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  #11  
Old 02-24-2014, 07:56 PM
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That's a really good point about the farm dog mentality. Yeah, it doesn't sound like Hudson is high energy - maybe I just have a skewed perception of typical herders based on all of the "scare tactics" that people throw out there to try to dissuade people from buying an active dog on a whim.

For example, my friend regularly goes on about the amount of energy that her dogs (aussies) have. I was quite pleasantly surprised when she brought them to visit. For the most part, they napped the day away unless they were watching out the window or chewing on a squeaky toy. She walks them every day (and at their home they have a medium sized yard), but that's it as far as serious exercise or mental stimulation goes.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:00 PM
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I see what you're saying and I do think sometimes energy and biddability go together. A biddable dog has to have the drive to want to do things with their person. If they were a true couch potato, they probably wouldn't have as much drive to work with people because they would be happiest just lounging around. That can mean the dog needs some stimulation to be happy, but it doesn't mean they will be a pacing whiney mess either. I also agree that people selecting for biddable dogs would want energy to actually do the job the dog is bred for, whether it's herding or hunting all day.

Watson had been called high energy by trainers, but I think he's more medium energy. I only walk him about 45-60min a day (less this winter) and he really does sleep most of the time. He would go all day if I asked, and he can turn on the energy and drive when he wants, but he's not annoying either (except occasionally, but he's still under 2). He might drive some people slightly crazy if they wanted a low energy dog, but for a dog savvy home he's not hard to live with.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:04 PM
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I think a big thing with herding breeds is that the act of working stock is very, very taxing mentally and physically, so when you place them in a home without that activity, it's going to take a heck of a lot more time to tire them out.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:37 PM
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I think a lot of that depends on how the dog is treated in the house. I'm not saying that all dogs can be taught to settle well (that's obviously untrue) but I think there's a lot of play in the line.

When I'm home alone with Elsie, she naps. If I ask her to get the ball, she jumps up, if I leave the room, she follows me, but she doesn't pace, pant, or pester.

When my roommate is home, Elsie moves NONSTOP. She pokes, she pants, she drops balls, she pesters, she steals, she gets on and off furniture--she's a huge pest. I told my roommate when she moved in not to encourage those behaviors, but she ignored me, and now she's a monster who won't settle... when my roommate is there.

Now, my roommate talks about how 'those dogs' never settle in the house and Elsie has too much energy and needs constant attention and so on, but as soon as she walks out the door, Elsie's back on the sofa, napping. My roommate doesn't believe me, lol. Why would she? In her experience, Elsie moves nonstop.

I'm not saying get a Belgian, of course, but Elsie is not anywhere near the monster people talk about. She gets a lot of stimulation and interaction, but she doesn't need 7 hours of running or anything crazy like that. We have plenty of days where we do very, very little.

She's very biddable, moderate energy, and she's... under my desk with her head on my chair's wheels right now, lol.

Last edited by Red.Apricot; 02-24-2014 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red.Apricot View Post
Now, my roommate talks about how 'those dogs' never settle in the house and Elsie has too much energy and needs constant attention and so on, but as soon as she walks out the door, Elsie's back on the sofa, napping. My roommate doesn't believe me, lol. Why would she? In her experience, Elsie moves nonstop.
I get this with Watson too. Right now he's passed out on his dog bed, and earlier tonight he was passed out on my lap. We only walked about 30min and did 5 minutes of training and he's happy to sleep all evening. If I get up he'll be ready to go, but when I sit down he goes to sleep again.

When he's around our instructors (and other dogs), and when my parents are visiting he paces, whines, jumps on and off furniture, steals things, and is generally annoying. I've had so many trainers say "Oh, he's high energy! I bet he never sleeps." They really don't believe me that he just crashes at home and 99% of the time isn't a pain at all. My parents don't always know how to encourage quiet, and instructors see him in high arousal situations which aren't daily life.

I think dogs with that tendency towards busy behavior can be easily stimulated into acting obnoxious, but if you manage it correctly they're really not bad. It just requires some dog savviness to be conscious of when you're reinforcing bad behavior and when you're reinforcing calm.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
I think a big thing with herding breeds is that the act of working stock is very, very taxing mentally and physically, so when you place them in a home without that activity, it's going to take a heck of a lot more time to tire them out.
That's a good point that I didn't consider. Reading stock, being ready to take direction at a moments notice.

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Originally Posted by Elrohwen View Post
I get this with Watson too. Right now he's passed out on his dog bed, and earlier tonight he was passed out on my lap. We only walked about 30min and did 5 minutes of training and he's happy to sleep all evening. If I get up he'll be ready to go, but when I sit down he goes to sleep again.

When he's around our instructors (and other dogs), and when my parents are visiting he paces, whines, jumps on and off furniture, steals things, and is generally annoying. I've had so many trainers say "Oh, he's high energy! I bet he never sleeps." They really don't believe me that he just crashes at home and 99% of the time isn't a pain at all. My parents don't always know how to encourage quiet, and instructors see him in high arousal situations which aren't daily life.

