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New shelter dog- think he may be part BC and would like advice

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Hello everyone,


My husband and I just adopted a dog from our local Humane Society. We think he is about 5-6 months old, and may be some kind of border collie mix. At our vet visit, he weighed 32 lbs. and we were told his hips and knees appeared to be in good shape. Jake is neutered.


I have been lurking awhile and reading up on the new BC owner threads, but still have some questions. SInce Jake is a mix, how will we know how big he should be? If he were just border collie, it seems as though this would be about his goal weight? He's about 18 inches tall, 32 lbs. and I can easily feel his ribs when he's standing.


Second, we are currently doing the AKC Star Puppy training class, and I think we will go on to do the Good Citizen also- but at puppy class, Jake learns very fast and it seems almost redundant to go? He solidly knows sit, lay, leave it, side ( roll to side), go to bed, and we are working on nice leash walking. I am amazed at how fast he learns. A friend of mine is a dog training behaviorist and recommened we use a hand signal alone with the verbal cue for a command so that he will always know what we want him to do, regardless of tone or depth of voice. Do you all do that? What hand signals do you use?


And third, what do you think Jake might be mixed with besides border collie? He has short fur, his only white is on his feet/legs, snout and chest. Here are a few pics.


And thank you for all the help!

Jessica and Jake




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He's a handsome fellow. I couldn't even begin to guess at what he is crossed with. Regardless, congrats on your new addition, he sounds like a lot of fun!


As for the classes, even if he performs all of the commands quickly and it feels redundant, I'd keep going (unless it's a concern about cost). I think there is a lot of value to what he's learning passively! He's giving you attention and focus in a space where there are other dogs and owners all around you. You are getting a chance to practice commands/tricks in a pretty distracting environment which is great! If you feel like Jake is getting bored maybe plan to, quietly and off to the side, teach him a few new tricks or "proof" a few tricks you've been working on at home?


I dunno, maybe I just like classes. Whenever I attend one with my dog I feel like I pick up a few tid-bits... even if it's just one or two per class. Plus it's a unique environment to work with your dog in and you get to meet people with similar interests. If you (and he) are still having fun and learning a few new things each time I'd stick with it.

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He is a very handsome fellow. Thank you for adopting a shelter dog.


Weight/size -- since border collies can range from ~30-60 lbs, your guy is right in that range, and will probably still be within the range as a mature dog. My dog is ~40 lbs and 21+ inches at the withers.


I agree that classes are very good for providing a distracting environment while training. Even though I have a pretty god idea of what and how I want to teach my next puppy, I will still be going to class to be able to work with distractions. Many dog owners find that 'Fluffy' is great at commands in the house, but it all falls apart in class. I second the thought that you can up the distractions while in class, or distance or length of stay. Also, no reason why you can't practice hand signals too. I have very few hand signals, but they would be an awesome addition to his repertoire. Just keep challenging his brain.

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