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Barbie Collie Herding

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However, by completely not caring about aesthetics I fear that bcs will no longer be a breed and be more like a type like Alaskan Huskies. Alaskan huskies are bred only and solely for working ability and conformation wise, there is a huuuge variation. More than what is acknowledged in a breed of dog so to me A. huskies is just a type.

 

I think border collies ARE a breed like Alaskan Huskies. They are like Alaskan Huskies in that they are bred to a working standard rather than an appearance standard, and they are a breed rather than a type in that they have been bred to that working standard long enough that they almost always meet that workiing standard better than any other kind of dog. I don't really understand why you think dogs must be bred for aesthetics, or must have no significant variation conformation-wise, in order to be a breed.

 

Alaskan Huskies don't have a registry and border collies do -- that's the only significant difference. And probably that's the only thing that has kept the AKC from going after them.

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I didn't not say I know this dog in and out. I said I READ from random internet pages. For all I know those people could be trolls, cat people, kids, I have no idea. That's why I was here to ask you people that actually know this dog, know BCs lines, etc.

 

I'm just here to learn and hear opinions and no I will not start discussions on topics I already know because then there is no point of a discussion if I know everything and have a definitive answer.

 

Ok, for me, there are very few absolutes when you are dealing with complex subjects like the genetics of a breed or type of dogs. If you want the "definitive answer" you had better prepare yourself to do a lifetime of hands-on study or take someone else's word for it. I don't recommend the second course. There are a number of people right here on the Boards who have devoted large chunks of their lives to study the major topics touched on in these threads, and they are still coming here - to share their knowledge, yes, but also to learn. There is a lot of useful information on these Boards, and there are also about six billion ways to misunderstand it and misapply it.

 

You want to know about that dog? Go meet his breeder, owner and trainer. Go see the dog work. See his parents, cousins, siblings in action. Then make up your own mind. Reach your own definitive conclusion - but you can give up on knowing everything. The wisest old-timer that ever worked a dog, bred a dog or just loved a dog will tell you that there's always more to learn - more conclusions to be drawn.

 

Come back and share your observations. There is always a point to discussion if you only know enough to know that you don't know everything.

 

You want absolute, definitive answers? Go study math.

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Ok, for me, there are very few absolutes when you are dealing with complex subjects like the genetics of a breed or type of dogs. If you want the "definitive answer" you had better prepare yourself to do a lifetime of hands-on study or take someone else's word for it. I don't recommend the second course. There are a number of people right here on the Boards who have devoted large chunks of their lives to study the major topics touched on in these threads, and they are still coming here - to share their knowledge, yes, but also to learn. There is a lot of useful information on these Boards, and there are also about six billion ways to misunderstand it and misapply it.

 

You want to know about that dog? Go meet his breeder, owner and trainer. Go see the dog work. See his parents, cousins, siblings in action. Then make up your own mind. Reach your own definitive conclusion - but you can give up on knowing everything. The wisest old-timer that ever worked a dog, bred a dog or just loved a dog will tell you that there's always more to learn - more conclusions to be drawn.

 

Come back and share your observations. There is always a point to discussion if you only know enough to know that you don't know everything.

 

You want absolute, definitive answers? Go study math.

 

LOL I don't want a definitive answer, that's why I want people's opinions. I'm just saying I don't have a definitive answer and that's why I'm here. If I did have a definitive answer, I wouldn't be hear hearing all your opinions.

 

I didn't mean to be so snappy but the person that replied to me made me kind of pissed off. I get the feeling that because I'm not an expert on that particular dog, I shouldn't talk about her which to me is just rubbish.

 

If I had knowledge to share, I would share it but I really don't know that much about the BC world so I'm here to learn.

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I think much of the disconnect here is a lack of familiarity with competition venues. There are differences between AHBA, AKC,ASCA and ISDS/USBCHA competition. When one comes in with limited experience with working dogs, these are all so many initials and all seem relatively the same. They are not. While I might, in my opinion, lump the first three close together, the last can be vastly different. If one doesn't have much livestock experience, one may not see how different. (Hence the questions of "do you have working dogs, etc"). If a dog is to be truly competitive in a USBCHA fields trial (especially out here) it had better have some "real work" behind it.

 

Let me give an example.

