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Why Herding dogs hate Labs/Retrievers...

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Interesting and somewhat humorous article... ^_^

 

http://sarahwilsondogexpert.com/why-does-my-herding-dog-seem-to-hate-labs/

 

Having one of each, I can say this has proven fairly true with my dogs. Meg loves Bear, but she knows him. Other dogs...most don't like him. He's very rude and always in their face. I never attributed it to being a lab feature before (he's only about 1/4 lab) but its probably so. He also tends to approach other dogs with his tail straight up and stiff. That combined with the in-your-face approach is a real turn off for most other dogs so we hold him back and let Meg be the first greeter if we allow them to meet other dogs. Meg is very polite (off leash), though she tends to not like other labs or other dogs with no sense of personal space.

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Lots of dogs hate labs for that reason, not just herding dogs, and IME the article is wrong in portraying labs as being of an overly sociable disposition.

 

Of the labs we get in our club the bitches can be as snarky as any collie bitch and the dogs can be dog aggressive, especially if entire.

 

Obviously not all but my heart sinks when someone with a lab rings me wanting to join our waiting list.

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Labradors may be overly sociable with humans, but dogs? I don't think so. The only dog that ever attacked one of mine when it was a young puppy was a Labrador. (My puppy was standing still, wagging its tail, showing clear signs of submissiveness.)

 

I am the original curmudgeon about other people's dogs, but Labradors first, followed by the rest of the retriever tribe, and anything under 10 lbs. that can't shut up.

 

Labradors, like pit bulls appear to have no pain receptors. So good luck breaking up a fight with either breed. And I've seen more fights started by male Labradors than all other breeds put together. (Including pits, and I live in a neighborhood with tons of pits.)

 

I know that Canine Companions for Independence uses them, but sheesh! Most of the pet Labradors I've encountered were either shameless sycophants or consistently hostile.

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Well, I don't agree with the article's final conclusion that chiefly sporting dogs should populate dog parks, and a herding breed dog who teaches appropriate behavior to others should stay away. Can hunting/retrieving breed dogs such as labs be trained to exhibit more appropriate dog manners, or be kept on leash? In any event, I wouldn't take any breed to a dog park. Not sure which are more dangerous at those parks, some owners or their dogs.

 

When my BC was a pup I didn't fully realize the Lab-in-your-face thing, and for socialization purposes, exposed her to lab pups (not in a dog park). She was too young to engage in fights or snarl-fests, but I wish she would have. Lots of tail between her legs running away, with the Lab pup right behind. Still feel badly about that. I believe those visits contributed to difficulty with dogs in general, and it has been a long up-hill battle for her, with my help, to overcome. -- TEC

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This is timely. I've been taking Emmie to our local off leash area since we first adopted her, and I didn't think she was capable of typical dog "play". Most of the dogs in my neighborhood are retrievers or some designer cross that includes a retreiver, and her reaction to them - after an initial curiosity that is sated with a simple greeting - is willfull disinterest.

 

Last night, however, she absolutely tore it up with a dog at the dog park. This was the very first time she's done this (including the good natured comingling she's done with the other border collies at her training place). For about 10 minutes, I wasn't even there. She was just blazing around with this other dog until the both gassed out, at which time they proceeded to lie with each other in the grass wrestling and play fighting, as if they were best friends.

 

I don't know what was different about this dog, but she clearly liked him a lot. He was a 15 month old nuetered male "sheepadoodle" of all things, about 2X her size and as boisterous and social as all the labs and goldens that she seems not to like very much, but something about him flipped a switch and it was really nice to see.

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I'm no dog expert, just some of my observations:

 

Aren't Labs (and Goldens) the most popular breed? It seems everyone has one. And with good reason, they're great family pets. Which explains their usefulness and popularity being guide dogs. They don't get too attached to one person and are much more unassuming than your average, smarter herding breed. Just reading these BC forums will tell you why BCs are more intelligent than your average, flavor of the month dog; they have smart owners that do their research and make good decisions!

 

A friend of mine has a yellow lab that's super sweet but dumb as a box of rocks. He has a cabin on the lake that is a heaven for our dogs. My heeler/turv mix (I'm new to BC) needed no leash or constraints of any kind right from the start. He just follows master (me) everywhere and is always accounted for. Yet this this big, dumb Lab can't be off leash for five seconds before he runs away, more often than not, towards the road. And he's far from being a youngster....and he's been going to the cabin for years :rolleyes:

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Aren't Labs (and Goldens) the most popular breed? It seems everyone has one. And with good reason, they're great family pets. Which explains their usefulness and popularity being guide dogs. They don't get too attached to one person and are much more unassuming than your average, smarter herding breed...

