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Well, let's call them BC's Mark2 then...I don't see any real problem with naming them as long as it LOOKS like a BC to the pet buyer. I think this name busines is tangential as the public soon learn what is what.

And I have spent endless hours trying to persuade pet buyers here to buy something else. The BC is de rigeur ATM and if the kids want one, sobeit. I had a man on teh phone last wek from Bayonne (big city) who wanted a BC to go walks with because he spent most of his days in his apartment working at the computer. I asaked why a bC and he said because they are intelligent. I risked being rude and asked why he wanted an intelligent animal just for walking around Bayonne. I actually suggeted a retriever and he all but snorted at the idea.

Last Saturday I spent two and a half hours trying to persuade a lady who lives in Toulouse (even bigger city) NOT to buy a BC and she STILL sked me when she could take her puppy home.

Mad...completely MAD!!

And these are the usual kind of people who eventually end up with working bred dogs they can't accommodate. TBH you can call them anything you like because a huge majority of folks that buy BC's never look at a book about them, talk to anyone about them or try to research their requirements. As long as it LOOKS like a BC they are happy. I know someone vrey well who used to breed from time to time and has stopped now because she can't bear the issues we have been discussing.

Working dogs should go to working homes...period.I still stand by my assertion that there should be clear water between pet BC's and working lines, that breeders respect that line and that buyers understand it.

Sue

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Hi,

 

Jumping in late on this as usual- on vacation in Denver and missing my dogs .

 

I don't understand Sue's dilemna- an hour of work per day for her dogs and she isn't sure if she's being ethical about owning working Border Collies? While that may not be comparable to a hill shepherds work load- I think Sue is overestimating the amount of work these dogs really need. I see this as more of a ranch/cow dog perspective- but there are large periods of inactivity for stock dogs in general- sometimes there is just nothing for that dog to do for days. I've found that many well bred working dogs are not hyper, work crazy fools- they are keen to work whenever they can but they also are reasonable animals to deal with. One thing that I've learned is that the best working dogs I've had do have lots of energy- but they also have a very stable temperament. They adapt well to training and structure and are a pleasure to live with. They are not a lazy persons breed- but a generally competent dog owner should be able to deal with a well bred Border Collie. If they can't- I find it highly unethical to modify the breed to fit that "need". There is no "need", only selfish desire to have a dog that looks a certain way but isn't a true representative of its breed. There are so many excellent adult dogs in rescue that can easily take the place of a "pet bred" Border Collie.

 

I have not only owned several Border Collies of my own but have rescued many adult Border Collies. These dogs were not displaced because they were dogs that were working bred sold to pet homes. These dogs were displaced because of deaths, they were lost, or the owners simply were not qualified to own ANY dog. I've never had one that had behavior issues- and even I didn't expect that to be the case. I don't rescue tons of dogs, maybe 3-4 a year when I come across them- but I've always found these dogs to be generally adaptable to most reasonable situations. The ones I did see papers on were working bred, a few were unknown history, two were definitely dogs that were sold to working homes but were not keen enough to work. My own dogs- all of which were exclusively working bred- who are quite happy with what work I can give them and are at least content with their household situation outside of work. I assure you it doesn't take "running them for two hours" or playing ball constantly to keep them worn out- things I'm always seeing recommended to pet people. I do not live on a farm, in fact at one time I owned two Border Collies in an apartment type situation with access to sheep work 3-4 times a week.

 

Border Collies bred for work are not just bred for a desire to chase sheep. Health and temperament are inherent issues. The desire to please humans is another inherent issue- few other breeds will mind their person the way a Border Collie will at astronomical distances (in theory of course .. mine give me the doggie paw past 300 yards but probably because I don't haul my butt up there to correct them enough). These things alone add up to a dog that should not be a challenge to a reasonably knowledgeable dog owner. If a dog owner is not particularly knowledgeable, I've still seen and owned dogs that could be owned by commited first time dog owners.

