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Eileen Stein

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  1. Yes, I did. What specifically did you find on that site that you think contradicts the statement that these Dobermans are albinos? I accept that you may have been chastised for using the term, but that doesn't mean the people who chastised you were right.
  2. http://www.geocities.com/~amazondoc/albinism/
  3. I agree with Bill. I have no problem with border collies participating in any dogsport, so long as they are not being BRED for that sport. Flyball doesn't seem to me to encourage or make use of the potential a border collie has to offer as much as, say, agility or tracking. A sport that tends to make the dogs that frantic and noisy wouldn't be my choice, but that's just a matter of personal taste. The people and dogs who do it certainly appear to be having a lot of fun, which is good, and I don't see any harm in it.
  4. There's no absolutely certain way to identify a white-factored dog by looking at it; unless you know one of its parents was a non-merle white dog (in which case it is necessarily white-factored) the only foolproof way to know it's white-factored is by its offspring. Dogs with white going up the front of the hind leg past the stifle and dogs with white patches on the back can be safely assumed to be white-factored. Dogs without these signs probably are not white-factored, but it's not a sure thing.
  5. > Well, I don't know that I'd jump to that conclusion. It may be just that it's very much in the interest of your vet and that supplier that you buy through them, and this story provides an incentive. I get my Frontline from my vet; it says "Made in France" on it. I get my Cosequin on the Internet (because my vet charges double for the same thing, and while I'd go $10 or maybe even $20 more to support him, I won't go $50 more). It doesn't specifically say where it's made(though it bears a Maryland address), but the jar is identical to the one I used to buy from my vet, right down to the "Available only from your veterinarian" on the label. From what I know in general about the grey market, the issue is usually distribution rights rather than quality. The brand name manufacturer has sold exclusive distribution rights in the US to somebody, and the grey market importer is circumventing that. The manufacturer doesn't like it, and the licensed distributor and its middleman customers certainly don't like it, but AFAIK it's not illegal. Naturally the manufacturer won't stand behind the product, but really, how much does that count for anyway? If your dog got fleas or heartworm or arthritis, as a practical matter what recourse would you expect to have? Of course, it might be true that these products are inferior -- I have no direct knowledge one way or the other -- but I don't think I'd accept it as true on the word of a vet who naturally wants people to buy from him at a higher price.
  6. http://www.flash.net/~dby/colordisease.htm >> White color in border collies is a subject that has interested me for years, and I track down everything I can find relating to it. Most of the assertions and assumptions I come across seem to have very little support, either in the literature or in verifiable anecdote, even when they appear scholarly, as this article does. Lumping together all kinds of "Problems Associated with Predominately White Dogs" without much effort to differentiate among the various causes of whiteness really drives me up the wall. (No offense, Melanie. ) A good example is problem #17 in the article: "17. Sterility & reduced fertility. Increased incidence in mostly white pups. Quite obviously lowered reproductive success is generally expected with a bitch who cannot hear (or see) her whelps, and a deaf or blind stud dog presents obvious challenges of management as well." Really, what are we supposed to make of that? Is the reduced fertility only in deaf/blind dogs, and only listed here because white double-merle pups can be deaf/blind? Are West Highland White Terriers less fertile than black Labs? Is their hearing/vision deficient by comparison? What exactly is the relationship to whiteness? The bottom line I've come up with is this. In border collies, there is no credible evidence of increased deafness (or blindness) in dogs carrying the "white-factored" (sw) allele -- i.e., white-factored dogs, or white dogs (sw, sw) produced by breeding white-factored dogs together. This type of white dog typically has some color on its head and perhaps a little bit at the base of the tail or elsewhere on the body. White on the head appears to be controlled by a different gene or combination of genes than body white, and I know of no credible evidence either way dealing with deafness in white-faced border collies. There IS proven deafness in white border collies born from a breeding between two merles. Merles are not that uncommon in border collies, and there are several breeders I know of who breed for merle coloring (and probably many more I don't know of), so HKM's Mom's deaf dog could well be a white offspring of a double merle breeding. I think that's by far the most likely, based on the description given, although albinism (which is rare but not unknown in dogs) would also be a possibility. Albino doberman pinschers have blue eyes, so I assume the same could be true for an albino border collie. For those who are interested, a good basic website for canine color genetics IMO is http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/Genetics/ColorGen.html A good basic comparison of double-white-factored white and double-merle white (in shelties, but the same holds true for border collies and collies) can be found at http://www.nakshatras.net/white_right.htm
  7. HKM's Mom: What color is his nose leather? What color are the rims around his eyes?
  8. I wouldn't be at all concerned about producing lethal white pups if your white BC is a product of two white-factored, non-merle parents. However, if you have a personal preference against producing predominantly white pups, you would be well advised not to breed to a white-factored stud. Certainly there are plenty of good working studs who are not white-factored, as well as plenty who are.
