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Bridging division between Working Border Collie Tradition vs. “Working” Agility Dogs+Other Disciplines


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I don't say this to take the part of AKC in any way, but the fact is that there are plenty of very friendly and down to earth people who do choose to participate in AKC events, especially the performance events.

 

 

Down-to-earth is not how I would describe the majority of them. Maybe coming up from the bred-by classes, where breeders were handling their own dogs I found that type, but not a whole lot in the environment where dogs were being specialed*.

 

Yes, I made a lot of friends, but I didn't make those friends ring-side.

 

 

ETA: *Can I claim copyright on that word?AND Edited post to reflect that this is my personal experience

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I have AKC friends. I have friends who belong to an AKC affiliate club, who donate hours and hours to teaching family dog and puppy classes, agility classes, and providing other dog-friendly learning experiences. Some of them are some of the very nicest, most-caring dog people I know.

 

And there are some I know that you wouldn't (figuratively) want to turn your back on because they would stab you in the back without a second thought if it was to advance their own personal agenda.

 

Just like every other group, there are good and bad apples in every barrel. In every barrel.

 

But AKC as an organization (along with its parent club) is detrimental to the future of the Border Collie because it promotes the antithesis of what a purpose-bred dog is - a purpose-bred dog is proven breeding-worthy by its work, not its appearance or what it can do in a performance sport. And I'm not being critical or dismissive of those that train and compete in agility or other dog sports.

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This thread has offered many insightful responses, that have involved lot of patience on people's parts, yet there is no getting through to her. There is no excuse for having to run AKC agility. AKC agility is the prevelent venue in my area, yet I don't run or register my dogs. I have one AKC registered dog, and that was before my eyes were opened to the evils of AKC, mainly through this board. My subsequent agility prospect was a working bred border collie and I will never look back. Though I do train him in agility, I train him much more and work much harder in stock work. It is a huge learning curve for me and natural for him. I can attest first hand to the AKC border collies not having any stock sense. My AKC boy will sit in the corner of a pen and watch anything but teh stock while my working bred boy goes straight to work. They are completely different dogs, and though the AKC dog is pretty, fluffy, and black and white, he is not in my eyes a border collie any longer. My tall, lanky, thin, coyote red boy is a border collie, though many AKC folks wouldn't agree. They are two different dogs, and I think you will find that if you ever try your dog on stock. It's amazing, it's just plain magical and I can't think of any other way to describe watching a dog work their stock. That is work, playing agility is just that, playing. I've worked hard to make myself and my dogs play well, but it's still a game. I work 10 times as hard to learn how to work with my dog on stock, as he has natural stock sense, but I am so obviously lacking.

 

There is no sense in posting agility videos, most people have seen them and have not denied that there is work involved in playing the game well. I enjoy agility, I tape my dogs, and I enjoy watching other dogs as well...of any breed. But take one of those shelties or even many of those border collies I compete against,and guess what you will get? A dog, not a border collie, much like my AKC border collie. Looks like a duck, but doesn't waddle like a duck. Therefore no longer a border collie in the true sense of the word.

 

Serena, you are not ready to see that you are in the wrong thinking that herding folks should allow breeding of their talented border collies to your differently talented sporter collies, but there is good reason for it. Look at my Todd to see it. He is no longer a border collie, but is now a Sporter collie. Whether people like the terms or not has nothing to do with it, they are good descriptions. In order to get the wonderful traits that people want in an agility dog, they can turn to good working lines and get dogs there, as that is all that they should ever be bred for. Enough said on that matter. Take the time to try your dog and your hand at herding, you may find that you finally see the magic behind it and why we shouldn't ruin these beautiful animals by allowing them to be bred for any reason other than their working ability. Working as in stock work, not working at being good at a game.

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ETA: *Can I claim copyright on that word?

Nope. Sorry... Conformation breeders have been using it for decades.

 

I think a lot of folks are missing a really important point. Nice people sometimes do truly stupid and terrible things. Sometimes because they don't realize the greater implications of their acts, and sometimes because they believe in the "rightness" of their actions.

 

I'm sure that the Bengali peasant who poaches a tiger to feed his family for a year, because there is famine in his district, and no work for him to get a living by, is probably a lovely, warm-hearted guy who loves his wife and babies and is otherwise kind to animals. But because of his actions, combined with others who do the same, the best efforts of conservationists who have managed to scratch out tiny reserves for tigers, that great cat is at the brink of extinction.

 

All the tenants in the apartment building I manage are nice people, but even though you can't swing a dead cat without hitting something about environment degradation, climate change and such, many of them still don't recycle, buy local or choose products with minimal packaging. They aren't evil. They just don't get it. And because of millions like them were are suffocating in our own effluvia.

