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Ah, now I get it. Can it be connected to the overly-hyped general opinion that bc's don't have a switch off button?
My bc is just like what you describe, Gideon's girl. She loves doing stuff, she does her tasks very diligently, but when I stop, she stops. When I teach or play with my other dog, she waits. She's been with me for 2 months now (puppy mill rescue but from working line ancestors), but I can already see that this is a dog that isn't a hyper fireball that many warned me about.

She can sleep till noon if it's a slow day, and gladly rests at my feet or beside me on the couch in the evening. I have yet to see how she will do in agility, frisbee or other sports, since due to her physical condition and recovery we will not start any training before spring.

(I accidentaly quoted myself below and now can't delete the comment :/ )

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My agility instructor has a sport bred dog. They are bred for go, unfortunately, hers doesn't have a stop. She can't even bring her own dog to agility class because it is a screaming maniac when anyone else is going. When we first started, she was totally floored by how my dogs just lie quietly waiting their turns and then they turn on, take their turn, and promptly turn off again. She was even more floored when she saw how Gideon lies down and crawls over to little puppies to greet them. Her dog pounces and she is afraid to let it meet any other dogs, nevermind little puppies.

On Saturday my nice, polite working bred pup met up with a sport bred pup born on the same day.

 

The owner say hers is on the go all the time but that could have something to do with the fact that she is crated for long periods during the day. Mine has learned to regulate his own on and off times because he is rarely crated.

 

Her idea of play was to pin mine and not let him get up. That isn't play fighting, it is bullying. I had to rescue him because I didn't want all the good experiences he has had with a wide variety of polite dogs to be ruined.

 

Hers comes from an agility crazy line I wouldn't touch with a barge pole but the owner is playing a significant role in the dog she will become.

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Sporter Collies are just as much a disservice to the breed as the conformation bred dogs are, even though many, possibly even most, of them are still registered through the ABCA.

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I am best acquainted with sports-bred BCs. While some are too high and have issues settling, I would say that most people are aiming to breed dogs who know how to turn off when needed.

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I think the sports bred dogs are more of a threat than the show dogs. There are a lot more people involved in sports than there are in the show ring.

 

And they want a dog they can compete with in the agility or flyball stuff. So they go after the high drive dog. Some of those well known sports breeders get a lot of money for their pups. Way more than any working bred dog.

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Since you are planning on spaying her, you might want to check out some of the more recent discussions of the pros and cons of spaying and timing of spaying.

 

Sue, I was thinking the same thing!

 

To the OP: we've had a number of discussions talking about early spay/neuter on these forums. I'm going to link to just a couple here in case you'd like to read through them. There's a lot of good information to consider and I hope you find them useful!

 

http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=37273

 

http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=34732

 

http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=35565

 

http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=35343

 

I also wanted to say I'm glad you've stuck around and engaged in the conversation. I know you said you were "signing off" so I just wanted to share these links and wish you the very best of luck with your new pup!

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We call all the "off" colored dogs candy colored. ;)

 

I refuse to conform to that terminology.

 

I call my off colored dog tie dyed. :P

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I think the sports bred dogs are more of a threat than the show dogs. There are a lot more people involved in sports than there are in the show ring.

 

And they want a dog they can compete with in the agility or flyball stuff. So they go after the high drive dog. Some of those well known sports breeders get a lot of money for their pups. Way more than any working bred dog.

 

Thanks to all who replied to my question.

And oh my, I didn't even know that there is really such a dychotomy in the border world. Conformation show dogs were a known present evil in the bc world. I've written how I almost got a show puppy and why I decided not to buy in the end and would never buy/support show breeding bc. But I honestly had no idea that sport bred bc's are also "wrong". This is how I see it: it's a breed that is the ultimate working breed. But given the circumstances many of us live in (cities, apartments, parts of the world where stock work isn't needed), sport is a great way for these dogs to still do something, be active, content, and still be a good pet. Maybe even compete, but not necesserily.

