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PrincessJenni

Male or Female?

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I must agree with the others, rescue is the way to go. They will easily be able to tell you how the dog acts around cats. Of course, it will depend a lot on the cat, too. My last cat Gabbi was snotty and held her ground. Riley wasn't quite sure what to do with her because she wouldn't give chase. Our new cat, Tess, LOVES to run and surprisingly likes Riley to chase her (to an extent, then she hisses).

 

As far as protectiveness goes, here's my story. Riley will bark at people outside the house. But if they tried to get in, he would simply lick them to death. He also will bark at strange noises in the night (he sleeps on our bed).

 

Except last night. We had a thunderstorm which now seems to frighten him (he's 16 months, never been scared of thunder before, what gives?). So he spent the better part of the night curled up next to me as close as he could get, wherever I was. At bedtime, he was at the foot of the bed as usual. The cat was out running the halls (literally) and must have knocked something over, because I heard a minor crash. Normally, Riley would growl and bark. But this time he stood up and walked up the head of the bed and curled up as close as he could get to me, shaking. He was scared!

 

He's no watchdog...

 

Betsy

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But then there was the female rescue we had. She was definitely a watchdog and would have done harm to someone that entered the house that she didn't know (if we weren't there). But then again she seemed to have a thing against men in hats, who knows what her past was...

 

Betsy

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Not only choose rescue but please re-evaluate whether a border collie is the right running partner. There are LOTS of dogs that would work as running partners that would not require the mental stimulation of most border collies. Any puppy (as many have said) will need to wait a year for running. While others might have had a rescue dog that was supposed to be good with cats and wasn't, you will generally have much MUCH better luck introducing an older rescue with a specific known temperment to a cat. Especially with people breeding indiscriminately and just wanting to "sell" puppies, please rethink your options.

Caroline

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Just to chime in on the guard-dog thing-

 

Dale is certainly a wonderful WATCHdog. But a GUARDdog, he will never be. All of the BCs I have known are like that....they will raise hell barking, but have no bite to back it up (not that you want your dog to bite). Dale will always bark at someone, but as soon as that person approaches, he runs to me and hides behind my legs, or he runs to my Golden and hides behind her. But on that note, I must agree that each dog is different. Goldens aren't supposed to be worth a crap when it comes to guarding, but mine is a VERY protective sort. She isn't the "lick the stranger in my house to death" type at all. When her feathers are ruffled, she means it.

 

I also agree that a rescue is the best way to go. BCs can indeed get along very well with cats. If you go to a rescue, you can find out if the dog lived with cats and how he got along with them. We have 2 dogs and 3 cats here, and if there is ever a fight, it is between the cats. But if you DO get a pup, I wouldn't worry much. Cats are tough buggers who usually have zero problem with letting a dog know who is boss. I never interfere when introducing dogs to cats. They sort it out quite well IMO.

 

Male vs. Female? I don't know. I have one of each and they are both the best companions I have known femals BCs though who are "bitchy", so we got a male.

 

Good luck!

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Being a BC owner, and having deployed (shipped out) a time or two, please allow me to share another view on your situation.

Deployments are a very hard time for many families and personally I don't think it's the right time to get a dog. The dynamics of the house change when one deploys, and again when they return. The stress level of the house is usually high during a deployment, and so many things can change.

If you are looking to get a dog to keep you company while your husband is away, why not look at fostering some rescue dogs? It's a great way to experience living with a BC without the lifelong obligation. If you enjoy fostering while your husband is away, it will help you both decide what type of BC, if a BC at all, you want to get once the family is back together. By fostering you can find out what it's like to live with males, females, high energy, low energy, cuddlers and non-cuddlers.

Good luck in whatever decision you make about a dog.

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Don't forget there are rescue puppies out there too - unlike gender, that doesn't have to be an either/or issue.

 

Whatever you go with, the best of luck to you and your husband.

 

Liz & the Captain xxx

 

P.S. Spike came to live with my mother's tiny timid cat at 10 months old - he was supposed to be cat proof but frankly isn't - however it only took about four days for him to work out that Maisie was his cat and he only chases other people's.

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Why are you all so down on dogs being "protective"?

 

My Border Collie, Ewan, (a pet, not a work dog,)would protect me against all comers.

 

When my husband gives me a kiss and a hug, Ewan goes mad, barking furiously. It`s a good game.

 

But I feel secure when out walking because I am sure that if I was attacked for real he would wade in and mean it!!

 

By the way, I personally wouldn`t choose a male dog again. I always had bitches before, and they are far more biddable and quiet. Also males make the yard stink because they pee everywhere!!!

 

:rolleyes:

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Originally posted by Jeni:

Why are you all so down on dogs being "protective"?

 

My Border Collie, Ewan, (a pet, not a work dog,)would protect me against all comers.

 

When my husband gives me a kiss and a hug, Ewan goes mad, barking furiously. It`s a good game.

I guess because I don't find that "a good game" - I find that kind of behaviour disturbing, and unacceptable. Woe to any of my dogs who think they can dictate who I can and cannot show affection to. I like really well rounded dogs who know their place and in my experience "protective" dogs are potential problems for lots of reasons.

