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  #21  
Old 04-21-2008, 03:19 PM
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Personally, I think a dog can be a good work dog and still do agility, but in a way I agree with Lizmo that a dog who is extremely competitive in obedience or agility or flyball is not going to be 100% properly trained as a stockdog, because many of the things a stockdog should do are contradictory to most sports. The constant eye contact that is encouraged in obedience is enough to cripple a dog for stockwork, when they really should have their eyes on the stock at all times. The body language one uses for agility is the polar opposite that is used for herding, etc., etc.

If a dog is able to be a terrific work dog (and perhaps a trial dog) and still does well in sports... That's great! I know of one handler who has an OTCH dog that also competes successfully in Open herding trials. I'm stoked for them, but one is a very small number and it tells me something. It's nigh impossible to compete at the highest level of competition in border collie trials (not AKC or CKC "herding" trials) and compete at the highest level of competition in a sport, too. IMO, anyway.

That being said... If she's looking for a sport dog, I'd actually look at a responsible working breeder. Many of the characteristics that make Border Collies such superb sheepdogs also make them amazing sport dogs. I find that the dogs from good working lines tend to have a better off switch than the dogs bred for sports, but they still have a lot of drive and focus.

I live with 2 dogs from show/sport lines and own one from working lines... And as fun as Dakota is to run through agility, Eve could own his hairy little butt any day of the week if I trained her to do so... Her blazing speed, agility and ability to think on her feet is something I can only attribute to genetics.
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  #22  
Old 04-21-2008, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
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That's a mouthful right there.


It sounds to me like you guys are saying a dog can be a sport dog OR a herding dog, but not both. And then you say if she wants a sport dog get a herding dog...
confused.
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  #23  
Old 04-21-2008, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Are BC herding trials not the same way? BC people seem to put a lot of emphasis on trialing... I guess that means BC trials are more comparative to actual farm herding than gundog trials are to lab retrieving? How are they judged? Efficiency? Or speed? Flash? I don't really know.
Quick response to your quick hijack, I'm just running out the door but this interests me a lot, too.

Trialing border collies is a good test of breedworthiness - most dogs that can continually place well in various Open trials on a wide variety of sheep are definitely stable, versatile workers.

Farm work does not require the kind of trained precision that is used in trials, and the work to do depends on the size and content of the farm. Not many farmers need to have a dog drive 10 sheep through fetch panels 500 yards away. There are also things a dog will have to do in farm work that they cannot do in trials, such as gripping a sheep to make it move. But generally, I think a dog that is trained well for trials is automatically a useful farm dog.

Beanie - she can get a sport dog and a herding dog. But if she wants a MACH and Open Champion simultaneously... It'll be very, very tough to achieve that kind of goal. Now, if she was interested in kennel club herding (arena trials, extremely easy for border collies) competing at the highest level of competition there would be a breeze, even while training in agility.

I say get a working-bred dog because IMO, they have all the drive and athleticism of the sport bred dogs, but they have the impulse control that sport-bred dogs often lack. And I don't say this lightly or to bash dogs of anything other than working breeding, but I see it every day with my own dogs. I don't have to micro-manage my working bred dog, but I certainly do with my sport bred dogs who can't control themselves as well.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
That's a mouthful right there.


It sounds to me like you guys are saying a dog can be a sport dog OR a herding dog, but not both. And then you say if she wants a sport dog get a herding dog...
confused.
It is confusing! I'm still learning it all myself.

A herding dogs has all that is needed to make a good sport dog, they have the drive, desire for teamwork, and physical ability to do a sport - everything a working BC needs.

And you are helping to preserve the blood lines of working Border Collies.

ETA: Posted at the same time Grace
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:02 PM
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I know of one handler who has an OTCH dog that also competes successfully in Open herding trials. I'm stoked for them, but one is a very small number and it tells me something.
Not to be rude, but don't MOST BC people hate AKC? This would be why you have only seen one OTCH border collie, as it is an AKC title.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:17 PM
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It is confusing! I'm still learning it all myself.
*runs around in circles* I was hoping there was a Border Collie Bible (like Sheltie Talk is for shelties) that I could recommend for her to help her out, but I haven't found anything yet. I bet if there were one it would be really helpful!