 

A few years ago at Coalinga. ( For those not from here, Coalinga ALWAYS has VERY tough range sheep, {well, back then, at least})I was working setout with tough sheep (come up and challenge the setout dogs when the sheep were in their pen and the dog was only passing by), sheep who wanted to break back to set out very badly. There were tough to set. We set in the rain and the cold. It was, as always, very educational to watch the dogs deal with the situation. One dog, in particular, I remember. It was a very "fashionable" color. It had just moved to open, from what I understood. It, from all the dogs had a unique experience. All dogs, coming up to the top, took more or less the same route. To the untrained eye, they would all look the same. Well this dog, when it came to lift the sheep, was a disaster. These sheep took a bit of a hard hold. Our crew was very consistent. With the "candy colored" dog, the sheep took one look and promptly ran OVER the dog back to setout. Thankfully our judge (very, very well known stockman and dog trainer) saw it for what it was. Weak dog. If one had only the experience of the other venues, and/or no real working experience, one would blame the setout crew. We were very glad for an excellent judge. Some may have ordered a rerun. But the truth was the dog was in over it's head. It likely had breeding behind it that wasn't all good stock. Or maybe the handler was good at other venues and though all was similar. I don't know. The point is, it took experience to see what happened, and a likely poorly bred dog to have that happen to (bred for color). If one is lacking in actual livestock experience, and ones dog is not up to par, these things are quite obvious at a true USBCHA trial. Other venues never test dogs on this level. This is important if working dogs are to continue.

 

I don't breed dogs. When I need a new dog, I go to dog trials to see what is out there. The mother of my youngest dog, actually disqualified the first time I saw her. The first time I saw her is when I decided I *really* wanted a pup out of her. The best dogs may not win. To find the best dogs, one doesn't look for winners, one looks for HOW the dog works. This is best shown on tough, non-dogged stock, in unfamiliar terrain with lots of distractions. That is how you test, or trial a dog.

 

Competitions are for ego. I won't dispute that. But, if one goes to the right competitions, one find a heck of a lot of information, and some true talent. The difficulty is in trying to decipher what one is looking at. To do so, require a lot of time, commitment and desire.

 

Tired. To bed with me......

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Dear Doggers,

 

I've been of two minds about this thread. On the one hand, it reeks of trolldom - two posters sans experience with our dogs posting opinions and more opinions disquised as questions. On the other hand, several capable experienced sheepdoggers have replied so I'll jump in. Once.

 

The other day I was considering a curious feature of sheepdog culture: one cannot get elected as director in the HA or ABCA unless one has demonstrated considerable skill with the dogs. This has advantages since those that know the dogs best and at first hand determine their future and disadvantages since those with no experience with the dogs who are brilliant administrators/organizers have no say - and I've been there when top sheepdoggers dozed through important meetings.

 

When I was a novice I'd walk into a group of big hats and conversation would stop. They'd answer my considered questions - once - but if I wanted to debate (I was a pretty good debater) they'd walk away.

 

My opinions were mine and I was left to enjoy them.

 

Many years later when, by chance, I won a trial in Wales, suddenly Welsh sheepdoggers gave this American's opinions weight they probably didn't deserve.

 

 

Sheepdog culture is generous. When someone new or unexpected does especially well at a major trial spectator delight is palpable. We want you and your dog to do brilliantly. We want you to show us how clever your dog is. We know what you think of him - we'd love for you to show us too.

 

If you don't agree with our cultural prejudices, get out there and destroy them. When I started, one commonplace was "Women can't run a dog". Don't hear that much anymore. Another was, "Merles are no damn good." Rose Anderson's merles are doing pretty well at the 2010 Finals.

 

People sometimes accuse sheepdoggers of being breed arrogant. "Oh. those Border Collie people think they've got the ONLY herding dog." That's not true. While we are arrogant, we're work arrogant - if a dog and handler can get the job done creditably, we'll pay attention. Until then, words are cheap.

 

If someone genuinely wants to learn about sheepdogs, go to a trial and ask questions. Most handlers will answer and many will explain. But sometimes questions cannot be answered. Nobody who has ever run a dog successfully will spend much time with "Why can't a dog be bred for conformation and working ability?"

 

"Been tried plenty of times. Bad idea"

 

"Why not? As I define work . . .Say, where are you going? Don't walk away . . ."

