Border Collie - specific questions

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

  1. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    A lot of the answers I have can only really relate to Quinn, I don't have a lot of experience with BC's in person but I'll add my .2c.

    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.
    Well Quinn is pretty timid of all dogs, even half size yorkies. She can play rough but I think thats mostly because she's been raised in a house of rough playing.


    2. With a BC, is it really as important to give sooo much exercise as people say, or is just dependent on each dog?
    Quinn does need SOMETHING everyday. But I've been short on time the last week, combine that with her being on heat and the coldest, wettest most miserable weather I have seen in years and she hasn't got out much in the last few days. She's a bit more hyper but okay, today all she got was a 15 minute run/play in the paddocks but she's now settled and asleep at my feet.
    A few days in the row without getting a good solid run and something for her head and she's a pain in the butt, jumping all over the cat, snarking the other dogs or obsessing about the horses through the fence. Her offswitch didn't really develop till she was about 14 months old


    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.
    I think this is up to you. Quinn is very timid in nature so she doesn't really interact with other people or dogs much but despite this, she's still easy to take to crowded areas.

    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.
    Can't help you with sepcific breeders but as for different lines. I will always go for either working, sport or a good mix of the two. I have no interest in confo BC's. They're structure and overall look doesn't appeal to me and IMO, they are missing the vital edge that defines BC's.

    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?
    SMOOTH, SMOOTH, SMOOTH!!! I used to want a medium rough coat but since Quinn I amm so in love with smoothies. Its so easy care, the mud just falls off her, she doesn't really smell, she sheds moderatley but nothing extreme and I don't think I've ever brushed her.

    They are such a winning breed to me. But I think the two things thats stand out to me after owning one that I didn't relise before I got Quinn.

    A. They are crazy smart and quick. I know this is a given but I always tell people "I was expecting a full on dog and she still surprised me" I think working with Quinn may have helped me train better more than anything else I've done. She needs clear direction. She doesn't generalise well, she's very black and white which can be a blessing and a curse. My mum struggles with her a bit because of how respnsive she can be - but you can use it to your advantage once you get used to it. She's so in tune with me I'm still getting used to it.

    B. BC's quirkyness. I didn't hear much about this till I already had Quinn but now I hear about it and I relise all the things I thought were behavioral issues starting are just her odd bits and I LOVE it. Quinn is on the timid side of what I think a good BC should be but she still has some little quirks that crack me up.
    For example - opening the fridge the other day, we had a bunch of beetroots on the bottom shelf that Quinn just flat out didn't trust. Even after getting a good look at them, every time I opened the fridge for the rest of the day she came over to keep an eye on them with me.
    She doesn't like the car, for no particular reason, she's improved but only begrudgingly gets in now.
    She doesn't like harnesses, she acts like they feel disgusting.
    She is DR in one particuar town and I don't know why. Its a town 100km away, we go there every week for herding. At the herding facility she's fine with all the dogs but if she see's a dog if we go into town she barks and grumbles at them. Its the only place I've seen her like this and it seems to be all types of dogs (from rotties to kelpies to a little maltese last week)

    I can't talk BC's up enough though. They are just these incredible dogs - intense, driven, trainable and super responsive.
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Ayumi literally vibrates with energy. I am positive it varies from line to line, breeder to breeder, dog to dog. Just... be aware. LOL She can even drive me, a malinois owner, nuts sometimes. I love her so much but ahhhhh she's hilariously intense and busy, never into anything she shouldn't be but always buzzing in your face going, "omg omg omg lets do this (anything)".

    Picture!
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    I heart her. She and Backup have a love/hate/obsession relationship which helps my entertainment infatuation with her. LOL
     
  3. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Thank you so much for all of this! To be honest, most of the things I am reading about BC's reminds me a lot of Jackson - right down to the quirkiness, the being REALLY in tune with me, incredibly smart and picking up on the smallest things.

    My dad is always amazed by him because where most dogs will forget something and not worry about it again, Jackson ALWAYS remembers. If something bad happened to him in a kitchen, he will remember and be more cautious in kitchens. He's not usually full out scared but he's VERY aware of his surroundings and he remembers *everything*. And the smallest most odd things can put him in the weirdest mood. Sometimes I won't know what it is and why he's acting a little strange and extra cautious and then something will pop out at me and be like "ohhhh! That's the problem!"

