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Border Collie Bias?


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Apart from the usual "That can't be a Border Collie" stuff,* the thing I get from people is, "Look, she's herding." if she runs with another dog, plays with another dog, follows the cat around soliciting play or just about anything else that involves motion.

 

I've never seen Sugarfoot do a "proper Border Collie crouch", she doesn't try to "herd" much of anything that I can see.

 

People also say "How can you have a Border Collie in an apartment?" followed by, "Poor dog" or, "There must be something wrong with her, why isn't she charging around?" :rolleyes:

 

 

 

 

*It's interesting, because there are several Border Collies in my neighborhood, but none look like Barbie Collies.

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I've encountered the same biases against the border collie in my KC days. "Hard to live with", "bouncing off the walls", "all that energy" blah blah blah, were some of the stuff I heard over and over again. I didn't know what they were talking about at first. My own dogs were nothing like what they were describing, but in thinking about it, I do believe that their opinions were formed by the border collies bred for the obedience ring, which they probably saw everytime they went to a show. Those border collies, I found to be always in high idle, and I too couldn't live with a dog like that.

 

What I overheard years ago really irritated me. I don't know if any of you remember years ago, a traveling show with dogs. It was called "[somebody, somebody's] Wonderful World of Dogs. This was all about performance and fun for the dogs and for the audience, and it was before the days of agility. Whenever they rolled into Cleveland, Pete and I were part of the Cleveland team. It was started by a guy who got sick of the conformation stuff he'd been a part of for years. He wanted to bring to the public another aspect of dogs, one that was fun, for the dogs, their owners and audience as well and so he began this road show.

 

Pete, who didn't look like the average border collie (he's the dog in my avatar), always drew attention and he ate it up. Pete was a ham --- applause, attention, Pete had his own cheering section during these events. During a break, someone on the team said loud enough for me to hear "oh, they'll take any mix and call it a border collie". Huh? And who's "they"? Never could figure that one out.

 

Most of the other comments were made out of ignorance, but this was just plain rude.

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Apart from the usual "That can't be a Border Collie" stuff,* the thing I get from people is, "Look, she's herding." if she runs with another dog, plays with another dog, follows the cat around soliciting play or just about anything else that involves motion.

 

I've never seen Sugarfoot do a "proper Border Collie crouch", she doesn't try to "herd" much of anything that I can see.

 

People also say "How can you have a Border Collie in an apartment?" followed by, "Poor dog" or, "There must be something wrong with her, why isn't she charging around?" :rolleyes:

*It's interesting, because there are several Border Collies in my neighborhood, but none look like Barbie Collies.

 

Oh yeah, the "oh look herding" thing is annoying. Mick gets that all the time. "Look he's herding the ball!" Yes, Mick does do the whole crouching/crawling thing and he gives the ball the "eye," but it's a ball, not a sheep.

 

Just like he doesn't herd the cats, he will chase them on occasion, and get prompted yelled at for doing so. He definitely doesn't try to "herd" people. He has two main modes with people, pretend they don't exist or flirt with them (he's a ladies man).

 

As for dogs, he has no need to herd them. He likes Sinead, and he liked Beag. He doesn't really care for most dogs. If he's chasing one, it's most likely because he's about ready to fight that dog.

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People will often ask how i handle him as well as my other Huskies. "Don't you like to relax, ever?" "I bet it must be very difficult to walk them.." "Do they ever quit?"

 

And then of course we've been turned down from starting things because he's a BC. "Oh well we're really looking for dogs who have to work at this, it's too easy for a Border Collie, we don't want that." What?!

 

And then when he's playing ball with other people they think it's OK to just keep throwing and throwing even though he's visibly showing limping. "Well he doesn't want to stop, he'll go crazy if i do!" No, actually he'll go and lay down in the shade with the ball. He's only playing because you keep throwing. That's about when we leave.

 

Despite what people believe who see me, my dogs are very calm and are more than content to lay about during the day. They only time they get even remotely "crazy" is when we head out for the park. Other than that, they are fit and trim couch potatoes.

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I was at an agility trial and sharing a hotel room with a friend a few weeks ago and brought along Stella so she can get used to different places/environment. When inside the hotel room, she would lay calmly and amuse herself. She knows I don't throw the ball or toy for her inside. When my friend was in the room, Stella would turn into a nutcase. Bringing her the ball, staring at her, just being a total freak. My friend (who is very dog savvy, just not BC savvy) just kept saying "I couldn't live with her. She's crazy. Does she ever stop?!"

 

Same friend came to let my dogs out for me Monday. She said it took Stella forever to potty because she kept running around and bringing her toys. :rolleyes: She said to me again "She's insane. I don't know how you deal with it."

