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But the Border Collies are the best...seriously! Have you ever watched a high level obedience, agility or flyball match? What is the % of Border Collies?

 

Exactly!! And why are they the best? Because of the unique attributes that come from breeding for stock work. So if you get the total package by breeding for stock work, what is the point of breeding for anything else? :rolleyes:

 

I'm not opposed to using BCs in sports at all. I just think only proven stock dogs should be bred. Sport competitors can get their dog from working breeders and still compete just fine with them.

 

So you are saying that breeding a dog for performance is a bad choice because there are dogs in rescue and shelters and performance is not as important as a stock dog? Is breeding a pure bred dog bad as well in your opinion, or only deliberately cross bred dogs?

 

I don't agree with breeding dogs specifically for sports such as agility and flyball - purebred or mixed breed. You do not need a dog specifically bred for the sport to be competitive in the sport. If you want to start with a puppy, go get a nice working bred dog from a good breeder that breeds for a good well-rounded package. Working Border Collie, Field Bred Lab or Golden, Jack Russell, etc. Otherwise you can find great mixed breed and pure bred dogs in shelter that you can train for sports.

 

Sporting dogs need good drive, athleticism, a nice temperament and a healthy body. Unfortunately, this type of dog is not too difficult to find in shelters.

 

Sheep dogs on the other hand also need a high degree of biddability and an ability to read stock and respond appropriately they need uncanny judgment in handling a variety of livestock. A well bred dog is born with the instinct of working stock that the handler hones. They have a special set of instincts bred into them to be the shepherds right hand and working partner. It's unique and special.

 

I think it kind of boils down to the fact that the traits that make up a good stock dog can only be had by breeding specifically for it, which is not the case for agility and flyball dogs

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Exactly!! And why are they the best? Because of the unique attributes that come from breeding for stock work. So if you get the total package by breeding for stock work, what is the point of breeding for anything else? :rolleyes:

 

I'm not opposed to using BCs in sports at all. I just think only proven stock dogs should be bred. Sport competitors can get their dog from working breeders and still compete just fine with them.

 

 

 

I don't agree with breeding dogs specifically for sports such as agility and flyball - purebred or mixed breed. You do not need a dog specifically bred for the sport to be competitive in the sport. If you want to start with a puppy, go get a nice working bred dog from a good breeder that breeds for a good well-rounded package. Working Border Collie, Field Bred Lab or Golden, Jack Russell, etc. Otherwise you can find great mixed breed and pure bred dogs in shelter that you can train for sports.

 

Sporting dogs need good drive, athleticism, a nice temperament and a healthy body. Unfortunately, this type of dog is not too difficult to find in shelters.

 

Sheep dogs on the other hand also need a high degree of biddability and an ability to read stock and respond appropriately they need uncanny judgment in handling a variety of livestock. A well bred dog is born with the instinct of working stock that the handler hones. They have a special set of instincts bred into them to be the shepherds right hand and working partner. It's unique and special.

 

I think it kind of boils down to the fact that the traits that make up a good stock dog can only be had by breeding specifically for it, which is not the case for agility and flyball dogs

 

Thanks for your reply. I guess we disagree only on one point, really....I think you *can* breed a good sport dog...I just don't think that a sport bred dog is a Border Collie anymore.

 

Most of the "winning-est" dogs at the highest levels of competition are in fact from performance breeders...

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A friend who does Aussie Rescue and does a lot of fly ball tried on two separate occasions to find a Border Jack type

 

There is no Border Jack "type". This is the problem with deliberately breeding crosses - no predictability as to what you will get unless you breed generation after generation. I've seen it claimed that F1 criosses are predictable but it just ain't so.

Just taking three I know myself - one is built like a small whippet, one lmuch more like a Jack and the third looks similar to a small sheltie.

Others I've seen come out like corgis - normal BC bodies but stumpy legs.

 

Pam

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Thanks for your reply. I guess we disagree only on one point, really....I think you *can* breed a good sport dog...I just don't think that a sport bred dog is a Border Collie anymore.

 

Most of the "winning-est" dogs at the highest levels of competition are in fact from performance breeders...

 

You can - but you don't have to.

The trouble is that people are so impressionable. X has a good dog therefore when they have a litter if I buy one I will be guaranteed success. Absolute rubbish - you have to be able to train the dog properly to get the best out of it - any dog.

The myth that you need a specially bred dog perpetuates itself.

X's successful dog has pups with Y's successful dog.

