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More than 15 years ago I bought a working bred dog with the intention of competing in agility. A few years later I was bit by the herding bug. Now I live on a farm and my free time is devoted to training Border Collies to work sheep.

 

I am forever grateful that I was able to purchase working bred pups despite being a sport home. They led me down this wonderful path and changed my life forever. It makes me very sad to think of how differently things would have turned out had I instead started with show or sport bred dogs.

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More than 15 years ago I bought a working bred dog with the intention of competing in agility. A few years later I was bit by the herding bug. Now I live on a farm and my free time is devoted to training Border Collies to work sheep.

 

I am forever grateful that I was able to purchase working bred pups despite being a sport home. They led me down this wonderful path and changed my life forever. It makes me very sad to think of how differently things would have turned out had I instead started with show or sport bred dogs.

 

I wonder... Did you choose a working bred pup because it was working bred, or did you stumble onto the litter? Did you know the difference at that time, between working bred, show bred or sports bred? Were there sports bred Border Collies 15 years ago?)

 

Did you plan to compete in AKC agility? Did you know then that there were other options? (Maybe there weren't 15 years ago?)

 

15 years ago I just had a hazy idea that the Border Collie was a fluffy black and white dog that was created to herd sheep, and reputedly was really hyper. Oh, and that they were really good at Frisbee!

 

Not trying to stir up trouble, just comparing how I got from there to her with your journey, or anybody else's, for that matter!

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To segway from how impressed we were with Buzz to the working-breeder-selling-to-a-sport-home question...I was so impressed with Buzz's beautiful work at the Finals that, when I got home, I looked up Suzy's web site. Lo and behold; there were puppies by Buzz and Nan. I wanted one so badly I started calculating how long I could survive on Top Ramen. When common sense kicked in, I realized that my having one of these pups would be not unlike my buying an F1 Ferrari to commute to work....except the Ferrari doesn't have a thinking brain and the senses, needs and feelings to go with it.

I probably could keep one of Buzz and Nan's pups engaged, happy and sane, but it would still be like driving a 1500 HP race car in stop and go traffic. That puppy was bred to be one of the best herding dogs in the world. It should be allowed to be that dog.

 

 

 

I saw one of the pups from that litter today at my lesson. That "high powered " sheepdog to be was playing on the lawn, carrying some toy around and looking for frogs hopping in the grass! Her name is Hope and maybe we'll see her on the field in a few years. She resembles both her grand ma Bet and grand dad Hap. A very successful agility person owns dam Nan now and is learning , with lessons how to work sheep with her.

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I think most people realize it's a choice. But that doesn't mean that they should take the "Oh, well, they're going to do it anyway, so I might as well join them" attitude (and by join them, I mean cater to them, sell dogs to them, whatever). You might not like or agree with Eileen's beliefs/choices, but you can say that at least she's consistent in them.

 

 

J.

 

Absolutely. And every breeder is entitled to decide who they want to sell a puppy to without answering to me or anyone else.

 

My question is, is doing that going to help or hurt your cause? If your argument is a working bred dog is the best dog for all activities, and that people should support working breeders, and not support those who breed for other reasons, then does telling those dog buyers you won't sell them a dog if they do AKC events help or hurt?

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I started with agility in 1992 with a mutt (though I quickly learned I could not compete with her). I can only remember there being AKC sports back then. I didn't know of any other organization offering agility competitions. What I did know was that show bred dogs were very different than working bred dogs. I knew that breeding for the show ring had fostered the creation of strangly deformed looking dogs with a variety of health problems. I also know the difference between a backyard breeder and a responsible breeder.

 

When I started my search for a Border Collie in 1994 I was looking for a breeder that did health testing and had well respected bloodlines. There were obedience lines around and I did actually contact a woman who bred them. I remember thinking to myself after hanging up the phone that I didn't want one of her pups because they were not real Border Collies.

 

Eventually I made contact with a farmer in VA who had a litter of pups due out of a bitch named Bet and by a dog named John. They both worked sheep and John was the main farm hand. Knowing that Border Collies were supposed to be farm dogs, that sounded like the right litter for me.

 

A few months later, Duncan arrived. It was clear from the moment we met that he was unlike any dog I had ever known. He was smarter, more obedient and more athletic. My good friend at the time had a field bred Golden and another friend had a field bred Lab. I didn't like Goldens or Labs, but I loved their doggs. Duncan and my friends' dogs convinced me that working bred was the way to go.

 

I bought many more BCs after Duncan, but always from working parents. Even my second and third BCs, who were intended for sports alone, came from good working stock. I stumbled into working my dogs on sheep because I attended a herding clinic and the clinician tried to buy my next agility star from me. She said my dog had real talent and encouraged me to develop it.

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Julie's right about what I was saying, but I'll try to answer your question directly. Yes, in a sense it is certainly worse to buy a conformation bred dog. But in terms of ultimate harm to the working border collie, I think we probably have more to fear from blurring the lines than we do from conformation dogs. It's easier to hold the line the more distinct the line is. It's easier to help people understand the difference between x and y the clearer the lines of demarcation are between x and y. If all the AKC dogs were conformation bred dogs, IMO it would be much easier to safeguard the working breed, despite the fact that the two breeds confusingly bear the same name. If I could, I would make the membrane between working-bred dogs and AKC dogs impermeable. I can't do that, but I will at least use my best efforts to reduce its permeability, because I think otherwise the osmosis created by the attractions and dominance of the AKC will ultimately lead to the bleeding out of our breed's essence.

