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I am new to border collies. I have bred and shown JRT's for over 10 years, and it was through the JRT's that I became a fan of BC's. I did agility, go to ground and a little bred to type now and then. But agility has been my passion for the last 8 years, now here is my question:

 

I bought a 10 week old BC pup (she is from working lines with mom and dad that do trials) and started taking her out to the barn with me while I did barn duties. I usually keep her on a leash either attached to me or tied close by where I can keep an eye on her. Around 14 weeks of age I decided to take her off leash and have her follow me out to throw hay while the horses eat their grain. Now there are two llamas at the barn too and one morning I noticed Asa had an intrest in the llamas so out I stepped into the middle of the pasture with Asa off leash. She watched them like a hawk and soon started following them and then it happened, they ran away from her and off she went. She ran in front and dropped to the ground, when they moved she moved closer trying to keep them together. I eventually had to go and get her. After all the reading I've done a lot of people seem to think you can only have one type of dog, either an agility dog or a working dog. I don't want to keep her from expanding what seems to come so natural to her (and what she was and the rest of her breed was bred for) but I bought her as an agility prospect. Should I try herding out? I have absolutely no experience with herding, I wouldn't even know where to begin. Or should I continue with the agility line of thinking? I am really confused about it, why can't you do both?

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Welcome to the boards.

There are many people here that can give you wonderful advice, but it comes down to what you want to do, we can only offer suggestions. If agility is your thing and thats what you are comfortable with go for it. If you would like to see your dog doing what she was bred for, try finding a local stock dog club, just about every state has one. They can tell you when upcoming trials are happening, that way you can see for yourself what working livestock is all about(watch the open class). Go spectate at a few clinics or see if there are any places to go for lessons(who knows, you might just get hooked). Again, depending on where you live, members of this board can give you names of good people to go to for lessons and clinics.

I see no reason why your dog can't do both, but I don't know anything about agility so I could be wrong. I lean towards stock work, but thats just me personally.

 

On a side note don't let your pup in with the llamas, good way to get hurt, that goes for the horses also.

 

Samantha

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Hi and welcome! This section is for people specifically asking questions of the current expert that they have while training their dog for stockdog work. If you're looking for more opinions and answers, I'd go ahead and post this question in the General Border Collie section. But your pup should do fine at whatever you decide to train her.

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I am new to border collies. I have bred and shown JRT's for over 10 years, and it was through the JRT's that I became a fan of BC's. I did agility, go to ground and a little bred to type now and then. But agility has been my passion for the last 8 years, now here is my question:

 

I bought a 10 week old BC pup (she is from working lines with mom and dad that do trials) and started taking her out to the barn with me while I did barn duties. I usually keep her on a leash either attached to me or tied close by where I can keep an eye on her. Around 14 weeks of age I decided to take her off leash and have her follow me out to throw hay while the horses eat their grain. Now there are two llamas at the barn too and one morning I noticed Asa had an intrest in the llamas so out I stepped into the middle of the pasture with Asa off leash. She watched them like a hawk and soon started following them and then it happened, they ran away from her and off she went. She ran in front and dropped to the ground, when they moved she moved closer trying to keep them together. I eventually had to go and get her. After all the reading I've done a lot of people seem to think you can only have one type of dog, either an agility dog or a working dog. I don't want to keep her from expanding what seems to come so natural to her (and what she was and the rest of her breed was bred for) but I bought her as an agility prospect. Should I try herding out? I have absolutely no experience with herding, I wouldn't even know where to begin. Or should I continue with the agility line of thinking? I am really confused about it, why can't you do both?

