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Preference: Short flat or long rough coat?

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Hey Gang!

Just wondering what people preferences are with coats, I know this is really personal person-to-person, or some might not care, just a generally wondering, what people like and why? For me, we had two tri boys, one long rough coat and one medium long coat. I guess tri colour boys with long or rough coats would be my preference as that is what we have known. I also like running my hands through the long coat :) 

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All I care about in a dog is what's inside. The external is unimportant in comparison to the personality of the dog and compatibility with me.

Having said that, if all other things were equal (which wouldn't be likely to happen) I would go for shorter hair because I live in a hot climate.

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Having spent time picking cockleburs from rough coats and tangled in long britching on rough coated dogs my preference is smooth coats.

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What Mark said ^^^^  about the mats in the britches is true. The longer coats take more care. However, like D'Elle, personality is key for me.. I love my Gibbs and he's the opposite of social. The sole requirement for my next dog, (aside from being a border collie) is that it's got to be socially outgoing. Don't care about color/coat type/sex or even working ability, since it's going to be a pet. I miss having a dog who willingly goes up to strangers to say hi. 

Ruth & Gibbs

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I agree with Mark. Most of my dogs are smooth coats because less stuff attaches to them, namely burrs, briars, and the like. Burrs aren’t a huge problem on my farm, but briars are. 
 

That said, my newest puppy is a rough coat. Although not my preference, the breeding was something I didn’t want to pass up (closely related on one side to my best ever stockdog), so I’ll deal with the things that attach to her coat. 
 

J. 

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Irish Collie: She is lovely. I love a long hair tri.

D'Elle, how do you gauge the "personality of the dog and compatibility" if looking at puppies? (asking for advice)
I bet it does get hot in 
Tucson. Here in the Uk, no worries about that! I can see how the sorter coats would be better for the heat.

Mark, good advice also. Never seemed to have that problem, but I can certainly see why that is a pain.

Ruth & Gibbs, how would you check for 'socially outgoing'? My boy loved strangers, had to do a lot of training with him to stay calm, but in his older age he was brilliant with that. 

Hello Julie :) aww lovely to hear you have a new one. 

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Umanoodle, all my dogs have been rescues or rehomes, I've never raised a pup. My Gibbs is a re-home and he's a great dog for me, but he's no social butterfly. Two of my previous b collies, one a re-home and another a rescue, came to me as adults. Samantha LOVED kids and babies. She'd approach any child anywhere. I always asked parents if it was all right, and if allowed, Sammie would get petted and played with by the kid(s). She followed a toddler around a park once for about 30 minutes. The toddler would sit down in the grass and Sam would lay down right beside her, then follow her around some more. One of the sweetest things I've ever seen.

Buzz loved EVERYBODY! I had no idea what he was like when I brought him home, snatched him from a local animal shelter a day or so before he was due to be put down. He thought EVERYONE loved him and he loved them right back.

I don't know how I'll find that next dog. It might take some doing, even going through a rescue. But that's what I'm going for.

Ruth & Gibbs

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Ruth & Gibbs, oh my heart :wub: they sound lovely, bless them. I have been looking for a rescue for the past 6 months after my soul bc passed in my arms from a short illness. Rescue was my first choice, I worked for and helped set up a bc rescue in the UK. I have been struggling to find a rescue that would fit with me. It is harder in the Uk as you have to fill certain requirements, and for me my next bc would come to work with me (something a rescue would not agree with) I also have a niece 5yo, and see my brother and his dog regularly, so the next bc would have to fit with that, I so far have not found a fit yet.

So messaged an old friend on the off chance and his mums dog had pups, so will see if one fits for me. If not back to the drawing board again! Are you in the Uk or somewhere else? Your dogs sound so lovely. xx

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I'm in the US, Northern CA, an hour or so from San Francisco. I feel truly fortunate to have found border collies at all. I started out with a stray dog who I'm pretty sure was a cattle dog. Sweetest personality ~ I had friends at the time who didn't care for dogs. They all fell madly in love with Tillie. After Tillie passed on I had the good fortune to meet up with a  breeder who said she had a dog who would be perfect for me. She was right, that was Sammie. From that point it's been all border collies all the time.

Thanks for the compliment. It hasn't all been easy, I had troubles with Shoshone, one of 3 I had all at the same time. She was the smartest canine I've ever known and crazy. She had been rescued from an incredibly bad situation. a 'send-them-to-prison' bad situation and sent to a locally run rescue. Shonie learned anything in record time, I used to say she could hear me describe a trick and then perform it.  As she got older she got crankier and a change in our living situation made things much harder for her. I tried an antidepressant for her, it didn't work. Then I was advised to try another one, clomicalm. It made a world of difference. That made things easier for everyone.

Best of luck on finding a bc for yourself. Will be sending good thoughts!

Ruth & Gibbs

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My last two were both rough coats.  I HATE grooming.  So when searching for the next dog, I was hoping for a smoothie.  However, as the fates would have it, I ended up with two rough-coated puppies.  sigh.  But this time, I am committing to taking them to a groomer so I don't have to keep up with it. 