 

Is it really a registry question though, or a question of inappropriate breeding? And is it an issue of keeping 'those' dogs out of ABCA or of keeping 'our' dogs out of AKC?

 

Let's say you convince the buyer not to do AKC, and you sell them a puppy. They do USDAA and NADAC agility and kick butt at the highest levels of nationals competition. Someone with another kick-butt agility dog, not registered AKC, says "hey, can I breed to your dog, they'd make awesome agility puppies" and they have buyers lining up on wait lists to get one of those pups. So now you have a bunch of ABCA registered dogs bred for agility - blurring the lines, without any help from AKC. I think it would almost make the problem of blurring the lines WORSE if working breeders were successful in turning sport people away from AKC and they defected in droves to other non-AKC sport organizations and just registered ABCA, but continued to breed for the wrong reasons. You still turn the breed into something else, but now you can't even differentiate them on the basis of registry.

 

It would make more sense if ABCA had a way to do non-breeding papers and those got issued to anyone buying a dog for a sport home. Then regardless of where it ends up, you wouldn't get offspring with potentially diminished ability coming back into ABCA. That would keep 'those' dogs out of ABCA, even if it doesn't do much to keep the working dogs out of AKC. Your other option is just don't sell to sport homes, period. These days you can have plenty of problems even without the AKC influence - look at flyball, dock diving, treiball, disc dog, freestyle etc (none of them AKC sports) or NADAC, DOCNA, UKI, CPE, UKC, and USDAA agility.

 

 

I also think a lot of damage can be done even if you could get total separation of ABCA and AKC dogs at this point. AKC sport breeders are breeding nice sport dogs even without going into working lines. Sure a few generations back that's what they started with, but I know of a lot of these dogs being bred that are no longer ABCA registered and haven't been for a few generations and are AKC bred to AKC and getting more refined for what the sport buyer wants in a dog. They may be turning to crap for stockwork purposes, but for sport homes they seem to be producing exactly what people want and proving themselves in competition. They aren't losing their ability to be sport dogs just because they've separated from ABCA lines. So the prestige of AKC having top performing sport border collies is still there, and now those breeders can proudly claim that it's an all-AKC product and that AKC produces the better dog. Over time, this becomes the 'real' border collie to the general public and the damage is done even without pulling more working bred dogs into the AKC gene pool.

 

I'm not saying just give up and sell to AKC homes or register AKC. Just that the real problem does not get addressed by the simple act of refusing to sell to AKC homes - the problem is so much bigger it seems a little like throwing a pebble in the ocean during high tide - it produces very little noticeable effect.

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I started with agility in 1992 with a mutt (though I quickly learned I could not compete with her). I can only remember there being AKC sports back then. I didn't know of any other organization offering agility competitions. What I did know was that show bred dogs were very different than working bred dogs. I knew that breeding for the show ring had fostered the creation of strangly deformed looking dogs with a variety of health problems. I also know the difference between a backyard breeder and a responsible breeder.

 

When I started my search for a Border Collie in 1994 I was looking for a breeder that did health testing and had well respected bloodlines. There were obedience lines around and I did actually contact a woman who bred them. I remember thinking to myself after hanging up the phone that I didn't want one of her pups because they were not real Border Collies.

 

Eventually I made contact with a farmer in VA who had a litter of pups due out of a bitch named Bet and by a dog named John. They both worked sheep and John was the main farm hand. Knowing that Border Collies were supposed to be farm dogs, that sounded like the right litter for me.

 

A few months later, Duncan arrived. It was clear from the moment we met that he was unlike any dog I had ever known. He was smarter, more obedient and more athletic. My good friend at the time had a field bred Golden and another friend had a field bred Lab. I didn't like Goldens or Labs, but I loved their doggs. Duncan and my friends' dogs convinced me that working bred was the way to go.

 

I bought many more BCs after Duncan, but always from working parents. Even my second and third BCs, who were intended for sports alone, came from good working stock. I stumbled into working my dogs on sheep because I attended a herding clinic and the clinician tried to buy my next agility star from me. She said my dog had real talent and encouraged me to develop it.

Thanks for sharing your story! I'm interested in all this, and it's helpful to hear stories about other people's history with the breed. We all care enough about these dogs to get together here and thrash this stuff out! And that's gotta be worth something. :)

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There are a ton of AKC people that want nothing to do with the show ring or what it produces. Conformation shows are ONE event that AKC has. There is also agility, rally, obedience, tracking, etc. Just because someone participates in AKC events DOES NOT mean they support the breed ring. It's not like entry fees go directly into the conformation fund. You are being completely unreasonable, but with comparisons like working breeders selling to AKC performance homes (while providing wonderful education and support) being like some one who is vehemently against abortions helping some one else get an abortion, I can't be surprised.

 

"I would like to see them buy dogs from working breeders, *neuter* those dogs so that they can't become part of the AKC gene pool, and then go back to the breeder for another pup when they want a new dog. But that's a Pollyanna world that doesn't exist, unfortunately."

 

That is exactly what I am doing with my working bred boy by Patrick and Dianne's Riggs. What are you basing this statement on? Because I actually know of this happening a lot.