  9. It did. However, her run in the qualifying round was pretty amazing too. She had a few points off the outrun and lift and then a disastrous 19 off the fetch. At that point she must have decided she couldn't risk losing any more points at all if she wanted to make the semifinal. So she didn't -- nothing off the drive, pen or shed! I don't think anyone else equaled that. In her final, double-lift run, she'd have had the high score if she hadn't missed the drive gate, and it looked to this observer as if she had the drive gate in her pocket, except that she was trying too hard for a really tight turn, and so flanked Pippa just a little too far to the left before the sheep went through so she'd be in a good position to stop and turn them immediately after they went through. That little extra flank was enough to make them slide past the panel on the inside, and that was that. But she pulled off a beautiful international shed and a good pen to make for plenty of excitement right down to the wire.
  10. It was Francis Raley, Barb Ross and Tolli Nelson, who worked tirelessly and did a terrific job both onsite and getting results to the people back home, via Kate Ogle who oversees the USBCHA website. They are a fabulous team!
  11. In any breed, a merle bred to a merle will produce some pups (1/4 of those born, statistically) who are mostly white or all white and who are deaf and may have vision problems as well. These merle-to-merle breedings can occur accidentally, or because the breeder didn't know about this genetic phenomenon, or because one of the parents was not recognized as a merle (there are so-called "hidden merles" who have merling on only a small part of their body, but still of course carry the merle gene). Because merles are so much more common among Australian Shepherds (and desirable for the show ring), the odds of a lethal white puppy are far higher in that breed than in the border collie. Indeed, I have heard that some Aussie breeders, like some Sheltie breeders, will deliberately breed a merle to a merle because the merle coloration is more crystalline and beautiful in the "normal" (non-white) puppies resulting from such a breeding. But even though white offspring of merle-to-merle breedings are rare in border collies, they can still occur. These "lethal white" border collies should not be confused with BCs who are white because they are the offspring of two white-factored dogs, and who are no more likely to be deaf than any other dog.
  12. Amen. Working ability is not one discrete thing. It's composed of many interrelated things, including structure and temperament--but not structure in the abstract and temperament in the abstract. Without the practical test of the work situation, ideas of "correct structure" become more and more theoretical, and less and less correlated with actual working ability. There is no way to validate them except by putting them to the working test. I wonder if what this person was saying could just be a matter of semantics--perhaps he's using the term "working ability" to mean basic instinct, rather than as all the qualities that a dog must have to be a useful worker? If that's not it, I wonder how he would go about breeding for structure apart from working ability.
  13. > I've never heard THIS, but it's definitely true that a bitch who is not suitable for trials will be bred because she throws good pups. Working ability is a complex of many interrelated traits, and a bitch/dog who lacks one may still contribute others to her/his offspring. I know of bitches who are not biddable enough to succeed at trials, for example -- not good at fussy, precise work -- but who will walk straight onto their sheep and take charge in any circumstances, and who will produce terrific trial dogs if bred to the right stud. (The same is no doubt true of dogs, but it's the bitches that come to mind right now.) To go off on a bit of a tangent here, this brings up one of the biggest problems I have with the BCSA approach to "preserving herding ability." From the start, they wanted to set up a criterion for breeding--some credential that would determine whether a border collie should be bred or not. The one they settled on--passing a herding instinct test--is obviously worthless, but the real problem is that the concept itself is faulty. Even if the credential chosen were winning an open trial, it would still be a bad idea. Knowledgeable breeders of working dogs use their KNOWLEDGE to determine who should be bred--knowledge of all the elements of working ability, working style, strengths and weaknesses, pedigrees, accomplishments and characteristics of related dogs, ways that certain lines have combined in the past, stockmen's needs, etc. People who have this knowledge can evaluate breeding candidates directly for themselves, including farm and ranch dogs who don't trial and even dogs who have been unsuccessful at trialing. They don't need to rely on checklist criteria. But unfortunately there is no substitute for this kind of knowledge. Long live the people who have it--our breed depends upon them.
