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wtrbaby333

Which BC puppy do I choose?

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Four dogs left in this litter I have access to: 

#1 is super friendly to me, made a bee-line for me, fell asleep in my hands, licked my beard.

#2 also very friendly liked to be petted by me.

#3 average pup, came over to be petted, frifted off.

#4 the watcher, the quiet one, when brought to me liked to be petted well enough, friendly, drifted off after a little while

 All other things being equal (I feel comfortable about all the due dilligence questions, working dog parents, health, owners etc etc ) which one do I choose???  The super friendly one one wants to be my mate (buddy) or the aloof quiet watcher? Or in between?

 

 

 

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Welcome to the Boards.

First of all, keep in mind that many pups' personalities will change pretty drastically when they leave their litters. I once adopted the one you describe as the watcher, thinking she'd be more laid back than the rest. Within a couple days of her coming home with me she proved to be no shrinking violet and was indeed a very busy and outgoing girl. Very sweet and very loving, was taught to have an off switch, but no one who knew her as an adult would ever have called her laid back. She also developed some wicked fear issues that were very hard to overcome.

The #1 type is likely to be the assertive type, what some people might mistakenly call an alpha personality. My first border collie was the one who was always the first in the litter to come forward, make friends and demand notice and attention. Another very loving dog, smart and a quick learner, but driven and needed a very firm hand when trained on sheep, stood up to some really tough ones and never a quitter even when things didn't go well. He was a good sheepdog in the right hands and an absolute disaster when handled by the wrong people (including some very respected sheepdog handlers).

A lot depends on what you want in a dog and what plans you have for the dog, and perhaps also your experience raising dogs from pups.

If you want a high drive dog with determination but who may be challenging, you might want to go with the first puppy. #4 could be risky in terms of being timid or shy (as can any puppy, especially depending on how it's socialized and experiences during fear periods). Many people would advise the middle of the road pups.

In the end, though, based on their genetics and their experiences growing up, any of them could be great dogs, and any of them could also end up having issues. Nothing's set in stone.

Good luck. Hope you'll keep us posted on your decision.

 

 

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When I am who is choosing from a litter, I almost always aim for the most 'middle of the road' puppies within the litter.    Ie: No extreme anything, thanks.  Sometimes that works out, sometimes it doesn't.  The breeder's the one best capable of telling you about personalities - describe what you want and see what the breeder suggests.

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4 hours ago, CptJack said:

When I am who is choosing from a litter, I almost always aim for the most 'middle of the road' puppies within the litter.    Ie: No extreme anything, thanks.  Sometimes that works out, sometimes it doesn't.  The breeder's the one best capable of telling you about personalities - describe what you want and see what the breeder suggests.

This. The breeder will have had more time to watch the pups develop and is in a better position to describe tendencies. If given a choice, I usually go for middle of the road as well. I listen to the breeder’s evaluation then go with my gut, armed with that information. Of course, there are no guarantees. 

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I’ll echo going with the breeder’s recommendation. Tell them what is important to you and ask if they have a suggestion. No guarantees of course but I’ve done so with two pups and they ended up being pretty in line with what I wanted

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I think some of it depends what you want the dog for. I have the breeders first choice of male pups, I had first pick of the boys but as I could not meet them due to distance I let the breeder choose, in reality there wasn't much difference between them but we when met all of them mine was definitely the thinker and watcher. What he has grown into is a very thoughtful but cautious dog, he is my next agility partner at 2 1/2 I thought we would already be really competing but he finds competitions over stimulating  (progress is being made) and he can be very frustrating to train as he literally stops dead if he is at all unsure of what's wanted, on the upside once he completely understands then he owns the exercise with total confidence and is ridicoulsly fast. The first time he saw sheep he was useless, he still doesn't have much oomph but our trainer commented last time we went he is turning into a solid dog that if he had him a week could be working a 100 sheep around the farm but he would not be taking him to compete. The breeders are really surprised as they thought he was going to be much more outgoing.

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I got the one that came to me while the others were staying in the corner. I followed my instinct, and I decided for the outgoing one.

he is in fact outgoing, determined, head strong, was not easy to train during adolescence. but he is also very gentle and I do prefer dogs with a lot of drive and intensity. it depends as other said on what you want from the dog. mine was considered the pick of the litter for agility and sports, I was looking for a companion first and a running partner. later on I decided to start him on sheep.

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Our experience was similar to Luana's when we chose our Australian shepherd.  We picked the puppy who came to us on his own and made direct eye contact while all the other puppies played with each other.  And he did have a very strong drive and was stubborn at times as a teenager, but matured into a very confident and biddable dog and was devoted to us.  Unfortunately he developed severe epilepsy at 15 months.  We could never get the seizures under control for long.  It killed him when he was five, and it broke my heart.

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Thank you all very much for your thoughts and feelings on this question as they are my defacto welcome to this group.

In answer to the oft asked question about the intended use for the Collie: I hope that he will one day be able to help me get my sheep into a stall at night; at 52 and circling the drain fast, my personal BC charcteristics of speed and agility are sorely lacking, with an emphasis on SORELY  I have five Shetland sheep hwo are blended into a flerd with a jersey cow and her year old heifer and a (future livestock guardian as hes only 6 months old) little male donkey called Clarence whose combined grazing results, by the way, are really good due to their different grazing preferences. Clarence goes for the horsenettles which nobody else likes, etc. etc.

