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Border collies and other dogs

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We don't have dog parks in Portugal but rare is the day that Tess doesn't have the chance to play with a couple of dogs, either known friends or dogs she just met. And saturdays and sundays, at training, she plays with all the other dogs.


She is very bc, I recognize her in many of your posts. Curious, interested, always wanting to be part of things, very smart, learning new stuff easily and with gusto, different from any other dog I ever had mentally, sharper and more involved. Athletic, flexible and physically powerfull, determined and with a hint of ocd tendencies. But when it comes to other dogs, she's not very tipically bc.


She loves almost all other dogs, is becoming quite good at understanding who likes her or not, who wants to play or just wants a quick hello. Will actively ignore or avoid dogs she doesn’t much trust or she gets don’t particullary like her.


When younger, she was a bit too rough and energetic for some dogs and she went through a phase when she took every opportunity to tell the other dogs she was something special and in charge of the universe, There where a couple of months when I had to monitor very closely her interactions with young pups, as she, only a bit older, would very forcefully tell them "I'm in charge, respect! Yooh!"


But at 15 mo, she is maturing into a nice easy going dog that respectfully ignores those who don't want to interact with her and adapts her play stile to suit her play partners.


She loves to play rough as she is used to play with GSDs, not known for their gentleness. But she aldo loves to wrestle, and of course the classic "I run, you chase, and now we change roles". She handicaps with smaller, younger, not confident dogs. And she doesn't herd the other dogs, at least not in an evident annoying way. And she has no problem sharing toys.


Actually, she doesn't herd or chase or show much interest in moving stuff (except cars at a very high speed that she still tries to be interested about). She did show interest when she was quite young, but I guess I was clear enough when I explained that we don't chase or herd dogs or people or bikes or other people's balls, that was just not something we do. And I've always taken good advantage of her belief that if she gets too distracted with external stuff, I might do something very interesting that she will miss.


At training there are often 8/12 dogs playing, and she deals very well with it. I’m always vigilant and thankfully (almost) everyone else is too, and we all know the other dogs and their personalities, but Tess obviously takes great pleasure in playing with her dog friends, and ignores the couple of dogs that for this or that reason don’t make good play mates. She doesn’t initiate fights, but is assertive enough that other dogs don’t mess with her in an inappropriate way.


We meet dogs daily and it’s rare to the point of I-can’t-remember-the-last-one that she actively dislikes a dog. She may want to play or she may just give a quick hello and move on, but no real dislike. And there’s no real dislike from the others towards her too.


Needless to say I’m quite happy with her attitude and hope it lasts forever, as it makes a lot of things much easier. And although tipically bc’s are not this fowardly friendly towards other dogs, surely she’s not the only easy going bc, right?


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My puppy (6+ months/25 weeks) is quite lively in her play and of my pack (composed of Scotties, Rotties, hounds, Border Collies and Bernese Mountain Dogs) only the other Border Collies and the Rotties will play with her. But she is not aggressive towards other dogs at all and wants to make friends with all creatures.


She has huge herding instincts which take a lot of effort to channel without discouraging, frankly. I taught her an acceptable way, for instance, to "herd" the wheelbarrow instead of trying to stop her. Now I trundle along with a crazed looking puppy running wide circles around me :)

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Same with Mae (5+ months), just good socialisation I think as she's had plenty of dogs of all ages and types to play, chase and wrestle with on a daily basis.


She doesn't herd as such but she certainly stalks, hunkers down and waits in her playing.

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Lyka will play with anything that moves... She even tries to play with the hermit crabs in my saltwater tank when they are near the glass. She has very little herding instinct, but as a shelter puppy she may be a mix.


Lily, however, only plays with border collies or really calm dogs. Her herding instinct is amazing, but in the weirdest places like herding corgi's and my uncle's fat lab which they don't appriciate. She has however learned she can herd the alpacas and llamas at the in-laws if she can sneak into the pasture...

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SuperGibbs, who just turned 7, loves, loves, loves other dogs. He is especially good with shy and/or fearful dogs, seems to enjoy coaxing a little fun out of them and bouncing around a bit with them if they're at all interested.


He's also good with obnoxious dogs, giving them fair warning and then getting more serious if necessary. He reads other dogs very, very well. Any size or breed of dog that approaches him politely gets treated likewise. A couple days ago two sled dog type mixes came up to him, and it turned into a little sniff and tail wagging fest - very sweet to see.


He dearly loves to meet new dogs, and seems a bit disappointed when he doesn't get to, either because the owner says no, or the dog obviously does not want to greet.


This is one of my favorite things about him. Having had a dog-aggressive dog, I just love seeing him play and get such enjoyment out of other dogs.


Ruth and Gibbs

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Molly loves the dogs she lives with and can like other dogs depending on their manners. She has zero tolerance for dogs being overly forward/overly familiar/generally rude jack@sses, and has no problem snarking at them about it.

HOWEVER, a lot of other dogs really, really dislike her. Because Molly's default game to play with other dogs who just want to run around and play is crouch, stare, stalk, rush, body check and/or bite. They, kinda understandably, don't much appreciate that. My dogs have learned to work around her and she's learned it's not going to get her anywhere.

Which is kind of hypocritical because it's rude as heck of HER, but there you go.


She's also radically, horribly, massively, over stimulated by a bunch of dogs chasing each other and just sort of melts down into a screaming reactive mess.


She's not selective or aggressive, but she could easily end up in the middle of a dog fight or starting one if another dog took serious offense at her idea of fun or being corrected by a 6 month old little dog. Either way, it's not worth it for me to toss her at strange dogs to play with.


Which I guess is to say my dog is apparently one of the more 'typical' ones - and she's not even 6 months old. I don't actually care, though the reactive screaming mess situation is one we're addressing for everyone's comfort.

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Argos likes other dogs, but he will only play with a select few directly. He loves his Papillons and plays bitey face and cicle tag with Jasper my big Pap.


His best friends are the dogs who run next to him, but don't feel the need to roughhouse with him. His best "outside" friend is Kiwi a girl Malinois who simply runs parallel to him and also fetches his balls for him when they end up in too deep water (he won't swim and shes a fish).

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If Tess grows to be much more selective than she is now, I'm perfectly fine with it. But it sure is a huge relief to have a dog that doesn't have problems with others and actually enjoys other dogs company. My previous dog Sara was a bit iffy with other females, mostly due to lack of self confidence I think, and is't great to watch Tess already so much more knowledgeable of proper etiquette and so much more at ease with the world.

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