  14. Like Bill I'm a believer in feeding adult dog food by the time a pup is the age of yours. I think the puppy foods stimulate too rapid growth, which is hard on developing bones and joints. The large breed puppy foods are better than the all breed puppy foods, just because manufacturers have begun to respond to this problem for the big breeds (which have the most joint problems), but I'm happy to see my pups growing more slowly on adult food. But if you check the earlier discussions we've had about food on these boards, you'll find that people have all different opinions, and have had pups who thrived on every type of feeding regimen. I'm glad your pup is doing well, and I hope all her HOD problems are over.
  15. Sorry to hear about your pup, but I appreciate your posting this, since I have never heard of HOD in a border collie before. I'm sure your vet has told you to discontinue the vitamin supplement? Overnutrition and vitamin/mineral supplementation, especially calcium, are suspected as contributing to HOD. Good luck!
  16. > I can't take offense at this, because I'm the perfect example of what Charlie is warning about. Eighteen years ago I was an attorney, living with my husband and a sweet old retriever mix in a close-in suburb of Washington, D.C., in a house I thought would be our home for the rest of our lives. Then one day I went to a sheepdog trial. Now I live in the sticks, have 30 acres, a flock of sheep, and five border collies, and do so little lawyering most people would say I was retired. I'm a night person who went into law because I was under the (false) impression that lawyers don't have to start work til 10:00 a.m. Now the trials I'm involved in generally "start at daybreak." And--get this--lawyering was much easier and I was good at it! Still have the same husband, though . . . bless his heart.
  17. Welcome, Cheri! USBCHA trials are open to any dog, regardless of pedigree, registration or lack thereof. Most competing dogs have only one name, usually a short one like Rob. It will take time and training for you and Rob to get the hang of this, but once you feel confident about walking to the post you can enter. For a list of USBCHA trials that is frequently updated, go to http://www.usbcha.com/upcomingtrials.htm
  18. I can't imagine anyone being prejudiced against a dog because it's pretty. Never encountered that. Just because I'm opposed to formalizing and ritualizing the idea of prettiness, developing a description of what's pretty and what isn't, and judging and breeding dogs based on that prettiness standard, doesn't mean I'm not sincere when I say to someone (as I often do) "What a pretty dog!" I'm not doubting you -- I'm just saying I've never run into anyone commenting disapprovingly on a dog's being pretty. I have one dog who looks like a show dog, and people who know me well sometimes tease me about it, but that's different. BTW, I've found a lot of border collies have that ability to magically become spotless within a couple of hours of a mud coating -- lying down dirty and rising up clean. It's a great quality!
  19. Margaret, Robin and I know each other, we've talked about this subject for years. For a lot of that time we've disagreed, but I don't think Robin holds any animus toward me, and I certainly don't hold any toward her. The only person trying to foment bloodshed seems to be you, and it's really getting tedious. I think you're going to be disappointed in us border collie folks; we're not as vicious as you seem to be hoping.
  20. As far as I know, AKC has never permanently accepted registrations from any US registry that does not reciprocate and cooperate with it in verifying pedigrees, etc. I hope that's going to protect us from being recognized as a "foreign registry" (I don't think that's the exact term they use, but I can't remember what is, and I'm too lazy to look it up right now.) We're still looking into some of the earlier suggestions about excluding pedigree information from the registration certificates, and so forth, trying to determine if there's a way we could influence AKC registerability from our end. If so, that could certainly shift the equation you're concerned about.
  21. Robin, I started out to answer you and then decided we ARE just plowing old ground. You've made these points before, and I've answered them, and you've answered my answer. So I'll give it a rest, except to say that I think by taking this action we WOULD be supporting the breeders who are making the right choices and helping them continue to do so, which I agree with you is an important thing to do. On the subject of wanting to see the studbooks closed -- if I'm not mistaken, you're good friends with the BCSA person who has spearheaded the effort to keep the AKC studbook open. Is there any chance, in your opinion, that the BCSA might be persuaded to just let the studbook close? Is there any point in our making efforts in that direction? I have always assumed there was not, but maybe the situation has changed? I enjoyed seeing you at the trial last weekend too. It was a pleasure to get away from all this for a little while, and enjoy some good dogs.
