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Hey everyone!

So, as everyone knows, I have an Aussie and a BC. I have always been of the belief that you should go to a good registered breeder that does all appropriate health and temperament checks for that specific breed. So, my Aussie is CKC registered and my BC is AKC registered. I can't complain, they are both sweet dogs with great temperaments, and no health issues.

Now. I have been doing more research into BCs (because I think I'll get another one in the future). I've come across a board run by the USBCC (United States Border Collie Club). They essentially say that you should never get a BC from any breeder that registers with the AKC. This is because a Border Collie, in it's essence was bred to herd livestock, and if you start breeding dogs that don't have that instinct, then essentially it isn't a real Border Collie. They also argue, that a "working" BC will have all of the necessary and required skills to be good at agility, flyball, obedience etc.

Heidi comes from working parents, but is registered with the AKC, so she doesn't fit into the category above. My next BC will probably be from working lines, but I'm curious as to what people think about the AKC creating "Barbie Collies" or the "Sporter Collies".
 

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BCs aren't my breed of choice in any regard, but I've also heard from "BC people" that AKC border collies are frowned upon. I've also heard that the BC club won't register AKC collies, but don't quote me on that as I could be misinformed.

That said, I think sometimes AKC BCs are "show dogs" but I know some people around here with working BCs that are AKC registered simply because to them, that's the registry to go to. They work their dogs on their farms, so they don't compete or anything and don't really care much for registry politics - they just advertise their dogs as AKC whenever they have a litter.

Then of course, there are all of those that don't register their dogs at all and have purebred BCs and even mixes.
 

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I think in BCs you are going to find a whole bunch of different type of people. You are going to have the people that swear that every single one of these dogs should be out working on a farm (they don't care if the dog is registered as long as it works) , then you're going to have the sport families (Who will more then likely register their dogs so they compete in all aspects of their sport, including AKC), most of them I know will register and test the HECK out of their dogs, making sure their hips, eyes, elbows, etc are all cleared for work. Then there are the hobbyist. I find that hobbyist tend to get their dogs from good places, but aren't all gung ho. Then there are the pet families who won't care what their dog has. BCs have extremes of all of those. I don't think there is an issue with someone who breeds and registers with the AKC. And sometimes those farm breeders have horrible breeding practices.
 
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Sounds like nonsense to me. PLENTY of working dogs from all breeds are registered by the AKC (and other registries). Merely having AKC registration does not mean that a breeder doesn't focus on breed-appropriate work ethic in their dogs. I am big on breeding registered dogs, but I am willing to admit that there are plenty of people breeding true working dogs (frequently farm/stock dogs) that do not register. That's not the end of the world.

Now, there's the issue of buying from AKC SHOW BRED lines. In many breeds there's a huge difference in appearance and temperament from dogs bred for different purposes. Labradors and German Shepherds come to mind. So, yes, it is entirely possible to remove proper work ethic from a line of dogs if you are not selecting for it. That does NOT mean that all border collies registered by the AKC have no work ethic. Simply that some breeders are breeding dogs for a specific purpose that was not the original one. For some people that may mean breeding dogs that look good in the show ring, but would have no clue what to do with a sheep. For some that's breeding super drivey and sporty dogs that also may not be suitable for farm work. I do tend to agree that a proper working dog SHOULD have the temperament and ability for dog sports.
 

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It's a very complicated thing. Donald McCaig's book 'Border (collie) Wars' gets into a lot of the history. There is a lot of bad blood there.

Personally, I have no interest in BC politics. I'll get a dog from a breeder breeding dogs I like. I do understand the board philosophies though. It's a good board to be on, lots of knowledgeable people with a different mindset than sport/show folk. I've learned a ton from them even when disagreeing. It's just a different world than pet/sport/show.
 

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Hm, good points from everyone. Thank you for responding. :)
 

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It's a very complicated thing. Donald McCaig's book 'Border (collie) Wars' gets into a lot of the history. There is a lot of bad blood there.

Personally, I have no interest in BC politics. I'll get a dog from a breeder breeding dogs I like. I do understand the board philosophies though. It's a good board to be on, lots of knowledgeable people with a different mindset than sport/show folk. I've learned a ton from them even when disagreeing. It's just a different world than pet/sport/show.

