Smooth Collies bred for work?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by cliffdog, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. cliffdog

    cliffdog New Member

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    First off, let me say I am not interested in getting a collie of any type. I'm not trying to find a breeder. I'm only curious.

    Are there any Smooth Collies who are still bred for work (herding) and not for show? It seems like all Smooth Collies are showdogs and if they do any work it is Agility or Obedience, not the herding work that they were created to do.

    Basically what I am asking is, do you ever see Smooth Collies (or Rough Collies for that matter) at herding trials, or used as actual farm dogs?

    I'd also just like to mention that I sure hope in the future nobody has to ask... "Do working Border Collies still exist?" Sad seeing working breeds reduced to showdogs... (no offense to confo handlers.)
     
  2. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    You know, I generally agree with you, but... "I just said something extremely offensive regarding the sport you participate in, but no offense, conformation handlers." Really? Yeah, I'm sure that won't offend anybody since you added "no offense." lol

    There's a breeder in Europe with Collies (mostly smooth) that do SCH, but I don't know if that fits your definition of "working." I know of many breeders who are primarily show breeders that do some light herding (and yes, they trial) with Collies as well.

    As far as Collies actually working sheep on a daily basis, I couldn't tell you.
     
  3. cliffdog

    cliffdog New Member

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    I don't mean to insult confo handlers because there is nothing inherently wrong with confo showing. It's when you breed dogs for conformation and not work that you mess up breeds... There are loads of great confo handlers who breed dogs based on ability, not just appearances, and to those people, I mean no offense at all.

    SchH is definitely work. I was mostly wondering about herding in particular because I wanted to know if there were an breeders who were keeping the breed true to its origin. But a SchH collie is definitely a cool and interesting thing to hear about.
     
  4. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    I see a lot of working farm Collies around here. Smooth and Rough.

    Its not conformation that ruined dogs, its breeders.
     
  5. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    I'm in agreement with you once again, but that's not how it came off, at least to me.

    To answer your question better, we would need to know where you draw the line between work and sport. SCH is a sport to me. So is Agility - and good agility is very intense and requires a lot of dog. (Like, personally, if I saw Collies that were fast and very drivey in agility, I'd be surprised and impressed, I wouldn't poopoo it as insignificant.)

    I'm not being smart, I'm really just asking what you consider work and what you consider sport? Because you'll find breeders that fall along a gradient, most will probably show but they may place varying importance on performance sports/herding work and the dogs will reflect that.
     
  6. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Yeah... Agility, obedience, sports in general are very challenging and great testers of work ethic, drive, and biddability. Testing herding instinct, no, but elsewise it's a great breed test.

    I have a GF who does show first and foremost with her smooth coats but she also does herding trials occasionally. I forget her kennel name but I'll ask.

    Honestly as a whole I'd be far more concerned about the health of the breed and seemingly extreme lack of health testing than I would be with traditional working dogs.
     
  7. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Logan's breeder does show, but she herds with them too. Most, if not all, of her dogs have herding instinct (I haven't checked each one, but I don't remember see any that didn't). Logan has his HIC and I am DYING to get him into herding trials, I just don't have the money for training right now. Logan's sire has his PT and is a Grand Champion in the conformation ring. Just because a dog does conformation doesn't mean they can't work. You can work and look pretty while doing it ;)

    Logan would like to think he's a working chicken herder :rolleyes: He does actually help when we need him, but poor thing, most of the time he's just left staring at them longingly.

    This is Baby Logan before I got him <3
    [​IMG]


    At the national specialty last year there were a lot of dogs in both herding and conformation, some just in herding, some in herding and another sport, etc. Herding is a big part of collie heritage, so no, not everyone has just forgotten all about it.

    As far as general work, Logan is a working dog, just not a working herder. He's my service dog, and he is wonderful at it.
     
  8. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    If I were going to get another Collie I'd look very much at importing one from this breeder (the same breeder Emily mentioned): http://www.youtube.com/user/nirreterrit

    That said, Emily is right in saying it depends on what you call "work" and what you call "sport". There are not really working lines of Smooth Collies the way there are working lines of BCs or Aussies or GSDs but ability and drive can vary a lot from breeder to breeder.
     
  9. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Very much this. There isn't a huge split at all. The biggest split is more "pet" and "not pet" but even at that, the conformation/sport/work/herding dogs still make great pets. So maybe the split is more "BYB" and "responsible breeder". BYB collies tend to be pretty ugly IMO (long, arched noses, floppy ears, horrible bite, teeeeeeny tiny eyes), but at the same time, smoothies are not that common in BYBs, not nearly as common as roughs.
     
  10. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    ^^^^What I was going to say.

    One thing collies are known for (and what drew me personally to the breed) is versitility. The same dog can win a conformation show the same weekend as he Qs at an agility or flyball trial, the same weekend he Qs at a herding trial; then goes home and works as a service or guide dog. :D The breed is not split into specialities like some breeds are (conformation-bred versus sport-bred versus working-bred). Now, is the collie always going to beat the border collie at herding? Or beat the golden retriever in obedience? Not necessarily. But they'll do the job well anyway.

    Also I think collies are still commonly used as working farm dogs in Europe. European collies look very different, IMO, from American collies, it'd be interesting to see how their temperaments match up.
     
