Canadian Border Collie Association

Canadian Border Collie Association

March 07, 2007 09:00 ET

Canadian Border Collie Association: Canadian Kennel Club Hijacking Border Collies Into Conformation Shows

Border Collies: Barbie Collies in Canada?

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 7, 2007) - The Canadian Kennel Club ("CKC") now has a vote underway seeking to take border collies into the conformation ring where dogs compete based on their looks. If the vote succeeds as planned, Canada will develop a high profile breed of dog that is a "pop" version of real border collies. The Canadian Border Collie Association ("CBCA") strongly opposes this move.

The CKC has succeeded roundly in coaching the public to see dogs as breed types based on their appearance - Afghan Hounds, Setters, Poodles, Spaniels, Wheaten Terriers. However, the border collie is very different in origin, bred as it has been for over 100 years as a good working dog with an eye to improve the working traits in the offspring. Work traits are just as inheritable as eye colour or coat texture. Sheep dog trials have long been the standard that defines the best of the breed for border collies. We have national champions identified by our national championships, not by dog shows.

Border collies are agriculture's dog. Most people are familiar with them for the miracle of their work with sheep. To see them, which is the real border collie? They can be white, red and white, black and white, tricolour, smooth coated, rough coated, prick eared, flip eared - their appearance is inconsequential. Their work is the measure of the dog, their authority over livestock, their athleticism, their trainability, intelligence, and their sheep management.

The Animal Pedigree Act, passed in 1985, allows for a single registry for any one purebred animal in Canada. The Canadian Border Collie Association became that registry thirteen years ago. Our independent registry, incorporated under the Act, just as the CKC is, was created to steer border collies away from the show ring. The CBCA has registered about 4,000 border collies since its inception. CBCA registers one breed - a David. The CKC registers 170 breeds - a Goliath. Each has a responsibility to honour the Animal Pedigree Act, under the authority of which they both register dogs. The CKC move to show border collies, without consultation with the CBCA, is an end run at the spirit of the Act. CBCA promotes and protects border collies. CKC promotes and protects its 170 other breeds.

The CKC received a letter of protest from CBCA president Aileen McConnell of Metchosin, BC in November. It remains unanswered. A second letter has been sent.

British Columbia's Chuck Strahl is the Minister of Agriculture responsible for the Animal Pedigree Act. The CBCA is encouraging concerned dog owners to write to the Minister to express their concerns.

Note: Amanda Milliken, Founding President of CBCA and 2005 North American Sheepdog Champion, is available for interview on Monday, March 12, 2007 in Vancouver.

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