 

"it's a case of placing self-interest over the long-term interests of the border collie breed. How could I be okay with that? "

 

I think there are some irrational lines of thought going on here. If I did not get a working bred dog, I would still be showing BCs. I would not be putting all of this effort into training this dog so I can start trialing, I would not be planning to sell my home in a year and a half and buy a new one with enough property to have my own sheep, train my own dogs, trial them, and maybe breed great working dogs one day. The AKC is an empire that will continue with or without my entry fees, but because a working breeder sold me a dog, I am now sold on this breed and fully intend for working border collies to be a part of my life forever. Would you have rather had me stay with the AKC people? (Maybe I shouldn't ask that :rolleyes: )

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I started with agility in 1992 with a mutt (though I quickly learned I could not compete with her). I can only remember there being AKC sports back then. I didn't know of any other organization offering agility competitions.

 

AKC did not offer agility competitions in 1992. The first AKC agility competition was in 1994, if I'm not mistaken, shortly before the AKC recognized the Border Collie breed. USDAA would have been around in 1992 -- it was the only agility organization of any significance in the US at that time. Agility was a tiny, little known sport then and I don't think anyone envisioned how it would mushroom in popularity. To the best of my knowledge USDAA did not, even then, ban mutts from competing.

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Is it really a registry question though, or a question of inappropriate breeding? And is it an issue of keeping 'those' dogs out of ABCA or of keeping 'our' dogs out of AKC? ...

 

...I'm not saying just give up and sell to AKC homes or register AKC. Just that the real problem does not get addressed by the simple act of refusing to sell to AKC homes - the problem is so much bigger it seems a little like throwing a pebble in the ocean during high tide - it produces very little noticeable effect.

 

I'm not sure I follow all this, but do dogs have to be registered or "purebred" to compete in USDAA and NADAC trials? If not, I'm not sure that non-breeding papers are of any use.

 

I've often wondered how difficult it is to go after someone who breeds a dog sold with a non-breeding contract. Seems to me that by the time you win your case, if you win your case, there will be pups on the ground. The way the legal system works, those pups might have pups on the ground. So then what happens to those pups (and their pups)? Are they yours? Do they remain with their "breeder"? Not trying to be facetious here, just wondering how effective a non-breeding contract is going to be to actually stop people from breeding.

 

Regardless of how the dog's papers read, it's all too easy to fake them. I've known of breeders who blue-slipped non-registered puppies. It's simple, all you have to do is report to the AKC that your registered bitch whelped 7 pups, when she only whelped 5. (Or get a friend who has a new litter on the ground.) Then you have two extra blue slips to tack on the non-registered pups that you think are so swell that you want to keep them, show them and then breed them. I know of two occasions when this actually happened. Then they used the bogus-registered pup in their breeding program, and sold his pups. And all those puppies had pedigrees that signified nothing. And the AKC had the money for the registrations of those puppies.

 

I knew of a multi-breed puppy mill that had a German Shepherd Dog stud die, and since they didn't have another GSD male, they just put their 3 GSD bitches to a Siberian Husky. They didn't report the death of their GSD stud to the AKC. The pet shops they sold to didn't know any difference, and the puppy buyers were holding AKC papers on mixed breed dogs.

 

If one is truly interested in keeping working bred Border Collies from being inappropriately reproduced, one would do better not to sell un-neutered/ spayed dogs to non-working homes. But then I expect a lot of agility folk would be unhappy about early neutering of their dogs. It's a reasonable concern for them, and I wouldn't like it either, even though I would have no intention of breeding my dog, I wouldn't want her fixed until she was mature.

 

So then what? Who to sell the pups to and with what papers, if any?

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There are a ton of AKC people that want nothing to do with the show ring or what it produces. Conformation shows are ONE event that AKC has. There is also agility, rally, obedience, tracking, etc. Just because someone participates in AKC events DOES NOT mean they support the breed ring.

 

Actually, it does... If you give money to the AKC for whatever reason, some percentage of it will go to promote the "purebred dog," (read: AKC dogs: aka, dogs bred to an appearance standard.) Some fraction of your money will also go to pay lobbyists who make sure that puppy mills are alive and well to further enrich the AKC. And some will be paid to lawyers who can "hijack" breeds into AKC recognition, even if the majority of serious proponents of that breed don't want it.

 

The AKC may sponsor more events than the breed ring, but it is their mainstay, and you can bet their interest in dog sports is not about making the world a safe place for your dog to do the weave poles, it's about getting your money. And the next time you hand over an entry fee at an AKC agility event, think about who's paying the salary of the AKC rep who solemnly vows to news cameras that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is by and large a healthy, disease-free breed.

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Is it really a registry question though, or a question of inappropriate breeding? And is it an issue of keeping 'those' dogs out of ABCA or of keeping 'our' dogs out of AKC?

 

Inappropriate breeding we will always have with us, to some extent, but I think the hegemony of AKC over all things dog in this country has the power to magnify the detrimental effects of inappropriate breeding in a way that makes them much, much more damaging.

 

So now you have a bunch of ABCA registered dogs bred for agility - blurring the lines, without any help from AKC. I think it would almost make the problem of blurring the lines WORSE if working breeders were successful in turning sport people away from AKC and they defected in droves to other non-AKC sport organizations and just registered ABCA, but continued to breed for the wrong reasons. You still turn the breed into something else, but now you can't even differentiate them on the basis of registry.

