When is a sheepdog not a sheepdog?

Yes, I agree this is a nonsensical statement but even the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) do not have a definition. The nearest I could find on their website is: ‘an ISDS Border Collie has no breed standard’. By implication, therefore, we assume a sheepdog and a Border Collie are the same thing and exclude other breeds! Hypothetically, if I had a Kelpie under two years of age I could NOT register this dog with the ISDS as a sheepdog. My Kelpie could, however, compete in anything up to Open level without the need for registration. Upon attaining the age of two years my dog may seek ‘Registration on Merit’ either via ‘competition success’ or a ‘working test’ in order to compete at National or International level. BUT (and I quote) “only if it looks like a Border Collie”. Does a Kelpie or an Aussie (and all the other herding breeds – the list is endless) look like a BC? It’s all subjective. The aficionados of these breeds would, I’m sure, agree to disagree!

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