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I see you're from England. We may be a bit different here in the States. Thus the United States Border Collie Handlers Association and the United Stated Border Collie Club.

 

While we have the International Sheep Dog Society (formed in 1906)

and

the Border Collie Club of Great Britain (don't know when it was formed but it is a show organisation and collies have only been recognised by the KC here since 1976.

 

And at Skipton where the world record price for a working dog has been broken more than once they hold Sheepdog sales, not Border Collie sales.

 

Keeps things simple I suppose. Technically ISDS dogs are BCs but in practice the term doesn't seem to be used much - at least by the people I know whose livelihoods are assisted by their dogs.

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In this country, where there is not a "working sheepdog culture" that is part of the history and fabric of farm life, most people refer to the dogs as Border Collies. On the farm or ranch, while they are often called "the dogs", it's still Border Collies - perhaps that's a reflection that (in the US, at least) there are a number of breeds that do stockwork, often depending on the part of the country, the kind of stock, and the job needed to be done (Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Hangin' Tree Cow Dogs, Catahoulas, Curs, Australian Cattle Dogs, and so on).

 

Different cultures, different names - same great dogs.

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In this country, where there is not a "working sheepdog culture" that is part of the history and fabric of farm life, most people refer to the dogs as Border Collies. On the farm or ranch, while they are often called "the dogs", it's still Border Collies - perhaps that's a reflection that (in the US, at least) there are a number of breeds that do stockwork, often depending on the part of the country, the kind of stock, and the job needed to be done (Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Hangin' Tree Cow Dogs, Catahoulas, Curs, Australian Cattle Dogs, and so on).

 

 

We're not totally free of terminological confusion - for example, a Welsh sheep dog is not necessarily a Welsh Sheepdog, and a Welsh collie is probably just a collie that comes from Wales.

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I'm sure it can get confusing - the British Isles, after all, has produced many local varieties of working sheepdogs over that last few hundred years. It's a shame that many have been lost as identifiable varieties or races or breeds, but probably many have been incorporated into the making of the modern working sheepdog.

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I wish the AKC had never heard about the border collie. But it did. And I don't think anything a few outsiders say is going to do much to persuede them to rethink things.

 

But I do have to say that a whole lot of interested people come to herding and sheep work and even wool and spinning through AKC doors.

 

People get interested in agility or obedience and then start hearing about trying their dog on sheep. And then they get motivated to really get into sheep stuff in a serious way. And they leave the AKC behind.

 

That is one place where people like Pam can really do a lot of good. If she spots a good dog - and she knows a good dog when she sees one - then she can get the dog owners to really get interested in serious sheep work. She can tell them about fun days and upcoming clinics and trials where they can go and really get a feel for what a miraculous dog a border collie is.

 

And then they buy a farm and some sheep - and eventually their whole lives are taken over by sheep and sheepdogs. And that's a good thing.

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