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We recently obtained a Border Collie at a shelter in Wisconsin. He had been listed on "Petfinders" and was identified as a Border Collie. Wasn't so sure when we saw him--big pooch! Weighed in at 53 pounds at our vet. He has ears that look more like a spaniel. However, it may be a thick growth of hair--underneath, the actual ear flaps are relative small and triangular. However, he does not hold them erect as our first Border Collie does. By the way, we obtained this fellow as a companion for her. Both are neutered.

 

How can I find out if the new pooch is Border Collie? I suppose maybe saliva test would be the ultimate, but these are a bit pricey . . . suggestions, please.

 

My vet said she had seen a Border Collie, purebred, recently that looked the same. Is there this much variance in the breed?

 

Thanks, all.

 

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Absolutely!! I've talked to people whe have had BCs that topped 60 lbs. I know someone now who has one that barely made it over 30 lbs. Neither of mine has prick ears normally, but they are both capable of picking up an ear when they are very interested in something, normally they carry their ears in every position that isn't pick, with rosette(like whippets and greyhounds) being their favorite. They have different coat types and many different colors. You'll know it's a BC because of it's behavior, that's the best way to tell.

 

Of course, it wouldn't hurt if you posted a picture.

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Its definitely very possible he is a border collie. I know people who have BCs who are 60-some pounds, and also know someone who has a 28 pound BC. There was a border collie mix at a rescue recently that had ears similar to a spaniel. And border collies come in a wide variety of colors. Border collies can have huge variances in appearance. Unlike most other breeds, border collies are (or at least should be) bred for working ability, not looks. So looks vary greatly. I think pictures and maybe a bit of a description of his general behavior would let us determine better whether or not he is a BC. Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

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Yes, I agree with the above 2 posts ^^^^^. Border collies can vary greatly in appearance.

 

I wouldn't waste my money on a DNA test. IMHO, they are quite inaccurate.

 

Just enjoy your new boy. And thank you for adopting a dog from a shelter.

 

Please post a photo of your new boy, and we (this board) will be happy to offer our opinions. :) :)

 

Jovi

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I wouldn't waste my money on a DNA test. The dog below, who weighs about 18lbs, came back as Mastiff, Bulldog and Pointer. No matter how I squint or cock my head I can't see any of those here.

 

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Thekla acts like a Shetland Sheepdog.... Bark. bark, bark. So I'm guessing Shetland Sheepdog cross. But who knows? She's 100% Pound Hound.

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That is as crazy as the other ones I've heard about the accuracy of DNA testing. Did you do the blood test or the saliva test? They are both off, but the saliva test, in general, seems to be a little more accurate, in other words it is as least close to the realm of imagination.

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That is the farthest out there saliva test I have heard of and I've heard some weird ones. I really think the best way to determine the parentage of an unknown dog is to watch for breed characteristic behavior and exercise a good imagination.

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Thanks for the great input, everyone. I'll get a good picture of Max and post it before requesting more feedback!

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My oldest BC is 60 pounds, stocky big muscled guy with prick ears. Reminds me of a greyhound build. He has a full brother from a different litter who is the same size, the rest of the pups from those parents are 40-45 lbs average BCs. Everyone thinks he either a mix or not a BC at all.... Until they see his 'herdiness'.

 

My youngest is a scrawny dainty little thing. His ears go every which way. I call him my little lamp, very fine boned.

 

They are both full BCs. I agree that's its personality that will judge a BC.

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Show him some sheep.

I never understood this idea. How does showing the dog in question sheep prove anything about his ancestry?

 

Neither of my border collies by paper acted like border collies when on sheep. When I say act like border collies I am more referring to the classic creep, crouch, eye the border collie is known for.

Actually none of the 6 border collies I have known who seen sheep acted much like a classic border collie. 1 bark and hid, 3-4 show no interest, and than there was one who show some interest but not too talented. The last 2 were just pups. Given the majority of these border collies come from small farms even though they do have nice dogs in their background.

 

By this definition without their papers/pedigree I don't own border collies. Unless I am missing the point of the idea of showing a dog of unknown parents sheep to see what herding breed could possible be present.

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I never understood this idea. How does showing the dog in question sheep prove anything about his ancestry?

 

 

Strictly speaking, the breed standard is "bred for livestock work" (as opposed to "bred for specific physical features"). Since what a Border Collie does (not how it looks) is the way to assess if a dog of unknown heritage is a Border Collie, putting the dog on livestock is the best way to tell if it is a Border Collie (or has Border Collie in it). However, this test can only assess heritage if the dog in question works livestock like a Border Collie. For the dogs that do not, there is no way to know if the dog has Border Collie in it, just as if a kennel club dog with unknown heritage does not look like the breed in question.

 

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