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When I was doing Collie rescue I heard people say more than once about some dog with a calm, aloof temperament," Oh, he's got temperament problems. He'll be hard to place. Maybe we should put him down."

 

I'm afraid I wasn't very tactful in my reply. I said, "If this dog is considered to have fatal temperament problems, then half the people I know in rescue should be put down."

 

The Golden Retriever is the current gold-standard (sorry) for pet dog temperament. At least, where I live it is. A dog with an once of self-respect is deemed "shut down," or possibly "spooky." People will go to elaborate lengths to get my dog to come to them and "be friendly." We usually just walk away and leave them chirruping and snapping their fingers, and saying "Oh! she's been abused."

The "must have been abused" conclusion is getting so cliche. Kieran has gotten that before. Like, maybe, he just doesn't like you looming over him like a rain cloud and rubbing him all over the place. I think his temperament is great - he hasn't once bitten a stranger who has invaded his personal space and calmly waits for them to stop.

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I have one of those rare, super-friendly, loves-everyone-especially-small-children, super social dogs. He was also an excellent working dog before he retired, both at home and on the trial field, limited only by his handler. Nick has met exactly one dog he didn't like- my friend's Aussie puppy who had zero training when she got him at about 6 months. Once he learned some manners & grew up, Nick was okay with him. My pet-dog-trainer friend used to use Nick for her reactive dog classes- he's *that* good at tolerating other dogs & reading body language. He is, however, definitely the exception to the rule, although apparently his mother was much the same.

 

I have also wondered if selecting working dogs to be so attuned to social clues and behaviors is part of what makes them, in general, so "reactive" and "intolerant" of a lot of people and other dogs. You get used to it after being around them for so long.

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People around here (Kansas City, Mo) are really huggy. It used to bother me because I'm really not a huggy person . But I've gotten used to it. I don't even notice any more.

 

The dogs I have now like to be hugged. If I start petting one of them I have all 3 in my face in about 1 second.

 

They are very wary of strangers and remain aloof.

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Yeah, being an introvert myself, I totally get Border Collies. I sure don't want to be hugged by everyone I meet, so I don't imagine my dogs do either. Sometimes they meet a person they really click with and that's great. i just ask that they be polite in public.

Yes. This!

 

My social butterfly dog has been my biggest challenge. She wants to be loved on all the time and be everyone's best friend. I call her a BC in a Golden Retriever body.

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I was setting at a trial, it was warm and I was worried my other dogs were getting hot in the camper. I asked a good friend, who was the trial host and very dog savey guy to check my bitch, Taw. He told me when he came back when he opened the door she slowly stood up and showed him just how many teeth she had. Totally silent.

 

He said she was fine.

 

Taw is great at trials, tho is not about getting petted by folks she does not know. However I cannot seem to recall ever seeing people petting dogs they do not know.

 

The rest of my dogs are a mixed bag. My toughest dogs on cattle, are my friendliest, except Taw. I do not want my dogs to give themselves to anyone. I would rather they be stand offish with folks they do not know.

 

Where I live, everyone hugs. They are armed to the teeth. But they hug.

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I'm an introvert, and I really miss my Buzzard Dog. He was outgoing to the extreme, would cuddle with anyone who even smiled at him.

 

It gave me a reason to have nice brief conversations with happy people. And Buzz had lots of friends. When I needed alone time, Buzz got walked where we weren't likely to run into humans. Worked out well for me.

 

I had 2 bc girls at the same time as Buzz. One was timid but affectionate and the other was very stand-offish. It was much easier to pull Buzz back from being too outgoing than it was to be bolstering the other dogs' confidence. Always having to be aware of what might scare them was tiring.

 

Ruth and SuperGibbs

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All my border collies LOVE LOVE LOVE people. I prefer them this way and went out of my way to socialize the pants off them to ensure they stayed that way. If something happens to me, they would be easy to place because they are lovely with people. Placing antisocial dogs is hard.

 

They are hit or miss with other dogs. All but one are tolerant of other dogs but not social. It's more important to me that my dogs be people friendly than dog friendly. I won't have a dog again that's not people-friendly.

 

RDM

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Tess likes people, and more importantly, trusts that people are for the most part good. But she only wants cudles and kisses from the few she loves. With the rest, if she can choose, she interacts with a toy. She desn't mind people petting her, she doesn't get scared or anxious about it, but I can see she doesn't see the point. When she catches a frisbee, though, if a passing kid says, wow, look at that dog!, she runs to him, presents the frisbee and asks, wanna play too? If the parents smile, they're next in line.

