The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Simply Brilliant

Now here's a really, really good idea. Just the other day I was discussing with a friend how difficult it can be to get information about entering a dog trial. My friend was complaining that from the
USBCHA website, a person should be able to click on a particular trial, and be taken to site that gives all the information about that particular trial, and allows you to enter.

Well, here it is. is just that site. It is not, however, accessed from the USBCHA website, but is simply found on the web. It would be easy enough to make it available from the HA site. On the "Upcoming Trials" page, a promoter would simply put the URL in the contact information on that page for his or her trial. Once on the website, you just go to the "Select Trials" page and look for the dog trial you are interested in.

This is brilliant. In one place, you can confirm your entry, view running orders, add or change dogs, get directions and see who is judging. The services for promoters are comprehensive as well, such as generating and printing running orders and the necessary forms for reporting to the USBCHA. I love this site!

Our sport, and our dogs are changing. As more and more people come to the working Border Collie without any background or knowledge of their history, or appreciation for the culture and century's old heritage, we are losing vital elements that cannot be replaced. It's like trying to become a novelist without any knowledge or understanding of the literary masters. You may be able to write, but you will never be a writer.

The uninitiated, and/or selfish and greedy are breeding for color, physical traits, and attributes that have nothing to do with the ability to do what Border Collies were bred to do. These folks will change our dogs for the worse, irrevocably over time. The hill shepherds who made our dogs what they are, selectively bred only for the ability to work, and along with that came extreme intelligence, stamina, and total commitment to the job at hand. The working Border Collie is revered among livestock producers, and completely unique among all other dogs as a result of those elements.

Beyond medical innovation, I unfortunately don't see many recent changes that truly benefits our dogs or our sport. is an exception. Artificial insemination opens up a Pandora's box of potential disaster. DNA testing and gene identification is a double-edged sword. We may be able to eliminte disease to some extent, but at what cost? How much talent will be forever lost in the process? And at the intersection of popularity and growth, we had to choose between insular protection, and bigger money. We may have chosen the wrong road, because bigger isn't always better.

I can see that will be a good thang for dog trial producers and participants. Finally something has come along that I can really get behind, sink my teeth into, and support without reservation. Ain't the Internet grand?

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