 

Donald McCaig

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A small digression: Forced by the circumstances I am an FCI person (although in Europe often the FCI and ISDS often cross and join), so I had to learn to some extent to assess a dog's physique, outlines, angles and other unimportant things. And the thing that strikes me is how all the working border collies look alike - considering they are not bred for looks. One just must be able to realize how superficial color is, then be able to see the dog under the fur or lack thereof, and you will see that the actual physical variation among working border collies is not very big. There is no need to pay attention to the way BCs look, as has been suggested in this topic - somehow while breeding for work, there is a definite physical border collie that remains quite by itself.

 

Unfortunately, the FCI judges often cannot see the dog for what it is, because they often base their evaluation on a general outline of the dog's silhouette, and not on all physical characteristics of a dog like bone, muscle, lines, etc. That is, many will think of a smooth BC as a slimmer dog than it actually is, because the rough BC has a bulkier outline. Never mind that the outline is made of fur mostly - the dog will be considered to have more substance. Which brings me to a related issue that the KC don't seem to like to mention - conformation is something that often is neither objective nor fair. Every person that shows probably has a collection of "ridiculous things that judges said about dogs". E.g. I have a note "not enough muscle tissue" in my BC who at the time she was being shown was in peak condition with absolutely wonderfully athletic form - something I was very proud of. I think many people know that the dog stands wrong and gets "bad rear leg angles", she puts her front feet too close together and gets "narrow chest", next show the handler pays attention, stacks the dog better and gets "nice deep chest".

 

As I said in another topic - I am of an opinion that it's ok to breed dogs for looks - that is provided it is lower on the priority than (1) working ability (2) health (3) personality (4) natural drives.

 

Maja

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Doubting any decent training is going to come out of that "yeehaw" assessment.

What's unfortunate is that the little pup looks keen enough, but the "handler" is doing absolutely nothing to help the dog. The first time the pup tries to go round the sheep, it's held back by the rope. Then later, the sheep are allowed to get stuck in the corner, and the handler doesn't help the pup to get them out. Shame,

A

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So....has anyone seen this video?

 

 

Doubting any decent training is going to come out of that "yeehaw" assessment.

 

 

Looked about right for a 6 mos old pup, first time to sheep. Dog looked not bad. I'd take the rake and throw it over the fence and stop trying to block the pup with it (every time she did that the pup looked at her like "what the hell? Trying to work here), and I'd round off the corners in the pen so that the sheep can't hide there (causing the dog to split them along the fence).

 

If anything, I'd like to see a bit more "yeehaw" out of a young dog at this stage but this one's getting blocked and stopped so often that I'm not surprised he starts to hesitate.

 

What did you think was wrong with it?

 

Pearse

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This is not on topic at all, but why is it that the posters who are so controversial and obnoxious with their opinions, never actually post any real information about themselves? If you look at their profile, there's no age, location, and doG forbid-no name. They don't appear to have any livestock and their dogs don't trial or work for a living, rarely have they been to a USBCHA trial. Everyone has an opinion....but is it worth arguing about if they have no real experience to back it up?

Laura

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That video was talked about last year here on this board, Jan and myself actually e-mailed back and forth a bit about it. The approach and processes that she is trying to apply in the video are from working with the same clinicianer that I work with. She is in the same situation I am in, in the middle of a learning curve and doing the best with what she has learned so far, and quite frankly having reasonable success. As we handle, work with and train more dogs our understanding of what we are trying to accomplish, teach and the timing of our corrections improves.

 

When I watched the video last year I saw some things that she could do better, some things that she should have allowed and did not and some things that she should have stopped but did not. No different then what I would expect to see if someone video taped any of our training sessions (our being any one of us that are training dogs).

 

Back last year I suggested to Jan to get back with that trainer so that she can further understand the processes and applications along with refining her methods. I had an opportunity to work with him a couple of weekends ago with Ricky and he helped me fine tune my approach even more showing me some errors in my ways and showing me an easier way to get some of what I am looking for so that I can get the most out of Ricky.

 

I was awestruck when he took Rick over for a few minutes, right before my eyes Ricky became the dog I was working so hard to develop, my timing had been off, I was not in the right places to get what I wanted and in some cases was not certain what it was I was trying to create. (sigh) maybe someday I'll have acheived a fraction of his finesse vs. being this big lug or rather bull in the china shop. Thank doG our dogs are so forgiving.

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LOL I don't want a definitive answer, that's why I want people's opinions. I'm just saying I don't have a definitive answer and that's why I'm here. If I did have a definitive answer, I wouldn't be hear hearing all your opinions.

