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


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A bit of a tangent...

 

I beg to differ that you can't teach a dog to lift. I've learned how to do so from several different trainers, including Bobby Dalziel.

 

It depends on how you define teaching a lift. We most definitely do teach our dogs what we expect on a lift (don't rush the sheep, don't split them, don't push them off away into the woods, bring them to the handler at a nice pace, etc). We also teach them to drive, teach them to flank, and teach them to do outruns. They get better at these things as they gain more experience, and we guide that experience, so that is the training. What I meant was that while we can teach the dogs when to do a particular thing and some details as to how we want it done, and put them into situations to gain more experience and confidence at doing it a particular way, the inborn ability (sheep sense) that allows them to actually absorb the training and pull it off correctly in a variety of situations on a variety of sheep cannot be taught. Could you teach a golden retriever to make a nice lift? I doubt it, as the golden retriever, no matter how hard he tried, wouldn't have the stock sense to make the right choices on his own.

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Root Beer I still don't get what's wrong with term merely. It means simply. I'm merely being practical. And I was not! excluding other agility venues. I merely said (note my use of merely) that AKC and USDAA are for me the most traditional agility venues that I am used to but ...The British started with traditional equipment and it made sense to me their standards of how they run their dogs...Also you misunderstood my definition of work. Of course every handler does their best to train real hard no matter what their level. I was just saying that without having the experience of having real title placements, rosettes, and National Ranking in agility venues, regardless of which venue it is, you won't have as much experience to be a top-notch trainer in general or to teach and make it a true career. You can't teach how to have a winning dog if you've never ascended to the needed levels of achievement. I was talking about work as a career, not work as a handler. You did misunderstand my word usage as you did with merely. Hobbyist handlers spend tons and tons of time trying soooo hard to train. I know I do, and but I am still a hobbyist! I cannot make a career out of agility in other words. A very rare few ever get to achieve this level. Everyone out on the ring truly respects each other, well almost! I remember my huge shock and sadness when I heard a MACH handler said to some visitors, "oh, don't bother watching the Novices. They aren't any good, that's why they are in novice..." Believe me, that almost never ever happens. Everyone is very supportive of everyone's efforts. I cheer everyone especially when they struggle, we clap and cheer and make them feel happy...And hey for someone who trials so few times a year, you bet I can appreciate how hard everyone fights to keep trying and trying their hardest...I too have been supported by those way more advanced than me. Why else would my two dear friends (one an FCI 2011 Bronze handler) and the other an outstanding MACH handler, trainer, ring captain, etc. want anything to do with me a nobody...go figure. The world is made of wonderful caring people who are always willing to lend a helping hand. But I know my own place as a hobbyist.I won't get to that very special level, and no one should ever! feel ashamed for not reaching this, because they did give it their all.

 

Eileen wrote: I never said you couldn't talk about it. I said you'd be wasting your time, because all of that has no bearing on the issues you've raised. Only you can decide if you want to waste your time, but in general, when arguing a cause, it is good to focus on the facts in dispute and not on those that aren't in dispute or aren't relevant.

 

Eileen, thank you for your reply, but from the comments of the originating 1st post one of my goals was indeed to talk about the special wonderful things about the agility world too! It is very relevant to what I first posted.

 

Serena wrote: Surely there’s got to be ways to bring together folks, and maybe we can bridge discussions between different ways of “honoring” the working Border Collie tradition....I’d also like to open up discussions on other working disciplines that honor the Border Collie tradition. IMHO when a border collie “works” it could possible be extended to other fields like Hollywood Border Collies that have been specifically trained to do multiple tricks and stunts for acting in commercials and movies. Wouldn’t this fully utilize all the strengths, smartness, eagerness to work, and keenness of the border collie? So I’d like to be able to ask what others feel about whether “working ability” can be extended to other fields besides just sheepherding.

 

Someone here mentioned about SARs and that was a great discussion too on how a Border Collie can excel in this field and be involved in some form of "work".

