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  #11  
Old 01-12-2007, 01:34 PM
bcjake bcjake is offline
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I've had 2 Aussies for the last 11 years. One came from working stock. Not sure of the lines of the other, but I'm guessing show lines given he was much more reserved and mellow than the first. Both Aussies are gone now (one was put down last spring after a long and expensive battle with cancer. The other died last fall after some serious infection issues and some heart trouble.) We decided to try a border collie, thinking that having high drive dogs for 11 years would be a good experience base for the ultimate, the zen level of dogs (in my opinion), border collies.

I agree with what was said earlier in the thread more or less. I feel comfortable enough to make some comments on the australian shepherds, but may get a few things wrong on border collies, so please forgive. Also, this is strickly my opinion and no one else's. now that the disclaimer is out of the way:

Aussies: typically more mellow and laid back than Borders. They can be just as loud and in your face as a Border. Some prefer show lines because they are typically more laid back. Some, such as myself, prefer working lines as sometimes they tend to be smarter. As far as herding styles, they do have a different style of herding and from what I was taught about 10 years ago, they are used in different situations than borders. I don't remember the specifics of what I was taught (from the breeder I got my first Aussie, who breeds and keeps a few dogs for their farm then sells the rest. They also use Border Collies, so she could easily speak on both and showed me some differences.) They are great at agility, searrch and rescue, companion dogs. I even knew a lady that used a few aussies at a daycare (though not recommended.) If brought up properly, they can be great with kids. We had to give our first aussie to my folks when our first girl was born, as the dog had very strong herding instincts and was not good with kids. Our second Aussie was a dream with kids, almost to the point of being over protective of our kids and usually had to be put outside when the kids' friends would come over and play.

Borders: raise the bar a few notches for a border collie. Most say that an Aussie is like a Border Collie on Ridlin. That's a good analogy. We haven't had our Border Collie long enough to make a full assessment, but its easy to see he's more hyper and has a much higher drive and more energy than both of our Aussies did. He was the most mellow pup in the litter too which is scary. Borders are much more impressive to watch herding, with the low approach and the evil stare (which our dog hasn't developed yet )

Both breeds do require a lot of work and attention. When I come home from work, our pup is litteraly bouncing around and come flying out of his crate or from the kitchen (if we pen him up instead of crating him) and will almost knock me over. He's about 20-25 lb, 2 feet long and I'm 5'10" 185lb. After a 20 minute petting session he's good for awhile, good enough for me to turn my 20 month old loose and they will play together nicely. Neither of our Aussies were like that. There was the initial excitement, nothing that extreme. Even though our last Aussie would get worked up to that point occasionally. Our Border Collie loves to snuggle and follows us around continually, something normally considered typical of Aussies (they're called velcro dogs for a reason.) Our Aussies were more affectionate than the Border. Our Aussies were more focused and in tune with me more than the BC is, but he may be too young and we haven't had him long enough to develop anything like that though. When an Aussie gets real excited, they'll wiggle their butt (if the tail is docked), which is funny to watch. Aussies typically are more of a clown than a Border Collie. Borders are usually more focused than ana Aussie. Aussies want to be with you and do what ever you do. Borders want to not only do what you're doing, but improve upon it and take it up a few levels.

Sorry for being long winded, but that's my opinion. It also boils down to the individual dog. Both of our Aussies were total opposites in many ways.
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2007, 01:57 PM
bcjake bcjake is offline
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anotherr quick thought on the Aussies we've had:
Cindy: sharp as a tac. You could see her solve problems on the fly. Intelligence wise, I'd put her toe to toe with any Border Collie. She was very loving and cuddly to a point, but very focused, intense and eager to please (more like a typical border collie.) She would circle and heard my roommate's cats at the time, which was always a hoot to watch. We would take her to a farm and work with her herding, which is what partially led to my folks taking her 5 years later when our first girl was born. Reserved with strangers but would warm up to people if they were around her 3-4 times. If left alone or felt she was being ignored, she would develop some nervous tendencies and chew on herself, which led us to get Dickens as a companion. A roommate had a a dog and the two got along great when we (the humans) weren't around. She developed the chewing after the roomate and dog moved out.

