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Border Collies are NOT sheepdogs??


JaderBug
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I received this response on a GSD board I just started on, basically correcting me on calling my Border Collie a sheepdog:

 

A sheepdog is a flock guardian, not a herder. (Like a Pyr, Maremma, or Anatolian) A shepherd is the human who cares for the flock. A shepherd's dog is the herding dog a shepherd uses. So both Border Collies and GSDs were bred to be shepherd's dogs, not sheepdogs. So the AKC name of Belgian Sheepdog, for the Groenendael version of the Belgian Shepherd; is misnamed.

 

wth?? Have I been missing something?? Hasn't the Border Collie been called a 'sheepdog' since before the beginning of Border Collie-dom?? Therefore, has ISDS been inaccurately named?? I don't know about y'all but I've never heard of a Border Collie NOT being called a sheepdog...

 

Discuss/Explain??

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I received this response on a GSD board I just started on, basically correcting me on calling my Border Collie a sheepdog:

wth?? Have I been missing something?? Hasn't the Border Collie been called a 'sheepdog' since before the beginning of Border Collie-dom?? Therefore, has ISDS been inaccurately named?? I don't know about y'all but I've never heard of a Border Collie NOT being called a sheepdog...

 

Discuss/Explain??

 

Why don't you direct this idiot them to http://www.usbcha.com/ . Tell them to check out the sheepdog section.

ETA: Bill Fosher's sheep forum has a section on Livestock Guardians that discusses breeds such as the maremma and anatolian.

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I received this response on a GSD board I just started on, basically correcting me on calling my Border Collie a sheepdog:

wth?? Have I been missing something?? Hasn't the Border Collie been called a 'sheepdog' since before the beginning of Border Collie-dom?? Therefore, has ISDS been inaccurately named?? I don't know about y'all but I've never heard of a Border Collie NOT being called a sheepdog...

 

Discuss/Explain??

 

Fear not, Jaderbug! :rolleyes:

 

The OED defines "sheep-dog" as: a dog that tends sheep, spec. one or the other of the varieties trained for this purpose, as the Scotch collie or the bob-tailed English sheep-dog.

 

under "shepherd" it says: "shepherd's-dog" a large variety of dogs employed by shepherds to control and protect flocks of sheep.

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There are two types of sheepdogs. Those that protect the flock and those who work the flock. The term is acceptable to both sides.

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Good one, Wendy! Maybe those folks in their ignorance are not familiar with the International Sheep Dog Society, or the Working Sheepdog. Or maybe those folks in the UK just don't know what they are talking about...

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A sheepdog is a flock guardian, not a herder. (Like a Pyr, Maremma, or Anatolian)

 

Well, the usage in English does not refer to a flock guardian -- as you will notice from the mentioned breeds, livestock guardian dogs are not native to England (or the British Isles). Why? No wolves or bears or any other serious non-human threat to sheep. Maybe this impression is the result of inaccurate translation from German (or other European language)? As enough people have already mentioned, the founders of the ISDS knew exactly what to call their (herding) dogs.

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I know in Russian, the term "ovcharka" is a dog who works with sheep, a sheepdog. It doesn't differentiate between herding, tending, LGD.

 

Back in the early '90's, I got Lena, one of the first Caucasian Ovcharkas in this country. When I knew I was getting her, I mentioned to my relatives -- who came from around St. Petersburg in Russia (the USSR at that time), that I was getting an ovcharka. Their reaction was underwhelming. They thought "so? what's the big deal about getting a German Shepherd". The only ovcharka they knew was the GSD - a German ovcharka. The mountain dogs, the LGD's of the Caucuses were not known to the majority of Russians until the late 50's, early '60's when they were "discovered" and brought out of the different areas of the mountains and into the cities. When my relatives met Lena then, they were duly impressed by this native ovcharka.

 

And I still don't understand what that GSD person was trying to say. She must have been talking out her &*%$$

 

Did I miss it, or did you set her straight?

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In Romanian, the life guardian dogs are called "ciobanesc" (As in Ciobanesc Mioritic, Ciobanesc Carpatin), while the shepherd is called "cioban". So these are dogs who "belong to the shepherd". Even a GSD is called "Ciobanesc German".

 

It was very hard to explain to my friends and family that a Border Collie is a different type of "ciobanesc", because he's not one to guard the sheep... but actually "work" them and drive them to where the shepherd needs them to go. It is just not heard of in that side of Europe to have a driving dog. Whenever I said he's a sheep dog, they all imagined a fluffy huge mean white dog.

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Whenever I said he's a sheep dog, they all imagined a fluffy huge mean white dog.

 

That's what they do here. Bury a couple of big fluffy protectors in the herd and then use a herder to tend the sheep. Although I've heard of BC going protective only it's usually for their masters not the sheep.

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Did I miss it, or did you set her straight?

 

This was my response:

 

I'm sorry, I have to disagree with you... never in my life have I heard someone say that a Border Collie isn't a sheepdog. I've always understood that any dog that works with sheep -- guarding or herding -- is considered a sheepdog. Before the Border Collie was a Border Collie, it was just a collie, or just a 'sheepdog.'

 

Please visit the United States Border Collie Handler's Association and direct yourself to the sheepdog section: http://www.usbcha.com/

 

Also, visit the International Sheep Dog Society, the most respected Border Collie registry in the world... the ISDS was founded in the early 1900s: http://www.isds.org.uk/

 

The first sheepdog trials were held in the 1870s: http://www.isds.org.uk/society/function_purpose/history.html

 

I'm pretty sure the ISDS knew perfectly well what they were doing when they titled their organization.

 

I would be happy to direct you to any number of sources/organizations related to herding breeds and their sheepdogs... there's a lot of them.