X and Y have successful friends who buy the pups.

Because the buyers already know what they are doing they're likely to do well with the pups. So now you not only have X and Y, but also A B C and D etc with good dogs of the same breeding. Then A B C and/or D repeat the process. This is what Joe Public sees and wrongly thinks that they need a specially bred dog too.

The one off dogs that do equally well (be they rescue, failed workers or whatever) don't have as much of an impact on the public consciousness.

 

Pam

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Thanks for your reply. I guess we disagree only on one point, really....I think you *can* breed a good sport dog...I just don't think that a sport bred dog is a Border Collie anymore.

 

Just to clarify, by "can" do you mean it's possible to? Or that it's perfectly acceptable to?

 

I would agree that it is possible to breed a good sport dog. And that those dogs are not necessarily crazy wild, hard to live with dogs. They can be well rounded with good temperaments.

 

Most of the "winning-est" dogs at the highest levels of competition are in fact from performance breeders...

 

Once again to clarify, by performance, do you mean specifically sport bred? And if this is the case do think it is the it's the specific breeding that gives them the edge, or the training? IMO, it's the training and the trainer. Yup, the dog needs the right pieces of the puzzle, but beyond that the skill of the trainer is a deciding factor. I think these trainers could take just about any well bred sporting or herding dog and turn it into a competition dog. Or they would also have the knowledge and skill to find a shelter or rescue dog with all the right puzzle pieces and train that, too. They just decide to get sport bred ones because that's the circle they're in.

 

There is a group in CA that takes "gently used" ( I like that term!) dogs and trains them to be disaster search dogs. They look for a specific type, not a pedigree. And it works. They consistently turn out disaster search dogs that go on to pass high level certification. So I know it works to get high performance dogs from a wide variety of situations. So I really believe that where performance dogs come from comes down to a personal preference decision rather than "this is where I've got to get a dog if I want to be competitive"

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Yup, the dog needs the right pieces of the puzzle, but beyond that the skill of the trainer is a deciding factor. I think these trainers could take just about any well bred sporting or herding dog and turn it into a competition dog. Or they would also have the knowledge and skill to find a shelter or rescue dog with all the right puzzle pieces and train that, too. They just decide to get sport bred ones because that's the circle they're in.

 

Absolutely right.

Since we in the UK have a system where any dog can compete in anything (except breed specific field trials) there hasn't previously been the pressure to get a KC registered dog so you will find top agility dogs from all sorts of sources.

Unfortunately since the KC decided we were going to play the FCI apartheid game and take part in their World Champs following the introduction of the Pet Passport scheme which made it possible, handlers with international ambitions have to have KC registered dogs and this means that more sport bred dogs are being produced, in particular BCs.

It's a real pity because as far as BCs are concerned there is no excuse since our KC will register ISDS dogs (whatever they look like) and the few people to whom it matters could easily get their dogs from registered working lines.

Going back to the OP, there are a few people producing deliberate crosses but that is usually because they like that particular mix, not because they want the mix to take over the Agility world. One of our top handlers breeds her own BC x Beardies.

Smaller down the scale a few people are breeding poodle crosses of various types but it is having limited effect at present.

Shelties and Poodles are the most common breeds, then terriers and their crosses. Poodles and Shelties can be attributed in large part to one or two handlers in each case who have done extremely well and gone on to establish their own lines. Other breeders have then benefited from the knock on effect.

 

Pam

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Just to clarify, by "can" do you mean it's possible to? Or that it's perfectly acceptable to?

 

In the quote above, I meant that its possible to.

 

I would agree that it is possible to breed a good sport dog. And that those dogs are not necessarily crazy wild, hard to live with dogs. They can be well rounded with good temperaments.

They are just not really Border Collies if they can't work stock.

 

Once again to clarify, by performance, do you mean specifically sport bred? And if this is the case do think it is the it's the specific breeding that gives them the edge, or the training?

 

I mean a dog bred fr characteristics that will make him excel at dog sports, yes.

 

All of it? No...using your language there are many pieces to the puzzle...but temperament, structure and drive are inheritable and if your goal is to have a winning agility dog, or a top notch flyball dog, looking at the breeding can be one way to get some of those pieces. You are absolutely correct when you say that the training and handling are important, but the best trainer or handler cannot compensate for poor structure, pathological fear, epilpsy or zero drive.