 

...A friend of mine has a yellow lab that's super sweet but dumb as a box of rocks.

This is it in a nutshell. Sporting dogs in general are "promiscuous." That's because if a different person is going to shoot over them every day, they need to be fine with working for anybody. They will cotton up and goober all over anyone. But not necessarily other dogs. They need to be immune to physical discomfort - sit still in a blind or a boat and then repeatedly fling themselves into cold water on demand. But they don't need to be terribly mannerly with other dogs.

 

Labradors and Goldens are a choice for many non-dog-savvy families because, having a very high pain threshold, and not being particularly sensitive, (or the brightest napkin in the drawer) they will put up with anything from kids. If you grew up with dogs and understood them as a kid, if the dog snapped at you - like as not - your mom would want to know what you did to annoy the dog. Today's average, dog-clueless soccer-mom sees it differently - any show of temper makes that dog "vicious and dangerous."

 

The average working Border Collie is a different kettle of fish. They work with the same handler, sometimes all their lives, and take awhile to acclimatize if they are "sold on." They may work for someone else other than their owner - if need be - but I bet that handler will not get the performance from them that an established working team would have.

 

And they are far more intelligent and observant than any Labrador I ever met. They know their own kind and interact well for the most part - given the high incidence of loose dogs and the low incidence of fights you encounter at sheep dog trails. But, my Border Collie at least, does not suffer fools gladly. Canine or human. Hence, a Labrador is often met with a cold shoulder or a curled lip.

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For the sake of my dog, I will throw Golden Retrievers under the bus along with labs.

 

One night, I had Buddy leashed at the park. An off-leash, clueless young Golden glanced across the field and thought, "Oh, look! A new friend! I will go jump on him to start a gleeful wrestling match!" So he charged at us. I released the leash, because I didn't want to be in the middle of the dog fight that was about to ensue. Buddy chased the Golden off with the appropriate amount of snarling and snapping, and the dog headed back to his owner. Only... he turned to look back, and thought, "Oh, look! A new friend! I will go jump on him to start a gleeful wrestling match!" and charged back at us.

 

He would have come back a third time, had his owner not gotten control of him. And THAT is why my dog cannot stand retrievers.

 

Mind you, he also hates boxers and all the bully breeds - dogs who walk with a barrel chest and swagger. But it's clear that he hates them for entirely different reasons. (I think he believes their posture is aggressive?)

 

Mary

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Don't get me started on Labradoodles :lol:

 

My worst experiences have all been with dogs suffering from LDS = Little Dog Syndrome. It's rare that when I'm walking my dog(s) and where we encounter normal sized dogs there's an issue. Yet every toy breed we cross the owner always struggles to keep the little yippers from charging us. Yep, every time.

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Some of it makes sense, first I will happily throw Golden Retreivers into the clueless body language mix as well, but I have met some mean Labradors.

The only time any of my dogs have ever really been attacked was by a Labrador, when this big dog just grabbed Brody and had his head in his mouth, Brody was screaming his head of and nothing my husband did would get the lab to release him, his owner stuck her hands in his mouth and pulled out Brody, it really looked like she had done it before.

Luckily Brody was not hurt, infact the lab had blood pouring from his mouth, to be honest we were quite proud that our boy had managed to inflict damage while he was hanging from a labs mouth.

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I have a poodle, technically a water retriever. He's a very proper dog socially, loves to play, will show deference to pretty much any dog, hasn't ever been 'in' a fight. He does the whole 'trot out wide on an angle' to greet new dogs, sniffs politely, moves on or if it's love plays. Although he has played nicely with a fair amount of border collies, and greeted plenty more of them w/o further contact, he has also been attacked by several border collies, going from a perfectly polite greeting to a dog hanging off him. Other than 1 incident as a puppy with an intact male Rhodesian Ridgeback, he's never had issues with another breed. He doesn't fight back, so they've been dragged off him by their owners without a problem.

