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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLatte View Post
    Fourmares, I would love to get into Agility but with my schedule this guy's going to be super busy! He'll be my ride-along companion, learn to work stock, and once he's leash trained will be my jogging buddy as well

    I just talked to his owner again today, he is up-to-date on all vaccinations and has been on heartworm medication throughout his life. She's going to send me all of his paperwork and such, so it sounds like we're covered! Eek, I'm so excited
    Don't put your heart on any dog "learning to work stock".

    There are many border collies that flunk herding class.
    A dog either has it or is a pain in the behind stock chaser, you can't teach herding, it is instinctive, you only direct it.

    If you wanted a herding dog, something you didn't mention before, you should have gone to a herding dog breeder and trainer with a good record of winning and knowing what he is breeding for.
    We trained border collies to work cattle and for herding cattle trials and some turned on as young puppies, others not until they were past a year old and some never.
    You can't train when the good herding instinct is not there.

    Just take him for what he is, as I am sure you will do.



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2008
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    3,234

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    Our barn BC is wonderful. He tries to be such a champion herder, but the horses just ignore him. He's brilliant with tricks and super well-behaved. However, he just might be the dumbest horse dog that I've ever encountered. He'll go out with us on trails and will get so intent on sniffing things along the way, that he will stop dead right in front of the moving horses. He'll walk under/through their legs. Or just expect that they will find a way around him. You would think he would have learned after the first time he got stepped on, but he's now 12ish and clueless. Personality-wise, he may be the best dog that I've ever dealt with. On a sad note, earlier this month he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and we are now working to keep him comfortable. But this is rare in BCs so hopefully you won't have to deal with anything like this.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    485

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    The family that I stay with over the summers usually takes their dogs to some herding clinics so I figure I'll bring him along. No big deal if he absolutely flunks at it, just something fun to work at

    Jen-S, I've known a couple like that! Good dogs, just lacking a little upstairs. Gotta love them for what they are I'm sorry to hear about your guy, it sounds like he's had a great life though. I sure hope this guy continues to be healthy for years to come. He's only three, so I'm crossing my fingers!
    "...through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
    Fanning the hairs, who wave like feathered wings." William Shakespeare



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    I wanted to add that a good working herding dog is basically a header, that is a dog that will go around the stock, find a balance point and lift, that is take control and drive them back to you, moving back and forth as the point of balance changes with the movements of the dog, handler and stock.

    That instinct is what you work with so the dog learns to guide the stock in the direction you want it to go.
    Once the dog is very steady at balancing and letting you direct it, you then proceed to teach the driving away from you and later yet to cross drive and that is hard for a true herding dog to understand.

    People call dogs chasing stock heelers, but they are not really herding, just chasing.
    The australian blue and red heelers are very good heading dogs, just so forcefull that they also are better at driving than regular border collies and so they were called heelers.
    Not because that was the way they herded, as they herded like any good herding dog, but because they also were good at the harder driving.

    Many dogs have inherited a little bit of the good, true herding instinct, but of course a border collie has been bred to be the best at it and they are, as there are rarely other breeds that can compete against them and do well.

    Most people don't realize that and get mad at their dog when it runs around the stock and tries to herd them from the other side of the person and back to the person.
    They think a herding dog should be driving the stock, but if so, we would not need herding dogs, as we can do that fine ourselves, thank you.

    The trick when herding is to take control of the herd and direct them where we want them to go, as gently and easily as we can manage.

    If anyone wants to learn to herd, it would be immensely interesting to take a few herding lessons with some local border collie trainer that is competing and knows their stuff.

    Also, most good herding trainers will tell you never to let any dog work horses, because a horse or dog can get injured so easily by it.
    We had trials where we worked dogs from horseback, but we worked cattle, never horses.
    Local border collie breeders won't sell a dog to someone that won't promise not to let the dog work horses, as they have known too many dogs to lose eyes or even get killed doing that.

    There are also other kinds of herding, like mostly GSD boundary work, but most true, useful herding is understood to be the dog handling the stock as a group and directing it where we want it to go.

    Just a heads up on herding dogs, since this came up.



  5. #25
    WildAboutHorses Guest

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    If this is your first real dog, and it's a border collie, please join this Border Collie group on Yahoo - bc-l@yahoogroups.com. Wonderful people who can see you through the unique joys and challenges a Border Collie can bring. Congratulations on your new family member!

