Barbie Collies Can Herd?

** The original post has been re-published slightly anonymized. **

Dear Readers,

The heroes of this story have been placed in the Witness Protection Program and wish to remain anonymous until such time as they feel comfortable in testifying about their experience.

I feel that it is a sad state of affairs when people are made to feel inferior or compromised in any way based upon non-objective and non-merit factors or are denied equal access to the spoils of their victory. But that is the world we find ourselves in.

This is an important story and it needs to be told, but not at the expense of burning the bridge before you cross it.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Donald McCaig (who was dully beaten at the Nationals by a border collie with a conformation championship):

Most of our novice handlers are coming from the dog fancy. Though we welcome those immigrants, residues of dog fancy culture — the rule bound mentality, the kowtowing to authority (and concomitant resentment), the ugly language and, yes, the dog toys — will inevitably accompany them.

In the next twenty-five years, some of these immigrants will become top handlers and influential in our breed. By then I hope our culture has changed them more than they will change us.
– Donald McCaig, The Dog Wars p. 159

Well Donald, the future is upon us. You won’t have to wait 25 years for a “dog fancy” handler to become a top handler, it has already happened.

The lasting message isn’t that breeding for looks will produce better herding dogs, nor is it that herding ability will be magically preserved in dogs that haven’t seen sheep in generations, it’s that merit and ability and performance should be allowed to shine through despite the bigotry and fear of a community that is wholly unprepared to address the concerns and diverse talents of the Third Estate of the Border Collie.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.