 

This is the second GSD board I've joined in an effort to learn more about the breed before DH and I get one... it's been an interesting and rather confusing experience. I'm not sure they seem to have any problem with what the AKC has done to this wonderful dog, I haven't dug really deep yet though. The boards are confusing, there's about a thousand categories, not like these awesome boards.

 

They seem to value high numbers of litters... they were talking about someone that they respected, stating that they'd had over 350 litters in their lifetime (it'd been a long one, but still!!! omg!!!) I just don't understand them yet.

 

It's interesting to hear them talk about their dogs herding too... very strange, but maybe that's just because I'm biased. Another interesting note... they talk about how herding has been so instinctual with their dogs and it's "what they were bred to do"... from my breed history research, I don't think Max von Stephanitz had any sort of breeding towards herding ability in mind- he used "German shepherd dogs" as a baseline, but they were working/protection, not really herding...

 

What is DH getting me into?? :rolleyes:

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FWIW, when someone says sheepdog to me, I automatically think of a dog who works sheep. My livestock guardian is just that: a guardian. I don't ever refer to the LGD as a sheepdog and I haven't ever heard anyone else refer to them that way either (not that this means a great deal, as obviously my connections are limited largely to the US, but still).

 

Rachel, you gave a good answer. I think you and DH would be better off to save up your pennies and import a GSD. That's the only way I'd have one.

 

J.

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It's interesting to hear them talk about their dogs herding too... very strange, but maybe that's just because I'm biased. Another interesting note... they talk about how herding has been so instinctual with their dogs and it's "what they were bred to do"... from my breed history research, I don't think Max von Stephanitz had any sort of breeding towards herding ability in mind- he used "German shepherd dogs" as a baseline, but they were working/protection, not really herding...

"What they were bred to do" seems to be the mantra of anyone who has any sort of dog that, at some time in its breed history, was used in some fashion on livestock. Since most of those dogs haven't been used or selected for livestock working ability for generations, what instincts and abilities they retain are probably minimal at best.

 

As for GSDs, there are good, sound, healthy dogs produced - generally from foreign lines - but that's no guarantee. The extremes that the show ring and popular fancy favors can be found in many European countries as well as the US. While I no longer have the website address, one site with many pictures of dogs from various European countries (including Eastern Europe) show that grotesque conformation is prevalent in places where you think you would find pure, old-line GSDs.

 

If you PM me, I can give you a contact of a woman I respect, who might be able to give you breeder/kennel contact information. She has had GSDs for years, and selects from breeders who produce a sound, not show ring bred, intelligent, dog.

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Some people just want to split hairs over how to use certain words, I think. I wouldn't worry about it.

 

Deutscher Schaeferhund means German Shepherd Dog, and they were originally used and bred for herding, or maybe more accurately guiding/moving, and guarding sheep. The main focus of course has shifted to working in other areas, like police work, search dog, guard dog etc..

 

I found a website that shows a GSD rounding up/guiding sheep. They work differently than Border Collies. But it looks like the dog knows what to do and he seems very confident and happy to do his job. The article is interesting, too, if you care to read it. :)

 

German Shepherdherding

 

If a dog works with sheep, it's a sheepdog, at least in my dictionary.

 

:)

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I've had GSD's for a long time. (the last of my gsd boys passed away a few weeks back - I adored him) I love the breed and they will forever be in my heart. However, I'm so not considering adding another to my family anytime soon. This is just my opinion but the temperments I've seen in these dogs lately is kind of scarey. They're either fearful and reactive or so hopped up with drive and over the top that they're reactive. I've also been seeing this in the imports/European lines lately. Not sure, maybe I'm seeing them in the wrong hands. This is a breed that requires extremely careful consideration and alot of research to find an honest and reputable breeder. I guess the same could be said for any breed really.

They definitely have a different style of herding. It's called tending, initially being used for more along the lines of boundary patrol, containment and protection of large flocks (200-1200 sheep).

 

Here's a site that I thought was neat.

www.whitecloversheepfarm.com

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This is the second GSD board I've joined in an effort to learn more about the breed before DH and I get one... it's been an interesting and rather confusing experience. I'm not sure they seem to have any problem with what the AKC has done to this wonderful dog, I haven't dug really deep yet though. The boards are confusing, there's about a thousand categories, not like these awesome boards.

 

I think the GSD folk tend to have a more live and let live view of the splits. And it's not just the AKC show dogs that have issues, I personally find the German showlines to be even worse. Some AKC dogs walk on their hocks but the extreme roached backs of the german showlines just bother me more. Plus some of them are starting to hock walk too.

 

I too have had a shepherd (well we figure mix but he was supposed to be pure) before. Wonderful wonderful dog, you could not find a better dog than he was. But I see very few nowadays that mirror his qualities. Too many are crippled looking or worse, they're shy and fearful or reactive. I would love another one in the far future, but I will have to look long and hard to find a working breeder with stable dogs. The state that breed is in honestly really scares me. I still love the breed though.

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I tooo adore GSDs but the extremes that have beome of them...I see all these dogs that people post on other boards, both show and working lines from various countries, and I just cringe at the sight of most of them. people talking about how GORGOUS and perfectly strectured there GSD is, when I am looking at a short roach backed dog walking on its wrists and hocks..I dont get it..just how the heck is that GOOD? or the american showlines with the hock walking and freakily weak pasterns..I have seen some of these dogs just in ordinary life..it aint the way they are stacked as most of them try to have you believe, because when I see those dogs walking in petsmart with their hips wobbling from side to side and their pasterns bent at a 45* angle and flopping around... that exuse no longer holds up! I cant say that I have seen very many issues with temperment though..at least the GSDs I have met have been awsome dogs with wonderful temperments.

 

edited because I cant type lol

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