    Chris



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2006
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    1,886

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    IMany dogs have inherited a little bit of the good, true herding instinct, but of course a border collie has been bred to be the best at it and they are, as there are rarely other breeds that can compete against them and do well.
    Hey Bluey-
    In New England we have Border collie herding trials, and then herding trials - the BC jus have so much more of a work at a distance that the other breeds don't have a chance.

    I have a Texas heeler (Blue heeler, Aussie mix) she was the product of a little inter-ranch mingling in the White Mountains of AZ, but I have since learned that the cross is a pretty desirable herding dog because they get the bulldog intensity of an ACD- but the Aussie takes the edge off the personality. She is an amazing dog, and I never started her on livestock because I did not want her to start working horses- but I have not doubt she would have been excellent. I saw the herding instinct click in her brain when I took her to the beach- watching the waves- all of the sudden she took off at 30 MPH chasing the waves and then turned and faced the water with this intense star and barked- just like the heelers do to cattle. It was fascinating to watch- and the look on her face afterward was amazing. She felt complete.

    I love herding dogs, they are definitely the type of dog for me. I am not sure I am ready for Border collie yet- mainly because it would be an agility dog-and they are just so darn quick and smart- I am not sure I am skilled enough to handle a BC...someday though!



  7. #27
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2004
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    4,305

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    Sweet Latte, I am very happy for you, and I don't want to be a wet blanket on your excitement, but if you live in an apartment, do you have a big area for your new Border Collie to play and exercise?

    I only ask because I ran a co-op boarding barn with a woman who had a Border Collie. He was the smartest, most wonderful dog but as I got to know him, I understood what she meant when she told me they are dogs that need a job and something to occupy their mind. A young, energetic Border Collie might not do well in an apartment all day if you work full time and he is alone. I would also urge you to ask hard questions, because my sister took in a dog from hurricane Katrina off the internet. He was supposed to be a soft coated wheaton terrier but when he arrived he was actually a Wolfehound cross, huge, aggressive and very emotionally damaged. She has done wonders with him, but they still do not trust him around children.

    Please do not think I am being critical of your choice. It's great that you are kind enough to give this dog another chance if he needs a home. It's just that I loved my friend's dog and saw firsthand just how much energy and intelligence he had, and that seems to be a breed characteristic.

    Best of luck to you with your decision.



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by gloriginger View Post
    Hey Bluey-
    In New England we have Border collie herding trials, and then herding trials - the BC jus have so much more of a work at a distance that the other breeds don't have a chance.

    I have a Texas heeler (Blue heeler, Aussie mix) she was the product of a little inter-ranch mingling in the White Mountains of AZ, but I have since learned that the cross is a pretty desirable herding dog because they get the bulldog intensity of an ACD- but the Aussie takes the edge off the personality. She is an amazing dog, and I never started her on livestock because I did not want her to start working horses- but I have not doubt she would have been excellent. I saw the herding instinct click in her brain when I took her to the beach- watching the waves- all of the sudden she took off at 30 MPH chasing the waves and then turned and faced the water with this intense star and barked- just like the heelers do to cattle. It was fascinating to watch- and the look on her face afterward was amazing. She felt complete.

    I love herding dogs, they are definitely the type of dog for me. I am not sure I am ready for Border collie yet- mainly because it would be an agility dog-and they are just so darn quick and smart- I am not sure I am skilled enough to handle a BC...someday though!
    I had a border collie that, when herding instinct kicked on at 5 1/2 months, she started chasing dust puffs.
    If the wind was not blowing much, she would run and make some and then chase them.
    It became an obsession practically the first time she found that game, would not let anyone catch her, took us hours to stop her and when we did, she was spaced out, her legs going and going and still staring at the dirt road she had been running in, paws bloody.

    She spent the rest of the time on leash, as she would do the same, looking for now imaginary puffs of smoke, running back and forth in a 50' track any time we let her loose, in the fenced yard.

    She never could be trained for herding, but is making a great agility dog, has several titles and when she is right on course, she always wins, has the fastest time.

    When in her kennel, she still stares and runs back and forth for long time, but it is harmless and not enough to medicate her for it.
    Her sister is a top herding dog, winning her share of herding trails and is not goofy at all.

    Border collies are so intense that sometimes, if you cross two of those super intense dogs, you get some puppies that are a little goofy with OCD problems.

    Border collies as puppies are not for the novice dog owner, because you don't know what you have until they are mature and some can be a handful in so many ways.

    Good luck with your dog and remember, our dogs tend to be what we make of who they are.



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