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Ok, so what DO they do?


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Well, I mean, I know that not every Border Collie falls out of the womb hankering for the smell of wool. But what if you have a very well-bred (from top-notch working-every-day-'till-they-drop parents) pup and you take it to sheep. Some will be more talented and more keen than others, obviously. But is such a pup ever completely unmoved by the presence of livestock? Do some just cruise your pockets for tennis balls and then go wait by the car?

 

If so, how common is it?

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I have 2 very nicely bred working dogs and no fencing to be able to work them. I can take out the trained one and tend the sheep while they graze in the unfenced area but the young one will put enough pressure on my flighty sheep to send them running for the mountains.

So...

for the last year or so with a little work here or there they are totally happy to walk, hike and lay around being lazy dogs.

Mick is really just a stock dog, doesn't show much interest for anything else but what the hey...without sheep to work, a ball or stick will do.

Dew is waiting for the spring thaw till we can get to fencing. In the mean time we're going to try agility when the snow finishs melting...at least till we get the fencing done. I think it's more for me than her!

 

I don't think any dog "needs" to work but at least they "need" to do something. They don't really make great couch potatoes all the time, cept no one told Mick so he does an awesome imitation. Dew is a wee bit bored.

 

Does that answer your question?

I find it humorus when people talk about all they "have" do with their dogs to keep them happy. We haven't even been able to hike with the snow/mud. Yeah they're a bit bored but my house is still standing and nothings been destroyed cept my carpet (can you say MUD) which is a whole nother story.

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Do some just cruise your pockets for tennis balls and then go wait by the car?

 

That sounds like a little one year old female I once knew that now is adored by a couple in town.

 

She was one that I could get to work, she was not totally dead to stock, but if nothing exciting was happening she would split off to catch a butterfly or smell a flower. In our case she was 1 out of a total of 13, the rest wouldn't notice the butterfly or the flower

 

Deb

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I have 2 very nicely bred working dogs and no fencing to be able to work them. I can take out the trained one and tend the sheep while they graze in the unfenced area but the young one will put enough pressure on my flighty sheep to send them running for the mountains.

So...

for the last year or so with a little work here or there they are totally happy to walk, hike and lay around being lazy dogs.

Mick is really just a stock dog, doesn't show much interest for anything else but what the hey...without sheep to work, a ball or stick will do.

Dew is waiting for the spring thaw till we can get to fencing. In the mean time we're going to try agility when the snow finishs melting...at least till we get the fencing done. I think it's more for me than her!

 

I don't think any dog "needs" to work but at least they "need" to do something. They don't really make great couch potatoes all the time, cept no one told Mick so he does an awesome imitation. Dew is a wee bit bored.

 

Does that answer your question?

I find it humorus when people talk about all they "have" do with their dogs to keep them happy. We haven't even been able to hike with the snow/mud. Yeah they're a bit bored but my house is still standing and nothings been destroyed cept my carpet (can you say MUD) which is a whole nother story.

 

No, I'm more interested in how often a dyed-in-the-wool (sorry) working-bred pup, when brought to stock says, "Yeah? So? Where's my frisbee? Not dogs that are afraid necessarily, although I suppose that must happen once in awhile too. But dogs that turn out to be completely disinterested in stock and stock work.

 

As for needing to be engaged every minute - I have no illusions on that score. My dog, at least, is perfectly willing to lie in the sun with the cat when things are slow around here. But she's awake in an instant if there's the tiniest shred of evidence that something might be going on. :rolleyes:

