Thoughts on Border Collie breeders in/near Ontario?

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by Sekah, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    several
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Home Page:
    The dog world is a small one for sure! I have seen that dog's RC videos, just never put it together that he was a BC x Beardie and not a Beardie LOL

    I like the idea of the working Beardies a lot. Scruffy BCs have always appealed to me (my understanding is this sometimes happens in them) but Beardies have always been a bit too... "cheerleader-y" for me to want to live with. Have loved some of the ones I've known but they're very different from the herders I have had.
     
  2. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    Bumping this thread 'cause I figured this might be as good a place to ask as any.

    Those of you who have experience with sporter collies, how well do you find that they settle indoors? I think that's my primary concern. I'm leaning towards a sporter collie (despite the working BC enthusiasts insisting I'm the devil for doing so) but I really really really need a level headed dog who can settle and doesn't fly off the handle when excited.

    I'm still really divided on which group of dogs is likely to best meet my needs. I have more experience with sporters, and am a bit intimidated by the working collies, but don't know either on a personal, non-working basis.
     
  3. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    9,419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
    I think you'll find that is a line by line thing. I'm not her, but I want to say Elegy's Bean settles a lot better than Steve does/did. Or at least, he learned to settle earlier.

    And I'm pretty sure Lizmos Blaze, who's working line, settles quite well also.
     
  4. PawsibleDogs

    PawsibleDogs Crazy Dog Nerd

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    4
    Location:
    Indiana
    Home Page:
    Having a show/sport bred BC myself, I can tell you if I have another BC it'll be rescue or probably working bred (though I have been really impressed with what I've seen of Rival dogs, so I can't say I wouldn't consider them). My girl struggles with overstimulation/overarousal/lack of self preservation and we're on a bit of an agility hiatus because of it. She isn't the only one in her litter to struggle with those things either.
     
  5. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    17,300
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    AL
    Don't be. :) What do you find intimidating about them? Maybe I could ease that worry if I know what you find intimidating about them.

    Blaze (working) does have a great off-switch, something I find vitally important in these dogs. Trust me, no one wants a dog that is barking mad while in the kennel and another dog is out working.

    Here's a IRL example:
    I leave for school about 7:30 each morning. Blaze is left kenneled while I'm gone. I return at 12:00ish. I let him out, he's bouncy and happy. We go leashed outside for a couple minutes. I come back in, find some lunch and then sit down to eat lunch for 45ish minutes. All the while, after being kenneled all morning sleeping, he's sacked out at my feet or quietly messing with a chew.

    But when at about 1-2ish when we get ready to go to the park, he's rearing to go run.

    For me, this is a good off-switch. Part of having a good off-switch is them knowing when to use it.
     
  6. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Oh hey there! :D
     
  7. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    Here are a few things I find intimidating/worrying about them:

    - In "herd mode" all the time. I see one BC in my neighbourhood stalking down the street in a perpetual, well, stalk every time I see him. He's so intense and turned on that he's always a stresscase. Some of this is probably a training issue, but...

    - The culture. The working BC enthusiasts I'm meeting (via the interwebs) are all pretty hardcore into herding culture, the preservation of the breed, and all pretty dismissive of sporter collie breeders & their dogs. My dog will likely never work sheep and may never even see one. Do I want to get a dog bred for work when it will never have the opportunity to do so?

    - The dog's ability to cope. I'm getting mixed messages with the temperament of working BCs vs sport. I'm worried I'll end up getting a highly independent dog who has a hard time recovering from stressful events or coping with life in the city. I hear conflicting reports of the rate of dog reactivity/aggression in working vs. sport lines.

    Does that make sense? I think it'll really boil down to the lines of the dog I get though as there's going to be good and bad breeders/lines on either side of the split.
     
  8. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    17,300
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    AL
    Yes, this makes sense. :) These are all valid concerns for someone new to the breed. Here's my response:


    To the first question concerning, "herd mode." This takes knowing the breed, meeting dogs. To the newb eye, Blaze comes off this same way. He walks with tail down, ears back, head low (but no sniffing) and in a way that looks "stalkerish." It's just the way he walks, he's always walked like this. Many, even dogs I've seen at agility (I don't know the breeding, but I'm assuming there is a good mix of lines at these events) walk similar to this, unless actively engaged with their handler. I think it's more a breed thing.

    When he's infront of me walking, this is my view of him:

    [​IMG]


    That 'herding' instinct is what they are naturally prone to do - that's the breed. Where that changes is what you teach them is acceptable to use that instinct on.

    We can go from walking like that, to a nice heel that looks like this with a simple word or two. [​IMG]


    I think it really boils down to training. Training is key, and I think with whatever type/line/whatever you decide to go with, you'll be fine.


    Okay, I have to run, but I'll be back to address the last two tonight!!
     
  9. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,761
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Not enough.
    Location:
    Wales
    Having grown up with collies, I'm so happy I didn't have the Internet then. Honestly, sometimes I think knowledge is power, sometimes I think it inhibits things.

    All the collies I've known, and that's a fair few, have actually made amazing house dogs. Theyre not some alien breed that needs something a different breed needs.


    I'm saying this as someone who recently bought a show line gun dog, and thinks, actually... Meh, could have gone working line.


    It's all in your head.
     
  10. Oko

    Oko Silence, peasants.

