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"The whole point of conformation showing is to select breeding stock. "

 

Well heck... And I always thought the whole point of conformation showing was to massage the exhibitor's ego. :rolleyes:

 

oh, and:

 

CONFORMation... Think about it...

 

ps. This is meant to be funny.

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I have just spent the past hour reading that thread and all the posts. I am horrified to say the least at the ignorance of the "show dog" people. To me it is almost like racism. You shouldn't be completely against one or the other but be able to accept different views. I think all the bickering goes on because there seems to be an idea that someone will decide where the breed is going in the future. To me all that matters is that there will be Borders that can do their original job and do it well regardless of what they look like and that show dogs are not bred just for looks with ignorance to the detriment effect to their health. You should NEVER breed a dog that isn't going o be healthy and to breed it looks over health in ANY breed is wrong. All breeds evolve for what they are needed and where they are needed, they will never be able to remain the same as they were originally even if "show dogs" never existed. I am accepting of show breeders only until someone over looks a health issue because it is a beautiful dog. There is not much we can do for where the breed is going but let it take it's course. It happens in every breed and the variety is as varied of each persons opinion as to what is beautiful.

 

What makes me laugh is how the Australian "show" dog would be able to perform in its original job with all that coat. Do they have any idea how freakin' hot it was yesterday! LOL I feel sorry for the poor baby, I vote to shave it so it doesn't die of heat exhaustion just from walking up the stairs!

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What makes me laugh is how the Australian "show" dog would be able to perform in its original job with all that coat. Do they have any idea how freakin' hot it was yesterday! LOL I feel sorry for the poor baby, I vote to shave it so it doesn't die of heat exhaustion just from walking up the stairs!

 

Actually judging that dog as un-functional is as wrong as what the show people are doing.

 

There are are hairy, short legged dogs that have wonderful working ability, stamina, and heat tolerance. There are light built dogs with short hair that are non-working, with no stamina and no tolerance for heat. And vis versa.

 

The point, and it bears putting in italics is that

The Border Collie can NOT be judged to be of breeding value except during the working of livestock.

 

CanNOT

 

By no-one

 

Not by a big hat, not by a farmer, not by a newbie, or a show person, an sport competitor or a "judge".

 

To know if the dog is worth breeding to make the next generation of Border Collies, you *must* WORK it. Not just look at it.

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Here are my show dogs

 

 

ScottA.jpg

Scott - notice the rose ears

 

TessE-1.jpg

Prick ears (Tess)

 

 

TessC-1.jpg

Show stance (Tess)

 

 

TessB-2.jpg

Turning in the ring (Tess)

 

Mud is a extra 5 points . Scott is 11 and Tess is almost 12.

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Thanks, Diane, those pictures may have redeemed the thread.

 

Conformation shows -- pointless.

 

Scott and Tess -- priceless!

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Actually judging that dog as un-functional is as wrong as what the show people are doing.

 

There are are hairy, short legged dogs that have wonderful working ability, stamina, and heat tolerance. There are light built dogs with short hair that are non-working, with no stamina and no tolerance for heat. And vis versa.

 

The point, and it bears putting in italics is that

The Border Collie can NOT be judged to be of breeding value except during the working of livestock.

 

CanNOT

 

By no-one

 

Not by a big hat, not by a farmer, not by a newbie, or a show person, an sport competitor or a "judge".

 

To know if the dog is worth breeding to make the next generation of Border Collies, you *must* WORK it. Not just look at it.

 

