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Eileen Stein

poor breeding thread

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Eileen -

 

In the deleted thread, did you post something about gathering ideas to take to the next meeting? I thought I saw something with a deadline date, but I was at work, and didn't have time to delve into it the way I wanted to. If you're still up for it, could you please re-post the offer? I really appreciate the time you take to discuss these issues, rehash things that need rehashing, and your devotion to the breed. I wish there were more directors that were active on this part of the board, as I feel it would be a good outlet for them to gather information, etc.

 

Jodi

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KillerH

I'm sorry for my short tempered reply but when some yells at me "END of STORY" does not mean that it is.

 

I agree that education is the key to the end of misery for all dogs, not just BC's. (edited to add education of buyers and sellers)

 

In a couple weeks, I will be going down to the Detroit Kennel Club AKC show again, trying to educate those spectators at the agility ring, flyball demo and bench show again, and will either be asked to leave or escorted out by the AKC again.

 

It just seems that every time this comes up it turns into the working world saying its educate the buyers and the rescuers saying its limit the breeders.

Now lets all be honest, its both.

Simple economics is that buyers and sellers need each other, and laws of supply and demand have and will never change.

Now I believe what will happen if all registries do not start to both educate and police their own ranks, we will see more Puppy Protection bills and P.A.W.S. type legislation not only introduced, but enforced. Then your top ABCA breeders and working dog farms will have a problem if the USDA decides on stringent breeding limitations.

So in all, I believe that we have more to gain by working together and listening to each other than by alienating each other.

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Christi:

 

>

 

Well, do you recall anything akin to "Because rules would not prevent this and that"?

 

Webster's Online Dictionary defines "appease" as "to buy off (an aggressor) by concessions usually at the sacrifice of principles." Do you really think that's what I said the registry was doing?

 

I'm tired and disheartened right now. I feel I put a lot of effort into trying to explain a complex situation and a bunch of considerations that bear on it, and then there were a series of posts that made it clear what I wrote wasn't being read with much attention, and one particular point was being taken out of context and used as a basis for accusations of appeasement and kowtowing and not giving a crap about the well-being of dogs. And then everything I wrote was gone. I don't feel up to reconstructing it, particularly when I don't think it would be received any differently the second time.

 

And as for "Who are you to tell so-and-so how to breed?" I also said "Who am *I* to tell so-and-so how to breed?" I was trying see if I could elicit a little bit of humility, maybe a little sense that we don't know it all, and that the current fashions of the dog fancy -- be they various notions of the "responsible breeder," or positive-only training, or raw feeding, or not breeding CEA carriers, or whatever -- might not be the be-all and end-all some think they are. That it might be a little presumptuous to "educate" people who might know a little something themselves, let alone regulate them. That the attempt might do more harm than good in ways we might not now foresee.

 

>

 

Well, did you read Denise's post in this thread? Did you read my posts in the other thread? I don't know what to say to someone who asks, "Will we always have this 'bad breeder' problem?" Well, yes, we will. Could you really possibly think that ABCA regulations will stop bad breeding? What registry has succeeded in stopping bad breeding?

 

>

 

No. It's gone.

 

Gary:

 

>

 

If you mean Spottydog and the barn reference, okay. But you have to understand that there are people who think it's wrong to raise puppies in a barn, period. So that is another perfectly legitimate interpretation.

 

You're right that there's a huge cultural divide here. Many people are convinced that the dog fancy culture is right, and that we need to be shaped up to conform to it. But historically, people who have tried to impose their culture onto another culture don't generally get very far, unless they have fire and sword going for them.

 

Tired. Going to bed.

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Is it really just a lost cause? Will we always have this "bad breeder" problem?

 

I hope not, but I agree that a registry -- any registry -- has very limited options when it comes to dealing with this problem.

 

It's a matter of supply and demand. As long as people are dumb, careless, thoughtless, or heartless enough to buy from shitty breeders, there will be shitty breeders. Most of these buyers are not discriminating enough to be able to tell one registry from another, although they usually care that the pup they are purchasing has "papers."

 

The Swafford case is a good example on this point. He simply switched to the "Continental Kennel Club," a "registry" that issues papers not worth the paper they're printed on. (They will register anything, based on no records, even mutts. But hey, they make pretty certificates.)