 

I don't see how it could make the problem worse. As things are right now, with dual registration, you already can't differentiate sport collies on the basis of registry. USDAA and NADAC are not registries, they don't have the megaphone and the influence that AKC does, they don't purport to define dog breeds, they don't purport to speak for the Border Collie, they don't purport to proclaim the best specimens of the breed. I don't even think they care about dog breeds. I don't think border collies should be bred for agility wherever they're registered, and I think working breeders should take steps to try to ensure that doesn't happen to their pups, but the fact that some ABCA working-bred border collies kick butt in USDAA and NADAC isn't going to "turn the breed into something else." Without the AKC in the picture, it would be a fringe use of some members of the breed -- a breed that is defined and supported by its registry as a working breed.

 

It would make more sense if ABCA had a way to do non-breeding papers and those got issued to anyone buying a dog for a sport home. Then regardless of where it ends up, you wouldn't get offspring with potentially diminished ability coming back into ABCA. That would keep 'those' dogs out of ABCA, even if it doesn't do much to keep the working dogs out of AKC. Your other option is just don't sell to sport homes, period. These days you can have plenty of problems even without the AKC influence - look at flyball, dock diving, treiball, disc dog, freestyle etc (none of them AKC sports) or NADAC, DOCNA, UKI, CPE, UKC, and USDAA agility.

 

I don't see selling to sport homes as a problem in itself. I think there are sport people who understand and appreciate the working-bred border collie, and I don't see why good homes like that shouldn't have one. I do think it's a problem when they are sold to people who don't understand and respect the real border collie enough to refrain from breeding them inappropriately (and refrain from using them to support an organization that is harmful to dogs, and which has shown total contempt for the people who created the breed), but that's not a problem that the ABCA can realistically solve. How would the ABCA know if a pup had been bought for a sport home? To the extent it can be solved from the supply side, individual breeders are the only ones who can do it, and obviously they vary in their willingness to address it.

 

I also think a lot of damage can be done even if you could get total separation of ABCA and AKC dogs at this point. AKC sport breeders are breeding nice sport dogs even without going into working lines. Sure a few generations back that's what they started with, but I know of a lot of these dogs being bred that are no longer ABCA registered and haven't been for a few generations and are AKC bred to AKC and getting more refined for what the sport buyer wants in a dog. They may be turning to crap for stockwork purposes, but for sport homes they seem to be producing exactly what people want and proving themselves in competition. They aren't losing their ability to be sport dogs just because they've separated from ABCA lines. So the prestige of AKC having top performing sport border collies is still there, and now those breeders can proudly claim that it's an all-AKC product and that AKC produces the better dog. Over time, this becomes the 'real' border collie to the general public and the damage is done even without pulling more working bred dogs into the AKC gene pool.

 

That may happen. Indeed, it may be the best outcome we can hope for at this point. You've misunderstood me if you think I'm saying that all our problems can be solved, by ANY method. They can't. But the very best we can hope for would be a total split between AKC dogs and our dogs -- the sooner, the better. Those AKC breeders certainly could proudly claim that their dogs are an all-AKC product and that AKC produces the better dog for agility -- those big-name AKC agility breeders probably claim it already. If people buy into that, and it becomes the prevailing public view, what we have is the show collie situation all over again. The kennel club co-opts the original working breed, turns it into something else but keeps the name, and somewhere down the road the people who are still using the original breed in its original form for its original purpose have to adopt a new name. We've survived that. I would much prefer that to the mingling and the dwindling. I think we would know how to protect the name better the next time around.

 

I'm not saying just give up and sell to AKC homes or register AKC. Just that the real problem does not get addressed by the simple act of refusing to sell to AKC homes - the problem is so much bigger it seems a little like throwing a pebble in the ocean during high tide - it produces very little noticeable effect.

 

There's never just one "real problem." There's a complex of problems. The convergence of AKC recognition with the explosive rise of agility created a perfect storm for our dogs. But I've thought about this a lot, and I'm convinced that the most serious problem -- the problem that aggravates and compounds all other problems -- is AKC registration. And that's even aside from the fact that, as others have said, the AKC is simply not good for dogs, and ought not to be supported for that reason alone.

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I wrote:

"I would like to see them buy dogs from working breeders, *neuter* those dogs so that they can't become part of the AKC gene pool, and then go back to the breeder for another pup when they want a new dog. But that's a Pollyanna world that doesn't exist, unfortunately."

 

That is exactly what I am doing with my working bred boy by Patrick and Dianne's Riggs. What are you basing this statement on? Because I actually know of this happening a lot.

 

I am basing my statement on the gazillion previous discussions on this subject (and permutations thereof) that have taken place on this board. I'm sure if you wanted to take the time to do a search you could find those discussions and the comments on which I based my own comments. Time and again during these discussions, the sports folk have stated that they don't want to buy a puppy and then be restricted on what they do with it (S/N, NB). So, I didn't just pull my comments out of thin air. Perhaps if more folks were willing to do as you do, then we wouldn't be having *this* discussion at all. And I hope you're right that more people are doing this or at least are amenable to doing this.

 

J.

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AKC did not offer agility competitions in 1992. The first AKC agility competition was in 1994, if I'm not mistaken, shortly before the AKC recognized the Border Collie breed. USDAA would have been around in 1992 -- it was the only agility organization of any significance in the US at that time. Agility was a tiny, little known sport then and I don't think anyone envisioned how it would mushroom in popularity. To the best of my knowledge USDAA did not, even then, ban mutts from competing.

