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Did you see how the handlers were dressed?


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2008 Best of Barbie

 

(How many cookie cutter collies can a cookie cutter cut if a collie cookie cutter could cut collie cookies?)

 

And in the interest of making this an educational thread, I quote Maria from last year when a very similar thread came up.

 

The yearly westminster thread could be very educational if instead of pointing fingers and emitting "ewws" and other colorful discriptives it were explained how sad it is that breeders are losing what epitomises the Border Collie ... not to mention many other breeds. Then perhaps the lurker would learn something instead of going away convinced that everyone is jealous of his beautiful dog because they are stuck with prick eared smooth coated mutts.

 

And in another post last year, she said:

 

Actually, a "did you see how that handler was dressed" thread would be quite amusing. Skimming through channels I occasionally see someone huffing and puffing as they attempt to trot their dog in a long skirt. Never fails to amuse me actually.

 

So, Maria, in your honor ... here is your "Did you see how that handler was dressed" thread!

 

:rolleyes:

 

Jodi

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Wow, are those dogs fat!

 

That was my first thought. I mean, I know they have a lot of coat but that doesn't give you a dog with a back that looks flat across like a tabletop...

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I live in Australia and have a Barbie border! She is my first BC so I didnt know about any of this before I joined the board. Anyway before I got her spayed I entered her in a local show on the encouragement of the show people at my local dog club. I was given instruction on how to dress etc but I drew the line at a skirt!

 

The judge was feeling my little BC and commented with surprise on how lean and muscled she was and asked me what I did with her. I was kind of surprised because I assumed that this is how BCS should be! We didnt get anywhere but it was an education!

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These handlers weren't dressed as oddly as some of the toy breed handlers were!

 

There's full coats, and then there's fat. Without having my hands on them, I'd say those dogs are just plain fat. I have a dog with a really thick coat, but even when he's blow dried and fluffed out, he doesn't look nearly as chunky as those dogs do.

 

I'm always amazed at the condition or lack thereof of the dogs I see at shows. Any breed.

 

ETA: That red dog disturbs me greatly. Wow.

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I was watching this clip this morning and Ed could hear the music from the kitchen. So he asked, "What are you watching?" I told him the Border Collie judging from Westminster. He replied (bless his heart), "Oh, not the real dogs."

 

I love it when the handlers pop the food out of their mouth - picture that, running around a ring in dress clothes with a dog on a lead, and chicken in your mouth. And yes, that red dog, having to have its muzzle held while the judge touched him/her, was a bit scary.

 

Enough said.

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I thought it was kind of interesting this year that many more of the dogs were allowed to do (or simply did) *slightly* more dog-like behaviors than just trotting through the ring--playing a little bit with the handlers, etc. I don't remember that as much in years past.

 

I also found it very interesting how the announcers explain various things about the breeds that are being shown. One of the things they said repeatedly was "If you get a purebred dog, you know you are getting instinct because these dogs are bred for their instinct" Kind of like a verbal mirage.....

 

I didn't notice as much about how the handlers were dressed--though the skirts are pretty silly given what they are doing.

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Regarding what the handlers wear, I imagine it has a historical context. If you think about the class of people with which dog showing started, well, they were the sort to be well-dressed at all times. I'm sure what we see in the ring now is just a holdover from earlier times, no matter how impractical.

 

ETA: Re: they look fat. I watch the Early Show while feeding the dogs in the morning and of course Westminster was mentioned. The images they showed were of a couple of smaller dogs (I wasn't really looking at the TV to tell breed) trotting on treadmills. The commentary that went along with the video clip was to the effect that "it's not enough for the dogs to look nice; they are also judged on how well muscled they are," hence the dogs being worked on treadmills. I wonder if the judges, simply by running their hands over a dog's body can even tell if they're feeling muscle vs. fat? At any rate, I have never noticed any obvious "prodding" that would indicate a judge actually feeling for muscle mass where muscles actually ought to be (i.e., not over the ribcage).

 

J.

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That was my first thought. I mean, I know they have a lot of coat but that doesn't give you a dog with a back that looks flat across like a tabletop...

 

Or when they trot in the arena and their table top back rolls back and forth! Kind of like you see with the Labs too...

 

Yuck!

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:rolleyes: I wondered when this thread would come up!

 

I just had a huge discussion with a friend of mine (in shelties) about why I dislike conformation showing. She claimed it wasn't the showing but rather the owner/breeders fault for breeding to extremes and when i asked her what part the judges played she said "they judge what they are shown, so they end up picking extremes, they can't not pick any dogs". Apparently in her world AKC and conformation showing has absolutely nothing to do with the drop in working skill/talent in Bcs or other breeds - it's all the owners' and breeders' because they don't lobby for working tests and it's not AKC's job to dictate what working skills should be tested. She also mentioned that the herding tests in AKC should be looked at with other breeds in mind, not BCs since BCs work so differently from the majority. :| She also said that agility is just as much to blame, which i suppose i can't deny. Blah - it was not a pleasant discussion.

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:rolleyes: I wondered when this thread would come up!

