Border Collie Vs Toller

Discussion in 'Dog Breeds' started by Emily Marston, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Emily Marston Well-Known Member

    Hello! I'm currently trying to decide on my future dog. I'm not getting this dog for at least 5 1/2 years so I have heaps of time to think about it. I want a dog that will learn very quickly, run fast in agility and still be an affectionate dog overall. I've heard about Tollers being cat-like, meaning they get bored of repetition and usually chose when they learn. And BC's, well they're amazing :) But I do love the Toller fur.

    So I was wondering if there was much of a difference when training a Toller compared to a BC?
    jackienmutts, MaryK and dogcrazy like this.

  2. Mutt Experienced Member

    Well first of all the toller is a retriever and the border collie a shepherd.
    Both are working dogs meaning they need lots of exercise and mental stimulation (dog sport, trick training etc.).

    Tollers are passionate huntingdogs, though it is not necassary to do this with them.
    It is a sensitive breed and very attached to it's family. Though similair to other retrievers they aren't "everyone's friend dogs" like for example goldens or labs. They are cautious with strangers. They won't just do an exercise because you tell them to, but also consider other possibilities which in the tollers opinion are easier. This means that the owner should have patiens with them. When given enough exercise and stimulation they are good house dogs.
    There is not a real difference in terms of 'show' or 'working' toller.

    Border collies are known for their herding skills, but also this isn't nessacary to keep them happy. They are true workers. Border collies go well with other dogs/humans but tent to not really care about them. They aren't interesting for them
    There is a big difference between show and work border collies. Show not meaning they don't need a lot of exercise or won't do well in agility. Working border collies need a lot of stimulation to stay happy and are usually a bit smaller/agile. Show border collies are usually a bit larger and have more/longer fur (these are the ones you see on shows).

    Hope this info helps!

    I also wouldn't look to much at their appearance and focus on the characteristics of a breed.
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  3. Emily Marston Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the help!! I'm more concerned on the intelligence, speed and agility of the dog. The fur and appearance is just a bonus for me. I just want a dog with brains and energy to spare. However, I do want a medium sized (roughly 20kg) dog. But I think I'm leaning more towards the Border Collie side as they are faster and have more drive. I currently have two very slow, and love drive dogs. They can't be bothered to run around and learn tricks all day. I started teaching my cousins BC, and he is just perfect. So keen, athletic and intelligent! Tollers are a bit more laid back than a BC, and I'm not sure I want a dog that won't always be "on the go". Thanks again for the help!!
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  4. fickla Experienced Member

    I have a toller and love their personality. When i was first looking at getting one I was turned on by the statement that they're "like a BC with an offswitch." Of course all stereotypes have a bit of truth to them- tollers do have a great off switch, but so can some lines of border collies- but I wouldn't say tollers are all that similar to border collies.

    Both can be obsessive about things, but respond differently. BCs tend to get stalky obsessive, staring, crouching. Tollers are more in your face, obnoxious about the things they obsessive over. toller scream, anyone?!

    Both are highly intelligent and learn very quickly.
    Both are very athletic and I would say equally drivey. But I would say BCs are faster than tollers and respond differently to handler errors. While all dogs are different, many of the BCs I met tend to either quickly take off courses when their handler is late with their cues, or spin, and Tollers (although I don't know too many who do agility) tend to slow down and be more handler focused when not getting timely cues. In my opinion that's the difference between a herding breed vs a retriever.

    I've met BCs who are allover the social scale. Some absolutely loving all people, others who couldn't care less unless you have their toy. Most tollers are are on "care less, unless you have a toy" category.

    If you've never done dog sports and are looking at getting a dog, either one could be a disaster. It is much easier to learn off a dog with a tiny less drive and less likely to be obsessive while YOU are still learning what to do :)

    If you go to my youtube, I have a playlist of Vito's videos from puppy hood tricks to current agility training:
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  5. dogcrazy Experienced Member

    Thanks Emily for asking the question because I was going to ask the same one! I love both breeds and I am considering on getting a border collie, toller or pyrenean shepherd in about two years!
    MaryK likes this.
  6. Emily Marston Well-Known Member

    Really?? So lucky!! I have to wait until I leave school, another 5 years :( my parents don't think 3 dogs and 3 parrots in the same house will be a good idea. Do you have a favourite breed yet?? I love the Pyrenean Shepherd!! But they're not registered in Australia yet :( Good luck with getting your dog!!
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  7. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Laura, so glad you chimed in - I knew you could talk about Tollers like no one else!! (y):LOL:
  8. Gracegeorgina Experienced Member