 

I didn't start competing in 1992, but I did start training for it with a woman who had many titled obedience Border Collies. When I decided to start competing, the trainer I was working with gave me paperwork for the AKC ILP program, which would have been around 1995. I guess she was more AKC focused since she had been doing AKC obedience for a long time.

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I'm not sure I follow all this, but do dogs have to be registered or "purebred" to compete in USDAA and NADAC trials? If not, I'm not sure that non-breeding papers are of any use.

 

I've often wondered how difficult it is to go after someone who breeds a dog sold with a non-breeding contract. Seems to me that by the time you win your case, if you win your case, there will be pups on the ground. The way the legal system works, those pups might have pups on the ground. So then what happens to those pups (and their pups)? Are they yours? Do they remain with their "breeder"? Not trying to be facetious here, just wondering how effective a non-breeding contract is going to be to actually stop people from breeding.

 

Regardless of how the dog's papers read, it's all too easy to fake them. I've known of breeders who blue-slipped non-registered puppies. It's simple, all you have to do is report to the AKC that your registered bitch whelped 7 pups, when she only whelped 5. (Or get a friend who has a new litter on the ground.) Then you have two extra blue slips to tack on the non-registered pups that you think are so swell that you want to keep them, show them and then breed them. I know of two occasions when this actually happened. Then they used the bogus-registered pup in their breeding program, and sold his pups. And all those puppies had pedigrees that signified nothing. And the AKC had the money for the registrations of those puppies.

 

I knew of a multi-breed puppy mill that had a German Shepherd Dog stud die, and since they didn't have another GSD male, they just put their 3 GSD bitches to a Siberian Husky. They didn't report the death of their GSD stud to the AKC. The pet shops they sold to didn't know any difference, and the puppy buyers were holding AKC papers on mixed breed dogs.

 

If one is truly interested in keeping working bred Border Collies from being inappropriately reproduced, one would do better not to sell un-neutered/ spayed dogs to non-working homes. But then I expect a lot of agility folk would be unhappy about early neutering of their dogs. It's a reasonable concern for them, and I wouldn't like it either, even though I would have no intention of breeding my dog, I wouldn't want her fixed until she was mature.

 

So then what? Who to sell the pups to and with what papers, if any?

 

I was talking strictly of keeping the dogs out of ABCA. And I didn't mean a contract (which as you noted may need legal action to enforce). I meant register pups with ABCA with papers that say no offspring of this dog can be registered ABCA. Nonbreeeding papers from ABCA do nothing to keep a dog from being AKC registered and bred there. It doesn't prevent people from breeding the dogs or running them in agility. And no, NADAC, USDAA, etc do not require purebred or registered dogs. What it would do is prevent offspring from staying in the ABCA gene pool. It's what I stated before, two sides - keeping the 'bad' dogs from pumping offspring into the ABCA gene pool (which nonbreeding papers might help) vs controlling what the whole world does and not allowing anyone to breed for the wrong reasons or register dogs anywhere if they do breed - which is beyond what ABCA or individual working breeders can control. You're always going to get some people who are dishonest and try to trick the system (faking which litter a pup came from for example) but at least it would make it difficult enough that most people wouldn't bother.

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here is my story. i became interested in agility in 2005 and decided to take classes with my all american dog twitch. the only place that offered classes was an akc affiliate club. we took classes despite knowing that we could not participate in akc events. and that was okay, because despite being ignorant to the bc/akc war at the time, i've always had an uneasy feeling about the akc and have always supported rescue dogs. as a mix breed dog, we were never really accepted into the circle of akc people. and that was okay too. as groucho said "i'd never want to join a club that would have me as a member. ;-)" we continued to train and one day we met a subversive: an akc member who told me about agility venue that allowed, nay welcomed, mix breeds, CPE. she even invited me to a trial with her. we loved it! i started training my next dog jazz, also an all american, in agility too! the akc people still stayed 2 steps away from my unpure dogs and mocked cpe and now nadac as not real agility. that was okay too, we were having fun.because i enjoyed agility so much i did end up joining the club, and here is where my high moral ground wavers. i needed a indoor place to train and this was my only choice. so i became a member and got my key and a discount on classes. when the akc deigned to allow mix breeds in agility events my akc "friends" were thrilled that i could now participate. the original rules were mix breeds were to be separate but equal. i didn't like that and still didn't enter akc events. the rules changed but i was having fun in cpe. so much fun i decided i wanted the ferrari of agility THE BORDER COLLIE. i went to several border collie breed rescues (as is still my nature) and found nova. again my moral high ground wavered. i ilp'd nova and twitch in akc. mostly because i wanted to show those akc people just what a rescue dog could do. i couldn't wait to show them. we trained really hard. i turned my pasture into a homemade agility course (i'm the queen of pvc!) in the meantime, i found this board and started learning more and more about border collies. i ordered and read "the border collie wars" by d. mccaig (sp?) my attitude changed again. i had another reason to distrust the akc, but still i needed a place to work. what to do? i stayed with the club. there were some management changes and somehow, i got to be an asst. teacher of agility classes. i have become the subversive, the sabatouer. at the end of classes, i handed out my agility schedule to all those who "passed" the class and were ready to trial. all my trials are cpe and nadac, no akc. on the flyer i offered to help them out, share the ride, etc and gave my email address. i hope someone takes me up on the offer. in nov. my club has it's own agility trial right here in town. 15 mins. from my house. i won't be there, i 'll be 2 hours away at a cpe event. and 2 hours is THE closest cpe/nadac event to my home. i no longer feel the urge to show the akc the awesome abilities of my dogs. i know what they are. i have decided to remain with my club and give a miniscule amount of money to the akc. my moral grey zone. i will not participate in akc events, nor will i ever ilp a dog again. i will remain the subversive who touts the benefits of dog friendly and user friendly CPE and Nadac. i will continue to rescue. i hope that will make up for some of my moral failings.