    Examples: My mom has set off the smoke alarm twice now while cooking (we had something wrong with our oven for a while). So now generally while she's cooking, he exercises caution and stays far away. But only when SHE'S cooking. But he also dislikes smoke in general now, so he won't go very close to a fire (we had a firepit at my dads house the other day and he just stayed far away). But the fact that he still remembers it, and relates the smoke to the event of the loud noise occurring. He had no issue being around a firepit or a campfire until my mom set off the smoke alarm.

    So yeah as smart as he is can sometimes be a fault of his too because he freakin' remembers EVERYTHING. Luckily he loves food sooo much that I can typically de-sensitize him fairly quickly.

    I also can't even have a phone conversation without him listening. He knows certain phrases and words and names, so if I am on the phone and say "oh, dad's coming home?" he jumps up and rushes to the door looking for him... LOL. It's kind of ridiculous.
     
  4. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    Good point, I forgot about the off switch. Ferdie would be spinning till we got in the house then Boooommmmp, on the floor, lights out, just like that
     
  5. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    And because you always say you want a Finn... *blush*

    [​IMG]

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    Why I call them buttwings:
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    Gets along with all dogs - especially pit bulls. They're his fave.
    [​IMG]

    And he is the king of silly faces. He makes me laugh on a daily basis.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    Over here we call the "yellow" BC's Red (not wheaten or caramel like I see advertised everywhere) and the ones like the dog in the OP is called chocoate.
    /and thats the extent of my knowledge of coat colour and genetics.
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    From when I used to go to the dog park there were several BCs that would only go on the small dog side because they were too timid for the large dogs. Then there were others (like Erin's Jude) that really really really wanted to go play with the big dogs. Jude got along okay with my two but was a little overexcitable and my guys were grumps. I'd expect some work integrating any dogs with much of a size difference.

    I'm around BCs a lot and they vary a lot. Jude is really an old soul, wonderful dog with a great easygoing personality. I've unfortunately met quite a few from one of the local breeders that have been aggressive and I this breeder is known for it from the people I've talked to (as well as epilepsy from what I've heard). I definitely think moreso than most breeds it's a breeder beware kind of thing. I'm still trying to figure out what lines and what type of breeder I want. There's a lot of not so great ones out there.
     
  8. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    Erm, here is my parent's current dog Will (b&w rough coat BC). He's a classy ranch dog. :D
    [​IMG]

    He's a super chill dude. He loves everyone and is super mellow with all other dogs. He was very very patient with the little asshole in the foreground. Whom I'm still convinced is a BC/toy breed mix and not an actual Mini Aussie, but whatevs we call him a mini Aussie. Anywho, Will is a big softie and while he's a great dog to have around he isn't necesarily what I'd look for in a BC.

    He runs away if a ewe challenges him... and no way he'll ever work the cows. He's supposedly very nicely bred, I've never looked at his pet and am not sure where in the house it is. He adores children, as have every BC I've known... and I've known... oh geeze twenty or thirty through my life so far?? And thats just family/friends.... even my aunt's real not social dog Roy that she used to have, he was an awesome tri color BC and missing some teeth from workin' cattle, was my pal and he was not at all a social butterfly.
    Anywho back on Will, I guess he was raised as a child's 4H project, then sold to a man with a bunch of BC's who had intentions of trialing him. He never did, probably because of how soft Will is... So being a kennel dog his first four years he had to learn how to play with Lily (I actually got her before they got him) and is fully enjoying being a real dog now. It was kinda sad that he didn't know how to play.

    He's not a very good sheepdog, but he does a lot for mental/emotional support for my stepdad even with being an outdoor dog. He obsessively chases the 4wheeler because my stepdad sucks as a dog handler and we all know what BC's do without a proper outlet. He runs a lot every day... I'm not sure how much really, but its significant. He still doesn't have the endurance the girls have, but then they were bred for endurance running and not short bursts like a BC.

    I'm only there part of the time and I'm his fav person aside from my stepdad. If *heaven forbid* anything happened to my stepdad I would probably take him. When we go hiking he sticks right by me while the girls run like idiots. Sometimes he goes and runs/plays with them, but mostly he just wants to stick by me. Love him, he is so super sweet. :)

    He's 45lbs and has beautiful typey confo. He's naturally very muscular and very lean. He eats a couple lbs of raw and a giant bowl of shitty kibble every day. So he is not thrifty at all, lol. He's beautiful, I'd love to see what he could look like on full pmr and an actually groomed coat. I was pretty pissed they got another rough coat... I've always been the only one who brushes any of the dogs. So yeah, I take Will to the groomer once or twice a year. My mom will give me a check for it, but its just sad that I have to actually do it or it doesn't happen. Makes me grumpy.

