Zip Tie

Discussion in 'Dog Pictures and Pet Photos' started by SaraB, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    I have to agree with this.

    In the BC world, scouting for a working breeder isn't too difficult. However, it's hard to find a working breeder that will work with you on selling a dog to a sport or active companion home. At least when dealing with the ranchers. I can name 5 or 6 breeders off the top of my head that refused me because I was not a farm home. These are people who are highly respected members of the CBCA and highly regarded at trials. These breeders tend to send pups to one another (and other ranchers) instead of outward to sport/pet homes. It's a very inward process.

    Finn's breeder, who many here know is also well-regarded in the herding world, trials heavily year-round and has a small flock of sheep at her country home for practice. She does not have a full ranch, just a small barn and flock of sheep for her dogs. Despite this, she is considered a working breeder because her dogs herd and don't do sports. Theoretically though, she trials all year and has only a "practice field" at home. How then, is she not considered a sport breeder? Many working BC breeders have the same setups as her as opposed to an actual ranch. Like her, they want to preserve the instincts and abilities that the breed they love has been bred for. It's a bit amusing really, because while yes, they're doing what they were bred for, it's still a sport, with few exceptions.

    That said, I do agree with Lizmo that a herding instinct test is a bit of a joke TBH. Finn got his HCT in his second visit to our trainer at seven months. It's only figuring out if your dog has that Light Bulb, not the ins and outs of their herding style and how good or bad they are at the various aspects.

    It's entirely up to you guys, of course, if you want to train your dogs in herding or not - it's not a sport for everyone, no sport is - but I think at least trialing them to a degree in herding would be a good move, both for proving your dogs and for showing yourselves as being invested in your breed's history (which we all know you are, I mean more to the public face.)
     
  2. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    I think even if it's just the two of you, starting something is better than hoping someone else starts something you can live with. I look at the doodle club website, they go on and on about health testing, but then their breeders listing it's OPTIONAL to do them! Do you really want something like that? It doesn't have to be a club with catty crap, it can be you two and 'like it or leave it' for most things. I'm part of a very small group, same thing, big odds against us and there's been some snarking but overall it's been really neat to see things work out and ideas come forward.

    I agree with getting a standard and learning about conformation. With the goldens there are a whole line of obedience goldens out there, nice, flashy, hot dogs, but many with shoulder/elbow issues, surgeries to repair puppies and so on. The straight shoulder they like for the flashy heelwork apparently means they break down, many don't do agility with their dogs because of concerns and they are 'sport' goldens. So knowing conformation and getting a standard, much as you may not like it, will help direct things in the long run.

    With my border collies, I hope to get them on stock, Ticket has been so not worried but interested to see what Kilt thinks of it. Not that I have time to do much but mucking around and having that information is important to me too. At the same time I can't see selling to any of the stock dog handlers that would do a lot of herding, simply because I don't want one of my dogs living in a kennel situation or chained, and that's the norm along with breeding with no clearances and often. I may consider sending a pup down the road for more training and maybe trialing, I'll see. Ticket's dad's owner did this and I'd be comfortable with him, but he's now in the US.

    If not conformation, then putting some sort of other qualifications in place perhaps, like a herding test..... just ideas.

    I'm in the same boat building a breeding program and contracts and such so feel free to bug me too.
     
  3. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Also I think it's important to keep things in perspective. All breeds are constantly changing due to the people involved, needs, culture and ideas. In most breeds, there are lines that excel at some things but not others. I think it was mentioned that the work Koolies are needed for varies a great deal, so I suspect many breeders already have their own idea of what a great example of a Koolie is. Perhaps this person needs a dog who excels at working in tight spaces while another needs a dog who's better working sheep out in the open. Even if Koolies in the US are never bred for herding and many generations from now, US Koolies are only so-so in the herding department it isn't going to have a great impact on the breed as a whole. I doubt Australian ranchers are going to be bringing in US bred Koolies and I suspect the population there will remain largely working bred unless or until there is no need for them for work. In the US, the breed is more likely going to be known and proven for their ability as sport dogs than herding. If that would ruin the breed, there probably isn't a place for the breed in the US. I just don't see a ton of real working dog people suddenly developing a strong Koolie-want and spending the money to import dogs most in this country know little about to give them a try as real working dogs.