 

The AKC is destroying the purebred dog in this country. From top executives to the bred-by-owner exhibitor of a cherished family-member dog, they may (or may not) be perfectly nice people. But for whatever reason, be it greed, mis-information, or just the plain, selfish inability to allow massive changes to something they have come to cherish; they are ruining purebred dogs.

 

Oh rats... I wasn't going to post any more to this thread. <_<

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I have AKC friends. I have friends who belong to an AKC affiliate club,

 

I am the incorporating agent for a local DCA member club, and I have to say every single one of those people except one were great people. Still, my experience is that there were a lot of HUGE egos in the show environment and I was appalled at the way I saw novices being treated. Also, since my experience spans a good number of years, I would show, then life would get in the way and I'd be out of it for a good number of years, then I'd get back into showing (rinse and repeat). So, the new folks would assume I was a 'contemptible novice' and treat me accordingly until I read off my 'pedigree'. I would just laugh at the presumption. That is my personal experience.

 

ETA: End tangent (and off topic nonsense, again sorry)

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ETA: *Can I claim copyright on that word?AND Edited post to reflect that this is my personal experience

 

Um . . . OK. I don't know which word you mean, but OK.

 

And yes, personal experience will certainly determine such things.

 

All I know is that when I got into Agility with a mutt - and that was long before AKC allowed mutts to run - I expected pressure to get a better dog, an attitude that Maddie wasn't a "real" Agility dog, and for the AKC Agility folks to look down on her. Never happened. They were nothing but supportive and when I discovered CPE and got her started there, they never insinuated that what we were doing was somehow "not real" or substandard. Different, sure. But hey - I was getting to play some very fun games that AKC doesn't even have in the bargain.

 

So yes, my experience has been different.

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All I know is that when I got into Agility with a mutt - and that was long before AKC allowed mutts to run - I expected pressure to get a better dog, an attitude that Maddie wasn't a "real" Agility dog, and for the AKC Agility folks to look down on her. Never happened. They were nothing but supportive and when I discovered CPE and got her started there, they never insinuated that what we were doing was somehow "not real" or substandard. Different, sure. But hey - I was getting to play some very fun games that AKC doesn't even have in the bargain.

 

I haven't shown since 1999. I did stop in on the Beardie judging at a show once after that, but otherwise I've been away since then. I am very surprised that nobody called your dog a 'POS' (not quite out of earshot), which was a big thing with some show people. I am also truly heartened at what appears to be a better crowd. Maybe the sport people have loosened things up a bit.

 

ETA: And to get off this tangent... I agree with the Border Collie people regarding recognition.

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We are not just breeding for speed, but for intelligence, perception, sensitivity, biddability, keeness that is what a really good and experienced agility trainer who's been trained for decades wants!

When you breed a proven working stockdog with another proven working stockdog this is what you get; with the added bonus of being able to work stock.

 

Look at it like this. Say you want to make some spaghetti sauce. You get all the ingredients together simmering in a pot when you decide you want it meatless. You can still take the meat out but theres no way you are going to do so without also taking out some of the sauce. This is why agility breeders have to replenish their lines. And if you leave the meat out altogether, youll still have sauce but it wont be spaghetti sauce. Just like if you dont breed a proven working stockdog with another proven working stockdog, youll have a dog but it wont be a border collie.

 

I dont know why you keep dragging this thread out. If you want to post any videos, why dont you do it under the Obedience, Agility and Flyball board?

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Look at it like this. Say you want to make some spaghetti sauce. You get all the ingredients together simmering in a pot when you decide you want it meatless. You can still take the meat out but there’s no way you are going to do so without also taking out some of the sauce. This is why agility breeders have to replenish their lines. And if you leave the meat out altogether, you’ll still have sauce but it won’t be spaghetti sauce.

 

Hey! It will to be speghetti sauce still. Meat rarly ever goes into my sauce Ive always called it speghetti sauce. I normally clarified it sauce with veggie or sauce with meat or just sauce.

 

Couldnt resist. wierd really cause that is what I am making tonight for dinner speghetti with veggies and meat.

 

This thread really is going on forever. and BTW the shaun the sheep song... I had to look it up :(

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I keep reading this thread out of a sort of dread fascination ... and I'm replying again. *sighh*

 

.....Agility training can have a softness as well, a quiet side....If folks bear with me a little longer, and don't mind, I am going to borrow Amelia's gorgeous sheepherding video. Again, to prove that this truly is the most ideal, the most beautiful expression of work that a border collie indeed does. Then there there will be 2 brand new videos showing a very quiet, different style of agility training. ..... ... I hope someday someone will show about their Border Collie SAR in action with this thread. How there are still those elements of beauty, refinement, and intelligence.....