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If I did not get a working bred dog, I would still be showing BCs. I would not be putting all of this effort into training this dog so I can start trialing, I would not be planning to sell my home in a year and a half and buy a new one with enough property to have my own sheep, train my own dogs, trial them, and maybe breed great working dogs one day. The AKC is an empire that will continue with or without my entry fees, but because a working breeder sold me a dog, I am now sold on this breed and fully intend for working border collies to be a part of my life forever

 

Autumn, I recall that you were a very strong proponent of showing Border Collies in breed when you came to these Boards. I also recall your posting some three years ago saying that you came here as a completely pro-conformation border collie person, and that thanks to this site your thinking had changed. Is it possible that you sought out a working breeder because your thinking about conformation showing of border collies had already changed, rather than the other way around? Doesn't matter, I suppose. The memory of that just popped into my head when you implied in this thread that the only way to educate someone is to be willing to sell them a dog they can register with the AKC.

 

I also recall that, four months ago, you were saying that Link (who was then 18 months old and intact) was going to be your service dog, and that you also "plan to do performance with him, mainly agility and possibly freestyle, starting serious training this year." No mention then of selling your home, buying sheep, training and trialing your own dogs "and maybe breed great working dogs one day." I'm not saying this to disparage your currently expressed hopes and dreams. I'm just pointing out that they are pretty newly hatched and don't really add up to a success story at this point.

 

Would you have rather had me stay with the AKC people?

 

In what sense have you NOT stayed with the AKC people?

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Autumn, I recall that you were a very strong proponent of showing Border Collies in breed when you came to these Boards. I also recall your posting some three years ago saying that you came here as a completely pro-conformation border collie person, and that thanks to this site your thinking had changed. Is it possible that you sought out a working breeder because your thinking about conformation showing of border collies had already changed, rather than the other way around?

 

Firstly, I did not seek out a working breeder, one was recommended to me by a good friend, so really I should credit them as well.

Yes, I was very pro-conformation years ago, I had largely grown up without a dog of my own and dedicated most of my time to watching dog shows on TV, reading books about them, and playing games (mainly showdog.com). I was uneducated really to other points of view. Most of my friends were involved in conformation, and heavily influenced me to make the decision to buy an AKC bred border collie. Most of you know how that turned out. That, in addition to reading information on the boards, started the process. But I would say my experience with that first AKC dog has more to do with the beginning of questioning than the board itself, the board helped me in that it made me aware that there were other options and opinions. Now this is the distinction; just saying you are pro breeding border collies for work, while not owning a working dog or having very much experience working is very different than getting your first actual working bred border collie. That is what I am referring to when I say thanks to Link's breeders I will never be without a working border collie again. If I had gone to another breeder that refused to sell to me because I planned to compete in performance (possibly AKC, though over the last 2 years I've competed in ONE show, THREE shows total, and not with Link) I probably would have thought the working people were a bunch of stuck up snobs (kind of like my first impression of the boards) and tried my luck with AKC dogs again. Luckily that didn't happen, and I have met some wonderful border collie people because of their open mindedness and acceptance.

 

Doesn't matter, I suppose. The memory of that just popped into my head when you implied in this thread that the only way to educate someone is to be willing to sell them a dog they can register with the AKC.

 

Never did I imply that was the only way to educate (or in fact the way, I think the ABCA issuing non breeding papers is a great idea). You should know that since we have gotten into debates before about educating people through AKC clubs and events. (And just in case, I am not implying that is the only other way as well.)

 

I also recall that, four months ago, you were saying that Link (who was then 18 months old and intact) was going to be your service dog, and that you also "plan to do performance with him, mainly agility and possibly freestyle, starting serious training this year." No mention then of selling your home, buying sheep, training and trialing your own dogs "and maybe breed great working dogs one day." I'm not saying this to disparage your currently expressed hopes and dreams. I'm just pointing out that they are pretty newly hatched and don't really add up to a success story at this point.

 

Link is my at home service dog (which you should know since you quoted that thread so obviously went back and read it, or I'm really just that important to you :) ). And I have been planning to buy property and sheep for around 3 years now. Even before I went to my first clinic with my rescue and Patrick said "now you just need some sheep," I even told him that we were currently buying a house and were trying to get one with enough property. Unfortunately that didn't happen as land over here is too expensive, but we plan to move in about a year and a half. These are not a newly hatched "hopes and dreams" they are something I am passionate about, and am intent on making happen.

 

 

In what sense have you NOT stayed with the AKC people?

 

I am a member of the local kennel club for social reasons, also the discount on training classes doesn't hurt either. I currently do not compete in any AKC events, and am strongly opposed to border collies being bred for anything other than working ability (and all other working breeds). Do you think the AKC border collie people accept me? LOL.

