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Old 08-06-2012, 10:23 AM
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Default Smooth Collies bred for work?

First off, let me say I am not interested in getting a collie of any type. I'm not trying to find a breeder. I'm only curious.

Are there any Smooth Collies who are still bred for work (herding) and not for show? It seems like all Smooth Collies are showdogs and if they do any work it is Agility or Obedience, not the herding work that they were created to do.

Basically what I am asking is, do you ever see Smooth Collies (or Rough Collies for that matter) at herding trials, or used as actual farm dogs?

I'd also just like to mention that I sure hope in the future nobody has to ask... "Do working Border Collies still exist?" Sad seeing working breeds reduced to showdogs... (no offense to confo handlers.)
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cliffdog View Post

I'd also just like to mention that I sure hope in the future nobody has to ask... "Do working Border Collies still exist?" Sad seeing working breeds reduced to showdogs... (no offense to confo handlers.)
You know, I generally agree with you, but... "I just said something extremely offensive regarding the sport you participate in, but no offense, conformation handlers." Really? Yeah, I'm sure that won't offend anybody since you added "no offense." lol

There's a breeder in Europe with Collies (mostly smooth) that do SCH, but I don't know if that fits your definition of "working." I know of many breeders who are primarily show breeders that do some light herding (and yes, they trial) with Collies as well.

As far as Collies actually working sheep on a daily basis, I couldn't tell you.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:55 AM
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I don't mean to insult confo handlers because there is nothing inherently wrong with confo showing. It's when you breed dogs for conformation and not work that you mess up breeds... There are loads of great confo handlers who breed dogs based on ability, not just appearances, and to those people, I mean no offense at all.

SchH is definitely work. I was mostly wondering about herding in particular because I wanted to know if there were an breeders who were keeping the breed true to its origin. But a SchH collie is definitely a cool and interesting thing to hear about.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:06 AM
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I don't mean to insult confo handlers because there is nothing inherently wrong with confo showing. It's when you breed dogs for conformation and not work that you mess up breeds... There are loads of great confo handlers who breed dogs based on ability, not just appearances, and to those people, I mean no offense at all.
I'm in agreement with you once again, but that's not how it came off, at least to me.

To answer your question better, we would need to know where you draw the line between work and sport. SCH is a sport to me. So is Agility - and good agility is very intense and requires a lot of dog. (Like, personally, if I saw Collies that were fast and very drivey in agility, I'd be surprised and impressed, I wouldn't poopoo it as insignificant.)

I'm not being smart, I'm really just asking what you consider work and what you consider sport? Because you'll find breeders that fall along a gradient, most will probably show but they may place varying importance on performance sports/herding work and the dogs will reflect that.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:59 AM
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I see a lot of working farm Collies around here. Smooth and Rough.

Its not conformation that ruined dogs, its breeders.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:21 PM
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I see a lot of working farm Collies around here. Smooth and Rough.

Its not conformation that ruined dogs, its breeders.


If you look hard enough, you will find them. And sometimes a conformation dog can herd. I have a Malinois who is a natural herder. I just wish I had some sheep for her.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:03 AM
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If you look hard enough, you will find them. And sometimes a conformation dog can herd. I have a Malinois who is a natural herder. I just wish I had some sheep for her.
Logan's sire, straight out of the Shadaglen working kennel, won Best in Specialty finishing his grand championship and winning an award of merit from the CCA all at once. Collies that came from those lines tend to have really great movement, and if the judge happens to be a movement person they'll forgive a head fault or two in favor of a very well put together dog.

People were flabbergasted. lol. He's a super nice dog with CHs in his pedigree, but nobody expected a conformation specialty winner. lol. His breeder was soooo excited and proud.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:28 AM
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Collies that came from those lines tend to have really great movement, and if the judge happens to be a movement person they'll forgive a head fault or two in favor of a very well put together dog.
It's been a while since I saw Loki in motion, but I could watch Logan trot all day. I've only done one conformation show with him so far (3 or 4 more coming in November though!), but the judge was absolutely smitten with him. He's also oozing charisma, so that doesn't hurt either
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:21 PM
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Also I think collies are still commonly used as working farm dogs in Europe. European collies look very different, IMO, from American collies, it'd be interesting to see how their temperaments match up.
not sure I totally agree with this. Well the part about commonly used as working farm dogs. (they absolutely look much different, especially the roughs) I talk to a lot of Collie people from Europe. I would say more people in North America work their collies, than in Europe. However, in Europe Smooths are worked FAR more than Roughs. The roughs over there, most could hardly trot across a yard, much less do any real work. Smooths are much more common in North America though, there are some places in Europe were smooths are very rare with only a handful of litters registered a year.

I just purchased a 4 month old rough tri collie girl, whose pedigree is almost all Deep River bred. Her dam is getting ready to start agility training, and her mother (my pups grandmother) has several herding titles and a couple other working titles..
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:40 AM
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Yeah... Agility, obedience, sports in general are very challenging and great testers of work ethic, drive, and biddability. Testing herding instinct, no, but elsewise it's a great breed test.

I have a GF who does show first and foremost with her smooth coats but she also does herding trials occasionally. I forget her kennel name but I'll ask.

Honestly as a whole I'd be far more concerned about the health of the breed and seemingly extreme lack of health testing than I would be with traditional working dogs.
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