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Actually that's the same reason I am looking to switch to border collies. I've had quite a few and loved them all, very neat dogs. My last though was my only well bred dog- if you're looking at show pedigrees he was the best bred dog I've ever owned. He was the most incompetent animal in any sense. He was nothing like my previous shelties who were definitely from byb's by anyone's standards.

 

Any sheltie I have from now on will only be rescued. I hate what the show breeders are doing to that breed.

 

 

same reason for my house. my mom grew up with Shelties and she bred obedience Shelties when she was a teen. she loves the breed, but would never own a purbred Sheltie these days, she hates what they have become.

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What do you feel breeders are doing to the breed? It's been 11 years since I bought a Sheltie, so just wondering. I love the breed so much I have a hard time imagining being without one of them.

 

I'm not the one this question was posed too, but as someone that grew up with shelties and occasionally has them out to try out on sheep (try being the operant word :rolleyes:!) I have seen alot of problems with them. We had two shelties growing up- one was admittedly backyard bred, the other was show bred (his pedigree was Ch. Ch. Ch. on just about every generation). Toby was the show bred dog and he was like living with a Disney character- just so much personality, active and intelligent. He had character. He was my best friend and I was devastated when he was killed. Even our other backyard bred dog had a good temperament, was active and smart- after Toby died I used her for my 4-H project dog and we did well. Now, I see two types of shelties- mostly. There's the tiny teacup looking shelties- they caused me to start asking the dogs weight before I'd chance my sheep running over one of them. I mean like 10-15 lbs! TINY. The other type is prettier and sturdier but they have this dissociative manner, if they see something they don't like, they just don't interact or react- just stand like statues (I know there are sheep in there but you CANT CANT CANT make me look at them...NOOOOOO).

 

I do have one little sheltie, Suki, who loves sheep and has been coming to me for two years. She can work at a novice level, knows her sides and can do small outruns and likes to drive. She was actually a little pistol to start and took a good amount of work before she settled in and started listening. She was agility/show bred and as far as I know no close working relatives but she does have a great (if a bit bossy) temperament, is a good size and cute as a button. So the good ones are out there, but I see more shy, tiny shelties than any other type.

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So the good ones are out there, but I see more shy, tiny shelties than any other type.

 

I don't think of Shelties as a good choice for stock work. They really seem to be pets mainly with a sideline in sports. I don't care much for the tiny versions either, but still love the larger sized ones a lot of which there are still many around where I live. But as a dog to work sheep, no they wouldn't cross my mind. I'm sure mine would have been frightened of sheep. :rolleyes:

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This is Bandit, he is the closest to show breeding I have had, probably more sport, I've found many in his lines being used as AKC sport dogs. He arrived here after his owner could not care for him anymore, he was ABCA registered and his breeder wanted nothing to do with him.

 

He was limited to about a 100 yard outrun, though I suppose he could have gained more distance if I had put more time into him, but it did not come easy. He could easily earn titles in small field and arena formats if handled right, he had stock drive. Could he run open, doubt it, maybe in an arena, but not out in fields.

 

BTW, structurely, he was a nightmare. I was always amazed how many people would comment on how "Pretty" he was, I only saw a train wreck from a breeding standpoint, which maybe the only thing that saved him from having his ears glued down by his breeder...

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I'm interested in your statement that this dog is a structural nightmare. As a newcomer to the breed I'm trying to get a sense of what works in terms of structure for a working BC. I have seen great variety in shape and size, but similarities are beginning to emerge for me. If you have the time and inclination could you comment on, correct and or confirm my observations of this dog based on these two photos?

I won't comment on the head, as that seems more a matter for personal preference. I don't much like it but I can't see how it would interfere with his getting a job done. He looks to me as though he has too much daylight under him - back too short for the length of leg. Also I would think more angulation, particularly in the shoulder would be desirable. His feet look flat and splayed to me although that could be because of the soft surface he's standing on. Carries too much timber for my liking. Is he missing some pre-molars? I would appreciate hearing what you think.