 

I didn't mean to be so snappy but the person that replied to me made me kind of pissed off. I get the feeling that because I'm not an expert on that particular dog, I shouldn't talk about her which to me is just rubbish.

 

If I had knowledge to share, I would share it but I really don't know that much about the BC world so I'm here to learn.

 

 

No I just think you should mind your own business and pick on another dog. You say you do/did not have a definitive opinion yet in later posts you state many of the same. I didn't know what your goal here is other than to pick out a dog , read some questionable articles and form an opinion on an animal of which you know nothing and ignore my post that states FACTS that you could learn from, and your answer is you are pissed. Get a life.

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Dear Doggers,

 

I've been of two minds about this thread. On the one hand, it reeks of trolldom - two posters sans experience with our dogs posting opinions and more opinions disquised as questions. On the other hand, several capable experienced sheepdoggers have replied so I'll jump in. Once.

 

The other day I was considering a curious feature of sheepdog culture: one cannot get elected as director in the HA or ABCA unless one has demonstrated considerable skill with the dogs. This has advantages since those that know the dogs best and at first hand determine their future and disadvantages since those with no experience with the dogs who are brilliant administrators/organizers have no say - and I've been there when top sheepdoggers dozed through important meetings.

 

When I was a novice I'd walk into a group of big hats and conversation would stop. They'd answer my considered questions - once - but if I wanted to debate (I was a pretty good debater) they'd walk away.

 

My opinions were mine and I was left to enjoy them.

 

Many years later when, by chance, I won a trial in Wales, suddenly Welsh sheepdoggers gave this American's opinions weight they probably didn't deserve.

Sheepdog culture is generous. When someone new or unexpected does especially well at a major trial spectator delight is palpable. We want you and your dog to do brilliantly. We want you to show us how clever your dog is. We know what you think of him - we'd love for you to show us too.

 

If you don't agree with our cultural prejudices, get out there and destroy them. When I started, one commonplace was "Women can't run a dog". Don't hear that much anymore. Another was, "Merles are no damn good." Rose Anderson's merles are doing pretty well at the 2010 Finals.

 

People sometimes accuse sheepdoggers of being breed arrogant. "Oh. those Border Collie people think they've got the ONLY herding dog." That's not true. While we are arrogant, we're work arrogant - if a dog and handler can get the job done creditably, we'll pay attention. Until then, words are cheap.

 

If someone genuinely wants to learn about sheepdogs, go to a trial and ask questions. Most handlers will answer and many will explain. But sometimes questions cannot be answered. Nobody who has ever run a dog successfully will spend much time with "Why can't a dog be bred for conformation and working ability?"

 

"Been tried plenty of times. Bad idea"

 

"Why not? As I define work . . .Say, where are you going? Don't walk away . . ."

 

Donald McCaig

 

 

Thanks you Donald,

 

Pretty much sums up the whole deal here.

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[disclaimer #1 - these comments are not aimed at the OP. disclaimer #2 a bit cranky over these same things over and over through decades with no apparent increase in understanding from the non working sector]

 

Seriously, why do the uninitiated, unrealistic, or pretenders think they're coming up with some new idea that no one has ever thought of or tried? You can have it all!!! No, you can't. Laws of genetics. End of story.

 

And my biggest pet peeve - why is it that people who don't work stock with their dogs think they know more about what makes a good working dog than the people who do?

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[disclaimer #1 - these comments are not aimed at the OP. disclaimer #2 a bit cranky over these same things over and over through decades with no apparent increase in understanding from the non working sector]

 

Seriously, why do the uninitiated, unrealistic, or pretenders think they're coming up with some new idea that no one has ever thought of or tried? You can have it all!!! No, you can't. Laws of genetics. End of story.

 

And my biggest pet peeve - why is it that people who don't work stock with their dogs think they know more about what makes a good working dog than the people who do?

 

 

 

Guess I'm expecting to see an influx of uninitiated, unrealistic and pretenders due to the National Finals coverage, not that it is bad, just a result of the extra press.

 

 

As to the non working sector, look at where their information is coming from and what the information is, until that changes the uphill battle of loosing two steps with everyone gained will continue.

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I don't think you understood the intention of my post at all. I'm sorry I spoke up.

Maja

 

 

Maja, don't be sorry, your just adding your perspective. The view from your window may also be different, your gene pool as effected by selection pressue is not the same as ours over here in the US in general. Yes, maybe the lines are the same and generated from the same place, but there may be less diversity due to the size of your region and the number of breeders, which may also amplify a more obvious structure difference between work and show.

