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Border Collie savvy

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#1 KatieP


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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:53 AM

Hi! Just wondering if anyone has read the book "Border Collie Savvy" by Fiona Jackson? I was searching books on Border Collies and this book came up. It looks incredible. I'm thinking of ordering it on line but wanted to see if anyone could recommend it or not. Thanks

#2 stockdogranch


    Cowgirl in the sand

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

Hi, Katie. Welcome to the boards. I looked at the website for this book, as I'd never heard of it (or the author). Personally, I think there are other books out there for general dog training that will serve better, as they are looking at dog behavior as just dog behavior (other folks know the names of them and can suggest them, or good authors to read on general dog behavior). The author of the book you mention seems to take the stance that border collies are somehow more problematic than other dogs. If a person has a basic understanding of dog behavior, and WHY dogs will do the things they do, then this book, with its "special focus" on border collies seems to be a bit of hype to me. Honestly, I have to say that someone who is selling a book on how to train your border collie, whose reasons for wanting/having a border collie is that they are "amazing looking dogs," and that they are..."the perfect family pet" has totally missed the boat as far as what a border collie is all about. They are not, nor have ever been, bred for the way they look, nor are they bred to be a family pet at all. They are bred for the WORK. Period.

I would STRONGLY suggest you read the sticky at the top of the page here ("Read This First"). That will give you a good idea of what the general philosophy of this board is as regards the purpose of the border collie. Wrapped up with that purpose is a stance on breeding border collies, as well as expectations for acceptable behavior.

I would also suggest (again, STRONGLY) that you go to www.usbcha.com, go to the "sheep" section, then go to "upcoming trials." Find one within driving distance of you and spend the day watching and talking to the handlers. There, you will see LOTS of border collies (here I'm talking about the ones not on the trial field at the moment, but, of course, watch them, too, to see what border collies are really all about), mostly off leash all day, interacting with each other in a mannerly way, as well as being absolutely obedient (coming when called, lying down from quite a distance when the handler asks them to, and lying calmly and quietly at the handler's side while watching the other dogs work). Ask these people, whose dogs are probably the best behaved you'll ever find anywhere (particularly in the face of the thing they find most enticing--sheep) how they got their dogs to be so well behaved. None will tell you they did it from reading this book,
"Life's too short to work bad dogs."

#3 Sue R

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

I think a much better "general" book about Border Collies would be "Understanding Border Collies" by Barbara Sykes. While she discusses the dogs not simply from the aspect of raising and training particularly to do stockwork, she is very knowledgeable and cognizant about the dogs' origin as a working sheepdog and so takes that history and background into account.
Sue Rayburn - Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, but not the brightest firefly in the jar.

Celt, Megan, and Dan

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