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I'm interested in your statement that this dog is a structural nightmare. As a newcomer to the breed I'm trying to get a sense of what works in terms of structure for a working BC. I have seen great variety in shape and size, but similarities are beginning to emerge for me. If you have the time and inclination could you comment on, correct and or confirm my observations of this dog based on these two photos?

I won't comment on the head, as that seems more a matter for personal preference. I don't much like it but I can't see how it would interfere with his getting a job done. He looks to me as though he has too much daylight under him - back too short for the length of leg. Also I would think more angulation, particularly in the shoulder would be desirable. His feet look flat and splayed to me although that could be because of the soft surface he's standing on. Carries too much timber for my liking. Is he missing some pre-molars? I would appreciate hearing what you think.

 

Boy, what all effected what, his shoulder angle was to steep, his front end was too narrow making him toe out severly and being real heavy on the front end which probably was compounded by being downhill at the wither compared to the hip. He also was over at the knee. His back was too short and he was posty legged in back (too straight in the stifle and hock) but that could have been caused by his front end. His hocks were actually stiff and he tended to track outside his front feet with his back, almost creating a waddle. His structure did allow him to really roll out and flank excessivly square, he had to or trip over himself and he had exaggerated head and neck swivel with alot of eye, those factors made many people go "Wow". He also moved in a fashion that alarmed the sheep, not in a power way, more of a what the heck is that way, he just was not smooth. Never looked at his teeth, and the head who cares, not form to function in that department, well I suppose you could make and argument on his teeth, but he didn't bite anyway. Only moved stock with presence, never made a believer out of anything, would just keep staring at them until they left, kinda annoyed them into moving off. Based on his structure, if he was a horse raised by many performance breeders they may have destroyed him, figuring that he would be a cripple with his body not being able to handle the riggors of training. Sorry to describe his faults in terms of a horse, but I'm not familuar with how performance dog breeders would describe the faults that I saw.

 

Also, he had no speed or agility, and just had an odd cadence, not a pleasure to behold, atleast not when you are used to watching dogs that move effortlessly. I honestly don't think that his body would have stood the test of time even if he had been an exceptional worker.

 

I have heard that lack of teeth is a problem in some Aussie lines, I think it was called "Glass Jaw", something about a dog missing too many teeth can't take an impact such as from a cow kick, that the jaw shatters without the teeth. don't know if it is true or not and have not looked into it. But it would be a problem for working dogs if it is true.

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Pete doesn't actually look like a conformation-bred border collie.

 

J.

 

Thanks, Pete will be so happy to hear that. I was saying to him earlier this evening that we should get out there with the AKC folks and do some practicing, he almost dropped his beer. I think he looks like a good solid cow dog but so many people around this part of the world at least have asked me if he is a show dog I was beginning to think he may have a shot at fame and fortune. If I must say so myself he is a great looking dog.

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I showed my adopted ANKC registered BC for a little while, not knowing about all this controversy. It always seemed slightly incongruous to me that she was in the group 5 "working dog class" when she actually wasnt being judged on working ability.

 

My other passion are ACDS because they too have that amazing "spark" that talks to you in spades. I would read the judges coments on particular dogs - structurally looks like they could work all day etc. I thought well looks like doesnt actually equate to doing, or having the ability to work wild station cattle. Mind you the judges comments for the ACDS at least mentioned work, but not for the BC. It was all rather pointless actually.

 

I personally became disillusioned with the showing business and besides my BC was too lean, well muscled and she does not have the blocky head deal going anyway I realise now.

 

I also didnt like what was happening to the ACDS and having since found the BC boards realised that was also happening to the BC and every other working breed in the "working dog class"

 

As I understand with rottweillers who are in a different group but I think in europe they actually have to have working titles as well as conformation titles, Not sure if they are kennel club type working titles or the real deal.

 

I dont understand really why they even bother having a group five "working dog class" when it is all about the l"ooks like" rather than the "can do".

