Calling all Border Collies.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by desertranger, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. desertranger New Member

    We know they're special. After all if it's not a BC it's just another dog. :doglaugh: People in our obedience class get angry over how easy I seem to train Jin despite the instructors saying, "It's just because he's a Border Collie, don't compare your dog to him". It's true it's like comparing Apples and PCs (sic).

    However my post does have a serious side. I belong to two forums both focus on herding and trials and one adds rescuing BCs. If you have a BC or are looking for a BC and are looking for something else to do please check us out.

    It won't let me post a url. How primitive. Then search for All About Border Collies and BC-rescue boards.

    BTW: I found this place through the BC-Rescue board. I expect I'm going to learn a lot here despite 40 years of experience with dogs.

    My Border Collie is smarter than your fifth grader. :dogtongue2:

  2. storm22 Experienced Member

    not just bc's are fast learners, its also cattledogs, people got upset with me too when storm went to puppy school but he was always a fast learner i had him sitting on command in two days of owning him and he didnt even have a name yet

    but in kodas classes they get upset seeing a pitbull looking thing listening and obeying me when they cant get there labs or bc's to listen but it just comes with practice and age, also koda was always very relaxed in most different situations,

    we have this one girl with a BC, and she wants the typical smart border collie, but her dog is only 6months old and just want to play with our dogs she gets very frustrated with her, but we just keep telling her owner (whos also young 17, and its her own training solely going into this dog not her families, who breeds bc's) to give her time, and lots of praises when shes doing good she'll come round, the dog is very smart and is perfect when there no dog within 10metres of her, but any closer and she's all like "hello my long lost friend ive missed you so much lets run and play and i can herd you till the cows come home" lol
  3. szecsuani Experienced Member

    Actually, I think that is why I will never have a border collie. I love them, don't misunderstand me, and they are amazing and everything, BUT:
    I find them TOO easy to train, they always want to work, I don't need to make them want to work, and that is a thing about dog training, that I really love.
    They are very fast, they amaze me with their speed. I have done agility with a friend's BC once, and I was amazed that I was always late, I really had to run. It was a real challenge. :)
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, that's exactly what my trainer has told me. She says she LOVES to work with the always enthusiastic BCs, but hates owning them. She can't stand the 24-hour, "WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?????" mindset, lol! Although she does admire the breed.

    Personally I LOVE the can-do, workaholic, genius, people loving attitude of BCs. Dynamite in a gorgeous, compact package. Lol! However, owning BCs has made me somewhat impatient as a dog trainer. After adapting to the unbelievably fast learning ability of my BCs, I had to RE-ADAPT myself to training slower-learning dogs.
  5. ozibe Experienced Member

    I love BC's, I think that they are a great dog to learn dog training with, even when you make a mistake, you can go back over and start again. BC's help with the groundwork needed for dog training and give you the confidence to tackle other breeds even if they are a little slower to pick up what's required. They help with working out how to switch your dog on and off for working, alright they are alot easier then other breeds. Mine is the BC x Toller and way too intelligient for her own good i think sometimes but I have learnt sooooo much from her, and now when faced with any other breed I am confident that i can train them to certain levels.
  6. desertranger New Member

    I also have a rough collie, you know, a lassie type. She's 7 yrs well trained, can tell me that Timmy fell into the well and when the beer's cold. Jin's 8 months. He can rescue Timmy and bring me the beer. Seriously he's already starting search training.

    It does take a special person to live with a BC however you have a misconception. They are not always on alert and wanting to work. They can be very difficult to train. Jin's ball OCD. He wants to do nothing more than chase it. He knows how to bring it to me, even how to put it in my hand but won't. That has to be trained out. Not easy when he's OCD. Jin who is also a PTSD and Medic Alert service dog in training will lie in a restaurant for 2 hours and not moveor move through a crowd wearing a pack and not stray from his job. That's not what you describe.

    As for their speed, yes, the do move at super light speed love that about them. They are so quick.

    That's the problem I have with Abby, rough collies are incredibly dense and as a trainer I have to slow down for her.