 

Maybe the situation in France isn't the same- but Sue, you should understand in the States there are already too many wonderful dogs that could fill the kind of pet home you are talking about. Many working bred dogs are not keen or talented enough to make the grade- but that doesn't mean they will be hyper freaks. The hyper freaks I see are often exactly what you are talking about- dogs specifically bred outside the working purpose. Flyball, agility, obedience- these sports favor dogs with high drive and the kind of obsessive temperament that is NOT a requirement or desired characteristic of the practical working dog.

 

 

J. Green

Las Vegas,NV

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Second try:

 

"Will these pet-bred border collies you might breed, and don't see anything wrong with breeding, be registered as border collies, or will they not?"

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Becca, are you talking about Rob going to the NADAC Championships? If so, he didn't come in 3rd, and if he told you that you need to slap him. LOL. :rolleyes:

 

-L

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Yeah, that's it I guess - he was in Montana? We were told he got a third place, in the "NA agility trials" I assumed that meant some kind of novice class since he hasn't been doing it that long. Kira is the dog, of course, though his other dog competed as well. Maybe we've gotten championships and just a trial he went to confused? I know he was going there for a "championship" though.

 

I won't slap the person who told me. She's bigger than me. (c;

 

Becca

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Jumping in way late...

 

I'd agree that not every pup in a working-stock litter is going to be a great stock dog and that those that aren't can have fulfilling, happy, useful lives in the hands of good owners with no ambitions as shepherds. I'll also say I know of dogs (several of my patients, in fact) that DO have talent as working dogs that live extremely happy and fulfilled lives even though their owners herd only for fun and not very often. Yes, those dogs light up when they work sheep. But they ALSO light up when they do other work as well. Not to annoy anyone, but I personally don't think BC's are so limited as to be able to find joy and fulfillment in only that one activity. Sound, intelligent animals of stable temperament have more options than that, I believe. My personal take on BC's is that they have so much ability that they can successfully and happily do MANY kinds of jobs, not just herding - even if they are bred from working stock AS working stock dogs. I personally think that they SHOULD be bred for work. There will still be dogs for other lifestyles than herding, because as others have pointed out, in a working-bred litter, there are bound to be some dogs that aren't going to be as good at it (or as interested in it) as others, and even those that ARE good at it don't REQUIRE it for happiness. (My mother had 7 children, of whom 4 have marked artistic abilities, but only one of us is a professional artist; that doesn't mean the others don't enjoy art when we do it, just that we don't make our living that way, despite the talent to do so. Nor are we even slightly unhappy doing something else for a living, even though we COULD be artists professionally. By the same token, I know several BC's who love to herd when they do it, but don't make THEIR living that way either, and it doesn't seem to trouble them a bit - they have other gigs that DO make them happy.)

 

I fear that breeding for "pet quality" will indeed diminish the quality of the breed - for everything, including for being pets. I too have seen my fair share of strange little BC's, skittish and weird and willing to bite at the slightest provocation, some with unsoundnesses of body as well as mind. But I still also see beautiful, even-tempered, sound, intelligent, joyful BC's who do a wide variety of work (herding and otherwise). To me the sin is not using their brains and althleticism for something - but it is (to me) no sin if their brains and athleticism are used for something *besides* working sheep.

 

Maybe I'm too touchy-feely about it... but to me, a joyful dog is a joyful dog, no matter what it is that puts that light in their eye. I don't think herding is the only thing that can do it for a dog of sound intelligence, temperament and body. Just my opinion, though.

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Yeah, he went to the NADAC Ch.'s in Calgary. I know he placed 3rd in one class (of many!), so that's maybe what she meant, but overall he wasn't so high. yeah he ran both dogs in pre-elite (i.e. novice).

 

-L

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OK Miss Engineer! :D

 

The original point being, his MUTTS held their own (and I'll say nothing about the handler's caliber - let's just say I wish you could have gone with your own mixed breeds, Laura) - you don't need a superpowered specially sport bred purebred to have a good time and go places and do fun stuff.

 

And of course if you're really serious, working Border Collie lines produce the coolest dogs, right, Laura? :rolleyes:

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Yeah, would've been fun to go if the drive wasn't a cross-countrIES one. :rolleyes:

 

See you this weekend? Wick's still on injured reserve (and going absolutely BONKERS!), so won't be running. No sense risking her whole herding/agility/flyball career over one tourney with a questionable knee. Should be a very interesting tourney..... teeeheeeheee......

