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How can we get through to people?!


MaggieDog

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I had a friend tell me today that she's anticipating getting a puppy in the fall from a recent breeding between two show line BCs. She knows how I feel about show and sport line dogs and was very hesitant to tell me because of that, but she still is planning on this pup. Her main goal is AKC agility with this pup.

 

I had a looong discussion with her about the why behind her decision, especially since the sire and dam don't really have much in the way of agility experience and there's nothing above an AXJ in the lines, but plenty of Ch. dogs. Her thought is that she's seen the sire run in agility on video and likes what she sees, the breeder does do all the needed health certs, puppies will go through some great prep exercises while at the breeders (ENS, etc.), and she likes the fact that the dam has various herding titles and that the breeder "does a little bit of everything" with their dogs. **sigh** She's not going to a sport breeder because sport line dogs are "crazy" with no off switch (at least she sees that...).

 

I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall - she's even proud of the barbie collie moniker and plans to make herself a bumper sticker to that effect!!

 

If we can't get through to people that we KNOW how can we *ever* hope to get through to strangers about the problems inherent in breeding for anything other than herding ability/skill??

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Erin,

I don't think it matters whether you actually know a person or not. I think people on these boards have gotten through to a lot of virtual (literally) strangers over the years, so it's not hopeless. Some personalities/people are going to do what they want to do, even if they know what they're doing isn't "morally correct" (for lack of a better term). Such people (and they don't just exist in the world of dogs) will never be swayed by even the most reasoned arguments because they put their own desires above all else. Chalk this friend up as a lost cause, but don't give up on other people.

 

J.

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ALthough it makes me sort of want to bang my head as a rescurer, some people are doing their homework. I had a person ask me for abca papers and wanted to know about hips and eye checks on my kill shelter puppies. Even if they didnt know how to apply it they had at least heard of it. With any luck the email we sent back will get them to look further in their research.

 

I never pull punches with people who ask. I had a person who told me that they wanted a sports dog for demonstration and I told them the perfect dog I had for them is a mix.

 

Bravo for your friend running away from the sports breeders. I need a good off switch and I cant imagaine some of the dogs I've even rehomed in an average home.

 

We all have to learn as a progression. I had just bought my first dog when I arrived 3+ years ago and now I run a rescue that's saved 100's of dogs.

We all have to make mistakes.

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Sometimes it's even harder getting through to the people we know - the "never a prophet in one's own hometown" syndrome kicks in. :rolleyes: But you tried - you gave her the information, even if it wasn't what she wanted to hear (which isn't easy). Now, unfortunately, you've stated your case and just have to be satisfied with that.

 

I run into this same kind of situation with lots of my horse friends - no, I don't believe I'd feed the horse chewing tobacco instead of worming him properly, and well, maybe it's just me, but I reckon Lysol is better used to clean floors and you should get thrush medicine from the vet - so I know how you feel.

 

You just have to say your piece, then take a deep cleansing breath and put it behind you. :D And don't give up - as Julie says, some people will take what you have to say on board. Just not all of them.

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First a question; what is a "Barbie collie moniker"? I've never heard that.

 

After reading that I guess I have to consider myself fortunate in that I've been able to keep BC's from homes. Over the years a lot of people have asked me about getting a BC. Being an affluent community I find most people here simply want a pretty dog that is easy to train. As much as I would like every BC to have a home I know most of these homes are not suitable for a BC. I do encourage people to learn about the difficulty of raising a BC and try to point out the commitment it takes to raise a BC. I have even discovered that my daughter who was raised with BC's and gave me Jin doesn't understand.

 

Erin may I suggest you have your friend l;og on here and have a good read?

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First a question; what is a "Barbie collie moniker"? I've never heard that.

 

Do a board search on Barbie Collie.

 

You should come up with a plethora of discussions that will make that quite clear! :rolleyes:

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I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall - she's even proud of the barbie collie moniker and plans to make herself a bumper sticker to that effect!!

 

If we can't get through to people that we KNOW how can we *ever* hope to get through to strangers about the problems inherent in breeding for anything other than herding ability/skill??

 

One thing I've learned since getting into dogs, dog training, and dog sports is that some people are not willing to truly consider a different perspective with an open mind. In short - they are going to do what they are going to do no matter what you say! I think the same principle applies to this situation.

 

Another thing I've learned is that example often speaks far louder than words. You may not be able to get through to your friend right now, but it is very possible that in the future she will see the difference between her dog and yours and that might just lead her to reconsider her position in the future.