 

Serena. Listen to us. We don't need your agility videos. We are not questioning that there are soft or quiet ways to train agility. We are not questioning whether beauty and intelligence still factors in to SAR dogs or border collies involved in any other endeavor. It's not about the training!

 

It's this:

 

...It's like the Prodigal Son; no matter what we are, we are still part of your family. We still own border collies...We are not just breeding for speed, but for intelligence, perception, sensitivity, biddability, keeness that is what a really good and experienced agility trainer who's been trained for decades wants!

 

You still own border collies, yes. They do share the same ancestral root.

 

But if you are not breeding for the border collie's hereditary stock-working ability ... you are diluting it. You are changing it. You are losing what makes the border collie unique in all the world.

 

No less so than those that breed border collies for conformation. Listen, no one has ever said that conformation border collies lack intelligence, perception, sensitivity or bidability! We've only said that they utterly lack the instinct to work livestock.

 

The thing that makes conformation dangerous to the border collie is that it adheres to cosmetic, artificial ideals, which have nothing to do with the border collie's stock-working heritage.

 

In what way is that different from breeding agility border collies?

 

The agility border collie may not be as bereft of stock sense as his conformation cousins, yet ... but he will get there. If his breeders only go back to his working roots every so often, sooner or later, he will.

 

Then we'll have not one but two branches of the border collie family tree, which are shorn from who and what they were meant to be.

 

But you won't answer these questions, and I fear my patience is finally wearing thin. You're not hearing what we say, Serena. And I think I need to stop trying to tell you.

Regards,

 

Gloria

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How does the AKC refer to dogs that have common ancestry and similar apperance to a breed but the dogs do not fit the breed standard?

 

"poor example of the breed"

 

How does the AKC react to breeders breeding dogs that look like a breed but are purposely breeding away from all or part of the breed standard?

 

example: white GSD = disqualifed

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Ok, I am a teacher (seriously), and I have an assignment for you, Serena (seriously). Please take some time to read the following two books: The Dog Wars by Donald McCaig (as has already been suggested numerous times on this thread already, Outrun Press, 2007), and Dogs by Ray and Lorna Coppinger (University of Chicago Press, 2001). And I would suggest reading them in that order--McCaig first, then the Coppingers.

 

I think both would be extremely beneficial in helping you to understand both the broader concept of purpose breeding, and then the issue of purpose breeding as regards the border collie specifically.

 

Until you have read these two books, there is really nothing more you can say (and, please, don't bother with the videos, as they are really not relevant) that will be sticking to the topic here. We all know and agree that agility is an endeavor that requires much training and time and effort and money to become successful; noone is disputing that. The one issue that should by now be coming through loud and clear form everyone's posts is that we have an issue with breeding for agility. That's all.

 

So, again, please read these two books, and then resurrect this thread with your newly gained perspective and insights,

A

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Serena, you do realize that everybody that breeds conformation collies makes the very same argument as you do about their reasons for breeding? Yes? With the same amount of zeal and passion!

Maybe it boils down to the fact that society as a whole is not as grounded in "real" life as in get your boots dirty and vaccinate and handle sheep type life. Maybe they just don't know or they simply don't want to know.

This does not only apply to the Border Collie or dogs. And that is so frustrating to me. Look around and open your eyes.

My second favorite breed is the German Shepherd. Don't even get me started. The SV (German breed club) has rules that even include requiring proof of working ability before you can breed. They require health clearances. Yet look what has happened to the breed. Why? Because breeding is based on show and trial results. As soon as that happens, real true tests are in the minority. Training changes to focus on stylized tests. The dogs are the ones paying the price for humans vanity, ego, and or misguided and simply selfish and shortsighted practices.

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Serena is definitely not hearing what we are saying, but at the same time I think we are not hearing the most fundamental thing that she is saying. It's become evident to me that she thinks talking back and forth, continuing this thread -- regardless of what is being said in it, so long as working dog folks are participating and the tone is beautiful and nice -- is good for its own sake. Frustrating as it may be to us, it is gratifying to her. From her point of view, it is desirable for these posts to go on forever. In her opinion, that in itself = "building bridges."

 

Eluane is Serena's first and only border collie. Whatever she sees in Eluane defines "border collie" for her, and it does not include anything to do with working livestock. I don't think anything anyone says is conceivably going to change that. Certainly a lot of very high quality attempts have failed to do so.