 

I just had a huge discussion with a friend of mine (in shelties) about why I dislike conformation showing. She claimed it wasn't the showing but rather the owner/breeders fault for breeding to extremes and when i asked her what part the judges played she said "they judge what they are shown, so they end up picking extremes, they can't not pick any dogs". Apparently in her world AKC and conformation showing has absolutely nothing to do with the drop in working skill/talent in Bcs or other breeds - it's all the owners' and breeders' because they don't lobby for working tests and it's not AKC's job to dictate what working skills should be tested. She also mentioned that the herding tests in AKC should be looked at with other breeds in mind, not BCs since BCs work so differently from the majority. :| She also said that agility is just as much to blame, which i suppose i can't deny. Blah - it was not a pleasant discussion.

 

Perhaps you should give your friend a copy of The Dog Wars by Donald McCaig.

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Apparently in her world AKC and conformation showing has absolutely nothing to do with the drop in working skill/talent in Bcs or other breeds - it's all the owners' and breeders' because they don't lobby for working tests and it's not AKC's job to dictate what working skills should be tested.

 

I would say that the discussions over on Herders-L (folks who show their dogs in conformation but are also doing their best to retain/breed back in working ability in their breed of choice and prove it through trialing of some sort) directly contradict your friend's allegations. According to the folks there (some well-known breeders in their respective breeds) the AKC is not interested in a working standard for any of its working breeds; has people who have no idea about the work in question in charge of the performance venues; and has no real interest in recieving input from those who do value working ability when it comes to setting a breed standard or a work standard (i.e., AKC herding tests). These are folks who have tried to work within the AKC system to bring about change and they have largely been stonewalled by AKC at every turn. If she wants eye opening (which I doubt), tell her to join that list and make her views known there. She'll get an "earful."

 

J.

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I am not picking on the dogs, calling them ugly or calling them fat, I promise! What I thought though, is how much they looked like Aussies to me. Big and fluffy, even with facial expressions closer to the Aussies I know, than the border collies I know. *shrug*

 

Now the handlers? They could use some fashion advice, if you ask me! :rolleyes:

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What I find ironic is this ...

 

I went to go look up the results ... and found them HERE and what I noticed is ... if you click on the link that shows the photos of the dogs that won ...

 

You find this ...

 

DN10633702.jpg

 

And this ...

 

DN07660607.jpg

 

But if you click on the link that says "Border Collie" where it provides information about the breed, it shows this:

 

border.jpg

 

Jodi

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I don't really care much for conformation, it's never done much justice to any breed especially the working and hearding groups. I've always felt that way, and I'm glad that's the common consensus here too. But the first thing I thought when I saw the video was, "They all look the same". It made me sad. To me that's part of the wonderful breed of Border Collies, they are as unique as your own finger prints. And they did look a little chuncky. Maybe it's a little extra holiday weight. :rolleyes:

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arrgh - It doesn't matter which breed video for 2008 I try and watch it defaults me to the video for the 2007 Best in Show. Is anyone else having that problem?

 

Yesterday I watched a couple of the videos for the Belgian Malinois and Tervs, but today I haved numerous ones and I keep getting the 2007 Best in Show Video. :rolleyes:

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"They all look the same".

Going with the sameness theme, it's odd that they all pretty much had the exact same ears. I can't believe they were all born that way, so they must be manmade.... I did note that a couple of the competitor dogs had less coat than I expected, but since I didn't have sound I don't know if that's just because they were youngsters and so not in full adult coat, or if they just truly were "lighter coated" dogs. Not that it really matters....

 

J.

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This was the first year (except the year that a smooth coat was shown) that I was able to pick out one non-cookie cutter in the group. Not counting the red, whom one could call simply a different flavor of cookie. There was a dog that looked like (she?) was from working lines, possibly - fluffed out the wooha of course and that crazy thing had been done to her ears (when will they learn how goofy it looks to turn airplane ears into forward tipped ears?), but she really stood out to me.

 

She stood out to the judge, too, apparently, as she did not make the cut.

 

All right, to the newcomers, lurkers: we here cringe at the acclaimed dog shows because there's no way in heck that trotting around a ring and selecting for a pretty looking head, will help produce a dog that is a useful livestock working dog.

 

Why is it important that livestock work be the standard, not some judge's opinion of how the dog is built, how it trots, and how nicely it looks when blowdried? Because that's what the Border Collie is. The dogs we love for their speed, grace, intelligence, soundness of body and temperament, work ethic, and even the silly little quirks that make us laugh - these characteristics come from breeding every generation for livestock working ability.

 

Breeding for anything else changes the direction of the breed. And so we find these shows very much cringeworthy as they represent the opposite of what we breed Border Collies for.

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I did note that a couple of the competitor dogs had less coat than I expected, but since I didn't have sound I don't know if that's just because they were youngsters and so not in full adult coat, or if they just truly were "lighter coated" dogs. Not that it really matters....

 

J.

 

I was at Westminster one year, my Dad worked in NY and I had gone in with him. He dropped me off at the show for the afternoon. I saw a pretty little lilac bitch and commented on how nice she was (aside from being lilac she would have fit right in at any herding trial). The handler replied back that she was "bald" because she had blown her coat. I remember standing there looking at her thinking, "Wow, if that is what she looks like after she has blown her coat, I would hate to try to keep her clean and brushed when she had all her fur."

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