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tessa_s212

getting a puppy

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No Tessa, no one is attacking you personally...but you REALLY need to read the threads that have been recommended and you REALLY need to UNDERSTAND what is being said. And if you re-read the replies...there are people who actually complimented you on finding out about a BC before you decide. My personal recommendation...concentrate on your cheerleading, your other dogs, and going to college...you are going to be busy enough.

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I don't think anyone is attacking you either. These folks know what they are talking about.

The sticky thread someone mentioned basically sets the tone for this board:

 

" * We take border collies seriously. We try to take good care of our own dogs, learning and sharing knowledge about their health, feeding, training, work and general welfare. And we do our best to look out for the interests of the breed as a whole, by supporting the measures that will keep them the world?s premier herding dog."

 

Also you shouldn't be surprised at the responses. You introduced the idea to us: "My fear is that it will not fit into my lifestyle!"

 

I think that is being affirmed. I don't understand how you've turned that thought around! Hope you are still listening!

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Guest JoeysMom

Tessa,

 

I am currently a college student. I adopted my 8-month-old BC from my local animal shelter nearly 2 months ago. At the time, I was quite ignorant, and did not even know that she was a BC. If you want information, that's great. Good for you to learn first. But you also need to remain open-minded. The people on these boards are wonderful, and give very useful, meaningful advice. Being in college, I can tell you that it is a challenge to give my pup the physical and mental stimulation that she needs. The change from high school to college, even when attending school nearby, is huge. College is also much tougher than high school, and requires tons of time and effort. I am not intending to be hypocritical, but I do think that you should consider what everyone has said.

 

I love Joey, and would not trade her for the world. But she does require a lot of time and energy, and there have been other areas of my life that have had to give. It would be such a shame for you to have such constraints before you ever get to experience what college is all about (and I don't mean partying, I mean academic and extracurricular activities). Please just give this more consideration. And don't forget about your parents--this seems like it is going to require more of a commitment from them than from you.

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Well, I'd love to think you were my 4Her, as ambitious as you are, and obviously determined to make a good judgement about what your next dog will be. I'm astonished that you own seven cocker spaniels, with all the grooming that goes on with them (I'm a groomer and a 4H leader!)and know you probably do well with them. Cheerleading, conformation, obedience and agility are a lot on one plate. College ought to be one of those things that you do as your primary "job" when you get there. Unfortunately, what we're saying is that Border Collies are a job in themselves, and you are looking at a dog who will last for you until you are, say, 25-28, in your salad days, looking at jobs, paying for your first private home away from home, and this dog will need every bit of your free time to be sane. Siblings won't train it like you can, next thing you know, it'll bond with your dad (they adore most the person they work for and respect for giving it the attention they so need).

As much as it will probably be the best choice for you down the road, a real challenge and very rewarding, the time isn't right. Being a 4Her, I know you are above average maturity-wise, and you know this too. You can wait. It'll be well worth it.

Keep making the best better, if you know what I mean. (wink...)

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(ie, if they can't work livestock, they don't get bred, no matter how pretty or athletic they are).
Oh I wish everyone understood that concept!!!

 

I think Debbie is right. Focus on your studies right now. You have plenty of dogs to mess with right now.

Do you want to have a baby right now? Well girlie, that is exactly what a BC puppy would be like. "Who will watch/walk it while I am gone, will it sleep all night or keep me up, another mess in the house?!! I really want to catch a movie Fri. night after finals, but I haven't played with the dog all week, we'll play tomorrow..." Incase you don't already know, tomorrow never comes.

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Yes, seven cocker spaniels is ALOT of work. We do shave two of them(all the way) but the rest we keep brushed out. I do all of the grooming and trimming and all that good stuff. So that does keep me very busy. So if I did get a BC it would take time away from me grooming the dogs. Next spring we will add one more dog the "shave" list, so that I will have more time. --I wasn't very sure about getting a BC but I am now researching on Malinois...I have trained and handled a rescue of my dog training instructors'(they also run an animal rescue) and loved it!

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I can definitely see your point of view about me going off to college. If I left the dog with my dad it would bond with him and would not longer be MY dog. I would like a new dog because my youngest cocker is now five. She's not as active as she used to be! I would also just like a better working dog. She's just not all that good in obedience. I could wait for a puppy, but I'd like to gain some junior showmanship points, and with Cocoa, my cocker, I would never get anywhere! I am working and trying to stay really positive but not much is working. Cocoa is a hard dog to handle in the show ring and it seems unfair that all these other kids get dogs their parents have trained and I have to work my butt off to just get cocoa tail up in the ring!

