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Four month old border collie - some questions!


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3 hours ago, GentleLake said:

What D'Elle said.

Anyone breeding working border collies knows that the herding instinct is genetically very fragile and can begin to be diluted in only a very few generations. Those of us who've been around long enough to see how quickly the KC bred dogs and then the ACK dogs bred for conformation are all too well acquainted with the effect.

I'm curious whether the UK border collie rescue was founded by KC minded folks rather than people from working border collie world for them to be spreading that kind of nonsense. The things you've linked to, Parly, certainly have the aura of the kinds of messages we hear from ACK people here who've had to water down their sheepdog trail requirements to the point that just about any dog of any breed could be trained to perform them. Certainly no ACK bred dogs that I'm aware of have been able to successfully compete in open sheepdog trials here, even fairly less competitive regional ones.

So, yeah, I'd take all that with a very large chunk of rock salt.

As an aside, I haven't seen bite statistic records for the UK, but here the number one ranked dog for bites is the Lab.

 

See reply I just posted for D''Elle :)

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34 minutes ago, Parly said:

You really didn't look at anything on the website did you?! :blink:

I've seen enough. Domesticated Pet Stock? :P  

http://www.bordercollierescue.org/advice/bcr_leaflets/adviceon.html

DO NOT get a young puppy from a farm.
Farm bred puppies are obviously from working parents (and bloodlines) and not from domesticated pet stock. On a farm puppies tend to be isolated from social interactions and grow up poorly socialised and domestically inexperienced..

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I'd choose a working bred dog for a pet any day over one bred for sports or a pet. Generally speaking I think they've got a much more solid temperament. Until I started adopting rescues because I was no longer raising sheep, my dogs were working bred and they all lived in the house as pets when they weren't with me or my ex in the barn or pasture.

And you couldn't get me near a show bred Barbie collie for all the money in the world.

 

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Perhaps there is a substantial difference between breeds who make the dog bite list in the UK and in the US.

I just took a stroll through a couple different dog bite statistics, and border collies here in the US are waaaay down on the list. Chihuahuas top the list, and several other small breeds make the top 20. Darn it, I'll have to go find that site again tomorrow, I didn't book mark it.

Ruth & Gibbs 

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56 minutes ago, urge to herd said:

Perhaps there is a substantial difference between breeds who make the dog bite list in the UK and in the US.

I just took a stroll through a couple different dog bite statistics, and border collies here in the US are waaaay down on the list. Chihuahuas top the list, and several other small breeds make the top 20. Darn it, I'll have to go find that site again tomorrow, I didn't book mark it.

Ruth & Gibbs 


It is hard to get a true sort of overall picture to be honest and depending on where you are in the county and who is recording and then publishing information it can be hard work cos you do need to go digging and cross referencing info and then ruling stuff out it's a pain in the arse. Things do tend to come in waves and trends though. I live in a rural area with farms and sheepdogs and collies but Huskies are fast becoming the devil here.   In five year three Huskies and a Spitz have been shot dead for attacking sheep within 20 miles. Another Spitz has been missing over a year which I suspect was killed over the hills sadly.

Sorting through records and research BCR have done and found this old one they did with Battersea on kennel frustration which is interesting but some of those results are tragic. The number of dogs that ended up for biting children, chasing cars and the level of problems they had that results in them PTS is a bit soul destroying :(

http://www.bordercollierescue.org/advice/Content/thedogshome.html

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-24839612

And again I've no idea what the process is for US but I'm still amazed this was able to happen to this poor kid.

The dog had had six previous owners, and the last one had kept it for less than 24 hours before it attacked another dog, leaving him fearing for the safety of his children but he didn't want to pay a fee so lied and said it was a stray he'd found and then the dog warden would take it free

It went to kennels and Mum said she had seen that it was not suitable for a home with toddlers but one of the staff said she had assessed them home and felt happy to let the dog to them and then £50 off it went.

Everything failed everyone really other than the idiot that had the dog for 24hrs when it attacked another dog and he was worried about the kids but not worried enough about someone else's clearly he didn't give a shit where it went as long as he didn't have to pay.

That people can just buy and sell and breed animals and we're still letting it happen in the UK is beyond me.  