I would very much like to see that dog in first picture of the "Australian Show Border Collie" work on a typical farm in Australia. I mean working all day everyday, not just trialling or training occassionally. I am not doubting it's natural ability but I am pretty sure with that much coat even if it was heat tolerant there is only so much physiologically it could handle. I am not taking either side, if anything I am more for working dogs than show dogs, but you can argue the fact of whether it can work or not till your blue in the face because its a show dog but that will not achieve anything. I do not agree with the AKC just as I do not follow religion, but I try to not push my opinion onto other people or back them into a corner. I just completely disagree when it comes to health issues as I said before, that is just despicable. Not everyone has property or stock or even the funds to train and trial, we all do our best, but it the same kind of unsaid standard I have seen between sports performance dogs and "working" dogs. Personally I think the issue is more with backyard breeding breeds than with the AKC. Unfortunately the AKC is just more media savvy and manages to get those breed standards out to the public to a point that it is the accepted norm. I don't mean any offense there is just not much we can do about it. To tell the truth I very rarely ever see a show standard border collie, most I have seen in QLD, NSW are working type border collies. I am very proud of my beautiful girls, 2 out of the 3 are not bred to work but their body type is more the working type than show but the instinct is there and had I pursued that I am sure we could have done just fine. I am in awe watching dogs do what they were originally bred to do but that avenue is not available so I being a responsible dog owner keep them mentally stable by doing the next best thing, dog sports. :rolleyes:

 

I just re-read that and it sounded like a personal bashing toward you, so sorry it is a generaliaztion not so much a reply to your statement in particular.

 

And Tess is beautiful! I love the tiny white blaze and those beautiful big brown eyes!

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Not really, but let's go with it for a minute. You never answered the question I asked you. Let's try this.

 

Would you participate in conformation showing of Border Collies if only the dogs from working lines participated?

 

 

If only working border collie were accepted and we didn't have the ignorance of the majority of judges in the ring. Then Yes I wouldn't have an issue with showing the working border collie. The problem is working border collie are NOT on the whole accepted and the amount of money I would end up spending to CH the dog and for the handler... I would prefer to instead just use the money to play agility with. Its the bigger BANG for my buck. One focuses on the pedigree, who's the breeder is, and WHO is holding the leash while the other is more about training and performance.

 

The chances of me showing a border collie in the ring is slim to umm none.

 

I do realize, as Eileen said, Conformation is to select breeding stock. But to select breeding stock in working breeds base off of appearance alone is impractical and nuts.

 

:rolleyes: i might not make sense. In case your wondering I am very conflicted about conformation. I am trying to mesh two conflicting ideas together without much luck.

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Then Yes I wouldn't have an issue with showing the working border collie.

 

For what? What would be the point? I guess that's what I am failing to understand. What is the point of showing in conformation?

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As per the original post, I poked around the internet for Border Collies in Australia, and the UK. I used the words "working Border Collies" and "sheep dog Trials" in all my various searches. I did this because I was interested in the idea that dogs from certain countries or regions of certain countries would mostly look a certain way. These are some of he dogs I came up with. In most cases they were not named, nor was the photographer. The first two are Australian.

post-10533-1268621136_thumb.jpg post-10533-1268621177_thumb.jpg

 

This one was from East Lancashire

post-10533-1268621258_thumb.jpg

 

This one is from Northumbria

post-10533-1268621441_thumb.jpg

 

These are Scottish.

post-10533-1268621350_thumb.jpgpost-10533-1268621338_thumb.jpg

 

They all look like Border Collies, but none of them is really shaggy with short legs and the tuxedo markings that one generally sees in the breed ring. I'm not making a case for or against shaggy tuxedo Border Collies. But if I had bought the assertions made by some on that thread from the show dogs website I would have expected to see more of them coming from Britain and/or Australia.

 

They seem to look like many of the American dogs I've seen shown working sheep.

 

edited to add: sorry about the htm attachment thingie - I can't seem to make it go away...

Northumbrian_BCs.htm

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I think some people are under the impression that people ONLY ever show in conformation, in order to prove breeding stock.

 

If we look at it this way, the ABCA should de-register any border collies that gain an obedience or agility title, because the whole point of that sport is to get the highest score/time and to win. So obviously people are only in these things to win, and will therefore start breeding for better obedience and agility traits and stop breeding for working ability. Sure, there are people that do that, but how many people just compete with their responsibly bred working border collies for fun and something to do with their dogs?

 

My point is, even though most working people won't understand it, showing in conformation can be a fun and enjoyable experience for both the handler and dog. Just because they find it enjoyable, doesn't mean they'll cross over to the dark side, and give up everything they believed in before, just to breed for conformation.

