Encore and her littermate Temper

Encore and her littermate Temper

Driving through Dallas on the way home yesterday we stopped to look at a litter of puppies (not for me, for Lynda). The breeder owned Encore’s litter-sister so we just had to have a photo shoot. Can you guess which one is Encore?

To follow up on my thoughts about an ABBC class, I don’t know how they do it in the UK (maybe one of our British readers can fill us in) but here is what I was thinking. You take the the three best non-Border Collies times from the Steeplechase and the Grand Prix semis, if those 3 dogs happen to be already qualified to run in the finals, no sweat, they now are running for two titles; that of Grand Prix Champion and that of ABBC Grand Prix Champion. If the three dogs did not make it into the finals with the Border Collies, they then will only be running for the title of ABBC Champion.

Yes this leaves out slower Border Collies that can’t compete with the faster dogs. There are a zillion BCs competing now and as the years go on there will be even more. Someone has to be the slowest of the Border Collies, but should that be a reason to not honour the great dogs of other breeds?

Personally I don’t think so. Wings, the Terv that won the Steeplechase finals, was a really cool dog to watch. However there were 7 Border Collies with faster times in the semis that had a bar down. Which means there were 7 dogs that ran the semis faster than Wings. Next year there could be 10. If those dogs run clean, Wings will make it to the finals. If that had been this year we would have never known what a great dog Wings is, or witnessed that amazing run.

Each year there will be proportionately more Border Collies out there, soon it will be like Thoroughbreds at the Kentucky Derby, the other breeds will just dwindle in number, until all we see is Border Collies at Championship events.   There are some kick ass Goldens, Labs, German Sheperds, Catahoulas, Tervs ( well as all the other Belgian breeds), Kelpies, Aussies amoung others. All of these dogs would have a good shot at making it to the finals, but with the strangle-hold the Border Collies have on the sport it gets more unlikely every year that we will ever see them.Who knows, perhaps there are other amazing dogs out there whose owners are just not trying because they figure they have not chance against the Border Collies (I hope nobody has such a defeatist attitude, but it is possible).

I for one think it would be sad for National Agility Championships to turn into the Kentucky Derby for Border Collies and I hope anyone that loves dogs, and not just fast Border Collies would feel the same way. Remember I run Border Collies, I just happen to really appreciate the performance of the other breeds of dogs out there that are only a second or two behind our fast Borders. 

Today I am grateful that all of you feel welcome to disagree with me on my blog, that is what stimulates thinking, conversation and eventually change. There is no progress without change.  This blog will always be welcome everyone’s unique point of view (as long as in the end you all agree with me . . .  okay, just kidding)