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Poll: How protective is your border collie?


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It's wonderful and flattering to think about our dogs protecting us when we're in trouble but, the truth is--as much as we'd like to believe otherwise, most dogs don't really have great instincts about who is a friend or who is a foe. So, while you'd like to think your dog will attack the bad guy who lays hands on you, the fact is, that dog is just as likely to go after the old friend who meets you at the park and hugs you. I've got two bc's now--one that would drop a tennis ball for the attacker to throw, and one that I have no doubt would take a chunk out of an attacker's leg. Sadly, she also tried to take a chunk out of the UPS man's leg and the old guy who was delivering phone books. He looked particularly suspicious to her. Statistically, the good people we come into contact with outnumber the bad guys by about 5,000 to 1. So today I'm more than happy to have the golden retriever-type bc. My little protector is the one that I've got to watch like a hawk or its lawsuit city. Be happy with your friendly dogs. Also, count the number of fear-biters on the border collie boards. That's a particularly unattractive trait in any dog, and seems to run rampant in border collies.

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I do jiu-jitsu and often have people over to practice with. So Lance is used to seeing me wrestling around with people and I dont know if he would know the difference if it was a real serious fight. Now if someone was going to attack me with a weapon I think I'd rather Lance not get involved, but I dont know what he would do.

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Ummm... Once Shelby Wicket and I wer walking, and then this guy jumped outta the bush's and went ... RAWR!!

 

I know I have a dog that would bite in a heart beat if that happened to us. Even if it was someone she knew. I don't think that's a good idea for someone that you know to do that. Maybe ok if no dogs are around but I sure would hate to see what might have happened if one of your dogs took it for a threat and acted in a defensive manner.

I'm glad they didn't.

kristen

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Guest Rockie's mum

Rocky does a very good show of ferocious barking, very deep and fierce, as in when the postman walks up the path to maybe frighten him away but when the mail lands on the floor he jumps back with fright. So really its all show with Rocky and he's really quite timid.

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Statistically, the good people we come into contact with outnumber the bad guys by about 5,000 to 1. So today I'm more than happy to have the golden retriever-type bc. My little protector is the one that I've got to watch like a hawk or its lawsuit city. Be happy with your friendly dogs.

 

I was thinking along the same lines. I feel just having a dog who will kick up a fuss is one of the best things you can have to prevent break-ins. And often just having a dog with you will deter a lot of jerks who might hassle you otherwise. I know for a fact my sheltie would make a lot of noise as she ran for cover and left me on my own to fend off a bad guy :rolleyes: . I'm positive the Lhasa would make noise and do his most to help me -- tripping an attacker would probably be his best chance for success :D Not sure what Quinn would do. I'd like to think my happy go lucky boy would be irritated to see me in trouble and step in to help, but again just having him with me makes me feel safer. Plus I'll be thrilled to never need to find out what he'd do if I got in a jam.

 

And you're right. The Lhasa who I know would jump to my defense is the one I need to watch carefully around others. With Quinn my only concern is that he not jump on them. One of the many things I love about him is how friendly he is.

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Guest LJS1993
I do jiu-jitsu and often have people over to practice with. So Lance is used to seeing me wrestling around with people and I dont know if he would know the difference if it was a real serious fight. Now if someone was going to attack me with a weapon I think I'd rather Lance not get involved, but I dont know what he would do.

 

 

Hey you do jiu-jitsu too!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am a blue belt under Royce Gracie!!!!!!!!!! I used to have people come over to my place also to train. Cool, very cool.

With that said I'm shocked lately about how protective Freckles is getting lately. Today one of our ranch hands was coming up to me while I was getting her out of the kennel when she became agitated. Her hairs on her neck stood up and she began barking at him. I don't know if I like it very much, but at the same time we want her protecting the ranch.

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I am glad you started this thread. I have wondered how other BCs were as far as being protective. Ruger is very protective of the yard. It has been a while since he ran towards any of the neighbors but I got him stopped on a dime both times. When dogs wander into the yard there is a 50/50 chance that he is going to run them off. Cats are 100%. I put him in the house the other day when a neighbor's Rottweiler started coming towards the yard. Ugly things started going through my mind.

 

About 4 weeks ago I had a roofer come over for an estimate. He was sitting in his truck when I came home. I pulled my truck into the back just about the same time my wife let the dogs out. The roofer was sitting in his truck when I walked up to it. Ruger got up on the passenger side of the truck and I thought he was just gleefully watching the guy. I pulled Ruger off the truck because I didn't want him to scratch it. The roofer got out of his truck and walked around it. As soon as his foot hit our grass Ruger went ballastic. I stuck a leg out and got him stopped.

