Jump to content
BC Boards

Just how versatile IS the average BC?

Recommended Posts

Lightning's a BC/lab mix (mostly BC though, dad's a purebred, mom's a BC/lab), and he seems to love to do anything I ask, does well at it and begs for more. I've started him on some agility obstacles (jumps, tire jump, high jump, tunnel), he loves to catch (absolutely anything I throw his way - balls, snowballs, frisbees, kongs etc. big or small, heavy, light irregular shape, it doesn't matter, he catches). I bought a flyball box and after only a few tries one day he learned how to pop the ball out. He dogsleds eagerly and after working with him and getting him going well he's going to be my lead dog when the pups grow up and I start them. He just seems to be so willing and eager for ANYTHING, and great at everything I try with him. Is this the norm? Do most border collies have this ability to excell at everything they try? Another thing I was wondering, is it best to keep mixing it up and get him involved it all the various sports, or to focus on something in particular? I'm not likely to go out to competitions with any of it, we're just doing it at home for fun (except the dogsledding, we went to a few races where my daughter competed in the kid & mutt clases)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think variety is good. Esp for BC brains. Great mental exercising.


River LOVES playing frisbee - even though I have no plans of doing frisbee beyond the backyard. But we play and I've even taught her to run around the back of me before the next run so she doesn't have to turn backwards. She loves it!


I do plan on doing agility with her on a regular basis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think people in dog sports value BC's exactly for their versatility. Of course there are individual differences, but as a group BC's have a fantastic combination of intelligence, athleticism, speed, drive and work ethic. They're THE breed for bigger dogs in agility and fly ball and one of the top breeds for obedience. They also do SAR, Frisbee, Freestyle, dock diving even. I think a lot of BC's can be as versatile as you have time for.


Quinn is only 9 months old but he has a great time doing pretty much anything, including obedience which I'm only mildly interested in. We're working on fundamentals in agility and his drive is just a joy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find mine extremely versatile. And I find our purebred much, much more versatile than our mutts.


When Speedy first saw an agility tunnel, his attitude was, "ME ME ME! GO GO GO! ZOOOOOM!!!"


When Maddie first saw an agility tunnel, her attitude was, "Can I take a nap here in front of this tunnel? You don't expect me to go THROUGH it?"


OK, I'm exaggerating (on Maddie, not Speedy!), but not by much.


Maddie had to be convinced that there was a point to it before she started to get excited about it - which she is now.


Up until recently, I tended to stick with and focus on one activity with each dog, but these days we've been branching out and have tried some new things and it has been really good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I have seen - it is the norm.


I love trying every sport with any dog that is willing. If you JUST do agility or something it is great - but after awhile the challange of learning it fades away. If the dog is always learning a NEW sport - the challange of learning something new is always present.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's see, my girl does, or has done in the past 6 years, the following:


- agility; 2 Jr. Handler titles, three legs toward her first standard 'versatility' title.

- obedience; 2 competition level classes

- Delta Society Pet Partner (therapy dog); just over 3 years of service currently

- started on sheep; several lessons so far, shows some skill, though not a lot

- Guinea pig for me to learn to teach service dog tasks

- demo dog at local schools and animal events

- demo dog during private behavior consultations

- rabbit/vole hunter

- all around good college dog

- faithful companion and confidant


I think that about covers it for now. Do you think that counts as versatile?


Maggie btw is a rescue for those of you who are new. She was adopted at 11 mo with undersocialization and thus a ton of fears and negative behaviors. She's come a looooong way! :rolleyes: It just makes our accomplishments that much sweeter!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Little Bo Boop:

Here's Mikey, my 'yakkin' buddy

That's so neat! I would love to go kayaking again. I learned how years ago when I went to summer camp as a kid, but haven't done any since. I really should have bought one when I lived at my parents cottage for years since it was right at the lake. Now I don't get over there too much because I'm pretty busy during the summer time teaching riding lessons. If it's nice enough to be outside enjoying the day, I usually have lessons booked and my schedule gets pretty full.


Originally posted by MaggieDog:

I think that about covers it for now. Do you think that counts as versatile?

Maggie btw is a rescue for those of you who are new. She was adopted at 11 mo with undersocialization and thus a ton of fears and negative behaviors. She's come a looooong way! It just makes our accomplishments that much sweeter!

I'd say! Our 2 new pups are rescues too, and although one is quite outgoing, the other is very timid with anything new. He's settling in wonderfully at home and plays with both Noah and Lightning (in fact he really gets going with Lightning), but he doesn't like to be put into a new situation. For example, I brought him downstairs to my office to sit on my lap at the computer one day, and he was just shaking. The day they had a vet's appointment he cowered on the truck seat and drooled so much his front legs and the seat were soaked, and then when I picked him up he just clung to me. It's understandable though, they've had a rough start and I've only had them for a short time. I have no idea what these poor pups went through, but they were saved from euthanasia in New Orleans, shipped to Canada and I adopted them from a shelter a couple of hours away from me, so they had another trip to get home. I'm hoping that he'll come around and become more outgoing as he realizes that he's got a safe home now.


What is dockdogs or dock diving? Just diving into the water after a toy? Lightning does that too, he likes to retrieve anything I throw into the water and loves to swim. We don't have any sheep, but we do have the horses and poultry and he likes to help with them. At feeding time he helps to make sure the horses don't mob me while I'm putting out the hay, and when I do their grain he helps keep everybody eating from the right bucket. I have a couple of peacocks that go outside into a pen and get shut in at night, and as soon as I open the pen door to shoo them in for the night he zips around the far side of the fence and gets them moving in the right direction. I have had some really, really nice dogs in the past, well behaved, well trained etc., but nothing at all like Lightning, it's like he's light years ahead of all the others, and he makes me want to keep finding more things to do with him. He's certainaly sold me on the breed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...