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Old 11-20-2012, 03:14 PM
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Sekah Sekah is offline
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Default English Shepherds vs BCs/Aussies

I've been musing on a few forums about a possible future sport dog, and I had someone suggest an English Shepherd to me. I know very little about the breed, so I'm looking for a bit more information.

Basically what I'm looking for is an agility/obedience/flyball/performance dog. I'm a herding dog nerd, and have been toying with whether I want another Aussie, a BC, a Koolie or something a bit different like a Mali, Terv or GSD. Cohen has opened so many doors for me. I love her versatility, her work ethic and her desire to please. What I want is a relatively high drive dog who is snappy in everything that it does. Basically I want a more intense dog.

But I also love Cohen's self control. She's able to work around other dogs in high distraction/energy situations. She's mildly reactive, but it's a non-issue while working. She's cautious/anxious around other dogs, but confident/indifferent around people.

I think a Border Collie will end up being the next dog for me. I like their drive and the sharpness of their responses. I should be able to find a dog from a line with minimal reactivity issues if I look.

How do English Shepherds compare? I always thought of them as similar in temperament and drive to Aussies. Most Aussies I meet are too soft and slow for my liking. I think I lucked out with Cohen, as she has a much better work ethic than many I've seen, especially when contrasted to her decent self control. I really want something similar to her, but just a little "more" I guess.

Thanks guys!

E: I also wanted to add that I prefer my dog to be stuck to my side like glue. More independent dogs are a bit of a turn off.

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Last edited by Sekah; 11-20-2012 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:06 AM
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If you want something high drive with lightning fast responses, an English Shepherd probably wouldn't be your best bet. Quinn is higher drive than most, very fast and responsive with an amazing work ethic, but she is very much a thinking dog and this is very typical of the breed. They will think about what you've told them and process it - similar to a GSD. They are willing and aim to please but will not always follow blindly
- they will question you if they don't understand the purpose of a drill or get bored with it.

I'm on my phone so I can't write a novel, but there have been at least 2-3 threads in the past comparing ESs, BCs, and Aussies. My first instinct is that a BC would be a better fit I'd hate for anyone to be unhappy with a sport prospect - there is a lot of variety in the ES breed, I've come to realize that I'll have a hard time finding a male as intense and drivey as Quinn.

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Old 11-24-2012, 07:28 AM
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I'm going to agree with Sit Stay here. If you want something more drivey than your Aussie I would think a Border would be more up your alley

What I want is a relatively high drive dog who is snappy in everything that it does. Basically I want a more intense dog.
I wanted the exact opposite, which is why I went with an ES, lol. Well maybe not the exact opposite, but I find Borders too intense for my liking so I looked at the more mellow & general farm dog type breeds.

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Old 11-24-2012, 11:35 AM
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BC sounds like a great option.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:10 PM
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There is also the cattle dog... My breed. I'm also on my phone & outside T work right now so my cold fingers won't allow for much typing lol but you can google them for info if your like.

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Old 11-30-2012, 05:24 PM
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I think you could also find what you wanted in a working style aussie too if you wanted to stay with aussies.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:35 PM
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What venues do you want to compete in? Unless you tried to pen an ES as a BC you couldn't do CKC rally and obedience and Koolies likely couldn't pen as any recognized breed. So it's something to consider. I know Ontario has much more option wise for obedience than Alberta but still keep it in mind.

Otherwise I'm a sucker for a good border collie. Love them and the way they work.


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Old 11-30-2012, 05:38 PM
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I'd definitely go with a BC. I've noticed the same thing with Aussies - I love them to pieces, just not drivey enough for me.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:40 PM
SaraB SaraB is offline
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I know several working aussies that are right up there with the intensity of working bred border collies.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:48 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
I know several working aussies that are right up there with the intensity of working bred border collies.
Me too.

Heck, I know some really nice show bred Aussies too. I was admiring two of them last night.
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