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First Border Collie

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Hey Everyone....I picked up my first BC this past Thursday. SHe is 9 weeks old and a bundle of energy. I currently have a golden retrierver, "belle" who I show in obedience...so far she has her UKC CD, UKC CDX, AKC canine good citenship, AKC CD, AKC CDX, and her thearapy dog liscence...We are ready to go into the utility ring this fall to work on our UD...She is 4 years old and I wanted another dog to work in obedience. A BC is about the only dog that has beaten belle in the show ring...so................ I have tess now. Do I work and train her the same way I did my Golden? Or is there anything different I should do with a BC? I plan on starting her in an puppy obedience class in a couple of weeks. I work with her now for 5 minutes at a time a few times each day on attention training. Help would be appreciated. Thanks so much. I look forward to learning much from this forum. Connie


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I think every dog is a little bit different from another. I am currently training my second Border Collie and I have had to adapt my training approach a lot because thier brains just work differently.


If you were doing agility, I could make some recommendations of "red flags" to watch out for with a young Border Collie, but I haven't done much obedience, so I'm not of much help in that regard.


I think you are going to find the differences between them more pronounced at home than you will in the training ring.

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I don't train in obedience anymore, but hundreds of years ago I did put several Utility/Tracking degrees and 1 OTCH on Border Collies.


Every dog is an individual, not one dog have I trained the same as the last. A lot of the foundation exercises were introduced the same, but each dog had different problems, motivations, and training challenges.


Having trained & showed with friends that had Goldens, I would say Border Collies are more sensitive, but that is a general statement - again, it depends on the individual dog. I also would say border collies are quicker to learn and will want to run the show, you will need to stay one step ahead of your dog....always, they know what comes next and are always thinking ahead. Anticipation was my biggest challenge, so I always mixed exercises up, inventing new exercise to keep them from anticipating. It also helped with boredom, you have to work hard at keeping obedience fun and fresh, unlike agility, it's just fun in it's self. We would do the broad jump 20 different ways...just to keep them guessing and keep it fun.

If you've started heeling yet, don't let her forge from the start, that is the hardest thing to control. When they get in the ring and get excited they will forge even more, so don't let it start from the beginning...ever!


The most important thing is to enjoy your dog and training, don't think about beating other dogs, as you said " The only dog that beat your golden was a border collie." Personally, I hate hearing that, winning & titles are fun, but not what it's all about, it's about forging a wonderful partnership and enjoying the journey.


Good luck and have fun!



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  • 2 months later...

I'd start training ASAP. My middle puppy was heeling steady at 8 weeks (head cocked and butt half to the ground when slowing down ready to sit on a dime), ready for the obedience ring by 6 months and scored himself a 190.5 at just 8 months old his first time in. :rolleyes:


We also start training the dumbell and articals ASAP. Sooner they learn, the better. My puppies all pay with dumbells (as I believe they should think of them as toys, I know many disagree) and I have a friend who do utility that starts looking for puppy articals around her puppy turning 5 months.


Good Luck!



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Personally, my 2nd choice dog is a golden or an Aussie. I trained Usher with the "hold it " command since I had him. Never "drop" when someone asks him to drop- he actually lies down and spits out the object. Yet, Usher is trained for many things. It's a free for all. I'd say......my obedience trainer gets real mad at my BC's because they NEVER forget. But in the long run- you have to live with your dogs. Pick a dog that you love, then teach it to learn.


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