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New in more ways than one

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I got two BC mix littermates, both female, a few months ago. My husband and I have 85 acres, sort of a hobby farm, and in 2002 lucked into a wonderful collie (probably rough collie) mix at the local shelter who taught us how different the herding breeds are from what I now would call ordinary dogs (ie our now 10 yr old lab mutts.)


Sadly, our Angel Dog died of liver failure last August, followed within a couple weeks by two collie mutt littermates, who came to our home incubating parvo. Three dog deaths way too close together, and we had found out that the old girls had really been propped up by the younger dog. Everyone was depressed.


Anyway, I located the BC pups via petfinder at a no kill shelter not too far from us. A friend volunteered to foster them for a couple weeks so I could bleach house and yard, and I fibbed like crazy to the DH, who was convinced we Didnt Want Border Collies, and by the time they came home and he spent some time with them he realized that we Did Too Want Border Collies.


Now, I know or I should say strongly suspect they are mixes, or at least one probably is. One sister looks as BC as anything, classic markings, crouch, moves, concentrated stare, etc. The other pup has a black face and an all black and gay-er tail, and an extremely sweet and much less focused personality. They are 40 pounds at not quite 7 months.


My late brother had a BC (allegedly imported from Scotland?? if I remember correctly) over 20 years ago, and his kids have had other BC's, but these pups are my first. Other dogs have been terriers of various descriptions and the lab sisters.


We are blessed with access to a lot more acreage without going near or crossing a paved road, and so I can exercise the kids from horseback, tell them to play in the pond etc. So far not having any serious issues with destructive behaviors, no health issues beyond demodetic mange responding to ivermectin, really they have been easy pups.


I was wondering how many of their pleasing characteristics are generic to border collies--most of these we noticed also in our rough collie mutt.


For instance; Being very clean, smelling good, easy to housebreak, sleeping or resting on their backs more than the lab mutts, always taking the high ground as though guarding or watching for danger, being exceptionally trustworthy off leash, coming when called, never really straying very far, natural heelers, eager to please.




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Hello all. Jean, I would say that all the traits you mention are typical of border collies, mainly because of their intelligence. It is one of the things that shepards and folks who use working border collies have selectively bred into them over centuries and the program has worked beautifully.


It sounds like you have an ideal place for your dogs and a handle on their care and training. Cheers to you and best wishes for you and all your dogs.

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... I fibbed like crazy to the DH, who was convinced we Didnt Want Border Collies, and by the time they came home and he spent some time with them he realized that we Did Too Want Border Collies.


Done much the same to my wife, for whom, the image invoked by the word "DOG" was a Pom. She had read all those warning articles and books about border collies and how hyper and unmanageable they are and then was completely bowled over by Senneca, who now has my wife totally under her paw.

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