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Once again. so sad....


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I've read this board for some time and never felt the need to comment, however the tone of this whole discussion is disturbing, and now bordering on downright rudeness. The AKC is not right, you are not right, and I hope that you own and make a living from the sheep that you claim your dog is around to work. I find most often that the claimants are weekend workers.

 

Dog breeding for a specific purpose has been around for centuries. This is what produced the hard working border collie, and I'm sure someone lamented the loss of the characteristics of the dogs bred to do so.

 

It would be disastrous in my view to lose the qualities that make a border collie a border collie, and I'm mortified at the twisted, "foot-binding"-like result of show-breeding the German Shepherd in North America, however you have judged based on looks as sure as the AKC does. And if you think the Westminster dog is a "Barbie", which I assume you slap on as a pejorative, you should see my fluffy boy - especially after he's rolled in horse or sheep crap.

 

My BC is from a herding line, which also has conformation champions - US and UK. I do flyball and obedience, have started sheepherding and agility, and - until now - had no inclination to put my dog in a conformation show ring. You may have changed that.

 

The only good thing I can see from all of this is that none of the dogs care one way or the other.

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I've read this board for some time and never felt the need to comment, however the tone of this whole discussion is disturbing, and now bordering on downright rudeness.

 

Hey Strider?

 

Pardon my thickness, but I don't get what you're so angry about. Is it because people called conformation dogs Barbie Collies?

 

Is that really a reason to be, umm, angry?

 

I don't think the term is anymore pejorative than the AKC people who tell everyone that herding bred dogs are high strung and neurotic. Both sides have their mud to sling. But if words on a discussion board make you angry enough to pick a side, I'll suggest exploring some new pasttimes :rolleyes:

 

I am putting on my t-shirt again: "Nobody Here Said You Are A Second Class Citizen If Your Border Collie Is Just A Pet. But Please Support Breeders Who Breed For Working Ability Only."

 

That can also be loosely translated as - don't get your knickers in a twist because a bulletin board shared some observations about the Barbie Collie Culture - they aren't insulting YOUR dog.

 

Incidentally, regarding the statistics about BCs in shelters - 97% or better of the dogs coming through our rescue have no registration attached to them whatsoever.

 

 

RDM

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I took a different message from Strider's post. I believe that Strider is unhappy with both sides, and folded into that was that as Maria said, judging a dog put up by conformation judges as UGLY because it LOOKS a certain way, is patently wrong for folks dedicated to working ability ONLY. Perhaps Strider's dog looks like the one pictured, and perhaps the insults hurled about regarding those looks are insulting- I get it, and I understand that sentiment. So, yes, I do think that IS a reason to be "umm angry". That's what' so nice about opinions, everyone has one :rolleyes:

Julie

 

Hey Strider?

 

Pardon my thickness, but I don't get what you're so angry about. Is it because people called conformation dogs Barbie Collies?

 

Is that really a reason to be, umm, angry?

 

I don't think the term is anymore pejorative than the AKC people who tell everyone that herding bred dogs are high strung and neurotic. Both sides have their mud to sling. But if words on a discussion board make you angry enough to pick a side, I'll suggest exploring some new pasttimes :D

 

I am putting on my t-shirt again: "Nobody Here Said You Are A Second Class Citizen If Your Border Collie Is Just A Pet. But Please Support Breeders Who Breed For Working Ability Only."

 

That can also be loosely translated as - don't get your knickers in a twist because a bulletin board shared some observations about the Barbie Collie Culture - they aren't insulting YOUR dog.

 

Incidentally, regarding the statistics about BCs in shelters - 97% or better of the dogs coming through our rescue have no registration attached to them whatsoever.

RDM

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Yeah, I don't get the rage. This topic has come virtually every year that I've been on these boards, and possibly longer than that. It's an interesting topic, but not rage-incuding. IMO. Maybe I'm so inured to the topic itself that it surprises me that someone would register *just* to get angry about the subject. My bad.

 

RDM

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Or that this discussion would "convince" someone to go ahead and show their dog in confomation classes. Obviously, there wasn't a great deal of commitment to "breeding for working ability" there in the first place. Of course there wasn't, otherwise this nice dog would not have come from lines with "conformation champions", which makes it obvious that the dog isn't from lines that were bred for true working ability, in spite of being "from a herding line", whatever that was supposed to mean.

