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I think the argument against Kennel Clubs applies to any dog breed that is or was ever bred for their working ability. Obviously border collies are the focus of most people on this forum, but it pains me almost as much to see an australian cattle dog or a pyrenean shepherd in the show ring. All you have to do is look at what the KC has done to previously functional working dogs to see why supporting the breeding of AKC BCs will have an adverse effect on the breed. Example: Basset Hounds. Basset Hounds are descendant from lighter boned functional hunting dogs that lacked the extra skin, heavy bones, and wrinkles that now severely inhibit any potential function the dog might have. Further more, breeders of modern basset hounds consider a light boned basset to be the result of poorly bred specimens and suggest that only show quality bassets ever be mated to preserve the desired physical qualities of the breed. Maybe this example is extreme, but it goes to show that the KC and AKC believe that function follows form, which is certainly not the case. The functionality of all working dogs is jeopardized by this type of breeding If anything, form should follow function, if tha'ts what your interested in. Maybe Kennel Clubs should be a place for the toy and miniature breeds who's only function is to look pretty and sit in people's laps :rolleyes:

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Maybe Kennel Clubs should be a place for the toy and miniature breeds who's only function is to look pretty and sit in people's laps :rolleyes:

I would say that Kennel Clubs should NOT even have a place for lap dogs, given what's happened to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels! As I understand it this breed also fought KC recognition. After all, being a good lap dog includes being healthy and having enough room in your skull for your brain.


ETA: A link to cavalierhealth.org


While it had grown slowly but steadily in popularity between its arrival in the United States from England in 1952 until its introduction into the American Kennel Club in 1995, it was not until that AKC recognition that the numbers of litters of Cavalier puppies per year began skyrocketing. Since the first year of AKC recognition, the number of AKC registrations of Cavalier King Charles spaniels has increased by over 800%....With its increased popularity has come extraordinary over-breeding, which, for the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, may well prove to be its death knell.
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After all, being a good lap dog includes being healthy and having enough room in your skull for your brain.


Good point, it's hard to overlook what is happening to that breed. I can only hope that the breeders and the KC take a responsible step forward in the healthy breeding of these dogs. Judging by the segment in 'Pedigree dogs Exposed,' it's going to take a considerable amount of pressure. And lets not forget the killing of ridgeless ridgebacks.

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I teach a drop in agility class. I have dogs, mutts and dogs of all breeds (not any Border Collies, funny enough) running a basic coarse successfully within minutes. By their third drop in (5 runs each drop in) they are ready for an intermediate class. A dog is only as good as its trainer and handler when it comes to agility, there is no natural instinct these dogs need to be bred for. So the question is silly and the deed is down right stupid.


As for working dogs being good at agility and other sports. I have a nice little pack of working bred dogs. My oldest is 11, going to be 12 in July. She still whips all the young ones on any coarse and I still cannot keep up with her. She has never been lame in her old age and I am almost to the point where I believe she never will be till the day she dies. She doesn’t need a crowd to be happy running a agility coarse but she sure does draw one. She just had her first blood panel done, at 11, almost 12 and the vet told me there isn’t a thing I need to change in her care. To say the least, he was shocked but I wasn’t. Her Grandmother, died at 18 years old after a long life-working sheep on her family farm here in Michigan. She worked sheep till the day she passed. Her Father is still alive and kicking, working sheep daily on that same family farm and he is going to be 14 or 15. I am positive he’ll work sheep the till the day he dies, just like his mother.


I’ll never breed for anything other then my dogs abilities to work livestock because I love my dogs dearly and want them with me for as long as possible and as sound as long as possible. I love people’s faces when they learn my oldest dog’s age. It makes me proud of what I believe ii and it makes believers of others.


People can buy their dogs from where they want, they can breed them for what they want. It doesn’t make them Border Collies. Being in the dog world, we quickly find that pedigrees mean nothing, only the dog at hand does.



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I guess I'm not really as focused on what the dogs look like, as how they perform. I'm also not really thinking about anyone's ego. I'm too busy appreciating the talent of both the dog and handler, and the amount of commitment, training, and dedication that it takes to build a routine to that level.


Different point of view, I suppose. :rolleyes:


I went to Crufts once, some time ago last century. The handlers were not actually slovenly, but certainly not dressed for dinner like they are in the US. The dogs were not actually ungroomed, but certainly were not sprayed and polished and tweaked like they are here. So, these things are good, IMO, even though I don't quite get the reverse snobbism of the Crufts' participants (nor do I understand the top hat and tails approach in the US).


The disconnect between the breed ring dogs and the performance dogs was easily as profound there, then, as it is here, now. In agility and obedience, there were no Border Collies, just Working Collies--the dogs we would recognize I think as working Border Collies. The breed ring retrievers were coffee table dogs--broad backs and squatty short legs--as they are being shown now, here in the US. However, the working retrievers looked remarkably like our working retrievers look.


And in the UK they swear up and down that there is NO show/work split in any of these breeds.


So, even while enjoying the performances, it was painful to watch the "conformation dogs" move with little of the grace and purpose they originally had been bred for.


Chris O

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Finally, breeding for stockwork is a very difficult, nuanced undertaking. Even seemingly great crosses need to be vetted by evaluating offspring (which can only happen on stock).


I'm not a breeder, but I suspect this is a very important point. I can't believe that someone without an extensive knowledge of herding could produce optimal results, even if they were working with good working lines. There's an inherent ignorance in a lot of sport-type breeding, because the foundation isn't well understood.


In terms of non-herding trials, I go for the same reasons I go to herding trials - to meet people, watch dogs work and learn. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any other way to get these results. I also feel others in attendance can benefit from seeing my working bred dogs work - they are often in a class by themselves. Hopefully, we will inspire other people to look into working lines when they get their next dog. After all, I (like many another) fell in love with the breed watching a working bred Border Collie at an obedience trial.

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