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What do you feel breeders are doing to the breed? It's been 11 years since I bought a Sheltie, so just wondering. I love the breed so much I have a hard time imagining being without one of them.

 

When Trey, my last sheltie, died I started looking for another dog. I realized it wasn't border collie time yet as I was going to have a rough schedule this year and be living in an apartment. I started looking at sheltie breeders and you are very hard pressed these days to find anyone breeding with more than a Ch on a dog. They haven't really been a working breed as far as I consider for a while, but now they seem to be nothing more than a pretty face. I found one breeder that I liked but their breeding this year was again Ch x Ch with no other titles or activities with their dogs. Trey was a show x sport bred dog and I really did not like his temperament one bit. His sire (whom I cannot say for sure is where he got his issues from of course) is the 5th most influential sire in breed history. The genepool in shelties is terribly small with 25% of the genepool going back to a single dog.

 

There's also just the look. Even though the old pictures we have of shelties are really after they started crossing the original spitz breed to show collies, they're a lot more moderate looking. Many actually looked like mini border collies in a way. Now they're puffballs with more and more hair and a more and more extreme face. The temperaments even in the 'good' lines often leave something to desire. They should be aloof and wary but they should not be fearful and shy, which is what many are. All in all, they're just not the same as my two byb shelties. Both of them were confident dogs with tons of 'spark' and a lot of intelligence. They were quirky dogs and such joys to have around. Trey was more like living with a robot. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED that dog but he was not an easy dog to live with and not the kind of dog I like. Then again, I honestly think he may have had something mentally just not wired right. The shelties I like are not the kind being produced any longer I feel by show breeders. Instead of lining the pockets of a byb, I suppose I'll rescue if I decide I want another. I'm still unsure whether I will ever want another. Part of me does because Nikki was so special to me. But then again part of me really doesn't want another one ever.

 

So I went with another pap again. It's sad to me that it's easier to find people breeding companion breeds with more emphasis on performance than a breed that started out as a working breed. When I want to go herding breed again, it'll be either a working bred border collie or a rescued herder of some sort.

 

ETA: I just saw this:

The other type is prettier and sturdier but they have this dissociative manner, if they see something they don't like, they just don't interact or react- just stand like statues (I know there are sheep in there but you CANT CANT CANT make me look at them...NOOOOOO).

 

That's what Trey did to everything! He would not react to anything that made him remotely uncomfortable.

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I agree with Julie. Pete doesn't look conformation bred. I believe JJ is though. He's big boned, has the block headedness, has a snout that's IMO too short for his build, has that double undercoat and doesn't have a lick of herding instinct. There for a while I even wondered if he might have some Aussie in him.

 

DSC04216resized1.jpg

 

If I posted a picture of my late and much lamented Scotty Bear (computer meltdown, lost everything for the moment), he would look like this dog's brother....no Aussie in my lad though and he was a hulk. But he had that beautiful rough coat and that snip of a stripe and his tail was a wonder to behold. He had a sharp eye and quite a bit of personality, but he was a dunderhead about herding, no doubt about it. Still, once he calmed down and became comfortable, he learned a word a day and there never was a more empathic dog.

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There's also just the look. Even though the old pictures we have of shelties are really after they started crossing the original spitz breed to show collies, they're a lot more moderate looking. Many actually looked like mini border collies in a way.

They should be aloof and wary but they should not be fearful and shy, which is what many are. All in all, they're just not the same as my two byb shelties. Both of them were confident dogs with tons of 'spark' and a lot of intelligence. They were quirky dogs and such joys to have around.

The shelties I like are not the kind being produced any longer I feel by show breeders.

