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

Aleron

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#21
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.
It depends on the sporting breed I think. Obedience/Performance bred Goldens for example, are definitely not what I would call scattered or lacking in focus at all. For example, this dog is barely 2 years old and is shown getting a perfect score in Novice Obedience:

[YOUTUBE]YcphkZA5n3o[/YOUTUBE]

Obviously training matters too but there's a reason why so many top obedience people have Obedience/Performance bred Goldens.
 

Shai

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#22
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.
This is exactly what my previous post was arguing against. Some do, some don't. Many don't. That said Vizslak and other such breeds are often quite different from retrievers.

When Mira showed amazing focus and work orientation at 10 weeks old, less than 48 hours after walking in the door, it isn't because I am God's gift to trainers and bestowed focus on her in two days. That's just how she rolls, and several of her siblings are similar. And she never went through a scattered adolescent phase...just became more of a workaholic.

Their style and methods are different than a herder so it's a different feel, but focus should not be a problem. But in any breed/type there is variation.
 

Shai

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#23
And just to add to what several others have said -- I actually don't know very many reactive BCs, and I am around a lot of BCs. That said I see them mostly in the context of agility, and upper level agility at that, so dogs with severe issues probably just don't make it there. And it's a fairly defined environment so some issues may not show up there. Webster's a somewhat reactive dog but you'd never know it at an agility trial because he understands the clear rule structure of that environment and what to expect and how to cope.

I guess all I'm saying is that while there is reactivity issues in the breed, certainly, as well as OCD behaviors, there are also a lot of dogs that are, well, normal.
 

yv0nne

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#24
Focus has been my uphill battle with the red dog since the day I got her ..granted, I am CERTAINLY not a gifted trainer by any standard& so if someone had more skills than me, I'm sure they would have gotten it all fixed a lot faster than I am capable of doing!

That said, in terms of focus all the flat coats I've seen do agility are pretty much as you describe Mira. They seem to have a much more natural focus than Penny or any of her breed have.
 

Laurelin

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#25
I know quite a few dog reactive and noise phobic BCs. It's by far not most the dogs but seems more common than a lot of breeds. It seems the girls are a lot more snarky with other dogs than the boys. Even the reactive dogs and fearful dogs aren't (for the most part) quivering anxious messes, but they seem more sensitive to me than a lot of breeds to that kind of stuff. Belgians too... Whenever there's fireworks or gunshots around our training place there's usually a couple BC people or belgian people who have dogs that have issues with that stuff. It's not ALL of them by any means but it's not uncommon in my experience. In all honesty the BCs I know aren't any more dog reactive than my dogs and you're not going to know unless another dog gets in their face. Most the male BCs are mushes and fine with other dogs. Maybe not super in your face friendly but not snappish. Several of the girls have a pretty short fuse, but then again so do my dogs. Mia snapped pretty good at a BC at our last trial.

And I don't know about clear headedness and focus and retreivers vs BCs... It's different but a lot of the young BCs are a bit all over the place too in their own ways. Mostly they seem to just super focus on obstacles and just keep doing the obstacles regardless of handler input.

Shai, what is this normal you talk of? I think most dogs have some quirks that need worked around or ironed out. At least all of mine have.

Michiyo, if you like Aussies but want a lighter built dog, have you looked into Miniature American Shepherds? I'm pretty sure they're not that... un-quirky but a lot of the breeders seem to be aiming for upper 20 to lower 30 lb range.
 

Laurelin

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#26
Oh and for the record, we've had thunder phobia in our GSD/Golden (he was really really bad), one sheltie pretty badly and the other two more mildly, and Bernard is also thunder phobic. Mia is also spooky when it comes to loud close noises. I think noise issues can show up in a lot of individuals but are more common in certain types.
 

Sit Stay

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#27
This thread just makes me want a Mira even more <3. One of the things I love about Quinn was that she came to me at 8 weeks old with a great attention span, natural focus, and a serious little puppy. People could never believe how young she was, growing up. Definitely not my skills as a trainer! She was easy (to me).
 

Shai

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#28
Shai, what is this normal you talk of? I think most dogs have some quirks that need worked around or ironed out. At least all of mine have.
By normal I just mean that most of the ones I know are, well, pretty normal dogs. They go through a fear period or two in which their confidence drops and aren't born knowing how to do everything and need guidance when it comes to understanding the rules of their universe. They often aren't buddy-buddy with other dogs but take a live-and-let-live approach and pretty much ignore them or at worst will warn them off within the realm of correct social behavior.

