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Dirk CA

My Girl Hazel

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I got my dog Hazel from a city shelter back in November. I know she's not a full border collie. But is she even part BC?

Thanks

Dirk

 

Hazel_Montage.jpg

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Thanks for adopting!  She is a good looking dog.  As to whether she is a border collie, behavior will tell you more than looks.  If you aren't already familiar with border collie behavior, it is hard to describe LOL.

 

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Hazel is lovely!  Thanks so much for adopting her.  Keep us posted on her behavior and development.  And keep those photos coming!

Amy

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Hazel looks a lot like my wonderful Samantha, except her muzzle is a bit shorter. Sammi was a dark red/white with. Hazel is built very much like she was ~ almost like a grey hound with the deep chest and tight stomach. 

As Michael Parkey said, behavior is key.  It's hard to describe, but I'll try. BC tend to NEED to be doing something, preferably with their humans. If she's taken to training, loves to 'work' with you while learning, that's very much a BC trait. Does she do any circling of people or other dogs, even cats? That can also be a BC behavior. It's not something to allow, though. Other dogs tend not to like it.

Keep up with training, silly tricks are fun, once you've got her basic manners 'installed'.  All of my border collies have loved using their noses. Hiding treats around the house or the yard is a big hit. My Gibbs gets half his meals in his bowl, as he's got to get some medications with food. The other half goes in some kind of treat dispensing puzzle. Sometimes I'll take a cardboard tube left over from a paper towel roll, fold one end over, pour some kibble into it, and fold the other end over. He gets to rip it to shreds. A little mess to clean up, but it amuses him.

Where do you live in CA? I'm about an hour north of SF.

Ruth & Gibbs

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10 hours ago, Michael Parkey said:

Thanks for adopting!  She is a good looking dog.  As to whether she is a border collie, behavior will tell you more than looks.  If you aren't already familiar with border collie behavior, it is hard to describe LOL.

 

Thanks Michael.

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8 hours ago, amc said:

Hazel is lovely!  Thanks so much for adopting her.  Keep us posted on her behavior and development.  And keep those photos coming!

Amy

Will do Amy.

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7 hours ago, urge to herd said:

Hazel looks a lot like my wonderful Samantha, except her muzzle is a bit shorter. Sammi was a dark red/white with. Hazel is built very much like she was ~ almost like a grey hound with the deep chest and tight stomach. 

As Michael Parkey said, behavior is key.  It's hard to describe, but I'll try. BC tend to NEED to be doing something, preferably with their humans. If she's taken to training, loves to 'work' with you while learning, that's very much a BC trait. Does she do any circling of people or other dogs, even cats? That can also be a BC behavior. It's not something to allow, though. Other dogs tend not to like it.

Keep up with training, silly tricks are fun, once you've got her basic manners 'installed'.  All of my border collies have loved using their noses. Hiding treats around the house or the yard is a big hit. My Gibbs gets half his meals in his bowl, as he's got to get some medications with food. The other half goes in some kind of treat dispensing puzzle. Sometimes I'll take a cardboard tube left over from a paper towel roll, fold one end over, pour some kibble into it, and fold the other end over. He gets to rip it to shreds. A little mess to clean up, but it amuses him.

Where do you live in CA? I'm about an hour north of SF.

Ruth & Gibbs

Thanks for the detailed reply, Ruth and Gibbs.

 

Hazel was found on a street in Bakersfield and no one had come to collect her. She was thin and there seemed to be signs that she wasn't treated very well. So if she has any BC traits, they might be buried a under the skittishness. She's easing up a little. Time will tell. 

 

She doesn't do the circling/herding type of moves so much. Maybe after she loosens up, that may change. She's not at all interested in tennis balls or frisbees. But she DOES love her walks! And I'm a bit overweight, so that is benefiting both of us. I hope to start up on some hikes soon.

 

Thanks again!

