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Elaine,

I apologise if I offended you with my comments on OTFS. My point is merely
that the BC registries don't register on looks, and are in fact adamant
about NOT caring about looks. And that if you went to Scotland, even today,
and travelled around the country to all different areas, while the majority
of the dogs you saw would fit your conception of what a BC looks like, you
would also see dogs that looked like your conception of other breeds, such
as the ES and AS, and yes, even the OTFS. I know. I've been there many
times and have seen many dogs, both at trials and working on farms. Many of
them are registered with ISDS, but there are just as many that aren't
registered at all and their owners chose them by their preferences for a
particular working style or look--yes, even working shepherds have
preferences for looks. You sent me a photo of your dog Traveller, and I've
seen your website, and what I'm saying is that I have seen Border Collies
that look like that. And I've seen Border Collies that work like you are
describing, without eye or stalking behavior. It's just that for trialling,
eye and stalking is the accepted style, so that other styles have been bred
away from, since it is the most successful trial dogs that are sought after
for breeding. However, in recent years, triallers have moved away from that
extreme and there have been dogs bred that "stay on their feet" because
they are ready to move, whereas a dog that is always "clapping" does not
have that freedom of motion, and a strong-eyed dog sometimes becomes
paralized by his own eye. There have always been both soft and hard dogs
among BCs. The tradition is that Adam Telfer bred two such dogs together
and Old Hemp was the result, and is considered the father of the modern
Border Collie. However, it would not take the addition of any other "blood"
to make a softer Border Collie, just the usual method of chosing dogs with
that type of temperament over a long period of time.

My own preference would be to do away with breed designations altogether
and have one big breed, the Working Collie. Then, each person could chose
the TYPE of Working Collie they liked best, whether it be a BC-type, an
AS-type, an ES-type, or an OFC-type, etc., whether in looks or working
style. Then we wouldn't be arguing all the time over whether some photo or
painting was one thing or another. That's how it was before the Victorians
invented breeds for show purposes.

Carole Presberg