Border Collie - specific questions

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by JacksonsMom, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I know there's been lots of other threads on BC's but... I want to know more.

    I know I go through my phases and a second dog won't be for at least 1-2 more years and my biggest debate right now is between another small dog or a larger dog. I've pretty much decided anything bigger than, like, 40-50lbs is out. So, for my "bigger" dog, ideally... 25-35lbs would be PERFECT.

    I've always been intrigued by BC's but lately am feeling like it could really be a possibility, however I still want to be around more in person.

    1. How are BC's with smaller dogs, in your experiences? Jackson is 16lbs, so not "tiny" but still small. He has no DA/DR and is pretty much chill with almost every dog he meets and highly enjoys playing with other dogs. Running/chase is probably his favorite game.

    2. With a BC, is it really as important to give sooo much exercise as people say, or is just dependent on each dog?
    - Exercise isn't a problem for me at all. Jackson needs a lot so I am used to the kind of dog who... when you walk in from being gone for a few hours, you can't just come and lay on the couch. He NEEDS some exercise or stimulation. He's a fairly needy dog in general but on the flip side, right now it's 11:09am and he's still passed out next to be on the couch and has been sleeping all morning. But if I were to get up right now and jump in the pool, he would follow me in or if I were going for a 5 mile walk, he'd be up for it. I'd also probably dabble in agility (but no desire to really compete) and do frisbee at home and trick training.

    3. I want a dog who is reliable with children and other dogs - would it be better to get a young BC puppy or get a bit older one who you may already know it's personality better? Or would it be better to raise them from the start around lots of dogs, kids, etc? I like doing "doggy things" with my dog(s) - going to dog events in the area, dog park, bringing them with me on vacation and travels, etc.

    4. Breeders - can anyone recommend breeders around my area (Maryland). I'd be willing to ship or travel if needed, but I think it'd be nice to have a breeder close by so I could meet/interact with dogs. Also, differences between show lines, working lines, etc? I'm really not interested in having a "show" BC, but I also don't want a dog who is just "omg-never-stop" bred for sports or whatever either. I just want a nice active pet. But I'm really oblivious to the different lines, etc.

    5. Random, but I really like prick-eared BC's. Can you tell if a puppy is going to have pricked ears, by it's parents, or is it a guessing game? Is there anything breeders do to make puppies ears stand (like, I know in yorkies, they tape the ears?) or not really?

    6. Coat... smooth or rough... and everything in between? What do you think is the easiest to take care of... does one shed less than the other? How often do you brush a BC and how often do they shed in general?

    Oh and PICTURES... I know there's soooo many different colors and variations but these are my current ones:

    Chocolate!
    I love this:
    [​IMG]

    Is this red merle or chocolate merle?
    [​IMG]
    ^I also love the coat of this dog... I see some BC's who look REALLY thick, but this looks so thin yet soft and silky. I think with being so specific in my wants, I'm probably looking at getting a young adult.

    But thoughts, pictures, anything would be helpful. :)
     
  2. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    Obviously you've seen a million pictures of Rory, but here's another one:

    [​IMG]
    20120218-DSC_5899 by Chihuahuaesque, on Flickr

    I like the look of him. He's small framed, weighs 35lbs, red and white, with prick ears :)

    ETA: I made this thread a while back, and it may be of interest to you!

    http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148786&highlight=border+collie
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  3. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Rory's awesome. I love his size, easy to pick up if need be.

    I really have nothing else to add :p
     
  4. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    I didn't know you were in Maryland! I was looking into a Border Collie about 2-4 years ago when I was still using dogs on my livestock (I've since switched over to a fourwheeler), and I do have a list of local breeders that I can send you if you like. I had three or four picked out: two were exclusively working dogs but the third bred showier animals.

    MABCR also does some SUPER rescues if you are looking for an adult (and, IMO, your preferences indicate that you will probably be happiest going this route). I have competed with some of their dogs and as a matter of fact I borrowed a pair once to clear geese off the runways last summer. =) The staff there is also super knowledgeable/helpful/just awesome.
     
  5. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    My BC is no bueno with other dogs, but I know a LOT of BC owners who have both BCs and a smaller breed like Papillons or small terriers, and they have wonderfully happy, harmonious households.

    No, it's really not bad with an adult BC. A young dog or puppy is going to be a bit more stressful at first while they learn the house rules and learn to hone their off switch.

    Teach a very good, solid recall and take the dog somewhere to swim or play fetch with a chuckit. Lately Eve has been getting a couple miles of walking and a lot of running/swimming because I've been on an exercise plan, but it can be a bit much for her and some days she'd rather not exercise at all.

