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A Breed a …… Border Collie

A Breed ..every so often : BORDER COLLIE

From the BorderCollie.org website

The Border Collie was developed by shepherds on the English-Scottish border to herd sheep. The breed spread throughout the United Kingdom and then throughout the world. Unlike most dog breeds, it continues to be bred, used and valued for its original purpose--herding livestock. Gradually, because a herding dog is necessarily highly intelligent, athletic and responsive, it came to be used and valued for all the other things dogs can do--e.g., obedience, agility, frisbee, service, search & rescue, and companionship. All but one, that is--prior to 1995 there was no tradition in this country of showing Border Collies in dog shows, or breeding them to look a certain way. They were bred and valued for their abilities, not their appearance.

Because the Border Collie is a performance dog and not a show dog, Border Collie owners over the years have not wanted the breed to be recognized by the AKC and bred for show. As with other breeds not recognized by the AKC, the Border Collie could be entered in AKC-sanctioned obedience and tracking trials through the granting of Indefinite Listing Privileges (ILP) by the AKC. For more than forty years, the Border Collie was a member of the so-called Miscellaneous Class of dogs who were eligible for this type of showing, and many, many Border Collies received ILP numbers and achieved distinction in obedience and tracking. During those years, several AKC presidents and directors publicly stated that the Border Collie was not appropriate for the show ring because of its focus on performance and its lack of physical standardization.

The breed is now recognized by the AKC