Just as I say that top agility folks who demo agility with their dogs, lead in seminars are in that sense working....There is a definite work and vocation involved here.

 

On the other hand I was discussing shared common similarities with sheepherding and agility. They are going to be of course completely different disciplines but there are definite strong threads of similarity...

 

For example someone wrote:

Ever try directing your dog through most of an agility course while standing 60 feet away?? I don't know of any AKC-only competitor who could accomplish that.
Perhaps not 60 feet away, but definitely 50 feet away doing nothing but verbals and the dog must complete its course as part of many agility trainer’s routines. The only difference is the time. Sheepherders are standing 60 feet away the entire day. Ours only last seconds, and the speed of how fast the dog takes to accomplish its task. Agility long distance we transferred into leadouts…Greg Derrett’s agility stance indeed may have been 60 feet wheeled distance away if I recollect…He did a very difficult stacked long field series to directly demo in his most advanced handler CD vol. 3….Which again points out the beautiful working techniques of a World Champion handler.

 

And even novice handlers can do the tiniest things to honor the border collie tradition. Even when Eluane was a tiny pup, I would stand all the way across the entire stretch of apartment rolling hillside and she'd be a little white and black prancing dot on the lawn, and I'd command her left and rights, en face and derriere commands as pre-agility training since her joints are too soft to do any sort of agility. But this was my way of honoring the working border collie tradition in what minute, insignificant way I could, teaching directionals even at such a young age. I wanted her to be a really smart wonderful little Border Collie.

 

Stockdogranch we are talking oranges to apples. I said time and again, you folks don't need us, but we need you for good solid lines, just like the British go back to the sheepherding community to keep a strong breeding line. None of our disciplines you can utilize because one does not do agility in a 16 hour day work shift! There is no guarantee our first generation dog can endure the blasting heat or punishing snows for example. And we do not need those qualities whereas you do, Does this make sense now? However, what we do need the biddability, calm, focus, agility, smoothness, tight maneuvers, intelligence, the off-switch...

 

Crossing our top agility dog with a top working border collie makes our agility line the best bred agility dog...

 

No, Very few agility folks should ever! breed- a mere .00000000000000000001% And I wasn't talking exclusively AKC either. USDAA, NADAC can indeed breed but same ratio of .00000000000001%...They have to have the top agility lines, and the top National rankings, the decades of experience, friends on these Boards, yadayadayada....

 

Mara wrote: Serena, you are asking working breeders to disregard their personal principles in regards to breeding to accomodate the AKC agility folks. In the name of winning at a game. That is a pretty shallow reason for one to abandon their principles.

 

But neither should one ever should go against their principles. It's their dogs, their philosophies, for Heaven's sakes! No one is gonna force them to sell to a top AKC Champion handler, but neither should we kick out and detest those who do decide to trust a Champion handler who is dedicated, sincere and well-loved by their students and peers. The dogs continue to produce wonderful pups, and yes the instructor does have ABCA so somewhere down the line she purchased a pup from a working border collie owner who trusted her as an honorable and responsible agility person. I think everyone has separate and unique circumstances and they make their own personal decisions on what they feel is fair and honorable.

 

On the other flip side, Eileen and the majority here have very valid points. We do have to be very concerned about the dumbing of the line. I just cannot see how extremely careful breeding, training and mentally stimulating our agility breeds is going to make our Border Collie stupid. That instructor and my MACH friend constantly train their dogs in multiple things, not just agility. We do need the working border collie lines in our heritage, just like the Brits do. And yes, I am recopying Eileen's quote here to register that I have read carefully what she says.

 

1. Border collies should only be bred if they are proven stockdogs, and should only be bred by those with the knowledge to breed for excellence in stock work.

 

2. It is wrong to register border collies with the AKC or to support the AKC by entering their events.

 

3. It is important that these positions be publicly stated and defended.

 

 

and everyone here, the active members participated, publicly stated and defended. I heard. I just can't see things totally in black & white. I'm more like um a zebra I guess, (sigh) that I'm sure people would love to send back to the Safari....