 

And to the person that asked if there was another organization besides the AKC in the US to show in conformation, the next biggest kennel club is the UKC, but the ABCA will de-register conformation champions from the UKC as well.

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One of my Australian Flickr contacts, Allyeska, attends stockdog trials as a spectator and has some recent shots on her stream - these dogs are mainly smooth coated and very slender. She lives in Canberra. Check out her stockdog trial sets - on the right of the page.

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As per the original post, I poked around the internet for Border Collies in Australia, and the UK. I used the words "working Border Collies" and "sheep dog Trials" in all my various searches. I did this because I was interested in the idea that dogs from certain countries or regions of certain countries would mostly look a certain way. These are some of he dogs I came up with. In most cases they were not named, nor was the photographer. The first two are Australian.

post-10533-1268621136_thumb.jpg post-10533-1268621177_thumb.jpg

 

I don't really see a difference between the majority of dogs from different countries. For me the differences are minute and the country differences aren't much more than just natural variety within a breed. Australia tends more towards working Kelpies, Cattle Dogs (Stumpy tail, Smithfield, Heeler etc) and Koolies more so than Border Collies. From what I see everyday, our Border Collies in Agility, are mostly short legged, very lean and have long feathers, with short coat on the body. Saying that there are a few that are tall and lanky with short coat. In the pet community they are bigger and have thicker coat with the more standard marking, classically marked b/w. Whereas in Agility you get the variety of colours and I know this is abuot structure but I was told a couple of years ago there was a movement to get less white in Border Collies, but I have noticed more and more dogs with heavy white markings or mismarked. Such as a b/w dog with white patches across its side/back, split faces and full white faces and then the extremes such as my solid white girl. I have had a couple of people disgusted by the colour of my dogs because that is not the "standard" nor are their coast apparently "standard" but at our agility comp on the weekend I had soooo many compliments of my dogs body type, coat, colour and temperament.

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All breeds evolve for what they are needed and where they are needed, they will never be able to remain the same as they were originally even if "show dogs" never existed. . . . There is not much we can do for where the breed is going but let it take it's course. It happens in every breed and the variety is as varied of each persons opinion as to what is beautiful.

 

Border collies are not "needed" in the show ring. Some people want to take them there, but they are not "needed" there. They ARE needed for stockwork, because no other breed of dog can do what they can do. No one cares about keeping them "the same as they were originally" for its own sake. What we care about is retaining and enhancing their unparalleled ability to be useful partners in the management of livestock. Any breed can be shown in conformation. We just saw more than 150 breeds shown in conformation at Westminster and Crufts. Run one breed into the ground, and conformation enthusiasts can turn to another. But if the working ability of the border collie breed is lost, there is no practical alternative for the livestock producer to turn to.

 

Given that fact, there are many people here who are going to do their best to preserve the border collie as the working breed that it has been since it was created. Someone is going to define this breed in the public mind. We have not yet reached the point in the US where the border collie breed is defined as just a pretty, fluffy black and white dog with candy-colored "rare" variations, and we don't want to reach that point. We want it to hold onto its definition as a working stockdog. And we don't want the working-bred dog to become a dwindling fragment of the breed. We want it to remain the essence of the breed. It's not true that every breed loses its integrity and becomes just a random collection of related dogs being bred for all different varied purposes. In fact, if that happens you no longer have a breed, because the defining quality of a breed is that its breeders are breeding for a shared, coherent purpose. For the border collie, that purpose is working ability. Those who have abandoned that purpose, and are breeding dogs to conform to an appearance standard, are turning their population into a different breed, and the best thing we can do for the integrity of our breed is to keep our dogs as separate as possible from those that are being bred for that new purpose. Eventually they will be recognized as two different breeds, as they should be.

 

We don't have to just "let it take its course." Each one of us can have an impact by defining the breed according to the working standard, by not acquiescing in defining them according to the show standard, by supporting good working breeders, and by refusing to support those individuals and organizations who are trying to co-opt the breed.

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I think some people are under the impression that people ONLY ever show in conformation, in order to prove breeding stock.

