Moll stated that she currently trains and shows her collies in obedience, but friends show them in conformation, herding, and agility since a worsening back condition has made training and showing di ffi cult for Moll. Bergstraser said that at one time, she went to shows nearly every weekend, particularly while her daughter Laura competed as a junior handler. Bergstraser noted that fortunately for her, Laura has since become a professional handler and now travels with the collies that they show in the breed ring. Th is has allowed Berg- straser to focus on obedience and herding. Ward explains that she manages to compete successfully in multiple venues because, “I don’t have a life. Dogs are about all I do.” Ward adds that she and her daughter Tanya are involved together in breeding, training, and competing with their dogs, and activities with the dogs are how they spend their time outside of their full-time jobs. Ward’s goals changed suddenly this past year when she su ff ered the tragic loss of Tara, her breed champion blue bitch with whom Ward had earned obedience, herding, and agility titles as well, while the team was working towards several other titles. Th is summer, Ward has been look- ing after Tara’s littermate Zorro for his owner Heidi Braun, and has been train- ing him in herding and agility. Already a herding-titled breed champion, Zorro recently earned his first novice agility leg, and Ward looks forward to trialing him in herding this fall.
Shoemaker notes that while she finds there is a natural ebb and flow to her train- ing, and that di ff erent collies take prece- dence at di ff erent times, she loves every venue they participate in. Currently, she has three collies training in all venues, and her goals for this year include completing a UD on her triple champion rough dog Scooter and an intermediate herding title on Gabby, who has already earned a breed championship and agility MACH. Th is year, among other goals, Moll is looking for one more Advanced A Ducks qualifying score for her sable rough cham- pion Charlie. Bergstraser is looking for- ward to trialing her champion, obedience- titled bitch Deuce in advanced herding. Bergstraser stated that among her most treasured accomplishments was earning an Advanced A Course Sheep title on Aero, who also has a breed championship and CDX, among other titles. “Herding is a passion to me,” Bergstraser said. “Watch- ing dogs do what they were bred to do is addictive and it’s intoxicating to watch a great herding dog. Th ere’s no greater joy than watching these beautiful dogs do what they were bred to do.” Bergstraser notes that while the best chances of getting a talented herding collie is by selecting a puppy from parents who were good herding dogs, the collie breed is such an old breed that herding ability can be found throughout the breed. “You can find superstar herding dogs that came from totally show lines but turn out to be
amazing herding dogs. Th at’s something I so admire about the breed,” she said. Ward notes that collies are bred for more than just winning in the breed ring. “ Th e collie is supposed to be a ‘head breed,’ but they’re also a herding dog and they have to be able to work.” Shoemaker adds that she believes choosing a good breeder is important, and that she wishes more per- formance competitors recognized the value of getting a dog from a breeder. “Collie breeders find breeding good, healthy ani- mals to be important,” she stated. “When you buy a dog from a good breeder, you know what you are getting and you know what to expect. You should know the health issues, and a reputable breeder stands behind their dogs.” Moll says that along with the achieve- ments of the collies she has bred, she con- siders one of her major achievements as a breeder to be the people she helped to get a start in collies. Although continuing to pursue her breeding program, she adds, “I live vicariously through my younger friends who have collies from me.” BIO Jeanine Blaner is the chair of the Collie Club of America’s Working Collie Com- mittee. She shows her collies in conforma- tion, herding, agility, obedience, and rally obedience. In 2013, she finished her first champion, and first herding champion, as an owner-handler.
276 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2014
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