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Crossing our top agility dog with a top working border collie makes our agility line the best bred agility dog...

 

But this kind of breeding hurts the border collie.

Most folks in the sheepdog community here are not interested in being part of the problem, especially in the name of helping people play a game.

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Eileen, thank you for your reply, but from the comments of the originating 1st post one of my goals was indeed to talk about the special wonderful things about the agility world too!

 

Okay. I thought you wanted to talk about it for some purpose. My misunderstanding.

 

Stockdogranch we are talking oranges to apples. I said time and again, you folks don't need us, but we need you for good solid lines, just like the British go back to the sheepherding community to keep a strong breeding line. None of our disciplines you can utilize because one does not do agility in a 16 hour day work shift! There is no guarantee our first generation dog can endure the blasting heat or punishing snows for example. And we do not need those qualities whereas you do, Does this make sense now?

 

Well, I can see where it would make sense to you. We give, you take. And we shouldn't say anything that might make you feel bad while you're taking and we're giving. Gotcha.

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I merely said (note my use of merely) that AKC and USDAA are for me the most traditional agility venues that I am used to but ...The British started with traditional equipment and it made sense to me their standards of how they run their dogs...

 

Had you said that to begin with - that you feel they are most traditional - that would have been quite different from what you actually said - authentic. I know - authentic is merely another way of saying traditional in your vocabulary. :P :P :P But for most of us, those are not synonyms.

 

Also you misunderstood my definition of work.

 

Would you mind referencing where you defined work as "career" early on in the conversation when work was being discussed? I don't recall seeing that exact definition. You talked about "MACH Handlers", but I don't remember you identifying those as "Career MACH Handlers".

 

FWIW, I consider that to be very limited definition. There are quite a lot of types of work that we all engage in that are not careers. Housecleaning is no career for me, but believe me, I consider it work!!

 

And as a trainer and handler, I do consider the work that I do with my dogs to be true work, even when that involves training for sports (no, it is not stockwork and I am not saying that dogs should be bred for it any more than they should be bred for housecleaning . . . oh, wait . . . if that were possible :D . . . anyway . . .) :) Not because I "train real hard" or because I "try sooooooo hard to train", but because training involves consideration, planning, time, and the actual mechanics that go into it. And, on the dog's part it requires thought, practice, self control, physical and mental effort, and precision in performance.

 

Why else would my two dear friends (one an FCI 2011 Bronze handler) and the other an outstanding MACH handler, trainer, ring captain, etc. want anything to do with me a nobody...go figure. The world is made of wonderful caring people who are always willing to lend a helping hand. But I know my own place as a hobbyist.I won't get to that very special level, and no one should ever! feel ashamed for not reaching this, because they did give it their all.

 

Personally, I think it's a shame that you consider yourself to be a "nobody" because you haven't won such accolades and that you feel that titles that one has earned or not actually determine such things.

 

You may well have achieved things that are actually far more meaningful than such titles - even within the sport of Agility.

 

Agility is so much more than titles and rosettes and such. Those things are a ton of fun to earn, but not a one of them really measures what means the most in an individual dog and handler partnership, nor the greatest achievements which can often not be measured by titles or ribbons or accolades of any kind.

 

I hope you get the chance to experience that for yourself someday.

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1) I need to find out on our boards, who here actually actively participates in AKC.

 

 

 

Hi,

 

I don't have a MACH champion and am not a MACH handler, but I do actively participate in AKC events(mainly Obedience, tracking. Don't know if those count?). I will say that this AKC competitor does not agree with you. I feel that to get the qualities we value, for whatever activity we choose to do with our border collies, the focus of breeding has to be on the dogs ability to work stock.

 

Just my two cents~

 

Janet

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Oh, boy. Still not connecting, here.