 

If we look at it this way, the ABCA should de-register any border collies that gain an obedience or agility title, because the whole point of that sport is to get the highest score/time and to win. So obviously people are only in these things to win, and will therefore start breeding for better obedience and agility traits and stop breeding for working ability. Sure, there are people that do that, but how many people just compete with their responsibly bred working border collies for fun and something to do with their dogs?

 

Protest as you will, the declared purpose of the breed ring is to prove breeding stock. What other point could there be? Training is minimal. You stack the dog, keep its attention while the judge examines it, and then you gait it down and back. The whole point is what the dog has been bred to look like.

 

There is no such purpose attached to agility and obedience. They exist so people can do something fun with their dog, and to show its training, not its breeding. All breeds and mixed breeds can compete against one another. They can be spayed or neutered. And a suitably chosen working-bred border collie can do as well as a border collie specifically bred for either sport. This means there's little point in breeding specifically for the sport, so comparatively few people do it. OTOH, nearly everybody participates in conformation with a dog bred specifically for conformation.

 

Just because they find it enjoyable, doesn't mean they'll cross over to the dark side, and give up everything they believed in before, just to breed for conformation.

 

If you are showing a border collie in conformation, you have already crossed over to the dark side.

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In the UKC you can show spayed/neutered dogs in the alter class. You can show mixed breed and altered cats with the CFA. Just because you can't see it as something to do for fun only doesn't mean no one else is able to.

 

Breeding for performance in border collies is pretty predominant in the US, it's as big of a threat if not the same, as breeding for conformation IMO.

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Have you ever trained a conformation dog or handled one? It's not "easy."

 

Conformation shows started off as fun, just like agility and obedience. We don't know what the future holds, and you would think any major threat would be one that tempts people to breed for things other than working ability.

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One of my Australian Flickr contacts, Allyeska, attends stockdog trials as a spectator and has some recent shots on her stream - these dogs are mainly smooth coated and very slender. She lives in Canberra. Check out her stockdog trial sets - on the right of the page.

Thanks, Anda -- I just looked at Allyestka's pictures from the 2010 Australian National Sheepdog Trial and they are very nice!

 

Why did anyone ever think border collies needed a silly dog show? They already had the most magnificent venue for competition in the great sheepdog trials. Finals, Soldier Hollow, Meeker -- a dog show just seems so downright silly and minor league by comparison.

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If you are showing a border collie in conformation, you have already crossed over to the dark side.

 

Uh oh, I think I need to get rid of my shirt that says "Come to the dark side we have cookies"... Lol..... :rolleyes:

 

I PERSONALLY can be mixed about conformation. Simply put, I do NOT think people started conformation to "ruin" a breed. I think they *loved* their dog/ loved their breed, and POSSIBLY wanted to improve the dog. Such as- this dog is a great hunter, but he doesnt have the best stamina and frequently gets injured- but he has the best nose.... how can I improve his structure- let me breed to a well proportioned dam who is a decent hunter- and TADA maybe get a better dog. In "where the red fern grows" (I know its fiction) hunters voted during a hunting competition to pass time on who had the "prettiest" dog.

I think as towns grew, and cities grew, dogs turned more into pets- and breeds focused more on structure VERSUS ability WITH structure, simply because there was not need for that ability in a city.

 

I have friends that LOVED conformation (but got out after politics ruined their love of it). They only owned a few dogs, selectively bred for conformation, color, coat, AND ability (ie hunting, obedience, luring). They trained and competed in more than just conformation. Their dogs are their passion, and structure was just as important as working ability. They carefully trained the dog to walk a certain gait, carry the head just so, turn a certain way, prance just so, look the judge in the eye, (alot of time/clicker) and then the hard work all paid off when you'd win BIS. I think conformation started out with people like this.

 

But then you get those who want to WIN, and bring in POLITICS (I am friends with judge so and so).....And people who want to be "newer and better- think flashy" - and then you end up with a ruined breed AND a ruined idea. These people have no use for the dogs original ability, so cannot fathom WHY it matters if their dog can or cannot do something- all they want is the distinction for winning at a prestigeous event.