    Growing up, had a different male rough coat BC. Also b&w, but had freckles on his legs. He was 50lbs at his ideal weight. Sorry, I don't have any pics of him digitized... they are all old school.
    Buddy we got from a ranch, so obviously he was out of two working cattle dogs. If I ever go obtain a BC of my own I hope it is a fraction of the dog he was. He was balls to the wall in everything he did, f'ing amazing dog. Pretty sure he is why I would have a real hard time living with a lazy pet dog.

    We lived in a cabin bordering BLM, so when the range cows started coming down Buddy would go out and push them down the road past our place (we're talking dirt road, not even gravel lol), he chaperoned my little bro and I when we played around out in the pasture and put up with me primping him and "training" him... his best tricks were sitting in a lawn chair, running up the slide on our playset to hang with me, and being a good sport about the jumps I set up for him. Our lawn was tiny, but Bud and I would chase each other in circles around it for HOURS on end. He'd pull our sled down the hill until it passed him and then he'd chew on our snowpants as we flew down the hill lol.
    He hated other dogs, though eventually learned to live with a spayed heeler bitch. He was best buds with my horse, my pack of cats, and even my bunny. It was so cute when he and my arab Smokey would play. He was awesome with all people, very social despite never really being socialized so to speak. Only ever alerted on one person in his life and was very protective of us kids. If he hadn't been a solely outdoor dog, that babysitter that was mean to us wouldn't have gotten away with what she did...
    He even fricking went bear hunting with my dad. Most awesome BC ever.


    Thinking about what he could have been if I got him now as an adult... **** that dog had a lot of wasted potential. But he had a good, insane life. He didn't slow down the crack head energy until he was like 11 or 12... and even then he'd still run with the 4 wheeler to go change water and stuff. He lived to be like 14 and even then died not because of age but because **** happens in ranch life. Not fair and I'm still unhappy about it. I miss my boy!
     
  9. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Eh, I don't really agree. I neither met Blaze's dam or his sire beforehand and....well, he turned out fine. Hearing accomplishments, others opinions, breeder's experience, previous puppy-buyers opinions, etc was enough. But really, that's each person's choice. I felt confident enough to take that leap, and it was great. I know many who have done the same.



    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.

    Blaze generally ignores smaller dogs. He prefers those his size. We spent the weekend with a terrier mix dog (think Yorkie/Mini Schnauzer) and the dog was very bouncy, happy type dog. Blaze ignored her after the initial greeting. The dog would do play bows, happy barks, fun growls, and Blaze would simply sit on the high bed curled up by my feet and ignore her, lol.


    2. With a BC, is it really as important to give sooo much exercise as people say, or is just dependent on each dog?

    Yes, they do need exercise. Hence, we went for a 3 mile walk one night this week - Blaze slept till 9 the next morning without waking me up. We didnt go on a walk the next night - he woke me up at 7:30. Like others have said, it's balance. Yes, they need exercise AND mental exercise, but they also need to be taught to relax.

    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.

    Either. Get a puppy and socialize like crazy at the events you will be around alot. Or get an adult who you know has a stellar temperament and will handle the events you attend well. I say you could go both ways.


    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.

    I can't say I've been around many show or sport bred, but of the few I have, I'd go sport before I even thought about show, IF working wasn't available. My first choice would be working, all the ones I've met have stellar temperaments, nice drive, off switches. Of the few I think might be sport bred (just because of the shear size of the BC) they don't seem that bad, but it's really all depending on breeder. You can get some really wacky dogs with sport breeding sometimes. I don't find my working bred dog to have any less drive than the sport collies he's been around at DD trials. They all have about the same, lol!


    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?

    You can tape if you want. Like any other breed. I've never seen it done in the breed, personally. :p Blaze's dam's side had prick. Sire had half up. Blaze has prick, most of the time. Since about 3/4ish, they've been standing up most of the time.

    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?

    Well, I've pretty biased. Smooth junkie! :p Such an EASY coat! Herm...brush maybe twice a year? If he ever gets brushed, it would be after a bath when he's very fluffy. Smooth still sheds, though.
     
  10. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    On the subject of hair care... Bandit is so wash and wear. While his collie pants WILL matt he literally just needs a comb through every now and again. This dog can get COVERED head to toe in mud and by the end of the car ride home be try and not dirty. He is very practical in the kind of waether I live in. Rainy, wet, muddy, sometimes snowy, not obnoxiously hot in the summer. He fits the seaons so well here.
     

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