    I own a couple of Pyrenean shepherds (one mix), so if anyone has questions about the breed let me know :) they really are fantastic dogs :D
    dogcrazy and MaryK like this.
  9. Dlilly Honored Member

    Be careful what you wish for... I wanted a faster, super smart dog with a lot of energy, and an ended up with a crazy dog. (Even if he wasn't reactive towards other dogs, he would still be a handful)

    I cannot believe you live in Australia and you're wanting a Border Collie.... There are some great Kelpie breeders and rescues in Australia, you should get a Kelpie!!! :p Haha, I'm just kidding. I'm a bit jealous you live in Australia. If I lived there, I would so get a Kelpie dog!

    Kelpies are like Border Collies, but better. :D
    MaryK and Emily Marston like this.
  10. Evie Experienced Member

    From experience (being Australian and all) I've found kelpies to be much 'nuttier' than BCs and they seem to be sincerely lacking that 'off' switch. But maybe I just got lucky with Evie as she has a wonderful off switch.... I've also found that kelpies tend to be more obsessive of moving objects (eg. balls, cars etc) than Evie is, but once again, maybe I was just lucky with Evie B. Not saying that Evie isn't obsessive with herding/stalking etc, because she is. But I've had cousins with kelpies and horses, and the kelpies have been exercised daily and were still very neurotic....

    But this is just my experience with them which has made me more of a BC fan than a kelpie fan :D It's more likely than not that I've just had a bad run with the kelpies I've met..

    Nothing against the breed, just my personal experience.
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  11. Mutt Experienced Member

    But there are also breeders in the US right? You could even import a Kelpie.
    I mean the Netherlands aren't big at all (not even as big as 1 state of the US ;)) and there are enough kelpie breeders here.
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  12. Emily Marston Well-Known Member

    Well our family friend has a kelpie, and she is just always on. She is always glaring at stuff, and never fully relaxes. I've spent a bit of time with her, and I know I wouldn't be able to provide for a dog like that. My cousins have a Border Collie, and he is just perfect. Much more relaxed, but still heaps of drive. He chases my cousins motor bike for ages, and sometimes boats driving on the river. But when it's time he will sit down with the fam and just be cute.

    I'm still heading towards the BC, Tollers aren't... well... driven enough. I know they are driven, but being with my cousins BC, I found that his energy level and drive is just perfect. He is from showing lines (Terrabella Border Collies) and still displays working traits. So hopefully I will eventually find my BC :)
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  13. dogcrazy Experienced Member

  14. Pawtential Unleashed Experienced Member

    What about Koolies...we can't forget about them?!?

    Even though your cousins BC is perfect - there are many neurotic issues that can come with either breed - go to some shows, some field trails, agility events and rally days - meet owners, breeders, handlers - talk to them and get a wider vision of the breeds you like before you'll be glad you did and you can start making some contacts for later...
  15. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    In no mean do I intend for this post to sound harsh or critical nor am I insulting you as a handler or whatever, I'm just giving you my straight up opinion based on the very few facts I know about you and your interests. ;)

    Tollers are plenty driven and have heaps of energy.

    If you've never had a sport dog before and never dabbled in sports I really don't suggest you go with either a border collie or a toller just so you can have the best agility/sport dog around. Besides, if you wanted extreme utility these days it's the borderjacks that are popping up.

    Since you're giving yourself 5 years I'd take out the dogs you have now, whether they're driven or not, and sign up for agility classes. Most dogs will at the very least learn agility given the right class method. Go to at least six and see if it's something you're actually going to really commit to. I, personally, have seen many people who become enraptured with the idea of a sport dog and becoming the best, then getting the super drivey working breed like the border collie, malinois, toller, etc mostly in the name of sport, then realizing a. the dog is too much or b. they aren't as into the sport as they thought or don't have the time to dedicate and now fido, who is still very loved, is getting the short end of the stick because they aren't doing what's in their blood and getting the stimulation they were bought for.

    True driven winning machine dogs need to be taken out and practiced with on a regular basis. BCs in particular need hours and hours of exercise. Working with a family member's dog from time to time is one thing, having your own is another.

    It's like when people say they want a Malinois because its work ethic is solid and they're like german shepherds on crack and then having a big bucket of uneven nerves, unwanted aggression, and a dog that has too much energy to stay still for 30 seconds.

