Breed that's a Border Collie without the Reactivity/Sound Issues?

Michiyo-Fir

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#1
Guys, help me out. I can't for the life of me decide on a breed no matter how much I try. I keep thinking I want a BC, I want a BC but then I keep seeing how reactive and/or sensitive they are to things like noise, storm, etc. and I really don't want to deal with that.

Other than Koolies which seem like a good fit for me (other than maybe the barking), what dogs are basically Border Collies without the reactivity issues??

When I say Border Collies I mean
- 25-50 lbs
- lighter build/bone
- fast and driven
- biddable
- doesn't have to be herder
- prefer coated, no curlies or continuously growing hair
- playful, like to fetch, good for sports like disc
- extremely healthy, little health issues, long lifespan

but with traits like
- friendly with dogs
- friendly with people, doesn't have to be overly loving of strangers, don't have to be best friends with them but don't mind a pat or contact
- not prone to anxiety (sound, SA, storm, festivals/parades)
- not prone to dog reactivity
- i prefer with a tail

That's about it. I really just want a BC that's not prone to anxiety or reactivity...help me out.
 

AllieMackie

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#2
Sounds like you want a Koolie. :p From what I understand Sara and Linds' dogs aren't anxious or reactive. A Kelpie may fit your needs too, but I don't know much about them?
 

Michiyo-Fir

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#3
Thanks Allie! Koolies are on my short list right and I'm highly highly leaning towards them but I was wondering if there's any other breeds.

In the end I'll probably end up with Koolies instead of BCs to be honest, even though I love BCs, I don't feel that I have the amount of expertise and time to properly deal with a lot of noise/reactivity issues. I just don't feel that confident in dealing with that aspect of a BC if that were to happen.
 
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#4
Pfft, you know my answer.

And I think you could work on barking honestly. I mean, my biggest issue is I don't really care. I get yelled at all the time for bursting out laughing while they are barking. Traveler never seemed bad to me, though he's gotten worse with Didgie since she gets him going. But I think with someone that was consistant and didn't have a dog that barked you could make it work. Don't expect silence but yeah.

Really, the biggest loudest part, at least with Didgie, is the fact that that's how she expresses frustration. Because of that I have to work through that before I can work on her being quiet. I'm working on impulse control right now and her holding a stay while I'm playing fetch with Traveler. She screams half the time but she's HOLDING it so I'm going to continue working through that until her frustration level goes down, then the screaming will taper off.

The other breed you could look into I think would be the right tailed Aussie, which I'm sure you've thought of but figured I would mention it anyways.

But, Traveler says you want one of him.

 

Michiyo-Fir

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#5
I do really really want a little merley monster :)

I have considered Aussies but the thing is, what I like us pretty much an incorrect dog for the Aussie world, especially with the amount of bone I like. I feel that it's unfair for the breeder if I ask for a dog that's obviously not breed standard and not dogs they're striving for. It seems a bit rude in my opinion to tell them my ideal Aussie is actually not the build of an Aussie if that makes any sense. Of course, as far as I know we don't have any working breeders around, usually their dogs have more builds/type/coat so I may find something.
 

Pintage

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#6
Circus has no problems with barking, in fact she's even quieter than Lugia (who is a sighthound and not very loud at all).

She will get really really barky when playing with other barky dogs in a small enclosed space (like a backyard), but lately she's been good at stopping when you step in and remind her. She knows that being loud will end play with other dogs. She's silent when playing disc, waiting for you to throw the ball, and running with dogs in a big open space. She greets people quietly at the door.

During her early puppyhood I raised her in an apartment (with a very strict noise policy) with no issues. The first couple of days I had her, she was VERY loud and very fond of her voice. I had to be extremely consistent and train her that barking was a big "oh no no" (I just did this by picking her up as soon as she started barking and putting her down only when she chilled out - it worked for her). It was during my summer break so I pretty much spent 24hrs/day hanging out with her and teaching her how to behave.

She fits all of your other requirements :D She's kind of annoying in crowds because she LOVES people, dances around and gives them kisses and strangers just eat that up. Other than that, Koolies are friggin FANTASTIC dogs.... I definitely want to get another one someday.
 