Most of the issues I see are more about how quickly they think and process and react, and the resulting frustration when they are not given information when they need it (on and off the course) or a solid rule framework by which to make decisions. They seem to need that information and structure more than other breeds and that they are prone to attracting owners who think that insanity = Supah Awesome Hardcore Dawg. The old, "my dog is the fastest thing in the world...if only he didn't take all the bars and six off courses and blow his contacts but LOOK HOW FAST" ;)

I guess my point is that while I agree that BCs as a breed seem to be more prone to OCD and reactivity than many other breeds (though not as bad as Belgians IME), there is also a large percentage of the breed for which that either isn't true or is preventable. And from everything I've seen from Michiyo-Fir over the years, she would provide appropriate structure and be happy with many BCs. It's a risk, yes, but a calculated risk that may be worth it. Only she can decide that.
 

Aleron

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#29
.

And I don't know about clear headedness and focus and retreivers vs BCs... It's different but a lot of the young BCs are a bit all over the place too in their own ways. Mostly they seem to just super focus on obstacles and just keep doing the obstacles regardless of handler input.
Yeah they have their own issues for sure. BCs IME are usually very focused on work, often more so than they are focused on their people. A lot of sport BCs I have known as youngsters have to learn to focus on their person rather than obsessing over just doing the work or other dogs/handler's movement or their toy. So yes, they are naturally focused. But that focus is not necessarily going to be on their person.
 

Oko

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#30
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
Ah yes, could have worded that better. Demanding, not needy.
 

Zoom

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#32
The right female Aussie could work for you. They're lighter boned than the males and it's getting easier to find tails, for a variety of reason. There's a working breeder on Aussie Board that just had a litter and because it's been so nasty weather-wise up where she's at, she opted to leave tails on.
 

Michiyo-Fir

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#33
Thanks for all the input guys.

I think I'm leaning towards Koolie a bit more than BCs mostly because I want a dog that is actually friendly with other dogs. Not only not reactive, but actively friendly with other dogs. A lot of people like their dogs to ignore other dogs but at this point in my life, I would like at least one dog that is very social.


I in fact love a lot of retrievers, specifically Goldens and FCRs but would like them a little smaller! I'm not against them at all, I love a lot I meet. However, 30-40lbs is my ideal for the next dog until everything like moving/graduate school/job is settled then I can get allll the dogs :lol-sign:

So my current list in this order is probably:

Koolie
LH Whippet
field Golden
Papillon (this one gets thrown in whenever I feel like it)

Does anyone else think there's just too many breeds in the world and not enough time/dog space in the house???
 

JacksonsMom

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#34
I've had the same debate in my head for a bit now. I go so back and forth between about 4-5 different breeds.

I really really wanna try a herder. I've loved all the ones I've been around, Jackson gets along with them the best, and I just love the vibe and energy I get from them. Just can't decide which one.

The BC's I've been around have mostly been agility folk, so I've never seen one in home life, but my trainer said hers is really chill inside, has a good off switch. But when he's on the agility field, he's on. I've never seen the focus of the BCs I've been around in any other breed honestly. My old trainer had 4 BC's, only one with noise issues.

I mean, to be honest, to me, it's not a huge issue. Jackson is very noise sensitive (fireworks, gunshots, popping type noises, etc). But really the only time I have to deal with it is on the fourth of July, and very occasionally when he hears a gunshot down on the farm when they are hunting. But all he does is go hide under the bed. Super loud thunder can often make him pant and pace, but it's not really anything unlivable. But he's totally fine in public... with most general loud noises. Is there a reason you're concerned about it, like do you live in an area with alot of these noises? It's definitely not something I'd choose to have in a dog, but I honestly find a lot of dogs are scared of these types of things, so you just never know.

I love the sound of Koolies but I'm not sure they'd fit me, or Jackson. The reason he has liked the BC's he's been around is because they tend to be respectful of his space, no body slamming, just chase-type games, etc. Not real rough (he hates most bully type's for this reason). He doesn't like being pawed at or jumped on. I also get annoyed by real jumpy type dogs, dogs who get on the counters, etc, and I know a lot of this is a training issue, but it kind of seems like a Koolie thing? lol... correct me if I'm wrong. How do you think Nia would react? Those of you with Koolies, how is their play style with other dogs, specifically smaller dogs?

I think if I'm going to get a herder, I'd probably end up with a Mini American Shepherd as a start. I really think I'd like one from what I've read as well as experienced. I love that a lot of them have enough drive to go out and play frisbee, ball, etc, but not quite as intense as a BC, they're smaller (I just prefer under 25-30lbs), less bulky (some of them), etc.

But then I see a Border Terrier and fall in love. :p But damnit, I want to try a herder!
 

Elrohwen

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#35
My Welsh springer is pretty close to a field bred golden in temperament but in a 42lb package. I wouldn't say he's anything like a border collie, but if you like the retrievers and want smaller, some of the spaniels are an awesome choice. A Welshie, field bred ECS or ESS, or a field spaniel, generally fit the bill.
 

Aleron

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#36
Thanks for all the input guys.

I think I'm leaning towards Koolie a bit more than BCs mostly because I want a dog that is actually friendly with other dogs. Not only not reactive, but actively friendly with other dogs. A lot of people like their dogs to ignore other dogs but at this point in my life, I would like at least one dog that is very social.


