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I've been very quiet lately. Been traveling a bit and now my sheltie is
in bad shape but this post has drawn me out. While I agree with what I
thing the intent is, we had to be careful about generalities.

At 07:39 PM 4/23/99 -0700, Ben & Mary Reed wrote:
>I am so glad to
>finally hear someone say the the best collie is the one with normal eyes.

I hope no one said that. It sounds like normal eyes automatically make
a good dog. Normal eyes are an important element in the total make up
of a dog. If we look at only one element, are we different from show
folks who only breed for looks? BTW - I have 5 collies and they are all
normal eye.


>... Well, knowing that breeding for the tiny eyes and for having
>them closer together creates eye problems then why breed that way.

Do you have supporting info for this? I'm not knocking the thought but
really would like to know if you have data. I've heard both sides
of this story but never heard any data. From what I've heard, the
tiny eyes or pig eyes are really not a smaller eye ball but a smaller
eye opening. I haven't heard that tiny openings are genetically tied
to eye problems.


> I do not think the smaller eyes are more attractive.

Totally agree.


>  I would much rather have a
>perfectly healthy dog and carry that on the younger generations.

Also totally agree.


>  The show
>people need to figure out are they doing what is best for the dog or for
>them.

Please don't generalize to all show people. There are some good ones out
there. (FYI, Mary, I don't want or have any parts in showing. But showing,
and some breed clubs by chapter are show oriented, started as equating
looks and structure as a means to judge the best. As we have gotten more
knowledgeable in health and genetics, the conformation field maintained a
standard that reflected only something a judge could judge.
While theatrically a breed club could change the standard and include
health/soundness, would the AKC screen champions if the breed club says
champions must be at least OFA ? and normal eyed. I doubt it. The breed
clubs are not likely to include health as a requirement because of the
embedded base of champions that are breeding. I recognize that a suddenly
insertion of a provision like that should fail because of the elimination
of many dogs. But I would not look toward a gradual shift until J.Q. Public
insists on quality dogs. The AKC has publicly stated that registration does
not prove quality. The next step is championships don't guarantee quality.
But shows are a business. The aim of that business is to get champions.
Champions give you a name and also the "right" to breed because to have a
champion. Breed clubs recognize dogs and bitches that produce the most
champions. Breeders get recognized as important members of the breed club
if they have a number of champions. And as you said, the only thing a
champion has is the points from enough judges. In my mind, the championship
alone does not make that dog breedable.

Dean Mair
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 "I have already as many things to do as my life and strength will cover".
             Winston Churchill