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OH NO!!!! My Dear God, Shaun.....its still here!!!

 

 

 

Just don't look.....oh well....I'll write this.

 

 

 

1.I don't like AKC. Don't support them in any way- I don't care if they are nice. Or Clean or pretty,The AKC has got a screw loose somewhere, maybe several screws and a bathtub. Start your own clubs.

 

2. Breed for the Work.- only-

 

3. Agility and all the other fun stuff people do with their dogs is great. Call it whatever you want to, I don't care.

 

4. If I had a pup that was a flop as a stockdog I would GIVE it to you, an agility or whatever person, but I would spay or neuter the pup first before it left my property. And I will include the provisions about this as Eileen instructed on the contract of any pups I sell that are working dogs.

 

5. This is why- Ready.......My dogs are making my living for me, and without them I cannot pay my way. And I do not want the shepherds in the future cursing me.

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You’re probably right, Eileen. Even though 15 pages is a ridiculously long thread, I don’t think it was in vain though just because Serena isn’t ready to understand what was being said. There were so many people saying the same thing in so many different ways, I would be willing to bet a number of other people will get it. Maybe the next time someone comes on here and doesn’t understand the board’s philosophy we can steer them towards this thread??

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Ok, I am a teacher (seriously), and I have an assignment for you, Serena (seriously). Please take some time to read the following two books: The Dog Wars by Donald McCaig (as has already been suggested numerous times on this thread already, Outrun Press, 2007), and Dogs by Ray and Lorna Coppinger (University of Chicago Press, 2001). And I would suggest reading them in that order--McCaig first, then the Coppingers.

 

I think both would be extremely beneficial in helping you to understand both the broader concept of purpose breeding, and then the issue of purpose breeding as regards the border collie specifically.

 

Until you have read these two books, there is really nothing more you can say (and, please, don't bother with the videos, as they are really not relevant) that will be sticking to the topic here. We all know and agree that agility is an endeavor that requires much training and time and effort and money to become successful; noone is disputing that. The one issue that should by now be coming through loud and clear form everyone's posts is that we have an issue with breeding for agility. That's all.

 

So, again, please read these two books, and then resurrect this thread with your newly gained perspective and insights,

A

 

 

WELL SAID ANNA

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You’re probably right, Eileen. Even though 15 pages is a ridiculously long thread, I don’t think it was in vain though just because Serena isn’t ready to understand what was being said. There were so many people saying the same thing in so many different ways, I would be willing to bet a number of other people will get it. Maybe the next time someone comes on here and doesn’t understand the board’s philosophy we can steer them towards this thread??

 

It's my opinion that Serena does understand what so many have said over and over, but that she disagrees with this arguement and is trying to get us to agree with her. And I applaud evreryone for being so civil and patient.

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Um . . . OK. I don't know which word you mean, but OK.

 

And yes, personal experience will certainly determine such things.

 

All I know is that when I got into Agility with a mutt - and that was long before AKC allowed mutts to run - I expected pressure to get a better dog, an attitude that Maddie wasn't a "real" Agility dog, and for the AKC Agility folks to look down on her. Never happened. They were nothing but supportive and when I discovered CPE and got her started there, they never insinuated that what we were doing was somehow "not real" or substandard. Different, sure. But hey - I was getting to play some very fun games that AKC doesn't even have in the bargain.

 

So yes, my experience has been different.

 

 

CPE rocks !! just ask my Border Collie!!!

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I have been lurking thru here I do see the OP does not get it plain and simple you guys are wasting time trying to assist her in education.

 

She may want to google BC rescues look at the dogs in need tell her AKC buddies to go

help these dogs they do not need to be breeding new ones.

 

Leave the breeding to the ones dedicated to preserving the stock dog.

 

And Again OP I will mail you my copy of the Dog Wars if you would like to give me your address

it made me sick when I read it and thankful that I will NEVER own an dog with AKC anything attached to it.

 

REALLY lady PLAIN AND SIMPLE spay & neuter and keep your dirty AKC paws off the Border Collie the Aussie and other breed that you guys want to tweak for your own gain.

I am generally very nice and try to keep my lips zipped but you are not bridging anything but the gap a bit further.

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Does anyone else get the sense that this thread has outlived whatever usefulness it might have had? Maybe we should act on that perception.

 

I have that sense -- strongly.

 

AND I thank everyone who posted in this thread because I learned a few things, as usual, from those here more experienced than I am. It's just too bad that you all were beating your heads against a brick wall for so long. Kudos to you for trying, though.

D'Elle

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