 

Dirk

 

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Forgot to mention, in general, the 2 best things to teach any dog are 'come' and 'stay'. A solid recall will keep your pup out of trouble, and a solid stay the same. Gibbs always gets an acknowledgement  when he recalls on command. Most of the time it's a simple 'good dog', but every now and then he gets an awesome treat and a good head scratch, which is his FAVORITE thing in the world. I learned from a trainer that making a big deal of it intermittently sort of keeps them guessing. The dog knows it is doing the right thing, but they never know when they're going to hit that jackpot so it keeps them hoping. Makes sense to me.

All of my dogs have had to be taught to fetch. Once they caught on, I had to be careful not to run them to much. My first bc ran her paws to shreds because I wasn't paying attention ~ I was chatting with friends while throwing the ball for her. We were at a park with a dried out, hard packed dirt surface. I finally saw blood on her legs. She was in a lot of pain for several days, and that episode taught me a lesson. If your girl is a bc she may have a tendency to obsessiveness. It can become a problem so keep an eye on that.

And as  AMC says, keep the pix coming!

Ruth & Gibbs

 

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18 hours ago, urge to herd said:

Forgot to mention, in general, the 2 best things to teach any dog are 'come' and 'stay'. A solid recall will keep your pup out of trouble, and a solid stay the same. Gibbs always gets an acknowledgement  when he recalls on command. Most of the time it's a simple 'good dog', but every now and then he gets an awesome treat and a good head scratch, which is his FAVORITE thing in the world. I learned from a trainer that making a big deal of it intermittently sort of keeps them guessing. The dog knows it is doing the right thing, but they never know when they're going to hit that jackpot so it keeps them hoping. Makes sense to me.

All of my dogs have had to be taught to fetch. Once they caught on, I had to be careful not to run them to much. My first bc ran her paws to shreds because I wasn't paying attention ~ I was chatting with friends while throwing the ball for her. We were at a park with a dried out, hard packed dirt surface. I finally saw blood on her legs. She was in a lot of pain for several days, and that episode taught me a lesson. If your girl is a bc she may have a tendency to obsessiveness. It can become a problem so keep an eye on that.

And as  AMC says, keep the pix coming!

Ruth & Gibbs

 

Thanks for the additional tips, Ruth. She's actually picking up 'come' and 'stay' fairly well. I have a cat, so for the first couple of months, it's been getting them to co-exist. It took longer than I thought.

 

Here's the first pic I took of her, after picking her up at the shelter. They have you pick them up on the day they're fixed. So she's nervous, groggy and wearing a collar, and now some stranger is driving her somewhere else. The poor thing. The collar had to stay on for 2 weeks.

 

IMG_20191105_150115712_HDRb.jpg

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14 hours ago, Dirk CA said:

She doesn't do the circling/herding type of moves so much. Maybe after she loosens up, that may change. She's not at all interested in tennis balls or frisbees. But she DOES love her walks! And I'm a bit overweight, so that is benefiting both of us. I hope to start up on some hikes soon.

 

Owning a young border collie will definitely get you off the couch, LOL.  We adopted 8 month old Levi a week after I had hernia surgery, and I was on my feet in no time.

A rough start in life and the accompanying stress can suppress behavior normal for the individual dog.  One thing I notice in the photos is the fixed gaze or "eye" typical of border collies.  She even has one foreleg raised. Also her tail is held low in those photos; border collies usually hold their tails low when working, or thinking about working.

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7 hours ago, Michael Parkey said:

Owning a young border collie will definitely get you off the couch, LOL.  We adopted 8 month old Levi a week after I had hernia surgery, and I was on my feet in no time.

A rough start in life and the accompanying stress can suppress behavior normal for the individual dog.  One thing I notice in the photos is the fixed gaze or "eye" typical of border collies.  She even has one foreleg raised. Also her tail is held low in those photos; border collies usually hold their tails low when working, or thinking about working.

Thanks Michael. I've seen a couple of full-fledged BC's at the dog park, and Hazel's look and behavior are similar to theirs, but not totally.