I in fact love a lot of retrievers, specifically Goldens and FCRs but would like them a little smaller! I'm not against them at all, I love a lot I meet. However, 30-40lbs is my ideal for the next dog until everything like moving/graduate school/job is settled then I can get allll the dogs :lol-sign:

I'd be careful with herders of any sort with a coup0le exceptions (Beardies and Collies) if you are looking for a really dog-easy dog. Most of the more driven herders can get themselves into trouble with other dogs due to them being wired to control movement. This can led to them wanting to chase down, bark at, nip other dogs. Lots of herders can be quite dog friendly but still not great with all dogs in all situations because of that. If you are looking for an easy dog park kind of dog, I'm not sure that a herder is going to be the right fit. Certainly some can be that way but with herder brain tends to come the potential for dog to dog communication issues especially in group play or highly arousing environments.

FWIW There's a couple girl Goldens at Flyball that would fit into your size requirement for sure. I don't know that it'd be hard to find a girl Golden that will mature around 40lbs.
 

Shai

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#37
Thanks for all the input guys.

I think I'm leaning towards Koolie a bit more than BCs mostly because I want a dog that is actually friendly with other dogs. Not only not reactive, but actively friendly with other dogs. A lot of people like their dogs to ignore other dogs but at this point in my life, I would like at least one dog that is very social.
It's not very often that I meet a BC that is actively friendly with other dogs, especially non-BCs. So that reasoning makes perfect sense to me!


I in fact love a lot of retrievers, specifically Goldens and FCRs but would like them a little smaller! I'm not against them at all, I love a lot I meet. However, 30-40lbs is my ideal for the next dog until everything like moving/graduate school/job is settled then I can get allll the dogs :lol-sign:
I completely understand that. They are in general too big for my preferences as well, and I have the space. It just makes everything bigger...crates, cars, food stores, etc. and I prefer dogs I can easily pick up and carry in an emergency. I can do that with Mira (55lbs) but I wouldn't want to go any bigger.

Does anyone else think there's just too many breeds in the world and not enough time/dog space in the house???
I saw a true but rather depressing saying a while ago:

Old age means realizing you'll never own all the dogs you wanted to.

-- Joe Gores​

And by that measure I am already quite old...
 

Pintage

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#38
I love the sound of Koolies but I'm not sure they'd fit me, or Jackson. The reason he has liked the BC's he's been around is because they tend to be respectful of his space, no body slamming, just chase-type games, etc. Not real rough (he hates most bully type's for this reason). He doesn't like being pawed at or jumped on. I also get annoyed by real jumpy type dogs, dogs who get on the counters, etc, and I know a lot of this is a training issue, but it kind of seems like a Koolie thing? lol... correct me if I'm wrong. How do you think Nia would react? Those of you with Koolies, how is their play style with other dogs, specifically smaller dogs?
Circus kinda ignores the little dogs at the dog park, but she LOVES larger dogs. She plays super rough, I've taken her on playdates with other bigger dogs and their owners would be concerned that their big dog was beating up on my little one - and then I'd be like, "No, look closer, she's enjoying it"

I mean, she'll leap off of furniture trying to dive bomb a 70# Lab's face (and she's only a 25# dog!), I've witnessed huskies twice her size body slam her and crack her skull against the pavement. And she just jumps up like nothing happens and carries on! With other fast dogs, she loves to chase them but doesn't try to nip at them or bark or anything. When she was a younger puppy she was RELENTLESS about harassing my mom's Maltese dogs. She'd put them in a headlock and try to kiss their faces while they snarled at her. She's pretty good about adapting her play style to different dogs. Right now my friend is babysitting her (she has two Silkens, a standard poodle, and a mini poodle) and she tells me that Circus loves all of her dogs and gets along with everybody.

Circus did try to climb on the kitchen counter once as a very young pup, I yelled, "Circus!! NO!!!" and she never tried to do that again. She doesn't ever try to counter surf or anything (but maybe she's just too short?) She's just been a very good puppy so far, she really wants to please and doesn't want to get into trouble.
 

frostfell

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#39
The right female Aussie could work for you. They're lighter boned than the males and it's getting easier to find tails, for a variety of reason. There's a working breeder on Aussie Board that just had a litter and because it's been so nasty weather-wise up where she's at, she opted to leave tails on.
AUSSIES WITH TAILS? *throws english shepherd list out the window* *chinhands* TELL ME MOAR
 

BostonBanker

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#40
AUSSIES WITH TAILS? *throws english shepherd list out the window* *chinhands* TELL ME MOAR
It's quite common in performance bred Aussies now; working the gate at agility trials, it's nearly impossible sometimes to pick out Aussies vs BC, with the BC being bred for more colors and the Aussies having the tails left on. There's a lot of thought that the tail helps with balance and turning more than once thought.
 

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