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IME well-bred youngsters are more likely to be moved on/placed not because they don't have a desire to work but rather because there's some characteristic(s) about the dog that make it unsuitable for the particular person's need (maybe the dog is too soft or too hard, has too much or too little eye, hasn't turned on within the human's time frame, and so on; in some cases it could even be a health issue such as OCD or cryptorchidism). Such dogs might excel under a different handler or in a different situation. I think it would be uncommon for a dog to have absolutely no interest in stock, but never say never. I know of one dog who has had I think three different homes--the first two situations didn't like her, the third is quite happy with her. So a lot depends on the human's *expectations,* rather than being so cut and dried as simply the dog won't work. Another example, a friend had a nicely bred litter and one of the pups was just frantic about stock--as in so freaked out it couldn't even begin to get its head in working mode. The owner gave up on it and returned it to the breeder. The breeder was considering placing it in a pet or sport home. After a few months with the breeder the dog finally matured enough to go to work. If the dog had been placed before that time, one might have said that the dog just wouldn't work, but as it turns out, this particular dog just needed *a lot* more time than its littermates to mature. And it's possible the change of environment made a difference too. So I really think that most working dogs who turn out to be duds are possibly only duds in the eyes of the beholder, if you know what I mean. If those dogs were given another/different chance, they might actually be good ones, or at least useful ones. I just don't think it would be common for a thoughtfully bred working litter (the key being thoughtfully bred) to produce pups with absolutely no interest in stock. The amount of talent is another issue....

 

J.

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I know a very well bred dog- sire was either champion or reserve at Finals, dam was an Open dog who worked a farm flock- who has zero interest in working stock. His littermates that I know of work quite well (I don't know that any ever trialled, and they're coming up on 10 or 11 this year). This guy is perfectly happy being a pet. He's more like your average Golden Retriever than a Border Collie :rolleyes: He just got the "wrong" combo of genetics, I guess.

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Sleep on bed

Awake for 20 minutes of tummy-rubbing

Grudgingly hop off bed

Eat breakfast

Assist owner in finishing tea

Wait

Wait

Wait

Walk up the street to meet Abby's owner, who carries treats

Walk with Abby

Treat

Walk

Pee

Wait

Wait

Treat

Fight Abby for garbage scrap

Walk

Poop

Walk

Pee

Pee

Join Abby in trying to kill scary Scotties who dare to walk on the same street

Pee

Walk

Try to chase skunk; foiled again

Walk

Walk

Stand at the window and bark for 20 minutes as squirrels and commuters and cats pass

Go to the bed under the table

Sleep

Nap

Doze

Bark at Joey the Husky as he walks by

Sleep

Sleep

Bark at the mailman

Nap

Sleep

Sleep

Sleep

Stand at window and wait for owner to come home

Wait

Wait

Wait

Bark at the dog I hate who lives up the street and raises her hackles at me every. single. day.

Wait

Bark at door as owner comes home

Play squeaker with owner

Give kisses of greeting

Eat dinner

Wait while owner eats dinner

Clean owner's dinner plate

Hop in car

Drive

Drive

Bark at dog on sidewalk

Whine as good fast food restaurant whizzes by

Walk

Walk

Walk

Sniff deer, coyotes, rabbits

Drive away idiot labrador who wants to be my friend

Walk

Walk

Poop

Walk

Drive away idiot beagle puppy who wants to be my friend

Walk

Walk

Have I mentioned that I hate idiot dogs? They're everywhere!

Walk

Pee

Walk

Drive home.

Bark at every car that dares to stop beside mine.

Kiss owner

Drive

Sniff front steps to check if neighbors' cat has been her. (YES! GRRR!)

Sit on couch while owner watches TV

Snuggle

Sit

Sit

Bark at Joey the Husky walking by

Sit

Play fight game with rubber dog

Fight

Fight

Fight

Sit

Go to bed

 

It's not a bad life. :rolleyes:

 

Mary

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Yes it happens; sometimes the combination of a really good breeding doesn't work out. I had one that would go on an outrun, work sheep...oh oh oh, a stuffed toy, bring the sheep and the stuffed toy back on the fetch.

 

She's in a pet home now; she just wasn't very serious; I was very annoyed

 

cynthia

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It's difficult enough to breed good dogs from good dogs.

 

Sometimes the genetic roulette just doesn't hit on the right combination. BUT the odds improve greatly when there is knowledge of working ability and thought given when planning a breeding. This is the problem with breeding so many dogs from which the working ability is unknown. A person who really NEEDS a working dog has better odds going to a person who works their dogs. BUT the public isn't fully aware of this.

 

I work with a young man who needed a dog for cattle work. In spite of my guidance and offers of assistance he found a pup from hobby parents (told it would have an "off switch" which it does, but on "on" switch). He has now learned unfortunately he has a nice pet dog-that he didn't need.

