooses his short list by choosing every 3rd dog!

At smaller shows and some specialties, some judges actually write up a written critique, explaining why the dog they chose won, what it's strengths and faults are, etc. I think this is a great idea, and it should be done more often, that way judges that are just BSing their way through shows are pointed out and people can avoid showing under them if they so choose.

 

"Personally, I don't understand it at all. How somone can profess a deep love of the breed and walk around with coins glued to the inside of their pups ears. Makes me sick."

 

First of all, coins are used for drop ears, not semi-erect ears. And secondly, this is NO different that many WORKING BC breeders gluing up their dogs ears for prick. And yes, I know of many people who do this.

 

"Of course, they don't do a good job of explaining why the ears would need to be tipped (though they'll say if the ears are down, the dog's hearing can be affected). They'll say the fluffy coat protects the dog from the elements. Can't remember what the argument is for heavier bones. Of course, it is aesthetics. A dog can have prick ears and still be a BC -- it's just considered a "fault." Same thing with under or over size."

 

Once again, semi-erect ears are a personal preference. I have never heard that if a dog's ears are drop it will affect hearing.

I don't think coat type either way affects working ability, and in the AKC BC standard it states, "Neither coat type is preferred over the other." Though many conformation people prefer rough coats, though many working people prefer smooth coats too. :rolleyes:

"Bone must be strong, medium being correct but lighter bone is preferred over heavy." Again from the AKC BC standard. Medium and Light bone is more correct than heavy bone. The reason many heavier boned BCs are winning? I put it down to the over abundance of Round Judges, who generally think that heavier bone is correct, though with the BC it is not.

"Ears are of medium size, set well apart, one or both carried erect and/or semi-erect (varying from 1/4 to 3/4 of the ear erect)." Again from the AKC BC standard. It is NOT considered a fault for a BC to have prick ears.

This is true about size, just as it is for every breed in the AKC. There is a size limit to be bred for, I can only imagine it is to give consistency.

 

"I think conformation would be like buying a toaster or something and saying "No,it cant make toast, but doesnt it look nice sitting on the counter?" If it can't make toast (aka work) than what's the point of having it? ( aka breeding to it)"

 

Yes of course! So if it can't work, it's good for nothing else! Not companionship, not performance events, and certainly not conformation! Well, since it can't work why don't we just take it out back and shoot it! Put the poor thing out of its misery!

OH, and just so you all know, I was being SARCASTIC, unfortunately the person I quoted was not. I find that very sad.

 

"Show Border Collies DO have clear eyes, healthy (although poofy) fur, straight legs (although many good working dogs are cow-hocked) and stuff like that........But even though we would want to breed herding dogs its not like we would breed a dog with good instinct that has a genetic eye disorder and is blind! But show people think (that to whatever lengths) we would breed a dog with good instinct even with many (genetic) health problems - which of course is bogus."

 

Not all show border collies are healthy, just as not all working BCs are healthy. I think that when a person is selecting a breeder it should be based more on how healthy the dogs are and not where they register, because according to this website, when choosing between breeders, if Breeder A does all health tests and produces sound healthy pups, but they register with the AKC, and Breeder B breeds for working ability, but doesn't preform any health tests and it is more likely that a pup will have health issues in the future, but they don't register with the AKC, a person should choose Breeder B because Breeder A registers with the AKC. That is very very sad.

 

"They tend to think that working dogs are "not healthy" because they don't win ribbons for how long their tails are."

 

I tend to think dogs are not healthy if their parents weren't pre-screened before breeding. This is a nessessity IMO.

Oh, and if a dog's tail is too short (Which rarely happens) it is only considered a fault, and if they are perfectly sound besides that they are more than capable of winning ribbons. :D

 

"The written standard does allow for fully pricked ears, but it does say that it prefers ears that match each other."

 

No where does in the standard does it say both ears are preferred to match each other.

 

"and only merles may have have blue eyes (I think). "

 

"Blue eyes (with one, both or part of one or both eyes being blue) in dogs other than merle, are acceptable but not preferred." From the AKC BC standard. I actually know of a dog that has a wall-eye and it has placed in group several times. My own BC has a wall-eye as well.