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Michiyo-Fir

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#7
I think Koolies really seem like they're almost a perfect fit... I want PUPPY NOW!

You know, Page, I really love coated sighthounds too and I want either a Silken or a LH Whippet in the future too. So your 2 is like a perfect combo, now if you'll adopt me, I'll be happy to live with your 2 :)
 

Sit Stay

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#8
I think Koolies would be a perfect fit! I can't think of anything else that would be better suited (although, I admit that herders are my comfort zone - I wouldn't feel confident recommending sporting dogs or anything)
 

Aleron

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#9
I'm not sure there's really "a breed like a BC without the sensitivity of a BC". There's certainly a lot of breeds that are as biddable, as driven, etc as a BC but they will have their own unique breed characteristics, just like BCs do. I'm not sure an Aussie would be any more suitable, as they can be weird about stuff too. Although, most very driven, very biddable herders often come with quirks including sound sensitivity. It's fairly common in that group of dogs, although certainly some breeds are more prone to it than others. Same with barking - herders tend to be noisy.

I wonder what McNabs are like? My understanding is that they are supposed to be harder and less sensitive than a BC but I've never been around any.

Honestly, your want list could also be easily filled by some of the more work oriented sporting breeds. And they don't tend to be as loud as herders ;)
 

Michiyo-Fir

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#10
Aleron, I suppose to answer your question I think the issue lies in focus. I'm not sure about working breeds but a lot of sporting breeds seem to lack the type of focus BCs have. It's kind of hard for me to explain, I love a lot of sporters too but I have a feeling that they are rather scattered for quite a long time until they really mature and get into it which doesn't seem to happen very fast. Most BCs I know appear to have a kind of intense focus even as young 6 month old puppies on the task at hand be it agility or trick training or whatever.
 

Shai

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#12
a lot of sporting breeds seem to lack the type of focus BCs have. It's kind of hard for me to explain, I love a lot of sporters too but I have a feeling that they are rather scattered for quite a long time until they really mature and get into it which doesn't seem to happen very fast. Most BCs I know appear to have a kind of intense focus even as young 6 month old puppies on the task at hand be it agility or trick training or whatever.
For whatever it's worth, Mira walked in at 10 weeks and two days later was off lead in a puppy class with people and puppies milling all around asking to engage and for me to teach her things. After scoping out the place she returned and that was it. She spent nearly all of both puppy classes off leash, even for the leashed parts, because she simply had no interest in anything other than working for me. Toys, food, social interaction, and the opportunity to work. Didn't matter.

Not saying you want a FCR because you probably don't, and not all FCRs are like that, but sporting dogs aren't necessarily scattered even as puppies.

I mean the AKC NOI/C looks like a Golden Retriever specialty most of the time and is almost always won by a retriever. Yeah there's a huge glut of pet/show bred ditzes out there but don't let that detract from what the dogs should be and in many cases are.

/tokensportingdogdefender
 
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Oko

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#13
I was actually talking about this with my sister who owns Wesley today. She really likes Feist's people focus/drive but would like something less needy. My suggestions were koolies or sporting dogs (with Mira in mind, ha) bred for work.
 

Laurelin

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#14
I think sporting breeds get shortchanged a lot on what they're capable of. A good sporter is an amazingly focused and driven dog.

I think a lot of 'focus' depends on the individual and training too. There's a girl I know for example running a completely KILLER 2 year old golden in masters already. The dog is phenomenal. She also has a BC that is so high all the time that he's all over the place. He's also young but not much younger than the retriever. The retriever is a wayyyy more reliable worker. Keeps his head better and is absolutely BLAZING fast. No idea on the breeding but the dog is seriously one of the most impressive dogs running the circuit around here.
 

BostonBanker

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#15
There are some great sporting dogs I've known who have wonderful focus and drive. Yes, it's slightly different than with a BC - but incredibly useful.

