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Every morning I go to BC Boards to see what is going on. It struck me today that almost every thread that I read has a reference to training or some type of involvement beyond just being the dog in the house. I know for me, having Juno, has been a total committment. We are partners on a journey together. I know other types of dogs also have committed owners, and unfortunately, I know that some Border Collies have less than ideal owners, but I still wonder if Border Collies as a breed tend to attract/bring out/demand the best in owners.

Bill

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Honestly, I think this is where the stereotype of border collies being crazy and hyper had played into their favor. People who get border collies, typically, don't get them to be a 'house dog'. They get them with full intentions of having well trained well exercised dogs (which admittedly can lead to other problems). Also the lack luster owners typically cannot handle a border collie and that is what usually leads to dogs being sent to the shelter.

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I think you maybe right. I know my dogs bring out the best in me and I put more into their training and activities because I know they love it and need it....and I inturn am a better dog person.

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No question about it! My BC has brought out the best dog person in me, I knew going in that getting Grace was going to be dramatically different than getting my Bella ( my chihuahua, my heart ) Grace has taken dog ownership to a whole new level, I knew because I researched it that having a BC demanded training in a way much more than the typical, then I thought...wait a minute...have I done Bella a huge injustice??? I think I have, there is no reason I shouldn't have done for her what I'm doing for Grace, shame on me! So having Grace has made me a better dog person, Bella now gets training, walks and everything I do for Grace I do for Bella, poor Bella. I of course don't push her like I do Grace, she is after all 4 pounds to Graces 15 pounds. I think we just believe that some dogs are more of a dog than another one is. I beg to differ. Its fair to say that BC's are the smartest dog bar none, hands down, no argument there, but every dog should be given the attention a BC gets maybe a touch more, doggie self esteem and all, lol. BC do out do every other canine to a point where they are not allowed to play in all the reindeer games because they out win them every single time.

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I decided that I could handle a border collie because of my little dog. My little dog, frankly, demanded I step it up. She was soft and had confidence issues, but she also required attention and training and to be engaged and worked with in a way that many of my other dogs did.

And when my relationship with her grew and I saw what all of that work brought to the table, the confidence it gave the dog, and just the way it deepened our bond? Yeah, there was no way I was going back to a dog who was willing to be loved on and hang out at the house and not push me back.


Molly (the BC) brought that to the table the exact same way my little dog did. Different intensity, yeah, but the same... engagement I wanted.

 

I WILL always have dogs who push me and demand I actively, actually, GIVE to the relationship with them. Dogs who want a partner, and to be a partner.

 

It's really changed everything about how I see dogs.

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My husband said this: "You couldn't just get a dog. You had to get a Border Collie, the smartest dog. And then you want to do everything WITH the dog!" ... said exasperatingly. He is used to dogs in the background of life, not a really big part of life.

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I always say Gabe is the 400 level course in Dog Ownership. On days when he's having a really bad reactivity day, or otherwise giving me grief, he may even be a Graduate Course. My labradoodle was more of a 100 or 200 level, and definitely set me up for being able to handle stupid amounts of energy, the border collie at least has some brains to go with it.

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Every morning I go to BC Boards to see what is going on. It struck me today that almost every thread that I read has a reference to training or some type of involvement beyond just being the dog in the house. I know for me, having Juno, has been a total committment. We are partners on a journey together. I know other types of dogs also have committed owners, and unfortunately, I know that some Border Collies have less than ideal owners, but I still wonder if Border Collies as a breed tend to attract/bring out/demand the best in owners.

Bill

 

I think that in the cases where it works, they bring out the best in us.

 

When I think back to the way we got Speedy - total impulse buy - that could have gone so wrong. Not only was he an energetic Border Collie puppy, he had some very serious temperament issues.

 

I was committed to him from Day 1 and I will willing to do whatever it took to help him, and I did. And I was completely transformed by that experience.

 

But it doesn't go that way for everyone. Dean's owners realized he was too much dog for him and they surrendered him to rescue. A wise choice, I believe, as the rescue very responsibly rehomed him with someone who could help him become what he had the potential to be. But a lot of Border Collies in that situation don't fare so well.

 

The difference between my Border Collies and the mutts I had was striking!! :D The mutts really were content to just be dogs. Speedy took me to places I never even imagined.

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For me it is different I find border collies easier to work with than other dogs, I think it is their work ethic, their desire to try and try again. Its not just my dogs, I have to work extra hard with my agility students who are not collies to find what makes them tick, what can we do to help them understand what we want, how to motivate them to try again. The border collies aren't perfect but I can figure out way to connect with them quicker.

A friend has a mallinois, and that to me is a graduate level dog, basic training is no different to a border collie, but the physicality is a whole different thing, and although I think he a supper dog you could not pay me to have a mallinois rather than a border collie.

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I have loved to train dogs ever since I discovered such a thing was possible, at age 12 or so. For me, having border collies usually makes training more fun because they are usually so quick and clever. It is just thrilling to me when I see the "lightbulb" go off and the dog knows what I want. They also tend to bring out the best in me as a trainer; I have to concentrate and be meticulous and accurate because they are so quick that if I am not clicking at exactly the right moment, they learn the wrong thing.

 

On the other hand, my terrier mix, Digger, has proved to learn some kinds of things even faster than the border collies I have trained did, and he is every bit as eager to learn and to work with me.

 

My little white fluffy dog, Boo, has pleasantly surprised me. I started training him in freestyle a couple of months ago just to see how he would do, and he not only picked up new behaviors very quickly, he also has proven to have amazingly solid attention and focus under great distraction. His focus is better than the terrier, and better than Jester's was when he was still dancing with me. We did our first public performance last week and he performed his routine perfectly in a strange room with an audience of about 75 people. I was impressed.

 

But I still think that in general training a border collie is going to be easier and more fun, and in some ways more challenging in a good way than training most other dogs.

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Not really a border collie, but I'm always that person who asks, "Can I bring my dog?" and will do things I don't normally do if Kieran can come (hiking, running, etc.). Now that we're more involved with dog sports, I have people who won't roll their eyes at me and encourage me to do activities with him.

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