Now what I'm asking, is it entirely wrong to want a bc as a pet? Should we not want them as pets, if we don't have stock, and are only able to provide agility and other sport, if that even? I know people who have bc's from working lines that don't even do agility in a club, they do stuff at home and in their walks, they actively train, teach tricks, do dog dancing/canine freestyle, or traing something like SAR maybe.. those dogs seem to be perfectly content with that lifestyle.

I'm not trying to ruffle any feather, I'm just wondering to what extent can it be considered wrong to want/get a bc, and not work sheep with him.

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Why not as a pet in a suitable, loving home? Why not as an active companion or performance sport dog? Nothing whatsoever is wrong with those lives for a dog!

 

The objection is to *breeding* for anything but working ability. Breeding for working ability is what will preserve what these dogs are and should be, and also produces offspring suitable for many other uses - active companions, sports, search-and-rescue, service, etc.

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The number of people out there who actually need a dog to work their sheep is probably pretty small. And an actual need for a dog with herding instinct probably isn't too great.

 

But I feel very strongly about preserving this dog as the premier herding dog. They are wonderful dogs and having been bred for their working ability is what has kept them wonderful dogs. My dogs are pets but they are working bred.

 

There are lots of people who don't have sheep who are really into hobby herding. They get out and train their dogs and compete in trials. They help support the major competitions that go on all year round. It's a lot of fun to do that with your dog. And the people you meet are great.

 

And the dogs love it. This is what they were born to do and they really love getting to get out and practice.

 

It's all good.

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I agree with both of you, obviously. It's just, I've come to love this breed so much and just like I gave up on a show puppy (because I realized what I'd be supporting), I'm now trying to find my heart in all of the information I've recieved recently. I agree that they have to be kept as a working breed. What they excel at beside that, is another thing.
I'm not looking to buy a puppy, and my dog is a rescue anyway, so that's pretty much settled for me.

I was surpised at the animosity towards merles here also. As far as I know, there are merles and merle puppies in working lines. Just a proper breeder wouldn't use a stud/bitch just because it's merle, that I know. But not all merles are bred for fancy.

I guess a lot of my question stem from the fact that my point of view is based on things I see around me. I'm in eastern Europe (Croatia), and we don't get many show line breeders here, let alone sport breeders and breeder for colour only. I've just recently realized some of the things that happen in N.America, NZ and Australia, and mostly because I'm friendly with some breeders around here.

I am just in the process of searching for places to try hobby trials with my dog. Honestly, if I could find that and do it regularly, I wouldn't be so keen on agility at all. It was never something I wanted to be good at with my dog, it's something I thought would be good for the dog.

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Should we not want them as pets, if we don't have stock, and are only able to provide agility and other sport, if that even? I know people who have bc's from working lines that don't even do agility in a club, they do stuff at home and in their walks, they actively train, teach tricks, do dog dancing/canine freestyle, or traing something like SAR maybe.. those dogs seem to be perfectly content with that lifestyle.

 

I'm not trying to ruffle any feather, I'm just wondering to what extent can it be considered wrong to want/get a bc, and not work sheep with him.

 

I will admit to having had a few moments of, "is the life of a performance dog going to be appropriate" for my working bred Border Collie puppy, especially when I was waiting for him.

 

But he has taken to the life of a sport dog like a duck to water. He loves going out and about. He loved pass-the-puppy when he was smaller. He loves to go to the building and do just about anything. He loves meeting people and watching the dogs, and getting a chance to work on the floor. Shoot, he even loves it when everyone in the room breaks into applause, even if it's not for him. :D And he is very obviously enjoying the heck out of being a pet in my home.

 

He is not impressed with the idea of "hang out quietly in your crate while you are waiting around" at classes and events but he'll get there - he's still very young and it's a work in progress.

 

He probably has abilities that he may not get to use, but he also has plenty of opportunities to channel his talents into what I am able to provide for him.