 

As to your comments about the structure of the dogs as you see them, I wonder the same. It just depends on what you are looking at when you are seeing the dog. I'm beginning to wonder if some of the show lines would like to work but if the structure they have been blessed with makes it too difficult for the ability to blossom.

 

I guess other attributes would also effect it, such as a reduction in over all drive, inability to exhibit self control, even an lack of ability to have good distance vision. I read somewhere that lines of dogs that have been bred as pets tend to have an increase in nearsightedness. Maybe one of those deals of use it or lose it, if the breed is not being used in a capacity that requires the use of keen eyesite selection pressure will not be used to refine the trait.

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I was not talking about angulation as dictated by practical matters, but as dictated by conformation - hence it is not important. All that stuff has little to do with actual ability of a dog. My dog has 'wrong' show angulation and thanks to that she can jump in a way that makes people's jaw drop. She sheds in the spring in the way that makes it impossible to show her - very good trait for herding, but then she suddenly becomes narrow chested and fine boned. Anyhow, I do think that as an FCI breeder I can see structural similarities more than many people's superficial glance. I am not talking about the dogs around me, but the dogs I've been watching on videos p the top notch working BCs (e.g. Supreme champion). And it has puzzled me somewhat as though certain physical traits are conjoined with character traits.

 

During the weekend i will watch the finals and see if I get the same impression on American border collies.

 

Maja

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A small digression: Forced by the circumstances I am an FCI person (although in Europe often the FCI and ISDS often cross and join), so I had to learn to some extent to assess a dog's physique, outlines, angles and other unimportant things. And the thing that strikes me is how all the working border collies look alike - considering they are not bred for looks. One just must be able to realize how superficial color is, then be able to see the dog under the fur or lack thereof, and you will see that the actual physical variation among working border collies is not very big. There is no need to pay attention to the way BCs look, as has been suggested in this topic - somehow while breeding for work, there is a definite physical border collie that remains quite by itself.

 

Maja

 

It's interesting that in so many of the threads where a dog is introduced with the question "Is it a Border Collie?," there is usually a huge response that amounts to "Looks like a Border Collie to me!" People don't usually go into detail, except sometimes to liken the dog to their own, but it seems that there is something akin to "breed type" that people are seeing that motivates them to say "Looks like a Border Collie to me!" After merely looking at a photograph or two, which gives little information re: drive, movement or "typical Border Collie" behavior, people say they see Border Collie. I'd like to know what they mean when they say that. I hasten to add, that I often see something that looks like Border Collie in these pictures too. But I'd be hard-pressed to quantify it in words. Sometimes it is merely that it looks like a dog or dogs that I'm familiar with, but that alone doesn't explain it. I do see an expression sometimes that seems to have an alertness, a sort of presence that I associate with Border Collies. (They are the only breed I know of, excepting a few terriers, that seem alert even when sleeping! :rolleyes: )

 

How would folk here describe the "recognizable, defining characteristics of the Border Collie," in terms of appearance? (Excluding coat color)

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I was not talking about angulation as dictated by practical matters, but as dictated by conformation - hence it is not important. All that stuff has little to do with actual ability of a dog. My dog has 'wrong' show angulation and thanks to that she can jump in a way that makes people's jaw drop. She sheds in the spring in the way that makes it impossible to show her - very good trait for herding, but then she suddenly becomes narrow chested and fine boned. Anyhow, I do think that as an FCI breeder I can see structural similarities more than many people's superficial glance. I am not talking about the dogs around me, but the dogs I've been watching on videos p the top notch working BCs (e.g. Supreme champion). And it has puzzled me somewhat as though certain physical traits are conjoined with character traits.

 

During the weekend i will watch the finals and see if I get the same impression on American border collies.

 

Maja

 

I think I know what you are saying, which boils down to "form follows function" and which is the direct opposite from the "function follows form" approach that the conformation breed ring people espouse.

 

In nature it's called convergent evolution. Fish and whales both have streamlined bodies and fins that help them move in water even though they aren't closely related. Their need to move through water has resulted in selection for streamlined shapes and fins.

