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Hi Everyone!

 

My name is Tara Brown and i live in Guelph, Ontario Canada. I will be getting my very first Border Collie next spring. I am here to learn and get on top of things and really really make sure a BC is right for me!

 

I am a professional trainer and have a school for family dog training here in Guelph. I have a BA in Behavioral Psychology and took a diploma in canine training and behavior after that. I attend many seminars and conferences yearly to keep my training and B-mod skills up to date. But i am still a little freaked out about getting a Border Collie! :rolleyes:

 

I currently own a lab and a newfoundland and i train in obedience, rally-o, draft and water rescue. I did field work with my lab for a bit but could not take the training methods used in that sport! I am a purely positive-reinforcement trainer and was not willing to do the things that seemed common place in the field dog world.

 

I am just learning about all the 'politics' that the BC breed comes with. I fully understand the fear of the BC losing its working ability. Having two breeds that have succumb to the show ring i fully understand. My lab is a field lab - both parents master hunters, she looks nothing like the lab that won group at the Purina Nationals this year - this lab was so large he could barely trot around the ring! My Newfie is also from working lines with the correct coat and head type. Some newfies are being bred so much like like puffy mastiffs that they can no longer perform their duties as a working dog - very sad!

 

I love working my dogs and want to add another working dog to my family. I often joke that my lab is a BC in disguise - she has the sensitivity, intensity and drive not often seen in labs. I can throw a tennis ball into a herd of geese in the water and she will go right in a retrieve the ball - nothing else exists!

 

My goals for my BC are herding, obedience and Rally firstly, then other fun stuff like agility. I would love another great working dog and the BC was really the only breed in the 'working dog' family that i feel a connection with. I love their sweet/sensitive and thoughtful side.

 

What i am wary of is getting another high-energy dog. At the age of 8 my lab is finally calming down (inside the house) and will relax and cuddle with me. I am hoping i can give my BC enough stimulation that she won't turn into a terror. Although i love to train and work my dogs i also like to watch tv and play on the computer! And i don't relish 8mile hikes! I would be very interested to hear about exercise requirements and what you guys do on a daily basis to keep your BCs happy and sane.

 

I am looking forward to learning a lot from this group. When i got my newfie i didn't know about all the thinks i should have been doing when she was a pup to get her ready for water rescue work and draft work. I would like to be fully prepared for my BC.

 

I would like to know where i can find good info on herding; what to do with pups, how to train and so on. Could you guys recommend some good sites and books to start?

 

Thanks everyone, i look forward to chatting with you!

 

Tara

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BCs are not like Labs at all lol, Retrievers get very antsy is wild if they dont get enough exersize every day..BCs are simply capeable of handling hours upon hours of exersize a day. yes, if they dont have enough to do they will get bored and start to get hyped up etc.. but they dont actually NEED 3-4 hours of running a day..unless you provide that right from the start..then you have created a dog that does in fact NEED that much exersize per day lol. Mental is more important to a BC then Physical, when possable the 2 should be combined..exactly the things you want to do with your BC are perfect!

 

keep in mind that BCs get bored..with most dogs its reccomended not to move on to anouther command until the first is down solid..IOW one at a time. my BCs would go crazy if I did that! I usually alternate between 3-4 different tricks per session because if I repeat too much they will simply stop and shut down, switching up keeps them enganged and keeps them from getting annoyed with you lol

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Welcome Tara!

 

You sound like a really good person for a BC :rolleyes: BC need mental and physical activity, but not hours a day. I have 3 and they probably get an hour of moderate activity a day. They get a little more a couple days a week. They get some sort of mental work or training most days. If I get really busy with a school project or am sick, they can go a day or two without their mental work. But after that they'd start to get bored and antsy. In the evening after a normal day they're ready to settle down with nylabones or cuddle and snooze. IMO they are not nearly as hyper as my brother's lab! But they are high drive and can be very active at the right time.

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Welcome Tara!

 

Not to worry, BC's can be as much of a couch potato as anybody else---they love snoozing around the house. The big thing I've noticed is that they can go from "off" to "on" with no intermediary process---it's funny, really; as I type this, I've been watching TV and have three snoozing BC's (pictured below) arrayed around me. If I (1) put the foot rest of the recliner down, or (2) only so much as turn the TV off (it makes an audible "click"), I will have three BC's jumping at my feet. "Are we gonna go out now? Are we gonna go get in the van? Are we getting treats? Are we gonna go to bed? You can then see the disappointment on their faces when they figure out, "Rats, it's just Dad going to the bathroom again...."

 

Honestly, I've had labs and I've had BC's. The labs were much more restless. The only caution is, when you have a dog that is as smart as you are, and twice as diligent, you have to be aware of where they are and what they're doing at all times---or you'll get a call from someone down the street, "I've got your dog here", and sure enough, there's a hole under the fence (how did she DO that? The hole wasn't there when I mowed yesterday!" And it isn't a desire to get away as much as a need to see what is on the other side of the fence. In the last go-round, Ethel discovered that if she shoved hard enough on one of the boards in the fence, it would give way and she could squeeze her large body through that small opening to get out---to see what was going on out in the front yard. I opened the back door, called---everybody ELSE came---no Ethel! OMG, where is she? Wait---what's she doing on the OUTSIDE of the gate, barking to get in?).

 

Good luck, and welcome!

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Thanks for the warm welcomes and advice! I am glad that my thoughs about BCs were confirmed. I never really dreamed about having one until i owned a farm until a training friend of mine explained much of what you guys just did.

 

Looking forward to learning more!

 

Tara

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Hi Tara!

 

We are in Toronto- but leaving in a few days to Vancouver area.

 

It sounds like you are a great dog owner and would be a good BC owner. I am a BC newbie and the forums are a wonderful source of information. I prefer this board over the other internet BC boards because of the ethics that most members seem to hold about breeding and the balanced training approaches that I get to read about.

 

Our little guy is very energetic! However from day 1 we taught him that home time is not play time. We take him out often and he gets at least an hour of exercise daily, however at home he just lays around, chews his toys and asks for cuddles!

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Hi Tara!

 

We are in Toronto- but leaving in a few days to Vancouver area.

 

It sounds like you are a great dog owner and would be a good BC owner. I am a BC newbie and the forums are a wonderful source of information. I prefer this board over the other internet BC boards because of the ethics that most members seem to hold about breeding and the balanced training approaches that I get to read about.

 

Our little guy is very energetic! However from day 1 we taught him that home time is not play time. We take him out often and he gets at least an hour of exercise daily, however at home he just lays around, chews his toys and asks for cuddles!

 

There are lots of horror stories on the web about BC's being nuerotically high energy. I tried to ignore them and I'm glad I did. Our bc pup is far more willing to lay around and cuddle than my hound/gsp was as a pup. The key difference I've noted between our hound/gsp (a sporting dog) and our bc (working dog) is desire to please. My hound will try to do anything just to please me, my bc seems to consider what's in it for her before complying (but as long as properly motivated is so incredibly fast to learn and compliant). This could just be differences in personality, though, and not differences in breed.

 

Welcome, and I think you're gonna love your bc when you get her.

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