Dear AKC: I will be adopting a Rough Collie and planned on neutering him. I am now debating it and wanted to know what AKC events we can do with a neutered dog. Conformation? Obedience? AKC Rally? Junior Handling? Herding? Thanks for your help. -- Enhancing Exhibitor Experiences
Dear Enhancing: Congratulations on getting your new dog! Rough Collies are so beautiful and very intelligent so you will have lots of fun getting involved in any of the AKC events you mention, especially Herding.
When selecting which events to participate in there are a few questions that have to be determined first. Is your new dog AKC-registrable? Do you have AKC papers for him? If so, then you can participate in all of the above-mentioned sports. If you plan on having him neutered then you can still participate in Obedience, Rally, Junior Handling and Herding. Also, if for some reason you don't have AKC papers for him and you do plan on neutering him you can still participate in all but the Conformation events via the PAL (Purebred Alternative Listing) program. Another great resource to find out what fun things you can do with your is the Collie Parent Club Web site
Start with Training
You didn't say whether you were getting a puppy or adult dog but the best place to start is to find a local club near you and start with obedience classes to learn the basics, which will give you a great foundation for a multitude of sports. Many clubs offer Rally classes as well to help you get started in this exciting sport that really enhances the bond between you and your dog. In addition, there are dozens of Herding clubs listed across the country that can help you get involved in herding tests and trials. Whatever event you decide to do with your new pet it's a great way to enhance your bond with him.