    I'd recommend an older dog, a lot of times working breeders will keep puppies and train them on livestock. The price goes up, but they can definitely tell you a lot about the dog, their training, their health and their temperament. Rescue is an option too, though IMO it can be a bit of a crap shoot, just as puppies can.

    My dog was perfect with other dogs as a youngster. At about 12 months she started to get a bit less tolerant of BS, and by 2 years of age she pretty much decided she didn't enjoy other dogs at all. You ALWAYS run the risk of getting a dog who won't like other dogs when you get a young dog.

    I don't have a breeder recommendation. I've found that my working line dog is actually less "go go go" than the BCs my parents have, which are from mixed show/sport lines. I strongly prefer working line dogs for a myriad of reasons, but everyone has different needs and tolerance levels for certain types of behavior.

    It's a guessing game. Most BCs have relatively erect ears but not all are full-on pricked ears. Unless the breeder is a show breeder, they leave the ears alone entirely and let them do what they want. Show breeders tend to glue down the ear tips so the dog has mostly erect, but slightly tipped collie ears.

    Smooths shed more individual hairs, roughs shed in small clumps. Smooth hairs scatter all over and rough hairs tend to congregate in corners and make dog fur tumbleweeds. You have major variations in coat density/length within the rough variety. Border collies, with the exception of the very heavily coated show dogs, are extremely wash and wear. Very, very little grooming required.

    The second dog is a red merle. I didn't know that there was much differentiating between "chocolate" BCs and "red" BCs. Brown color is red in border collies, unless it's a dilute like lilac. There are also extremely light blonde border collies, I'm not sure what they're called.

    That dog that you referenced with the coat type you like, is quite possibly a young dog too. Eve had a perfectly straight, thinner, shorter coat when she was under 2 years old. Once she aged, her coat got full of cowlicks and it got longer and thicker, but by no means did it become higher maintainance. Rough coated BCs get a little wispier in the hair department as they age.
     
  6. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Jessie - can you just clone Rory and send him to me? Kthx. ;)

    LOL - I seriously love him. If I could find a dog like him, I'd be on it in a heartbeat. I think I'd prefer that age (5 months) too. I would love to find a "puppy" but not like teeny tiny either, I think.

    And houlahoops: I'd love for you to PM me any suggestions for breeders you may have.
     
  7. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Just for the end point: both dogs you posted are what BC people call "red" which is Bb..also called red in Dobermans, Chocolate in Labd, Liver in Flat-coats, etc. I've never heard it called chocolate in BCs but it's the same gene and in same ways calling it that would be less confusing since "red" can also refer to a clear sable (like my Kim) or an ee red/yellow dog (like Irish setters, golden retrievers, yellow Labs or FCRs, etc). All three "reds" are seen in BCs (though the Bb version seen in your pics is by far the most common red so far as I know)
     
  8. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    We have two Cardigan Corgis, females, that rule the roost here. Including our BC pup - he's only 6.5 months old so I probably am not much help but will give you what I've got. We have all herding breeds and they all play chase and take turns fairly well. Eden is 20 lbs and can definitely hold her own. All the BCs on my flyball team are at least dog tolerant if not outright social.

    Finn does better with mental stimulation but gets a fair shot of exercise too of course (with 5, soon to be 6 dogs, we do a lot of exercising!). I think he's "normal" if not lower end for energy and he's working line and LOVES to run. He just does not compare to the handful that is my GSD when he is bored. Regardless, I say dependent on each dog for every breed.

    PLUS, I 100% believe that you should teach the puppy to be calm (or crate it) quite a lot when it's young so it doesn't think and become conditioned to a TON of constant exercise/stimulation. I have observed several new owners to "working line" bred dogs (not just BCs) that were obsessive about what they did with the dogs when they were pups and that resulted in adults that were demanding and *needed* that ongoing attention. My dogs are crated and let out on a rotating/you matured/earned it basis. So, when Kastle was young, he got a lot less time than he gets now and now he knows how to lay down and chew on a bone. Same for Finn, he's pretty chill in the house these days. We went through a rough month or so where he was wild but that was during teething.

    Finn is SUPER social and sweet and absolutely wonderful with adults/children/other dogs. His parents were too. He's a doll when he wants to be and LOVES to be snuggled/loved on/pet and doesn't care who/what/age of the petter LOL

    We got Finn at 10 weeks and his ears were already up. Perhaps look for pups that have smaller-ish ears or a tad older if that's important. Our breeder could care less about the ears and lets them do what they will. Finn's Dad has rose ears, Mom has prick. All puppies got prick ears in this litter. I've seen show line people glue the tips down inside so they get that really cute little flip at the top but I doubt that helps them stand.

    Finn is medium coated right now. He seems to shed more than the GSDs and slightly less than the Corgis right now. He did just blow his puppy coat and it was in clumps, not singular hairs.

