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Border Collie Participants Needed

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I am a researcher at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine's Animal Behavior Clinic and we are doing a study on border collies. The goal of the study is to identify factors associated with canine compulsive behavior and whether this behavior has a genetic basis. To this end we need lots of border collie participants who are behaviorally normal for our control group.

We also need border collies who repetitively chase/stare at/pounce on lights, shadows or reflections.

Enrollment involves filling out a consent form, a survey and having a saliva sample mailed to Tufts University. For more information, please email me at nicole.cottam@tufts.edu and let me know if your border collie is purebred, his/her age and if he/she does any behavior that seems compulsive.


Thank you for your consideration.

Nicole Cottam, ACAAB
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine's
Animal Behavior Clinic
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536

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I am wondering if you consider a border collie compulsive if it is a very keen, purposely bred to work livestock dog? And if you do, how it could possibly not be genetic since it is what we selectively breed for. Keen might be misperceived as compulsive by someone that doesn't understand what border collies were originally bred to do.

I have 4 border collies. If they weren’t working dogs, one might consider some of them compulsive because of their strong desire or keenness to work. But, considering that’s exactly what they were bred for, I’m not sure where on your spectrum they would fall, Behaviorally Normal (for a border collie) or compulsive.
I am a bit confused.
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Oh no, big difference between your average Border Collie and one with a compulsive disorder. I've known some that were compulsive foot suckers, as in if they were still for even a moment they would start sucking. One I knew had to be put to sleep because he chased his tail, to the point that he wasn't eating, drinking or sleeping. Others chase shadows so obsessively that they can't lead normal lives.


But yeah, we may be selecting for dogs that are more likely to be obsessive by breeding for hard core working dogs.

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Thanks Liz, I think I understand more. But still I do think we are breeding for these traits and some go a bit haywire.

But I guess a study will make that more clear. My youngest is obsessive about watching stock. She had a broken leg so couldn't start on stock right away. I would call her obsessive except I do not let her do it. Otherwise she'd lay all day in the barn watching where she thinks chickens might be. Never moving. If...I let her

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