 

I am pretty sure, based on what I've seen, that he is going to be one hell of a performance dog - the likes of which I haven't had the chance to work with yet. I'm very excited to see what he is going to be able to do. Of course there is a ton of training and quite a lot of growing up to do yet. I honestly don't think I could have gotten a better performance prospect from a sport breeder, had I even wanted to do that, which I didn't.

 

But now that I have him in my home and we are training together, I never think he's missing out on something because I don't have livestock. I don't wonder if the life I am providing him is appropriate - I can see plainly that it is perfect for him.

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I will admit to having had a few moments of, "is the life of a performance dog going to be appropriate" for my working bred Border Collie puppy, especially when I was waiting for him.

I've spent months thinking just am I suitable enough to even contact a reputable working bc breeder and be considered to be an owner. To me it was like I had to be worthy of a great privilege. When I mustered some courage I found out that many people who contact various breeders are not suited to have a medium drive dog, let alone a bc. And that in most of the cases they don't know anything about the breed except they are pretty, or cute, or the most intelligent breed in the world (this one makes me sick personally; though some of it may be true and they really have the perspective to be almost creepy smart, a dog is a dog and a dog knows how much you teach him, but this is a debate for itself).

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A good working breeder wants as many pups as possible to go to working homes in order to evaluate the quality of the pairing they made. Many do not object to placing some pups in good, non-working homes. It allows them to produce a reasonable number of pups and know that all are placed well and happily.

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A good working breeder wants as many pups as possible to go to working homes in order to evaluate the quality of the pairing they made. Many do not object to placing some pups in good, non-working homes. It allows them to produce a reasonable number of pups and know that all are placed well and happily.

That's what I've been confirmed from a few breeders here. The one I would most likely get a puppy from (and with who I'm in contact through agility club now that I do own a bc and through some bc groups) doesn't have any trouble with finding homes for his puppies, working or sport ones, and he keeps the number of his litters reasonable, especially considering he has many dogs, owned or co-owned and they are fairly popular so the demand is high.

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You are not in North America, I thought? Co-ownership is almost exclusive to kennel clubbers (show and sports) here.

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You are not in North America, I thought? Co-ownership is almost exclusive to kennel clubbers (show and sports) here.

 

Nope, mentioned few posts above, I'm in Eastern Europe, Croatia. :)

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I did have someone who has an older bc and a ranch up in the mountains of Montana try to buy Gidget from me, they have an older BC, and Gidget and this BC were having a blast. They tried very hard to convince me that Gidget was breed to be a working dog, and that I was doing her a great injustice to keep her, and la la la it went on and on. They started off rather nice, then got a bit arrogant on the matter. Telling me that she would never make a pet or a service dog. Oh well, if I have failed her then I have. What they do not know is that in time we will be moving out of WA and we will be living in a place where she will have a few sheep to round up if she so wished too. I did not feel a need to justify myself to them so I chose to ignore.

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You know, I've mostly run into this attitude from sports people?

 

They seem to think that working dogs are necessarily harder to live with than conformation or sportsbred dogs. Of course, they also think that the harder the dog is to live with the better it'll be at sports (or whatever it's job might be).

 

It's kind of frustrating to deal with, frankly.

 

Molly's a very in your pocket dog, as I mentioned before, but she's not difficult to live with. She's had some quirks that are going to take some work, and while a dog of a different breed or mix might have different works, none of my dogs have ever NOT had some little issue or another that needed work, you know?

 

And I'd be hard pressed to say any of her issues are related to having come from working parents and certainly none of them make her hard to live with on a day-to-day basis. (Basically, she can be leash reactive and needs some work on frustration tolerance and focus - she's a 5 month old puppy. None of this is a surprise).

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It's not wrong to do sports with a border collie or to not ever use a border collie for work or introduce them to livestock. Where the glitch is, is the many that say they are breeding working stockdogs who actually are not breeding them nor selecting based on actual utilitarian stock work. Instead they are selecting to produce the best sport dog, pet or companion for someone with no regard to true useful working ability.