I think dogs with that tendency towards busy behavior can be easily stimulated into acting obnoxious, but if you manage it correctly they're really not bad. It just requires some dog savviness to be conscious of when you're reinforcing bad behavior and when you're reinforcing calm.
Same. New people get him pretty worked up, so everyone thinks he is "OMG Crazy" all the time, but today we went outside a few times, played fetch in the house, and he squeaked a toy. Now he's laying in the corner sleeping.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red.Apricot View Post
I think a lot of that depends on how the dog is treated in the house. I'm not saying that all dogs can be taught to settle well (that's obviously untrue) but I think there's a lot of play in the line.

When I'm home alone with Elsie, she naps. If I ask her to get the ball, she jumps up, if I leave the room, she follows me, but she doesn't pace, pant, or pester.

When my roommate is home, Elsie moves NONSTOP. She pokes, she pants, she drops balls, she pesters, she steals, she gets on and off furniture--she's a huge pest. I told my roommate when she moved in not to encourage those behaviors, but she ignored me, and now she's a monster who won't settle... when my roommate is there.
Yes! I completely agree with this. My dogs are awful for other people. Journey bounces and leaps and is just generally obnoxious. Keira paces and whines and demand screeches everything. Ripley plays non-stop. Dance frantically wanders the house gathering things neurotically to play with. I expect from my dogs that when we are in the house, we are calm and quiet unless given permission otherwise. I don't really feel like it's something I taught specifically, but somehow all of my dogs know that when I am around, they are to relax and behave themselves. And they do so happily. They either play quietly together when I'm home until I ask them to stop, or they sleep most of the day, or they chew bones. It's an expectation that they've grown accustom to since day one. I don't really understand why they are not the same way with other people, or what people do differently with them than what I do, but they can certainly be tyrants when I am not around lol.
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  #18  
Old 02-24-2014, 10:10 PM
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My shelties have all settled very very well for what it's worth. They didn't need any extraordinary amount of anything. Compared to Mia, they were a cake walk. Nice manners, adaptable energy level, etc. Are all shelties like that? No, but most are pretty adaptable. I know some really drivey ones but they're dogs that were bred from two worlds' team members, or something like that. Those dogs can be a lot more dog but still strike me as being able to turn off well. For what it's worth, Mia is much less apt to turn off or skip a day than any of our herders were.

My last sheltie was sport and show bred too. He basically spent his time lounging around the house and running around our couple acres. Nothing too major there.

A lot of 'energy' is going to depend on perception and where you see the dog. My trainer has a belgian, a blue lacy, a viszla, and a border collie (just for reference) and has commented on how high energy Summer is. Summer is 10 and not high energy at all really. She just... is excitable in agility. It's her favorite game in the world and she's a bit nutty for it (which I love!). On the agility field, she spends the whole time bouncing and spinning like a top. You see her at an agility practice and she looks like a dog that goes nonstop. You see her at the pet store and she looks kinda bonkers. You see her at home or on a normal walk and she's pretty darn chill. On the flip side, in public Mia is so disinterested in people that she comes across as really low key. Whereas at home, Mia is busy.

Tonight I was gone for a full 13 hours (with lunch time break splitting it up). It's an unusual occurrence- my friend's brother passed away, etc. Long story short, I didn't get home till just now. Summer has been asleep all day and when I got home went to potty then went to the couch to sleep. Mia is pacing and whining. I'm going to have to run Mia down for a bit if I want to sleep. And that's with a couple mental stimulation times and food toys and training for her as well as doing a ton yesterday at the barnhunt and after plus hiking both days beforehand.

Mia LOOKS much calmer to most people but she's not. She's much busier. She can't handle 13 hours of downtime well. Summer would probably never ever demand exercise but when it happens is so bubbly and happy she looks crazy hyper. It's pretty deceptive and just meeting a dog in public doesn't give you a great idea of what it's like to live with.
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Last edited by Laurelin; 02-24-2014 at 10:22 PM.
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  #19  
Old 02-25-2014, 01:00 AM
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Rough Collie would definitely be one breed that springs to mind as biddable but pretty mellow.

And yeah, also farm-ish collie type mixes. My mom has an awesome little dog, she seems like a border collie mix but she's a perfect blend of biddable and willing and high energy when needed, but also totally happy to just chill out. They are very much your average pet owners, they walk her sometimes, but she goes to the office every day and just hangs out. She's an awesome dog. And soooo cute too! She comes from a local farm/ranch and there seem to be tons of dogs who look very similar to her and have similar temperaments.

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Old 02-25-2014, 08:36 AM
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Volka (CAO) is pretty good listening and following orders.....but for a limited amount of time and then he gets bored quickly. he has his own area in the house because he can be pretty destructive and already did a good job on doors and chairs. he sleeps a lot which is good which gives me time to do few things around the house.
but in 3 months i am moving to my summer house..and there...he will have a big outdoor area to play and few farm animals to guard ..it will be heaven for him.
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