 

"but someone (the judges, apparently) still makes people think that BCs have to be black and white..."

 

There are actually many many "colored" BCs that place in group, Black&White is simply a more common color, just as in working BCs, Black&White is predominate.

 

"I don't remember if it was AKC's standard but one said something like "and the fur should not be so much that it interferes with the dog's movement"."

 

"The rough variety is medium in length without being excessive." From the AKC BC standard. I think you must be thinking of a different standard, that is the only thing I can find that is even some-what similar to what you said.

 

"Well, even though the standard is very loose for BCs, in the national shows, the all look the same. Black/white, tipped ears, poofy, white blaze/paws ect. I find that odd don't you think?"

 

Not when you consider the ratio of breeder specialist judges to round judges.

 

"So why do we see only predominantly white borzois with colored spots?"

 

Probably the same reason that we see predominately Black&White BCs. It is simply a more common color, in show AND working lines, I might add.

 

"If you're going to accept that an "ideal" dog can be described in a written paragraph, then it should follow that the paragraph is written as narrowly and specifically as possible."

 

Then you would simply bash us conformation people for being so narrow-minded. :D

 

"The fact is that this type of dog "shows" better than others, regardless of what the breed is actually supposed to look, act, or move like."

 

I agree, this type of dog DOES show better.... to round judges. (I feel like I am repeating myself quite a lot!)

 

"He's from working stock...and is very much the BC, as far as "personality traits of the breed" go...but he's got curly fur on his back, and his hind legs are slightly under the body (great for endurance, but not for the showring)."

 

Actually, a LOT of BCs have curly/wavy fur, you simply don't see this when they are being shown because it is straightened during the grooming process.

And all dogs stand with their hind legs slightly under their body, a show dog has to be taught to stand with their hocks straight up and down.

 

"The AKC just revoked registration on a very well bred border collie because the dog looked funny. The dog did quite well at an AKC herding trial but the rep didn't like the way the dog's coat looked."

 

This is sad, but no different than the ABCA taking away a BCs herding title because the dog won a conformation title. Which HAS hapenned. Conformation dogs can't win herding titles other than at AKC events, and working dogs can't win conformation titles at AKC events. I think there is something seriously wrong with that.

 

"Not surprisingly, the criteria the west coast breeder lists mentions nothing about working ability, or even @@ --- instinct!!! And that pretty much sums it up. "

 

You are all making conclusions of the whole conformation group based on one, or a few breeders. This would be like me looking at one or a few of your worst working line BC breeders, and making a statement of the whole group based on those few. We are not all like that!

 

"the only thing I have ever heard defended is the breeding for structure, they feel that heavy bones wont break very easy"

 

IMO, a GOOD BC breeder should not breed for heavy bones, as that is not what is preferred in the standard. In the standard it states that bones should be STRONG, with medium being correct, and lighter being preferred over heavy. Perhaps they are reading strong as heavy.

 

"the main argument I get from them is that the old time shepherds MUST have bred for conformation structure at one point in time, that last person who said that to me, I responded with "form follows function, many years ago if the dog could not handle the work they would be culled, its natural selection, a certain form never had to be bred for because if the dog could not cut it, it was cut out" she has yet to be able to come up with a single argument for that lol "

 

Actually, many years ago, I believe late 1800's, it was common that after herding trials a conformation show of sorts was held. These breeders of old were perfectly fine with their dogs being judged structurally against a written standard.

 

 

Hopefully this post isn't so old that no one will notice that a new post was added, since after all, you were all asking for a conformation point of view, and I have given it to you. *Steps off of soap box and zips up flame suit*

 

Autumn

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In border collies, the Aussie show standard pretty much became the de facto American show standard, largely because once the border collie was recognized by the AKC, conformation folks imported Aussie show lines and that's what the judges saw and "learned" as the appropriate look.

 

J.

 

As an Aussie who has a foot in both camps (I don't breed show dogs or show but do have and still do own them as well as working BCs) the Australian standard is far more restricted than any other in the world. It only allows 5 colours and one coat length and ear type. The desire for black and white classically marked dogs is fashion not the standard as is the huge coats. All the standard says about markings is that the solid colour must predominate. The ANKC also does not recognise any working registry and has not done so for years so there is big divide between ANKC dogs and working dogs with very little new working blood coming in other than through dual registered imports.