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Ruth and Gibbs, I loved hearing about yours, and same, they are the best breed for sure. I grew up with Harry (family dog) from about 13, and I had Ollie (my dog) from say 24 ish, god I miss him so much. He worked less in his older years, was more a couch potato, but when he was younger there was class, training, longer walks. I can’t imagine not having one in my life. 
 

sounds like your Shonie was lucky to have you ❤️. Thank you so much for your thoughts, really needed and appreciated thank you. When I find him I will post pictures in the gallery ❤️
 

Harry is my boy in my profile pic, I find it still a bit raw looking at pictures of Ollie as I miss him so much. xx

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beachdoz, I guess it is preference the coats, and yes agreed about groomers, I love brushing my long coat boy, and running hand through his coat, I guess I find it relaxing and bonding. But agreed groomers god you can hand them over and they take care of it. They look lovely from the photo btw xx

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3 hours ago, UMANOODLE said:

...[Rescue] is harder in the Uk...

That's not universally true. There are many rescues in the US that are very strict in their requirement. Others not so much and there are quite a few that aren't very reputable at all. I've volunteered with 2 border collie specific rescues. One is excellent and I've been an active volunteer for the past 12+ years. The other I parted company with after a fairly short time.

 

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I love fluffy butts but I love how smooth coats look also.

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As stated above, health and disposition first!  But my aesthetic preference is for semi-long coats. 

Our two dogs (both rescues) are an interesting contrast.  Buddy is an Aussie mix, with a very full but not terribly long coat.  He looks great (to my eye) but his coat catches everything!  Bur season here in Texas is a nightmare.  Buddy's coat is very soft, fine textured, and shiny.  Everyone loves to pet him, if he allows it.

Levi is a border collie, and his coat is as long as Buddy's, but very different in texture and density.  His guard hairs are longer and much more coarse, and his undercoat is less dense and much shorter.  He has the attractive feathers and a very luxuriant tail, but his coat requires much less grooming than Buddy's.  Burs don't stick to it much---for every bur Levi brings home, Buddy brings 20.

I don't have enough experience with border collies to know what type of long coat is typical.  But two coats of the same length can have very different grooming requirements.  I much prefer Levi's coat.

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Female, rough coat always. I kinda want a different color/markings each time, this is mostly a joke but I'd like to keep it going for fun if it works out. First was black and white with lots and lots of ticking. Currently have a black and white who's mostly white. Would love a tri or a merle for my next dog, but also want to rescue a dog that fits well with me and my household and that's of course priority over coat color. But female rough coat is a must have. 

Oh, perky ears might also be a requirement for me... I didn't realize until this pups ears didn't stand that I really really prefer a pricked ear. 

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Absolutely love smooth coats. Although I would take a rough coat in a heart beat if I came across the right one.

Molly doesn’t have a very slick coat which I really like. She has more hair on her butt and throat. Her throat is very very soft, it feels like a stuffed animal. 
When she sheds she looks a bit ridiculous, because we’re not used to the more smooth look she gets then :P

 

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All of my BCs so far have been rough coat, but none have been long coat, all ranging from quite short with bloomers and ruff, to very fluffy and properly mid length.

Have had two tri-colours, one red merle and two black and whites, one of which had a full white face.  Two of my dogs have had one blue, one brown eye.  Oh, and by coincidence, all have been boys.

Also, all of my dogs have had different feels to their coats, different tendencies to mat, and different amounts shed.  I can actually pick which dog I touch in the dark by the feel of his coat.

The only thing they have all had in common is that magical teflon quality of shedding dirt once it dries.

I don't think that I would want a super long coat, or a smooth - I like my mid-length rough coat dogs.  You can sink your fingers into the fur but they don't get tangled.

And I probably am a complete sucker for tri-colours and white faces, like my first two who we got two days apart.  Although white-faces kinda break my heart still, after losing Oscar last year.  I weirdly like the BCs who do not meet the classic look, who look a little unique.

But honestly, if I fell for a BC, I would not care about its looks, I would love it anyway.

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I like short haired collies. But in truth I never really liked collies or wanted a collie until I saw my boy (adult rescued farm dog) and knew he was the dog for me. Our personalities are identical and I am sure he is my soulmate! Now I understand why people with collies often say they wouldn't have anything but a collie (although I love my two terriers and Old English Sheepdog to pieces as well!) I am biased to short hair as that is what he is- definitely the personality match that matters though. Mine isn't social with people (abuse background) or dogs he isn't properly introduced to - he doesn't like random dogs running up, but our personalities match and I think that's what matters most- I may be in the minority but I don't like over friendly dogs at all.

I think short haired collies tend to look smarter in general and are easier to keep clean - a lot of the long haired ones I know are quite smelly and feel greasy and get matted a lot, but I do think when long haired collies are well kept they do look  lovely.

Could someone tell me the difference between a rough coat and long coat? I feel really stupid!