 

In addition, its sad but true: many people do things that can ruin great dogs like not socialize them. There's a lot of dogs out there in rescue who have long-term issues that exist because the original owners thought they wanted a dog but really didn't and waited until the dog was completely messed up to get rid of it.

 

Please, before you think I am slagging on all rescues...I am not, not at all. I own 3 right now and have owned several others including a couple who were top notch agility dogs.

 

I agree with you that there are an ASTOUNDING number of dogs in rescue or shelters that have the possible potential to make great sport dogs. I have done Border Collie rescue, Papillon Rescue and Dalmatian Rescue and have handled and fostered a large number of dogs who were given up for the very reasons they would be great at dog sports.

 

That said, I have seen just as many with health, structure or temperament problems, and many whose unfortunate start in life created a dog unsuitable for sports. I have adopted in my lifetime 6 dogs that had great sports potential and 2 of them worked out to be great sports dogs. The others were unable because of various issues that did not surface until well after I adopted them and adored them. One died at 2 because of congenital kidney issues, one had intervertebral disc disease, one never got over his fear of certain things and transferred to to so many other things that something as simple as a camera making a noise could send him into a quivering fearful state, one developed epilepsy...

 

I kept all of my dogs, and a few years ago when I was really into agility I had a LOT dogs, only 2 of which who could play agility. Not everyone can do that.

 

If they choose to adopt a puppy vs a rescue dog, its maybe because they don't want to have multiple dogs, and they want to start without the baggage.

 

The problem of dogs needing rescue exists because people breed dogs without thought, and adopt those puppies without thought.

 

IMO, a planned litter of cross-breds destined for sport homes who really want them and who will cherish their unique characteristics is a much better situation in my eyes than a pure-bred litter bred because "my dog is so cute" and then sold to anyone with the $ for the puppy who may have not even thought about getting a dog 2 weeks ago.

 

I don't think we disagree as much as we agree. I just don;t think cross bred dogs whose existence fills a purpose is as bad as some of the posters in this thread.

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I don't see anything wrong with breeding for sport. Just as I don't see anything wrong with breeding for work. I know ranchers who breed working dogs of mixed "breeds" to get the kind of work they need done. What I have a problem with is people who breed for one thing and say it's another. ie. breeing for looks and saying it's breeding for work.

Anyone with a really great herding dog will most likely breed for herding which wil keep the best continuing on. What does it matter if the less than great herding dogs get bred for great flyball dogs? Who does it hurt?

 

There are too many sport breeders out there breeding for things other than herding ability. They are breeding for sports and using the bc to breed the mixes. I am not saying it it right but it is the way it is. I give all the bc owners that are trying to keep them for what they were originally bred to be and I am sure they will succeed. It just won't be easy since so many breeders are breeding for other venues now.

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I just don;t think cross bred dogs whose existence fills a purpose is as bad as some of the posters in this thread.

 

I don't think that is what a lot of posters have been saying.

It isn't the crossing that is the problem, it's the definition of "purpose".

I'm immersed in the agility world and I don't see it as a "purpose" (read "excuse") for breeding any dog, cross or purebreed.

Agility is fun but it isn't useful by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Pam

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There is no Border Jack "type". This is the problem with deliberately breeding crosses - no predictability as to what you will get unless you breed generation after generation. I've seen it claimed that F1 criosses are predictable but it just ain't so.

Just taking three I know myself - one is built like a small whippet, one lmuch more like a Jack and the third looks similar to a small sheltie.

Others I've seen come out like corgis - normal BC bodies but stumpy legs.

 

Pam

 

 

Just to qualify, when I said "type" I don't mean breed type. I mean "terrier/herding cross." Less concerned about how it looks than its characteristics.

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I think I'm just in the mood for arguing today ;-)

 

I think agility is VERY useful. Most of the obstacles are reminders of obstacles that would be encountered by police or search and rescue dogs.

 

Just last week I asked my dog to "table" on a log to get up there so he could move some goats. Quite effective.

 

Agility is fun but it isn't useful by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Pam

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I think I'm just in the mood for arguing today ;-)

 

I think agility is VERY useful. Most of the obstacles are reminders of obstacles that would be encountered by police or search and rescue dogs.

 

Just last week I asked my dog to "table" on a log to get up there so he could move some goats. Quite effective.

 

True, but sport agility is very different then SAR agility. The "agility" course I train my dogs on is made from old slides, telephone poles, tires, corrugated metal, step ladders, 2x12's, etc. accuracy is important, but not speed. At home I use wood piles and pallet piles - pretty much anything that is essentially stable that my dogs can climb on.