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All my border collies LOVE LOVE LOVE people. I prefer them this way and went out of my way to socialize the pants off them to ensure they stayed that way. If something happens to me, they would be easy to place because they are lovely with people. Placing antisocial dogs is hard.

 

They are hit or miss with other dogs. All but one are tolerant of other dogs but not social. It's more important to me that my dogs be people friendly than dog friendly. I won't have a dog again that's not people-friendly.

 

RDM

 

And I think this might be a part of it: if your primary goal is working ability and your dogs are going to live a rural life, and they are not outgoing/comfortable with strangers, so what? My fearful dog would be awesome on a farm with a small circle of humans he knew. Hes well behaved, has some working ability, and is quite trustworthy as far as coming when called, a solid down, etc. In that context his temperament is just fine.

 

But if your goals include dogs who live in suburbia, do dog sports, have to deal with a wider variety of people and dogs his temperament is kind of sketchy. I don't do sports with him as the constant flow of humans close to him makes him uncomfortable and in the right situation (triggers stacked, weird person, his leg hurting, excessive noise) he might bite. The wrong person visiting my house (who can't follow instructions and not try to reach for him, very loud and boisterous, someone who stares at him) might get nailed too.

 

So, its pretty possible that the temperament issue was just pretty low on the selection scale until fairly recently.

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Yeah, being an introvert myself, I totally get Border Collies. I sure don't want to be hugged by everyone I meet, so I don't imagine my dogs do either. Sometimes they meet a person they really click with and that's great. i just ask that they be polite in public.

 

Bandit is not following suit with the introvert thing . . .! I swear someday I am going to leave him on a start line stay, lead out, turn, and I'm going to find him happily sitting in a bar setter's lap . . . :P

 

I will be really surprised if he becomes more reserved with people as he gets older. He is seriously into loving everyone. But time will tell!!

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Yes. This!

My social butterfly dog has been my biggest challenge. She wants to be loved on all the time and be everyone's best friend. I call her a BC in a Golden Retriever body.

I was setting at a trial, it was warm and I was worried my other dogs were getting hot in the camper. I asked a good friend, who was the trial host and very dog savey guy to check my bitch, Taw. He told me when he came back when he opened the door she slowly stood up and showed him just how many teeth she had.

Brody was a bizarre mix, on his terms the most social border collie you could meet, an agility judge called him a black and white golden retriever as a complement, goldens were her breed, but it had to be on his terms he could get overwhelmed and if left to his own devices put himself in time-out, once in his truck you would get those silent teeth and no one was ever stupid enough to ignore them.

 

Bandit is not following suit with the introvert thing . . .! I swear someday I am going to leave him on a start line stay, lead out, turn, and I'm going to find him happily sitting in a bar setter's lap .

What would have been Brodys first ever Q we were eliminated for kissing a ring worker, "potentially dangerous dog" subsequently judges got to know him otherwise we might never have got any clean rounds as he usually snuck a snuggle in somewhere on the course.

 

My current dog is more of an introvert, but has become incredibly tolerant of rude pets, cuddles and small children doing despicable things, but by choice he would like none of it.

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It is also an "American" thing. I've not travelled that far and wide but I do not see total strangers in other places wanting to 'hug' someone's dog. they more often than not just ignore the dog. I've seen total strange people come running up to strange dogs and intentionally give the dog a big hug. If the people are this rude why would we not expect their dogs to be?

@ Donald -so you frequent concealed weapon forums?

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I personally would not hug someone whom I thought might off me.

 

I give those types some space.

 

That's what ya call, feel.

 

sigh

 

just the way I am I suppose! :D

 

Great post guys!

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Pam, I don't think it is an American thing, my dog has been mauled more by strangers since we left the States. Partially because we have more opportunities to take him places, but through France and Spain he has been petted, hugged and thoroughly had his personal space invaded. That said so have we

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I'm on the hunt for my next dog. (T minus 4.5 weeks and counting!) So, I've been looking at every possible BC as well as every other possible rescue dog in a reasonable distance of me. I'm realizing it's gonna be more a temperament and energy level match for me, rather than a breed choice. (Though... PLEASE let the perfect BC show up in rescue at exactly the moment I am ready to choose!)