    Happy to oblige! Finn is a red/white and I LOVE his coat - soft and silky and just the right length!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    His color looks better in the sun...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    When we got him...
    [​IMG]
    Then his ears did this for awhile LOL
    [​IMG]
     
  9. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    With my Corgi:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    ^ Thank you all answering!

    OMG why have I never seen Finn?!?! Again, can I clone him!? hahah. He's super adorable. I agree, I loooveee his coat. How much does he weigh? He sounds/looks like a very fun guy with a great personality.
     
  11. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Tahnk you! Like I said, clueless about colors/breeding/etc lol.
     
  12. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    Finn is actually Jason's pup, he never posts pics! LOL He is pretty awesome, I am quite fond of him :) He is 26-27 lbs right now I think. We think he'll top out around 30-35 lbs. He's small.
     
  13. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Bandit is fine with laziness and fine with lots of activity. He is great with kids, cats and other dogs though large, obnoxious males are not his prefered playmates. He sheds like a lot though and has a very thick coat.

    There is so much variation in this breed it's pretty easy to find what you want in terms of energy level, shedding and looks. You do have to accept they are quirky though. :p
     
  14. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Awww, well I just love him. What a perfect size too.

    Hey, I am used to quirky - Jackson is certainly a quirky little dude at times.

    Thank you guys!
     
  15. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    Just offering my three cents, I had a BC for three years. They're beautiful, possibly one of the most intelligent breeds out there and the fur really isn't as high maintenence as it looks.

    On the downside the intelligence can work against you, have those yummy electric wires taped UNDER the rug out of her reach? A BC will find them, all of them. Ten foot cyclone fence...with one little bitty defect at ground level, maybe a 8 inch gap...behind a bush...she will be through that hole and out faster than you can blink.

    I would say the exercise is a must, can be broken up through the day but BC's aren't ideal for long periods in small apartments-we tried. Like any dog they will find ways to amuse themselves if they're bored. In a highly intelligent breed that can lead to some really creative house redecorating. They make absolutely PERFECT running partners though.
     
  16. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    My BC did fine in an apartment on the 14th floor. He also does not get into anything except REALLY tasty garbage when he hasn't been fed. He's no dummy nor is he really lazy. He just has an amazing off switch and from what I've heard from a lot of people he isn't an abnormal find in the breed either. Maybe not as common as a more high needs one but not a once in a blue moon find ei ther.
     
  17. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    In summary... I highly recommend buying a puppy from a SUPERB breeder and meet the parents BEFORE you pay a deposit or sign anything. Spend as much time with the parents as you possibly can! Because they are a good reflection of the energy level, drive and personality your puppy will have. For me, it'd be very important that the parents lived in the home, so that the breeder has dogs that you can live with who have a good off-switch and good manners. If either of the parents are annoying psychos, your puppy will probably be one too. When me and my friend went to see a litter of red BC puppies, we only got to meet the Mom and she was caraaayzayyy! Super hyper, annoyingly submissive and creepy, jumping on everyone and barking. I would not have taken one of her puppies. And my friend took the most squirmy, high energy puppy to top it off! She turned out to be one of the most irritating, unstable, neurotic, hyper dogs I've ever met. I remember meeting Gonzo's dad (he was a breeder re-home, he got seized from his original buyer) and he was chill but he was also very old. I didn't get to meet his Mom and that should have thrown up red flags for me. But, he was neglected/abused in his first home anyway so that changes things a lot.

    If you want a dog who is friendly and stable with kids and dogs, I recommend either getting a puppy from GREAT parents, who you see interacting with children and small dogs (preferably Jackson) or an adult rescue who is in a foster home, like 1 1/2 years or more so their personality is known.

    Generally, I feel like BCs are the best with small dogs, of any type of dog. Most BCs I know are grumpy with rude, large dogs and at least ok with medium and small dogs. Literally every single BC at the pet hotel (this is based on hundreds of dogs) had to be in either small or medium dog group, never large dog group! Very few of them had to be individuals, and we never had an issue with them bullying or herding even tiny 1 lb dogs. A lot of BCs do not like children so it's important to get a 8-12 week old puppy from friendly, confident, easy going parents & socialize the heck out of him or an adult rescue who has been thoroughly tested with children.
     
  18. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Bandit is like that. His favorite playmates are small dogs because he does not like obnoxious rough ouse and he has realized even if they are the most annoying little twerps they can't hurt him.
     
  19. Biannaret

    Biannaret New Member

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    I am new,predisposition you a advantageous date!
     
  20. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    Rory always gravitates towards the small dogs as well! I think bigger dogs intimidate him. He's so gentle with small dogs.
     

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