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Why don't you see if you can find an instructor/trainer with an older dog who you can "borrow" for your shows? It's common in agility and many other venues to allow juniors to show someone else's dog. I often will let my agility (and sometimes flyball) students run my older dog. Older dog loves the extra attention and the dog's already trained, so the student can focus on handling.

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I have trained and handled a rescue of my dog training instructors'(they also run an animal rescue) and loved it!

 

Hey, this seems like a great way for you to build experience with different breeds and yet not get locked into a 15 year commitment that will cramp your time when college comes around. Why don't you keep working with a variety of rescue dogs? It seems like there are plenty of dogs that already have some training when they go into rescue, so you wouldn't necessarily be starting from scratch each time. You'd really get a feel for how to handle different kinds of training challenges, and the dogs would benefit from your efforts.

 

It seems like your family is pretty committed to your animals. If your dad wants a BC, you should encourage him to look into it for himself. He might well be a good match for a BC. I think most of us just don't want *you* to get locked into a dog who's incompatible with the demands of college years.

 

BTW, you can add me to the list of folks whose college careers were nearly derailed by the demands of my much-loved BC

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TRaining rescue dogs sounds like a wonderful idea. The more training a rescue dog gets, the faster it will get a home. And you'll get a ton of experience working with all different types of dogs. You'll be a much better trainer and handler in the next few years, than if you trained and handled a single dog. Trust me on this one. :rolleyes:

 

What a great way to satisfy your (completely admirable) competitive drive and make sure you won't end up in a long-term relationship you will later regret (trying to find an apartment in college that takes a large dog, or having to leave your dog behind).

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Actaully, I have and still am training rescues. My dog training instructors run an animal rescue. What dogs they can't or don't want to adopt out they bring up to dog training classes so us 4-Hers can train them and get more experience with different dogs. And there's definitely a large variety!(Malinois, Corgi's, terrier mixes, Westies, BCs, Shelties, NSDTR's, Shiba Inu, etc..)Out of that list I have trained or handled the Shiba Inu, the Malinois, the Corgie, the BC, one of the terrier mixes, and the NSDTR! I am working with a Basenji/ terrier(?) mix right now, which is very hard! Lol. But we are working on that. So I do have some experience with different dogs. But it's different when you don't actually own the dog and only get to see them 1-4 times a week.

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Hi Tessa,

 

I've figured out where I "know" you from -- the Baggage Agility list. I have a little more perspective on why you want a Border Collie, or something more biddable than what you are working with now, and I understand where you're coming from.

 

That said, this is my opinion. I know what it's like to be a busy high school student, I even know what it's like to be a high school cheerleader, as I've said before. You are also planning to go to college, which is a huge life change and one that deserves all of your attention. You already have seven dogs. If you got a Border Collie now, you'd have fun with it for a couple of years (although you wouldn't be able to do almost any of the activities you enjoy with it if you start with a puppy -- as someone else pointed out, a puppy won't be ready for sports for a couple of years, and by then you're off to college). And then, due to college you'd be leaving and doing something new and the dog would be passed to someone else.

 

In my opinion, this is not a great scenario for getting a new dog, and especially not a puppy, and ESPECIALLY not a demanding dog like a Border Collie. I know the temptation is great, and that you really want a dog you can have fun with, but you have to think into the future. You're going to be starting college in less than three years most likely. College will offer a lot of fun new opportunities, you'll meet a lot of new people, make a lot of new friends. Having a dog like a Border Collie would seriously curtail your ability to enjoy all these new things. I didn't get Border Collies until I was halfway through grad school. And graduate school isn't like college -- we're supposed to be working our asses off, not hanging out with our friends -- so it worked out, but I still had to miss out on a lot of stuff that I wouldn't have if I had dogs. For example, just last night I wanted to go out to dinner with friends I won't see again for months, since I'm moving, but I couldn't because I'd been gone all day and had to take the dogs to the park before they exploded in my apartment. I'm leaving town tomorrow to move to another state, so I won't have another opportunity to see my friends, but dog bladders can only hold it for so long. You get the idea.