    I say this because 3 years ago I was obsessed with the idea of a competition border collie or a toller as well. I was all about the "omg I love the energy and work appeal and I want to win and I want a dog that can do it all". I'm glad fate didn't give me a border collie with that attitude like I so badly wanted. Because I, now in retrospect, was not ready for that even though I grew up with German Shepherds and worked in kennels and had lots of experience with dogs and training. Instead I got Baby and dabbled in agility, I like it but I don't think I'll ever be traveling America for it. It's a sport me and my dogs have fun with, we rule it, it doesn't rule us.

    I'm not saying you'll be like me, I'm just saying it's something to seriously consider. I honestly think unless you've been competing with dogs before or have dogs you work every day in some form of competition venue then you really shouldn't be getting the crack of the doggy sport world.

    I think the most successful stories anyway are to start slow and work your way into a run. Find a driven dog that isn't going to bounce of the walls. Once you've master agility and gotten far into the agility world with that dog graduate yourself in life to get another dog (keeping your other of course) by getting the "best" of the sport.

    If you're still set on a driven dog why not get one that's a bit older from a rescue? They'll let you know if the drive is there but the off switch is clearly defined. Heck, I've even seen on more than one occasion some slightly older dogs (4 or 5 which still have plenty of vigor in most working breeds) that already know agility and are proven to like it.

    I'd say for your first agility dog, go with a rescue.
    Most rescues (especially breed specific) will be able to give you a basic profile of the dog. If you speak with a Border Collie or Toller rescue, they will likely direct you to those dogs that are more likely to excel at agility.

    I'd go with an older, more established one if possible as they can be a little more compliant and easier to work with. Not to mention, have lower exercise needs which can be a bonus for a first time agility star handler. By the way, there are a lot of all time agility winners that were rescues ;)

    Who knows? It may be YOU that doesn't enjoy agility or even if you get a dog as a puppy, maybe the dog just doesn't enjoy agility. I know someone that got a pup, raised it to be a sport dog and even though it's super high energy and likes learning the dog just doesn't have fun running courses; it much more enjoys herding which is not the handlers first choice of sport but goes with it anyway lol.
  16. Emily Marston Well-Known Member

    Ok everyone let's just get this straight: I'm 14 years old. Even if I was ready, there was no WAY my parents would let me get a dog within the next 5 years. I don't want to compete seriously in any dog sport. I do it all for fun, and I need a dog who is having fun with me.I know heaps of people will go against me, but what I'm looking for I've only found in Border Collies. Sure my dogs have fun with training, but become bored with repetition and would rather fall asleep. I've grown up with a handful of lazy dogs, and the one dog that actually great to work with was my cousin's Border Collie. I spent about a week with him at our holiday house, brushing, walking and training him every day. About this time I was interested in Toller's, and wanted to know if there were any major differences. So I won't actually get this dog of mine until I move out of home. I was just planning my dream dog, so that when the time comes I'll be ready for it. I currently am training my cocker for agility, and I don't seem to enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I've done heaps of stuff with my current dogs, but they don't have the same focus and drive (which I love) as I've seen in Border Collies. So everyone just stop taking me so seriously, because I'm only dreaming about my next dog.
  17. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    Hey, I don't think anyone has been rude or been harsh with you. I'm sorry you've taken this offensively. We're all dog enthusiasts and we just want to set you up with the best possible dog for your situation. Know that we care and have experience and learn from the advice we give you.

    In no way were any of us aiming to insult you. We want what's best for you and a dog; you asked for our advice and here we are giving it. Take it positively! We care about you and your future in the dog world!!! =)

    Go ahead and take the steps necessary to grow positively and become the best in the dog world. Take our advice, try out agility even with your low drive dogs, get a feel for it all and learn as much as possible. I've seen your youtube, you're doing a great job before; again I just want to make sure everyone is prepared and looks at every angle of their dream in the doggy realm of things.

    You're here on this site, that's more than most dog handlers commit to.
    Emily Marston and southerngirl like this.
  18. Emily Marston Well-Known Member

    I know but I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that I wasn't getting this dog for a while.
    Sorry if I sounded a bit rude, I probably over-reacted to this. Sometimes I wish you could hear people read our their posts.

    Thanks for all your help! And sorry again if I came across as mean. Your advice was very helpful :)
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