Friday, October 05, 2007

I heart Terrierman

If you've never checked out the blog Terrierman's Daily Dose, today is a perfect time to dive in. No matter that you don't own a terrier--Terrierman (aka Patrick Burns) is a fan of all working dogs. Today's post is called Border Collie Owners Battle What Doesn't Work, and it's about the struggle of working border collie enthusiasts against the ruination of theor working breed by the AKC (and kennel clubs in general). It also serves as a review of a new book on that topic: The Dog Wars: How the Border Collie Battled the American Kennel Club by Donald McCaig.

If you have a little time, you should check out the entirety of Terrierman's writings on the AKC. I think he he's got the raw materials there for a book that's sorely needed.


Elayne said...

There's also an extensive discussion of the book and the issues involved over here (and no gruesome pictures of dead animals on the sidebar):
I felt like I should have gotten credit for a college course or something though there was so much reading.

Lisa B. said...

I've discovered that gruesome dead animals come with the territory when you own a terrier (or in my case, terrier mix.)

Lisa B. said...

As for the Border Wars bit, I'm still waiting for my copy so I can't evaluate the guy's arguments vs. what McCaig says. My first impression is that he's really defensive--McCaig really seems to have struck a raw nerve. Patrick Burns answers him a little bit in a leter post: (and they have a little exchange in the comments as well).

For me, the main point of the disagreement between working and conformation breeders really comes down to this: Is breeding dogs for looks (i.e. conformation) actually "bettering" them? Does making certain dogs all look as much alike as possible really make them somehow superior? I remain unconvinced that it does anything but harm. I would rather see people breeding mixes like border/jacks or border/staffies for flyball than to see someone breeding a dog with the right "ear set" for the show ring.