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Frankly, I don't think you saying you're offended is helpful to anybody. In no way did I imply that I will learn anything close to what you know in a short amount of time, just as you couldn't possibly learn what I know in a limited amount of time.

 

If I liked what I saw in your bitch a lot, I might consider her world class material, but just as in herding you need a very good handler and trainer to do the deed. You probably would not make it to that level with your first dog, just as I would probably not make it with my first dog. Does that mean either would not produce nice dogs? No.

 

If you wish to group me in with Sport Collie breeders who produce a high volume of untried puppies please continue to do so. But if you wish to HELP me then please stop being so accusatory. Your metaphors are not quite right just as mine are not. We are speaking different languages and trying to make each other understand.

 

What if I came to you with my dogs for instruction, and took lessons once a week and practiced at home once a week or so, and then wanted to breed to your stud? If my bitch did very well and had a lot of natural talent, what would you think?

As I have said, I will make NO claims about working ability to anybody, aside from stating facts. I will not be advertising. I am a competitor. I compete.

 

Keep in mind that if ABCA people continue to alienate sport people then the breed will only split further. Sport people like me at least, are intersted in keeping the breed as is and working our dogs. We need HELP in determining our dogs true abilities. So HELP us instead of slinging mud, please. If you feel that strongly I can simply stop posting and continue to do exactly what I have said I will do. Work my dogs and compete in agility. That is my life just as herding is yours. I was hoping you guys would try to understand the morals involved in breeding a dog who did not have the opportunity to be a herding dog all its life but still has a lot of value.

 

I am going offline till tomorrow, so please don't expect any immediate responses from me - You can hate me all you want but I am on the much better end of the sport people, so perhaps you should be trying to take people like me into the fold an educate us on how to make informed decisions instead of writing us off as an evil that cannot be cured except by cutting it off.

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as an open question, if I wanted to breed my bitch to your stud, what would she need to be able to do to prove her worthiness?
This is very specific. If you wanted to breed your bitch to say, Mick, she would need to be a certain kind of bitch for me to consider the cross. If you wanted to breed to say, Zeke (who is neutered but anyway), she would need to be an entirely different type of bitch. The type of bitch that she is would need to be determined by work and experience. I would also look at what was behind her and how well that type of breeding has crossed with my dog or his lines. Lastly, and sometimes first, I go on gut feeling about a cross.

 

work an Open-type course? Prove an exceptional usefulness on stock? Shred her AKC papers?
Please don't confuse "working an Open style course" with working qualities that I, and many others, would consider breedworthy. Coming from a competition background, I can see how this may be difficult to understand. The real reason I like to go to trials is to see how the dogs handle different stock in different places on a somewhat even playing field. Winning is not the most important measure by which breeding stock should be chosen, although it is a the primary measure for some unable to evaluate any other way. There are many non winning good dogs who are chosen for breeding based on the qualities they demonstrate. Sometimes these dogs have poor or inexperienced handlers. Sometimes there's some minor problem in an otherwise admirable dog that keeps it form winning. At any rate, trialing provides an opportunity to see a dog work at a high level. I may not like how it works at this level, even if it is able to complete the course or even win.

 

Outside of trials, or even instead of trials, I think it's important to see how a dog works at home, especially during lambing, which is a true test of a dog.

 

I wouldn't breed to an AKC bitch on principle.

 

I should end by saying I don't offer stud services to outside dogs.

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She was a cast-off, and to all of you, probably worth nothing more than what she is -- a priceless companion.
Liz,

 

Please read the sticky "please read this first" and you will understand that no one here undervalues your dog for being a companion. No one cares what people do with their individual dog as long as it's well cared for. It's the BREEDING that we're talking about.

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Originally posted by Rosanne D.:

Also, if you are listening to me, you will understand that I will breed my dogs IF they are good working dogs, and I will breed them TO good working dogs.

Right here is the crux of our difference; you will breed to working dogs while I will breed working dogs for the work. Much like what Denise stated I will look at how each work and choose a cross based upon the working characteristics (not just that they work).

 

For example Ned was wide running and a bit weak in the open field (not willing to walk up on stubborn sheep); Ned was also a bit too loose eyed for my taste. I would take these characteristics into consideration when choosing a cross for Ned. Will you be able to do this? If not, you're not breeding to improve the working ability of the breed; you're just breeding working dogs.

