July 2005


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Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 15 Jul 2005 01:52:45 -0400
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At 9:30 PM -0700 7/14/05, Karen Clanin wrote:

>purchased 2 bitches, one from a strong performance breeder, she's sweet,
>was very well socialized but i can not stop her barking at things when away
>from home, she's also cow hocked, has a genetic kink in the tail, couple of
>missing teeth. eyes clear but would be a carrier. she's spayed.

the original collies had a kink or a twist in the tail. It still shows up
in ES at least but collie breeders worked to get rid of it. I think it is
too bad that they did. It isn't structural and it was a distinct trait of
the original landrace.

As for cow hocks... they aren't pretty but I've read that structurally they
aren't a problem. The prejudice against cowhocks came from the horse world
where they are a problem The logic was "if it is wrong for horses it must
be wrong for dogs" but that logic doesn't hold. Plus, a lot fo dogs who
stand cowhocked move out just fine.

A few years back I bought an adult ES bitch sight unseen from a farm Iowa.
I wanted her pedigree and genes and probably would have considered breeding
her almost no matter what. My heart just sunk when she came out of the
crate at the airport, she was soooo cowhocked.

I had a pretty sharp Vet tell me not to even bother OFAing or PennHIPing
her because there was no way a dog that cowhocked could have decent hips.
But  cowhocks or no cowhocks I really wanted her genes kept in the genepool
(and she was the last known intact dogs from an old nearly lost line so it
was her or no one). So I sent in her xrays and she came back Excellent from
OFA and got the best PennHIP scores for the breed so far.

        I only bred her once but none of her pups were cowhocked - they all
have lovely structure. And none of their pups have been cowhocked. But she
did a great job passing on her brains and extreme biddability.

        I know collies have a much larger genepool than English Shepherds.
But there is no such thing as a perfect dog.... I'd rather have a cowhocked
dog with brains and solid working ability than a dog who looks perfect but
not enough brains to follow a trail of biscuits out of dark box....