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A lot of people say that having a BC herd livestock is more rewarding to the dog than the other activities BCs currently do. That's what Im arguing against.
And you're basing this opinion on what, exactly? Brandon and Ruger's Dad, it beats me how people who have never tended livestock with a good border collie can come up with these "it doesn't matter to the dog" remarks. It matters more than you can possibly imagine.

 

Get back to me after you've walked to the Open post or worked day in and day out with a good stockdog.

 

Maybe I should have said that my dog was "herding" my cat.
Prey drive and working instinct are not the same thing. See the link in the borderlicious post above.

 

 

In his book The Sheepdog, Its Work and Training, Tim Longton writes of his border collie Nell, who was suckling two-week-old pups and had been left home on a busy day. The shepherd and his helpers were endeavoring to move an unruly mob of lambs:

 

'[Nell] heard us trying to drive this lot along a rough bank where felled woodland and a landslide added to the hazards. I could hear her crying to be let out; a few minutes later she appeared, having gained the window. Two young lambs dashed uphill. Nell set off after them. She was fighting a losing battle, as the lambs split, and as soon as she had one on its way the other galloped madly in the other direction. I did not command her but, appreciating the position, Nell pushed one lamb in front of her and nosed it right in among the rest of the lambs. Then she returned for the other, which by now had escaped into a 200-acre field with 400 sheep in it. We continued our slow journey, and when we reached the far end there was Nell with a lamb pinned at the back of a gate. It was the lamb we wanted.'

 

That's herding instinct. Nell was English Shepherd's Champion in 1951. Breed for "versatility" and dogs like Nell will vanish. "It cannot be stressed too strongly," writes Longton, "that if you want a work dog both parents should be work dogs."

 

Can working-bred dogs be happy in pet homes? Of course.

 

Has anyone suggested that working-bred pups not be placed in pet homes? No one has done that.

 

Please get some experience tending stock with a good dog before making any more pronouncements about what matters to working-bred border collies.

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Originally posted by BorderC:

Just because some dog are good at it (with training) doesn't mean that others arent interested.

 

Has anyone seen a sheepdog that learned how to "work" stock for its handler all on it's own?

Please forgive me - I shouldn't be posting to this thread......

 

Brandon - in a nutshell, no, I haven't seen a "sheepdog that learned to work stock all on it's own," I have however seen more than a couple of eager 8-week-olds get out and instinctively walk up on or get behind stock. And, yes, they will even sometimes bring them. I'd rather they not do that, but crap happens. Seeing a pup do that will both piss me off and bring a tear to my eye.

 

I have yet to see a puppy of any breeding see a frisbee 50 yards away in a pasture and go retrieve it without without training. Nor have I seen one go run through an irrigation pipe because its instinct told it to do so.

 

I think it is something that needs to be felt to be understood. Not seen.

 

Felt.

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I apologise to anyone who thinks my old oppinions were dumb and bad for border collies. I take it all back. You all are right, and I was wrong. :rolleyes:

I wish I hadnt of said anything at all because now everyone doesnt like me. Im not a dog expert, and not a BC expert. Some of you are I know. I was just trying to participate in the topic. Though I see now that it was a bad idea

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Brandon, people do not dislike you. They do dislike what you have been stating as fact.

 

Asking such stuff would be "just trying to participate in the topic". Stating it as fact is a tad beyond that.

 

And I sure hope you were being honest, not sarcastic, in that last post.

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Brandon, I apologize for sounding cranky and schoolmarmish. It's my way :rolleyes:

 

Our moderator Eileen has said that the whole point of these forums is to encourage working dog people and others with border collies to talk with each other. Her hope is that at least a few of the people with dogs that don't work stock will learn more about the heart and soul of this great breed.

 

But when those with working stockdogs try to give a careful, patient explanation of the importance of the work to the individual dogs and to the breed's existence, it often seems as though folks who don't work their dogs on stock, and who don't have much experience with the breed, are determined to put their fingers in their ears and hum.

 

As Julie and others have said, the border collie will be in bad shape if people don't recognize where the brains and athleticism and trainability come from: these traits exist because the border collie has been carefully bred, for centuries, to work livestock. If you want all the breed's great characteristics to vanish, then breed for flyball and agility and conformation and talk about how "versatility" is the most important thing about this dog. Do all that, and the border collie will wind up just like all the other "pet" breeds --- its greatest traits will be lost.

 

You don't live far from Suzy Applegate. Maybe sometime you could take Lance over to Suzy's place for some lessons. With any luck, the next time a thread like this rolls around, you'll be the one trying to explain what stockwork means to a working-bred border collie. The Zamora Hills Trial is coming up, too. It's a great one --- hope to see you there.

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I think a large part of the frustration in discussions like this comes from the difficulty to explain in text what really has to be seen and experienced. If I had not been lucky enough to go see true working border collies on sheep and have it explained to me in person, I might have difficulty accepting that border collies must be bred only for working ability for the breed to survive as we know it.

 

Also, in the effort to explain on a message board like this, its very easy to misread posts. Its easier still to read a post and interperet the tone of the post in a way that the writer never intended.

 

I had to stop reading this board because it was upsetting me. I re-read the posts today and I now realize that I was reading into some of the posts a 'tone' that really wasn't there. When I first read this thread, I was upset at what I perceived as the stockdog people stating that they had a better bond with their dogs than those of us who don't use our dog on stock. It struck a nerve because I still miss my last dog so much and we had an incredible bond (not the same as if we worked stock, but wonderful nonetheless). After re-reading the thread, I see that I must have just been reacting to a few words here and there and took them the wrong way. I'm glad now that I didn't react to how I interpereted some posts while I was feeling a bit sensitive and had enough sense to come back and re-read. I'm rambling now...I hope this makes sense...

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Brains,brawn and a dash of good looks...all owed to Scottish shepherds of years gone by...before ISDS,the International,ABCA,let alone agility etc.

 

A shepherd who hoped that through his choice of dog to breed his bitch, to would end up with pups better able to work with him and the sheep he was responsible for and could handle the demands he placed on them, and he could rely on to be there... a working partnership like no other.

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Luisa, what a great quotation - Hmm, just what I needed, yet another book to read :rolleyes:

 

Sue, you're quite correct, some people will "get it" and some won't.

 

 

I have however seen more than a couple of eager 8-week-olds get out and instinctively walk up on or get behind stock. And, yes, they will even sometimes bring them. I'd rather they not do that, but crap happens. Seeing a pup do that will both piss me off and bring a tear to my eye.

 

I have yet to see a puppy of any breeding see a frisbee 50 yards away in a pasture and go retrieve it without without training. Nor have I seen one go run through an irrigation pipe because its instinct told it to do so.

 

I think it is something that needs to be felt to be understood. Not seen.

Felt.

Firchow, I think that says it all :D
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