 

.... On the other hand I was discussing shared common similarities with sheepherding and agility. ....

Perhaps not 60 feet away, but definitely 50 feet away doing nothing but verbals and the dog must complete its course as part of many agility trainer’s routines. The only difference is the time. Sheepherders are standing 60 feet away the entire day.

 

Serena, only time the shepherd is withing 60 feet of his dog is when rounding the post, coming to the pen and doing the shed. On a trial field, the dog is going to do the rest of its work from 150 (novice-novice) to 600 yards away. On the farm, the dog could be anywhere up to half a mile away. Don't confuse AKC arena trialing with field trialing or real farm work.

 

 

.....And even novice handlers can do the tiniest things to honor the border collie tradition. Even when Eluane was a tiny pup, I would stand all the way across the entire stretch of apartment rolling hillside and she'd be a little white and black prancing dot on the lawn, and I'd command her left and rights, en face and derriere commands as pre-agility training since her joints are too soft to do any sort of agility.

 

Serena, listen to us, please. The point is NOT that both agility and sheepdogging handlers can command their dogs at a distance. For pity's sake, freestyle dog-dancers' dogs work at a distance, too, but that has nothing to do with sheep. That a border collie can obey commands at a distance is not what makes it a good working dog! The point is that working border collies not only can work and take commands at a distance, they can make their own decisions, as well. That is what good breeding is about. A well-bred working dog can read, intuit and respond to subtleties in his sheep quicker than their human partner can see and formulate a command.

 

That absolutely does not equate to anything on an agility or any other sporting field. And those are the qualities that are lost, if not nurtured and bred for with care.

 

 

On the other flip side, Eileen and the majority here have very valid points. We do have to be very concerned about the dumbing of the line. I just cannot see how extremely careful breeding, training and mentally stimulating our agility breeds is going to make our Border Collie stupid.

 

I think the bridge is not materializing, Serena, because the canyon we're shouting across is just too vast.

 

Breeding sport border collies does not make border collies stupid. It makes border collies who lack the instinct, heart and intuitive sense to make a good working stockdog.

 

The only way to keep those traits is to breed for them. It's a genetic fact.

 

~ Gloria

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OK, I am going to put my two cents in now....

 

Breed true or you will breed wrong.

 

Breed for working ability. PERIOD.

 

Not because the dog is the top titled in agility, flyball or underwater basket weaving.

 

Do you think those shepherds of long ago, all sat on top of a hill and said "Let's breed Spot to Meg as Meg can do the weave poles in one second."

 

I really don't think so.

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The only way to keep those traits is to breed for them. It's a genetic fact.

~ Gloria

Right on, Gloria!

Every mating, all the time. Not just every couple generations or so. (Just so there's no misunderstanding...) ;)

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Here's a question, Serena:

 

Say down the road AKC finally closes the Border Collie stud book and ABCA dogs are not allowed in. Therefore, in your fantasy world, you would no longer have access to working dogs to 'replenish' (still don't get that) your agility lines. What are you going to do then? Solely breed for agility? Or purchase working bred pups, then spay/neuter and ILP for agility, at which point you would end up with the perfect working-bred Border Collie like you're wanting in the first place?

 

I, too, am still eagerly waiting to hear what traits in agility correspond to "problem solving ability, bidability, stamina, desire, control, balance, agility, stock sense, temperament, and courage" (quoted from KelliePup I believe), all of which are needed for livestock work?

 

There is no comparing the importance of stockwork with agility. A dog's ability or inability to work livestock well can directly affect a farmer's bottom line. Yes, there are some people that have/can make a career out of agility, trainers and clinicians and such. But the bottom line is that agility is a game, a hobby, a sport. People's farms and lives are not made or broken by a dog's ability to run through weave poles and fly through tunnels.

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Just a quick thought...