    From a purist and idealist stand point, I totally understand the idea that you shouldn't be involved in breeding a working breed if you don't have a need for the work. From a practical standpoint though, there are so many breeds and dogs and so relatively little need for real work for these dogs to be proven in. And so many new, modern "jobs" for these dogs to excel at. If people love a breed, should they have to settle on something else because they don't have a "need" for that breed? Or keep them only as pets bought from working bred parents? Should these working dogs never be sold to sport homes for fear that sport people might like them and want them for purposes other than work? It's easy to be a purist from the sidelines but it's hard when you're involved. With my own breed, should my breeding dogs be able to herd? Of course they should! I know they have the instinct but beyond that, they've admittedly not been tested. What I do know though is that they are capable agility, obedience, lure coursing and trick dogs who have fun dabbling in flyball, scentwork or what ever else I try with them. I know they are versatile and for me, that sort of versatility is ideal and very in line with the character of the breed.
     
  4. Airn

    Airn New Member

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    I am not a breeder. I do not know much about titling, health testing and all that jazz, so my posts may mean nothing to you, but I'll say it anyway.

    I feel you two are already doing great things by constantly learning about the breed. You CARE. You actually CARE about the dogs and the breed. You listen to what people tell you. You are already steps ahead of many breeders. That is a huge accomplishment, in my eyes. I don't care if your dogs herd sheep or compete in flyball, although I know people purchasing them probably will. You want to do as much as possible with the breed and that is admirable, but as you and others have stated, you can't do everything. People are always going to find something wrong with the way you do things. If herding isn't as important to you as...something else (my lack of knowledge is obvious here) then don't focus on it. People might complain about that.

    I could very well be wrong, but I would think you aren't wanting to market towards ranchers. It seems that the rancher niche is pretty well filled. Training in herding (other than to prove that the dog has the ability to herd) might not be worth it.

    (I would love for Gwen to get some experience herding, and even though I live in the south with plenty of livestock, farmers don't really want untrained, random dogs around their animals. Hard to blame them. So I can see how training herding can be difficult. Not to mention the amount of time it would take.)

    Feel free to educate me (anyone, really) if I'm horribly wrong on any of this. I admit I don't know much, but I thought it might be interesting to know what a newbie thinks about all of this. I wish you both good luck. You have definitely piqued my interest in Koolies. I like (so far) where you're headed. (Still partial to your crazy black and white merle thing. :D I'm also curious as to how/if/in what ways they're similar to Kelpies.)
     
  5. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Sums up most of my thoughts, so I'll just quote you Beanie!

    This line of topic does bring up questions in my mind, though. And I'm not pointing out anyone with these questions, just my thoughts from reading the past few posts. If you have a dog that was bred for herding abilities, then you go on to breed said dog, without ever *trying* these herding abilities out, what is your goal in breeding? It would have to be some other sport, right? Because if you say the dog being bred comes from working parents, but you don't put the time into shaping the natural ability that's there, isn't that a pretty big gamble on how the pups will turn out, working wise? I mean, the parents of said dog being bred could be stellar, but that dog could posses very little natural ability, and therefore pass it on to his/her pups. That's quite a gamble, if you ask me.


    On the subject of having time/place to work, I don't think Sara or Linds have to go out and buy a farm tomorrow. :p Even working once a week, you still learn alot out your dog and their abilities. And you don't have to train like you're training to trial. I know the places I have worked before my trainers are always giving advice about how different things apply to daily work. Someone mentioned when you don't own stock, it takes the dog time to settle down when they first arrive for each lesson. IMO and IME, that's just a matter of training and making the dog feel at ease when in that situation. The more the dog learns, the more confident he/she will become.

    Another option is always sending the dog off to training for a month or two. The dog works daily, and gets a solid foundation from an experienced handler.
     
  6. -bogart-

    -bogart- Member of WHODAT Nation.

