On the topic of Border Collies...

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by OwnedByBCs, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I so agree! My friend is involved with PWDs and has been since the early 90s. That breed is in a similar situation, where there's just no where to go to within the breed's population and a very small gene pool. I always think how awesome it would be for there to be native, unregistered PWDs that could be brought in...like there was with Basenjis. Most breeds aren't that lucky though :(

    With Belgians, we are lucky in that we can import dogs and register them as what they are. This gives a possibility for greater genetic diversity in the dogs in the US than there used to be (it used to be 3 generations of "pure" according to AKC breeding). Denise Fenzi's AKC registered Tervs are out of working Malinois lines. I just wish one of the varieties didn't have epilepsy as a concern, that would be so awesome. But yeah from the standpoint of a breed that is split in AKC but really shouldn't be...I don't understand the desire to split off into new breeds because different people are selecting for different things. A lot of white GSD people seem to want to split into a new breed, some have already taken steps in that direction. I understand they want to show but...is that really worth limiting your gene pool so much? Belgians were basically split in the US for show too and it really wasn't the right thing for the breed...or breeds. Really varieties. They should have been AKC varieties, like Collies are. People could opt to keep their "pure" lines of whatever variety or do inter-variety breeding. Intervariety breeding goes on now anyway and there's already tons of AKC registered dogs with IV breeding in their pedigrees, even out of IV breedings done outside of the US (with littermates also AKC registered...as different breeds).
     
  2. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    I don't see any problems with diversifying a breed by having sport breeders, working breeders, ect (assuming they are health testing, blah, blah). However, I don't like the idea of a sport breeder being SO involved in sports that they have completely bred out any instinct. I don't want to see a sport bred BC or Aussie thrown in with sheep and looking like "WTF do I do with these?" I also don't want to see a working breeder be so immersed in my dog has to be a superior herder, but that dog couldn't function in the real world.

    I realize a lot of breeds these days are not used for what they were originally bred for, and probably never will be. But, I think it would be nice to preserve a lot of the original intent for the breed. Could Harlow go and pin down a wild boar or a bison? I'm honestly not sure, but I'm thinking probably not. And honestly, I think it is pretty sad that they have strayed so far away from their original use, even if it isn't needed anymore, because what does that do for the future of our breeds today?

    What if something were to happen where the world went back to you need to homestead to survive? Ships may come back, and Yorkies could used to flush rats again. Has the breed stayed true enough to it's original intent to be able to do that? Also, is there always going to be a breed that steps into the place of a breed that strays too far away from it's intent? For example, down south where there are wild boars, Boxers COULD be used for hunting them. However, most people use other breeds such as that Catahoula.
     
  3. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    My breed can't do what it was originally bred for, because it's illegal, immoral, and disgusting. So the breed has certainly changed in the years since it's been a show dog. And there are different ways of viewing that. There's the fingers-in-the-ears "no it hasn't changed! It's always been like this! La-la-la!" attitude. There's the faction (mostly in the UK) which says the modern dogs are wrong, and we need to change them back to what they were! Pronto! (although there are some massive inconsistencies in what that faction views as being "original type"). And there's the viewpoint that I am with, which is that yes, the breed has changed, and what it is now is a perfectly acceptable interpretation.

    There's some variation in type, but that's based primarily on what people think they should look like. The people in the UK who favor what they view as the original type have some sporting competitions, but they can't really prove anything with those. They can have a good time with their dogs, which is the important thing, of course. There's some people in the US breeding "sporting" (primarily flyball) dogs, but those are directly from show lines, and most of those people also don't concern themselves much with health or structure, so not a huge impact there. I worry about those only in that I worry about people getting unhealthy puppies. In general, people preferring a different style of dog to mine doesn't concern me.
     
  4. OwnedByBCs

    OwnedByBCs Will Creep For Sheep

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    That happens all the time. At our BC National in 2011, 21 dogs were entered in the Herding Instinct Test, most of them show bred, but about 6 were sport bred. Extremely basic, most people who are really breeding for a herding dog won't even do it because it doesn't tell you much. Anyways, of those 21 dogs, only 11 of them passed. OF those 11, 3 were sport bred, 4 were show bred, and the rest were working bred. That tells you a lot, doesn't it? Some say that the judge was "biased" against show types, but the lady is a show GSD person. Anyways, my point is, it *really* depends on who you go to, but you absolutely can find BCs who don't have a lick of instinct, because its been entirely bred out of them. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some show breeders who do still work their dogs on sheep when they can. They don't work exactly the same, probably from the difference in structure, but they do work and their lines do maintain that instinct. Same for sporter collies.

    I don't know if it is really so horrible, though, that there are these specific types. Personally, I find it exhilarating to watch a sport bred BC doing agility or flyball. Some of those show bred dogs are BEAUTIFUL, and so sweet... they actually pass for "normal" dogs. Now, I will always want dogs who can "do it all", but I know that they're most likely not going to get to the top level of agility or herding or show. To get the best of the best, you have to REALLY breed for it, and I don't really get why so many people have an issue with doing that.
     
  5. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    I think there is some value in keeping breeds around and in a semi- original form. Especially when they're unique or of historical significance.

    Sport can change dogs in ways other than instinct. Look at the racing sled dogs. Many sprint dogs are about half Alaskan Husky, and half Pointer. They make good racing dogs, but they don't preserve a lot of what made the original sled dogs important or even able to live in the Arctic.

    At the same time, the type is being squeezed by the show group with huskies becoming shorter, Malamutes resembling wookies, and so on.

    The job still exists, although its mostly pulling tourists instead of freight, but a lot of people seem to have a hard time finding moderate dogs for that sort of work, or even for camping trips or as working dogs for trappers (a few seem to exist!).