 

Good discussions allow us to air our thoughts, rethink them, and recommit to those we decide are worthwhile. This thread has gotten a bit snippy of late but that's not unusual when people have strong feelings on a controversial subject. Let's work on keeping it civil.

 

Anyone who watched a Border Collie that is bred for the work will realize that, while other endeavors can be fun and enjoyable, challenging and stimulating, there is nothing like stockwork to engage the mind and body of the dog that has the instinct and ability. For the dog that just doesn't have "it", a satisfying life and relationship with their owner/handler is what matters. Just don't breed for anything else, and I'm preaching to the choir here.

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Strider wrote:

 

And if you think the Westminster dog is a "Barbie"
The Westminster dog IS a Barbie, i.e., a border collie bred for conformation.

 

Though you have not provided much of an introduction, it sounds as if you are fairly new to border collies, and perhaps new to the issues involved. I too am having trouble understanding your hostility, and am having a little difficulty interpreting your post.

 

I find most often that the claimants are weekend workers.

 

What claimants?

 

Dog breeding for a specific purpose has been around for centuries. This is what produced the hard working border collie, and I'm sure someone lamented the loss of the characteristics of the dogs bred to do so.

 

It would be disastrous in my view to lose the qualities that make a border collie a border collie

If YOU think it would be disastrous to lose the qualities that make a border collie a border collie, then why is it only some nameless "someone" who laments the loss of those characteristics?

 

My BC is from a herding line, which also has conformation champions - US and UK.

 

I too don't know what that means. What makes it "a herding line"? A "herding line" to me is dogs who are bred for their working ability, and you don't find conformation champions in those lines.

 

I do flyball and obedience, have started sheepherding and agility, and - until now - had no inclination to put my dog in a conformation show ring. You may have changed that.

 

Well, if you feel so partisan in favor of conformation dogs, and if your dog is descended from conformation champions, perhaps that's appropriate. But what I understand you to be saying here is "I may show my dog in conformation to spite some strangers on a discussion board," which strikes me as very odd. I can't imagine making ANY decision affecting my dogs for a reason like that.

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That's what' so nice about opinions, everyone has one :rolleyes:

 

I can think of other things that everyone has one of that I don't particularly want to read about.

 

Strider's point, as I understand it, is something like "a pox on both your houses" because both groups are self-rightous and superior. But his/her contention that the dog is from a herding line with US and UK conformation champions tells me that we have a little bit to feel superior about.

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OK - my opinion is that BCs should only be bred for superior working ability regardless of coat, color, tail length, height, markings, or ears (or anything else that comes to mind). What anyone does with their dog once the dog is born matters not.

 

Somehow most members on the board agree with this and yet we get hot discussions anyway. :rolleyes: I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that what I stated above is what this board is all about.

 

 

But I just wanted to say this Strider, the poof of the fur is NOT what makes conformation BCs "barbies" - it is what they are BRED for. A smooth coated, conformation bred BC is also a Barbie. Take a look at some really great working dogs, you can find some with lots more fluff than a lot of Conformation BCs. This seems to come up every time this kind of topic is started. So, just know that the length of the fur isn't what is being debated. :D What is, is the BREEDING.

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So you really can't see it? The silly comments about that dog, the snippyness directed at the posters? That's not rage, MrSnappy, that's frustration.

 

You know nothing about the dog, but assume that a fluffy coat means inability to herd? That's patently not realistic, and I may be "pie-in-the-sky" but dialogue gets more than snippy comments and ridicule. And, Sue, aren't you trying to "convince" someone not to do it? Why wouldn't the discussion convince someone to do it? And you know full well that pastoral requires herding ability, so the two are certainly possible.

 

We buried a BC puppy that bled out from his nose and eyes, only to find out that his herding line carries the autoimmune flaw. That is not satisfying. And I'while I'm sure that your preaching will write that off as a "bad" breeder, the truth is both sides have something to answer for.

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The AKC is not right, you are not right, and I hope that you own and make a living from the sheep that you claim your dog is around to work. I find most often that the claimants are weekend workers.

 

Well I'm glad you got the point that AKC is not correct in what it is doing and letting go on with its dogs and their breeds.

 

As for most of the "claimants" being just "weekend workers," what does it matter if they know what they are talking about?

 

As for me being a "weekend worker," I guess I could be to a point. I mean, that is when I do lessons with my trainer a hour and a half away from where I live. Then again, I'd have to be a "week worker" also because I work my own sheep during the week (and weekend) with my own dogs on my own time.

