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Hello everybody, I’ve been getting aquainted with your forum for the past few weeks (great forum, I've already learnt more about BCs here than with all the research I did on the breed before) and it’s about time I introduce myself.

 

My name is Teresa and I’m Portuguese. I’ve been a dog person since I can remember existing. 6 years ago I got a Cão da Serra de Aires (portuguese shepherd) pup and as my kids where almost adults and it was something I had always wanted to do, I started training her.

 

I know that in some of your countries training your dog is common even if just for a basic few weeks course, but here in Portugal there aren’t many people that feel the need to train their dogs. With my dog, Sara, I learned a lot about dog behavior and training, I started an ever growing library about the subject, we attended lots of seminars and workshops, I did training and got certified as a trainer (I teach the basic class at the association where I train).

 

We trained obedience and obstacles for all her life, with incursions in agility, nosework, bitework, etc. We even did surfing – well, she surfed, I could never get up on one of those things.

 

Sara died too soon, last October. It was the biggest shock of my life. I got Tess soon after, otherwise I would still be depressed in bed.

 

I already knew my next dog would be a BC, I just didn’t expect it to be so soon. I had the habitual concerns about a BC being too much, but as I did a lot of stuff with Sara, I thought worst thing that could happen was doing even more dog stuff, which wouldn´t be much of a problem.

 

Tess turned out to be a great dog. I chose her because of her parents, two working dogs with wonderful personalities, happy and confident, exactly what I wanted in a pup. And she has loads of self confidence, loving people, animals, doing obstacles, new stuff, etc. When she is suspicious of or startled by something, she recovers quickly and goes over to investigate. So my worse fear, an over sensitive fearful BC, didn’t happen :) . I was under the impression that BCs where typically quite soft and very sensitive, but Tess is actually a though little girl with a very stable character. And she is of course very very smart. Her aptitude to understand human language fascinates me.

 

Tess will be 1 year old a month from today. She has showed some inclinations to typical BC ocd behaviours, like chasing her tail, licking herself, licking me, wanting to chase cars, wanting THAT toy, the cat, but so far I’ve always been able to distract and redirect and it never went far (the cat thing was taken care of by the cat herself. First 6 months where spent by kitty making very clear how a dog should treat a cat, and now they are best friends and play a lot). By now Tess shows little interest in people running by, bikes or ball players, and has never attempted to herd people. She is very focused on me – and of course the ball, Frisbee or whatever she wants me to throw.

 

We do lots of things together. We train obedience and obstacles, and we do some bite work weekly (I know BCs don’t usually do bite work, but Tess loves it and is quite good, for a BC at least). We play lots of games, fetch, tug, find it, etc, and we recently started to work a bit on tracking. Since the weather warmed, we have been actively working on her swimming. In the next few months, till fall, we plan to attend 3 workshops, one in Frisbee, one in mantrailing and one in bite work.

 

I do not compete on anything. Tess is my partner and goes with me everywhere, so I think that knowing a bit of many different things is a good plan to have her being confident and comfortable in every new situation. We don't have access to sheep, goats or even ducks, so we do other stuff and she seems to enjoy life.

And now, let me show her:

 

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She's white factored as you can see. I had never seen a BC with so much white before. Her mum is a tri and dad is black and white, this was their 3rd litter and there's always one or two pups white factored.

 

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First time she swam

 

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When I was looking for a pup, I saw another litter that had a blue merle boy. I liked the colour but really prefered Tess's parents to that litter parents, which where more reserved and suspicious. Tess was also more confident and outgoing than that little boy. Now of course I think that an almost all white BC is the more stunningly beautifull of them all.

 

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She is beautiful and sounds very talented.

 

Excuse my ignorance, but are there many BCs in Portugal? Are they commonly used to work sheep? What else can you tell us about BCs in Portugal?

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Thanks, Barb and Julie. I quite like this forum, specially that is makes a big emphasis on preserving BC traits. I always thought temperament and health where the 2 things that really mattered when choosing a dog, with looks coming at the end if important things being equal, but with BCs it goes beyond that, and I truly believe if you don't select for working ability you will soon loose what makes a BC special.

 

Julie, which one is your mostly white BC?

To tell you the truth, I've been feeling intrigued by your many dogs. Are their pics in order with their names? Which is which?

 

Jovi, no there aren't many BCs in Portugal. I usually only see a couple of them a year during summer (belonging to tourists) except the ones I see in agility or discdog events. Meaning, if you want to do a dog sport other than defense work, many people will get a BC, but other than that they are very rare, and anyway there's not that many people doing dog sports.