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I think I'm just in the mood for arguing today ;-)

 

I think agility is VERY useful. Most of the obstacles are reminders of obstacles that would be encountered by police or search and rescue dogs.

 

Just last week I asked my dog to "table" on a log to get up there so he could move some goats. Quite effective.

 

If you're going to train an SAR or police dog you don't do it by way of agility.

 

I use "table" to get my dogs on top of their cage so I don't have to bend down to take off their collars but I wouldn't suggest that it's an important enough skill to justifying breeding for it.

 

Teaching my dog to wait for a release is "useful" too but I could train that just the same if agility had never existed.

 

Pam

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I don't think that is what a lot of posters have been saying.

It isn't the crossing that is the problem, it's the definition of "purpose".

I'm immersed in the agility world and I don't see it as a "purpose" (read "excuse") for breeding any dog, cross or purebreed.

Agility is fun but it isn't useful by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Pam

I think Pam and I have disagreed on a number of things in past discussions, but I have to say that I agree with her wholeheartedly here. The difference between sports and work is that generally someone's livelihood (or life, if we're talking SAR or policework, etc.) depends on work, whereas sports are games. Even though folks want to be competitive at those games, I think there are very few who can make a living off it (and this especially holds true in the stockdog trialing world) and so I see no justification for breeding mixes specifically for sports. It's clear the crosses are being made to create some real or perceived advantage at the sport, but where the whole thing falls down in my mind is that agility, flyball, etc. are GAMES and trying to justify creating "breeds" for the purpose of winning at those games makes no sense to me when there are so many unwanted dogs mixed and pure being put to death daily. I raise sheep. I have an actual need of my dogs to help with the management of my livestock. If I thought a crossbred dog could do that work better than a purebred, I'd consider the crossbred. But if I thought a crossbred would give me an advantage at a sheepdog trial while doing nothing value-added for my livestock operation (that is, the crossbred showed no real improvement over the *work* my dogs already do), I wouldn't even try to justify creating such a dog. The whole idea of crossing breeds to create a faster height dog for flyball just boggles my mind. I would give much more credit to the folks who were competing with what they had on hand than I would to the folks who went out and created mixes to gain some advantage. For example, it seems to me that the whole height dog thing was probably originally intended to be inclusive of smaller (and therefore slower) breeds, to even the playing field so to speak, and breeding crosses for the purpose of creating faster height dogs just flies right in the face of that intention. It's a game, not a living or life and death.... (Caveat: maybe the whole reason in the beginning for having height dogs was not to be inclusive--I really don't know, having never played flyball, but I can't really see any other logical reason for having height dogs.)

 

As for people passing dogs on, I personally can't do it. That's why I have so many dogs--my retirees, my main workers, and the young replacements. That's just me, though. There are plenty of folks in the working stockdog world who have no qualms about placing a dog that's not working out for them, so I wouldn't jump to condemn any one group for a practice that occurs in my own sphere. That said, many working dogs are placed in situations (as retirees) where a beginner can learn from them, or they go to smaller farms where they can still provide a service (work) that they may no longer be able to manage on their "home" farm. Or they simply go to a different handler/owner with whom they mesh better (I've gotten one that way too). While I have a problem letting go that way myself, I am the recipient of one such dog and learned a great deal from her, so in that sense I'm glad *someone else* was willing to part with a retiree while she still had enough "get 'er done" for me to learn valuable lessons from her. That said, I would condemn anyone who simply threw a dog away without real care for where it ended up just because it failed at whatever task someone set for it, and especially if that task were just a game (and I include trialing in this).

 

J.

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Brilliantly said Julie.

I never really had a problem with breeding for sports (although I won't do it), but when you say it that way I can see exactly where some points of view are coming from and it certainly is justified.

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Ah, ok, serious sled dog people don't call it mushing.

Really? I was just on the Iditarod site and they refer to Lance Mackey as a musher and in his profile they state that he has been "mushing 'since birth'." Jeff King "began mushing in 1976." Odd that you say serious sled dog people don't call it mushing but the official Iditarod website refers to mushers and mushing. Not trying to pick a fight and I know this comment is after the fact, but I just thought it odd having read your comments here yesterday and then going to the Iditarod site today to check on the winner and seeing the terms musher and mushing used there.... Is it a difference between people who do sprint/shorter races and Iditarod folks or something else (like using terms that JQ Public would identify with, even if mushers themselves don't use that terminology)? Really just curious and wondering if this is akin to the herding thing here.