 

I don't believe that breeding to a conformation standard has anything to do with a dogs workng ability, but there are moves here by some ANKC breeders to try to improve the working ability of their dogs.

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Hopefully this post isn't so old that no one will notice that a new post was added, since after all, you were all asking for a conformation point of view, and I have given it to you. *Steps off of soap box and zips up flame suit*

 

Hi Autumn,

 

thanks for answering my questions - you're the only "conformation person" who did, after all! :rolleyes: And I didn't know about the different kinds of judges.

 

The problem I have with it all is this: The whole defense of conformation breeders is based on the assumption that there IS a need to breed for a special type of bones, or "correct" leg shapes etc ("function follows form"). It seems such a complicated, artificial way of trying to arrive at the same goal as someone who simply breeds for ability to run (which is part of the whole working package).

Reminds me of when my driver's license was shiny and new - I'd sometimes take enormous detours along nice curvy mountain roads in order to get to a shop I could almost have walked to. You might have suspected me of taking the complicated route because I love driving on mountain roads (and you'd have been right). To be honest, I have a similar suspicion about the conformation breeders. I feel that they play these "show" games mainly because they enjoy them, and the "goal" (a well-functioning BC?) is mostly an excuse. Otherwise, why not take the straightforward route and just breed BCs that have proven to be good runners? It would be so much easier than breeding for straight-but-not-too-straight legs. Shame on me if I'm wrong, but that's the way I feel about it.

 

When I look at what breeding for looks has done to so many other dog breeds, I find it even harder to believe in the ability (or even the intentions) of these organisations to make a dog physically sounder than it would become by breeding for function straight away.

 

Just as many people involved in working line BCs prefer or like prick ears better.

 

But they don't breed for them as far as I know. As for the use of glue on working dog ears, I've never heard of that and I hope it isn't true! If the culture on these boards is anything to go by (and it should be), a working BC breeder playing with glue should catch it so bad that I'd (almost!) feel sorry for them!

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Actually, many years ago, I believe late 1800's, it was common that after herding trials a conformation show of sorts was held. These breeders of old were perfectly fine with their dogs being judged structurally against a written standard

 

I am well aware of this, however they still did not BREED for these matches, they bred for the work, they then took their WORKING BRED and working proven dogs and entered them in these little matches after a trial which had no bearing on the breeding itself. this is a vastly differnt thing from conformation shows today, where dogs are bred FOR the shows, and perhaps tested on stock later..if they feel like it. its the total opposite really.

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I am well aware of this, however they still did not BREED for these matches, they bred for the work, they then took their WORKING BRED and working proven dogs and entered them in these little matches after a trial which had no bearing on the breeding itself. this is a vastly differnt thing from conformation shows today, where dogs are bred FOR the shows, and perhaps tested on stock later..if they feel like it. its the total opposite really.

 

Not to mention the fact that these little matches quickly dropped out of favor. The breeders of the dogs quickly realized the implications of awarding anything but working ability. Plus, they were originally included as a nod to the genteel side of dog breeding a la hunting dogs, but people soon realized that the shepherds and farmers who had the best dogs for work, wanted little to do with prettying up their dogs or selecting a stud because it had a typey head.

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I’m probably going to make some enemies here, but I really can’t stand it that you all are really thinking these things about conformation BCs are true. It probably won’t do any good, but at least I’m trying to explain, and before you flame me, remember that you’re the ones who asked.

 

These are my personal beliefs about Border Collies in conformation, keep in mind that they may differ from other people.

 

"I mean, HOW do they try to convince the public/the herding people/potential buyers that a BC needs to have tipped ears and nothing else?"

 

This is not true, in conformation BCs CAN have prick ears, they can even have one semi-erect and one prick ear, but the semi-erect ear is preferred by many. This is simply PERSONAL taste. Just as many people involved in working line BCs prefer or like prick ears better.