 

When you hold a position that is unusual - and it is the case that the idea of the Border Collie only being bred for work is an unusual one to many in the show world - there are some people who really want to hear what you have to say, some who are not going to listen no matter what, and a great many who fall somewhere in the middle. Often it is those who fall in the middle who are willing to consider a different perspective.

 

I've found that the best approach is to state the facts as I know them, be open to questions, and then go about my business and hope to set an example. Some people will take it and some will leave it.

 

Your friend might not listen, but there are people who will. :rolleyes:

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Do a board search on Barbie Collie.

 

You should come up with a plethora of discussions that will make that quite clear! :rolleyes:

 

 

I see. That's one of the reasons we never register our dogs with the AKC. That is also one of the reasons I discourage people from owning BC's. A work dog has to work. A BC will create his own job, what seems to be manic behavior, if they don't have one and quite often that can be a detriment to the dog and it's owners. I would rather not see what happened to Dalmations after the release of 101 Dalmations happen to BC's. BC's are rare here so I don't really know how prevalent the problem is among BC's locally or even how many there are. Not many.

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The sad thing is that she would make a fabulous home for a 'real' BC or a rescued one. I've showed her Z's work in the agility ring and talked about her SAR work endlessly but she still doesn't see why she should consider a rescue.

 

She's a lost cause and you all have wise words - she and I will continue to agree to disagree on the breeding issue and I'll keep bragging on my rescue dogs and we'll see how her pup turns out. But I'm still gonna sigh about it darn it! :rolleyes:

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I had a friend tell me today that she's anticipating getting a puppy in the fall from a recent breeding between two show line BCs. She knows how I feel about show and sport line dogs and was very hesitant to tell me because of that, but she still is planning on this pup. Her main goal is AKC agility with this pup.

 

I had a looong discussion with her about the why behind her decision, especially since the sire and dam don't really have much in the way of agility experience and there's nothing above an AXJ in the lines, but plenty of Ch. dogs. Her thought is that she's seen the sire run in agility on video and likes what she sees, the breeder does do all the needed health certs, puppies will go through some great prep exercises while at the breeders (ENS, etc.), and she likes the fact that the dam has various herding titles and that the breeder "does a little bit of everything" with their dogs. **sigh** She's not going to a sport breeder because sport line dogs are "crazy" with no off switch (at least she sees that...).

 

I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall - she's even proud of the barbie collie moniker and plans to make herself a bumper sticker to that effect!!

 

If we can't get through to people that we KNOW how can we *ever* hope to get through to strangers about the problems inherent in breeding for anything other than herding ability/skill??

 

One thing that I have seen work. When people take their dog to a clinic and see the other dogs work. And then their dog just stands there and does not respond to sheep at all. That is really when the difference between a really well bred dog and one that is not is most evident. Or their dog is just plain crazy out there - and completely uncontrollable. Or it is so keen that it just runs straight in and tries to kill the sheep. The breeding is so evident.

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Sometimes it's even harder getting through to the people we know - the "never a prophet in one's own hometown" syndrome kicks in. :rolleyes:

 

Yes, I run into this conundrum all the time. I train with mostly AKC people because that is the predominant agility club around here. We have very few USDAA events and even fewer NADAC and CPE events. So, most of the friends that I train with are very brainwashed that AKC is the authority in all things Dog. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "There is no 'standard' for border collies because they should be bred for their ability to work stock and for no other reason." Usually I get this blank stare and unenthusiastic agreement, but I know that they are not grasping the point I am trying to make. I have had this conversation with both my agility instructors on many, many occasions, but they still don't get it and I am careful to not get too preachy with them because they are my friends. (Note, neither are bc people, so that makes it even less interesting to them). I really wish I knew how to shed light on the issue without offending, as well. So, if anyone has any great ideas, I'd also like to hear them.

 

On another note, I'm not sure why your friend would want to purchase a show bred bc to do agility. The few show bred bc's that I've known have had almost no drive and were somewhat lazy. Also, they were lacking a little in the brains dept. I can understand her not wanting to get a sport bred bc, but a show bred bc is not likely to excel in agility, IME.

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I can understand her not wanting to get a sport bred bc, but a show bred bc is not likely to excel in agility, IME.

That's exactly what I thought. Unless she plans to only do AKC agility, she may well be choosing to limit her success through her choice of a puppy, but some people just won't hear the truth of something but instead have to experience it for themselves (in this case the unsuitability of a show-bred border collie for competitive agility).