 

Could you please tell me where I am wrong at? I'd like to correct myself but if its just my personal view that the Barbie's head is ugly and un Border Collie like, that is my right. Just as its anyone’s own right to have a Barbie Collie and call it a Border Collie. :rolleyes:

 

Dog breeding for a specific purpose has been around for centuries. This is what produced the hard working border collie, and I'm sure someone lamented the loss of the characteristics of the dogs bred to do so.

 

It is what has produced the hard working Border Collie of past and present (same dogs . . . ), that is correct because they are always bred for their ability to work.

 

It has also produced the Barbie Collie of present (there was none before when the breed was created and carefully kept safe in the ISDS, it’s a new fad), as it is always bred for its appearance.

 

Just two very different breeds being bred for two very different purposes.

 

It would be disastrous in my view to lose the qualities that make a border collie a border collie, and I'm mortified at the twisted, "foot-binding"-like result of show-breeding the German Shepherd in North America, however you have judged based on looks as sure as the AKC does.

 

When you start breeding and naming Champions because of looks (not “sound” conformation alone) that it becomes a problem, leaving the working ability behind in the dust in the battle to have the prettiest dog.

 

Good examples: GSD, Aussie, Irish Setter, Bearded Collie, Goldens, Labs and the list gets longer.

 

And if you think the Westminster dog is a "Barbie", which I assume you slap on as a pejorative, you should see my fluffy boy - especially after he's rolled in horse or sheep crap.

 

I’d have never thought of a Barbie Collie as a dog that rolls in sheep crap but I guess that works. I‘ve seen that happen many times (well, not to the point of rolling in it but at least eating it while avoiding sheep) in videos of Barbie Collies earning their HIT title thru AKC. So if the shoes fits, wear it proudly, I guess?

 

When my dogs see/smell sheep crap, they look for sheep and as close to the ground they get is a crouch, ready to go in any direction I wish to I send them. Sometimes my puppies will eat sheep pop and sometimes roll in it (puppies will be puppies) when they haven't learned the smell of sheep but once they have, just like my older dogs, they'd rather work then roll or eat.

 

My BC is from a herding line, which also has conformation champions - US and UK. I do flyball and obedience, have started sheepherding and agility, and - until now - had no inclination to put my dog in a conformation show ring. You may have changed that.

 

From “a” herding line? It is just sad when Border Collie owners have to start stating that their dog is from “a” herding line, like its not expected their Border Collie be from any “herding” lines at all.

 

And if you so strongly feel the need to show the world your dog is indeed just what he is bred for, by all means, show him. Why are you wasting time here or sheep herding for that matter?

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I think what they've done to GSD's is criminal. Why doesn't somebody stop that whole slant back thing?

Anyway, I recently went to a canine frisbee clinic here in Atlanta. It was almost all bc's and aussies. There was one bc there and the owner really wanted to teach it to play frisbee like the other bc's--but her dog had no interest in chasing the disc. As you've already guessed, it was an AKC bc. Her name wasn't Barbie, but it could have been. To recap some of the other comments, it was not an ugly dog. It just wasn't a bc. And while all the other dogs were exhibiting their drive and desire to work, this one was exhibiting a very lovely coat--and that's about it.

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I know this contributes nothing to the conversation, but I have to put it out there - if I ever own a dog with a coat like that, it WILL be shaved!

I threatened my aussie, and he promptly kept his coat somewhat skimpy :-) but I think he had some working lines behind him somewhere (he was a farm dog I ended up acquiring, and supposedly his parents worked on their farm - I'm thinking probably more like puppy mill farm)

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Could you please tell me where I am wrong at? I'd like to correct myself but if its just my personal view that the Barbie's head is ugly and un Border Collie like, that is my right. Just as its anyone’s own right to have a Barbie Collie and call it a Border Collie. :rolleyes:

 

Sigh. If you think a border collie's head looks like anything, or this one doesn't look "Border Collie like" then you need to decide which argument you're fighting for.

 

My point is that ridiculing it is not only ineffective, but destructive. However, as these boards have done before - with the tennis ball subject, with criticism, whatever - you've shut me up. Throw around the newbie, barbie, "new to border collies", wasting-time, don't-know-what-you're-doing nonsense as you've done to others, but realize at least that it's not a constructive approach.