This times a million. Also, know that working dog elitists (as opposed to just working dog breeders and owners) may have a tendency to be somewhat irrationally suspicious of their dispreferred registries and breeding/training methods. Or so I've found. I don't by any means refer to all BC working people or all working dog people with that statement, I just see things getting petty pretty quickly when they gather in large groups because of a few who take themselves very seriously (and not always in ways that make sense to me).

I think there are good points to be made about the AKC not always rewarding for breeding for working ability let alone policing it strictly and I know that when I start competing in herding it will be primarily through AHBA and ASCA (despite my not having an Aussie, I just like the way their trials are structured) not the AKC for a few reasons, but some of the ire is way overdone to me. There's no objective rule to say that you can't register with the AKC and breed for working ability, so if you want working ability just look for that and let the haters hate. ;) Or, I suppose, let people get on with their own concerns while tending to your own.
 

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Personally, I have no interest in BC politics. I'll get a dog from a breeder breeding dogs I like.
Ive been looking into both aussies and BC for my next dog, both of them have there respected herding registry. From what ive read, an AKC dog will be more calm and more companion. That being said with a grain of salt. But yhe dogs that are registered under their respected club are said to be alot better at herding and working and will require alot more exercise.

The biggest issue ive run into with AKC is any two registered dogs can be bred and have registered pups. So bad parents produce bad pups and so on.

So the point of the quote is i wouls take that route. Meet with the breeder, check out the parents and purchase from the preferred tempermant regaurdless of which registry
 

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@Alexp08 - That is interesting. Most of the "working" BCs are said to be more stable, whereas the sport bred BCs tend to be more hyper and lack the "off-switch".

Both my Aussie and BC are fabulous in the house. They either play with each other for a bit, ot they are asleep. Everyone assumes I must run them ragged, but the truth is they know when they can go crazy and when it is time to chill.
 

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Haha well like i said, thats what i read and you cant trust everything you read on the internet lol. my current lab came from a byob, isnt registered and shes fabulous with in-house manners. All see if i cant find that article i read. No promises it was awhile ago.
 

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Found it. Its for aussies but i feel it would hold true for BC and their respected registries.

Here was the info i was talking about
"When you see a dog that is NSDR you can expect a dog that is highly motivated, extremely intelligent, athletic beyond belief, smaller stature and fiercely loyal. Those traits come from the working lines. And this is where Aussies get their drive to herd. When you see a puppy that is AKC, you can expect more symmetrical markings with more white trim, longer, thicker hair and much more laid back."

Full article
Things you should know - Thousand Hills Kennel
 

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Ive been looking into both aussies and BC for my next dog, both of them have there respected herding registry. From what ive read, an AKC dog will be more calm and more companion. That being said with a grain of salt. But yhe dogs that are registered under their respected club are said to be alot better at herding and working and will require alot more exercise.

The biggest issue ive run into with AKC is any two registered dogs can be bred and have registered pups. So bad parents produce bad pups and so on.

So the point of the quote is i wouls take that route. Meet with the breeder, check out the parents and purchase from the preferred tempermant regaurdless of which registry
You can have the bad parents/breeders in ABCA too. There have been a couple puppy mill busts that were registering ABCa. It's just a registry. There will be good and bad in both.

You can't know if a BC will be calmer or not by registry. Most sport bred dogs are AKC registered or dual registered. And personally, I know a good number of show bred dogs who are NOT calmer than the working/sport bred dogs. Honestly structure seems to be the biggest difference between show/working/sport. And many dogs are a mix of lines.

I personally tend to find what I like in *certain* sport bred dogs. So that's probably where I'll go.

If you dig into it everyone has their opinions based on the dogs they know. I know people who started off with sport bred then went to working bred. Then I know another few that started off working bred and went show bred. Etc. Everyone has their reasons.

BCs and aussies vary a lot. Only you know what you like and the only way to find out what you like is to meet dogs. I would not get into either without some hands on research. Especially BCs.
 

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As a border collie person, it's working bred all the way for me.

The registry to me isn't as important as the lineage of the dogs.