 

There are some being used to work sheep - Tess's parents work sheep - but for instance last year was the first year that there was a national sheepherding championship. Most of the dogs that attended where BCs.

In the Algarve, in the south of Portugal, there are more BCs, mainly because it's a highly touristic region and there's a lot of english people living there.

Tess is the 3rd BC to "ever" have lived in my town, first one apeared here about 5 years ago. I must say I never see the other 2 though, poor things don't seem to get out much :(

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Thanks, Barb and Julie. I quite like this forum, specially that is makes a big emphasis on preserving BC traits. I always thought temperament and health where the 2 things that really mattered when choosing a dog, with looks coming at the end if important things being equal, but with BCs it goes beyond that, and I truly believe if you don't select for working ability you will soon loose what makes a BC special.

Welcome! It sounds like you already understand the philosophy of this board and the feelings of most of the active members.

 

I grew up with a mostly-while dog who apparently was either a Border Collie or an English Shepherd in terms of her ancestry (we thought more towards Border Collie due to her mannerisms but couldn't rule out English Shepherd, either). She was a great dog for my youth, and I've always had a soft spot for mostly-white ones because of her.

 

Again, welcome!

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I'm sure you won't mind if I comment on what a beautiful dog you have there! I'm newer to the forums as well, and I actually have yet to own a border collie. Soon, though!

 

Welcome! I'm sure you'll find yourself right at home here, as I have.

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Welcome! Tess is beautiful. It sounds like she found her way to a great home too.

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Teresa,

No, they aren't in order. I guess I could have done that, but it was too obvious! ^_^

 

They are, from left to right, top: Boy (deceased), Farleigh, Jill (deceased), Twist; bottom, Kat, Pip, Lark, Phoebe, and Willow (deceased). Poor Birdie is not even there. I guess I need to redo that image.

 

Pip is the mostly white dog. The black mask on his face is pretty much all the black he has, though he is ticked. You can see the black hairs best if you rub is fur backward. Unlike many mostly white dogs, he does not have a black patch at the base of his tail. I will try to post some pictures of him for you. The photos of Pip, Lark, and Phoebe are quite old--they were puppies then (and are going on 8 years old now, lol!).

 

J.

 

Julie, which one is your mostly white BC?

To tell you the truth, I've been feeling intrigued by your many dogs. Are their pics in order with their names? Which is which?

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Teresa,

Here's Pip. These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago when we were setting sheep for a trial here in Virginia:

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Here both he and Lark are pushing the sheep toward the chute:

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Pip taking the sheep up to the set out, which is probably another 50 yards past the tent on the hillside:

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And a close up shot of him licking a pan in my kitchen so you can see the ticking better:

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J.

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Thanks Julie, Pip is a handsome boy :)

 

Although I had been learning about BCs for some years now, I didn't know their looks could be so diversified. When I met Tess I was a bit suspicious of all that white, but, of the available pups, she had the temperament I prefered, confident, happy and people oriented. Breeder also said she was the best one for the kind of things I wanted to do with her.

 

Now I think she's stunning and will probably be partial to white factored BCs from now on.

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Just wanted to say welcome to you and Tess. She really is a beautiful dog. I love the picture of her standing on the boardwalk... you can see how fit and muscled she is in that picture. Sounds like you two are really enjoying each other. Once again welcome and here's to many happy long years together with your pretty girl! :)

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Echoing the welcome to the Boards.

 

It's true that there's historically been a prejudice against white dogs, but that seems to be fading now. They can be quite beautiful in their own right, and every bit as talented as more traditionally colored dogs.

 

Glad to hear you're enjoying yours. :D

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Thanks guys :)

 

As we are not going to breed, show or compete in anything, i couldn't care less what colour she is... and in the end she is a beautiful dog, athletic and fit. And that white is actually quite self cleaning :)

 

She's a great dog. I thought she might be a handfull, and for the first couple of months I did think now and then "What the hell where you thinking when you got a BC..." but then we got to know each other better and now I think she's actually a very easy dog, always ready for action but also always ready to just relax and take a nap.

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Hello what a beauty! I love love love white dogs, grew up with one, had the most awesome white dogs my kids grew up with too. They always catch my eye very pretty

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And that white is actually quite self cleaning

 

That self cleaning aspect of border collies is one of their best features, regardless of color! ;)

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