 

What I'm finding clear is that I don't want a dog who "loves everybody." I frankly find those dogs exhausting! Give me a dog with some reserve. A dog who doesn't go with just any stranger. (When I was a kid we had neighborhood dogs who would come with us on our adventures. I used to think it embarrassing for their families: that their dogs were so indiscreet that they'd go off with just anyone.)

 

As I look for a dog, a lot of people are advising me to get a lab or a golden mix - something much "easier" than Buddy was. I didn't honestly find Buddy terribly difficult: I understood his reserve and desire to be left alone. Probably, his personality mirrored mine, so understanding came easily.

 

On the other hand, I have a good friend who almost DEMANDS that everyone she meets engage her with bright eyes and jokes. You might call her naturally flirtatious. My old dog (and my other good friend, who is quite reserved and private) drove this woman CRAZY! She just wanted Buddy to run to her, wiggling and excited to see her, ready to PARTY! Consequently, she got in his face, tried much too hard, made way too much eye contact and (I think) appeared desperate to Buddy, who had little use for her.

 

I'm from the east coast, and my family is not huggy. I lived on the west coast for several years, and learned to mimic the hugging behaviors of the culture out there. But it never stopped feeling false and forced. (I always wanted to say: You are a STRANGER! You do not love me! You cannot hug me!) I think part of that is cultural - I wasn't raised hugging. But I wonder if part of it isn't also natural wiring: I don't like noise, crowds, strangers. I'm a strong introvert. As was Buddy.

 

So, as I look for a dog, I'm marking the ones whose listings say "shy" or "reserved." I'll leave the social butterfly dogs to be adopted by the social butterfly humans.

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As many of you might have figured out, our house has a revolving door where fosters constantly come and go. Unsurprisingly, I've had pretty much the full spectrum of behaviours. Right at this moment, I have my own dog; who is Miss Manners, personified. She tolerates all manner of mauling from children, but is really very reserved and doesn't care for hugs. Mis Amber is not friendly to stranfers at all; she still backs away from my wife. Then I have my boarder* collie Cash, who has never met a stranger and will give (and will receive) hugs with anyone who greets him. Lastly, Dan, an ex-ranch dog who really would like to be friends, but is very shy and reserved. You need to approach him slowly, but once he sees you trying to be friendly, he''l accept belly-rubs and scartches while wagging his tail furiously. Never two alike.

 

Note: Cash is an ex-foster, who is staying briefly with us while his folks move.

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Bandit is not following suit with the introvert thing . . .! I swear someday I am going to leave him on a start line stay, lead out, turn, and I'm going to find him happily sitting in a bar setter's lap . . . :P

 

My papillon did that once. On a jumpers course, 2 jumps from the end. Didn't miss a beat! Jump, jump, jump into bar setter's lap and give them a kiss, back to course, jump, jump.

 

We got eliminated. :P

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I was almost a touch disappointed when Keeper turned out to be such a flirt. Just when I start to think I'm important to him he goes and picks a new owner. He's hopped on the mail truck, into kids' laps, everything.

 

Even worse, Keeper cat calls. He has always "woo'd" since he was a puppy. He just sees someone and has to let his feelings out with a quiet, drawl out howl. He's perfectly polite about it, sitting quietly and whatnot, but he picks random people and woos at them. I am not the social type. I have my group of people, but I don't want to chat up every person I meet. But apparently Keeper has other plans for me.

 

My mom's BC Trooper is about the perfect level of social to me. He really likes people and doesn't mind (but doesn't love) being hugged and picked up. He flops on the people he knows, but he mostly pretends that strangers don't exist. He's trustworthy with strangers, but I have no worries about him running off with some random person. Keeper would be SO easy to steal.

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My papillon did that once. On a jumpers course, 2 jumps from the end. Didn't miss a beat! Jump, jump, jump into bar setter's lap and give them a kiss, back to course, jump, jump.

 

We got eliminated. :P

 

I don't think it would NQ us in CPE - especially if all he did was wiggle and give kisses.

 

Still, I seriously hope it never happens. It is my hope that by the time we trial, he will have such an understanding of the game, and so much drive for it, that he will choose it over a personal party with the ring crew.

 

But right now . . . MAN he loves people.

 

He was at the vet yesterday for his one year follow up vaccines and while I was waiting to pay, he was flirting with every person in the waiting area. He uses his eyes and the way he wiggles to get attention from every person in the room!! It is amazing to see his determination to do everything he can come up with to get every eye on him!!

 

I love it . . . but I won't love it if I ever do find him in a bar setter's lap!!! :D

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