 

KIM, are you coming down with CIA?

 

Laura

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Laura,

 

I will be coming down Saturday afternoon to be with CIA. We have to go to my husband's family reunion in High Point so we won't have any doggies with us (unless we get bad news about Charlotte, in which case I will try and bring her). We are just coming to hang and help out.

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OK done but mine but pretty vague and anyway in theory they should be too busy this week getting their dogs warmed up to break 18 seconds.

 

I, on the other hand, have discoved a flaw in how Rick is reading heavy sheep and have been working on that. Should be really valuable in breaking 20 seconds this weekend. :rolleyes:

 

My dog will be the one doing circles on the grass looking for the sheep. He does great going from sheep to flyball, sometimes in one day, but apparently the mats are his cue!

 

Well, he'll have to learn to cue off my voice this weekend. Maybe it will help him do that more on sheep too.

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One last time because I have been doing some research.

First off it seems as if the development of the BC is different in Europe than in the US. Here in Europe we generally want the working BC to do just that...work. There is also a strong feeling among serious people who use the dog for work (and there are many in this part of France...shepherds in the mountains etc)that doing anything else seriously weakens the dog for work. There is a disdain in certain circles for people who do aglilty etc as well as herding although there is a well-established activity called "Inter-race" which is a reduced ISDS type trial for all breeds and most of the BC's that do this are not good enough to compete in all-BC trials...the competition is too great. The difference in standard is usually marked. There are also many people who feel that only shepherds and farmers should OWN a BC. They do not trial but do work every day. They think trials are a kind of show. BC's are a tool as they always were.

I have also been talking to a very well respected breeder and archivist in GB about this. He agrees with me indeed he suggested) that we should keep working lines for work and develop other lines for what suits them best. I refuse to answer the question about whether they are still BC's because I consider that spurious and wasting time.

I am in complete agreement that not all BC's bred for work are good at it...but this decision should be made after the dog has had a chance to prove itself.

I originally posted my "dilemma" etc because I was asking a question. I got cornered into defending a position I had no yet taken...nor yet have. I have been criticised by those who are relatively new to the world of BC's and who should be listening quietly instead of using BC Boards (and not only this one)as a sorry excuse for a social life. (I notice others Elsewhere are feeling the same way.) I have answered all the criticisms with consideration for the welfare of the breed in general. Unlike the US there is no BC rescue in Continental Europe so the reply that there are plenty of pet-quality dogs already is a non-starter.If there were I wouldn't be inundated with requests for one. The assumption I have also read that all pet-bred BC's are of poor quality is just not so. One reason I considered going back to the breeder of my pet is because he hasn't cost me a penny over vacc bills in the 7 years I have had him. I DO admit that plenty of dogs bred in this part of France are poorly bred. This is why I wanted to try to do it better. Why I have spent 7 years reading, talking, thinking, learning about genetics, health, temperament, watching puppies' sicial development and reading all the books on canine social development I can get hold of. I have to admit that Scott and Fuller took a wee bit longer than most.

Nothing I have read from knowledgeable people whom I respect has convincd me that I am wrong in thinking about this or in finding my suggestion as a possible solution to the problem I see coming of the breed becoming a washed-out,all-purpose dog with no direction and no talent for anything in particular. For me the solution just may be in keeping some lines for work and others for other things. And frankly I don't care what they are called as long as I know where they have come from.

 

Termin

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ok, jumping in way, way too late. I try to stay out of this sort of debate, but was thinking as I was walking my rescue BC, from unknown origins, who is making a terrific pet.

 

One of Sue's comments was:

"I don't see any real problem with naming them as long as it LOOKS like a BC to the pet buyer. I had a man on teh phone last wek from Bayonne (big city) who wanted a BC to go walks with because he spent most of his days in his apartment working at the computer. I asaked why a bC and he said because they are intelligent."

 

Over and over again we hear of people wanting a BC because of their intelligence (they are attractive animals, but how many people purchase them solely because of their looks?).