 

However, in the current *state* of conformation- I honestly think that only companion dogs should be in it. I have no objection to a chihuahua being in a conformation show. BUT if you showed up with a conformation German Shepherd- I may try to shoot you. In conformation- a companion dog MUST be calm, friendly, focused, well groomed, and obedient. All excellent qualities in a companion dog- since MANY companion dogs that are "poorly" bred are wicked little things- nervous, snappy, barky, etc.

As for a conformation person who will breed a small dog with health issues, simply put, that should not reflect on conformation, but that INDIVIDUAL breeder- that is VERY poor breeding practice.

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Aside from all the excellent points Eileen brought up, here is the issue I see with showing a working-bred border collie in conformation:

 

Despite Autumn's protests, in the main conformation ring (i.e. not the alter class, which I always thought was seen as more of a fun-class for pets), and not in CFA cats, but in the MAIN KC conformation rings, breeding IS the point. If you were able to find a working-bred collie that could win a conformation championship, and I do bet they are out there, would you really believe that other confo people wouldn't want to breed it? While they hate "coyote collies", their holy grail is a dog that can prove once and for all confo dogs can "have it all". Regardless of whether the dog in question WAS proven on stock, or even if it had good working ability or not (as some working bred dogs don't). Since everything I know about population genetics and evolution tells me that it is best for the true working border collie for the lines to stay as separate as possible, being successful at this enterprise could be very detrimental for the working collie while helping the "dark side" - conformation bred collies. It seemingly provides evidence for these deluded types to keep telling themselves that 1) working ability is alive and well in AKC lines, 2) good conformation = working ability, and 3) the lines haven't split that much, except with that disgusting, non-type coyote collie bred by crazy Americans.

 

One of the most basic, but most often repeated, logical fallacies I see from confo people (and it came up on that thread too), is that there are working dogs out there - usually argued as the dogs who look like the breed "should" -- that have the looks they prize. Because of the incredible variety of working dogs, it is true that some working bred dogs and even good workers have a close-to-conformation bred appearance (although, very few like the snub-nosed, dead-eyed OZ collie lines, I'd wager). But what gets me is that this is then followed by the statement that hence, there are also lots of of confo collies -- sometimes this is argued as ALL of them -- that can work. Which is not true at all. In other words, they are basically arguing "if a, then b; hence, if b, then a." This is such a simple fallacy, but seems to be so entrenched in their way of thinking.

 

Finally, from a few of the threads I have read on that board, including that one, any dual-registered dog is "claimed" by the confo folks, even if it was ABCA-bred. They appear to me to be masters of willfully ignoring what they don't want to see and twisting other facts to support a illogical point of view.

 

My point being, that I think while someone who enjoys confo may have a great deal of fun, and feel like they are really supporting the working bred collie by doing something like this, I see mainly potential to hurt the breed. JMHO.

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Oh, and anyone who has met show border collies, besides the OBVIOUS things like the coat/ears/body type/cookie cutter dog, will notice the TEMPERMENT is far less "border collie" like and more generic "friendly show dog type". I personally think its because the "original" border collies from working lines when put in a show ring would give judges dirty looks when in the ring, and play tricks on the handler-

"really, HUMAN- I am the culmination of centuries of careful breeding- and you want me to WHAT!!!??? Did you seriously say "just look pretty"???? "Bite me".

"hey guys, lets play roll in the mud, or round up the handlers"

"What did the sheep bribe you guys?"

Eventually they got tired of being made fun of by the dogs, and bred out the intelligence- as they were easier to live with....

"Sheep are so cute and fluffy, and I am SO jealous of their full coat"

"what do you mean 'working' dog, I walk around, isn't that work?"

HAHAHA :rolleyes: this is only a joke.

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I am not disagreeing with the ABCA de-registering conformation champions, I know why they do it. I'm not saying that showing border collies in conformation is a good thing. I'm simply saying, that just because someone might do that, doesn't automatically mean they are on the conformation side, and therefore should not be participating on the working border collie side of conversations like on the showdog.com thread, as that is what I'm assuming Jodi Darling was trying, and it still trying to accuse SS Cressa of. AND, that if you are going to apply this logic to breeding for conformation (and therefore showing in conformation) the same logic should apply to breeding for performance sports (and therefore competing in performance sports). To not do so is hypocritical, when the ABCA claims border collies should be bred for working ability only, and the reason conformation is bad, is because people are breeding for conformation rather than working ability.