 

Mark

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Roseanne:

 

 

No. >>

 

In the interests of full disclosure, I should probably add that I'm not a top handler, and therefore I'd be giving up only enjoyment, not money and glory, by not registering in the situation you pose. A better question might be: Are you capable of being a top handler in AKC herding trials and of setting up as one of those "USBCHA-style herding instructors" who validate and profit from AKC herders and wannabe herders? Yes. Are you doing that? No. Same reason.

 

Roseanne, your initial statement was that you plan to breed two of your dogs, but you would work them "extensively" on sheep first. That's something we hear a lot. It usually means the person wants to be able to say s/he's breeding for working ability, while putting in too little time to really do that in a meaningful way. That's one of the reasons you got what you probably feel is a bruising reception. Your justification for registering with the AKC is another. If your plans for breeding are really as tentative as you now say, and open to dissuasion, please stick around. I got no sense from your first post that you were looking for help in any way, but if you are, there's help to be had. Nobody hates you. Just don't expect easy answers as to what bases you have to touch to be able to breed without criticism. It's not a matter of touching bases.

 

>

 

That's part of the problem. It's easy to feel that just what I do is not going to have much effect. But what one person does + numbers + time will have a fatal effect. And not intending to change the breed won't keep it from happening.

 

>

 

If only!

 

Liz J:

 

I can't imagine why you think you are viewed with contempt, or why you think you have nothing in common with us. The Boards are full of people who give "washouts" and other BCs a good home, give them something worthwhile to do, and prevent them from reproducing. And also full of people who breed for working ability, and value the agility and good temperaments of the dogs they breed, and think their dogs are beautiful. You fit right in.

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Great post Eileen.

Owning a Border Collie doesn't "get our hackles up"; breeding your Border Collie might (see discussion above).

 

Mark

 

BTW

 

"I am in no way attempting to change the breed. . . . I don't really think it's going to have much affect on the ABCA dogs in the long-term"

 

This is similar logic to what backyard breeders use to justify breeding their beloved pets (so they can have puppies) when confronted about the pet overpopulation problem. "My one litter won't make any difference".

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Originally posted by Liz J:

"Sheppie" born of working farm stock knew when my grandfather headed for the barn that it was milking time, and that he was supposed to go get all the cows...Would you have bred him?

No. A dog doing repetitive work on a farm has not proven itself, particularly fetching in dairy cows for milking. The cows are generally ready and willing to come to the barn for milking on their own, and the dog is just assisting. Helpful, valued, and loved, but just assisting if that's the extent of his stockwork.

 

A dog that can bring the cows to the barn when they *don't* want to come to the barn is working hard. A dog that can move the stock into the wind and rain to shelter when the herd/flock would prefer to stay put, is working hard. A dog that can bring a cow and her new calf (or ewe and her new lambs) to wherever the farmer needs them is working hard.

 

...nowadays most cows are kept in the barn 24/7...
Dairy cows that are not pastured may spend much of their lives in a barn, but beef cattle are rarely "housed" inside. Many folks won't even use dogs with dairy because it doesn't take much to put a cow off her milk, but we find them very helpful with our beef herd, and I think you will find more dogs used with beef in the US than with dairy. It's a whole different situation.

 

...in my mind both herding and agility competitors are doing the same thing -- breeding dogs for competitions because unless you farm or ranch for a living, what you're doing is a hobby...
Trials are one means of evaluating working stockdogs for breedworthiness. For those with the benefit of the breed in mind, the competition exists for the proving of the dog, the dog isn't "produced" for the sake of the competition.

 

I think you are confusing the mindset of those who participate in a competition based on recreation (agility) with those who participate in a competition based on real life needs of stockmen and women, and the perpetuation of quality working Border Collies.

 

Those physical qualities so important in agility give the herding dog grace and ability to perform his chores.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your intent, but I think you are looking at this backwards. Or do you feel that what makes a good agility dog is all it takes to be a good stockdog?

 

And honestly, what's wrong with a good looking dog that has a nice coat, markings, and a confirmation that are traditional to the breed I don't know much about genetics, but sometimes isn't color is linked to other physical qualities...
If you were to look at what is truly "traditional to the breed" you would see that it has nothing to do with a standardized coat, color, texture, markings, conformation, etc. What many people who don't know any better think is "traditional" is the Barbie Collie, not the working Border Collie in all its physical variety and its outstanding intelligence and stockworking abilities.

