I could not disagree with the following statement more.
Let's dissect it: Scroll down.
"Obedience.....to us a working stock dog that is obedient and lacking a little on his natural ability is still valuable in comparison to a dog with tons of ability but lacks obedience. A dog that is biddable is one that can be trained to be obedient, we will cull unbiddable talented dogs from our breeding program before we cull biddable lacking talent dogs."
1) "Obedience - to us a w s d (shortened for brevity) that is obedient and lacking a little on his natural ability, is still valuable in comparison to a dog with tons of ability but lacks obedience"
To me, the MOST important thing in a sheepdog (or stockdog, call it what you will) is a dog's inborn ability. You simply cannot teach a dog to gather in other than arenas, if he isn't born with it. You can train some of the gather/fetch, but by GOD you are not going to be able to send a dog lacking this ability a mile away and have them do it, unless, you have an atv, and a really REALLY long line. An obedient dog will wait for the specific command, and will carry it out with some aplomb. A dog with "tons of ability" will not NEED that command.
2) "A dog that is biddable is one that can be trained to be obedient, we will cull unbiddable talented dogs from our breeding program before we cull biddable lacking talent dogs."
To be accurate, a biddable dog is one that WANTS, yens, if you will to do your bidding- what you ask. It's quite nice in shedding work- you need that dog to come in here, and now. But, biddability will not get you far in a blind out run. The dog will go out only as far as he can hear you, and wait for your next command- all the while, the sheep have exited stage left. GONE.
The last sentence is scary. SCARY. "We will cull unbiddable talented dogs from our breeding program before we cull biddable lacking talent dogs". Translation: we prefer dogs who couldn't figure out how to fetch sheep out of sight, but we can direct the entire way, over dogs who can be sent on their own, but may need some work on widening out, or stopping. HOW THE HECK can you justify trading innate top ability for obedience (which, by the way, any working breed, just about, can give you.) Why bother with a Border Collie? Why not just bring out a wee Sheltie out there, put field trial (retrieving) whistles on it, and work that way.
It GALLS me that people have such LITTLE respect for the inborn ability of good sheepdogs- that they will happily trade that ability for a dog who listens better. What is this world coming to?
By the way, I am ALL for a biddable dog, but that comes in AFTER I know my dog has all the inborn sheepdog ability that they can muster. It isn't about me directing every single move- it's about the dog being able to work independently, doing what it is that makes them special, in addition to listening to me on a dime.