 

Autumn

Hi Autumn,

I did miss this, so am late posting. I'm just quoting a small part of your post because I don't think it's necessary to respond point-for-point. You are correct in stating that the AKC breed standard allows for many different looks for a show border collie. I look at that as the breed club paying lip service to the working faction's argument that the standard by which a working dog should be judged is the work and not how the dog looks. The reality is (and maybe this really is because there are too few breed judges in the AKC, though I really think that it's just fairly typical of conformation showing, where all animals tend to trend toward one particular look**) that what seems to win, and certainly this holds out at the big shows like Westminster, is the big fluffy dog with the bulging sort of forehead, lots of coat, traditionally marked and with tipped ears. (Definition: I think we define ear set differently. To me prick is erect, tipped is semi-erect--like Lassie--and drop is an ear that hangs like a lab's or hound's.) I have been actively involved in USBCHA-style trialing for more than seven years and I have never known anyone to cosmetically alter a dog for the sake of a particular look. At the place I used to go work my dogs, there were a number of folks with conformation-bred dogs and invariably they had the dogs' ear tips glued to the inside of the ear (to produce that semi-erect ear) and often had yarn tying the pups' ears together to try and influence ear set (where the ear sits on the head) as well. If ears really didn't matter in the grand scheme of showing, I can't imagine that folks would go to the trouble of trying to alter their pups' ears, but they do, and that's very telling. It's possible that at local shows a prick-eared or flop-eared dog wins on occasion, but I have yet to see anything entered at the really big shows that doesn't basically look like a carbon copy of every other border collie there (and like the dogs pictured in Melanie's post in this thread). It's human nature to look at what wins and then copy it (it happens everywhere there's a conformation standard--it's not restricted to dogs), and that's exactly what's happened in the show ring with border collies. If the judging really did follow the standard, then you would see in the show ring the same diversity that you see on the trial field, and it just doesn't happen. There's a reason for this. (**My mother used to have a borzoi that was black. The borzoi standard allows for colored dogs, and this particular breeder was attempting to keep that standard alive. But have you ever seen a colored borzoi in the show ring? I haven't. This is what I'm talking about: standards and reality often don't coincide. And I suspect you can go to most any large show--local shows excepted--and you won't find a single breed of dog being shown that has a lot of diversity in its ranks. Homogenization is the very nature of conformation showing, whether that was the original intended consequence or not.)

 

I'll be the first to admit that I prefer the look of a prick-eared dog (and I think a smooth coat is easier to maintain), but I certainly wouldn't choose ears over working ability, nor would I deliberately breed to try and get the ears I liked or attempt to alter the ears the pup was born with. All of the folks I know who own working dogs do indeed have their looks preferences, but I don't know a single one that breeds to try and obtain a particular look nor actually ever bought a proven dog based on looks. The pup that was my pick out of the litter I had is rough-coated and what I refer to as "flying nun" ears; the sire has some of the most unattractive ears I've ever seen, but his ears never played into my decision to breed to him--his working ability is what mattered. There's a HUGE difference in mindset there.

 

If you've not read Don McCaig's The Dog Wars you might find it interesting reading. I don't doubt that there are breeders out there who take the diversity of the standard to heart, but I also don't doubt that they aren't being terribly successful in the ring and so there aren't alot of others out there trying to emulate them. That's the sad reality.

 

Janba,

What I meant by my original comment was that when the border collie was recognized for comformation showing in the US, those folks who wanted to rise to the top quickly imported Aussie-bred show dogs whose look then became the de facto show standard here in the U.S. This argument makes sense considering what Autumn has said about the lack of breed judges here in the US. If you aren't a breed expert judge and you're presented with dogs that look a particular way over and over again in the show ring, then it's only natural that you would accept that look as "the standard" no matter what the standard really says.

 

J.

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"The AKC just revoked registration on a very well bred border collie because the dog looked funny. The dog did quite well at an AKC herding trial but the rep didn't like the way the dog's coat looked."

 

This is sad, but no different than the ABCA taking away a BCs herding title because the dog won a conformation title. Which HAS hapenned. Conformation dogs can't win herding titles other than at AKC events, and working dogs can't win conformation titles at AKC events. I think there is something seriously wrong with that.