Dickens: aquired as a rescue and had been abused (very hand shy and would crouch in the corner if someone in the room raised their voice. Never fully outgrew it either, but made a lot of progress.) He was more or a clown than Cindy was and wasn't too interested in agility, frisbee or dog sports. Actually he was pretty dense for an Aussie. If you threw several toys at once, Cindy would try to figure out how to bring them all back at once. Dickens would sit there, decide which one he wanted then run off with it. He was a dream with our kids. When out oldest began to walk on her own, she would pick up a dog toy. Dickens saw it and would run into the room (about 30 feet away) full steam. If it were me, he'd usually knock me down, being he was about 65 lb and solid muscle and hair. I just sat back and watched to see if he would plow into he and send the todler flying across the room, which would probably mean finding a new home for the dog. I was shocked when the dog ran right up to her full steam and stopped, gently took the toy from her and bolted back to where he was at full steam, not even making any contact with the baby. He was happy to play on his own and didn't need the constant attention Cindy did, but would be in your face and wouldn't let you go if he wanted attention. Dickens never knew a stranger. Everyone was his friend. Too focused on food though. His personality was much like Scrat, the squirrel from Ice Age.

Jake: the border collie pup. wirey little guy that has to be in the same room with you. as the evening winds down, he's more content to lay in a corner of the room, no more than 4-5 feet away and sleep. Prior to that, he will be on your lap, in your face and want attention and something to do (still working on finding him long term chores and stimulation). He loves to cuddle and chew on things (many that aren't his). He's very leary of strangers and barks quite a bit at people walking down th street, neighbors, etc. hates cats too.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2007, 08:19 PM
Purdue#1
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When i think of an aussie i think of a hardy, muscular dog that mostly deals with cattle and large livestock. When i think of a border collie i think of a small dog herding sheep, but i do think it looks funny when they talk up on sheep.

our aussie, coco that we had to put down after 15 years was easy going and relaxed. When we told her to get it she went right after the cow's hocks. coco was smart . she sat off to the side when we were outside and watched us work or grill something. Coco would protect us if someone tried to hurt us. We mocked fought with our dad and it was funny as she was "his" dog and she was barking and nipping at him , but then she would pull a u-turn a nd crouch down as if she thought she did something wrong.

Sly is a goof ball. he's a wiggle butt. sly thinks heifers and calves are scary. He also doesn't get the fact that the cats don't want to play with him.
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2007, 08:22 PM
Purdue#1
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It's when they stalk up on sheep. Yeah they are going to talk up on them. That will get them to move.
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2007, 11:06 AM
JFrick JFrick is offline
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I don't have any experience with Border Collies, but I can tell you about my Aussie, Khaki. She is my first so I'm still learning about the breed...

She just turned a year old a couple of weeks ago and comes from a working line of Aussies. She is one of the goofy Aussies, always finds ways to make me and everyone else laugh. It's like she feeds on people laughing. She is a velcro dog in that she follows me everywhere I go, but she is not a cuddler. Sometimes it seems like she doesn't even like to be petted. She is also very vocal. She talks more than she barks making the typical "Chewbacca" noises. She does bark a good bit though, mostly at me when I get her from my parents house after work each day. We think she's fussing at me for leaving her while I go to work. That's the only time she ever really barks...

She is a quick learner, but it's obvious when she doesn't like to do something that I taught her. Roll over for example, she knows the trick, but will only do it when she knows I have a treat for her and after I tell her "roll over" about 5 or 6 times. It's like she gives up and just rolls over for the treat. It's not a graceful roll over either, she just flings her body over..... She is extremely food motivated. I've been trying to teach her the treat on the nose trick for months, but when that treat gets close to her nose, she's going for it. I think she is one of the hard headed Aussies in that she doesn't really seem to want to please me by doing what I ask, there are only a few commands that she will do the first time I ask.....either she just doesn't want to do them or she doesn't see the point of doing them, I haven't figured it out yet...

I socialized her a lot as a pup with people and other dogs. She is reserved when meeting new people but after about 2 minutes she's all over them wanting to play. That only happens if we're at my house. Out in public, she will go right up to everyone while wiggling her butt.....She is good with kids, so far anyway. My 6 year old niece plays with her a couple of days a week, and they get along great..

Aussie's are full of energy, which I know BC's are also. I use frisbee as a way to work off Khaki's energy. She loves to play frisbee and ball but will go after anything I throw or that moves. She will spend hours out in the back yard chasing around grasshoppers, crickets, squirrels, leaves blowing in the wind, anything....
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  #16  
Old 01-15-2007, 01:06 PM
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Toller_08 Toller_08 is offline
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I'm glad this thread was posted, I've enjoyed reading about the differences. Especially since I'd love to have either a Border Collie or an Aussie one day (whether that'll happen or not, who knows, but I really hope to) and was undecided on which would be better suited to me as they are often very similar. I think Aussies are more my type of dog after reading all of this, but I still really love Border Collies.
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Last edited by Toller_08; 01-15-2007 at 01:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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