 

This is actually the first dog I've had that needs it's hair trimmed. All my others have been short-hairs. And man, does hair grow on this dog! I just got done trimming most of the hair from her back legs and tail. Now it's easier for her to clean herself. And less hair in the house too. = ]

 

 

Hazel_Hair_Trim2.jpg

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To be honest, if I saw Hazel in the street, I would assume she was a full border collie, what is called an Aussie Red, or EE red border collie (if you want to go down the rabbit hole of border collie coat genetics).  In Australia, we also call them informally wheaten, golden, champagne, caramel etc depending on how dark the colour is.  She is white factored, with the white patch one her back, and the white going up under her hind legs, but all of these are known coat traits of a border collie.  The coat colour is not necessarily a sign of working bred BCs, more of the breeders who breed for colour, and therefore money.

Even the photos of her in motion do not look inconsistent with a BC to me.  Her body shape again looks fine as a BC, as does her medium length coat.  But then I am not an expert!  I just know that there is considerable variation in the breed, as they were originally bred for working ability, not looks.  Try googling the Border Collie Museum and having a look at their various pages on different coats, ears, eyes, colours etc.

I am curious as to why you assume she is not all BC, or even mostly?

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Ah, yes, the BC feathers. If we get a heavy rainy season next winter, you might want to trim the tail, legs AND belly feathers more closely. It's not that much fun rinsing mud out of dogs 2 or 3 times a day.

Ruth & Gibbs

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22 hours ago, Lawgirl said:

To be honest, if I saw Hazel in the street, I would assume she was a full border collie, what is called an Aussie Red, or EE red border collie (if you want to go down the rabbit hole of border collie coat genetics).  In Australia, we also call them informally wheaten, golden, champagne, caramel etc depending on how dark the colour is.  She is white factored, with the white patch one her back, and the white going up under her hind legs, but all of these are known coat traits of a border collie.  The coat colour is not necessarily a sign of working bred BCs, more of the breeders who breed for colour, and therefore money.

Even the photos of her in motion do not look inconsistent with a BC to me.  Her body shape again looks fine as a BC, as does her medium length coat.  But then I am not an expert!  I just know that there is considerable variation in the breed, as they were originally bred for working ability, not looks.  Try googling the Border Collie Museum and having a look at their various pages on different coats, ears, eyes, colours etc.

I am curious as to why you assume she is not all BC, or even mostly?

Hi Lawgirl. I just wasn't making any assumptions, as I don't have enough expertise with the breed. I've watched videos where people send in the doggy DNA and are surprised that their dog isn't what they thought it was. That's why I wanted to ask everyone here, the experts. = ] Thanks for your insight into her appearance and description of similar dogs.

 

She definitely stood out to me at the shelter, because I wasn't really interested in the many pit bulls, huskies and chihuahua's on display. I'm so fortunate to have her.

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18 hours ago, urge to herd said:

Ah, yes, the BC feathers. If we get a heavy rainy season next winter, you might want to trim the tail, legs AND belly feathers more closely. It's not that much fun rinsing mud out of dogs 2 or 3 times a day.

Ruth & Gibbs

Feathers. lol.

And don't get me started on the hair between her paw pads. The feet are the biggest challenge for me with hair and nail maintenance. But the more I keep up with it, the less she fusses.

 

Thanks again!

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I've done a decent job with trimming her hair on the tail, legs and feet. The only thing really left is all that hair around her ears. I'm surprised she can even hear me. = ] She does look cute though.

Any tips on cutting hair around the ears and especially the inner part? I suppose I can check for videos online as well.

 

 

20200508_230721603b-2.png

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She's an adorable pup! Congrats on getting her. Just a word of caution..it's not recommended that you cut/shave any of her trimming, maybe the feet to keep them neater but everything else should really just be brushed on a regular basis. There's a reason they have this coat :)

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3 hours ago, Journey said:

She's an adorable pup! Congrats on getting her. Just a word of caution..it's not recommended that you cut/shave any of her trimming, maybe the feet to keep them neater but everything else should really just be brushed on a regular basis. There's a reason they have this coat :)

Ok, thanks!