 

Even AKC, which has much, much more money and name recognition among average folk than ABCA, has had limited success dealing with the bad breeder problem. In the cases where breeders and mills get kicked out or otherwise driven away from AKC (for example, by the DNA requirements they have for frequently-used studs), they simply start using one of the paper mills like CKC, and the sort of people who buy from pet stores really can't tell the difference, and the market is exactly the same, and they buy the puppies anyway. My Papillon, whose original owner bought him from a pet store, came with "papers" from the "United All Breed Registry, Inc." So technically, he is a "registered Papillon."

 

I am as embarrassed and saddened as anyone else when ABCA-registered dogs end up in shelters and rescue, but we have to recognize that there are serious limits to what any registry can do to solve these problems, and that many reform measures may have unintended consequences that may do more harm than good.

 

Some have mentioned the influence of culture in this discussion, but I don't think it's gotten enough play here. You have to remember that this is a breed that is owned and bred by iconoclasts. It was produced by people who valued self-reliance and the freedom that having a dog gave them in terms of their options for livestock management. It was, and is, largely developed by people who do not live in cities and do not belong to clubs. These people are not "joiners" and they are not followers. (And admit it -- this is one of the reasons this breed appeals to so many of us as well -- it is something that was created outside of our context and is therefore special, different, and unique. Well, you take the baggage along with the benefits and stop whining about it.)

 

Many in the Border Collie community have a very strong "you're not the boss of me" streak (for that matter, so do I, and probably so do many of the people on every side of this discussion) and will react badly to any regulation simply on principle. This is unfortunate, but it is also the case. Changing this culture will not be done through sweeping regulation, but (as mentioned) through education and normal cultural evolution as the dog breeding, training, and selling context changes.

 

If BUYERS demand certain practices, eventually those practices will come to pass. If a registry demands those practices, what will happen is that the "you're not the boss of me" contingent will simply leave and go to another registry, or start another registry. This is the history of Border Collie registries. Is this problematic and annoying? Yes, sure it is in many ways, but it's also the way things are at the moment and so if we want to change things we have to recognize that our strategies have to be specific to this cultural context.

 

There seems to be some impression that the working Border Collie community does not recognize the irresponsible breeding and rescue problems in this breed, and does not care to fix them. This is not the case, not by a long shot. There are many good people who realize that we have some room to clean our own house, and as has been mentioned there are efforts going on to do just this under the auspices of USBCC, where such efforts properly reside.

 

There will always be bad Border Collie breeders and there will always be a need for Border Collie rescue. This breed is too difficult to live with, and too attractive to the public, for this to not be the case. Yes, I hate hate hate that well bred Border Collies end up in rescue, and yes, I realize that it happens, and yes, I hope that we can change this and keep it from ever happening. I don't think that the way to do this is by enacting regulations that will be (a) unpopular and therefore unlikely to be conformed to and (:rolleyes: at any rate impossible to enforce given the shoestring operation that ABCA is. I do think the way to do this is through education and cultural change. It won't be fast, but sometimes slower changes are far more permanent.

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Originally posted by Gary M:

Cool..

So we can now end the war on drug dealers, underage liquor and tobacco sales, illegal gun sales, lawsuits against the manufacturers of anything, mandatory seat belt and helmet laws, get rid of the EPA, OSHA, FDA, FDIC, HHS and the DOA with one simple phrase "Educate the buyers"

My lower tax bill thanks you!

Gary,

 

If you wonder why some of us respond to you with an attitude, read the quote above. It's not very constructive and is loaded with attitude; clearly not intended to elicit debate or discussion. :rolleyes: Don't slip in these snide comments, go back to the discussion, and then play hurt and dismayed when you recieve unfriendly responses.

 

Mark

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Gary- sadly it is the end of the story

you just don't want to flip to the last page.

 

Again-- I have given you a source that might actually have an impact-- and you don't even ask more about it..........

Sounds like you like being right but totally ineffective--

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I've been watching the thread for awhile- and just want to ask Gary this- If the USDA , which is supposed to enforce the simple Welfare Act, is grossly unable to do that- how on earth would we expect a registry the size of ABCA to do even more than that? If we could do it, wouldn't it mean taking valuable resources away from supporting the finals, genetic research, all the things they do to promote the good breeders and the decent dogs?

