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Catu
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Taking Eileen directions, I'm opening a new thread to coment her post on Proposal - Non BC Related or Off Topic Chat .

 

As a non stock dog owner, I have to say that I arrived at this forum looking for information about the breed I owned,the dog choose me more than I choose her, so I started knowing just the basis of the breed. But here I found a whole philosophy about working dogs world in wich a feel absolutely identified and that is one of the reasons I want to keep owning borders in the future, and maybe an ACD too... but you can see the similarities.

 

I discovered that philosophy in these boards, maybe it was inside me before and I just settle here at home because I felt so comfortable or maybe I learned something new to me and rediscovered America. I don't do stock and my possibilities of do it are very scarce at the moment, even when I would love to, but if the stock dog people and the pets owners or sport dogs owners were two separates worlds, I wouldn't have attached to this philosophy so heartily, I wouldn't have even known it, but instead now you have a new embassador on this corner of the world.

 

This board is a big step to don't end having two separate breeds, I bet many other pet dog owners have been educated and changed their minds from their first aproach to the breed as me thanks to the stock dog people that are here to give us advice and to tug our ears if needed.

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Ditto to all that!

 

I came here as a mutt owner with a very special mutt (with "a bit of BC in her, but she has brown spots"). I think I came across the boards while searching the net for toys she couldn't ruin .

 

My first experiences with meeting other BC owners weren't so great, so if it hadn't been for these boards I'd have stayed a mutt owner, rather than having anything to do with those arrogant ****s (not that there aren't any nice German BC owners, guess I just wasn't lucky).

 

Now the "mutt" is learning to work sheep, we have adopted a second BC and been offered three others who needed placing, and both me and my mum are happy to tell everybody who asks why BCs have such diverse looks (very evident in our two girls), and where the fluffy breed image comes from. And, of course, that great dogs like that can be found in shelters and rescues!

 

But I still haven't found a good frisbee she can't destroy :rolleyes: .

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I totally agree with Catu! No matter how they came to live with us (and Daisy was definitely not a planned addition, arriving as she did at a long-time cats-only household), they are all border collies. We can't all provide a life with farm and flock, but we benefit so much from drinking in the knowledge and philosophy of this board.

 

ETA: Catu, I clicked on your link to look at your photos, and they are great. What a great dog! I loved the picture with the two baby chicks.

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You know I completely agree with everything said. I do feel like some working dog people think a bit less of the "pet" owners. My dog was a rescue, so I knew virtually nothing about BC's. When I was told that she had BC in her I thought like her mom was like lassie. Seriously! Thats how little I knew. Then I found the boards and its been great sharing and learning together. I would have never knowing BC's should be bred as working dogs and not show dogs. Being here has taught so much.

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I came to the boards because we adopted a black lab/BC mix. I never intended to get a BC and am so grateful to the boards, because I understand now that the dog I have, while having some minor BC traits, is not a remotely typical border collie.

 

Without all the working-dog people on the boards, I might have assumed that my dog was representative of BC's and let everyone around know he is 1/2 BC, and went on to get a BC as a second dog. Because of you all, that will never happen. I have learned so much.

 

To protect your working dogs, whenever anyone notices what a fantastic dog he is, I say he is a lab mix. I never mention BC. I am chatty and would have been telling everyone I know what a great "pet" a border collie is, but thanks to all of you working-dog folks, this mouth, at least, will protect working BC's as much as I am able.

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Catu

Thanks for starting this thread. I am a pet dog owner, with one dog who actually works for a living (goose chase), and one who I am training on sheep now. I don't consider myself a working dog person until I have been immersed and really spend more time and experience doing this sort of thing. I REVERE the experienced sheepdog folks around here, and elsewhere. I know several pet people who have very very busy hobby lives with their dogs, and working dog folks just as busy. To me, it is all neat- the diversity of it all. I especially like to see folks work their dog on sheep for the first time, get the bug, and then THEY are turned on. But, if someone can't work sheep, that is cool too.

Julie

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Funny I was chatting *extensively* about this today with another bc owner , wondering what exactly was the difference in the DOG's mind between fetching balls or frisbees from one person , or sheep for another , or cows and chicken for me... they are intense and focused , want to succeed so bad , isn't the biggest difference in people's head ?

I hope no one will take offence because I mean so well ; I play a lot with my dog too , and work some , but it's the same look on her happy face .

The person was worried because she lives in a villa and does not work with the dog ; Tamyr was gathering some cows , and she'd come to the fields to 'play', as if that somehow belittled the whole thing ...

Needless to say she went home with a smile like a banana , I just asked her to think of what happens in the dog's mind , how brave and happy her dog was , eager to do well , and her dog was indeed great (so was mine *snigger*) :rolleyes:

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Without the wisdom and experience, passion and unforgiving committment to the breed that stock movers using working border collies provide, this would be just another board yaking around in cyberspace. My dog's welfare is vital to me, I'm not here to marvel at the color of the sky or exchange muffin recipes.

