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  #21  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:16 AM
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Yeah, BC's can be quirky& weird. And they are certainly hardwired to WORK 24/7 .. even when they are relaxing, you can tell they are just waiting for you to get up& interact with them.

That said, I wouldn't say they can be some of the most challenging to train. Not by a long shot!
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  #22  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
There are SOOOO many lines of BCs out there that a lot are. Doing the proper research is certainly necessary, but challenging to train? I don't know if I'd go that far... This is the second BC pup I've raised from different lines and the ease at which they learn and figure out what you want of them because of their biddability is astounding.

Obviously getting any dog for an ego trip is not a good idea, but BCs ARE the perfect size and shape for agility with extreme biddability, but not completely velcro that goes great with the sport. Find the right lines that don't have quirky, neurotic dogs, and you're golden.
I don't think you're doing the breed any favors by simplifying them.

Malinois, like collies, are not super hard to train and in some regards they're a total mind screw. Some Malinois are sweet and easy, I've even met relatively lazy malinois, but most malinois are like my boy. Busy, reactive, possessive, noisy, distrusting, rude, and sensitive to touch. He's still a kick ass working dog but I would not recommend the breed when someone wants a dog to do bitework with, considering life with a dog is so much more than just sport training/competition.

Border collies can be so soft and reactive and quirky, weird is a great way to describe it. They're not an easy breed and I would never recommend them just because someone wants to run agility.
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by yv0nne View Post
Yeah, BC's can be quirky& weird. And they are certainly hardwired to WORK 24/7 .. even when they are relaxing, you can tell they are just waiting for you to get up& interact with them.

That said, I wouldn't say they can be some of the most challenging to train. Not by a long shot!
Their challenges are different than what you would face in a different breed but that doesn't mean they aren't one of the most challenging. My great dane was far easier to train in agility than my border collie mix. Obviously we had different challenges between the breeds but I would almost take the dane's ability to think over Zuma's balls to the wall approach any day.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
I don't think you're doing the breed any favors by simplifying them.

Malinois are not super hard to train and in some regards they're a total mind screw. Some Malinois are sweet and easy, I've even met relatively lazy malinois, but most malinois are like my boy. Busy, reactive, possessive, noisy, distrusting, rude, and sensitive to touch. He's still a kick ass working dog but I would not recommend the breed when someone wants a dog to do bitework with, considering life with a dog is so much more than just sport training/competition.

Border collies can be so soft and reactive and quirky, weird is a great way to describe it. They're not an easy breed and I would never recommend them just because someone wants to run agility.
I'm not trying to simplify them. I'm saying that yes, some lines ARE like that, but some AREN'T. And the ones that AREN'T would be a good fit for her criteria. Especially for a dog trainer.
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  #25  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:26 AM
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I guess so.. just thinking that the BC's I know are focused and willing to work and sure ..sometimes they are nuts and you need to take 5 minutes to get them paying attention to you but they pick up things very quickly if you put the effort in. Having said that, I've only met about 20 or so Borders and they are all serious agility competitors ..I have seen a few that were not focused and did whatever they want, but attributed that to lack of being worked with
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
I don't think you're doing the breed any favors by simplifying them.

Malinois, like collies, are not super hard to train and in some regards they're a total mind screw. Some Malinois are sweet and easy, I've even met relatively lazy malinois, but most malinois are like my boy. Busy, reactive, possessive, noisy, distrusting, rude, and sensitive to touch. He's still a kick ass working dog but I would not recommend the breed when someone wants a dog to do bitework with, considering life with a dog is so much more than just sport training/competition.

Border collies can be so soft and reactive and quirky, weird is a great way to describe it. They're not an easy breed and I would never recommend them just because someone wants to run agility.
My thoughts as. As you put it one time for Mals, you only recommend the breed when that's what they know they want. I'd put BC in the same category.
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  #27  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by yv0nne View Post
I guess so.. just thinking that the BC's I know are focused and willing to work and sure ..sometimes they are nuts and you need to take 5 minutes to get them paying attention to you but they pick up things very quickly if you put the effort in. Having said that, I've only met about 20 or so Borders and they are all serious agility competitors ..I have seen a few that were not focused and did whatever they want, but attributed that to lack of being worked with
For what it's worth, I think the argument being made is not that it is difficult to teach BCs new behaviors (hardly!) but that agility is more about working in fluid partnership at speed and that can be difficult for many people with many BCs, mostly because of their combination of handler sensitivity, detail-orientation, and speed of movement and reaction. It can and often does result in a frustrated handler and ticked off dog.

[general]
There are many, many breeds that are good at agility. While the top dogs in the U.S. tend to be primarily BCs and Shelties, they are a very very small percentage of the overall numbers of those breeds present in the sport. A team with a well-built dog that has a strong relationship and works fluidly can and will beat the majority of BCs or Shelties (depending on their height category). It's far more important to have a good match than a particular breed.
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  #28  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
For what it's worth, I think the argument being made is not that it is difficult to teach BCs new behaviors (hardly!) but that agility is more about working in fluid partnership at speed and that can be difficult for many people with many BCs, mostly because of their combination of handler sensitivity, detail-orientation, and speed of movement and reaction. It can and often does result in a frustrated handler and ticked off dog.
This. It's easy to see those well-worked teams and think that it was easy to get there. It's not. It really, really isn't. I wish more people saw the time and the work and the energy that was put into building those relationships and working on teamwork rather than just the end result.
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  #29  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:45 AM
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While they are biddable dogs I can say with confidence that Arnold, my lazy "whatever you say" pit bull, is easier. He never gets too creative, he never moves too fast, he's never too pushy, he's never chaotic and quirky and confusing.

I love border collies, really, but I worry about proposing a breed which holds such intensity and challenge without offering up the whole picture.

Beyond the time it takes to get a collie to that podium it these people ideally live with their dogs and some border collies rival my malinois for the most annoying house pet ever award.
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  #30  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:46 AM
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I think anyone who thinks BCs are easy or the best for agility should go and read Three Woofs and A Woos stories about Dexter. And she's very experienced in agility and border collies.
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