You just explained my Niki. She wasn't a Walmart greeter but she loved people including kids. When my nephew was 2 yrs old we had the hardest time trying to teach that boy how to pet dogs. His idea of petting was hitting and nothing we did got thru to him. One day he saw Niki walk into the living room and followed. The next thing we heard was Corey crying. When we got into the living room, we saw Corey's wrist in Niki's mouth. After calming Corey down, we found out he went to 'pet' Niki as she was walking away. She calmly turned around, opened her mouth and caught Corey's wrist in her mouth. She didn't bear down but she held it firmly enough to where he couldn't pull it out. She didn't even leave a red mark but it was enough to make him remember. After that, he never hit another dog. Niki wasn't a yapper either. She would bark when someone knocked on the door or when the phone rang but she had a reason too. My parents would dog sit for me whenever I would go out of town. My mom was hearing impaired even back then and with Niki's help, she would know when the phone was ringing or when someone was at the door. The picture below was a Christmas present one year. To this day, it's the best present I've ever received. (Her left ear was actually tipped but the guy who painted it thought it was a fluke and painted it brown and pointy.)

 

DSC_0943-1.jpg

 

Ejano, you described JJ. He has a lot of personality too. And it's like.....well, he just 'gets' me. Where Jake will always be my 'baby' and Josie is my 2nd heart dog, JJ is my soul mate if that makes sense. I swear I think that dog understands every word we say to him or around him. (Yes, he easedrops on conversations. :rolleyes: )

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You just explained my Niki. She wasn't a Walmart greeter but she loved people including kids. When my nephew was 2 yrs old we had the hardest time trying to teach that boy how to pet dogs. His idea of petting was hitting and nothing we did got thru to him. One day he saw Niki walk into the living room and followed. The next thing we heard was Corey crying. When we got into the living room, we saw Corey's wrist in Niki's mouth. After calming Corey down, we found out he went to 'pet' Niki as she was walking away. She calmly turned around, opened her mouth and caught Corey's wrist in her mouth. She didn't bear down but she held it firmly enough to where he couldn't pull it out. She didn't even leave a red mark but it was enough to make him remember. After that, he never hit another dog. Niki wasn't a yapper either. She would bark when someone knocked on the door or when the phone rang but she had a reason too. My parents would dog sit for me whenever I would go out of town. My mom was hearing impaired even back then and with Niki's help, she would know when the phone was ringing or when someone was at the door. The picture below was a Christmas present one year. To this day, it's the best present I've ever received. (Her left ear was actually tipped but the guy who painted it thought it was a fluke and painted it brown and pointy.)

 

DSC_0943-1.jpg

 

Ejano, you described JJ. He has a lot of personality too. And it's like.....well, he just 'gets' me. Where Jake will always be my 'baby' and Josie is my 2nd heart dog, JJ is my soul mate if that makes sense. I swear I think that dog understands every word we say to him or around him. (Yes, he easedrops on conversations. :rolleyes: )

 

He probably does. :D - or at least many more than you might believe. The rescue person we got Scotty from is an animal behaviorist as well. She had evaluated Scotty very carefully because , he was rescued from the vet's office where the owners had taken to euthanize him because he was snapping at them - they were elderly and couldn't control him so he was trying to take over the world. She said that smart dogs in impossible situations will apply and hone whatever skills they can so they can get by without getting into too much trouble. And it might be, as in the case of JJ and Scotty, that in the show/pet world, where other genetic traits are being de-selected, this "understanding" trait is magnified because it makes them so biddable and trainable. When he came here and found other outlets, he was just a big Scotty Bear and a wonderful companion who just understood what you were thinking. That trait was one of the reasons I went for a pup this time instead of waiting for another rescue to come my way. I have an interest in communications, though my field is English Literature, and I thought I might see how far I can get with a pup that doesn't come with issues to get in the way of any training (provided I don't create any :D). So far, Robin seems interested in understanding what I want, but food is his real motivator. He might as well have a "Will work for Food" sign on his chest. :D But he's young, just six months and he really wants to please.

 

Best of luck with your beautiful boy. I know the short coats are practical , but I do love those big shaggy rough coats...the Border Collies on the farm when I was young all had heavy coats...I never saw a prick eared, smooth coated Border Collie until about five years ago. Robin is a medium coat, a beautiful deep red. There's enough to run my fingers through, so he'll do :D.

 

Liz

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