 

I don't know what we non-farm and hobby 'herders' can do to enrich the lives of stock movers (part or full time) and their dogs, but just perhaps, there are momments when the company of us fools entertains them.

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Originally posted by mado:

wondering what exactly was the difference in the DOG's mind between fetching balls or frisbees from one person , or sheep for another , or cows and chicken for me... they are intense and focused , want to succeed so bad , isn't the biggest difference in people's head ?

I'm sure it varies from dog to dog. I have friends with BC's who are lukewarm about sheep at best. Quinn is my first full BC. He loves his Frisbee, loves his ball, loves to tug, loves to do agility, loves to play with other dogs, loves to ride shotgun in the car, loves to greet people, etc., However, his reaction to sheep is much more intense and has been from the very first time he ever saw sheep from across a field.

 

So I do think he'd be happier if he could work sheep every day instead of once or twice a month. I also believe he has a very nice life with me despite this and that he'd rather be with me and only see sheep once in a while than the other way around (but I wouldn't wager a lot of money on that :rolleyes: )

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I agree with a lot of what people are saying on here. But I also agree that, as for mine he is just as happy chasing the frisbee, or the ball as anything else. I think a lot of it comes from the "working" owners that think they're better then everyone else because they work stock. I know some that are like that, and some that aren't, it just comes down to the person. I do hate it when someone that "works" BC's thinks less of me for rescuing mine, or giving him a loving, caring home. I do work with him, just not stock. If every BC had to have a working home there would be thousands more home less, or left to be put to sleep all alone. I just wish that all BC owners could get along and not judge each other for what they do with their dog. Just my two cents.

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Originally posted by WyoBC

 

But I also agree that, as for mine he is just as happy chasing the frisbee, or the ball as anything else. I think a lot of it comes from the "working" owners that think they're better then everyone else because they work stock.

I don't think so. Until you've worked a dog in some way (work = a job that has to be done, ie, with livestock, detection, SAR, police, assistance dog) it's hard to understand the relationship between a working dog and it's handler. It's not a "I did this and had fun with my dog". You are relying on a dog to do a job and he comes through for you - again and again. Your dog beocmes your partner and you can't do your job efficiently without him.

 

Playing ball with my dogs is fun - they enjoy it and I enjoy it. We could probably live happily without ever working sheep again. But working sheep with my dogs is a whole lot more fulfilling (for me and them) than just playing with them. You can see it in their attitude and body language - ball time = fun and goofy dogs, sheep time = dead serious dogs.

 

In no way do I think that pet owners and their dogs are inferior. I know alot of very deserving dogs live great lives as pets, and I think that's wonderful. But until you've done work with you dog, it can be hard to see that it's a whole different ballgame in many ways :rolleyes:

 

Anyway, to get back on topic, I think Catu's post was right on.

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Originally posted by Journey:

Ah, have you tried the "Chewber" frisbee??

Oh dang! I have the mini chewber. It's still in fine condition, but it's a little too mini to fly properly. I had no idea there were bigger versions! Thanks for the link!

 

You are relying on a dog to do a job and he comes through for you - again and again.
Dogs come through for their humans no matter what their jobs may be. I'm too darn crazy to be scared of many people, but the few times I felt real fear of somebody, Kessie immediately challenged them, even though that's completely against her nature.

She would love to work for me, she has the willingness and the heart and all the rest, but first I have to get to a point where that is possible. That doesn't mean I don't love or respect her as much as I would if she was already able to do it for me.

 

It seems a little arrogant to me when people who are lucky enough to be able to truly work with their dogs imply that their relationship with their dogs is somehow "realer". I honestly don't mean you, Maralynn, I don't think you're like that. I just used that quote as a convenient starting point.

 

A few days ago I watched a video clip of a successful German stockdog trainer. She talked about the love she felt for her dogs, and that it was real, true love, not the silly kind of love that many pet owners have for their dogs, but (implied) something better.

And that's the stuff I can absolutely do without. But superiority is a nice feeling of course, and knowing me, I might talk the same way if I was on the other side :rolleyes: .

 

I do think that sheep are a different thing to Kessie than ball playing. At our last lesson she suddenly got a good deal keener than what she had been before, and from that point on she hardly listened anymore, even if I yelled at her. If I did that during a ball game, she'd be mortified. As it was, I was just a little distraction on the perimeter of her wooly universe .

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Yesterday I watched my dog work for someone else (sheep). Although not rote by any measure, she can still be quite nice for her age. The thing that gets me is her always on task attitude- even when the going gets tough, she keeps going- it appears to not be a conscious decision for her.

When we do agility, it is a conscious decision- she loves it, but it isn't inborn.