 

If I were you, I would keep doing what you're doing -- training your own dogs, and the rescue dogs your instructors have. If possible, you might even offer to foster one and make him/her your particular project. It can be frustrating working with an "issues" dog but you will learn more from this little Basenji mix than ten push-button Border Collies could ever teach you. Trust me -- I know. My first Border Collie was (and is) anything but an "easy" dog, and he has changed me forever. When you are done with school -- and that will be much sooner than you think, trust me -- you will be that much more ready for your Border Collie, if you still want one.

 

You said you were also thinking of a Malinois and I really believe that most of the cautions that apply to Border Collies also apply to this breed. The one exception is that you will have an easier time doing conformation with a Mal. Conformation showing simply isn't part of Border Collie culture and the kinds of Border Collies you like (the ones who are highly energetic, biddable, and good at dog sports) are not the ones that are bred for show. Working Border Collies do not show well: they don't strut, they don't gait the way conformation people want them to gait, they don't have enough coat, they appear slinky and sullen. If you acquire a "Border Collie" that is bred for the ring I think you will be disappointed. If you acquire a working-bred Border Collie and attempt to show it, I think you will be misguided.

 

Maybe you could foster for a local Border Collie rescue? That way you could train a Border Collie, or many Border Collies, before you go off to school without any of the problems that will occur if you have a highly demanding dog and you're also trying to be a college student. I would be surprised if your local rescue would not be eager to have a foster home willing to take a dog to obedience and agility classes. And it would be good karma.

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I have already decided not to get a BC. I have just started training a BC of my dog training instructors and figure that will give me a little experience with them. I know this may upset some peolpe, but I am still thinking(keyword:thinking) about getting a puppy. I am now researching Malinois.

 

I have a friend from dog training classes that got a BC probably about a 17 months ago so that she can show in conformation. She already had two other dogs she was training in obedience and agility. Now that she has the BC she has limited time to work with one of the other two dogs. Also, since she is in school, the dog is more bonded with her parents.

 

I do not want this to happen to my dog. I love my dog, Cocoa(hey, I got her when I was nine!), and I wouldn't ever want to limit the time I have with her. But I'd love to be able to have a conformation dog. I guess the conformation dog could wait, but what about junior showmanship points? I'd like to gain some, obvioulsy before I am eighteen! With Cocoa, I'd never be able to obtain any. Well, my dog training instructors sometimes let the other girl with the BC handle her dogs in the conformation ring. I could just borrow a dog from her, right? Nope. In junior showmanship you have to own the dog. So, my hands are tied.

 

This has led me to begin to think of co-owning a finished dog. Which has been suggested to me by my dog training instructor even though she'd much rather me get a puppy because training a new puppy is definitely a learning experience. This, I have yet to discuss with my dad. I'm sure he'd go for the idea though(even though I think he'd like a puppy, too).

 

With that--does anybody know of people that show other breeds in conformatioin that may have a finished dog they would be willing to give me?(Yes, I know. Alot of people on this board are against conformation.)

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Not against conformation. Against border collies in conformation. I have a Chinese Crested and I don't see anything wrong with beauty contests for these cute little things. CC's are active dogs, too, by the way, perfectly capable of lots of fun stuff - and being small they can go lots of places a full size dog can't. The same is true for a lot of lap dog breeds. Lots of yorkies and other non-working-bred terriers do well in sports (obviously JRTs do well too but all the border collie objections are the same).

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No, not at all. It has to do with breed type.

 

The point of a breeding program (a good one, anyway) is to maintain and improve breed type. To me, "type" is a word that means "the essence of the breed." Border Collie "type" has nothing to do with appearance and everything to do with working ability. Anyone can recognize a good, typey Border Collie at work, regardless of what it looks like. Border Collies are behaviorally distinctive, and conformationally nondescript. A dog can be recognized as an excellent example of the breed although it may have any of a wide variety of appearances.

 

Other breeds are defined more closely by factors of appearance or size. For example, the defining characters of the Papillon breed (I have one) include small size and the distinctive butterfly ears, among other things. A dog that does not have these Papillon characters cannot be considered a good specimen of the breed.

 

People who choose Border Collies tend to choose them for behavioral characteristics. We have Border Collies because we need dogs that can work stock, or because we want dogs who have the behavioral characters that go along with having been bred to work stock -- intelligence, biddability, athleticism. Most of us also like the way our dogs look, but looks were not a primary factor in choosing the dogs because Border Collies have a wide variety of looks. My two look nothing alike aside from their markings -- my dog is big-boned, rough-coated, and red, my bitch is small, smooth-coated, prick-eared, and black and white with ticked ears. If it mattered a lot to me that my dogs specifically looked a certain way, then I wouldn't have Border Collies. I would have a breed where "type" has more to do with appearance.