 

Take a look at any book that abounds with pictures of the sheepdogs that are the foundations and contributors to the breed - you will see a great deal of variety. If you were to cut out the dogs with irregular markings, a coat that isn't "pretty", too small, too big, too this, too that, etc., you would have what the conformation world already has - the Barbie Collie, a dog with consistency in appearance, and a watered-down or non-existent ability to work stock.

 

...to all of you, probably worth nothing more than what she is -- a priceless companion.
Every dog is priceless to the people who love and appreciate it, no matter what it is and what it does. We only ask that people refrain from breeding Border Collies that aren't breedworthy, never that they quit loving and enjoying the dogs they have.

 

Recognizing that I have nothing in common with you, and that I'm probably viewed with contempt, I'll be dropping out of the board.
That's a shame because I think we probably have more in common than you think, we don't view you (or anyone here) with contempt (although we don't always agree), and you can learn a lot if you stick around and keep an open mind.

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I would suggest reading the genetics page Eileen(?) gave a link to. No one will ever be able to breed agility dogs. As I said, working BCs make great agility dogs, great agility dogs do not make great working dogs. Simply because of the genetics of the breed. If you read the genetics link you will see very plainly why this statement is true. It IS a very delicate balance and it only takes one generation to distrupt it. No, not ALL BC pups, regardless of parentage, will make great, good, mediocre(sp?), bad, and just plain "I just wanna be friends with the nice sheep". The thing is, the further away from tried and true parentage the pups get the further away from the true BC they get. Jackson did not come from champ parents in working ability. But they did work. They did have the ability. So he does have a chance. But only a chance. When he is determined to be great, or not, is when he will be or not be neutered. Simply because of what was stated before. IF Jackson proves to be very good at herding, I do not want to end those genes. But if he is not, there is absolutely no reason to breed him. HIS genes, not his parents or grandparents genes, are the ones that need to be perpetuated or ended. You simply can not breed an agility dog that is a true BC. The only way to keep BCs true is to breed true BCs. It doesn't mean less than great BCs shouldn't be used for agility, flyball, SAR, or house flycatchers. But they shouldn't be perpetuated. This is so easy to do in ruining the breed. I was sooooo shocked to learn the "lassie" collie was derived FROM the BC. I really thought it was the other way around. And really, look at how different they are. This info is in the genetics link. To me it is like when people get married to someone they say is oh, so wonderful and then spend the next 20yrs. trying to change them! People love the breed, then try to change them. Agility AFTER a dog is proven to not be a working dog is fine. Agility without seeing if a dog has working ability is fine. But don't breed these dogs. Don't lose the line. It is too delicate and too much is at stake.

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Originally posted by Rosanne D.:

If I liked what I saw in your bitch a lot, I might consider her world class material, but just as in herding you need a very good handler and trainer to do the deed. You probably would not make it to that level with your first dog, just as I would probably not make it with my first dog. Does that mean either would not produce nice dogs? No.

At the risk of making you feel further attacked, I will just say this about the above statement. Yes, handler ability can make the difference in how well a dog does, but a natural, talented dog will likely work well *despite* its handler. IOW, it's something of a cop out to blame a dog's lack of success on the noviceness of the handler.

 

FWIW, I did make it to open with the first dog I raised and trained (although not with the first dog I *trialed* who was a rescue), so while one can say that his/her dog would be much better with a better handler, I would say a good dog will probably do well, even *with* a novice handler. And people who have watched and/or worked a number of dogs at a high standard can still see the good in a good dog being run poorly. It is harder for more novice folks (myself included) to be able to discern when an exceptional handler is capably covering a dog's faults. I recently watched a dog work that someone had mentioned to me as being a very nice dog. His handler was very apologetic about her handling of him, but in truth the very fact that she wasn't a super skilled handler meant that a lot of what I was seeing as I watched that dog work was his natural ability and work attributes. I can admit that I probably didn't see the same things in that dog as perhaps Jack Knox did (he was also watching), simply because I don't have his years and years of experience.