 

By the way, I personally wouldn`t choose a male dog again. I always had bitches before, and they are far more biddable and quiet. Also males make the yard stink because they pee everywhere!!!
I don't find that generalization true at all. I have two dogs and one bitch and my female is obnoxious and barks a lot and suits herself most of the time. My oldest male is very biddable and well mannered, my younger male is standoffish and doesn't like to obey without a good reason to. So I don't think the generalization holds true.

 

RDM

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I have had male and female dogs in the past and now have a female. Mia isn't snippy or "bitchy" and doesn't act like any of the female BC's that have been described on this post and granted she is my first BC so I don't have the male experience that most of you guys do to go by but I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world! She does cuddle with me in the morning and at night but during the day it's all work for her so I guess she is similar in that regard.

 

Mia is training right now to be a protection dog. She is the best in her class which consists of mostly German Shepards so they can be trained to protect even though the breed doesn't general do that type of work. We didn't buy her to be a protection dog, we just stumbled upon it because she was bored with obedience and agility so our trainer suggested it and now she can't wait to get to class to get a "bite". At first she thought it was a game we were playing and now she actually has defense. We were at a Halloween party at our close friends house this year(not dressed up), Mia was laying on my lap and some people that Mia had met before came in. A guy in a black wig and a grim reaper mask came up to me and as a joke put his arms in the air and did a big "ghrrrrr" and she jumped off my lap, got into her protection stance in front of me, started her big dog bark and growl and would have bit him in a second had I given her the right command. So I guess what I'm saying is that if you've got your heart set on a BC, have done all your research, plan to work the dogs mind as well as physical excerise, then a BC can be trained to protect you.

 

Good luck,

Gimmie Sue and Mia

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RDM, the more you post about Piper, the more I?m sure my Kirra is a clone! :rolleyes:

 

If I were going to generalize, I would probably go with males being less problematic ? their issues if they have them are usually right out there to see, whereas the females I find are harder to read ? more complex and devious, even when they?re not being bitchy. Still hugely lovable, thank goodness. My boys have been WYSIWYGs, but the girls have been a bit more of a challenge. That said, I would have backed my old Kelpie/Collie bitch to protect me if I needed protecting ? not so sure about the Border Collies!

 

On the protection training issue, from what little I know, it would be something you would have to keep up the training for the dog?s life, I would think, so that the ?rules? remain firmly in place.

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Princess Jenni---

 

I have a 13 year old cat who owns me, the house, and everything in it. I am only his staff person. I brought home a rescue BC (2 year old male) not knowing how it would go. Beau, the cat, took one look at the dog, set up a hiss that could be heard 2 houses away, and the dog didn't want to come in the house. That set the tone and the ground rules, and everything has been fine since then. Jes (the dog) does want to herd Beau occasionally, but a word from me or a hiss from Beau and he backs down right away. Your cat sounds like Beau, and if he holds his ground he will have no problem being Top Animal with the majority of dogs, including BCs, unless the dog is a real cat killer. Also, any rescue group worthy of the name will take back a dog if it doesn't work out with your cat, but most dogs in rescue have been evaluated around cats if at all possible. Please get a rescue dog. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by giving one a chance. I am delighted every day with my dog, and continually amazed that anyone would give up such a fine dog. Their loss, my gain.

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When my husband gives me a kiss and a hug, Ewan goes mad, barking furiously. It`s a good game.
I guess because I don't find that "a good game" - I find that kind of behaviour disturbing, and unacceptable. Woe to any of my dogs who think they can dictate who I can and cannot show affection to.
Ewan sees my husband as the Alpha pack leader and is totally submissive to him.

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I think you need to visit some BCs and see who, what you bond with. Myself, I am a female dog lover allways have been. Every male I had was dump as a stump. Then I went to get my BC a buddy and I wanted a female, but when I met Pete it was love at first sight. He's a super dog and I am very gald I got him.

 

So, even though I am strict female dog lover, I got a male!! So you need to go see for your self.

Meet as many as you can and hang out with them.

 

Good luck to you and your husband! Thank him for going to Iraq for us.

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I agree - let your dog choose you!

When we got Ewan, at a rescue shelter, I wanted a different dog, but Ewan was putting his paw through the wire of the kennel at us - he really wanted us to notice him. He was very timid at first, but adores us to distraction!

 

By the way, Mr Snappy, all my dogs - male and female, have been neutered if that makes any difference to their behaviour. I was only speaking from my own experience of the male/female thing. And that goes for cats too!!

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I agree with the recuse idea. Also keep an eye out at the Humane Society and the local animal shelters. We got Scout as a 8 week old pup from the animal shelter. She had two sisters with her at the time. I knew she was the one when we took her outside and she jumped in my lap and stayed there just wagging her tail and looking at me :rolleyes: The shelter said she was a mix but the vet, my hubby or I see nothing in her but BC. I am one who would rather not have a papered dog from a breeder. Please understand that this my personal thing and I don't think any less of a person who does. As for the male/female thing both my dogs have been female. Dakota, was a wonderfully protective dog when she needed to be. She was so very sweet. Scout has had a problem of being a bit over protective of me( she has been taking obed traing and is getting a lot better)and has selective hearing when her dog friends are over-but she is also sweet and I wouldn't trade her for anything.

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