 

Autumn

The ABCA does not give out nor can it take away herding titles; it can and does remove dogs from it's registry (registration not title). The only titles available within our herding system are from the USBCHA National Finals and to my knowledge no USBCHA National champion has had its title revoked.

 

As far as confirmation dogs not being allowed to win herding titles; there are no real herding titles to be won (except the annual national champions) within the USBCHA herding program. The AKC, AHBA, and ASCA herding programs are the ones with herding titles.

 

Mark

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As far as confirmation dogs not being allowed to win herding titles; there are no real herding titles to be won (except the annual national champions) within the USBCHA herding program. The AKC, AHBA, and ASCA herding programs are the ones with herding titles.

 

And of those, the only one that discriminates with regard to the purebred status of the dog is the AKC (though you can't take overall prizes at certain ASCA events where these are reserved for Aussies).

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I believe that Autumn may also be mistaken about the rep at a trial revoking the registration of a dog because it looked "funny." I do not believe the AKC herding rep has that power. Her job is to see that herding events are run according to the rules. I would be interested to know the specifics of this case that Autumn mentions. I'm wondering if this could have been an ILP dog. I've known of some dubious looking mixes with ILPS. But still that is not within the rep's authority.

 

muddy

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There was a Border collie removed from the AKC stud books because it was bearded which was noticed by a rep at a event. There was a related dog at the same event which wasn't bearded with the same breeding that was never questioned.

 

Katelynn

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"I think conformation would be like buying a toaster or something and saying "No,it cant make toast, but doesnt it look nice sitting on the counter?" If it can't make toast (aka work) than what's the point of having it? ( aka breeding to it)"

 

Yes of course! So if it can't work, it's good for nothing else! Not companionship, not performance events, and certainly not conformation! Well, since it can't work why don't we just take it out back and shoot it! Put the poor thing out of its misery!

 

I think this iillustrates just the point everyone is trying to make to the world in general. The standard for the border collie, every bordercollie, should be its working ability. The dog was developed for work. It was bred for work, and it should still be bred for work in order to keep the characteristics everyone provesses to adore about border collies. If companionship, performance events dreamed up by bored dog owners, or conformation is the goal, get another breed. Don't breed our working dogs for those traits. Breed only for working ablility. Judging a dog for a title in the lettered associations leads to false standards for this wonderful breed, and showing in them, and breeding sport litters is just taking the dog further away from its origins. Look at the show lab. It is short, squat, waddles, and is nothing like the retriever that it used to be. It would wear out after half an hour of hunting. The same is true of the 'border collies' showing up in the conformation ring. With the heavy bone, and thick dense fur, and short legs, they would fall down in exhaustion after a thirty minute double lift, even if they could do the first 600 yard outrun. I'm not even talking about the delicate trait known as instinct. I have done Beardie instinct testing, and most people can't tell the difference between chasing and herding instinct. I am sure the conformation border collie breeders are pretty much the same.

 

Now, before eveyone gets riled up, I don't care if border collies end up in sport homes, or as companions, just don't breed for it. Breed for the working dog.

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I feel that they play these "show" games mainly because they enjoy them, and the "goal" (a well-functioning BC?) is mostly an excuse. Otherwise, why not take the straightforward route and just breed BCs that have proven to be good runners? It would be so much easier than breeding for straight-but-not-too-straight legs. Shame on me if I'm wrong, but that's the way I feel about it.

 

.........Yes, we do this because we enjoy it, otherwise I don't think many people would be doing it! And I can't comment on the "goal" you mentioned, because there are a lot of different people with a lot of different goals. I have not a shred of doubt that there are conformation people that don't give a rip about working ability and just want to have pretty dogs. I am NOT one of those people. I love both conformation AND working BCs, and yes, I do believe they are both still BCs for now, though different strains. This is my personal opinion, but I would not be one bit hurt if the AKC changed the border collies name to something different, mind you, not for a little while, because they ARE still the same breed, but, eventually they won't be, and I know this. Does this stop me from competing and showing in conformation or registering with the AKC? NO, because it is something I and my dog enjoy doing, and we will continue to do it for that reason. One day I hope to have enough knowledge to be able to have a "real" working border collie, and go out there and do with it what it WAS bred to do, but right now that is not *my* goal.