We have both crazy fast Goldens trialing in our area (who can whip even the fastest BCs) and some that aren't quite as fast but incredibly reliable. My friend's golden got his MACH at something like 2 yr and a few months. He just goes out and lays down a solid course pretty much every time.

To be honest though, I don't see a ton of reactivity issues in the BCs I know. Some of the females are a little witchy with other dogs; the male BCs I know are generally phenomenal with other dogs. I know a few who are noise-sensitive - but not that higher a percentage than the non BCs I know.
 

Emily

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#16
Ollie is bred for both real hobby hunting and high level field competitions and he has super focus. He actually reminds me a lot of Blossom, in that he has a "big engine" and it turns on like flipping a light switch. A lot of drive and great focus, very biddable. Very high toy drive.

Anyway, a Koolie would certainly work, but they are definitely their own breed and deserve to be regarded as such. I would make sure you really want a Koolie, and not just a "BC without issues."

It's also not that hard to find a BC without issues, lol. They have the potential for sound sensitivity and reactivity, it's true, but it's not impossible to find them without those issues. A rescued/breed rehomed young adult might be something to consider.
 

Fran101

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#17
Merlin is all except the tail part! lol
Oh and I think he might be built a bit sturdier than what you are looking for (although honestly most of him is just floof haha) but his sisters all are pretty dainty.

I can't really speak for all aussies..and my view on aussies is kind of skewed because "reserved with strangers" is a laughable concept to Merlin :rofl1:
 
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#18
I was actually talking about this with my sister who owns Wesley today. She really likes Feist's people focus/drive but would like something less needy. My suggestions were koolies or sporting dogs (with Mira in mind, ha) bred for work.
Just wanted to throw out that I don't know if I would call Koolies less needy. I pretty much spend my life with Traveler and Didgie in my pocket :p

Michiyo-Fir, one of the things I think you need to take in consideration that hasn't been mentioned is seriousness. Most BC's I know take their job and most of life serious. It's work, it's a job and they love doing it but their serious about it. Koolies overall seem think everything is fun, and grand and a party. They love to work, they love to play and they seem much more up and happy about life. They're still intense, they still have a ton or work ethic but it's just shown differently, if that makes sense?

/speaking in generalities.
 

yv0nne

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#19
Just wanted to throw out that I don't know if I would call Koolies less needy. I pretty much spend my life with Traveler and Didgie in my pocket :p

Michiyo-Fir, one of the things I think you need to take in consideration that hasn't been mentioned is seriousness. Most BC's I know take their job and most of life serious. It's work, it's a job and they love doing it but their serious about it. Koolies overall seem think everything is fun, and grand and a party. They love to work, they love to play and they seem much more up and happy about life. They're still intense, they still have a ton or work ethic but it's just shown differently, if that makes sense?

/speaking in generalities.
This statement is exactly why I want a Koolie next! I feel like they are a good meeting point between my love of a fun, chase the butterflies Penny& the seriousness of worknowplease Briar!

Also, yes. Sporting dogs get a bad rap for being scatterbrained but I think unless you know what you're doing, you're going to end up with a scatterbrained dog. They have to be trained to focus, truly. Whereas herders seem to come by their focus honestly. I know if I got Penny again there are about 90 things I'd do differently in her first year of life.

That said, she is 16 months old& as fast, if not faster, as Borders on the flat& about 0.5 -4 seconds slower running a full course. And she always runs clean ..no knocks. She has had a handful of knocks ever. And none at the last trial& one at a full day seminar with 8 runs. Plus, she is actually less chaotic& more handler focused on a course than most BCs. Herders tend towards chaos& obstacle focus while Penn has a good mix.

As for BCs, most females seem dog snarky while most males are happy go lucky with any dog. And I don't know very many with ANY noise issues! I don't think they would be that hard to find if that's what you wanted!
Rant over!
 

crazedACD

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#20
You may want to search breeders, over breed. Find a breeder that is producing a lot of dogs that are going out and doing stuff. Meet the breeder, the dogs they keep at home, talk to puppy buyers, etc. Research lines, go onto breed forums or breed facebook groups and start talking to people about the lines. This was very helpful to me with my ACD puppy.
 

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