 

When I first started working my dogs on livestock a little over five years ago I was told by those more experienced than I that what I liked in a dog as a beginner handler would change dramatically as I became a better, more experienced handler. Guess what? Those people were right. Why is that? Because they had been there before me and knew I would undergo the same progression. If I had never bothered to go beyond novice and had simply dabbled in herding for the past five years, then my outlook on what consitutes a good dog would be vastly different than what it is today. Why is that a bad thing? Because novices tend to like slower, easy dogs (dogs with a little less oomph, perhaps) that give the handler time to think and react, but those slower, easy dogs don't in general have what it takes to work to the highest standards. They are great on a novice course with a novice handler, but that's about as far as it goes. That's the point most of the folks here are trying to make. You seem to get it when you say that those of us who don't do agility regularly or are rank novices at it wouldn't necessarily recognize what it takes to be a top agility dog. What I don't understand is why you don't acknowledge the parallel argument that taking your dog herding once a week (even to a top trainer) isn't necessarily going to endow you with the ability to make good breeding decisions when it comes to producing top working dogs.

 

And on a final note, your comments about hobby farmers are a bit off base. Sure many of us keep livestock and also work outside the home to help support that livestock. But the fact is that we *do keep livestock* as something other than just dog toys (i.e., we try to make $$ off them as we can by selling freezer lambs, wool, breeding stock, etc., and we practice the necessary good husbandry that goes along with keeping livestock, including low-stress handling) and we do use our dogs in the day-to-day keeping of that livestock. So I can recognize the value of a dog that can hold 20 hungry ewes off the feed bunk while I'm dumping grain so that I'm not run down (interestingly enough, my neighbor, at whose farm these sheep are, has come to value my dogs for this reason alone), or a dog that can bring in a ewe protecting her lamb so I can examine them, or a dog that can go to the other end of the (large) property to gather the sheep (or cattle) when they have escaped. None of that is work that is tested *exactly* that way in an open style course, but the elements of the open course do test for the skills that are needed to do that kind of practical work. And that's way different from the hobbyist I think you're referring to who keeps 4-5 sheep specifically to train dogs.

 

I would no more take my fast little red dog, who would probably make an awesome agility or flyball dog (if only I had the time to dedicate to those sports) out for occasional agility or flyball training (but only as time permitted in my otherwise busy work and farm schedule) and decide she was worth breeding as a sport dog than anyone doing the opposite (i.e., dabbling in herding) should do with their dogs. Hmmmm...she's a cool color too, and cute as a button. And did I mention she is small and fast? I could probably sell $1,000 flyball puppies...LOL!

 

J.

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I can't figure out how to do quotes like some of these great replies, but at the risk of continuing the discussion, I will add one thing...my point about the farm Sheppie's usefulness was not that he just fetched placid(?) cows 2x a day. Even an infinate amount of space would not be enough to fit in all that dog knew or did...the English he knew, the glances and gestures and facial expressions, he was able to interpert, the ability to handle farm animals of all kinds whether difficult or placid. I admit to nostalgia, because he was the last of the line. Never-the-less, he was great and yet he didn't hold a candle to the legendary Slippers, who, before my time, ruled the farm in the 40's. To me, that is and always will be the defination of a border collie - a Sheppie, who knows how to herd and so much more as well.

 

My opinion, and its just my opinion, mind, is that the first thing that happens in the selective breeding of a creature whether it's a horse, a dog, or what-have you, is that it loses its common sense and its good temper, (Just look at the behavior people put up with in race horses.), which is why I put in my plea to you folks who are actively propagating the breed. Give strong consideration to temperment and flexibilty to adapt to a variety of situations as well.

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Originally posted by juliepoudrier:

Yes, handler ability can make the difference in how well a dog does, but a natural, talented dog will likely work well *despite* its handler. IOW, it's something of a cop out to blame a dog's lack of success on the noviceness.

Speaking as a passionate, but not especially talented agility handler for the past 6 years, I disagree. I see lots of very talented dogs who are unexceptional or even disasters in agility due to their owner's training and/or handling. I'm nowhere near Roseanne's level of handling, but I do understand that agility is very much a team sport. Both members of the team must be exceptional to excel at the highest levels.

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This entire thread has been a very interesting and eye opening experience and I have learned a great deal from it.

 

Rosanne D. wrote :

 

"If you wish to group me in with Sport Collie breeders who produce a high volume of untried puppies please continue to do so."