  22. > Strong arm tactics? Why is it strong arm tactics to propose a course of action that will protect the breed against a widely-perceived danger, and to adopt that course of action if it has widespread support within the registry? The overwhelming majority of good working breeders strongly opposed AKC recognition of the border collie. Why did they oppose it? Because they thought AKC involvement represented a danger to the breed. If they recognized that danger then, there's no reason to think they don't recognize it now. If they recognize the danger, why wouldn't they want their registry to take action to discourage AKC registration and preserve the integrity of the working breed by enforcing its rule against registering the offspring of AKC dogs, when the open registration period is dragging on and on beyond what anyone expected? The registry is representing their expressed interests. There may be vocal (mostly in private, I guess) opponents of this course of action, but that doesn't mean the vast majority of the membership -- and the vast majority of the good working breeder members -- don't support it. And if they don't, they can elect a board of directors that will change the policy in the future, because ABCA is a member-owned registry which elects its directors. That is not true of the NASDS, where there are no elections and no voice in management for those who register. > Yes, ABCA does accept NASDS registered dogs and their offspring, so this would represent no split in the gene pool. The only consequence would be that that dog would not be eligible for the prize money that ABCA awards to ABCA-registered dogs. > If the NASDS registered dog is also AKC registered, under the future ban or the NB its offspring would not be registerable (except by ROM) with the ABCA unless it had been registered with AKC before the grandfathering date. Same as if the dog was ABCA registered. > Same as they would if the dog were ABCA registered -- by requiring a statement on the application for registration that the dog is not registered with the AKC, and if the application is for a pup, that its sire and dam either are not registered with the AKC or were registered before the grandfathering date. I'm puzzled at this perception that the ABCA is trying to railroad a policy that the members oppose. I hear very, very few members saying that they approve of AKC registration, and even fewer saying that dogs who go the AKC route should be bred and their offspring included in our studbook. I'm really sorry and discouraged if this is beginning to be portrayed as strong arming anyone. I would have thought the invitation for membership comment would have made it clear to everyone that the Board is genuinely interested in learning how the membership feels and what they want. Why aren't these people who are apparently complaining of strong arm tactics speaking up and voicing their opinion about the issue itself? I would love to hear about the merits of the proposals from more than the same old people -- including me.
  23. > The point is not to hurt AKC, as I'm sure you realize. The point is to prevent insofar as possible intermingling between the traditional breed defined by work and the AKC breed defined by appearance. AKC's closing their studbooks would do this most effectively, but we cannot make them do so. We can make closure more likely, though, by discouraging AKC registration. When the AKC extended the open registration period the last time, they did so (according to their Board minutes) with the following proviso: "The Parent Club was to be advised that no further extension would be granted unless its efforts to increase registrations during this five-year period were successful." Thus, anyone who registers with the AKC contributes to ensuring that the studbook stays open. More data is welcome from any source, but in the end we have to make a decision on the data available. Deciding to do nothing is just as much a decision as deciding to do something, and carries its own risks. There may be people who will choose to register with the AKC even if it means exclusion of those dogs or their offspring from the ABCA, but you seem to be ignoring the fact that there are also people who will choose not to register with the AKC if it means exclusion of those dogs or their offspring from the ABCA. Like Candy, I can't see why serious breeders who care about the breed as working dogs would choose the AKC over the ABCA.