 

Ruger also starts giving off warning signals when someone is following behind us on our walks. He is not interested in kids playing, bike riders, or cars but don't follow behind him.

 

Last year I passed a guy walking a beautiful split face BC. I stopped to talk to him and his dog went nuts. I had no doubt what would have happened if he had let go of that leash.

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If someone were seriously threatening me, I think Speedy would give it all he has. I think Sammie would attempt to protect me, as well.

 

Maddie would likely turn tail and run and Dean would probably think it was all a game.

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Missy is the dog I'd feel safe with out walking at night. She is not a fear biter, but I'm pretty sure she'd bite a threatening person if I told her to using a grip command. She is alert to noises in the night, and gives off a hushed "woof" if she hears something that's not right. She has a bark that I call her GSD impersonation. If one of my brothers (who are in their late teens and early 20's) decides to pick on me all I have to do is call her and say "watch him" and she runs up and stares at him.

 

Kipp would run and hide. He's a timid fellow.

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Dakota would lay down his life to protect me. He will (and has) step up to the plate if something's not right. He's very friendly and downright affectionate with people and playful with other dogs, but he'll do a 180 if they threaten me. If I need to be anywhere at night, I'm inclined to bring Dakota along. I trust him to watch out for me.

 

Eve has a great deal of faith in the goodness of people. They couldn't possibly do anything wrong! She likes everyone no matter what, and at this age (except ceiling fans and rolled up rugs - y'know, the TRULY menacing things in this world), I'm the one protecting her. I actually hope she keeps her sweet, trusting (if a bit naive) puppy temperament.

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Oh, don't get me wrong -- people who think they want a protective dog rarely understand what a responsibility having one is. I also don't think that being guardy or protective is a normal personality trait for Border Collies. Aussies, yes (one of the reasons I prefer Border Collies) but Border Collies no. Just having a dog at all is protection enough against pretty much anyone, and if a person wants a dog specifically for the purpose of personal protection there are a number of breeds that are more appropriate for the task than Border Collies.

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I don`t think my 3; gentle, happy and companionable working-dogs are 'protective' in the personal guarding sense, they do (collectively) 'alarm-bark' if they`re in the house when the mail delivery vehicle arrives, but not if they`re out side.

 

But, I guess (just as for humans) dogs may have differing facets of personality and behaviour for differing circumstances: my elder bitch "Tegwen", `loving and kindly sweetie that she is, is utterly transformed when "on-duty" about the farm, into the brave, confident and able shepherd/cattle herd; facing-off unflinchingly to huge 1 ton bulls (steers) and agressively-protective ewes with lambs at heel......I hope and pray I`ll never need my dogs to protect me from another human; but perhaps if a situation demanded it then they`d 'step up to the plate'. :rolleyes:

For sure, I would protect them without hesitation; should the situation be reversed :D

 

 

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I'm positive the Lhasa would make noise and do his most to help me -- tripping an attacker would probably be his best chance for success

 

No, no, no - the Lhasa would gnaw all the attacker's toes off, causing the attacker to fall over, whereupon the tiny terror could sink his little Lhasa fangs into the attacker's jugular. Happens all the time.

 

Oh, don't get me wrong -- people who think they want a protective dog rarely understand what a responsibility having one is. I also don't think that being guardy or protective is a normal personality trait for Border Collies. Aussies, yes (one of the reasons I prefer Border Collies) but Border Collies no. Just having a dog at all is protection enough against pretty much anyone, and if a person wants a dog specifically for the purpose of personal protection there are a number of breeds that are more appropriate for the task than Border Collies.

 

Could not agree more. I once had the ultimate in personal security when I lived with chows, but my heart was in my throat every time I went out the door with one. The BCs I've met seem to me to utterly lack any tendency towards guardiness, which isn't real suprising I guess since it's just not what they were bred to do. But the policeman I got Violet from told me just exactly what you said above - bad guys generally leave folks with any kind of dog alone and go pick an easier target.

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Pepper is always in protective mode, but don't make Popcorn mad. A drunk rushed him yelling and man he got mad! He took off, then turned back around and ran at him with a roar even though he was on a leash...

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People say they reckon Badger would protect me, I'm not so sure, yes he watches over me all day at work and it took him 3 years to stop giving my partner , Pete, the evil BC eye LOL. I am sure he would think it was all a game, he is such a gentle old boy. He can bark very viciously when the door bell goes then wags his tail like mad when it is opened.

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Great discussion topic. My bc mix is more protective than my other dog, and I've heard some dog folks in this area describe bc's as generally more serious in this arena than other typical sporting or pet breeds. Of the dogs/pets I've owned in the past, I've/we've had one black lab and one collie/samoyed mix who were both successful at cornering / biting trespassers. Both dogs were rescues--obtained the collie mix @ 1 yr; lab @ adult.