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, cats, dogs, oh my!
    Location:
    MA, USA
    As for wanting to herd things all the time/being aloof, I don't have a BC but I can say that when I went to a USBCHA sheepdog trial, the moment the open class dogs (the novice dogs were sometimes naughty) were told 'That'll Do', they were done with the sheep. They'd go over to the water tank and lie down, and watch the next dog make their outrun and work the sheep, while being inside the fenced area, and not even bat an eye.

    There were also quite a few off-leash with their owners while waiting to run, and they just stuck by them and chilled, or snuggled for petting. A couple people had them on their laps. This was a fair as well as a trial, so it was quite busy and loud. Not at all what I would have expected. I'd say it's definitely in the right person raising the dog the right way.

    As for the culture, I have to say the people off the internet seem much more chill about the entire thing. To be clear, as far as I can tell no one on that BC forum wants people not to have them as pets, just not bred as pets. I have received a warm welcome from both breeders I emailed, even though I don't want a stockdog, or to do any specific dog sports.
     
  11. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    I have no problem with head low by any means. My Aussie is pretty low when she's not actively working. But there's a distinct difference when a dog is relaxed and when it's in a state of high arousal. Again, this poor dog walks around with the whites of its eyes showing, panting heavily, and hunched over like it's focusing on a herd of sheep. It seems like his herding instinct is very strong, and his ability to cope with the excitement of the outdoors is low. This is just a one-off example of course, and not a particularly good one, but it's something that I always think of when think of untapped arousal.
     
  12. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Honestly, I don't have a BC but I know dogs that do that. There is one BC I know that is like this every time I see him.

    I think in his case, it's fear and poor structure. The dog is really oddly put together which appears to make him very crouchy all the time. He doesn't move so well either. Very roached topline too. And whites of the eyes/panting sounds like a fear/anxiety thing to me. Most BCs I meet are not like that.
     
  13. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    6,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Professional Illustrator
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Home Page:
    ^ this. Really, while they do have some quirky behaviours, so do most breeds. It's nothing over-the-top. I think a lot of border collie people get very snobby about their own breed, and make them seem like a huge chore when really, they don't have to be.

    My active companion Border Collie lives in the middle of the city. I take him on errands. He hangs out at my store sometimes. He walks down bustling sidewalks and has been to a few major, loud city events. He takes pretty much all of it in stride. And he's working line.
     
  14. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    17,300
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    AL
    I love your whole post, but especially the bolded part. True, you'll run into a few people who are exactly like they are on the internet forums. But for the most part, people could really care less when actually working with you and your dog.



    Second concern. Like stated above, don't let that be a worry. Honestly and truly, please don't. If you keep digging, searching for the right person, you'll find your niche. After seeing the 'nasty' that each side can get into, and owning the breed myself, being scared away from the breed because of all the chatter that goes on really isn't worth it. The dogs are too good. You can stay away from the drama, excel with your dog, and have a blast without getting involved with the drama. And there are many people out there who stay out of the debates and such.

    On the topic of having a breed bred for sheep but the dog never seeing them, my position is this, and it might not be 100% correct, but after owning the breed and seeing different dogs I feel I can form an opinion on the subject. The dog will not know what it's missing. I don't for a second believe Blaze wakes each morning hoping to see sheep. He's hoping to have a good time with me. If that involves sheep, he's pretty happy. But if that involves a long walk at the park with a ball or frisbee fun, he's pretty happy, too. In short, don't let this subject be a deciding factor, or even a factor at all. :)

    Third concern. I can't speak for the reactivity of working vs. sporting, as I've not dealt with enough dogs to know, but I personally have not met many working bred reactive dogs. And here's why. People who are working their dogs (and agility people are probably the same way if I had to guess) don't care a bit about having their dog meet another dog. They sit by the owner while waiting for their turn to work. They don't let their dog run up to other dogs to meet, they control them, even if two people are talking and they both have dogs the dogs never touch/meet.

    In my experience, most of the dogs can be in close quarters with other dogs and not mind a bit. Would they get along for playing purposes? I can't say one way or the other, because it's not something that is encouraged. But do keep in mind most of these dogs live with a high number of other dogs. Just something to keep in mind.

    With regard to the coping abilities, these dogs are not independent. In other words, they are, but they aren't. They should be able to think for themselves and be level headed in situations, yet remember you are part of the process too. These dogs love to be around their people. Like I said above, I think training plays a big role here. If you find the dog is having a hard time recovering from situations, help teach them the appropriate way to respond. Or, if the dog offers an appropriate response to a situation, reward that. They remember. Life in the city doesn't have to be hard, and many adapt with ease. My Border Collie recently moved to an apartment near a university. He used to live in a quiet neighborhood with a huge backyard that he could use whenever he wanted. He's taken this change with relative ease. We go to a big park each day. We have lots of road noise now. Lots of speedy cars. New doggie neighbors. He's handled the situation with much ease. Yes, we've had a couple hiccups, but we work through them and he's that much better for taking the time to show him the right way to respond. I hope that makes sense.

    Oh, okay, I wasn't sure if maybe it was just his 'normal', much like Blaze's. But yeah, I agree, sounds like a dog who needs to be taught how to relax. I'd chalk this up to a training issue, really. And if you get a pup and instill a proper foundation (just as you've done with your Aussie) I don't see it being an issue for a future dog.
     

Share This Page