    Its not that splitting into 3 groups (Pretty Dogs, Racing Dogs, and Slow Dogs) is bad, its the pull between the show and race (sport) groups that can wipe out the middle ground. You won't end up with 3 breeds, but two.
     
  6. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    These are my feelings on the subject. I absolutely believe in keeping the working origins of the breed alive. But I believe that many of the working breeders today are doing that.

    Would I buy from a sport BC breeder? Probably not. I really wouldn't even touch the show side of the breed. But does it bother me that much? Not really. I'll still get a great working dog from the working breeders out there. They'll still continue to produce excellent working dogs. And those who enjoy the sport/show side of the breed will still continue to get that type of dog as well.

    I used to think it was a big deal. But I've come to learn that each side will continue to produce dogs they each like. Do I like that such diversity exists for one breed name? Meh, not really. I know I've heard some talk about simply changing the name for the different sides, therefore when you say "Border Collie" you know exactly what they mean. But I don't know that it's a huge deal.
     
  7. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Well but if you eliminate racing and showing what are you left with? The show people are going to go get some other breed, the racing people can't race anymore so they'll take up some other hobby, and there's still just the very tiny niche left for the slower traditional dogs.

    Or you eliminate racing mixes as an option so the racing people just breed the original breeds into the type they want for showing and soon you have the sporter collie equivalent of the husky. Sure it's a purebred husky but now it's quite different from the original...is that any better?

    The problem with breed preservation isn't the dogs being bred to fill new or modified niches IMO...the problem is a decrease in the dogs being bred to fill the old niche because that job is less common/disappearing.
     
  8. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    This! Exactly this! You worded it perfectly.

    I used to be really really opinionated about keeping the breed true to it's roots. If a sighthound couldn't hunt, if a herding breed couldn't herd etc. why would it be bred? But, as I've looked around more I've really started to wonder what the point of keeping a breed the same is other than nostalgia and the handful of people that still need/want a dog for that purpose. I see evolution of needs to be more true to the dogs history of adaption rather than letting a dog go extinct because the need isn't there.

    And I know people still use BC's for herding and other breeds for their original purpose. But those people just aren't in the majority and I would rather people get the right kind of dog/breed for the sport/work/companionship that they need even if that means going in a different direction than they were originally made for.

    ETA: And maybe it's just me but I think it's kinda cool the amount of variety you have to choose form in Border Collies. It sounds like it takes a lot more digging but come on! So many flavors!
     
  9. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    When I was looking, it was hard to find clearances, reasonable contracts and nice dogs all in one package as far as the working lines go. Many working border collie people don't seem to think their dogs need all the testing they 'should' have, which is a shame.

    Kilt is a show border, and I find her sweeter than anything else, not overly soft or shy, but just overall sweet and social, which I like and appreciate. Ticket is friendly, but he was a lot more dog as a pup, nothing bad, just more of a handful at times with different things.

    I'm hoping all works out and they have a nice 'combination' litter that I can work with. I'm sure it'll be looked at funny by some, but so be it, I think they are a nice balance and something in the middle would be just perfect for me.

    It would be nice if more breeders worked outside of their 'thing' but I don't see it always happening, though it is nice to have other lines to go to when you do decide to. I'd hate to see the breed split and not have the option.
     
  10. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    One thing I would like to point out - with the working side of the breed, those dogs are versatile. I do get a little flustered when people say they wished the breed was more 'combo' between the two worlds. Why does it need to be that way? If that's what *you* like, that's cool. But I get a little frustrated when they people say they need a combo to excel. I've seen many working bred BCs go on to excel greatly in the world of sports. They have brains, they have speed, they have agility to move. This is what they were bred for in working, so it carries over when you take them into the world of sports.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't breed a mix of show/sport/working, and I'm not putting down anyone for how they choose to cross lines, breed whatever you'd like. There will be people who appreciate the combination of those 3 worlds. But I feel like you can get a good, solid dog who will excel out of what the breed was original bred for and sometimes it confuses me why people say you have to get a combo of sport/show/working to get a great dog.

    One thing I do find interesting in all these different crosses is the difference in temperament, however.
     
  11. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    I fully intend to get a BC with primarily a herding background. I've played with and run a few in agility and I just love their attitude, their versatility, and their talent both on and off the course. Not to detract from any other type but for me they seem to be the best fit.

    If any of my statements were read as detracting from that then I apologize. And if the proof is in the pudding, well, Mira is from gamekeeping lines, which makes her the dog she is, and she could not be more perfect for me and has already proven herself as a fine and versatile partner.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  12. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    No, Shai, your posts have been nothing but polite and nice! :) As has everyone. It's just reading lately some seem to come off as combo being the only way to excel/be well-rounded. So it seemed appropriate to voice my opinion in this thread.
     
  13. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I hope mine weren't like that either Lizmo! You know how much I like working bred dogs and the versatility that comes with most of them!
     
  14. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Well, the BCs I tend to like most come from herding lines, though I have no intention of ever owning one, if I did, it would probably be from a herding background. However, the one thing that does come as a drawback is that BCs do sometimes have ETS (early takeoff syndrome; a jumping problem which appears to be eyesight related, and inherited). There's no reason for a herding dog not to have this issue, it doesn't affect them in their traditional work. So, if you want to do agility, and you get a herding line dog, you just have to hope that it doesn't have ETS.

    If you get a dog that is from a line of dogs that do agility, you can see how the relatives jump, and have a better idea of whether the dog is likely to have inherited this condition. You can't count on the breeders to breed away from it, but you can at least see what they are producing.
     

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