Border Collie Breed Magazine - Showsight

job of sheepherding. Th e farmers and shepherds who participated in the first trials and type competitions were, above all else, stockmen. (Women did not get involved in sheepdog trialing until much later.) As stockmen, they were comfortable with the idea of evaluating an animal’s physical structure against a standard based upon the animal’s purpose: whether that purpose was wool production, meat for marketing or working stock. Working col- lies were shown in the conformation ring in New Zealand as early as 1886 and Aus- tralia in 1907. Th ey were shown in Europe at FCI shows before being recognized by the Kennel Club in Great Britain in 1976. Canada did not allow Border Collies in conformation until 2007. Border Collies were in AKC’s Miscel- laneous group for forty years—from 1955 to 1995. Th ey could only enter obedience and tracking events. Border Collies weren’t

very prevalent in AKC in the early years, but even in small numbers they made their presence well known in obedience tri- als. By 1990, Border Collies were becom- ing more popular as the sport of agility appeared and became more widespread throughout the US. Th eir popularity grew even further when AKC started o ff ering agility trials in 1994. Meanwhile, AKC’s herding program began in 1989. At that time, AKC only allowed breeds listed in the Herding Group to participate. Since Border Collies were listed in the Miscellaneous group, as herd- ing trial popularity grew, full recognition became an issue. In December 1994, the AKC made its decision to fully recognize Border Collies. Registration would begin April 1, 1995, and the first Championship points would be awarded October 1, 1995. Since AKC recognition in 1995, popular- ity of the breed continues to grow—in

2012 Border Collies were number 44 on AKC’s most popular breeds list as deter- mined by number of registrations. In his book Th e Intelligence of Dogs , Stanley Coren announced that Border Collies are the most intelligent breed. Th eir trainability, willingness to work and athletic prowess make them an excellent choice for people interested in sports like obedience and agility. Th eir speed makes them desirable flyball competitors. Th eir grace and beauty appeal to those who want to show in conformation. And their unsurpassed abilities to read and control livestock make them outstanding herding trial competitors. Border Collies compete in just about any activity available and excel at most. Th eir desire to work hard and please their owner is directly related to how the breed developed. One cannot truly appreciate this breed without under- standing that history. 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& " 13*- t

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