 

It makes me sad to when working breeders let dogs go to rescue- but at the same time- I've worked enough so-so border collies to recognize when one comes to me with decent breeding behind it. It is not so common as we could wish for, at least in my area- yet there are plenty of breeders here who advertise things like "herding background". One of those breeders, when I asked them about falsely advertising their litter as such (dam's "herding background" was barking at cows, sire was a flyball champion) told me that the "ABCA needs to to realize dogs can do more than herding... thats why they are hardly in existence any more". He honestly thought that- now of course I received a non-reply from informing him that the ABCA was in fact alive and well and doing much better number-wise than AKC- but there lies part of the problem. People do not know what we do, many Border Collie breeders/owners have no idea what ABCA does or what the working dog culture itself does.

 

This same person told me many gems- one of my favorites was "Why wouldn't you want your dogs to be more athletic"? I nearly spit coffee at the computer screen- what could agility or flyball possibly do to make a stockdog "more athletic"?. Again, we have people justifying and lying to themselves because we make it possible for them to do that by flying so much under the radar. Personally, I don't think we can do much to stop the idiots- but anything that ABCA does to promote the working dog would be money better spent. I don't want them throwing money down the black hole of breeder enforcement. We have a "breeding ban" recently instituted here in Las Vegas- but no one can enforce it- its a waste of the ink on the books.

 

Melanie said it best with the "you are not the boss of me" culture we have. The Border Collie registries in this country have a history of becoming fractured for precisely this reason- so there is some understandable reluctance on giving anyone another excuse to start yet another registry. The only advantage I can see to starting another registry is that AKC wouldn't recognize the paperwork- but I am very impressed with the ABCA and what it can do. I hope we can continue to support it and promote the working dog.

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The reason I don't understand the logic behind "rules = registry falls apart" is because I've been a German shepherd "person" (working dogs, NOT AKC) for the past 15 years or so. Their breed club, the Verein f?r Deutsche Schaferhunde or SV, is the largest single breed club in the world. It's been around for nearly 100 years and how did it begin? The founder and his board layed down very strict breeding regulations- breeding dogs were and still are required to have Schutzhund titles (the GSDs temerament and working ability test) a passing conformation rating and eventually hip ratings. If dogs were bred without these things they weren't registered with the SV, plain and simple. So it is possible and wow has this club ever persevered. (I'm not taking into account the problematic American/AKC GSD side of things, that is a whole other entity and (not literally) breed. The GERMAN dogs and American dogs bred to SV standards, not AKC, are the parallel to the working Border collies and USBCC. Yes, there is a huge GSD overpopulation problem here in the states but find me more than a handful of dogs registered with the SV in rescue/shelters.)

 

Google SV+history+German shepherd and see what I mean. Why isn't something like that program possible? The breeders didn't run away when regulations were placed on them, they stayed and adhered. Germans! Now talk about stubborn and set in their ways (I'm German and so is my family so I can say that :rolleyes: ) I could be an idealist about this situation though, it wouldn't be the first time. God knows, the SV is not perfect and has it's issues but it is an example of how a single breed registry with strict rules has lasted nearly a century and continues to go strong.

 

FYI: http://merriamwebster.com/dictionary/appease I generally give the first entry the most importance.

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Christi,

 

Is SV the controlling body of Schutzhund trials?

 

If so what you are asking is can the ABCA usurp the authority of the USBCA, establish herding titles, and possibly take control of all the levels in ISDS style herding in this country. I suggest the last item otherwise only those dogs running in Open could be registered in the ABCA. Now, what about farm/ranch dogs? How do you suggest these are tested and allowed to be registered in the new ABCA?

 

Mark

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I'm well aware of this registry after being on all breed canine genetics boards for years. This registry is frequently discussed. (In fact there was a post about it just yesterday.)

 

All I can say is the European countries have to accept more restriction from government and therefore may be more likely to accept them from a registry. Also, the people with GSDs are a different culture from those who make up the core of the ABCA.