 

Working Border Collies, if they were too big, couldn't move quickly enough, far enough, or long enough to be useful for work. Too small and they couldn't keep up with, or intimidate stock. So, selecting for work has selected for a medium sized dog with a physical conformation suited to running long distances at medium speeds, and short fast turns, over rough terrain. Fpr working in the cold and wet of northern Great Britain (and living outside most often) a medium double coat was favoured. In the western US, I'd wager you see more smooth coated dogs than in Britain due to the need to work in heat.

 

Which is why it's almost funny to hear breed ring people claim that working breeders don't care about health checks and health in general. A dysplastic, blind, deaf, epileptic dog is no use to a working shepherd. So, he/she would not repeat a breeding that produced such dogs. A dysplastic, blind, deaf, epileptic dog that conforms to the breed standard is potentially very valuable in the breed ring and where those traits are not visible as long as the dog can trot around the ring which is why hip dysplasia, PRA, CEA, and other genetic diseases are more prevalent in conformation lines than in working lines.

 

Form follows function not the other way around.

 

Pearse

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It's interesting that in so many of the threads where a dog is introduced with the question "Is it a Border Collie?," there is usually a huge response that amounts to "Looks like a Border Collie to me!" People don't usually go into detail, except sometimes to liken the dog to their own, but it seems that there is something akin to "breed type" that people are seeing that motivates them to say "Looks like a Border Collie to me!" After merely looking at a photograph or two, which gives little information re: drive, movement or "typical Border Collie" behavior, people say they see Border Collie. I'd like to know what they mean when they say that. I hasten to add, that I often see something that looks like Border Collie in these pictures too. But I'd be hard-pressed to quantify it in words. Sometimes it is merely that it looks like a dog or dogs that I'm familiar with, but that alone doesn't explain it. I do see an expression sometimes that seems to have an alertness, a sort of presence that I associate with Border Collies. (They are the only breed I know of, excepting a few terriers, that seem alert even when sleeping! :rolleyes: )

 

How would folk here describe the "recognizable, defining characteristics of the Border Collie," in terms of appearance? (Excluding coat color)

The reason that "breed type" ever existed is physical characteristics are tied genetically to behavioral characteristics (see: Belyaev foxes), and certain traits benefit the desired behaviors. It makes sense that all Border Collies who can herd in that way the they do would have certain physical similarities.

 

The problem arose when some people decided that they could maintain a certain function by maintaining a certain form and started breeding for those forms, which is going about it all ass-backwards. Then it became a ridiculous beauty pageant.

 

I recognize BC-ness in the movement, myself. I used to do Border Collie rescue and I had a friend who did Aussie rescue and we used to compare each others dogs, because sometimes that dog in the shelter could be a BC with a docked tail or an AS without a docked tail...I always saw a certain slinky-ness, dropped head at a run kind of movement in the Border Collies that I did not see in the Aussies.

 

Theres also something in the way the face is shaped to me...they way a dog looks when its looking, if that makes any sense. Maybe it has something to do with distance vision? I dunno.

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It's interesting that in so many of the threads where a dog is introduced with the question "Is it a Border Collie?," there is usually a huge response that amounts to "Looks like a Border Collie to me!" People don't usually go into detail, except sometimes to liken the dog to their own, but it seems that there is something akin to "breed type" that people are seeing that motivates them to say "Looks like a Border Collie to me!"

 

Well, there always some of us--the wet blankets, I suppose--who will point out that the only way you might more definitively say it's a border collie is to take it to stock and see what it does. Of course that presupposes that the dog would have breeding that might predispose it to work (and as we well know there are plenty of purebred border collies who wouldn't look at livestock even if they were slathered in peanut butter). That's why I often tell people that it doesn't NOT look like a border collie and that if they want to call it a border collie they should go ahead and do so.

 

Humans like to categorize things. When you get an unknown rescue and someone asks what breed it is, you want to be able to label the dog something other than mutt. So if the dog doesn't have any specific physical traits that scream NOT border collie to me, then I tell folks to do ahead and call it a border collie.

 

On the other end of the spectrum is a person I had come her for lessons who was convinced her dog was a border collie. The dog didn't say border collie to me, and then to top it off, the dog had no real working instinct. Livestock were play time. I told her after a month or two (~6-8 lessons) that I didn't think the dog was going to progress in training, and so we stopped. I imagine she still tells people the dog is a border collie.

 

I get that you're asking how we can on one hand so there is no standard look to the breed and on the other tell people their dog looks like a border collie, but I think if you've seen enough border collies--and all the variety that entails--then you probably can look at a generic dog and tell that it *might* be a border collie.

 

J.

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