 

Some of his favorite buddies are BCs (met 2 and had a grand time running w/them yesterday, in fact), no grudges on his part. I think by the same token that some retrievers can be obnoxious socially, some border collies also have an unpredictable, short fuse compared to other dog breeds, I would guess to do with it not coming up, originally living in more isolated locations, not meeting too many new dogs? I've also met plenty of obnoxious retrievers that have irritated my own retriever! So labrador meets border collie = Recipe for disaster. As for my/Wesley's (poodle) experiences with BCs, I don't know if it's the owners or some breeder around here producing bad tempered dogs or what. Just a take from the 'other side' ;)

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Border Collies like order and control. Labs are out of control and disorderly. My BC is on a flyball team with a bunch of Labs and Lab mixes (we live in Minnesota). She's fine racing with them, but doesn't want to socialize with them at all.

 

My BCs and BC mix have never liked Standard Poodles or German Shepherds either. Not sure why, but I think it has something to do with they way they look at other dogs.

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I had a Golden/Aussie mix when I got my first BC, Gideon. Gideon thinks that all Goldens should be just like Buddy and he is DEEPLY disappointed when they aren't.

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I am surprised no one mentioned Huskies. My younger BC can't stand them. Also doesn't care for Boxers. He is neutral about Labs and Goldens; some he likes, some he can't stand. My old man just ignores all of them when they act stupid.

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Talon isn't the biggest fan of any dog that is overly pushy/jumpy and wants to wrestle to play. But he is not overly pushy about telling them to stop. Our biggest problems are definitely labs who just don't seem to understand "I don't want to play like that" and let good enough alone. Luckily, Talon isn't a BC who hold grudges against the other dogs (so far). If they leave him alone he is fine running along with them, it's when they go back after him (jumping on him or being generally pushy) that he'll give them a few warnings again, but he seems to not want to escalate things ever. He's only been in a fight once, but it was onleash with someone with a small terrier mix that they thought it would be a grand idea to rush up on us from out of no where and let their over-stimulated dog bite Talon's feet. >_<

 

He did have a small issue with a husky once. It kept trying to push him around and be a bit of a bully, but once they had an understanding that Talon didn't want to play that way they played really well chasing each other. :) Boxers tend to leave him alone in lou of a lab or another boxer lol

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This article seems to personify dogs pretty heavily. That lab in the photo looks like a puppy and I don't think thoughts of personal space really occupies a puppy's mind. I don't even know if dogs value the idea of "personal space." There's definitely behavioural thresholds with reactive/fearful dogs, but personal space is kind of a human value. It kind of looks to me like the author might be justifying the GSD's reactivity, ostensibly because she owns and likes GSDs, by casting him as some refined, regal gentleman of the caninne empire. Both of those dogs look like bad off-leash material: The lab's headed for trouble and the GSD is definitely going to deal it out. It's going to end in tears.

 

I do long strolls through a couple dog parks every weekend and I find that dogs really aren't that dissimilar (yes, even the small ones), it's more about pesonality, maturity level and familiarity. Adolescent dogs tend to rule the roost at dog parks, probably because there's a significant activity level drop off as dogs age. Where I go, as the owner of an adolescent herding dog, I'm generally impressed with the dogs and owners and rarely find dogs getting roared at. if such a thing happens, it's usually leash up time for everyone.

 

I definitely fear the owners more than the dogs - especially the ones that constantly say leaveitleaveitleaveit, use that stupid shhht! sound from that guy on TV and try to grab/manhandle other people's dogs to make them drop a ball or something. Stop. doing. those. things.

 

-Rich

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I am surprised no one mentioned Huskies.

Oh, yeah! Huskies! Buddy has a weird love/hate thing with them. He wants to be their friend (I think they look like BCs to him), but they tend to begin relationship negotiations with head-over-back, the prelude to "I'ma hump you."

 

The first real fight Buddy had (about a week after I adopted him) was with a 6-month old Husky puppy, who was wrestling with him and must have nipped too hard. I had to pull Buddy off by the skin of his ruff. OTOH, the best dog in the world - Buddy's god-king - is Joey, the same Husky, 8 years later. There is a singular bark reserved for that magical time of day when Joey walks by my house: a bellows, almost Beagle-like in its duration. If I don't take Buddy out to kiss Joey and fawn over him, it's a very bad thing.

 

Mary

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I am not a lab person but the labs on my SAR team aren't obnoxious. Which leads me to believe that 2/3 of the problem probably comes from the other end of the leash. I.E. poor training and management and an expectation that their dog is going to be "in-your-face" because it's a lab. All those service dog labs aren't out there being obnoxious because they've been trained and expected not to be.

