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If you lived in an apartment in a city and needed a car to do errands and drive 4 miles to work, why would you get a King-Cab, 4WD pickup with stock-racks? (Yeah, I know - people do... :rolleyes: ) But seriously, you wouldn't say, "Oh! I just love the way those GMC super-sized trucks look! Why don't they make a tiny version in pink?" So why try to warp the BC into a laid-back, goofy, plush toy? Just go get a Shi Tzu.


Actually we do have scaled down and higher comfort spec 4x4s and pick ups here for people who don't really need them but like the look of them. I haven't seen a pink one yet but I have seen a few in colours that are approaching the girly end of the spectrum. It's only a matter of time, I'm sure.

If people like the look and basic trainability of a BC, why would they get a Shi Tzu? Everyone has their preferences in one way or another.



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If people like the look and basic trainability of a BC, why would they get a Shi Tzu? Everyone has their preferences in one way or another.



I guess that depends on whether the people actually are willing to apply themselves to the human side of the trainability question. If they were indeed so willing, there would likely be way fewer border collies (and other breeds) in rescue.



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The most sane, well-mannered dogs I know are working bred. People who get working-bred (or any other type of) pups and then give them up are doing so not because they are *working bred;* they do so because they likely aren't suitable homes for any active, intelligent, human-oriented breed. That's not the fault of the dog (working-bred or not) but the fault of the human who was simply uneducated and unprepared, or more likely simply unwilling, to give the pup the kind of home it needed.


That's the point though. I never said it was the dogs' "fault" - just that the people were wrong for it.

We're getting the same more and more over here with cockers, for example. Working cockers are spreading into the general community rather than being restricted to being used on shoots and most people don't know the difference between those and the show version so end up with the wrong one for their lifestyle and some end up in rescue.

I've never heard any complaints from those who use their working cockers for the purpose intended that the show cocker is ruining their version of the breed. The people who really matter and know what they are doing know the difference and that's all that counts.

The show BC is a recent phenomenon. The difference between working gun dogs and their show counterparts in various breeds is longer established and a mutual disrespect exists. They share the same name but that is all. Further down the line than where we're currently at with BCs, there are still working gun dogs being bred. If the numbers are not as great as before it isn't the fault of the show type - it is the decline of the shooting estates and the move towards HPR dogs rather than single purpose breeds. Show type for pets, working types for work or other physical activity.


Here in the US, puppies are sold on slick websites to the gullible.


It's interesting to compare the national differences. Heavy advertising is rare here - never seen it all myself. Joe Public is more likely to end up with a BC pup bought on impulse by seeing a farm gate sign than to do any research. Then they complain that the dog has "bitten" the kids and it has to go.

The ones with the candy colours are the sports people, and I believe it's the same where you are. I've actually got more of an issue with them that with people who want a pretend BC as a pet. There is no need whatever to breed specifically for sport. The dogs are there already from real working stock that are surplus to requirements or in rescue.

Sports people are a half way house and many convince themselves that what their dog is doing is "work". IME most pet people aren't under the same delusion.

Here pet/show and working BCs are different enough to keep them apart - it's the sport bred dogs that cloud the issue.


Here people are most likely to see border collies in sporting events, as disc dogs, obedience dogs, or at Westminter, etc.--the things they would see on TV.


We don't really get much TV coverage of non working dog activities here - occasionally on little watched channels. Even when Crufts is televised you would only get a few minutes coverage of flyball and agility over the four days. Plenty of inane chatter from presenters though. I don't think what they say or what people see sticks in the mind. All people remember for a little while is what won BIS and I don't think it's ever been a BC.

By comparison "One Man and his Dog" was very popular in its heyday with viewing figures of up to 8m. I'm not sure what figures it gets now but the TV schedulers have messed it around and the market for viewers is very different now. It's still on mainstream TV sometimes though.

I think we are in a fortunate position in this country. It is very small and people don't have to travel far to get into the country and see what is going on. To put it in perspective, nowhere in the UK is more than 70 miles from the sea.

This is why I don't get too worked up about the advent of the pet/show collie sounding the death knell for the working dog. It's probably easier here to draw a distinction between the two. Any townie bragging about Barbie's herding ability is likely to get laughed at.



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