 

There will always be pet quality dogs coming from working dogs. Why should/do people breed more pet dogs and claim they are working dogs? I've had Border Collies since 1979. Even back there it was known that some dogs just won't make the grade. And that was at the start of breeding for obedience. Most Border Collies worked stock, and you were encouraged to do some sort of 'work' for your dog. I do not remember the high number of non-working Border Collies that we see today, yet there were enough to go around for people who did other doggie sports.

 

And as has been said, sometimes a dog that doesnt "work" will turn out fine with another trainer or method.

 

If you want a non-working BC I have a neighbor who has a litter. $400 for females,$200 for males. 4 possible sires. Mother works-has her HIC and maybe an HT(OK, this is sarcasm) 2of the possible sires have unknown working ability. One I saw ran away from the sheep. And YES they are being sold as working dogs and purebred (although one of the possiblesires is the neighbor's AS)

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Yes it happens; sometimes the combination of a really good breeding doesn't work out. I had one that would go on an outrun, work sheep...oh oh oh, a stuffed toy, bring the sheep and the stuffed toy back on the fetch.

 

She's in a pet home now; she just wasn't very serious; I was very annoyed

 

cynthia

 

Hmm, who could that be? :rolleyes:

 

I've started or introduced dozens of dogs to sheep now, and watched countless others. The vast majority of dogs that are actually purebred BCs will try to do something or other with the stock. I may not like it, the sheep may not like it, it may not be a trainable dog, but most will do *something*. I hesitate to call it working because many times it's the furthest thing from "work" or workmanlike, but it's interest at least. I've had a handful over the years that just flat out would not react in any way to the sheep. That said, i've run across a few in just the last year that are coming from a southern breeder, supposedly advertising "strong herding lines" (my ears perk up now when i hear that particular phrasing) that have attracted some agility folks around here. I also had one conformation dog come out last year, pretty little yellow thing, that was the least interested dog i've ever seen on sheep. It was the strangest thing how he acted.

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Mary -

 

Annie's life is similar, although she does not nap or sleep during the day. She usually does get in 3 to 4 sessions of "out-ball" (catching a ball in the back yard thrown using a lacrosse stick) if the weather permits, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays goes to doggie day care for fun and socialization. She comes from good working stock, but has ZERO interest in sheep. Methinks her future lies in SAR; we will find out when I retire next January. But even if she has no talent, she is still a beloved member of the family.

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"Drive away idiot labrador who wants to be my friend

Walk

Walk

Poop

Walk

Drive away idiot beagle puppy who wants to be my friend

Walk

Walk

Have I mentioned that I hate idiot dogs? They're everywhere!"

 

Mary

 

Hee hee! They are indeed. I always take exception when people gushingly refer to me as a dog lover. I tell 'em, "Nuh-uhhhhh. I love my dog. The rest are under consideration. Some even pass." :rolleyes:

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Sleep on bed

Awake for 20 minutes of tummy-rubbing

Grudgingly hop off bed

Eat breakfast

Assist owner in finishing tea

Wait

Wait

Wait

Walk up the street to meet Abby's owner, who carries treats

Walk with Abby

Treat

Walk

Pee

Wait

Wait

Treat

Fight Abby for garbage scrap

Walk

Poop

Walk

Pee

Pee

Join Abby in trying to kill scary Scotties who dare to walk on the same street

Pee

Walk

Try to chase skunk; foiled again

Walk

Walk

Stand at the window and bark for 20 minutes as squirrels and commuters and cats pass

Go to the bed under the table

Sleep

Nap

Doze

Bark at Joey the Husky as he walks by

Sleep

Sleep

Bark at the mailman

Nap

Sleep

Sleep

Sleep

Stand at window and wait for owner to come home

Wait

Wait

Wait

Bark at the dog I hate who lives up the street and raises her hackles at me every. single. day.