 

 

I just sent a pup to a family as a companion pet that will likely never see livestock again in his life. He has talented siblings, but he's not. We call him the bad bomber, charges on in toward the sheep and when they don't move aborts to the side in hopes that they will move. If they still don't move he just stops to eat poop, we have Barbados, really doesn't take much to convince them to take flight, and he don't have it.

 

He's a quiet, laid back boy that just wants to hang around with you and be a buddy, no sense trying to force a square peg into a square hole by making him work. I had someone that wanted him for sports but I didn't think he was right for that, he really wasn't wired that way. For lack of a better term he is a cull, more of him does not need to be produced no matter how ideal he ends up being as a companion and pet.

 

But, there are some that would take a dog like him from solid working lines and breed him to produce more like him because they value him as a pet, or if he were to be a great sport dog, to produce more for that purpose. That is where the issue is with sport breeding.

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You know, I've mostly run into this attitude from sports people?

 

They seem to think that working dogs are necessarily harder to live with than conformation or sportsbred dogs. Of course, they also think that the harder the dog is to live with the better it'll be at sports (or whatever it's job might be).

 

It's kind of frustrating to deal with, frankly.

 

Molly's a very in your pocket dog, as I mentioned before, but she's not difficult to live with. She's had some quirks that are going to take some work, and while a dog of a different breed or mix might have different works, none of my dogs have ever NOT had some little issue or another that needed work, you know?

 

And I'd be hard pressed to say any of her issues are related to having come from working parents and certainly none of them make her hard to live with on a day-to-day basis. (Basically, she can be leash reactive and needs some work on frustration tolerance and focus - she's a 5 month old puppy. None of this is a surprise).

Yes, that's exactly the bunch that put a bug in my ear about how working bc is not for me and should rather find a show line puppy. Which I did, and gave up for obvious reasons. You know, I don't have sheep, he will definitely try to herd me, other animals, leaves falling from the trees etc. Especially if I don't take him to million hours a day of agility or something like that.

Right now, my mix is having more things that need to be worked out than my rescue bc. It's a dog, the training is in order whatever you have. I was prepared for that. I must add that around here working and sports dogs go in the same basket since as much as I know our breeders don't breed for sports only. We have working breeders and show breeders. So I was generally warned and talked out of getting a working dog, since I for sure won't be able to keep up with him. My plan was to contact the desired breeder, talk a bit about my possibilites and preferences, wait as long as I have to, and then see which puppy might be nice for me. Sports, tricks, active play and training..all included in my package of what I can and would offer.

Then came the rescue story and puppy is now off the table anyway :)

 

 

Debbie Meier I have yet to see what my Freya will turn out to be, but from what I'm seeing right now, she might be somewhere close to that puppy. Her drive is there somewhere, but definitely not willing to work as much as I expected.

She is a rescue, very very bad conditions (see my topic in the gallery if you're interested) 2 months with us, so I still don't want to jump to conlusions, she is after all revealing herself to us day by day, but I have a hunch she won't be an excellent sport dog and that she wouldn't be a good herder either. I will try to find a place to try hobby trial with her, just for fun.

She was bred in the puppy mill, had 8 puppies. :( I don't have to mention she will be spayed.

 

Lizabeth, that is horrible! Can't believe the arrogance :/ Sorry I'm writing like this, I'm not sure how to multiquote more posts yet.

 

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Yes, that's exactly the bunch that put a bug in my ear about how working bc is not for me and should rather find a show line puppy. Which I did, and gave up for obvious reasons. You know, I don't have sheep, he will definitely try to herd me, other animals, leaves falling from the trees etc. Especially if I don't take him to million hours a day of agility or something like that.

 

It's weird and kind of awkward, but I think they mostly believe it? A lot of them run rescue BC, in fairness, but they see the dogs bred from sports, and some of them are totally over the top and I think the reasoning jumps to "CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MUCH WORSE A WORKING BRED DOG WOULD BE?"

 

There's a few steps missing there.

 

Of course most of these people are only believing she's a border collie in the last month. Short coat, you know?

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