Im a retired infantryman, and we (wife and I) bought a beautiful farm up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NW NC.

Last night I came precipitously close to being separated from my quest for a BC dog to help me with my sheep. My wife raised our two (now 10-14 years old)  Shih Tzus while I was deployed to various armpits of the world... so I missed all that, very How convenient I might add!  Well what goes around comes around. She laid out in excruciating detail what was involved especially during the nights, in the raising of puppies, in a tone that can only be described as very doubtful gently stirred with a tinge of horror. And after a rough night last night due to various maladies that come with being my age, feeling completely knackered and like hammered dog poo, I had a moment of intense internal reflection and the thought of 'oh shit, what am I about to do?' crossed my my foggy mind.

However, triumphant news. After a cup of instant coffee, and bouyed by your kind generous thoughts and general feeling of optimism, I am back on track. A little wobbly but back on track.  Damn the torpedoes!  I've named him Mick, short for McDonald, of which I am.

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2 hours ago, wtrbaby333 said:

Thank you all very much for your thoughts and feelings on this question as they are my defacto welcome to this group.

In answer to the oft asked question about the intended use for the Collie: I hope that he will one day be able to help me get my sheep into a stall at night; at 52 and circling the drain fast, my personal BC charcteristics of speed and agility are sorely lacking, with an emphasis on SORELY  I have five Shetland sheep hwo are blended into a flerd with a jersey cow and her year old heifer and a (future livestock guardian as hes only 6 months old) little male donkey called Clarence whose combined grazing results, by the way, are really good due to their different grazing preferences. Clarence goes for the horsenettles which nobody else likes, etc. etc.

Im a retired infantryman, and we (wife and I) bought a beautiful farm up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NW NC.

Last night I came precipitously close to being separated from my quest for a BC dog to help me with my sheep. My wife raised our two (now 10-14 years old)  Shih Tzus while I was deployed to various armpits of the world... so I missed all that, very How convenient I might add!  Well what goes around comes around. She laid out in excruciating detail what was involved especially during the nights, in the raising of puppies, in a tone that can only be described as very doubtful gently stirred with a tinge of horror. And after a rough night last night due to various maladies that come with being my age, feeling completely knackered and like hammered dog poo, I had a moment of intense internal reflection and the thought of 'oh shit, what am I about to do?' crossed my my foggy mind.

However, triumphant news. After a cup of instant coffee, and bouyed by your kind generous thoughts and general feeling of optimism, I am back on track. A little wobbly but back on track.  Damn the torpedoes!  I've named him Mick, short for McDonald, of which I am.

I can only speak from experience with my puppy 7 months old. He has only once woke us at 4 am when he had a dodgy tummy and apart from that night, usually sleeps in his crate from 9.30 pm to 6 am. He was also potty trained pretty quick. Good luck with Mick, I am sure he will love running round with your sheep and running rings around you.

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28 minutes ago, Mandy1961 said:

I can only speak from experience with my puppy 7 months old. He has only once woke us at 4 am when he had a dodgy tummy and apart from that night, usually sleeps in his crate from 9.30 pm to 6 am.

And my last border collie puppy was 7 months old before he slept through the night without having to go out. :rolleyes: Just be prepared for the fact that they're all different.

Which pup did you ultimately pick?

Oh, and we really like to see puppy pictures here. :D

Congratulations.

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I agree with most of what’s been said here. 

For me I think the bond is key. I just knew with my little guy. He displayed all of the traits that you describe on different visits but I could feel a bond with him that wasn’t there with the others. 

My favourite word to describe his personality back then was curiosity :) 

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For those following... update... I chose the pup who was drawn to me, the super friendly one. Pup #1.  I took my wife and mom to meet him last night, and again he came right for me and stayed on my hand like glue, I think he remembered me!  Ill post some pics when we bring him home at eight weeks; two weeks from tomorrow.

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Update...

Mick is now 14 weeks old, we brought him home at 8 weeks old. In 6 weeks he has learned an astounding ammount. I started his training at 8 weeks following my old favorite Richard Wolters who wrote Gun Dog, a training model ahead of its time in my opinion. 

So at 14 weeks, Mick understands well and obeys 8 times out of 10 and improving daily,  the following: His name, No, That'll Do, Lie Down, Go On, Load Up (gets into farm buggy/ golf cart), Thats Enough (to stop tormenting our Shih Tzus), TimeOut (banished to crate for socially unacceptable behavior), Out Of The Kitchen, Outside, Hurry Hurry (go potty).  

 Hes met my 5 Shetland sheep and had a few positive and a few negative experiences with them; they are not impressed with him at all and seem to want to come to him and intimidate him, its almost like they know who he is and they want to get the upper hand- anyways I try very hard to manage encounters to be overall positive for him as Ive read one can ruin a BC early on so theyll never get over their fear of sheep.

Him and I have bonded very tightly. He accompanies me every time I go to do farm chores. I figure that even if I mess up his sheepdog training, he'll be a great farm hand companion wherever I go on the farm.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to initialize Away to Me, and Come By, without using sheep... or maybe its best trained using corraled sheep?

Also looking for a BC sheepdog training book with a monkey-proof training approach similar to that Richard Walters used for gun dogs. Step by step, easy for me to visualize and understand... monkey-proof. Any recommendations?

April time frame, Mick'll be 5 months old then, I'm hoping to go to a clinic for BC pups. Hopefully by then he'll have a solid base with which to work.

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