 

But they don't breed for them as far as I know. As for the use of glue on working dog ears, I've never heard of that and I hope it isn't true! If the culture on these boards is anything to go by (and it should be), a working BC breeder playing with glue should catch it so bad that I'd (almost!) feel sorry for them!

 

I can give you the link to their website if you would like. They OFA hips, test eyes, breed for working ability, and I couldn't find anywhere on their site that said they register with the AKC. According to this website they are very good breeders. But they also have a whole page on different ways to glue up ears for the prick look, as far as I know they don't actually BREED for that look though. Same as many conformation breeders :rolleyes:

 

Juliepoudrier, I do understand about what you are saying, and as I said before, I don't doubt that there are people that don't care about the ACTUAL standard, but I DO. And I can probably safely say now that I won't be very successful in the border collie show ring, but I don't really care. I do find it sad though that it is impossible for people like me, who WANT to keep the herding instinct alive in AKC border collies, to do both herding on a serious level and conformation showing. And I think that is the fault of BOTH the AKC and the ABCA. If I were able to, I would get a BC from working lines and show it in conformation, simply for enjoyment... but this is defidently not possible. Very sad.

 

"(Definition: I think we define ear set differently. To me prick is erect, tipped is semi-erect--like Lassie--and drop is an ear that hangs like a lab's or hound's.)"

 

And that is exactly how I define ear set also.

 

"The ABCA does not give out nor can it take away herding titles; it can and does remove dogs from it's registry (registration not title). The only titles available within our herding system are from the USBCHA National Finals and to my knowledge no USBCHA National champion has had its title revoked."

 

My mistake, how the AKC works (Giving titles and such) is a lot different then how the ABCA and USBCHA works. What happened was that the ABCA de-registered this dog, simply because it had won a conformation title. This dog in question was out of very respectable working lines.

 

"I believe that Autumn may also be mistaken about the rep at a trial revoking the registration of a dog because it looked "funny."

 

I was not the one who made that comment, I simply quoted it in my first post. I don't know any details about this, simply that it is similar to the ABCA de-registering dogs because they win conformation titles.

 

Autumn

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Juliepoudrier, I do understand about what you are saying, and as I said before, I don't doubt that there are people that don't care about the ACTUAL standard, but I DO. And I can probably safely say now that I won't be very successful in the border collie show ring, but I don't really care.

 

And that is the truly sad part. The fashion show, dictated by the personal preferences of judges, precludes numerous dogs that do meet the standard but that simply don't match exactly what's being put up by the judges. As we all know, dogs that don't match the latest trend in the breed ring don't stand a chance, so the people who want to win (because after all winning = prestige and translates into puppy sales) conform to what the judges are putting up. Next thing you know, you get those big boned extremely hairy dogs with bulging foreheads (and so on) that all look alike (for the most part) and that are currently winning in the show ring. And all the while, the people breeding, judging, and showing them will claim that they are breeding for a structure that somehow implies the dog could work, if only given the chance. And we all know how true (not!) that is.

 

I do find it sad though that it is impossible for people like me, who WANT to keep the herding instinct alive in AKC border collies, to do both herding on a serious level and conformation showing. And I think that is the fault of BOTH the AKC and the ABCA. If I were able to, I would get a BC from working lines and show it in conformation, simply for enjoyment... but this is defidently not possible. Very sad.

 