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In the UKC you can show spayed/neutered dogs in the alter class. You can show mixed breed and altered cats with the CFA. Just because you can't see it as something to do for fun only doesn't mean no one else is able to.

 

Having spent time in my feckless youth with conformation types, I'm fairly certain that one or both of two things will happen as a result of "alter" classes. If an altered dog is winning a lot, conformation people will ask, "Who's his sire/dam?" because they will want to breed to them. And I would be surprised to learn that the winner of an alter class went on to compete for BIS, or could earn championship points. A conformation dog exists for two purposes - well, one purpose, really - to put ribbons on the wall in the breeder's den, and to throw pups that will do more of the same. Conformation breeders may talk about good movement, and "the improvement of the breed," or how their dogs make great companions, therapy dogs, agility dogs or whatever. But they mate the dogs that put ribbons on the wall.

 

Breeding for performance in border collies is pretty predominant in the US, it's as big of a threat if not the same, as breeding for conformation IMO.

 

I don't think anyone here would dispute that. I don't think that anyone has a problem with a working-bred dog doing agility, frisbee, obedience, dock-jumping, or any other sport. What you are looking at in those venues is the trainer/handler and the kind of performance that he/she can train/handle the dog to.

 

My only concern (and yours too, I imagine) with all these sport venues is that they start to attract a lot of money in the form of big purses, big sponsors and big crowds. When that happens then people will want to go to winning dogs to breed. I don't watch TV, so I don't really know - but this may already be happening. If it is, then I think you could make a case for sport dogs being not only being as great a threat to the working ability of the Border Collie, but possibly much greater - than the conformation dogs.

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as that is what I'm assuming Jodi Darling was trying, and it still trying to accuse SS Cressa of.

 

Wow. Thanks, Autumn. I think I've been trying to be pretty careful NOT to accuse SS Cressa of anything, considering I don't know much about her. I have been asking her questions is all. I think it's a bit odd that she's on a purely show chat board, complaining about what they are saying, and then running to her working dog board to ask for help in backing her up her position -- which, she isn't really even sure what her position is. I'm trying to understand it ... that's it.

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Huh? I thought it was a "yes" or "no" question. The reason I was asking is because a) I didn't want to be guilty of accusing you of anything that wasn't true, and :rolleyes: (that was supposed to be the letter "B" with a parenthesis around it) I think I recall you saying you show in conformation, and if that's the case, I don't understand your point in this thread. It almost seems like you're playing both sides against the middle.

 

JMNSHO, I guess.

 

Could just be how it came across on the internet, but this quote pretty much sums it up. Why would it matter if she showed in conformation if you're not trying to accuse (your words) her of "playing both sides against the middle." My point was, even if she did, that doesn't automatically mean she is on the conformation/"dark side." She could just enjoy doing it with her dogs, but be completely against border collies being BRED for conformation. Just as I could compete with Spirit in AKC agility, but be (and am) completely against border collies being BRED for agility.

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I think it's a bit odd that she's on a purely show chat board, complaining about what they are saying, and then running to her working dog board to ask for help in backing her up her position -- which, she isn't really even sure what her position is. I'm trying to understand it ... that's it.

 

I thought she was asking about whether there was a difference in the "type" of border collie depending on the country of origin. Since someone from a "show" post claims that there is a "function" for short legged stocky furry "showtypey" border collies depending on terain. From her posts, my guess is she wanted a show border collie but after being on these board is beginning to change her mind, but hasn't quite yet.

I do not think she wanted us to back her up on a show board, but she wanted knowlegable people's opinion on border collie types per country of origins.

I personally, after reading it, was curious if dogs from different countries DID look different- but that has been clarified on these posts. I really like alot of the posts, especially about what is "useful" for what terrain.

JMHO

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