 

For toy breed dogs, breeding for conformation is as good a reason to breed as most (although I don't think show breeders take health and temperament nearly enough into account). For Border Collies, breeding for looks makes no sense at all. It forces the breeder to compromise on essential elements of breed type that have to do with working ability (for example, if you only bred "pretty" working dogs with lots of coat, you're whittling your gene pool down to nothing for no reason -- or if you're choosing a stud for your bitch on the basis of how his ears are set, you're giving up something else like maybe the ability to read sheep). A few generations of such compromises, and the dogs no longer have the behavioral characteristics that made them special in the first place.

 

Breeding Border Collies for conformation makes them into something they were never intended to be. And that's why Becca isn't hypocritical.

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Not hypocritical at all. Border Collies are different is all. What makes a Border Collie a Border Collie? It doesn't matter what a BC looks like, and it's wrong to aim for a certain look, because that is NOT what makes BC's so special.

 

What makes a BC a BC is their extreme intelligence, biddability, and endurance - characteristics that get lost when you breed for something like looks or temperament or "friendliness".

 

Let's reverse it and think of it this way: A Cocker Spaniel is bred to look a certain way, right? What if a group of Cocker owners decided to breed their dogs for something besides looks? What if they decided to only breed Cockers who were good at agility, or only good at tracking. Then the coat color, the ear set, etc. would be unimportant to their breeding program. In the process, after a few generations, they would have Cockers who excelled at agility or tracking, but their dogs would not look like Cockers anymore. Are these dogs still Cocker Spaniels? No, not really. Anyone with a Cocker Spaniel would say no, and they would not be allowed into any AKC show ring or other event, right?

 

BC's are bred for their working ability. With that ability comes the other characteristics we love so much. Looks are secondary, actually thirdiary (<--- new word) after health. Conformation BC's are watered down versions of the real thing. Their offspring will be even more diluted. No, we don't support that here.

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I came across some of these "mini-aussie" owners and that got me thinking. Aussies were not bred to be small and cute, but to work! Why would anybody breed an aussie down in size!? If they want a small dog, then go get a small dog! Then, I thought..maybe you feel the same way about BCs in conformation

I am sorry if I was rude and arogant about my opinion on BCs in conformation.

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You ARE smart. Anybody with a brain like that, humility, patience, huge work ethic...you NEED to go to college and make the most of your earning years. Add me to the pile of people who made college a minor and animals a major (horses and work in a boarding kennel and learning to earn dollars for shaving other people's cockers-LOL) and today I make $13.88 an hour (I think) at 46, cleaning kennels, still grooming, assisting vets and technicians. Is this wrong? Heck, no, I'm happy, but I would have more $$$ probably if I took my way above average SAT's and applied myself to my studies. I went to college 6 years, mostly part-time, got within 12 credits of finishing, but I gave it up for my job at the kennel. Dumb. You can do better.

I like you. You can be an honorary member of my 4H club ANYTIME.

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yah...I'm only a freshman so I do have some time to think about that. [/QB]
Hi Tessa,

 

I'm sure you know who I am,Katelynn "DiceyDoLotz" from Agility_Juniors? I have the two Working Border Collies that I'm always talking about, Dice and Cue.

 

I'm really glad you decided to give this thought time.

 

Like all of these fine people have been saying, Border Collies ARE a way of life!

 

If you really want to do showmanship look into 4H! You can show mutts in their showmanship and be a Champion. :rolleyes:

 

But if you really do want a conformation dog, please please PLEASE! look into another dog breed! We have enough of a hard time trying to hold off AKC, we don't need new people adding to the problem we are trying to solve.

 

Contact me to talk more, I'll talk your ear off about my dogs and other dogs I know. :-D

 

Good luck!

 

Katelynn

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Tessa, good for you for sticking around the board, and UNDERSTANDING what people were trying to say. You were able to figure it out...something that can't be said for some of the grownups that have come to the board Have fun with your teen years...and college..and some day when the time is right, you'll probably be ready for a BC!

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I am in 4-H but I only have a total of 4 4-H shows that I compete in each year. (some county matches and State Fair) For me, that is not enough. It's something that I enjoy to do and would like more of a chance to do it. Right now I'm looking into getting a finished dog to show. Not having much luck tho.

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