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The SV did set forth the rules to which Schutzhund trials must adhere, the standard for the different tasks the dogs must pass. They don't organize all of the trials but have clubs to do that- the trials are then judged by members of the SV.

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Originally posted by Pipedream Farm:

If so what you are asking is can the ABCA usurp the authority of the USBCA, establish herding titles, and possibly take control of all the levels in ISDS style herding in this country. I suggest the last item otherwise only those dogs running in Open could be registered in the ABCA. Now, what about farm/ranch dogs? How do you suggest these are tested and allowed to be registered in the new ABCA?

 

Mark

Hmm. I only want to touch on the political aspect lightly simply because I'm not as educated as most of you regarding the Border collie registries. I wasn't suggesting titles per se must be obtained by a Border collie before he/she is bred rather some sort of guideline to determine working ability (which wouldn't omit farm/ranch dogs because I realize their importance); also, not to follow the SV to a T but model the BC registry rather loosely after it because I do realize that working BCs are tested differently than working GSDs. Something along those lines should be possible? I don't know how the dogs should be tested, you tell me, you are the trialers.

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Originally posted by Denise Wall:

Also, the people with GSDs are a different culture from those who make up the core of the ABCA.

How are they different? I'm not asking because I think they're the same and want to argue, I don't know and would truly like to.

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Something along those lines should be possible? I don't know how the dogs should be tested, you tell me, you are the trialers.
Logistics of deciding what "test" is appropriate aside, how would you suggest funding and finding personnel to test the ~ 20,000 dogs registered each year with ABCA?

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Ok, it's impossible to regulate ethical breeding in any Border collie registry- you've proven that point well.

 

I'll stop asking questions now.

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How are they different? I'm not asking because I think they're the same and want to argue, I don't know and would truly like to.
Other than something obvious like saying that just by nature people who are farmers/ranchers tend to be different from people who train dogs for attack work, police work, etc., I don't know how to express it.

 

And actually I believe this is where the biggest obstacle in this thread lies. I don't think it's easy to understand cultural differences unless one lives within it or has close associations with it. It seems we have reached an impasse in this discussion because of this problem.

 

It should be clear that the people like Eileen and I (and I mention us strictly because of our involvement in the ABCA board and the Swafford case) are not indifferent to poor breeding practices but in fact care very much. If you believe we're sensitive to this issue (and I hope you do), then what possible reason would we have for saying these regulations suggested might not work, other than that we have more information about and experience with this group of people that make up the core of the ABCA?

 

I don't think I'm being clear here so I'll stop.

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Originally posted by paddyCA:

Ok then let's talk about USBCC, I wasn't speaking of ABCA in particular anyway.

I stated this way back in this thread, I guess it was missed.

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Originally posted by paddyCA:

Hmm. I only want to touch on the political aspect lightly simply because I'm not as educated as most of you regarding the Border collie registries.

 

I wasn't suggesting titles per se must be obtained by a Border collie before he/she is bred rather some sort of guideline to determine working ability (which wouldn't omit farm/ranch dogs because I realize their importance); also, not to follow the SV to a T but model the BC registry rather loosely after it because I do realize that working BCs are tested differently than working GSDs. Something along those lines should be possible? I don't know how the dogs should be tested, you tell me, you are the trialers.

This has two parts.

 

Part 1:

You need to understand the political landscape while when discussing these issues.

 

ABCA - registry (no trials or tests)

USBCHA - national trialing club sets rules sanctions Open (and Nursery) trials

USBCC - breed club

Local clubs - sanctions trials and sets rules for other levels

 

You need to understand this landscape because the changes being proposed don't just affect the registry (ABCA) but they can affect the national and local trialing clubs; unless you suggest that the ABCA sets up its own trials/tests outside of the national and local clubs.

 

Part 2:

Setting guidelines for breeding are just that, guidelines, and are impossible to enforce. Unless participation in something the breeder wants is withheld adherence to the guidelines will be by "good" breeders not by the "bad" breeders. So what can the ABCA withhold from non-adhering breeders? Registration is it; but how effective would this really be and without a passing score on a test (i.e. title) how would the registry know the dog is worthy? ABCA registration is not required for participation in USBCHA or locally sanctioned trials. ABCA membership is required for the handlers at the finals, but not ABCA registration for the dogs. This is not likely to change because we believe the breed is defined by the work not neccessarily the pedigree (hence the ROM process). Because of our definition of the breed (the work); if a "big hat" (someone who breeds and trains great working dogs) were to change registries (or not register) their working dogs would not be viewed lesser than ABCA registered dogs.