 

If the breed was split, one for work, one for pets, wouldn't that be essentially 'dumbing down' the pet version which in turn would eventually have pet owner wanting a working breed BC because they are smarter?

 

(disclaimer: I don't any about breeding, but it would seem to me if you breed out the working aspect, the intelligence would go along.)

 

Just pondering...

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The vast majority of pet owners don't really want an intelligent dog - they just think they do. The average pet owner is outsmarted daily by breeds that aren't considered as smart as border collies and then wonder why they are having to deal with behavioral issues.

 

Smokjbc said:

I assure you it doesn't take "running them for two hours" or playing ball constantly to keep them worn out- things I'm always seeing recommended to pet people.
One of the reasons this is recommended to pet people is because they don't excercise dogs near long enough. Most pet owners think a walk around the block and a quick pee is excercise. These are recommendations I make for any larger breed of dog. The fact is if you recommend two hours the dog may actually get one. Pet owners in general can see behavior problems from chewing to aggression simply disappear when the dog is given time to run. That in itself speaks volumes. Add a lack of excercise to a dog bred to think on its own and you can wind up with no end of trouble. However, that is an owner problem not a breed problem and an owner who can't learn to deal with it shouldn't have a border collie.

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OK, I'll chime in. I see absolutely no reason to breed "pet" border collies. I have 5 dogs (4 border collies). 3 of the border collies come from working lines and the 4th has unknown origins as he was a rescue. None of the dogs gets anywhere near the amount of exercise I see regularly recommended on this list on a daily basis. 2 or 3 of the dogs move my sheep daily during the summer for about 1/2 hour (much of this time is spent lying down holding the flock as I move the fence). The others get let out the door several times a day. We'll typically take them for walks on the weekends, have them tag along as we do chores and sometimes take them for long runs behind our 4-wheeler. They don't "do" agility, obedience, flyball, etc. They're not hyper, they're not crated (although we can crate them when necessary), and they're not obsessive (I should say they stop doing things when told to "get out of it."). I'm not a trainer - I just use common sense. The dogs aren't, IMO, particularly unique in terms of temperment. I suspect that people who can't control a "working dog" probably couldn't control a "regular dog." Why risk changing this wonderful breed for these people?

 

Kim

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Kim, and Shawna, thanks for your considered replies.

I am VERY concerned about not changing the breed. This is why I proposed the "solution" I did.

We already have two types of BC...one for show and one for work/pet/agility etc. They are both still called BC's. I don't hear much objection and everyone knows which lines and types of BC we are talking about. However in France we do not have show BC's. The nearest lines are in Northern Italy.

What I don't like is the current situation...at least where I live, of the inevitable "dumbing down" of the "working" BC by careless selection of breeding partners and even worse, the growth of health problems because those who "breed" (have a litter to pay back the cost of the dog) don't know what the issues are. I got home yesterday from a trial and found a message on the answering machine..."I hear you have some pups for sale...I want a female. Don't bother phoning back if you only have males". No discussion of health screening, temperament, work ability, asking for references. Even if I had a female I wouldn't have phoned back.

Those who want pets find them anyway. Not breeding them doesn't diminish the demand. They find them in poorly bred litters and the health and temperament of them is often a problem for inexperienced pet owners. All I ever wanted was to try to find some kind of constructive solution to what I see around me. I considered breeding pets to save the working BC from being wasted. And at least I will know that my pets are healthy and go the right kind of homes. I can't stop all the rest of the bad practice that is happening but I can...in a small, way, offer something better. I can't see pet BC's affecting working lines much...those who breed the best working dogs know and care about the origins of the partners even to the extent of going outside the country and those like the one above would breed his female to whatever anyway. At least if he bred to a healthy pet he wouldn't risk genetic problems.

Dunno...maybe there isn't an answer...

Sue

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Sue writes

We already have two types of BC...one for show and one for work/pet/agility etc. They are both still called BC's. I don't hear much objection ...

 

Whoa, there. The objections are many, loud, and continuous. There was an attempt to mount a legal challenge to the AKC's use of the name Border collie to register its show dogs. People in working circles regularly refer to show-bred dogs as barbie collies to distinguish them from Border collies. One of the main delusions of the BCSA is that there is no split in the breed, and even they are starting to recognize that there is one.

