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Liz J

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About Liz J

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  1. 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.
  2. From what I can determine it appears that at least some of you in fact, don't raise herds of things, like sheep, for a living but participate in herding trials in order to train and prepetuate the historical qualities of the breed. My grandfather's last BC, a true "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. As what you would call a "Free will" BC, he did it very well 2x a day, on time every time. What he did between milking times was his own business and he occupied himself with being a great family dog, chasing balls, keeping the grandkids and the chickens out of the road and hunting predators. Plus, he was very good looking in the "classic" or (insultingly) Barbie way -- and I'm guessing he possessed a sound constitution, since he worked hard, ate well and lived to a ripe old age. Would you have bred him? I'm glad that there are folks out there that are preserving the herding traditions, because now adays most cows are kept in the barn 24/7 and 4-wheelers have mostly taken the place of a good dog (try and send that machine out on its own to retrieve stock!), and and worrying about the fate of the farmers and ranchers in America is beyond the scope of this board. There's no sense (or any reason) to defend a position other than herding qualities first on this board, mainly because its your board, so you're entitled to guide the discussion, but 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. Those physical qualities so important in agility give the herding dog grace and ability to perform his chores. 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... Now, I'm even worse. My idea of agilty is watching our dog jump a ditch or catch a ball. I have nothing to herd. I hopped onto this board because I wanted to learn more about our adoptee's modern body type and abilities... she's different than the traditional BC's I've known over the years. I have my answer She was a cast-off, and to all of you, probably worth nothing more than what she is -- a priceless companion. So, have at it folks, and good luck. Just give the rest of us a break now and then. We pick up the washouts and give them a good home, give them something worthwhile to do, and for the most part prevent them from reproducing, even though your gene pool might need those qualities we value one day. 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.
  3. Not so very long ago in my part of the world, every farm had its "Sheppie", an all-purpose collie dog that was generally BC, or a mix of BC and Scotch collie, and rarely a pure Scotch collie. This wonderful all-purpose dog rounded up anything that needed gathering -- livestock, poultry, children -- and provided companionship, gaurded the home place and could be trusted to stay within boundaries of the farm. Selective breeding meant the ones that exhibited mean tendacies were disposed of and the good ones were propagated with an eye toward continuing a breed of sensible, all-purpose, intelligent dogs. It didn't matter what color they were, or even relative size. Unfortunately the world is not a static place, and the need for this type of dog diminished. So the breeding program changes to answer today's needs. HOw you all decide to proceed will impact the breed for the next 100 years. Me, I seek out a discard, a reject whose talents didn't meet expectations because I remember the best part of our old "Sheppie" was his ability to be the best friend a little girl ever had and as adult, I've never been disappointed in the ones that have come into my life. Please don't forget when you're debating which traits to value and propogate, that the BC's gentle nature, loving heart and devotion to its family is a valuable characteristic as well.
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