Actually, it probably is possible. All you'd have to do is find an ABCA (or ISDS) registered working-bred dog with good potential on the trial field and that looked a lot like what was being placed in the show ring. While such dogs might not be as heavy of bone, they could certainly have a lot of coat, tipped ears, and perfect Irish markings. Where you'd be in trouble is if you put a conformation champion on that dog, which would cause the dog to be deregistered from ABCA. But (and it's a big BUT), even if the dog is deregistered, it's still eligible to compete in USBCHA open trials, and even in the finals (it would simply not be eligible for the prize money offered up by the ABCA). So in theory you could take a conformation champion and win the National Finals with it and no one could stop you from doing so. So you could, in fact, compete in the show ring and compete seriously on the trial field. The only thing you couldn't do is register your conformation champion or its progeny with the ABCA or win prize money put up by ABCA. So I disagree that ABCA is at fault. The registry disagrees with the breeding of border collies for a show ring standard and has decided to "put its money where it's mouth is," but the only practical outcome of that notice of deregistration is that you can't register the pups of your conformation champion with the ABCA. If the dog were truly a good one (from a stockworking standpoint), inability to register pups probably wouldn't be a problem. In theory. I personally don't think you could do the reverse, however (that is, start with a conformation-bred dog, get the conformation champion, and then manage to win the National Finals because as you have noted in the quest for that conformationally "perfect" dog, most show breeders have let working genetics fall by the wayside, deliberately or not).

 

J.

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I've no problem with people enjoying showing, although it doesn't tempt me personally. It's not all that different from playing agility or probably even hobby herding like we did for a while - a game, a challenge, a pastime, something to do together with your dog. But it is still a game, and not a good reason to breed even more dogs than there already are, IMO. The same game could be played with mixed-breed rescue dogs. It's not so much the activity of showing I can't get my head around, but taking those ear sets etc seriously enough to breed for them.

 

As for the goal, I'm no expert, but I have gotten the impression that conformation breeders justify their breeding to a standard mostly with "healthiness" arguments. If that is wrong, what other arguments do they use? That's what I was asking about in the first place...I just can't think of any at all.

 

I can give you the link to their website if you would like. They OFA hips, test eyes, breed for working ability, and I couldn't find anywhere on their site that said they register with the AKC. According to this website they are very good breeders.

 

They should be, according to their own website :rolleyes: (or do you mean this website, as in BC boards?). A lot of people seem to claim to be "working breeders", don't they? I'm just hoping your example is one of those. Of course I could be wrong, anything's possible with humans! Lots of people don't seem to mind docking tails either. I think it's unforgivable unless there's a REALLY good practical reason. Gluing ears would not be half as bad...only just as silly in my opinion.

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flamingcomet, I don't suppose your "Working breeder" was this one? http://www.lockeyebc.com/info.html#ears

 

Or this one? http://www.majesticbordercollies.com/PuppyEars.html

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It's pretty sad when ear set is more important than the dog's actual ability to do anything. Autumn, if either of those sites are the one to which you refer, I think it's safe to say that they working competency strived for is at the lowest end of the scale. I know of no trialists competing in the upper levels of USBCHA trials who would even *consider* taking the steps to "adjust" the ears as outlined by the two websites posted by Becca.

 

J.

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I know a woman who taped her BC puppy's ears for months. I guess she wanted that perfect Border Collie tip. I saw the dog this past weekend and am thinking he's around 2yrs old now. His ears do tip, but they tip backwards. I have never seen anything like it! Imagine taking the top portion of the ear and flipping it back towards the skull. It looks awful! I don't know for sure, but my guess is the dog would have had prick ears and that by trying to force them forward, she caused his body to counteract the taping.

 

Emily

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I know of no trialists competing in the upper levels of USBCHA trials who would even *consider* taking the steps to "adjust" the ears as outlined by the two websites posted by Becca.

 

Actually, I know of one person who competes quite succesfully at USBCHA open events, who regularly tapes ears of puppies. I find it silly, but it is their preference, and it causes no harm, so who I am to judge?

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Actually, I know of one person who competes quite succesfully at USBCHA open events, who regularly tapes ears of puppies. I find it silly, but it is their preference, and it causes no harm, so who I am to judge?

Well, obviously I don't know the practices of everyone, but I think it's safe to say that most folks wouldn't bother. Gee I guess if I had only taped Phoebe's ears she'd have that pricked look I prefer. Frankly I can think of better things to do with my time and energy than tape my dog's ears....

 

His ears do tip, but they tip backwards. I have never seen anything like it!

Emily,

Lark's ears actually went through a stage, at three or four months, when the tips turned backward like you describe. It truly was odd looking.

 

I posted these not long ago in a thread on ears. Lark is about four months old in these pictures:

P5240023.jpg

 

P5240022.jpg

 

J.

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