Wait

Bark at door as owner comes home

Play squeaker with owner

Give kisses of greeting

Eat dinner

Wait while owner eats dinner

Clean owner's dinner plate

Hop in car

Drive

Drive

Bark at dog on sidewalk

Whine as good fast food restaurant whizzes by

Walk

Walk

Walk

Sniff deer, coyotes, rabbits

Drive away idiot labrador who wants to be my friend

Walk

Walk

Poop

Walk

Drive away idiot beagle puppy who wants to be my friend

Walk

Walk

Have I mentioned that I hate idiot dogs? They're everywhere!

Walk

Pee

Walk

Drive home.

Bark at every car that dares to stop beside mine.

Kiss owner

Drive

Sniff front steps to check if neighbors' cat has been her. (YES! GRRR!)

Sit on couch while owner watches TV

Snuggle

Sit

Sit

Bark at Joey the Husky walking by

Sit

Play fight game with rubber dog

Fight

Fight

Fight

Sit

Go to bed

 

It's not a bad life. :rolleyes:

 

Mary

 

LOL

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Jin's only seen sheep once but would make a good working dog. Instead I work him with 4 balls on the greensward and at the sports fields. He has good directional control and listens well. His focus is excellent and he doesn't chase other dogs unless given a release to go play. I'd like to find an agility group somewhere but there doesn't seem to be one locally that I can find. I tried the local kennel club but they are based in a city 150miles from here. Go fig.

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I always take exception when people gushingly refer to me as a dog lover. I tell 'em, "Nuh-uhhhhh. I love my dog. The rest are under consideration. Some even pass." :rolleyes:

I like most any Border Collie I meet, but not all. There are some breeds I rather like and some I rather quite dislike. I like a lot of dogs on a dog-by-dog basis - may or may not like the breed but do or don't like the individual in question.

 

I love the "concept" of dogs - loyal, loving, nice to pet, good companions, useful - but too many dogs/breeds have not got the characterisitics that I appreciate in dogs, either through breeding or upbringing or just plain personality.

 

Rather than an out-and-out dog-lover, I am more of a lover of dogs on a case-by-case basis. And everyone then assumes I will love Fluffy or Bruno, when I probably won't unless they are really the kind of dog I admire and enjoy, and brought up with the manners that make them enjoyable.

 

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

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I like most any Border Collie I meet, but not all. There are some breeds I rather like and some I rather quite dislike. I like a lot of dogs on a dog-by-dog basis - may or may not like the breed but do or don't like the individual in question.

 

I love the "concept" of dogs - loyal, loving, nice to pet, good companions, useful - but too many dogs/breeds have not got the characterisitics that I appreciate in dogs, either through breeding or upbringing or just plain personality.

 

Rather than an out-and-out dog-lover, I am more of a lover of dogs on a case-by-case basis. And everyone then assumes I will love Fluffy or Bruno, when I probably won't unless they are really the kind of dog I admire and enjoy, and brought up with the manners that make them enjoyable.

 

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

 

 

It's funny - I think I'm sort of the opposite. Not that I love every dog, but I think I'm more inclined start off thinking positively of all dogs and disliking them only when they've been shown to have bad manners, particularly when it comes to other dogs. Poor manners when interacting with people I can blame on the owners, but poor canine communication skills annoy the heck out of me because they can quickly turn a fun day at the park into a serious ordeal.

 

Then again, I guess I tend to be that way with people, too.

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I gots me one. Bred by a sheep guy, who got into border collies for that work. Bred from a lovely bitch and stud, both of whom "retired" to work on small farms. Breeder eventually got into minimal USBCHA herding competition (not with either above-mentioned). Lucy went to a pet home at less than 4 months (not sure of exact date), and to my knowledge, never saw sheep as a youngster. When I adopted her (previous owner died), she showed NO interest at all in any stock. Actually doesn't NOT want to be friends with other dogs - just totally ignores them. Pretends they don't exist. Took her to someone from these boards' sheep, before we did an agility demo at a herding trial - zip, nada, negative. Did not see sheep. Period.

 

OTOH, she lives for agility, somewhat less for toys at age 14, but is and always will be my "heart of hearts" dog. Thankfully, I didn't WANT a herding dog, so they all lived happily ever after (if only she would live forever....).

 

But yes, working parents, no training, no interest. It does happen...

 

diane

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