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    What are you two looking for the breed to look like? I love how your three look alike.
    I know ya said the lines will be close so they should all look alike. But is this look the look
    You are going for? Color aside , I mean head piece and there structure look very simimiar.
    Curious is all, because I like a good looking dog. Lol
     
  7. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    IMO yes and no. The truth is that breeding is not as simple as saying "this dog has it and therefore the pups will have it" or "this dog doesn't have it therefore the pups won't have it either." Breeding is always a gamble. It's the job of a breeder to stack the deck as much as possible, find dogs who compliment where another dog is weak, so on and so forth - but as much as we try to play God, we are not, and things still happen. And of course where the breeder chooses to stack the deck will depend on their breed issues and their individual breeding program.
    I would not necessarily say breeding a healthy dog of lineage from working dogs who excels in sports and yet has never been tested is a high gamble of not being able to pass on instinct. Hypothetically, if I had two bitches who were equally great matches for Payton except one plays on her hobby farm every day, has her HSAs, et cetera et cetera, and the other has never even seen sheep, would I pick the farm dog? Oh yes. But my pool to fish from is larger.
    If we replace "proven herding ability" with "health testing" that flips the situation around to the other issue being dealt with in koolies here. Hypothetically again, let's say there are two potential male mates for Zing, one being Zip and the other being a ranch dog back from AU. For our hypothetical let's say Zip has been in a pen with sheep and turned on but that's the only measurement of his ability anybody has ever seen. However he's a stellar sport dog and displays a lot of drive in various other ways, his health tests have all come back the best possible results, and of course he's really really ridiculously good looking. Our ranch dog in AU is identical in all ways (though he has never seen an agility course or played any other sport), is an equally good match from a structural standpoint, tears it up on the ranch, BUT he has no health testing whatsoever and the breeder doesn't want to bother with the health testing, so it's take it or leave it.
    You are making a gamble either way.
    So which dog do you pick?
    And even though you may have one answer, other people might have the opposite. And is either answer really wrong? Not IMO. It's simply a matter of different goals and stacking the deck in a different location.


    I think that's what Sara and Linds are looking at here. How do they stack the deck appropriately, WHERE are they stacking the deck? Their breeding program (if you can even call it that yet!) is in it's infant stages so these are all things they are still discovering and deciding. Not much different than what many breeders go through. Koolies have their own unique challenges and many other breeds do as well. Some breeds in the US are so afflicted with health problems people choose to breed the LEAST afflicted dogs possible because finding an entirely unafflicted dog is ridiculously hard if not impossible... we should all be celebrating there is no such overwhelming mountain to climb in koolies, because otherwise this story would just make me sad instead of excited to look at the cute photo of Zip smiling haha.
     
  8. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I'm just quoting myself again to reiterate I really wasn't talking about just getting a herding instinct test done. I would like it to be lessons, more exposure and enough to get a real feel. Believe me, I know a HCT is pretty much nothing in the sense of any kind of working ability.

    This is what gets me. I don't consider it anything but sport really and a sport Koolies were NOT bred for. I've heard time and time again from people in Australia that a lot of Koolies just don't rock the stock dog trial world.

    Once a week would be a dream, one that just isn't going to happen at this time unless things change drastically. I've yet to be able to find someone I trust who is willing to work with a dog that not only isn't a Border Collie but also a breed they don't know anything about. A clinic once or twice a year at a place a few hours away is so far been the best I've found. I just don't have the time or money to dedicate what it takes for it. And I'm not willing to send my dogs off to be trained.

    Believe me, I get where you are coming from and I understand it completely. But I'm also trying to be realistic about what I will be able to do while still having a life, job and training in other sports. Maybe if I'm lucky one day I'll live closer to a place to train or live on my dream ranch with my sporter working Koolies.

    And maybe one day we'll be in a position to import a breeding pair who have proven themselves on stock already in Australia.

    A lot to be fleshed out and I'm in my head a lot trying to figure out what to do.

    Thank you a ton! I'm glad you see it that way!

    And yes, you are pretty spot on in all that you said about the herding, in my opinion.

    ETA: Nice post Beanie and you really did capture the inner struggle perfectly!

    I love you guys on Chaz, and I love that this thread has been so civil with great points to think about being brought up!
     
  9. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Is there such a thing in herding breeds as dogs that are both successful herding trial dogs and successful at "real life" ranch type work, does it tend to be one or the other?
     
  10. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    In the BC world, it can very much be both. A good number of everyday ranchers also trial heavily and title.
     
