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Ok, bored too so here's a new topic:


Key dogs in America- Who are they? Who bred them? What influence have they had?


We don't really have a comprehensive history of dogs over here, that I know of- at least not one that is far-reaching. Maybe if we talk about the dogs we have seen that represent the best that American bred dogs have to offer, might be an interesting topic. This is not to put down UK dogs, just that there is already plenty of information out there on the UK vs dogs bred here that had influence on American dogs.

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Guest Charles Torre

I was looking at a nice booklet the other day that was about all the USBCHA National champions. It gave a little description of each of the dogs, usually by the handler, and then a pretty detailed pedigree. Have you seen it? I'm sorry that I forget all the authors but one; there were three. The one I remember was Geri Byrne, so I bet the book is available at Border Collies in Action.




[This message has been edited by Charles Torre (edited 01-01-2003).]

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Guest PrairieFire

First one, for "modern" dogs - Ralph Pulfer's Shep...probably "started" more lines than most any other dog in the country...


The problem with looking at the USBCHA Finals champs is the limited time the HA has been around - been a lot od dogs in this country before that organization got it's start...



Bill Gary

Kensmuir, Working Stockdog Center

River Falls, WI






[This message has been edited by PrairieFire (edited 01-01-2003).]

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The book is "Sheepdog Champions of North America" compiled by Geri Byrne and Mandy Harley with comments and pedigrees by Roy Goutte.


A friend gave it to me for Christmas, and I've just been studying it. It has photos, pedigrees, and write-ups of every USBCHA national sheepdog champion, nursery champion, cattledog and nursery cattledog champion, Purina/WBC points winner, and ABCA Hall of Fame dog. (Shep, who Bill metioned, is a Hall of Fame dog.)


I wouldn't say it's a page-turner, but it's certainly full of information.


Then there's the question of what makes a dog an American dog? One that was born here? One that sired or whelped a lot of good pups here?



Bill Fosher

Surry, NH

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When we started compiling the National Champions book 2 years ago, we thought it would be easy. Ha! There is no written history of the National Finals or the Handler's Association. (Perhaps the USBCHA should appoint a historian?) There are lists of the champion dogs but the list did not even include all of their registration numbers. We contacted all the owners of the dogs and asked for their help. We appreciate the help they and everyone else gave us as we tried to put this information together. Roy Goutte was a great help in analyzing the pedigrees for us. The book is a brief overview and really needs to be taken on by someone in depth.


A Key Dogs of North America would be a great book. It would be even more difficult because first you would have to agree on who the key dogs were. Other then the Hall of Fame Dogs, you have dogs which regionally made a great impact but didn't become National Champions, etc. For instance, here in the Northwest you would have to list Jon Carter's Bru and Mike Hubbard's Val. In cowdog lines you would have to include Sandi Newton's Rosie. Probably those of you back east have never even heard of these dogs and you have influential dogs we have never heard of.


What makes an American dog is an interesting question? Many of our Champions, especially our earlier ones, were imported. I think it would be interesting to look at what dogs had the most impact on our gene pool here. Anyone up to the task?


Geri Byrne

Tulelake, CA

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I've been talking with folks over the past few days (Geri, Jaime, Amy to name a few) about this very thing although the original thought was compiling a short-list version of UK and US key dogs - maybe the top 5 or so of each.


I was interested in publishing the information on the 2003 National Cattledog Finals website and in the 2003 National Cattledog program and then using it as a foundation to establish something of historical import.


Would soliciting informal "nominations" of sorts on the various stock dog lists work? If we could get a majority agreement on a small group of US dogs to get the ball rolling, I would be willing to research from there (with some help if anyone cares to lend a hand).

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  • 4 weeks later...

How does one define a key dog? I'm assuming by it's impact on future generations, rather than by it's own abilities? There is a very interesting article at:


which questions whether some of the dogs in Sheila Grew's book are in fact key. I love the Grew book BTW, but think this article very interesting too.



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