I was looking at a border collie site today at lunch. Talk about Barbie collies! All these New Zealand and Aussie champions in the pedigrees and basically no mention of any of their dogs working livestock. And then I started laughing to myself and thought "Melanie's work here is done!"

Beth
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I was looking at a border collie site today at lunch. Talk about Barbie collies! All these New Zealand and Aussie champions in the pedigrees and basically no mention of any of their dogs working livestock. And then I started laughing to myself and thought "Melanie's work here is done!"

Yeah, well, I almost don't care about the straight conformation types because I just consider them a separate breed. A lot of conformation people don't even pretend their dogs have working ability, and while that's sad, it's at least honest. I wish they would call their dogs something else, though.
It's the people who think that an HIC = working ability, or that they're "improving" the breed by removing drive (there's something you see on a lot of Barbie sites how their dogs are better because they've toned down the "overdeveloped" herding drive that makes Border Collies "bad pets") that get me, that and the people who breed for sports and call their dogs "working" dogs.
I guess I don't even understand what would possess people to turn Border Collies into a breed ring breed, anyway. They're not particularly fluffy, they're not particularly flashy, they have a natural habitus that is the exact opposite of what you want in the show ring. It's baffling.

Melanie Lee Chang > Form ever follows function. Departments of Anthropology and Biology >
University of Pennsylvania > Louis Sullivan (Email Removed) >
It's the people who think that an HIC = working ability, or that they're "improving" the breed by removing drive ... Collies "bad pets") that get me, that and the people who breed for sports and call their dogs "working" dogs.

Argh! Like the American breed ring people that consider a CGC a working title! And not the sort of person that thinks every GSD needs to do schutzhund. And I always thought it was the herding behavior that made a border collie.I've always found that the best "sport" dogs come from parents that can do the work that the breed is meant to do, in both of our breeds. I'm afraid that you have the next German Shepherd on your hands. Versitility can be a bad thing I guess.
I guess I don't even understand what would possess people to turn Border Collies into a breed ring breed, anyway. ... they have a natural habitus that is the exact opposite of what you want in the show ring. It's baffling

I always incourage my friends with real bcs to show in the breed ring so that people can at least see what a real bc is. If I could handle worth a *** I would take my guys in the ring as puppies so that people could see non-hock walkers.
Beth
I always incourage my friends with real bcs to show in the breed ring so that people can at least ... a *** I would take my guys in the ring as puppies so that people could see non-hock walkers. Beth

Yep, and guess what? Sometimes judges even put them up!! My friend with the BC *** who mothered the “Porta Collies” has an AKC championship on that smooth coated working farm dog.
My friend Claudia Franks occasionally puts her working farm dogs (also smooths) in the breed ring as well. She has a new young male coming up who is going to show in breed at the AKC BC nationals this year I believe. He’s the full sib of her wonderful working ***. (both bred by Virgil Holland)

If you don’t put them out there, the public, the other breeders and the judges won’t have a chance to see them!

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It's the people who think that an HIC = working ability, or that they're "improving" the breed by removing drive ... Collies "bad pets") that get me, that and the people who breed for sports and call their dogs "working" dogs.

What is scary are the number of behaviorists who are going about loudly proclaiming that unless a dog meets a certain "pet" criteria, they shouldn't be bred. You know, friendly, accommodating, low drive, happy to sit on couch all day. It makes me really cringe.
I always incourage my friends with real bcs to show in the breed ring so that people can at least see what a real bc is. If I could handle worth a *** I would take my guys in the ring as puppies so that people could see non-hock walkers.
I do see your argument, and it's one I see frequently. But...

I guess I just don't really see the point of that. There isn't a particular way a "real" Border Collie looks. Some pretty damn good working dogs would probably finish in the breed ring easily (especially now, while the breed is still new to the breed ring), but then there are Border Collies who look sort of like Labs, sort of like Kelpies, sort of like hyenas, heck, I know someone who has a very well-bred dog who looks like a pit mix (with the broad skull and everything). The nature of written standards and breed ring judging encourages homogeneity. For some breeds, maybe this isn't a problem, but for others, it's just completely missing the point.
Putting some working dogs in the breed ring is only going to make spectators think, "Wow, what an ugly dog," or "What the heck is that?" The fact that some judges will put them up doesn't mean much. I'm sure just as many judges see them and think to themselves that this sort of variation is what the breed needs to be "saved" from. At best it will be a temporary curiosity for those who have the money and time to play at that game.
The fact of the matter is that all the show breeds we have today once came from a less fancy-looking parent population. And then, breeders and fashions changed them so that they looked a certain way and different from the dogs they came from; during the course of this change, they became different dogs altogether. For some breeds, this constituted improvement, but for others, disaster. The outcome depends a great deal on what the original spirit or type behind the breed was. I just think that some breeds are not appropriate for the breed ring.You can toss all the "moderate" or "working-type" dogs you want in the breed ring, but it isn't going to stop what happens from happening. In the case of Border Collies in the US, you have a ready-made population of fluffy, driveless, "improved" dogs ready for importation from Australia and New Zealand, where practically nobody thinks that Border Collies are working dogs anymore, and they use Kelpies and what they call "Huntaways" (essentially, smooth-coated BC types with little to no eye), so the "better" template is already set.