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I've ready plenty of cautions about clipping or shaving a dog down, which is often done by people in the summer months. The reasoning is that the fur actually insulates them from excessive heat as well as cold. You can see this easily when a black dog's in bright sunlight on a hot day. Even though the top of the fur is hot to the touch you'll find that when you run your fingers under the fur it's much cooler close to the skin.

I've never read or heard of anyone saying that you shouldn't trim the longer fur on the tail, around ears or even on the back of the thighs as shown in Dirk's photos. There's no physical reason I can think of not to. I personally don't care for the look and much prefer a natural appearance, but that's just a matter of individual preference. Burs and such are much less likely to get tangled up in the longer fur if it's trimmed, and if longer coated dogs aren't brushed regularly they're more prone to developing mats, especially in that super soft fur around their ears. Some dogs with dense fur under their tails can benefit from what groomers call a sanitary cut, which can help dogs who have frequent digestive issues stay cleaner.

Dirk, your dog resembles one of mine quite a bit. In some of the pics the shape of Hazel's head appears to be a bit different, and she also looks to be a tad heavier boned than Tansy (pictured below) is. I'm pretty sure Tansy's a lurcher, a cross between usually a pastoral breed and a sighthound breed deliberately bred in the UK. I've seen some pictures of border collie x Saluki lurchers that look a lot like Tansy. Tansy's also got the roachier back, deep chest and pronounced tummy tuck that suggests sighthound in her mix, as well as a wicked prey drive and you're-not-the-boss-of-me sighthound attitude. She came from a shelter in Bowling Green, KY.

It does look to me like your dog could be part border collie, but my guess would be that she's not purebred. The Aussie red color is still pretty unusual in the US, though it does show up in ACK bred dogs.

image.png.e9dd6d3f062c98094027659919b56f54.png

 

 

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1 hour ago, GentleLake said:

I've ready plenty of cautions about clipping or shaving a dog down, which is often done by people in the summer months. The reasoning is that the fur actually insulates them from excessive heat as well as cold. You can see this easily when a black dog's in bright sunlight on a hot day. Even though the top of the fur is hot to the touch you'll find that when you run your fingers under the fur it's much cooler close to the skin.

I've never read or heard of anyone saying that you shouldn't trim the longer fur on the tail, around ears or even on the back of the thighs as shown in Dirk's photos. There's no physical reason I can think of not to. I personally don't care for the look and much prefer a natural appearance, but that's just a matter of individual preference. Burs and such are much less likely to get tangled up in the longer fur if it's trimmed, and if longer coated dogs aren't brushed regularly they're more prone to developing mats, especially in that super soft fur around their ears. Some dogs with dense fur under their tails can benefit from what groomers call a sanitary cut, which can help dogs who have frequent digestive issues stay cleaner.

Dirk, your dog resembles one of mine quite a bit. In some of the pics the shape of Hazel's head appears to be a bit different, and she also looks to be a tad heavier boned than Tansy (pictured below) is. I'm pretty sure Tansy's a lurcher, a cross between usually a pastoral breed and a sighthound breed deliberately bred in the UK. I've seen some pictures of border collie x Saluki lurchers that look a lot like Tansy. Tansy's also got the roachier back, deep chest and pronounced tummy tuck that suggests sighthound in her mix, as well as a wicked prey drive and you're-not-the-boss-of-me sighthound attitude. She came from a shelter in Bowling Green, KY.

It does look to me like your dog could be part border collie, but my guess would be that she's not purebred. The Aussie red color is still pretty unusual in the US, though it does show up in ACK bred dogs.

 

 

Thanks for the detailed reply. Yes, Tansy and Hazel are quite similar.  Tansy's a beaut.

 

As for the hair, I'm letting it grow back out a bit. I do like the look of the whispy hairs. On the previous cut, I just thought I'd go real short all around to keep from having to do it more often. So as it's growing out now, I'm doing more discreet trims and not butchering it so much.

 

Thanks again for the insight.

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