Work ability versus show in the border collie
The Border Collie is a breed that originated in the border between England and Scotland. Through selection, in which Ireland and Wales also participated, a type of dog has eventually emerged that has an excessive feeling for sheep. Appearance has not been important in this selection. Quality all the more.
Most people think of a Border Collie as a medium-sized black and white dog, with long hair. Typical is the white collar, the white ‘socks’ and a white tip at the tail. This type predominates in dog shows of the Kynologenclub. The show element is important with these dogs.
The working collie
Originally, however, this dog was bred for practicality in the English tradition. Work ability was paramount in this. Each herding dog breed worked with sheep or cows, but the working collie’s buoyancy became more specific, adapting, to work in hilly rugged terrain. This required a dog that had a high degree of independence, but also control. Was obedient (the will to please), but also had decisiveness and authority. Viable. And … great stamina.
This strange mix means that a Border Collie can appear ‘pressed’ (huddled together). Typical for the Border Collie is working at a distance from the owner. Contact is maintained with whistle signals. As well as the eyen. This is staring at the sheep (and failing that, at cats, cyclists, etc.). These characteristics, which in a greater or lesser degree, give each border collie an active, versatile (sports) dog.
The fact whether a dog is marked red / white, or black / white, says nothing about his work quality, so borders arise in the type: shorthair, tricolor, blue eyes, blue merle. Everything is possible. After all, the selective factor is: the dog’s working qualities.
It could also happen that people occasionally bred with other breeds, for example a greyhound or setter, to get more speed in the offspring. Or a talented bearded collie, so that the puppies had curls.
These working dogs are registered in the studbook of the ISDS (International SheepDog Society). This foundation has been providing this since 1906. Every year a new part of the registered litters of the past year appears. Of all dogs that are registered, it is known who the parents are, how many litters a bitch has given birth, whether a dog is a carrier of eye diseases, such as CEA or PRA, and which competition results the dog has achieved. All information that is important for breeding a healthy working breed. The information is also available digitally.
Dogs that were used remarkably often for breeding are called “key” dogs.
In the Netherlands, the DSDS (Dutch SheepDog Society) is active and a division of the ISDS. She signs the rules and takes care of the registration of the litters that are born in the Netherlands. This association focuses only on sheep herding.
The BCCN (Border Collie Club Netherlands) is broader, and focuses not only on herding sheep, but also on agility and other activities. She also takes care of the Dutch breeding policy, the relocation of dogs and puppy mediation for litters. Start licenses and inspections.
This inspection consists of two parts. A functional exterior inspection and aptitude test.
In the aptitude test, the dog is brought into contact with sheep and two experienced dog behaviorists. They are appointed by the BCCN and assess the dog. They check, among other things, whether the dog is interested in the sheep and how he acts. For example, the dog can run away or go towards the sheep. Go around the sheep and pick them up, or lie on his stomach and stare. (Eyen). A dog can earn an M (moderate) G (good) VG (very good) and a U (excellent).
In the exterior inspection, color is not important, or the position of the ears. However, the dog must be well built to handle the physical strain that the work places on him. The inspection criteria are based on this.
There are no aptitude tests and inspections in Great Britain and Ireland. It is assumed that the competition results that a dog achieves speak for themselves.
The range of matches there is also much greater than anywhere else. The beginner class is called Nursery and the next class is the Novice class.
Yet more and more color variants are seen during dog inspections, such as red, and merle. However, the smooth-haired is not yet common, while a practice-shorthair dog has less dirt and tangles with it. And can keep himself clean better.