If you troll the internet on agility blogs and websites (I do, I admit it) you see there’s some scuttlebutt of wanting an ‘ABBC’ class- that is, Anything But Border Collies (in the UK, this is the ABC or Anything But Collies) class. Some people think the Borders are just too good at what they do (they ARE wonderful dogs!) and others believe that if they win, well, they deserved to. They must have been better trained, or just faster dogs in general!
What’s your opinion on an ABBC class? Would you compete in it? We seem to have a richly diverse membership here- I know of at least two Springers, a Cane Corso, a lab, a Dane Mix, several corgis… But what do you think? If it was offered, would you want it?
I had a border collie that I started in agility at age 9 1/2, and I wasn’t so young myself. Did we do great just because she was a border collie? Not hardly. If I were to start with a young BC, would I do better–maybe, but maybe not. It depends on the dog and the trainer, and the combination. Let them compete anywhere and inspire me.
Would I enter a non-BC class? Probably. But I wouldn’t condone the creation of one. I don’t like any class that would be exclusionary of a particular dog (one reason that I really like the new changes to the AKC mixed breed program). I admire all those BC handlers – training and owning a BC has its own unique set of challenges. It’s takes work to have a good BC. But just like any dog, it takes even more work to be great.
We run USDAA with our German Shepherd/Boxer rescue, and its not uncommon for us to be in a class where the BC’s outnumber the non-BC’s 10:1. I like to think that competing against their high level of competition and drive makes us better ourselves.
@Terry – I enjoy reading Steve Schwartz’s Agility Nerd blog (agilitynerd.com/blog). He gives some great exercises, maps, and analyses courses in detail.
I agree that the BCs are very good at their job! I love to see them work. That being said I don’t mind competing in the same class with a BC & we have pinned over a few but, if a class were to be offered that excluded the BC my mixed breed and I would be up to try our hand at that division. By the way she is a very soft tempered Norwiegan Elkhound / Border Collie Cross…….. Jan
Well, I’m for everyone competing — but ince the classes are buy ‘heights’ no everyone competes with Border Collies. It doesn’t bother us because we have a corgi and a Scottie, as they are both to small to have to compete with Border Collies, so I maybe prejudiced as to why it doesn’t bother me.
Also, in AKC there is Novice A and Novice B, and as there have been only two Novice A’s in the corgi’s jump height, then when he’s the one who qualifies, then not only have we gotten the qualifying ribbon, but a big blue First Place rosette!
And do you want to tell me where to find the other agility blogs?
Sure I’ll tell you where to find other fun blogs! My personal favorites are Team Small Dog (that one is FUN!), Susan Garrett’s Dog Agility Blog (good training tips and reinforcement tips) and Bud Houston’s blog is good, too! Just type those phrases into google and you should get what you’re looking for. 🙂