Posted : 3/6/2009 11:57:03 PM
Shippo is so gorgeous. It is kind of too bad about the fluffies, but I really respect them for resisting the urge for "more fur, down to the floor." It's true about the Huskies - and there's a practical reason - it's dangerous in snowy working environments to have a lot of dangly hair.
In Border Collies, the show people justify all the drippy coat by saying they are dogs bred to work in the harsh cold environment of the Borders. Um, well, the people who actually work there prefer smooth coats or very moderate coats because snow balls up in dangly hair, ice gets between toes and can actually tear up skin or even break bones in the feet while the dog is running around. The hair gets matted in the belly hair and rapidly starts cooling the dog down, leading to frostbite and hypothermia.
The Corgis come from Spitzy herding stock and probably one of the attractive things about the breed was the short but dense coat. Welsh winters in the hills can be very harsh, too. Once upon a time, Shetland herding dogs had the same short dense coat, apparently, judging from old pictures, but the "fluffy" variety submerged the old style once the breed was pretty much 100% pettified.
Once thing about fluffies - once you select the rough coat over the husky type coat, you can't go back - ie, if you breed two fluffy dogs together all the puppies will be fluffy. The husky coats (and smooth coats) will be gone from the line forever. Smooth coats are dominant, but that means that the long coats have two genes - so if you combine that with another dog with two fluffy genes, there's only fluffy genes to pass on.
Border Collies in Australia eliminated the smooth coat within a few generations of deciding that only rough coats would be allowed. The big problem with that is that they seem to have isolated some pretty mean mutations by doing this - among them a deadly disorder which ONLY show Border Collies has.
Plus, the working style changed really quickly from lots of keenness and slinky crouching, to very upright and collie-like la-la working. You never know what you are bumping out of the gene pool or fixing INTO the gene pool, when you select an arbitrary RECESSIVE characteristic to be the standard. That's why the working Border Collie people have always been so dead set against any type of showing.