There are a LOT of working BC breeders that refuse to associate with the AKC and only go through ABCA. When BC's were accepted into the AKC, there was quite a bit of backlash from breed enthusiasts because they didn't want to see BC's that can't herd get bred and propagated. AKC unfortunately does not require owners/handlers to prove their dogs functionally before they can get any titles for conformation and form. And it has lead to a lot of unethical breeding, and breed splits.

I myself will only own working bred dogs, likely sheep line. My current BC isn't even registered at all. He's a stock dog from a long line of working border collies, owned by people who live way out in the middle of nowhere on ranches. That's all they've done for generations. Work. No titles needed for anything. He's very classic BC with a lot of drive, very focused, able to work long hours, very one person oriented, eyes and stalks everything that moves. But he's also very stable and even tempered and does fabulous as a hiking companion and sport dog.

To me, he's absolutely perfect. My next will more than likely be ABCA, purely because that's the most popular registry that working breeders use. I have no interest in a show BC. Sport line is iffy for me. A lot of sport line dogs can also herd sheep, and they may have a lot of working bred dogs in their pedigree. But they can still be very different critters. I'd consider one if it's more from working lines that's only recently started dabbling in sports, so they probably wouldn't, at that point, be considered "sport bred".
 

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The AKC has absolutely ruined many breeds of working and hunting dogs. Take a look at the Fox Terrier and compare it to the Jack Russel.

But I think the various kennel clubs are changing, and the world is changing too. The fact that we are in the information age means that no longer can a small group of enthusiasts keep a breed a 'secret' from the world so it doesn't get 'ruined'.

Regarding the Border Collie specifically.

There are true aficionados of working dogs, generally those whose livelihood depends on the dog, who will take a good working dog regardless of if it is pure or mixed, registered or unregistered, or if it is registered who it is registered with.

Below that are the working dog enthusiasts. They tend to work their dogs, but an under-performing dog wouldn't spell financial ruin for them. They are more akin to hobby farmers, they can afford to do what they love. The working dog aficionado will have a litter of pups and pick the most promising 2 or 3 and sell the rest to the working dog enthusiast.

The border collie working dog enthusiasts formed a club. Some fringe members of the club wanted to get the breed recognized by the AKC. Most members rightly forsaw that judging on and breeding for physical characteristics is the opposite of what needs to be done to judge and breed great working dogs. (You need sheep to judge how good of a sheepdog a BC is, not a tape-measure!). So a handful of people left the border collie club and petitioned the AKC for breed acceptance got accepted

The various border collie groups were all in an uproar. They felt betrayed. They were angry that the AKC would work with the small splinter group. They foresaw many more border collies being bought by people who couldn't handle that much energy, they foresaw people breeding BCs for fluffy coats not sheep-sense, they foresaw more BCs ending up in shelters.

They were right.

But they were hypocritical in their response.

There were a couple registries used before the AKC got involved. Most AKC dogs were in these other registries as well. The biggest of these registries (American Border Collie Registration) now throws out any BC that becomes a show-ring champion. If they really are about working dogs, then they would judge a dog by it's sheep herding ability (or whatever work it was doing), and ignore any ribbons it may or may not win in a conformation show as irrelevant.

Anyways, the majority of BCs that work with sheep are not AKC registered, they are ABCA registered. There are some people who run AKC dogs on their sheep, but they are generally either dual-registered, or they are people who got their exposure to BCs through the AKC and didn't realize there were those other groups out there (the AKC groups early on went to great lengths to hide they were a splinter group and there was this other much larger group out there).

In the end, the dog being registered with AKC or ABCA doesn't tell you much any more about how good of a worker the dog is. Sure, you can make some general judgments, but in the end you can get some great sheep dogs from sheep farmers whose dogs are AKC registered and you can get some poor sheep dogs from people who register with ABCA.

And finally, there are other types/temperments of BCs being created. The main one is 'sport' BCs, where the dogs are bred for how well they compete in some action dog sport like flyball or frisbee. The other one is a hybrid show/herd dog which are mainly pets, not much concern for being the exact right height and color, where the owners themselves don't own any livestock but take the dogs to herding events where a few times a month the dog gets to express it's genetic heritage herding a handful of sheep, some geese, or on occasion great big beachballs.

Here's how I think of it



 
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