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I think Katelynn's point is that SHE doesn't like that dogs head.

 

That's anybody's right.

 

Her point is also that SHE (or anybody else on these boards, for that matter) would never make a breeding decision based on that opinion.

 

I don't see why that is such a strange thing. Condoning breeding for looks, and commenting on a dog's looks, are two very different things.

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Strider, is it because you have a conformation-bred dog that you are so defensive? Certainly you aren't a newbie to this board, so why is this thread coming as such a shock to you? I think you may be confusing rudeness with opinion. I think people would still find the Westminster dog unattractive if it was consistently winning Open trials.

 

I have a dog whose sire was a conformation dog. My dog looks like a conformation-bred dog. I'm sure a lot of people do look at him with his floppy lips, thick coat and doe eyes and think he's ugly. I don't care . . . It's their opinion. My opinion? Looks-wise, I like a black or tri dog with a predominately-black rough coat, thin blaze or split face, and some ticking on the legs. I like blue eyes. I like a strong, long muzzle with tight, close-fitting lips. I like a wedge-shaped head instead of a blocky or snipey one. I like a smaller dog as opposed to a larger one. Blah, blah, blah. That's what I find most aestheically pleasing, and if I had the choice between two identical dogs, but one dog looked like that, you bet I'd take it. My own dogs don't necessarily fit all of that, but to me it's what's inside those wedge-shaped heads of theirs that matters. :rolleyes:

 

I certainly don't find all working dogs aesthetically pleasing, but I feel no need to comment on it because the dog wasn't bred to be pretty. These conformation dogs were bred for the sole purpose of getting someone else's opinion on their looks. That's all dog shows are, and I've been immersed in that "culture" so please don't deny it - I know it's true. So why is it wrong for people to say they don't think the dog is attractive? I surely can't say that that Westminster dog doesn't "look like a Border Collie" because I don't think there should be any definition as to what a Border Collie should look like. However, think about it: look at the BC gallery on this board. How many dogs in the gallery do you see that look like the dog pictured here? If that dog showed up in a shelter I probably wouldn't immediately guess "Border Collie".

 

I suppose I don't really understand the hostility and frustration either.

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I’d say you are alienating the conformation people from "us” with statements like that.

I love how you find it okay to alienate people who know what they are talking about. If you do that, who is there to educated the uneducated? We may be blunt in our teaching methods but at least its getting done and we cannot be doing too horrible of a job because there are more people then not that are on this board that have learned from “us” “mean bully people who only alienate and nothing else,” such as yourself.

 

And just for the record, its more so then not, AKC “haters” that do rescue. I’ve yet to meet one rescue person, even in their rescuing ALL “working bred dogs,” that would recommend or complement any conformation breeder/breeding. What is that telling you?

I cannot believe you truly just wrote that.

 

The point that you're missing is that I've stayed and learned despite some of the comments I find unnecessary and petty because I'm a bit stubborn and not at all easily offended. Were I particularly sensitive, I would be gone, instead, I don't mind voicing my opinion (as you've graciously pointed out that we live in a country that allows us all to have one) and speaking up for some who truly prefer not to.

 

As for who alienates whom, your very target, or rather that of the board, should be those like myself, who have conformation bred dogs or whom might think, as I once did, that the fluff balls bred for the show ring were what the Border Collie truly was. Those people who log on to talk about their dogs - who they're head over heels in love with and want to gush about - and this website comes up quick (a good thing) but who aren't truly aware of the issue at hand. When they come upon threads like these (and this one was up until I left for my trip rather mild) they have a choice of staying or getting offended and leaving. And if they leave, where is your opportunity to educate anyone who has left with a bad taste in their mouth because they've had an emotional but natural reaction to what they read. Automatically the assumption is that you're wrong and they're right...because they feel hurt.

 

As for the AKC reference to dogs in rescue...well...I won't bother repeating myself as I've made my opinions clear in the past and in this thread.

 

What you find ugly is your right, as what I find unappealing my right, and I have a multitude of opinions that would probably offend the world at large, however I try for the most part to be discreet in attempting to get my point across when it's something important to me...otherwise my efforts are wasted and my cause loses.

 

That's what I don't want for the board. It's not about you Katelynn, or me, or any other one person on this board. Perhaps if the focus is where it should be, it won't be so important for a dog to be pretty...or ugly.

 

 

Maria

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