This is my boy

IMG-20200308-WA0029.thumb.jpg.e22dfb87d2079241ed3eb4764f3c32c2.jpg

IMG-20200325-WA0014.jpg

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22 hours ago, UMANOODLE said:

Irish Collie: She is lovely. I love a long hair tri.

D'Elle, how do you gauge the "personality of the dog and compatibility" if looking at puppies? (asking for advice)
I bet it does get hot in 
Tucson. Here in the Uk, no worries about that! I can see how the sorter coats would be better for the heat.

Mark, good advice also. Never seemed to have that problem, but I can certainly see why that is a pain.

Ruth & Gibbs, how would you check for 'socially outgoing'? My boy loved strangers, had to do a lot of training with him to stay calm, but in his older age he was brilliant with that. 

Hello Julie :) aww lovely to hear you have a new one. 

Umanoodle,  a puppy is always going to be an unknown to a fairly large degree. If you are definitely wanting a certain kind of personality, I would not recommend getting a puppy at all, but an older dog (say, 6 months and up) from a rescue. A rescue is the best way to go if you want a companion rather than a livestock dog, in any case. A rescue dog has usually lived with a foster for anywhere from two weeks to months, and that person can tell you about the character of the dog with some authority and experience behind what they say.  With a puppy, you can do various tests to gauge things like sensitivity, interest in people, submissiveness, and so on. But the results you get may or may not turn out to match the adult dog.

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1 hour ago, D'Elle said:

If you are definitely wanting a certain kind of personality, I would not recommend getting a puppy at all, but an older dog (say, 6 months and up) from a rescue.

If you really want to be sure of personality, I'd recommend getting a dog that's at least a year and a half old. I've seen too many whose personalities changed pretty dramatically (and not in desirable ways) at anywhere from around 8 months to about 14 months old.

2 of them were dogs I'd raised. The ~10 month old came to me as an 11 week old puppy. He was great until he began becoming randomly aggressive at about 8 months old. By 10 months he was so bad I returned him to the rescue, where despite a veterinary behaviorist's medical and behavioral intervention for several months became so aggressive that he had to be put down. This was extreme, probably a neurological issue akin to sudden rage syndrome. Not typical and I certainly don't mean to be alarmist, but things like that can happen despite doing all the socialization and training in the world right.

The other is a border collie mix I adopted at 6 months. Again did all the socialization and training and she'd begun working as a therapy dog. At about 14 months old she became very reactive to many situations (sounds, etc.) and very fear reactive with unknown dogs. She never had a bad experience with another dog that would explain this. She still lives with me 7 years later but it takes a lot of management -- including daily medication -- to keep her from going out of her mind at the least little thing.

Like I said, not to scare you off. Both are more unusual examples than they are to be expected. But I've seen it in other dogs and it almost always happens at around those ages. Now that I'm older and don't require working dogs anymore and have become involved doing pet therapy with my dogs I've made a point to adopt dogs that are a minimum of 18 months old so I can be sure of their personalities. 3 dogs is now my limit and I can't afford to collect problem dogs that despite how much I may love them I can't make therapy visits with. I currently have one ~14 1/2+ yo who's my therapy dog, the 8 yo sweet but crazy dog and a recently adopted ~2-3 yo I'm currently training for therapy work.

 

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3 hours ago, D'Elle said:

Umanoodle,  a puppy is always going to be an unknown to a fairly large degree. If you are definitely wanting a certain kind of personality, I would not recommend getting a puppy at all, but an older dog (say, 6 months and up) from a rescue. A rescue is the best way to go if you want a companion rather than a livestock dog, in any case. A rescue dog has usually lived with a foster for anywhere from two weeks to months, and that person can tell you about the character of the dog with some authority and experience behind what they say.  With a puppy, you can do various tests to gauge things like sensitivity, interest in people, submissiveness, and so on. But the results you get may or may not turn out to match the adult dog.

Hello D’Elle :) I would love to get a rescue and have been looking for over 6 months plus now, due to working away from home and wanting to take the dog with me to work, most rescues in the UK will not accept me. Most of the rescue dogs I have seen can also can not be placed with children or other pets, I have a niece 5yo and visiting dogs, I am struggling to find a rescue match. Any suggestions to solve this would be great? xx

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19 hours ago, SS Cressa said:

I love fluffy butts but I love how smooth coats look also.

I love a fluffy butt also ❣️

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21 hours ago, GentleLake said:

That's not universally true. There are many rescues in the US that are very strict in their requirement. Others not so much and there are quite a few that aren't very reputable at all. I've volunteered with 2 border collie specific rescues. One is excellent and I've been an active volunteer for the past 12+ years. The other I parted company with after a fairly short time.

 

I am just really struggling to find a rescue to work with my situation of working away from home and wanting to take the dog with me to work. I have seen perhaps 10 collies I like but they either have “can not be placed with young children” or “must be the only pet” having a 5yo niece and visiting dogs and other visiting children I can’t seem to get a match.... any help or suggestions would be great :) xx

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