  24. References to the Jack Russell Terrier case have cropped up on several threads dealing with dual registration, and I thought it might be good to post an explanation about it as a single thread, so it would be easy to locate. Like the border collie, the Jack Russell Terrier was recognized by the AKC against the wishes of most JRT breeders and owners. This occurred in 1997. The JRTCA, the Jack Russell registry, had the same concerns as we do about deterioration of their breed's working ability as a result of AKC registration, and moved aggressively to protect their dogs by invoking what's called their "conflicting organization rule." Under that rule, no one could join or continue as a member of the JRTCA who registered their JRT with the AKC. That meant that they could no longer register dogs with the JRTCA, and could not compete in or judge JRTCA trials. A lawsuit was filed against the JRTCA by one of its affiliate clubs, which did not wish to enforce the conflicting organization rule, and by a couple of JRT breeders who dual registered and whose JRTCA membership was cancelled because they registered with the AKC. Several of the plaintiffs' claims were thrown out before trial as being clearly without legal merit. The case went to trial on the remaining claims, and the judge ruled in favor of the JRTCA. The Court held that there was no legal basis for requiring the JRTCA to change its policy, and that it was free to continue enforcing its conflicting organization rule with respect to its members and activities under its auspices. The name change of the AKC breed from Jack Russell Terrier to Parson Russell Terrier had no connection with the lawsuit. The change was proposed by the AKC parent club (the JRTAA, which will soon become the PRTAA), so that the name would be consistent with the British Kennel Club, which is now using the name Parson Russell Terrier. Some of the other overseas Kennel Clubs (e.g. Australia, Ireland) recognize two sizes of the dogs, terming the smaller one "Jack Russell Terrier" and the taller one "Parson Russell Terrier." The breed standard of the AKC JRT specifies the taller size, so there too the name change contributed to international consistency. The AKC went along with the parent club's request. So unfortunately this does not give rise to any hope that we could get AKC to change the name of their border collies, since neither AKC nor the BCSA wants to do so.
  25. > Under Options B and C, those dogs' offspring would be includable into the ABCA registry through grandfathering. Those breeders would then have to decide whether to register FUTURE breeding stock with the AKC, knowing if they did so that their offspring would not be registerable with the ABCA. If they chose not to register their future breeding stock with the AKC, they would still be free to sell any of their offspring to AKC homes, just as many ABCA breeders with non-AKC-registered stock do now. There's no reason why "Nobody can tell me what to do!" feelings should arise. Nobody is telling them what to do; the registry is simply determining what dogs it will register. > This was certainly something the committee reflected on long and hard. As explained above, the question does not arise unless/until AKC closes its studbook. Until then, working breeders can readily sell their puppies to AKC homes without registering the sires and dams AKC, and indeed that seems to be the choice that the majority of working breeders have made. Just before the last deadline for closing the studbook, BCSA made a big pitch that dogs had to be AKC-registered now or they would be shut out. There was a little flurry of increased registrations, but still it appears that most working breeders chose not to register. To say what breeders will do if option B or C were to be enacted "will depend upon how much income they derive from selling puppies" is not really accurate. Rather, it might depend on how much income they derive from selling puppies that cannot be sold to non-AKC homes. "Selling puppies" does not = "selling puppies for AKC registration." If they can place their puppies in working homes, pet homes, non-AKC performance homes, ILP homes, or any combination thereof, then they will be unaffected by the change. Numerically, AKC-registering homes are far outnumbered by these other options. It may also depend on how much loyalty those breeders feel to the registry and the long-term welfare of the working border collie. A few people on these boards have said the registry is and ought to be nothing but a clerical service, recording pedigrees. But the registry is more than that. Why does it support eye research? Because it has a responsibility for advancing the welfare of the border collie, and that includes trying to eliminate health problems. Why does it support the finals, with contributions both to the costs of putting them on and substantial prize money, when this money benefits only the tiny fraction of the membership who run in the finals? Because it has a responsibility for preserving the working ability of the border collie and showcasing its worth, and the finals contributes to those goals. If it were nothing but a data bank, it shouldn't be doing any of those things, it should be just recording pedigrees, issuing registration certificates, and keeping its fees as low as possible. Responding to the threat that dual registration and AKC hegemony presents to the breed is another legitimate role of the registry, and I think most good working breeders accept that. A lot of these people had experience with the other proprietary border collie registries, and see this one as superior. Many have served on its board and take some pride in it and are committed to its welfare. That, plus the insignificance of the financial cost (if any) that options B and C would produce for them will cause most of them to remain with the ABCA in my opinion. Of course, if there are any among them who are actively courting the AKC market, and are trying to get in on the ground floor of what they hope will be some kind of financial bonanza, they will leave the ABCA, but if their goals are that AKC-centered, that will be just as well. [This message has been edited by Eileen Stein (edited 10-21-2002).]
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