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Old 12-26-2007, 04:54 PM
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Default Aussie VS. Border Collie...the great debate

Since i was about 9, Australian Shepherds have been my FAVORITE breed of dog. I met a stunning merle puppy, read up on the breed, and determined they are THE BREED FOR ME. I've felt that way for the past 7 or so years. I even did an 11 page report on the breed in fifth grade.

I also love border collies. I'm sure at one time or another, i'll own one of each. But i'm really torn between the two breeds. Sometimes i think borders might be a little bit too "intense" for me (says the girl with a jack russell). They're super-drivey, and maybe a little more nuts than i'm asking for. But they're definately special dogs.

What are the major differences between these breeds?
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:07 PM
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I made a thread EXACTLY like this not too too long ago...

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Old 12-26-2007, 06:10 PM
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http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44640

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Old 12-26-2007, 06:52 PM
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thanks! i can't believe i missed that...
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:23 PM
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Working styles aside, my main observation in living with Border Collies (though aside from a foster, never having lived with an Aussie) is that BCs are probably more "intense", but they're quieter about it. Aussies bark and bounce. BCs stare and stalk. Depending on your personality type, either can be extremely irritating. I don't find adult Border Collies very wild, they should be level headed and while they always retain some degree of reactivity (not in an aggressive way, but they respond strongly to stimuli from their environment) and excitability, I find them less "bouncy" and openly goofy than Aussies. Border Collies can be goofy, but usually as adults they are serious and rather stoic dogs with brief moments of puppylike behavior. I find that Aussies remain more playful and fun-loving throughout their lives, and Border Collies tend to take life too seriously if they aren't presented with a chance for some light-hearted play once in a while. While bcs like routine, too much of it can make them inflexible and obsessive.

Border collies are more prone to developing obsessive behaviors. Some just fetch the ball until they fall over, but some chase shadows, some watch TV, some dig... etc. Because they're so quietly intense, it's easy to ignore their obsessions or encourage them (because they keep an active dog busy) and you don't notice the behavior strengthening until it's a problem. I haven't noticed this so much in Aussies because they make their interests and desires very clearly known and it's easier for owners to nip things in the bud. Not to say that you can't prevent them with border collies too... just food for thought.

I wish I could give you a straight answer on training and obedience. Some people say Aussies are stubborn, some people say BCs are push-button, but I think it really depends on the dog and trainer. I've seen hard-headed border collies and extremely soft aussies. If I were to make a vast generalization I'd say that Aussies have more of a "what's in it for me?" attitude and Border Collies work because they're workaholics and enjoy doing things right. Border Collies can be completely crushed by failure, Aussies bounce back quickly from their mistakes.

I find BCs friendlier to strangers than Aussies, but less willing to work with them. My dogs are all very social, but they have no respect for anyone but me. I can't fully trust anyone with Eve (or trust Eve with a new handler!), because she listens only to me. When I'm gone, listening to other people is optional. It takes a month or so of living with her to earn her respect. Less for Dakota and Dash because they can be bribed with treats, but they are similar - definitely one-handler dogs. When I get another Border Collie, I will be putting a lot of work into teaching the dog to accept different handlers.

Border Collies are built lighter, smaller and longer than Aussies. Aussies usually have a thicker coat, and working line dogs of both breeds tend to be a bit smaller and lighter in bone and coat than their show-bred counterparts. There's a lot of variation of appearance in both breeds, and a big difference between the working and show lines - both in looks and temperament.

I love both breeds, they're both intelligent, loyal and responsive. I can see myself with a rescue Aussie someday.

Edit. Ooops. Posted before reading the rest of the thread. Tucker's link covers it and Sam's post on that thread is spot on in my opinion.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:41 PM
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The Aussie I had was a very intense watchdog (even though he was blind). He didn't allow anything or anyone strange in HIS yard and had absolutely no fear at all of confronting anything.

He also drove my sister's JRT around the bend by herding him into corners
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Renee750il View Post

He also drove my sister's JRT around the bend by herding him into corners
sounds like a good dog to me.
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:39 PM
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Oh, he was an amazing creature. Absolutely fearless and completely full of joie de vivre . . . and so loving. He'd leave food - no matter what it was, to be petted.
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:28 AM
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I was looking at Border Collies before Aussies, but decided to start off with Aussies because they are generally less "intense". Now I find that Aussies suit me better than BC's, because I do like dogs that have an on/off switch and will just flop down when the time calls for it. I also like dogs with a sense of humor...which you can find in BC's, but it's more prevalent in Aussies.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:24 PM
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I'll let you know in about a year


Quote:
Now I find that Aussies suit me better than BC's, because I do like dogs that have an on/off switch
I find this interesting because most BC people say they do have an off switch and aren't always "zooming around the house". From my understanding, a good working-bred adult dog should be content to lie at your feet or be on the farm working all day.
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