 

Didn't you purchase Kiba from a well-known high volume breeder in Oklahoma who does the very same thing?

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Originaly posted by Liz, My opinion, and its just my opinion, mind, is that the first thing that happens in the selective breeding of a creature whether it's a horse, a dog, or what-have you, is that it loses its common sense and its good temper, (Just look at the behavior people put up with in race horses.), which is why I put in my plea to you folks who are actively propagating the breed. Give strong consideration to temperment and flexibilty to adapt to a variety of situations as well.
Well, actualy, a properly (herding) bred BC is a very good tempered, adaptable dog. You really have to visit a herding trial to fully appreciate it. Picture 20-30 dogs, many off leash. No barking, and sticking close to their owner. It is really amazing, and unique.

 

I'm sure Sheppie was a wonderful dog for your family. But much of what you said could be used to describe my BC - family farm dog, herds sheep and tries to herd chickens, wakes kids up in the morning, plays with numerous kids at family get-togethers, takes cues from body langauge, etc. And if I wanted to find another dog with the many traits that I love about the BC, I would go to a working breeder.

If I wanted the most versitile BC available, I would go to a breeder of herding dogs. There is something about breeding for herding that produces the sanest, most adaptable, even tempered BCs.

Why else would the breed have become so popular for so many different sports?

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Liz J - I think you misunderstand the many qualities that responsible breeders of working Border Collies include in their breeding criteria.

 

The working Border Collie world does not condone breeding based on coat color, eye color, ear set, etc., and many other "attributes" that the conformation world finds essential.

 

Qualities that working Border Collies should be bred for include the ability to read stock, intelligence, temperment, soundness, health, biddability, focus, and athleticism. That is one reason why breeding working Border Collies is such an art - it isn't just one thing but many factors that play a part in the genetic make-up the working-bred dog.

 

That is why they are such fantastic, unique dogs - they haven't had the quality bred out of them.

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Everyone Talks a good game so I wounder who is not walking the walk. If you truely belive what you are saying about breeding than we would have no dual reg. BCs

I think way back when Iorn horse started this post we tried to sugest that either Abca Or their Associations like NEBCA ect set some type of restrictions to Breeding .But itwas said we do not want regulations because we know what we want. .

It must be AKC fault that there are so many Bc rescues I am shure that because of the breeders of AbCA BCs that are rescues are only of Akc dogs.

i looked for over 2 years for a Bc and let me tell you ther are many sites that offer dual regestration or even brag of their dogs litters that excell in herding , or agility or other sports How many abc farm breeders insisit that the dogs come back to them if you do not want the dog anymore?

I will agree that AKc is or has changed the BC but with help from ABCA and most likly some of you with the Top herding dogs in the country .

 

bob

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Shetlander, in agility you can blame the handler because that is NOT what a BC is bred to naturally do! It can do NOTHING without the handler telling it at each and every obstacle. This is not entirely true in working BCs. They KNOW what they are to do with the sheep. And a good dog will know when more or less pressure needs to be put on the sheep, etc. I think if Jackson flunks out of herding, I will set up an agility course on my property and teach him to run it with just whistle commands,,,,,,,,then take him to agility trials,,,,I will stand at the start and just use my whistles to guide him on the course........LOL won't that be a trip! :rolleyes: But I bet it would be possible,,,,,,,,,hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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In response to agility vs. herding---I had a friend once tell me:

 

"Put my dog in a field with sheep and he will work them....put him in an agility field and he will pee on the equipment."

 

I think that sums it all up very well

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Been trying not to say anything for fear of stepping on toes. But I have to ask:

 

If you want a truck, you are not going to buy a Porsche.

If you want a Porsche, you are not going to buy an F-150.

 

If you want an agility dog, you wont buy a stock dog from the farm.

If you want a dog to work the farm, you are not going to buy an agility dog.

 

If those folks out there with working dogs do NOT sell their dogs to homes other than working homes, there is no need to worry about the dilution of the working Border Collie. Correct?

 

It seems to me - after a search on Google - that there are plenty of sport breeders out there to fill the need of the folks that want a Border Collie.

 

I have read the other post on the dilution of the genetics. I guess it just doesn't come off as being that "dire" to me. The herding world seems to be small enough as it is - so I think that in order to protect those lines, it should be automatic to the folks of the herding world. If they sold or gave working bred dogs to non-working homes, a simple spay/nueter contract would insure those genes do not cross with anything other than tested working lines anway, right?