 

Why would a top agility MACH handler(or whatever you are calling them) want to breed to a dog that is a top herding dog? Is it limited also on who you could breed with? If yes who can you breed to? Only the top winners? If no why not keep to a high standard that you have set for agility people? How would you pick a sire that is the best match for your dog? Agility and herding arent the same disciplines

 

What I hear happening more then not is you have an agility person who gets a ABCA border collie from working lines, they prove the dog in agility and then that dogs is used in a breeding.

 

I can't imagine any serious breeder wanting to breed to a dog not proven or tested in their chooses field.

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Ugh. No one is ever "forced" to do AKC anything. I have never given the AKC a dime, and I have owned dogs since 1987 and been working them in agility since 1993 (in the halcyon days before the greedy b@stards at AKC recognized agility). I loathe the AKC for so many reasons I won't bother to list them here and I will never, ever, ever give one iota of support to an organization that does as much harm to dogs as the AKC does.

 

So I have titled my dogs in NADAC and UKC agility, I have shown some in USDAA, and I am now registering my BC in CPE in preparation for trialing in that venue. No, I won't get anything like the MACH that the AKC offers, but frankly, I don't care. No ranking or placement is important enough to me to justify giving money to the AKC, which turns a blind eye to puppy mills and insists 'oh, we're just a registry' when called to account for their moral shortcomings.

 

Sorry, the AKC is a big hot-button of mine. I believe it helped ruin the Shetland Sheepdog, and I am a longtime Sheltie rescuer, and what it has done to the Border Collie -- well, that's not news on this board, I'm sure. :(

 

My thoughts exactly! I compete in NADAC agility, and I'm lucky to live in an area where NADAC, CPE, and USDAA are popular, and AKC is not. In a year or two I will move away from this area, and I don't know where I'll be going. Wherever it is, though, I will not support AKC, even if that means giving up agility.

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Gloria we are not disagreeing here. .... That is why it is important for AKC handlers to petition AKC on principle. We have a duty, whether it works or not, who cares? We petition out of principle. At least we've done something instead of sitting on our but*s ...

 

Serena, don't you see? Working stockdog people DO NOT feel we have a duty to do a damn thing with, to, or about the AKC. In fact, the sooner they go away, the better. With any luck, the AKC-bred border collie will become a distinctly separate breed, and they can keep their fluffy show dogs and leave our working dogs alone. It's not our duty to try and change an institution that's been entrenching itself for 127 years.

 

.....We need you all for knowledge, advice, input, to help re-plenish our lines for good Border Collies.

 

"Re-plenish?" Serena, that is the division. Why not just buy working-bred dogs to run agility?

 

 

Gloria EGADS, I never watch AKC herding trials! I watch real British sheepherding trials and sheepherding trials in Australia. There's also a country station I occasionally come across which covers the USBCH trials. The rest of the videos come directly from here.

 

My apologies. When you said you 'lurk at the herding section," I thought you meant when at AKC border collie specialties or some such. Sorry!

 

 

Gloria this complete stereotype and misconception of what an excelling beautiful agility dog is about, continues to make us sad...We do not wish agility to be viewed as absurd and dangerous as you wrote earlier.

 

You are mistaken. I did not say agility is absurd and dangerous. I said breeding to prevent perceived faults like "early start syndrome" is absurd and dangerous.

 

Gloria, you still don't get what early takeoff is. You take any young working stock dog and he too will have early takeoff syndrome. It's not bad genes, lol! it's when an inexperienced dog is first trying out his leaps and the ideal location for the most power and the most streamline to cover the maximum distance.

 

Gosh, I'm glad to hear you say that. Because there is some very serious discussion out there claiming that Early Takeoff Syndrome is a genetic problem. Those people certainly aren't saying the dogs would out-grow it. Rather, they are saying they need to breed to avoid it, and they're trying to identify agility lines in which "ETS" is hereditary. But since I'm unaware of a problem with working border collies crashing into fences, stone walls or ditches, while doing their jobs, I have to presume that "ETS" is actually a problem unique to agility.