I do plan to compete in agility with Link, but my agility instructor knows of many other venues besides AKC in this area and those are what I would likely try first. However if I didn't have these options yes I would ILP Link and do AKC. Link loves agility and so do I, so if some one wants to judge me on that and say I am ruining the breed, frankly, they can **** off.

 

 

Calling out breeders who are simply more open minded than you is judgmental and unnecessary. We all have our opinions on how to preserve this wonderful breed, what is the point of attacking others over it when they have the same goal in mind, just a different way to go about it? Disagree all you want, but you went over the line IMO.

 

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Calling out breeders who are simply more open minded than you is judgmental and unnecessary. We all have our opinions on how to preserve this wonderful breed, what is the point of attacking others over it when they have the same goal in mind, just a different way to go about it? Disagree all you want, but you went over the line IMO.

*****

 

How are breeders who breed and sell extensively, w/o restrictions, beneficial to the breed?

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...calling out breeders who are simply more open-minded than you is judgemental and unnecessary...crossed a line...

And who is being judgemental here? I guess those of us who disagree are simply judged to be closed-minded.

 

As for crossing a line, whether or not a line has been crossed is in the mind of the person who drew the line. The discussion has been pretty civil - it's obvious that there is a range of opinions on what people are comfortable with doing, in terms of selling pups, buying pups, and chosing activities to pursue and organizations to be involved with. I don't see where anyone has been critical of anyone in particular, just in disagreement perhaps with what someone else may choose to do.

 

I guess I'll just take my closed mind with me as I go finish off chores...in the meantime, if folks would like to support AKC, why not do it on an AKC-oriented board or forum where you (the collective you) will feel right at home and among like-minded people? What most people here choose to do with their dogs, and where they choose to do it, is simply a choice.

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I think the ABCA issuing non breeding papers is a great idea

 

Because of the way you phrased this, I wasn't sure if you know that the ABCA does issue non-breeding papers. It's not an idea, it's a reality. Some breeders don't choose to use them, but some do. You may know this, but in case you don't, and for the sake of others who might not know, I thought I would clarify.

 

or I'm really just that important to you

 

Well,no, I can't say you're especially important to me, although I'm happy to engage in discussion with you, and to defend you when I think you're being treated unfairly or give you credit when I think you deserve it. But it was very easy to locate and quote that recent post where you described your plans for Link, none of which included sheep. Now, in this post, you are saying that you've been planning to buy property and sheep for three years, starting well BEFORE a breeder sold you a working-bred dog and thereby supposedly changed the direction of your life. Who knows what the reality is. But yeah, it isn't that important.

 

I am a member of the local kennel club for social reasons . . . . Do you think the AKC border collie people accept me? LOL.

 

I don't see why they wouldn't. Why would you be in a club for social reasons if the people in it didn't accept you? Or does the AKC club you're in for social reasons not have any AKC border collie people in it?

 

I currently do not compete in any AKC events

 

You seem to be saying in this post that you have only competed in three AKC shows in your entire life? Am I reading that wrong? I certainly had gotten a different impression from your previous posts.

 

Calling out breeders who are simply more open minded than you is judgmental and unnecessary. We all have our opinions on how to preserve this wonderful breed, what is the point of attacking others over it when they have the same goal in mind, just a different way to go about it? Disagree all you want, but you went over the line IMO.

 

Well, let's review what happened. Somebody posted that several RedTop dogs had placed well in obedience at the BCSA nationals. The Good Shepherd asked whether it was considered okay to register dogs with the AKC and enter them in AKC events other than herding and conformation. I responded, giving my opinion that it is not. Since the focus was on RedTop dogs, and since RedTop does not register with the AKC or enter AKC events (as far as I know, and I think I do know), and since it was suggested that people were reluctant to answer this question because it would involve criticizing a Big Hat, I went on to respond to the implicit question of whether it's okay for a breeder to sell dogs to people who will register/enter them in AKC. I said that while it is not as bad as registering/entering, IMO it is detrimental to the best interests of the breed -- it's not okay. I did not call this breeder out or attack him. I like the man personally, and have the greatest respect for him as a breeder, trainer and handler. But what kind of a coward would I be if I was not willing to answer those questions?

 

As you say, we all have our opinions on how to preserve this wonderful breed. You expressed yours. I expressed mine.

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Now a couple of people have worked hard to tilt the balance in the other direction. Heather Nadelman just finished her third broadcast of the National Finals and extended it this year to the Bluegrass. Hopefully, she's having enough success to keep it going. Anyone who has seen it thinks it's awesome. Denise Wall just completed the first in a series of videos explaining how a trial course relates to farm work.

 

I wanted to comment on this, but somehow I lost track. Heather has worked really hard to get the webcast going, and promote it, and keep it going, but it's in no way a commercial venture on her part. She doesn't benefit financially from it in any way. It will be up to the webcast production company and the USBCHA (and other trial committees, for trials like the Bluegrass) as to whether it can keep going or not, and that in turn will depend on how much support it receives from the border collie community and the public.

 

Denise's video was supported by a grant from the ABCA, but it was a modest grant and there's no doubt that Denise put far more time and effort into it than the money involved could ever compensate. She is still working on it, in fact, but if you'd like to see the "beta" version and didn't get to see it on the webcast, you can view it here. After she's put the finishing touches on it, the final version will be put up on YouTube, with an embedded link on the ABCA website.