  11. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Logan's sire is straight out of Shadaglen collies, which are a working collie kennel. Bonnie has herds of sheep, and her dogs work them. She didn't get the sheep as a "hobby" for her dogs, she's always had both and the two have coexisted together forever. She was also heavily into tracking with her dogs, and hosted a lot of tracking trials at her place. That's how Logan's breeder got into collies, as initially she was looking for a good SAR prospect and ended up with Logan's uncle.

    Sadly, she just bred her last litter. She's getting a lot older and all that comes with it.
     
  12. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Awww, that's sad. Shadaglen was one of the breeders Mel recommended if Logan didn't suit me. I've also sent other people to check for dogs there when other breeders don't have any available. If Loki is any indication of what her dogs are like, she has some FANTASTIC dogs.
     
  13. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    http://www.foggybaycollies.com/Performance-Stars.html

    This breeder, in the bay area, ALWAYS has her dogs in herding classes & trials around here. There's also a great breeder close to me who has a farm so her dogs work daily. :) Both breeders have CH and herding and sport titles on their dogs! That's the ideal. I wish Border Collies could be as balanced as Collies, in maintaining good confo as well as working ability. Instead, there are breeders with watered down show dogs and breeders with working dogs who refuse to show in any way. So I get your statement about how it's sad to think that someday you might be asking if there are any working BC breeders anymore. Very sad.

    Collies have been maintained remarkably well, as a breed! It's AMAZING how identical the show Collies of today look to foundation dogs from 100 years ago. Identical. Their friendly, eager to please, farm dog personality has also been maintained. It's a great breed with a lot of wonderful breeders preserving it. I definitely want a Collie. I've never met a bad one.
     
  14. BlackPuppy

    BlackPuppy Owned by Belgians

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    :thumbup:

    If you look hard enough, you will find them. And sometimes a conformation dog can herd. I have a Malinois who is a natural herder. I just wish I had some sheep for her.
     
  15. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Logan's sire, straight out of the Shadaglen working kennel, won Best in Specialty finishing his grand championship and winning an award of merit from the CCA all at once. Collies that came from those lines tend to have really great movement, and if the judge happens to be a movement person they'll forgive a head fault or two in favor of a very well put together dog.

    People were flabbergasted. lol. He's a super nice dog with CHs in his pedigree, but nobody expected a conformation specialty winner. lol. His breeder was soooo excited and proud.
     
  16. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    It's been a while since I saw Loki in motion, but I could watch Logan trot all day. I've only done one conformation show with him so far (3 or 4 more coming in November though!), but the judge was absolutely smitten with him. He's also oozing charisma, so that doesn't hurt either :rofl1:
     
  17. Spiritwind

    Spiritwind New Member

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    not sure I totally agree with this. Well the part about commonly used as working farm dogs. (they absolutely look much different, especially the roughs) I talk to a lot of Collie people from Europe. I would say more people in North America work their collies, than in Europe. However, in Europe Smooths are worked FAR more than Roughs. The roughs over there, most could hardly trot across a yard, much less do any real work. Smooths are much more common in North America though, there are some places in Europe were smooths are very rare with only a handful of litters registered a year.

    I just purchased a 4 month old rough tri collie girl, whose pedigree is almost all Deep River bred. Her dam is getting ready to start agility training, and her mother (my pups grandmother) has several herding titles and a couple other working titles..
     
  18. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    The conformation breeders aren't always to blame though. With borders, there's a lot of stock dog breeders who do not health test at all, have dogs with questionable temperaments and poor conformation. Hip displasia isn't as rare as they'd like people to think either, a friend said there were a few dogs running in a trial she watched that bunnyhopped etc. so you have to wonder.

    I would not be able to contact any local stock dog breeders and ask them about stud dogs, health clearances and would likely get shot if I asked to look at the dog's conformation. So it becomes a choice of conformation dog with health, or working dog with no clue what's there....

    There are more dogs in the states at least, but I chose conformation and health over herding ability and who knows...
     
  19. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Most breeds end up being show/performance/pet bred at least in part because there is no longer a need for them in actual working situations. Or not enough to maintain a healthy gene pool of working only dogs. As a breed Smooth/Rough Collies were developed over a century ago as primarily show and companion dogs. And they tend to make pretty outstanding companion dogs. There's nothing wrong with there not being "working bred" Collies the way there are BCs or Aussies. It is what it is. If you can't find what you are looking for in the breed, there's lots of other breeds out there.

    In modern times, some breeders have taken the show aspect to an extreme and some have aimed to maintain dogs who had good type, structure and ability. I'm not sure there are stil what people call "farm collies" which are registered with AKC from pure Collie lines. There were in the 80s and maybe into the 90s but I've not seen or heard on one since. Every one I had seen was Rough but nowhere near as hairy as a show bred Rough. More like a working Aussie. Looking at historical pictures, show Collies certainly have changed a great deal in the past 100 years, like many breeds have. What I seen in he ring here has changed since I had my Collie in the 90s. Much more hair on the Roughs for sure!

    Just like any breed, a lot depends on where you look and what you personally want in a dog.
     
  20. cliffdog

    cliffdog New Member

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    Thanks for all the information, folks! Sorry I kind of forgot about this thread. But I appreciate the responses nonetheless. Lots to think about.
     

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