 

Erin,

Have you ever asked your friend if she's gone to agility trials and actually talked to the border collie owners there? It would make sense to do so if agility is what she really wants to do. She may be reinforced that sports bred dogs are not for her, but she might also have her eyes opened to the lack of "show dogs" competing. Just a thought.

 

I went to an agility trial with a friend one time--it was held in conjunction with a breed show and I have to say I was less than impressed with the drive of the show dogs who were running in agility. The norm seemed to be to leave the equipment and go sniff around while the owners begged them to come back....

 

J.

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I mentioned the show line for agility concerns and she's not hearing it - she's certainly got her mind made up. She attends a ton of AKC (only one USDAA trial in 4 years and a few NADAC) trials and currently has shelties; she has likely talked to some people with BCs at the events but not quite the level of research you or I might do when trying to find a dog for something specific.

 

Now that I think about it, perhaps one of the main reasons she's not even considering the working breeder route is that doing so would require her to do in depth research, including attending trials and stuff when she'd rather be on the agility field or working her shelties on something...She's also the same person who is convinced that a certain sheltie she knows could do well in USBCHA trialling...

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As a 'noob' involved in an AKC breed then falling in love with bcs and trying to understand them, the politics, and the bc world, it's CONFUSING. The things you look for ina good bc breeder are very different than what I'd look for if I wanted a good papillon (or sheltie). I heard X and Y and quite frankly a lot of the working dog people really didn't make much sense to me. I'd think 'But in papillons...." It took a while to realize bcs are NOT papillons.

 

I did realize instantly when I saw my first bcs that weren't show dogs the difference between the conf dogs and the non conf dogs (didn't know much about sports v field trials or anything at that point). I had no desire to get a bc because the ones I'd been around were the conf dogs and they didn't appeal to me at all.

 

Sheltie people are generally sports people. There is such a difference in what you'd look for if you were wanting a sheltie versus a bc. I bet she's going with what makes more sense to her in relation to the sports/conformation breed she's used to. Since no one does any real herding with shelties, what you tend to see is people going for 'versatility' titles. Actually most people in shelties don't even do that anymore. Most don't get past a simple 'Ch'.

 

You can't do research for anyone. All you can do is say your piece and allow them to come to their own decisions. If she's anything like me, she'll take the arguments in, read every side of the issue and come to a conclusion.

 

If I hadn't been on pet forums with bc people on them, I would have never been interested in the breed in the first place. If I had been, though, I'd have gone to a breeder like the one you were describing. I just wouldn't have known any better. It's not just research, it's a complete change of thought and stepping way out of what you're used to.

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As a 'noob' involved in an AKC breed then falling in love with bcs and trying to understand them, the politics, and the bc world, it's CONFUSING. The things you look for ina good bc breeder are very different than what I'd look for if I wanted a good papillon (or sheltie). I heard X and Y and quite frankly a lot of the working dog people really didn't make much sense to me. I'd think 'But in papillons...." It took a while to realize bcs are NOT papillons. If I had been [interested in the bc breed], I'd have gone to a breeder like the one you were describing. I just wouldn't have known any better. It's not just research, it's a complete change of thought and stepping way out of what you're used to.

 

Laurelin, what you say is so true. People who are active in AKC generally think they know all about dogs, because after all, Dogs "R" AKC. What they actually know is one particular concept of what dogs are -- an AKC-defined round hole into which every peg must fit. It requires a big cultural shift to realize that there are other ways of looking at dogs, experiencing dogs, understanding dogs. Some people are capable of making that shift, and some people just aren't. All we can do is try to open them up to another way of seeing, and often we won't succeed.

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Laurelin, what you say is so true. People who are active in AKC generally think they know all about dogs, because after all, Dogs "R" AKC. What they actually know is one particular concept of what dogs are -- an AKC-defined round hole into which every peg must fit. It requires a big cultural shift to realize that there are other ways of looking at dogs, experiencing dogs, understanding dogs. Some people are capable of making that shift, and some people just aren't. All we can do is try to open them up to another way of seeing, and often we won't succeed.

 

One year a bunch of the top obedience trainers in out area actually went to see the Nationals in St. Louis. That was the best thing that could have ever happened.

 

They just stood there with their mouths hanging open. Those dogs that day were so incredible. I really think that was the first time those trainers ever really understood what was meant by "working." They were just astonished at the level of training.

 

Well, to be fair. Everyone was astonished that day.

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