 

I agree that the efforts of these people are very important for the future of our breed. I think all of us who love and value the border collie are much indebted to them.

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I'm curious. Do those who refuse to sale to only certain homes. Is it a standard question for any potential homes weither or not you compete or in any way associate with a kennel club? Or what have you done with your past dogs? What clubs have you competed in? What IS your dog FULL name? Etc... 0.o

 

:) Not getting into the rest of it.

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I'm on the wrong side of the tracks here, but as one of those evil sports people, I'll put in my thoughts and opinions, for what they are worth. Delete if you feel this is inappropriate, inflammatory, or just too freaking long.

 

I got my first dog (whom I still have) from the pound. He was a year old GSD/Australian Shepherd mix with little or no training and the drive of a freight train. Over the years, I got into dog sports in an attempt to give him something fun to do. The non-AKC club had 20 dogs in a class and the required equipment was prong collars and leather leashes. The AKC club had a quarter that many dogs in a class and required equipment was a buckle collar, treats and a toy.

 

So, I went with the AKC club.

 

I got my second dog, Seelie, from the pound. She is a border collie. I had fallen in love with the breed because of the border collie one of my friends had. They were the only breed of dogs that I that I really liked. Seelie was so spooky when I brought her home that she peed in terror coming out of her crate or if you even reached over her back. She would also leap out of harnesses and collars to flatten herself in front of cars and try to head them off. I talked with the non-AKC club, but their deal was still choke chains and confrontation training. Even when I tried agility classes there, dogs were running in muzzles and one was in a shock collar (!). So, I went with the AKC club for her puppy classes. Once Seelie reached her full height of 21.5", I realized running her in AKC, she would run several trials a year in the local area, jumping at 20" or if I went with USDAA, she would have the chance at two trials a year jumping in the highest height class of 26" The other agility venues were so few and far between here to be not worth the effort.

 

So, I went with AKC trials.

 

Now, with my youngest puppy, I wanted the experience of raising a dog from puppyhood, and I wanted to know she started off life well and that her parents were well tested for any hereditary deficits. I also wanted a breeder that knew where all their puppies were, who had dogs I knew and liked, and who I knew would be there if anything didn't work out. So that is what I went with. Yes, she is AKC.

 

So, my experience with AKC is that they have good training clubs, that they have venues my dogs, including pound puppy specials, can compete in, and that they have some good ethical breeders. Isn't that what we want AKC to be?

 

Certainly, I agree that there is a a sport vs conformation vs stockdog collie confusion. I wish we could just name them three different breeds and call it good. If the AKC evaporated tomorrow, it would have little or no effect on the worst of the sport dog breeding and the doodle and designer mix trends. There are plenty of non-AKC puppymills, so I don't lay that at AKC's feet.

 

I don't think AKC is a particularly good organization. I just think they are irrelevant. My only interaction with them is as a sanctioning body that provides a training club and venue for me to compete with my pound puppy specials in one of my sports. I have never bred a dog.

 

That said, I came to this board with more sympathy for the plight of saving the stockdog collie than I have now. Honestly, the anti-AKC rhetoric, and the attempt to minimize sport dog people to wannabes or shove them in with the barbie collies just trips my "yeah, right" trigger. When I read threads mocking another venue's nationals, or minimizing a health concern specific to a given sport, or saying a color pattern should be bred out because it's popular in another venue, it makes me think there is no hope. I love and respect real stockdogs. I find stockdog trials fascinating. One of the main reasons I mess around ineffectually teaching my dogs herding is to learn and grow my appreciation of the level of skill involved. But, I don't particularly want to own a stockdog. I never plan enter a USBCHA trial and this kind of childish "tee hee, they suck 'cuz they don't have real stockdogs" reminds me of junior high cliques.

 

Do youtube videos and education. That is what will teach people about stockdogs. Show them what you have, don't taunt them because they don't. Otherwise, you just alienate your potential support base as they go back to their show dog and sport dog friends and never even see a real outrun.

 

Just my opinion.

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I have students who do agility and flyball. They have gotten dogs from me. They are on spay/neuter and they are fine with that. Epic, who does flyball is the 10th fastest flyball dogs and I think the 4th fastest this year(or something close to that)....he is a nice herding dog and they hope to do Novice soon. Logan and Courtney won Jr Agility Handler of the year. Neither did sign them up for AKC but if they did, I would be fine with that based on certain restrictions.

 

Why, as they do herding, they see the AKC as for what it really is, their sports are offered via AKC in some timeframes/etcs and they are not interested in the conformation. The loves their dogs and provide excellent homes for them. They have boarded and sent their dogs for training with me.

 

They will never be interested in Open level but at the lower level due to children, other dogs sports and so forth. But they dutifully come out and work their dogs. I do sell to non-herding home but I screen the hell out of them

 

One of them told me that some flyball folks wanted to get dogs from me and they told them. Dont bother as she will NOT sell to you as you will not fix your dogs and you will not do any herding with your dogs. And you are not for the good of the dog.

 

I found it quite amusing that they screen the folks now….I did tell them if someone was a good as they were, I would.

 

Both have been my herding students for over five years.

 

I have converted agility AKC, agility, etc folks to USBCHA herding…one is an Open handler now, the other one just won PN Handler of the year. I, myself was a former AKC handler…..

 

If a person is open to being educated and learning about the true stockdog, I am open to them.

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