 

The solution for those of us who use working dogs is to continue breeding them, continue trialing them, and continue to push the limits of their working abilities -- to remain true to our ends and not succumb to the efforts of the AKC to hijack the breed for its own purposes.

 

That means selling pups only to those who will sign a pledge that they will not register them with the AKC. It means taking every opportunity to educate the public about the importance of performance-based breed standards to working-breed dogs. It means making sure that people understand that breeding Border collies for any purpose other than to produce the next generation of working dogs is a detriment to the breed.

 

The reality of the world is that there are going to be barbie collies bred and they are going to be called Border collies. Those of us with the genuine article shouldn't be involved in that trade, either by providing them with breeding stock or by somehow legitimizign their trade by helping them establish their own standards.

 

By the way, this is not at all an uncommon situation in other animals. In the sheep world, there are show Dorsets and production Dorsets, and everyone knows which is which, for instance.

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Sue,

What I don't understand is that in your posts the people you describe who are looking for pet border collies aren't people any decent breeder would sell pups of any kind to! From the sound of things, these types of people don't deserve any sort of dog, let alone a pet border collie. So from my point of view, if you were to start breeding so-called pet border collies and selling them to good homes you would in effect be creating more of a demand for the dogs among all potential pet owners, good or bad. We all know what a disaster the result could be. So I guess I think that you might only be creating a worse problem by catering to the pet market, as more and more people would want those wonderful pet dogs, and frankly, even the pet dogs in the wrong hands are condemned to as much a life of hell as a working dog in the wrong hands. Not trying to be argumentative here, just presenting my take on the situation.....

 

J.

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Hi Bill and Julie,

I would be wonderful here to be able to have two registries...unfortunately all Border Collies are under one registry and I know you read the Working Sheepdog list where this was all discussed a while ago. Therefore we cannot distinguish in France between working and pet dogs except that ALL REGISTERED BC's must pass a working test, pet or not, before they can be fully registered. However there are thousands of unregistered dogs which are not traceable. This is where the loss of quality arises. Julie, I understand your points and am seriously taking in all opinions. What really riles me is someone taking a discussion here to another forum without permission and then ridiculing the author. There are as many good families wanting good dogs here as there are the kind of idiots I sometimes run across. Like everywhere!!

My chief concern is, like those here, to try to produce the "Better Border" which is, of course, a personal opinion!! But in the end, disregarding styles etc I think we all know a better from a worse...

I just feel that there is a lot of really bad stuff going on unchecked in the pet side and if you just ignore it, it isn't going to go away. I do wish every BC "breeder", whether they breed once or habitually, would just say no to the pet market...Some indeed do but there is always someone ready to breed black and white dogs and call it a BC. Now THAT is where names don't fit!!

I don't know. I just wish the dogs had never come down off the mountain. Because (back to my first point) I care so much that I sometimes don't feel I should keep them either!!

On a happy note I just sold an 18 month old bitch I had taken back and started on sheep to a full time shepherd in the mountains. He is a lovely Santa Claus figure who fell in love with Lucy.And I fell a little in love with him(g). She won't be trialling...she will be working. And because she will have the best life a BC can hope for (IMO) I just about gave her away. Now if I could do that more often I would die happy.

 

Sue

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Sue writes

I would be wonderful here to be able to have two registries...unfortunately all Border Collies are under one registry and I know you read the Working Sheepdog list where this was all discussed a while ago.

 

Sue, I don't read the working sheepdog list. I was on it for a while a few years back and found it a little to cluttered with nonsense. Perhaps I should give it another chance.

 

I wasn't aware that you have just one registry in France. Still, the situation is similary here, as both our registries are porous. The AKC accepts ABCA registered dogs. And while the ABCA won't accept dogs that are registered only with the AKC, it has decided to allow dual registration. There are a few lines that are AKC only, but the vast majority of AKC dogs are also ABCA registered or at least eligible for registration.

 

Creating a separate sub-breed for pet border collies would only encourage the proliferation of pet border collies, and the breeding of them for reasons other than the right ones. It's not a good idea.

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