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I just had a look at the site Parly linked to and I would say a lot of what is written is a deliberate attempt to discourage someone getting a border collie. Now we no longer have Mum24 to give the UK prospective let me see if I can add something useful. In the U.K. Collies are very common, and very cheap. Working collies are not rare, and are often still simply farm bred without papers, it's obvious when you look at the Facebook group for sheepdog puppies. 

There is much less of a divide between working and show dogs as the Barbie variety are rare, when I went to the border collie classic which was in England last year I only saw one barbie collie. When I go for walks when visiting my mother I never see show dogs and when I chat to people about their dogs they are usually rescues or from a farm. What all this means is loads of families get one when they are completely unprepared and as a consequence lots end up in rescue. Obviously you get sports and pet bred ones but from my hunt for an ISDS puppy two years ago they cost a lot more than a farm dog, in fact that became a warning sign! You can buy an unpapered farm puppy for £200 a Labrador without papers is going to cost you three times that. 

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16 hours ago, Parly said:

You really didn't look at anything on the website did you?! :blink:

I read enough. And far more than just those two statements. Not everything that they say is wrong, but....

Any breeder who is "carefully selecting" to breed out working ability in border collies is NOT a "responsible" breeder. Any website that makes a statement like that makes it clear that they are not a source of information I would trust. JMO. And also the opinion of others here.

Also, if they want to say that border collies bite more people than any other breed, they should have a reference to back up that statement.

I did not say that moving stock was a learned behavior. Of course, basic stockwork behavior and instinct is inherited; that is why it is so important to breed carefully and truly responsibly for that quality. What I said, and stand by, is that chasing and nipping and so on are not stockwork behavior. They are typical playful behaviors of puppies and I have seem them in many many young dogs who had no border collie in them. You can train this bad behavior out of any dog, including a border collie. Including a border collie who is then  trained to move livestock. . Folks here who work their dogs, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I am saying that this puppy behavior really has nothing to do with ability to work with livestock.
 

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12 hours ago, D'Elle said:

What I said, and stand by, is that chasing and nipping and so on are not stockwork behavior. They are typical playful behaviors of puppies and I have seem them in many many young dogs who had no border collie in them. You can train this bad behavior out of any dog, including a border collie. Including a border collie who is then  trained to move livestock. . Folks here who work their dogs, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I am saying that this puppy behavior really has nothing to do with ability to work with livestock.

I think what so many people tend to forget when ascribing behaviors like this to being herding behaviors that you just have to expect in a border collies, is that all border collie behaviors -- including herding specific behaviors -- are dog behaviors.

Certain very normal and expected dog behaviors have been selected in different breeds to be exaggerated to serve humans' purposes for those dogs. But they can only be selected for because they're already there in the canine behavioral repertoire to begin with.

Dogs are domesticated wolves. Wolves are predators. Ergo dogs -- any dogs -- will exhibit a certain amount of predatory behavior. It's in their DNA and no amount of selective breeding has bred it out. Or has altered it to the degree that it's morphed into something completely different.

Chasing, pouncing on and biting moving objects is very common play behavior in all canine puppies. It's their earliest practice at developing the skills they need to hone to become successful predators. So it's not surprising at all that dog puppies also do it, and why so many breeds that have been neotenized to retain their infantile appeal to humans will continue to do this throughout their lives if not trained otherwise.

So, no. Chasing and nipping are not "herding" behavior. It's predatory behavior that occurs across the canine spectrum.

I really think there are a whole lot of people -- not to mention their dogs -- who would be better off being disabused of the notion that their border collies have evolved to be something other than mere dogs. :rolleyes:

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I saw a video one time....wish I could post it here but don't even know where I saw it....of coyote puppies playing. One of them was doing a crouch-and-eye creep up to two of the others at one point, in good border collie form. It was delightful to watch, and fully indicative of how basic that behavior is across the spectrum of canines. 

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^^ Yep.

I limited my comments to canids because that's what we're dealing with here, but all young mammalian predators play at doing things that will become their hunting and/or social skills later on. It's part of their developmental process.

That domestic dogs retain so many of these behaviors into adulthood is because they've been neotenized to appeal to their human caretakers who prefer more infantile behaviors (and often, appearance - but the 2 go hand in hand) over those of adult predators.

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