 

J.

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Don't know. Maybe a PR thing for the general public, kind of like people talking about herding sheep with Border Collies while we say working sheep. It might be that the general public expects the use of the term? I ran sled dogs for 10 years and no one every said "mushing" or called themselves a "musher" while I was at a race. I was also an active member of the major dog sledding forum (with politics very much like this one, IOW, pro work and anti show). The use of the terms musher and mushing were rare there. We said "run sled dogs" or "handler" instead.

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Well it was about time for this topic to come up again. What's it, about once every couple months we see someone on here shocked at the purposeful breeding of mixes? I like how now it's getting blamed on the AKC though, that's a nice twist lol. Couldn't be further from the truth though, as it's been around for awhile now as others have stated. I'm not going to rehash everything I've previously written about this since there is that handy search feature, but I will say that my Border Staffy as a puppy is easier to live with than my purebred BCs. For example, he's slept through the night since I got him at 8 weeks, in my bed not even in a crate. My BC Wick didn't do that until she was about 4 years old. Even at 7.5, Wick is still a higher maintenance dog than my Border Staffy at almost 7 months. So yeah, better watch out for that over-the-top sport mix who's currently fast asleep while my BCs pace and wander looking for toys and attention. lol And that's the norm BTW for BSs, at least the ones I've known (about 10). Best off-switch I've ever seen, but up to whatever task is at hand when you need them to be "on."

 

And to the OP who didn't even realize breeders breed purebreds purely for sport, I only have to ask, where have you been? Oh and you will start to see more Border Staffies in agility, since they're becoming more popular in that sport. Just in the litter I got mine from, most were going to agility (and combo agility/flyball) homes.

 

And what's this about agility not being useful? What else are fat bored middle-aged women going to do for exercise???!?!?!? But seriously, it's a great hobby that does get people out there moving. I've known many who get in shape just for agility. It's a motivating sport, so yeah many consider it "useful."

 

Here's my cutie pie BS at 6.5 months:

kai.jpg

 

Edit - here's a direct link to what I posted previously on this topic:

http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.p...mp;#entry314534

what's funny is writing that post is what made me realize I wanted to get a BS. ;-)

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And what's this about agility not being useful? What else are fat bored middle-aged women going to do for exercise???!?!?!? But seriously, it's a great hobby that does get people out there moving. I've known many who get in shape just for agility. It's a motivating sport, so yeah many consider it "useful."

 

But it doesn't need a dog to be specifically bred for it - and you could get in shape by buying a bike.

It's just a hobby, that's all and any "usefulness" it has is to the individual participants. It doesn't perform a funtion that makes life easier for anyone.

 

You surprise me a bit by saying that BC x SBTs will be seen more in agility, although with your lower jump heights over there I suppose you'd get away with it. Here they'd be a big gamble - if they grow to 17 ins or less they'd possibly do OK as medium dogs, any bigger and they'd be unlikely to be particularly competitive as large dogs. There is one rescue one in our club that is OK but not great - too short in the back and legs. I don't know of anyone who would deliberately cross the 2 breeds with a view to manufacturing an agility dog.

 

Pam

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I think Pam and I have disagreed on a number of things in past discussions

 

That's what discussion boards are for. :rolleyes: They'd be really boring if everyone agreed all the time, and there's usually common ground somewhere.

 

But if I thought a crossbred would give me an advantage at a sheepdog trial while doing nothing value-added for my livestock operation (that is, the crossbred showed no real improvement over the *work* my dogs already do), I wouldn't even try to justify creating such a dog.

 

Does that happen? I may be naive but I had the impression that trials were supposed to reflect the sort of work the dogs do in real life. I appreciate that work differs according to type of terrain and stock but if I had a dog that worked best on the hills I wouldn't necessarily enter lowland trials. I wouldn't get a dog just so I could do well at trials elsewhere.

 

For example, it seems to me that the whole height dog thing was probably originally intended to be inclusive of smaller (and therefore slower) breeds, to even the playing field so to speak, and breeding crosses for the purpose of creating faster height dogs just flies right in the face of that intention.

 

That was always the reason given to me when I first started consorting with people who do flyball.

 

It's a game, not a living or life and death....