There's not a whole lot of room to redefine what Border Collies "should" look like in the breed ring. The AKC breed club is at war with itself over this issue. My understanding from discussions here is that the majority of people in that breed club are exhibitors with fluffy, Oz/NZ-bred dogs. Who do you think is going to win that argument?I think the only reason that "working" type dogs can still finish is that the breed was only recently assimilated (I hate the term "recognized," as it implies an honor or privilege that is simply not present here), so there aren't many Border Collies in the breed ring, period. Eventually the fluffy dogs will gain hegemony no matter what anyone with "normal" Border Collies does. Those dogs look the way they do because that is the look that appeals to judges, especially multi-breed judges: square, lots of bone, upright carriage, lots of coat.

Showy. There's nothing you can do. Those dogs are Show Dogs. Nine out of ten judges will put a dog like that up over one like Fly, or maybe even one like Solo (who I think could finish in a not-very-competitive region of the country, but is probably a bit too lanky and coat-impaired to compete somewhere that there are lots of Barbie Collies to show against) because they are better at being show dogs than a slinky, skulking, bat-eared smooth-coated dog is.

In the meantime, I'm not interested in having anything to do with AKC, and neither are most people with working dogs. We don't need AKC, and the breed ring is just entirely out of the scope of what we do with our dogs. I'd much rather spend my time doing dog sports and working stock, than doing conformation. There are plenty of legitimate canine communities that exist without having anything to do with conformation showing. It doesn't matter to me at all what those people think about my dogs' looks.

Melanie Lee Chang > Form ever follows function. Departments of Anthropology and Biology >
University of Pennsylvania > Louis Sullivan (Email Removed) >
: I always incourage my friends with real bcs to show in the breed ring so that : people can ... judging encourages homogeneity. For some breeds, maybe this isn't a problem, but for others, it's just completely missing the point.

I've got one of those hyena-looking BCs, out of two classically beautiful working parents. Tall through the shoulders, carries his head kind of low; bony tucked-under butt. Tail carried low, but instead of the classical BC J-shape, his has a ridiculous full loop at the end. Weird, lurching gait at anything slower than a gallop, and one white foreleg and one black, so you have to look twice to be sure he's not limping.
But my god, is he fast and agile... We compete in flyball and it's amazing to see this weird looking beast run. He frequently turns in sub-4 second times (this is down 51 feet over 4 jumps, hit the box, grab the ball and return over the jumps in under 4 seconds), and has such an awesome turn that he can hit the box a stride behind the opposing dog and come out of the turn two strides ahead.
I wouldn't trade him for a dozen Barbie Collies.
Kathleen Hansen
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guess I just don't really see the point of that. There isn't a particular way a "real" Border Collie looks.

But as long as John Q. goes to dog shows let him see something besides the barbie collies. Of course, they'll see that over at the obedience ring.
The AKC breed club is at war with itself over this issue. My understanding from discussions here is that the majority of people in that breed club are exhibitors with fluffy, Oz/NZ-bred dogs

Around here it is mostly people that want to keep the herding instincts alive and work stock with their dogs as well as do AKC performance events. Several of them own sheep and their performance dogs are also their working farm dogs.
Eventually the fluffy dogs will gain hegemony no matter what anyone with "normal" Border Collies does

snip
In the meantime, I'm not interested in having anything to do with AKC, and neither are most people with working dogs. We don't need AKC,

With that attitude then AKC dogs will = fluffy barbie collies. Of course people could dual register their dogs, sell some dogs to people that do AKC as well and keep it from becoming two totally seperate breeds.
I'd much rather spend my time doing dog sports and working stock

Again, what is wrong with dual registering? The shepherd people that register with USA and/or SV dual register with AKC and no harm, no foul.
There are plenty of legitimate canine communities that exist without having anything to do with conformation showing.

Not everyone equates AKC with only conformation showing. For my prefered sport they are the most widely available and in my area of the country the only one.
It doesn't matter to me at all what those people think about my dogs' looks.

And if it mattered to me I wouldn't have the dogs I do.

BTW, did someone *** in your wheaties this am?
Beth
What is scary are the number of behaviorists who are going about loudly proclaiming that unless a dog meets a certain "pet" criteria, they shouldn't be bred. You know, friendly, accommodating, low drive, happy to sit on couch all day. It makes me really cringe.

And if our dogs wound up in their shelters, they wouldn't make it out alive.

Beth
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