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I am not a lab person but the labs on my SAR team aren't obnoxious. Which leads me to believe that 2/3 of the problem probably comes from the other end of the leash. I.E. poor training and management and an expectation that their dog is going to be "in-your-face" because it's a lab. All those service dog labs aren't out there being obnoxious because they've been trained and expected not to be.

I suspect you're right, but I think breeding may play a role too. Pet-bred, show-bred seem to be the most clueless. Field-bred less so. But the same traits that make a Labrador useful can be a liability with an inexperienced or stupid/permissive owner. Kinda like when clueless people let Border Collies get OCD, or get badly-bred show type dogs. Directionless work-ethic is a problem.

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Although I will be the first to say I find that labs can be overly bouncy, unfocussed and bursting into people and dog's space....

 

It is statiscally expected that labs will produce more bad experiences than other dogs since tey are, by far, the most popular dog breed. Combine with our human tendancy to draw generalizations from anectodal evidence and to confirmation bias... are labs really more rude (to a BC) than other dogs?

 

To me they seem to invade the bubble but get out of it quickly as well so.. don't know but wouldn't say they are worse than other dogs.

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Mer doesn't hate Goldens, although I suppose the fact that one once jumped out of a moving car to rush us and attack her would certainly make it understandable if she did. We unfortunately have far more issues with large, uncontrolled terrier and bully-breed dogs that people let run off-lead in West Philly. I don't blame the breed (heck, I have a BC who is rather anxious around unfamiliar dogs, and as a result very enthusiastic about greeting them; so she is not allowed to, as that would be rude); I do blame the owners. But alot of those terriers seem very anxious and not very socially appropriate; retrievers just seem rather jovial and clueless, mostly.

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I had Jesse the Anatolian Shepherd at the vet the other day. She was good as gold if you don't count the dead dog flop that she turned into when I tried getting her to walk into the building.

We were in the small interior office when I heard a rowdy barking dog come in the outer door. It had a mean sounding bark but I decided it was just a bark that was unsure.

 

Right in the middle of an exam on her shoulder which had the vet's face in hers she turned into a mean guard dog and barked wickedly. Knocked the vet backwards with just her bark (they were on the floor) He laughed and finished the exam. I wondered what we would find when we walked out the exam door.

 

Of course it was a huge headed young lab. It wasn't mean but barking out of nerves or what have you.

Jess got over the protectiveness that she had brought out but it was amazing to both the vet and I that she went from roll over submissive to fierce protector in a second. I guess I'm not really amazed I have seen it outside but in such a confined place it was startling.

 

So I guess it's not just BC's that are weary of labs. I walked away so grateful that I have such wonderful dogs. None are obnoxious when at the vet and generally good no matter where we go.

I was glad the lab was not mine!

 

And for the record we had seen poodles, cats, bully breeds and a few other little dogs that same morning before during and after being seen. Some were growly or nervous. It was Jess' first cat too. It was only the lab that got her dander up.

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We were at the river swimming a couple days ago. This fat older-looking lab trotting down the beach. She jumped in the water and was having a good time all by herself, no owner around. Then she spotted my dogs and headed straight for them, got in their faces, tried to grab Meg's ear, circled and bounced around Bear. She was oblivious to Bear's warning growls. (I was very proud of him for not taking it any further than a growl.)

 

Dad and I had to rescue my dogs from this rude beast. Dad got her attention with a stick and lured her away and into the water. Meg and Bear ignored her from then on. BUT it doesn't end there. Since the dogs weren't interested in her, she decided to try and get the people to play, only her idea of play involved biting hands and arms and she would not go away. She didn't want to swim very far out so we took to the water to escape her...except for poor Bear, who was tired and just wanted to lay on the beach. With no one else to bug, she returned to him until we came to the rescue.

 

Then another dog comes, on leash with owner. We had to explain that this was not our crazy dog. Then we had to help lure her away from the new dog who was not handling her rude advances well. Finally, Dad led her to the dock, jumped off the end and swam back to us, leaving her on the dock, where (fortunately) she stayed until she found someone else to annoy.

 

Sheesh!

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In the years my mother worked for the state health department, the largest numbers of reported dog bites involved labs. That said, it could be possible to separate the working Labs from the every day ones you meet on the street. They really are victims of bad breeding and bad handling.

 

 

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