 

 

Hi there and welcome to the world of stock dogs. I have never done agility and have no interest in it but I am quite sure that you could do both provided you don't want to be a top hand in stock work. Having said that, I have seen quite a few dogs in the trial world that either do or have done agility and they have been reasonably good at their stock work. I'm sure there are others on this Board that could give you more information on this than I can as I have never done agility. What I have seen in my experience over the years is that quite a few of the agility dogs have been extremely focused on their handlers and tend to be dependent on them to direct them in their work. I would like to see these dogs with a lot more balance and natural instinct left in them which would make them better on stock. You'll notice that I didn't say all of them were like that as I have seen some that still had their balance and the ability to make decisions on stock still left in them. It would appear that your dog does have some instinct to work stock and if your desire would be to do both agility and stock work, then go for it. It would require that you go to watch some trials, read some books, watch some videos and see if you would like to do this thing that will take over your life if you find you like it. If you do find that you are interested, then I would recommend that you join an association or club in your area in order to get all the help you can. Of course, once you make the decision to try this, I will be only too glad to give you a hand to get started. I don't recommend that you do both as I don't think you would have the time for both but that is just my opinion. You would know better as to your time availability. I would also recommend that if you join a club, that it be in the ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) style of stock work and not in the show ring style (Kennel Club). Let me know your decision and if it is to start into stock work, then I and others on the list can get you started.......good luck.......Bob Stephens

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Bob is a GREAT person to ask questions and learn from. He was one of the first person that I met with his great dog Turk. He went out of his way to talk to me (a rank Novice) and helped me tonsmany years ago.

 

I recommend asking Bob tons of questions while he still is the expert on the board.

 

Diane

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Welcome a board! You've found (IMHO) the best BC forums on the intra-webz! You can find every type of BC person here. We may not always agree, but you can rest assured everyone wants what is best for your pup. I am no expert... heck i am barely a novice in BC related topics! But i know for a fact that you can do both agility and stock work with a dog. I knew of a frisbee dog who also enjoyed agility and stock work, was he the best at all of them? lol umm no, He was a good agility dog, great frisbee dog, and a train wreck with stock! Only BC i ever saw run from a lil itty bitty lamb. But you can see the happiness displayed as he worked. (stock)

 

I think you should at least give it a go, been plenty of folks here who discovered the joys of shepherding. Plus the relationship you will build with your dog is priceless. If it isn't for you, no need to feel guilty about it. I, myself just didn't have the patience for it. Although I do plan to try again someday. Zag and Syd loved it, Syd was actually pretty good at it. I learned out of it all, I suck at handling, but I am a good pet owner... and i am ok with that.

 

Please do be careful with her (as a pup) being out in the field. Those horses and lamas could harm her badly.

 

Now it is my duty to inform you of "The People's Border Collie Gallery". It is a great place to show off your BC *hint* If you have some pictures, some of us would love a look see. *hint hint*

 

Grats on the lil fluff ball and again welcome!

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Thank you all! I would love to try herding out, I am always open to trying new things. I think Asa would really love it and to let her do what she was bred for would bring me a lot of happiness. As for our trips to the barn I never let her off leash when the horses are out, she is only allowed off leash when the horses are in their stalls. I have seen first hand how fast a dog can lose it's life when a horse is in a bad mood or a dog pushes them too far, though they were never my dogs I still felt horrible and I couldn't imagine how the owners felt. Plus I don't want her learning about chasing horses. I will look into the herding more for sure now. I know Asa's breeder does herding around this area with Asa's dam so there is something local that I can get into. I really appreciate all the input! You all are so nice :rolleyes:

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Welcome! You have already shown a lot of intelligence by avoiding letting Asa interact with the horses (either the horse should be in the stall, or the dog, to avoid both getting into mutual trouble at this age and stage of life) and by getting a dog from working parents.

 

Very best wishes!

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I know a few people that disapprove of dogs doing more than one sport. But I also know dogs that compete successfully in agility, herding, frisbee and Rally-O all at the same time. Obviously there is alot more work in doing that many sports but it can be done. Obviously certain traits in each sport could detract from another but if you work out everything carefully you shouldn't have any problems. As for fixing that problem of being owner dependent in agility just do alot of distance and handling so she should only need to check in on where to go and not become a "velcro" dog. I would do the sheep herding first though and just do foundation agility at home. That way you know more about trialling and what behaviours are needed so you train your agility accordingly. Good luck! I am so unbelievably envious, I would LOVE to trial, it was what bought me to agility. Everytime there was a comp on here I would be at the trial ring not the agility. But I cannot afford the lessons so we do agility instead. One day...... :rolleyes:

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