 

Stella knows who she can push and who she can't. :D She spends her time inside playing quietly or napping. She's pretty calm outside too until we play a short session of Frisbee. After a few mins I tell her "That'll do" and she runs for the water and lays down. Not sure who this "insane" dog is. :D

 

I think it's funny how BC owners think Stella is "wonderful", "lovely", "talented", "sweet" and non-BC owners think she is a crazed devil. :D

 

I also get a lot in our agility class:

 

- "You go first. She always gets it right." Your dog will get it right too if you show it where to go. :D

- "Her contacts are so solid. It's because she's a BC". No, it's because I drilled them into her little head and made sure she understood the criteria.

- "Her weaves are so fast! I bet it took her like a day to learn them." Ha! Not sure how long it took her, but consistency (and having a set at home) helped.

 

Stella is my 4th agility dog. I couldn't imagine learning agility on this dog. I would be failing miserably. I'm lucky that my first agility dog wasn't super fast and it gave me a chance to build a good foundation for her skills and on my handling. I'm also lucky to have a few things at home to work with and a place close by to train at several days a week. If I was in this class with my golden (who is way better than Stella since she has more training on her), I doubt they'd be saying any of this. :D

 

ETA: In fact now that I think about it, no one made comments like that when my golden was in classes. She's not super fast, but she has gorgeous contacts and weaves and is just a dream to run. :D

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I was at an agility trial and sharing a hotel room with a friend a few weeks ago and brought along Stella so she can get used to different places/environment. When inside the hotel room, she would lay calmly and amuse herself. She knows I don't throw the ball or toy for her inside. When my friend was in the room, Stella would turn into a nutcase. Bringing her the ball, staring at her, just being a total freak. My friend (who is very dog savvy, just not BC savvy) just kept saying "I couldn't live with her. She's crazy. Does she ever stop?!"

 

Same friend came to let my dogs out for me Monday. She said it took Stella forever to potty because she kept running around and bringing her toys. :rolleyes: She said to me again "She's insane. I don't know how you deal with it."

 

I have the same thing with Sugarfoot. She's generally shy of strangers, but greets trusted friends enthusiastically - but if she gets too enthusiastic a sharp "Hey!" will put four on the floor again. My dog-walker is another story altogether. When Chris arrives Sugarfoot takes leave of her senses. As long as he's on the other side of the screen door she will sit at a command spoken in a soft voice, and remained seated while her leash is put on, and until the door is opened and she receives her "outside" command." But once she gets the "outside" she goes out the door like a guided missile. She grunts and squeaks while flinging herself at him and jumping 5 feet straight in the air, panting like she just did a 4-minute mile. If he tells her to sit, she will, but the minute he breaks her out she goes postal again. People look at her hysterics with horror and dismay, (as well they might!) and exclaim, "What's wrong with her?"

 

Sugar foot loves Chris, and is quite calm when they return, but the exit is something to behold. I haven't worked out the best way to deal with this. Chris will issue commands like "sit" and "load up" but does not correct her for her wacko-antics. He has certainly been given my blessing to do so! And at the back of my mind is the possibility that she simply doesn't get enough exercise. (Chris takes her for 3 multi-dog, 1 to 3-hour run/play sessions, in various settings each week.) If she were a less reactive/sensitive dog I would absolutely flatten her for this. Any suggestions would receive serious consideration.

 

I am in no position to switch dog-walkers. I get a rate that I can afford - $100.00 a month for 3 runs a week - and he lives around the corner. Beside which, he does a great job in all other respects. And, we are friends.

 

I have tried giving her a high-impact fetch session right before he arrives. But she can be nearly played out and still goes ballistic when Chris appears. (Is he giving her crack or heroin?) blink.gif

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lol my dad dog reacts that way toward me, I am a dog person, I know how to correct behaviour and what needs corrected, but Guinn just doesnt care, the second he see's me he starts flipping around SCREAMING and yipping and jumping, I have been consistant with him for 2 years now and it hasnt stopped, my dad said that I am one of the only people he reacts that way toward(the other was his now Wife). I left him and Misty at work last year when my dad and I went out of town for a wedding, came back and Guinness completly ignored my dad's exisitance, and went running and screeching for me lol no idea howq to stop it..my dad has to put Guinness away when I come over because he wont calm down, the entire time I am in the house he will sit in his crate screaming.

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I was told I was cheating at the agility foundation class by two people. I thought, you run with him! Then during the third class the instructor showed me how to stay ahead of Colt and for the rest of the classes I thought those cheater comments might be right :rolleyes:

 

I have also been told by people that they would never have a BC. Too OCD, hyper, needy. Course those people have never had a BC.

 

Then there are the people who say they should have got a BC as they chase their dogs trying to leave the park, when my two run across the field to sit by the car and wait for me when I say "It's time, dogs".

 

Seems to be extremes on both ends.

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