Border Collie, but not.

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Locke, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Locke

    Locke Active Member

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    Is there a breed of dog that has the natural athleticism of a border collie, without the herder brain?

    I don't have much experience with herders, other than one sheltie/BC mix I dogsit, but from what I've seen and heard, I do not like the herding instinct and the somewhat neurotic behaviours that can be associated with it.

    I'm thinking miniature poodle, but was wondering if there are other breeds out there to consider?

    In all honesty, I will probably find just what I'm looking for in rescue somewhere, but until the perfect dog pops up, I would like to do some other breed research.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    If all you would like is the athletics of a Border, then I would dare say many breeds fit that requirement! :)

    I mean, goodness, I go to a dock diving trial and I see many, many Lab/Chessie breeds that are incredibly athletic and look like a ton of fun.

    IMO, if you condition the dog throughout his entire life to be the athletic sort, the dog will be. :)
     
  3. Locke

    Locke Active Member

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    Oh right, I guess I should clarify what I'm looking for in terms of "natural athleticism". What draws me to the border collie is their light weight frame and size, lessening the impact on their joints. I love the border collie jumping ability as well. I'm an ultimate frisbee player and I'm interested in trying my hand at disc dog stuff, so I really want a dog that can "fly" for a disc. Most of the disc dogs I've seen are BCs or BC mixes, or other herders and they truly excel at the sport.

    I guess I'm looking for a light framed dog that is under 35lbs that is NOT a herder.
     
  4. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Though not the easiest dogs to train Whippets come to mind for disc - Ashley Whippet specifically. ;)
     
  5. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    I'd say there are lots of dogs that meet that criteria! A well-bred, well put together APBT can be under 35 lbs and incredibly athletic. We'll see how he develops, but my mom's field-bred Cocker is shaping up to be quite the jumper even as a pup, and he'll finish around 30 lbs.

    We also have an Am. Eskie at work... I know they had a rep for bad temperament, but this girl is sweet as can be, drivey, and WOW is she on springs. And she's itty bitty, only 20 lbs I think.

    Also, some of the terriers, if you're up for it. JRTs are madmen, in general, and very athletic.
     
  6. Locke

    Locke Active Member

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    I was thinking about whippets as I LOVE them, but worry about the off leash deal. There were two frisbee whippets I used to see at the dog park, but they had to be in a fenced area. I want a reliable off leash dog.

    APBT would be great, but I live in Ontario where they're banned. I will definitely look into field cockers further. I did a preliminary web search after I saw your thread about your family's new puppy, but didn't find much in my area. Thanks for the suggestion. I love spaniels.

    I'm not a fan of eskies, too much fur.

    I thought about terriers, but again, the off leash issues make me nervous.
     
  7. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    Our Dalmatian growing up had very similar energy to most BCs I've met. They weigh more than 35lbs, though.
     
  8. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    Have you thought about doing a rescue? You could probably find a bc or bc mix without the herder mentality.
     
  9. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Just gonna point out that Dekka's whippets and JRTs are all farm dogs and reliable off leash, so I wouldn't discount a whippet or terrier for not off-leash reliable
     
  10. Locke

    Locke Active Member

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    I was thinking about Dals too, but I think they need more than I can give them. This is also what worries me about field bred spaniels. I'm a complete newbie when it comes to dog sports, and I feel I might be in over my head with Dals and other breeds with strong working drive. I want an active dog, but I'm also not interested in competitive level sports at all.

    Yes, rescue is my first choice. I'm on the look out for the "ideal" dog, because I know he/she (preferably he) is out there. I just need to get a house first, which is proving...challenging, to say the least.


    I'm not discounting them entirely, just a concern I have, especially living in an urban area.
     
  11. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I think that is really the way to go for what you want, and I wouldn't discount a herding dog mix. Gusto is half-BC, 25 lbs, crazy athletic, light framed, good off-leash, and easy to train. While he's an incredibly high energy dog and does need a lot of mental stimulation, he has none of the stereotypical BC obsessions.

    If you want to stay away from hounds, terriers, and herding dogs, and want to stay under 35 lbs...that's pretty limiting for a high-energy frisbee dog. I'd keep an eye on rescue sites, and if there is a good herding dog specific rescue in your region, maybe even get in touch with them. They likely get a lot of calls on herding mixes as well, and can keep an eye out for you.
     
  12. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Some of it depends on what your offleash needs are. If it's for disc dog, just about any dog who's into the disc game is probably going to be ok off leash because they will be otherwise engaged. If your interest is a dog that you can turn loose in the woods and hike with for hours, that often takes more training especially with active non-herders. If you want a dog who will hang out in his yard loose with excellent reliability, that takes the right dog, tons and tons of training and there is always some degree of risk involved.

    A good read about sighthounds and being off leash (it's about Greys but can apply to a Whippet): http://neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.com/2010/04/off-leash.html

    A Brittany would pretty much fit everything you want. BC sized, extremely athletic, drivey, trainable, etc. Just how althletic? This is the one I know lure coursing :) http://youtu.be/lpqlyLsjhZQ They can be a bit tricky off leash too. Not because they run away but because they are bred to "run big" when they hunt, meaning they work really far from their handler. They can definitely be trained to stay closer/learn a reliable recall but it can take a lot of work.

    Mini Poodles can be nice dogs too! I'm not sure about their potential in disc dog but I imagine if they are interested in retrieving, they would like it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I'd vote for a Poodle. They're super springy, maneuverable. They can jump like nobody's business and they're super brainy, quick learners and excellent at obedience. Great retrievers/hunting dogs. That's what I'm going for I think, if I ever get another dog. At least that's what I've been thinking for some time now.
     
  14. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Vizsla/Pointer type maybe?
     
  15. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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  16. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    I second the idea of looking for a border collie/herding dog mix. Charlie is what I expect to be a possible Border Collie x JRT, and has the energy of the BC, but without the neuroticness you can see in some. We're actually plan on starting some disc dog stuff fairly soon.

    I see you've mentioned terrier and miniature poodles as possible dogs. While the schnauzers have excellent recalls, learn quickly, and have the drive.. they are not really the "airborne" type (this may not be true for all terriers though). Lincoln, my miniature poodle, the same thing could be said, and while very springy I could see him doing disc dog, but not what I would go for if you were looking for something very competitive.
     
  17. Locke

    Locke Active Member

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    Thanks for all the insight.

    I am not interested in competitive level sports at all. Perhaps I'll get sucked in once I start, but I'm really not a competitive person.

    In terms of off-leash needs, I mostly want a dog that I can trust to take on off leash walks in parks and ravines. Most of these areas where I live are partially fenced, so if my dog were to take off after a critter, they could easily find themselves on a busy road in no time flat. I understand that regardless of training and breed, there is always some risk involved, but I'd rather put the odds in my favour and avoid a dog that is bred for critter chasing.

    I think I'll stay with the rescue route and stay open minded about BC mixes. I might just foster for a while until the right dog finds me.
     

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