 

I agree that the working Border Collie must be preserved. But I don't see it going away as there is a need for these dogs to work to this day. They do a job, not a hobby (for most.) So they have their own insurance. If they are needed, the lines will stick around. If they are not needed, the lines will die out. I think that this would happen regardless of whether or not the AKC opened the books for the breed.

 

If the agility/sport folks were to call them something else, say Sport Border or something like that - would that make a difference?

 

If herding dog breeders REALLY cared about their breed, they would not allow the off-spring of their dogs to be bred or registered with the AKC. If the AKC is cut off - they are stuck with what they have. Period. They have already ruined "their" version of the breed - leave the working dogs alone.

 

Why is that the wrong way to look at it? If I want an agility dog, I'm not going to buy a "herding" dog. And if folks want to think a dog can herd based on AKC testing - well, let them think it. NO farmer worth his salt would buy a working dog from a breeder without seeing the parents work, right? And I'm not talking 4 dog-broke sheep walking a straight line.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Denise

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The American Kennel Club opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans or mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

 

I got this directly off the AKC site.....I just found it interesting that they take this stand,,,,,

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Big D the point is, you would buy a dog from herding parents to do agility. AGAIN, it is the inherited herding traits that make BCs so awesome and dominating in the agility world. You simply cannot breed agility BCs. Yeah, you would call them different names because they would no longer BE Border Collies. As far as who dogs are sold to, well, it is impossible to keep breeding the litters needed to fulfill working ranches needs without those pups going to non working homes unless all the pups NOT sold to working ranchers were put down at birth or soon after. The point here is to EDUCATE on the DANGER of registering with AKC and buying into their "vision" of what a border collie should be. If you were into lets say German Shepards, and wanted to buy one. AKC of course. Now here comes a person with a GS that has lop-sided ears, too short a tail, really hodge-podge markings, but basicly a really nice dog,,,,,what would you say his marketability is? $20? $40? But if this dog was everything you imagined a GS should be the price goes way up. But with a border collie, you could take one that was as ugly as a mud fence put up in a rain storm,,,,and if he could work sheep perfect under any circumstances,,,never faltered....that dog would be worth $5-10,000. That is the difference in AKC dogs and ABCA dogs.

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Originally posted by Shetlander:

quote:
Originally posted by juliepoudrier:

Yes, handler ability can make the difference in how well a dog does, but a natural, talented dog will likely work well *despite* its handler. IOW, it's something of a cop out to blame a dog's lack of success on the noviceness.

Speaking as a passionate, but not especially talented agility handler for the past 6 years, I disagree. I see lots of very talented dogs who are unexceptional or even disasters in agility due to their owner's training and/or handling. I'm nowhere near Roseanne's level of handling, but I do understand that agility is very much a team sport. Both members of the team must be exceptional to excel at the highest levels. Liz,

Maybe I wasn't making myself clear, but Rosanne was saying that in herding, as in agility, you need a good handler if you want the dog to succeed. I was simply pointing out that when working stock (note that I used the word "work" not something like "compete at agility") a talented dog can overcome its handler's shortcomings. I certainly wouldn't make such a comment about agility, since I don't do agility.

 

Big D,

The whole point is that there's no reason for people to specifically breed agility dogs. Working dogs can do agility and do it well--after all that's the kind of border collie that started out in agility. But it's easier for sport breeders to breed their sport dogs to one another and sell them as potential top agility dogs. But sooner or later, when they have bred away from the stock working ability that gave the characteristics needed in a good agility dog, I truly believe that they will end up with something not quite the same as they started with. And I don't think that's a good thing. Breeding for good agility dogs is no different than breeding for looks--it's not breeding for working ability.

 

You know, I used to say that if I bred I'd be willing to sell to sport homes because I know they would be good, active homes. I have since changed my mind because I wouldn't want the pups I carefully bred with good stockwork in mind to then be bred for some other reason (like if they turned out to be agility stars). That's sad.

 

 

J.