 

OK, I'm starting to ramble now, so I'll leave you with these unfinished thoughts.

 

Mark

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Before this goes off in another direction I wanted to say that way back in the begining of the now deleted thread someone suggested that more information about the number of border collies in rescue and puppy mills be made available to breeders. I think this is a doable and helpful suggestion. I think something like statistics and facts would come across better than emotional accounts. I do believe there are breeders out there who don't consider things as carefully as they might if they were made more aware of these situations.

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Hi there everyone.

 

First off I want to say Hello, my name is Tonya, and I have been reading these boards for a long time. I have never registered or replied before because I am an AKC breeder, who shows my dogs in conformation, and frankly, I don't want to get into that discussion here. I have my beliefs and you have yours and I don't think yours are wrong, and I hope that everyone will not bring up this topic with me.

 

What I do want to respond to is the current thread, which to me entails how to stop bad breeding practices and dogs ending up in rescue.

 

Frankly I feel for Eileen and Denise and the other members of the ABCA who are trying to make everyone understand that while they CARE, they can't do anything about it. And it is my belief that they do very much CARE and that they can't do anything about it.

 

I think Melanie brought up the thought that it was a "culture" problem. I have always said that dogs in rescue or the pound or human society or whatever is a SOCIETY problem. We are a throw away society and we don't care.

 

I know that everyone on these boards loves their dogs as much as I love mine and would never think to throw them away because it was inconvenient at the time to keep them. I would also be willing to say that, IMO, the people that post here a lot and breed, do not let their puppies end up in rescue. Mine don't, or at least none that I have ever heard about, and my contract states that I will take a puppy back at any time in his life.

 

But, we, and I use this term to describe dog loving people, are not the majority of people in the United States. Most people don't look at dogs as a part of the family. They look at them and see something else that they can "own".

 

I agree that there are way too many Border Collies in rescue, but really there are way too many dogs in general in rescue. And we will never be able to stop that, unless we can change the way Americans think, which we can't. I mean really, just reading the news the last couple of days, we can't stop a 7 year old from taking cocaine to school, we can't stop a mother from cutting off her babies arms because "God told her to do it", so how on earth could we change the way people think about dogs in rescue.

The ABCA could pass a new bylaw or code of ethics that was so stringent you would have to be doing the right thing to breed, and you know what, people would leave ABCA and go register or not register their puppies somewhere else. The AKC who is a much bigger registry, with more money and time, has more rules than ABCA and they still can't stop puppy mills. Or bad breeding practices.

 

And I will be quite honest, I don?t' want someone else telling me how and when I can breed. I agree with the AKC's DNA requirements, and honestly hope that they soon make it a requirement to have all dogs DNA tested, so that we KNOW that the pedigree is true. But telling me I have to OFA my dogs, or only breed so many litters a year, etc, no, I don't think so. I do the things in my breeding practices I think are right (and again, let's just not get into working ability) but I test hips, have DNA testing for CEA and CL on my dogs and raise the puppies the way I think they should be raised, and I screen all buyers, and I have a contract that says I will take any dog back. But as Eileen said in another post, I do that because I want to.

 

If you pass a law that says a bitch can only have one litter a year, what happens to the responsible working breeder who has bred his bitch and then into the country an ISDS dog comes to stay for 9 months and this responsible breeder knows his bitch is in good health and thinks the qualities of both dogs would be a great match? So does he then get kicked out of ABCA? There are just too many ?what ifs?. And I think that while everyone else has good intentions, that in the long run, the people that would get hurt by a new "law" would be the responsible breeder, not the backyard yard breeder, the puppy mill, or the I have a dog - you have a dog type of person.

 

Okay, I will stop for now, those are just my thoughts, and as someone who respects Eileen for what she does and what she believes in, I thought I would try to explain it a different way.

 

Thanks for listening,

Tonya

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