I agree that people who JUST breed sport dogs aren't doing the best for the breed, since they ARE herding dogs and should be able to do that. But that's why it's so surprising and baffling to hear they can't, or shouldn't be expected to be able to, do both sports and herding. That's causing a real conundrum in my head. X3 Not because my friend's individual dog will be doing both or must do both (her dog will only be doing sport, AFAIK - I don't think she's ever mentioned herding with the dog), but just because I EXPECT that kind of thing in the pedigree. I'm used to shelties who can easily do both - Auggie's breeder owns a farm and needs her dogs to be able to work, but she also took two of her dogs to the AKC agility nationals this year, so it's just... baffling to me that a BC can't also do both with that same level of ease.
So then I wonder if maybe that doesn't change the perspective a little on why there are breeders who solely breed BCs for sport... =P That's a lot to turn over in my brain.


Anyway, yesterday I gave her the contact info/names for those two breeders you mentioned earlier in the thread, Lizmo, so we'll see if she can get any word back from them. => I think I said earlier that she's going to a flyball tourney this coming weekend and will be able to talk to people face-to-face there and get some other contacts there. We'll see how that goes.


Oh, and also - I know from poking around that BCs can get hip displaysia and have a few eye diseases as well... is there anything else that should be tested or looked at? And does OFA not include Canada..? Because so far I haven't been able to find the records for any of the breeders she's looked at so far.
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  #27  
Old 04-21-2008, 04:36 PM
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TNT uses pennhip.. pennhip isn't ofa database.. there's also ovc ont vet college ratings.. also not ofa.
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  #28  
Old 04-21-2008, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD View Post
The constant eye contact that is encouraged in obedience is enough to cripple a dog for stockwork, when they really should have their eyes on the stock at all times. The body language one uses for agility is the polar opposite that is used for herding, etc., etc.
This makes sense for sure, thanks
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  #29  
Old 04-21-2008, 05:10 PM
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It does make sense, its the same reason I don't do obed then agility. You can't have a dog watching you. But what about training concurrently? If kelpies can do it, I am sure BC's can . Maybe there just aren't enough people out there who are interested in doing both equally.

I do hear of many agility people doing herding lessons and trials with their BCs. Most are more into the agility, but would like their dogs to be able to do what they are bred to do. (and no these aren't breeders, just owners)

If I ever get a BC I know of one breeder that I would go to, she breeds farm working BC. But I know of a few of her puppies that are great agility dogs as well. I personally wouldn't buy a working BC if they had done nothing but work, and never produced nothing but working dogs. Its just me, I want a versatile dog and I will love any dog I get (so if its not versatile I will still keep it lol)

JRTs working style is diametrically apposed to obed training. A JRT should not come up out of the hole when working to see what 'mom' is doing, or too look for guidance. Ie they should not check in. But that doesn't mean a good working JRT can't also do agility. IMO they can tell the difference between a field full of agility equip and a field with ground hog holes (ok not always, there are times when they look for the holes in the agility ring-but I have never heard of it being the other way around)

Last edited by Dekka; 04-21-2008 at 05:21 PM.
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  #30  
Old 04-21-2008, 06:19 PM
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What you look for in a breeder is going to vary depending a lot on breed. Shelties you can find very versatile breeders- it's not uncommon to have conformation/agility/obedience/etc breeders, but in the bc world it just doesn't work that way.

Thanks for the response, Grace. I'm always curious. Having only been familiar with the labradors its a bit odd hearing so much about trialing. I guess it just depends on how realistic the trial type is to 'real' situations for lack of a better word.

In many breeds you'll find breeding for trialing without a lot of regard to other aspects also a way to breed away from what imo the breed is meant to be.

For example rewarding dogs meant to be slower gundogs for speed in a trial isn't going to exactly keep the breed on track.

I'm not well read on herding trials, though. I need to read more about them.

If I've learned anything there's no black and whites in dog breeding.

If I were to go for a lab- I'd want a field dog, if I were to go for a sheltie, I'd probably get a performance bred dog, and paps I'd go with a primarily conformation bred dog (though I prefer to see other things as well).

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