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Old June 7th, 2011, 03:42 PM
erykah1310's Avatar
erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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"Pretty is as pretty does "

Very interesting article that a Belgian Malinois breeder sent me to read over when I was talking to them about building drive amoung other things...
I'm curious when it comes to working dogs ( herding, terrier, LGD, sporting ect) why it is so acceptable to have a "pretty" as apposed to functional dog?

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways. ~John Wayne
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Old June 7th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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Gail P Gail P is offline
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It's not. At least not for Border Collies. In fact...the the associations with which Border Collies are registered are so against breeding for conformation that if members choose to show in conformation events their membership will become void. This from the CBCA's "membership" page:

"As border collies should only be bred for their working ability breeding for appearance is strongly discouraged. Participation with border collies in conformation events is seen as contrary to the objectives of the Association and will void membership."

and from the CBCA's "news" page:


Despite our best efforts CKC has decided to allow Border Collies to compete conformation (and all other events). While CBCA has no issue with Border Collies competing in performance events we have strong reservations about conformation showing as this will probably lead to Border Collies being bred for looks rather than work. The board feels that such showing is contrary to the objectives of CBCA. As such persons showing border collies in conformation are not eligible for membership in CBCA."

I thought at one time read that any dogs shown to conformation titles would be de-registered but that might have been on the ABCA (American) site.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 08:26 PM
erykah1310's Avatar
erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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Kudos to Border Collie clubs standing up though. This keeps the breed actually able to do what they were bred for.
The article did mention that BC, JRT's and another few breeds were apposed to conformation and not wanting recognition from the KC's
Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways. ~John Wayne
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Old June 7th, 2011, 10:35 PM
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Goldfields Goldfields is offline
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In Australia some judges and a lot of breeders don't give a toss for soundness and working ability, or even for breeding to the Standard conformation wise. That was a very interesting article, Erykah, and echoes my grievances for the past 35 years. Regarding the skull of the ACD, the Standard asks for " a slight but definite stop with skull and muzzle on parallel planes" , which allows a kick from a cow to glance off over the skull. Some breed, and judges will put up, dogs with a very deep stop and, viewed in profile, what I term a domed forehead. A kick from a cow would almost take the top of the skull off. Eyes should be "neither prominent or sunken", yet we see pop eyed dogs whose eyes could be easily injured when working through rough scrub. The muzzle should be medium length, deep and powerful, but we see short muzzled dogs that can , without exertion, on a warm day, be standing there panting like a Pug with the tongue curled up, while my longer muzzled dogs aren't even panting. Don't worry, I won't go point by point through the Standard and what's gone wrong but universally, with both my breeds, bad fronts are a major problem, and dogs with bad fronts do not have the true, free, supple and tireless action a working ACD needs to cover the distances it would have to in the outback. Instead, these dogs with bad fronts go around the showring like wind-up clockwork toys, going fast with very small strides. I have always tried to get pups from each litter I bred into working homes to know how they perform, and no-one will tell you faster than a farmer will whether your dog can do the job he was bred for. For instance. I was sold an atrocious dog once, short, stocky, legs stuck out on 4 corners .... anyway, took him with my foundation bitch down to a friend's place, a farmer who used dogs to work his Hereford cattle. When my two got out of the car he didn't even say hello, he said "I don't know whether you own that dog, but I don't like him!". ROFL. I just laughed and replied, "I don't either Jack, and he won't be used at stud." No way did he offend me. He didn't think that, as a worker, that dog would have made it to morning smoko, while my bitch would have worked all day.
I think it's sickening to see the damage show ring fads do to working breeds.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 05:35 PM
Floppy Dog Floppy Dog is offline
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I couldn't agree with you more. Especially since I own a product of approximately 100 years of breeding for conformation, namely an American Cocker Spaniel. She has all the intelligence, agility and guts needed to be a hunting dog. However, the over abundant fur combined with her poor eyesight and hearing make it impossible to take her out into the field. So she has to be content with swimming in the summer when it's warm and chasing a stick to practice her tracking skills. We love her anyways.
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