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"Agility dogs" aren't a breed. Neither is "herding dog" by the way. We as people who need Border collies for livestock work, define the breed as dogs that are bred for their ability to work livestock in a certain way. If we share a single gene pool with those who have other breeding goals then the gene pool will eventually find a level that is influenced by the strongest contingency. Denise's bull's eye model shows us that at that point, those who are attempting to maintain pure working goals will have too small a gene pool to maintain the wide range of working abilities that we have today.

 

I want an Aussie that will hold off bulls while setting out feed, sort out calves for cutting, move nannies and newborn kids, load bucks for market, put up the ducks at night and come in and love on the kids at night. Anybody know of a good one? Oh, and she'll need to be breeding quality. No fair naming any dog older than, say, eight years.

 

I need an Aussie to train and compete in agility with. I bet I could find one or two.

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>

 

Wrong. Where do you think agility border collies came from to begin with? Where do you think many of them come from now?

 

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I'll quote myself, rather than writing it all over again:

 

"Knowledgeable, dog-experienced ranchers would look to a working breeder. But there are many more livestock people who could benefit from using dogs than are using dogs now. There are plenty of farmers and ranchers who are just opening up to the thought of using a dog, and plenty of people taking up newer methods of livestock production where dogs are more valuable, and--believe it or not--many people just coming into small-scale farming. They are taken in by the claims--backed up with herding titles--of AKC breeders whose dogs are certified herding excellent and can supposedly do it all. When they find that this pup from titled parents is no use, they give up on dogs altogether, which is a loss for them and for the real border collie. And they share with others their new knowledge that dogs are no use. I know this happens, because I've heard from people it's happened to."

 

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If human beings REALLY cared about their planet, they'd enact laws against pollution, they wouldn't do any polluting themselves, and they wouldn't waste non-renewable resources tearing around their back yards on a dirt bike. Right?

 

The fact is that we all care about our planet -- it's the only one we've got -- but some people act with its welfare in mind more than others. Some people genuinely don't recognize that the planet is threatened by anything they might be doing, some people wilfully choose not to see it, some people see the consequences but are more concerned with their own convenience in waste disposal than the consequences to people downstream from them, some people feel they can't afford to change what they're doing, some people see the issues but figure they'll be dead before the chickens come home to roost so why inconvenience themselves, etc., etc. And unfortunately we all live with the consequences of the collective decisions of all those people -- we don't just live with the consequences of our own.

 

Roseanne said that she doesn't like the AKC and for a long time didn't register with them, but now she does for two reasons, one of which was the greater advantage it gives her in tapping the lucrative market for agility instruction. Do you think that all our good breeders are immune from financial considerations like this? They may care deeply about their breed, but they have to feed their families, and many farmers live pretty close to the bone. Along comes a flock of flush AKC dog fanciers, accustomed to paying $1,000 for a pup, begging for his pups, his lessons, access to his studs. A lot will say no. I admire them. Some will say yes. I regret it. If they say yes and it's not out of genuine need, I think badly of them. But we all, including those who would never say yes, have to live with the consequences that what they do has on our breed.

 

What's your point?

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Originally posted by juliepoudrier:

I was simply pointing out that when working stock (note that I used the word "work" not something like "compete at agility") a talented dog can overcome its handler's shortcomings. I certainly wouldn't make such a comment about agility, since I don't do agility.

I did misunderstand your point and thought your comments were about agility dogs. Sorry. I may use the word "work" more casually. I know my dogs are performance or sports dogs. I do not call them working dogs. But I sometimes say I'm going to work them instead of train them or run them.

 

Liz

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Liz,

 

My first and favorite Border Collie is a cast-off, as well as a behavioral problem poster child. He is my soulmate, my heart's dog, my alpha, my omega, my once-in-a-lifetime dog. No one can insult Solo without risking my potential wrath, which is considerable.

 

Is he worth breeding? Hell no.

 

Do you see the difference? Now take that chip off your shoulder and sit down at the table. You're getting offended for no reason.

 

Once I was at an agility trial with Solo. A fellow competitor approached us, admired him extravagantly (he has excellent structure, a heavy coat, a gorgeous head, and on top of all that, he's red, which agility people seem to find very sexy -- that's fine, so do I) and asked hopefully, "Is he intact?" She was very disappointed to find out he is not, and that I would not share the name of his breeder (or misbreeder, would be the more appropriate term). It turns out this fellow competitor was shopping for a stud for her bitch.

 

I can guarantee this would never happen at a sheepdog trial.

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