Julie

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I think Kelpiegirl is right on with her distinction between enjoying agility and the innate seriousness of her dog's attitude when working stock. My dogs work sheep (taking care of the flock), but they compete on cattle (USBCHA). When dogs work cattle, they will at some point get kicked. Talk about when the going gets tough--most of them don't even respond to the kick--they are just all business and keep working. They seem to just accept that that's part of the job. Given their choice between sheep and cattle? They'll go gather the cattle every time and leave the sheep in the pasture (even the two 8 month old pups)!

Anna

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Originally posted by WyoBC:

I think a lot of it comes from the "working" owners that think they're better then everyone else because they work stock. I know some that are like that, and some that aren't, it just comes down to the person. I do hate it when someone that "works" BC's thinks less of me for rescuing mine, or giving him a loving, caring home.

I don't understand where this whole attitude comes from. I've been on this forum for more than 6 years and have not seen working dog folk as a group looking down on everyone else (and in fact, as a group the working dog folks seem to be very willing to help everyone else by answering questions, offering advice, etc.--not exactly a "holier than thou" sort of behavior), and yet, in discussion after discusion, over a variety of topics, this attitude from non-stock people seems to appear. Why is that?

 

J.

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Hi Julie

It may not be on this board- maybe it is in other places. I do know there have been some posts that were a bit condescending. For instance, when I first got here, I didn't know what a CP post was, and I was told. That "could" be construed as a bit insulting to pet folks who want to talk about that sort of thing, but then I realize, not just pet folks bring it up (I think), but everyone can...

Just my opinion.

Julie

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Originally posted by WyoBC:

I think a lot of it comes from the "working" owners that think they're better then everyone else because they work stock.

You know, I don't really think that's a fair assessment, WyoBC.

 

I, for one, have sent you private messages inviting you to join the WSDA, pointing you toward our website, and inviting you to a couple of small trials within easy distance of Casper so you could see what a trial looks like and meet some local handlers and dogs. I recall that I did that because at some point you expressed interest in learning about stock work or at least attending some trials.

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As someone who has had both a BC solely as a pet, and as a rescue, and as a working dog, never have I felt looked down upon from any group. Nor have I felt as if I've felt like I'm any better than any other group. I can't speak for everyone certainly...

 

However, I do remember a certain "Wither the Boards" :D (what, two years ago?) post that served as a nice kick in the pants for me. It reminded me that there is more to a border collie than just how cute it looks in it's new bandana. Initially I felt hurt and angry - and even a little bit scorned. I thought I was being disparaged because I had a pet BC. Then I realized I wasn't being looked down upon, I was using that feeling to cover my hurt. *I* was projecting that attitude upon the working folk, it wasn't them. What it was was a wake-up call to remember what's so important about these dogs.

 

Anyway, as someone who has run the gamut and has landed squarely into the working mindset (albeit not totally entrenched in the lifestyle as of yet, but working my way towards it as best as I can) I don't see any "holier than thou" attitudes going on. People who don't work their dogs on stock are not second-class citizens. I do hope, however, that they get the message about what these dogs should be BRED for. :rolleyes:

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When asked about SAR I always say that the relationship between a a workinging dog and his handler is better than the one of a owner and his pet. But when I mean working dog I reffer SAR dogs, service dogs, guide dogs... and why not? Sport dogs. That's because the difference in the relationship is not given by the dog, who will always love his master, but by the human, by the hours of dedication, the study and training and the expectatives and heart put in the job, whatever it is.

 

When I had the opportunity to be in real searches, and one of them lasted two weeks in the mountains, you always have another person supporting you, but in the reality, you are alone, you and your dog, so focused in every twist of the tail, the ears, the body language that you are almost smelling with it and the term "become one" is not just a saying. And I think that the same happens to the sheppherd in the pasture, the terapy dog in the hospital and the handler in every obedience or agility contest.

 

ETA: Have to add that there is no need to compete to feel that satisfaction and relationship,any owners that dedicate conscientiously time and effort on to socialize, educate and train, they are working with their dogs too.

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I've never had the impression that people who have working stock dogs looked down on those of us who don't. What I have seen is legitimate frustration from having to continually repeat themselves over and over. I give each and every one of them credit for continuing to explain WHY Border Collies should only be bred from proven working stock.

I've learned a lot from many of the people on this board, both those with working stock dogs and those with pets.

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Julie P., I am as puzzled as you are. WyoBC, looking back over your previous posts, everyone encouraged and cheered you on in your quest to get a BC.

 

I have never felt looked down upon because I have a BC mix who came from the animal shelter. I have gained invaluable knowledge from all of the BC boards "family" and it has helped me be a better dog owner.

 

My husband and I went to a local sheepdog trial several months ago for the express purpose of seeing real working dogs in action. The folks in charge of the trial constantly explained and patiently answered questions for us novices. At no time did I feel like we had crashed a "private party" for working BCs and their owners.

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