 

Thus, agility aficionados are creating artificial criteria for their breeding programs that does not include primary focus on preservation of the border collie's stock-working ability.

 

That, Serena, is damaging and dangerous. And that attitude lives within the AKC. Conformation breeding is just one tip of the problem.

 

 

.... unlike other dog sports, agility has very intense maneuvers that are very based on the principles of speed, visual maneuverings and balance except instead of the sheep, it is the obstacle that the B.C. is flanking, etc., ....

 

Oh, dear. A dog maneuvering around a set of weave poles is not "flanking." Weave poles don't duck out of a pen, or try to split and run off in two different directions, or turn and bolt towards the exhaust.

 

Finally, you get the best Agility B.C. and the best working B.C. and combine, and I still am thinking that a really great dog will still emerge. You can still get the best of both worlds. It's happened with people. It can also happen with dogs.

 

A really great dog, sure, but a great working border collie? Serena, we're trying to impress on you the difference between training - however skilled, difficult or intense - and heredity. People may be born with a gift for music or math, but a 1 year old baby is not going to open his mouth and sing, or hand him a pencil and he'll start doing geometry. However, present a 3 month old, well-bred border collie with livestock, and he will be drawn to try and control them, obeying an urge he doesn't even understand but which his every instinct is crying out for him to answer.

 

It's imprinted on his DNA, embedded in the deepest corner of his mind - but that is the ephemeral, precious something that is so easily lost, if the border collie is not selectively bred for livestock working ability.

 

If you breed the best of agility and the best of working lines, you have a dog that's only half working bred. His pups will only be 1/4 working bred. And his grandchildren will be only 1/8 working bred.Sure, they may still show interest in livestock. But the hereditary working sense is diluted, stunted, incomplete. The magnificent package that makes up a good stockdog is now lacking.

 

But I think you don't see this, and I think I'd better give up trying to show you. Until and unless you truly understand how to preserve the working border collie in its whole cloth ... I don't know what else to say.

 

~ Gloria

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With all due respect no matter what you do with your border collie, how smart, fast, great your border collie is. How much you love your border collie...How much you border collie has won and excelled in whatever.

 

UNTIL you partner with a border collie and use it for farm work you have no idea what a border collie is.

 

Example: Yesterday a ewe was limping..my dog shed her off and was quietly lying down while I doctored her. Out of the corner of my eye I see the ram 2 seconds away from sending me flying..leaving me no time to react. Something rushed past me and there was my dog..she met him an instant before he took me out. One clean bit on his nose she backed him up and stood there to remind him he better not mess with her master. This is the same dog that gently nudges newborns along behing their mama..

 

You can't train that..she saw a problem and she made a decision on her own.

 

Bottom line until you fully know the very core and being of a border collie you have no business breeding them. Cause you don't know enough about.

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Gosh, I'm glad to hear you say that. Because there is some very serious discussion out there claiming that Early Takeoff Syndrome is a genetic problem. Those people certainly aren't saying the dogs would out-grow it. Rather, they are saying they need to breed to avoid it, and they're trying to identify agility lines in which "ETS" is hereditary.

 

Sorry, Gloria, but Serena has given you inaccurate information on the ETS issue in her statement that dogs outgrow it or that handling causes it. In spite of the fact that she personally believes that it is what she said it is, those who are seriously studying the issue have drawn very different conclusions.

 

I'm NOT saying it should be a factor in breeding - just clarifying the actual use of the term. In fact, one of the very characteristics of the issue is that it shows up later in the career of the dogs, many of whom were actually proficient jumpers, and the designation "ETS" is not used for dogs whose jumping issues are helped by training and tweaks to handling. There is a distinction. Mecklenburg et. al. would be the first to caution against assigning the designation "ETS" to any dog before inexperience, training issues, or handling issues are ruled out to the greatest extent possible.

 

Whether or not there is a genetic component to the syndrome is unknown. And, no, Serena does not have information about it that those who are actually studying the issue have somehow missed as they collect information, study individual dogs and groups of dogs, and work with veterinarians, etc.