 

Other friends believe that their bc is particularly protective of their children--herds / keeps kids in the safe zones on the ranch.

 

I think folks generally make a distinction though between BC's and livestock guard dogs, like say the Tatra's which are seen in this area. (Look up "Moutain Man" on Flickr to see photos of these dogs amidst the flocks ....). Tatra's are also regarded as excellent family dogs I hear.

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Tweed would run as though his ass were on fire. He is too fearful and too submissive and too concerned about his own hide to worry about me. At the beach the other day he thought he heard something behind him (and there was NOTHING) and he leaped about three feet in the air. It's downright embarrassing.

 

I don't think Piper would do anything. She might bark or growl, but as she loves all people she meets I suspect she would just cower if she thought someone was being threatening. The only time I have heard her growl at a person is when I'm trying to clip her nails or pick her up, and then it's all aimed at me!

 

Woo would ask for a cookie, and if no cookies were forthcoming he would wander off.

 

I would like to say that Red Dog would protect me but I spent so many years teaching Red Dog that it was his job to listen to me that I think he wouldn't try anymore. RD used to bite people, so I have been very firm about the notion that it's not his place to make those decisions. On a couple of occasions where I have had heated exchanges with someone, he's stood back and waited for the outcome.

 

Having said that, he did run off someone who was following my dogwalker one time a few years ago and she thinks he saved her life. But that was also closer to the time when he behaved inappropriately around strangers so it may not have been what she thought.

 

I think having four dogs with me is deterrent enough, but I am not convinced that any of them would save me if I needed them to. Though Tweed might make a decent snack if I were starving :rolleyes:

 

RDM

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Guest LJS1993

Though I have replied already let me add this response. My last dog Shadow (RIP)(MAY PEACE BE UPON HER) was fiercely protective of the ranch and the family. She would bare her teeth and snarl at people who walked by her corral. I remember one time while walking on the ranch three invader dogs were in our orchard. They started barking and running towards Shadow and myself. Well she snarled, got in a crouch, and just bolted after them. Now keep in mind this was a BC that could jump over a six foot fence easily, so that gives you an ideas as to the type of athlete she was. I yelled for her to come back but she didn't listen, which I'm not sure was bad because I think they were aggressive. It was weird seeing three bigger dogs running away from her as fast as they could possibly run. There was no meet and greet, no fight, they just bolted with their tails between their legs. Shadow as a small Female BC, but man she might have been what you call, an "Alpha" female, because she was fearless. Then after they left our property, she just strolled back to me, hackles raised, fangs sticking out, and basically real proud of herself. Good memories indeed. :rolleyes:

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Milo hates conflict and I'm sure would not want any part of it. He would likely hide and wait for it to be over.

 

It's hard to say with Skittles, who has apparently recently re-grown his testicles. He's pretty submissive with people he knows, but a stranger might have to deal with some teeth in their hide. But only if Skittles felt threatened. I don't think Skittles would feel the need or desire to protect me, though.

 

Charlie is also very submissive with people but he has the ability to get aggressive (I've seen him do it with other dogs) and he really loves his Mom. So, he may just be willing to protect me, if he thought someone was hurting me. But, he'd be pretty scared and would probably rather that I protect him, if given the choice.

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Alex, absolutely, positively, no. Lilly and Jack, I'm not sure. They both talk a big game when a stranger (or the dreaded mail man) comes to the house, but then again, they also love people, and Jack can be submissive with strangers, so I kind of doubt it.

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I think he would throw me under the bus.

 

Buddy is scared of bikes. He controls it well now, and I have him do a down/stay off the path if I see one coming. But if he gets surprised, he still freaks out. Last fall, I was walking him in the woods, down a big hill. I turned around to see if anyone was coming up behind us, and realized there was a biker barreling down the hill. Buddy turned when I turned, saw the bike, and took off at his fastest run, plowing right into me and knocking me over. The biker stopped and was all concerned with my safety, but all that was left of Buddy was a blur and a cloud of dust running the other way. Some protector! :rolleyes:

 

To be fair, he did come back and stand and bark at the biker after he realized I wasn't with him.

 

Another time, my sister, sister-in-law, and our dogs were in the woods. The other two women and dogs came upon a yellow jacket's nest, and ran screaming away. Buddy and I were far enough that the bees weren't a threat, so I stayed put. Buddy was looking at me like I was CRAZY - like, "Those ladies are RUNNING AWAY! And you want me to STAND HERE!?"

 

On the other hand, Buddy's growl sounds like one coming from a German Shepherd, and he growls when he's scared... which is enough to scare off any potential attacker, even if I'm not sure Buddy would stick around to protect me when the rubber hit the road.

 

Mary

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