 

What really bugs me is when I hear agility competitors describing their dogs as "working" dogs. It isn't work and it never will be. Self-delusion of the worst kind. Similarly the people who claim that their dog "lives for agility". No it doesn't - it lives for the chance to do something active and interesting - it could just as easily be another activity or even just being a dog.

The handler who claims that is the one who lives for agility and is projecting their feelings onto the dog.

 

Pam

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But isn't this true of any dog bred for competition - whether it's a pure-bred or mixed breed? If you breed for competitive characteristics you are probably going to get a dog with competitive characteristics, and that includes every sphere of life. A pure-bred BC that is bred for competition isn't going to any easier to live with than a bc/staffy (except that the staffy-mix probably has the added difficulty of being insanely strong).

 

So according to the general philosophy of this board, which I pretty much agree with, the real issue is dogs being bred for competition rather than for stock work. If what a person really truly wants is a competition dog and is determined to get a dog that was bred specifically for sports, then it seems like it would be better to go with one of these deliberate crosses than a purebred "sporter collie," no?

 

Anyway, just my two sense.

 

 

Yes it would true of any dog bred for competition - I didn't mean to imply just mixes. I don't have an issue with breeding mixes for a purpose as long as it's done with responsibility - every purebred dog developed that way, combining traits to fulfill a function. But, when I see these dogs losing homes because of behavioral issues then I question the "responsibility" aspect. Also...and this may simply be my limited experience with a few dogs - but, when you cross a dog that is bred to be willing to nip and use it's mouth (like an Aussie) with a breed that is known to have a hard mouth, tenacity, and less bidability (like a Staff or JRT) - is that a good thing?

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But it doesn't need a dog to be specifically bred for it - and you could get in shape by buying a bike.

It's just a hobby, that's all and any "usefulness" it has is to the individual participants. It doesn't perform a funtion that makes life easier for anyone.

 

I never claimed one needed a dog specifically bred for it or one needed to do agility to get in shape. It IS just a hobby and certainly doesn't make life "easier" for anyone, but it does make life BETTER for many just like any hobby. It's usefulness is to its participants, not to the world in general - that's the normal definition of HOBBY anyway eh?

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But it doesn't need a dog to be specifically bred for it - and you could get in shape by buying a bike.

It's just a hobby, that's all and any "usefulness" it has is to the individual participants. It doesn't perform a funtion that makes life easier for anyone.

 

I've found that many of the least "useful" things in life have been the things I count as some of the best and richest experiences of my life.

 

That's not to say that I think dogs should be bred for Agility or any other sport - I don't. But I actually don't see "it's not useful, or necessary" as the reason not to do it.

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Does that happen? I may be naive but I had the impression that trials were supposed to reflect the sort of work the dogs do in real life. I appreciate that work differs according to type of terrain and stock but if I had a dog that worked best on the hills I wouldn't necessarily enter lowland trials. I wouldn't get a dog just so I could do well at trials elsewhere.

 

It probably wasn't the best analogy, because it's doubtful that a crossbred dog would ever give me an advantage at trials.... I was just trying to draw a sort of parallel between a dog that was needed for actual work vs. a dog that was needed just for competition.

 

There are ranchers using crossbred dogs to meet specific purposes. Hangin' Tree cow dogs are an example of this. They are a specific mix of three breeds that purportedly are better for the work on cattle that their developer created them for.

 

Trials do mimic the sort of work dogs do in real life, but if you've ever been privy to discussions among working folk, you'll find all sorts of opinions on the type of dog who is better at trials vs. work on the ranch, hill, whatever. Or dogs that are better for trialing on cattle vs. those that are better for sheep. Or dogs who are better for western range sheep vs. the smaller, more dog-broke farm flocks in the east. Or the hill breeds of the borders vs. the heavier, slower downs breeds in the UK. Some of those discussions lament the rise of softer, more biddable dogs who are easier for novice handlers (trial people) to run at trials at the expense of the tougher, harder hills dogs or cattle dogs and so on. For example, a dog that won't grip might provide and advantage at trials where a grip generally results in a DQ, but a dog that won't grip might be rather unhelpful for stopping a charging ram at home.

 

But if you are competing in trials at the highest levels, and for example, the national finals always uses western range sheep, then you might well choose a type of dog that could work those sheep well, even if you lived in the east, because such a dog might be "toned down" through training to deal with the eastern sheep and then "tuned back up" when it came time to run in the finals on range ewes.

 

Again, not the best analogy and for that I apologize.

 

J.

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