 

Yes, we beat this to death, and to get more info on ETS, I would refer Serena, and anyone else who is interested, to the large thread on it in the politics section. Some do believe it does't exist. Personally I don't have firsthand experience of the issue, but I don't presume to know more about it than those who are dedicating a good chunk of their life's work to actually study it either. I hope I never actually have a dog with the issue. Give me fear of dogs and people to work through any day of the week!!

 

But, no, ETS is not considered to be something that dogs outgrow or can be fixed through training or handling. Those are simply training and handling issues that the team must work through.

 

And while it is true that ETS does not have anything to do with stockwork (nobody who takes the issue seriously makes any claim that it does), it is a real issue for some Agility teams and, whether anyone likes it or not, those folks have decided to study the issue. It is important to them, and I sincerely hope they find answers to help them better manage the condition.

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Example: Yesterday a ewe was limping..my dog shed her off and was quietly lying down while I doctored her. Out of the corner of my eye I see the ram 2 seconds away from sending me flying..leaving me no time to react. Something rushed past me and there was my dog..she met him an instant before he took me out. One clean bit on his nose she backed him up and stood there to remind him he better not mess with her master. This is the same dog that gently nudges newborns along behing their mama..

 

Beautiful thing it is! You can't train for that. One of my dogs does that beautifully, he won't ever push sheep on top of you (sometimes a fault when needing to doctor sheep) and will protect me at all costs. His half sis doesn't have that little "thing" that helps her understand those ideas that are so clearly in her bro's genetics.

 

Wonder how you can see that unless you do the work....

 

A side note. The only other dogs I see that sort of thing in is the nicely bred LGD. There's another example of dogs doing what their genetics have been set up to do.

 

NO amount of training can do what the genetics have put in our dogs. I for one am glad to have experienced what has been so eloquently explained here. Sereena, go work an agility dog on stock then try one that is bred for work. Maybe you'll see the bigger picture....if you're lucky.

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The terrierman had a good post that relates to this thread.

 

True Terriers

 

This blog post hits on two items of interest. Breeding for function over form AND the meaning of words. For us, the meaning of border collie is not a black and white dog (or tri or some other color) with a certain build, ear set, and gait; nor is it an intelligent dog that can excel at many games and endeavors. The meaning of border collie is a dog that works livestock (we backup this philosophy with the ROM process). In order to maintain this meaning, these dogs should be only bred for working livestock. Breeding for some other function or for form no longer falls under the meaning of border collie. These other breeding goals only add dogs that look like border collies, replicas of the real thing, which are diluting the meaning of border collie. The problem is that one cannot tell the difference between a replica and an authentic border collie in the absence of livestock.

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Finally, you get the best Agility B.C. and the best working B.C. and combine, and I still am thinking that a really great dog will still emerge. You can still get the best of both worlds. It's happened with people. It can also happen with dogs.

It's this attitude you and all of your other AKC worshippers have that will be the destruction of the border collie. After 9 pages and over 150 posts, you still have no idea what the true essence of a real border collie is or you never would have wrote that. I pity you, Serena. You have no idea what you are missing out on.

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Very well said Mark! Short and sweet and that to me personally covers it right there.

 

The rest? Heck, I will admit to tearing up when I see a job well done. Be that agility, dock diving, frisbee or ANY fun activity ANY responsible owner enjoys with their superbly cared for and well loved pets. Yes, I dared calling them pets. ;)

I have dabbled in so many different things for the sake of learning as much as I can and to be able to make up my own mind, with two different working brethis (wait, make that three if I count the Mals), that I have way too much respect for a great showing in any field.

But the true measure of a breed is not looks but performing the jobs they where bred to do as the humans partner. I will include in that the service dogs who where chosen to reach beyond their original purpose because of their skills and abilities. For example the guide dogs and ANY service dog including patrol, rescue dogs, and the list goes on.

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