  11. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    My girlfriend has a great little girl from a ranch in Utah that both works and trials their BCs.
     
  12. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I don't know...... Purpose is so subjective. I bought a gun dog from a breeder who doesn't work her dogs... She shows. The sire on the other hand still goes on hunts to this day (and he was a show champion). I PURPOSEFULLY chose a breeder who showed and didn't work, as I didn't want my first gsp to be the last.

    But in a breed were there are many breeders to choose from, that is ok. I think if gsp were rare, I'd probably have a very different opinion on that. It's a tough one to call on purpose. No winners.
     
  13. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    One thing to consider, proven working bred to proven working (and from a pedigree solid of working dogs) only increases the odds that the offspring will be suitable working dogs. How breeders culls the non working suitable pups depends on where they are, what is normal in their world for culling and the availablity of prospective owners that WANT what the breeder deems to be a cull i.e pet, non showing, non working or sport homes.
     
  14. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    Im really loving this thread. When i joined this forum, im sure many of you remember, i was dead set on koolie. However, after doing some research and learing a little bit more about the kooloe community i was really turned off. In addition, aan ACD breeding came up that i really like the lines of. But it is still a breed that i adore and would love to own one day. I am not interested in sports at all. I want a working dog. Ive researched A TON on herding styles and all that good stuff. There are a few people out west, including my ACD breeder, who i hope to go out and work my dogs with them on their ranch when they move their cattle for the summer/slaughter. Plus i plan to have cattle and ducks as well to work my dgs on regularly. However, my working style will be quite different drom those who trial. I will be quite hands off let the dog do their thing. Point is, if you need a co own who herding is their life, you found it. Plus im in MI so not too far away.
     
  15. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    This. Herding or no.. you guys are doing great by this breed and already on well on your way to doing great things IMO

    If herding isn't important to you and isn't what you want to focus on your breeding program then don't do it.
    The surest way to fail is to try and please everyone. Do what you love with the dogs you love and do it responsibly and the rest will work itself out.
     
  16. NinaB

    NinaB New Member

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    He is soooooo cute!
     
  17. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    Linds -- vocal was meant *not* in a bad way :rofl1: I have always admired your attitude because it closely mirrored mine and my reasons for not neutering my dog. After being given so much freedom of choice with Spy's health I think I will have a hard time going to a breeder who forces me to alter a dog at a certain age because it just doesn't sit well with me.

    I was just very surprised to hear that you guys were thinking of implementing that, so thanks for shedding some light :)
     
  18. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I don't think anyone (or at least me) was trying to attack or say you HAD to work a herding breed in stockwork to breed. I specifically said I am fine with sports breeding and to be honest I am looking for a breeder that breeds versatile dogs, breeds for health, and proper working temperament. I will honestly probably always be going for the 'all arounder' type breeder. I just know that Linds and Sara too have talked a lot about the breed being a working breed and was wondering more about the logistics of it all. It wasn't meant to read that they were doing it WRONG.
     
  19. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I at all don't feel attacked in anyway by these questions. In fact, we encouraged them!

    As I've stated before, I will do more than just a HCT, however, I don't understand enough about herding trials to promise anything down that path yet. The instructor we work with has kelpies as well as BC's and she encouraged me to look at herding trials for Zinga. When we get back to doing our lessons in the spring time, I will still view that as an option. However, agility and disc are still going to be my main priority. I purposely got both of my current dogs as performance dogs so it doesn't make sense to not make it my priority for any future dogs I might have.

    That is also the reason why I chose to go with Linds' breeder. I know his dogs succeed to the level I need for agility, I know they have the drive I desire and I know they were everything I was looking for. It's also why I chose to stick with the Zing/Didgie's litter, even though it would have been smarter for a breeding plan to go with a different one.

    I am beyond thrilled with the drive shown in Zinga so far. I plan on preserving that for future generations: drivey, confident dogs that are a blast to work with, no matter the activity. That is my breeding goal.
     
  20. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Hadn't thought of it that way - great perspective, thanks!

    I, too, didn't think any of this as pushing you guys in one direction or another. I thought this has been a great discussion about the breed/direction you might take here in the states. And of course, ultimately it's completely up to you two!
     

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