    The problem with BCs is they're scary smart and have been known to create jobs for themselves.

    Given a choice there is no other dog I would rather have.

    Can I post a picture yet? No.

    Not fair being needing a minimum amount of posts to make pictures and links.
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I was initially concerned this thread might offend people owned by breeds other than BCs, so i was sorta just watching how it went....there are brilliant dogs of all types, and i half expected there would be a protest, and wanted to stay outa the line of fire, ha ha, but i guess no protest. whew!

    But i gotta agree, as easy as BCs are to train, there are some drawbacks. Sometimes, Buddy totally understands a trick or a command, but just doesn't care for it, so he won'nt do it. He has that independent BC thing, and does make his own choices about which items i am training he will go along with, and which ones are out..MOST are okay, but a few do not interest him.
    I'd say Buddy is an incredibley obedient dog, BUT he does not care to do some things. Just doesn't care for it. He also gets bored with tricks he has done too often, so i gotta be careful not repeat same stuff too often, gotta mix it up regularly. (It's how i found this website!!) So there is a challenge, not to get Buddy to understand, but to get Buddy to 'go along with my program'!! ha ha!!

    I also gotta say that my BC is not always "ON" 24/7...he can lay around and be relaxed for hours here and there, even among a group of people. He can even lie and rest with some dogs around, depending on the dog who is visiting. He is OFTEN "on", but not ALWAYS. He will never ever turn down a chance to play or work on something, never. But he CAN chill out here and there.

    He can run like lightening though, when he is done resting. This speed has increased even more since he befriended a greyhound down the street. He can entertain himself for a long time, or work with me to figure out some new word for a fairly long time by now.

    I happen to love it when Buddy IS "on", and lets me know, "I'm ready to do something, are you?" I guess i am lucky, my dog is never obnoxious, or annoying. AT least not to me.
    I'm surprised how often i hear, "Oh, i'd get a BC, but they are too much work to keep busy." cuz i dont' find my BC to be that way. Maybe i am just lucky, or, maybe i have found nice balance of activities for Buddy and it just doesn't seem like work to me...i LOVE interacting with him, figuring out what he can do.

    I have friends who have dogs who drop balls into their laps 24/7, i mean nonstop. See, i'd find THAT boring after a while...i'm not entirely certain how much excercize those dogs are getting, those owners very well might deserve to be pestered for the crime of not excercizing their dogs enuff, can't say for sure.

    (I'm sure there are probably some BCs who do that ball dropping thing, too!) Guess it's all relative...
    PLUS, once you love your own dog, one can tolerate behaviours or quirks, cuz you love that dog.
    I know a woman whose has a breed notorious for gas, she seems oblivious to it, the dog IS her lil baby and she is crazy about it...she coos and loves it, and brags on it, and i almost feel sorry for her for having such a boring lil dog who farts every 5 minutes....She probably feels sorry for me that i cannot pick up my dog and put it on my lap...who knows. but, see what i mean?

    But, i am fascinated by the people who post they find BCs TOO easy to train. Whole new concept to me!! Ha, i guess i AM lazy!!
  8. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, I think it all comes down to UNDERSTANDING dogs....

    People shouldn't be offended because BCs ARE the #1 World's Most Intelligent Breed of Dog...on average. I've gotta say, Kikopup's chihuahua is AMAZING! I've never ever ever met a Chi like her. VERY trainable and smart. I've kind of been playing around trick-training a coworker's BC, and while she does enjoy training and learns VERY quickly, she gets bored. Mudflap and Zeke will keep at it till they get it down, but Phoebe will have it just almost down, and gets bored with it. You have to work on something else and then go back to the original thing. So you kinda bounce around with things until she gets them. Works, just kinda different. But anyway, I've met VERY smart dogs of all breeds, BCs on average just stand out the most. Very smart dogs no matter what breed you like.

    LOL, although Z is sort of recovering, he used to be the annoying ball-dropper. Unless you were snuggling. Snuggling was acceptable, but ball throwing was better. Now he's learning that the world doesn't revolve around tennis balls....well, his tennis ball. Now the world revolves around all tennis balls and a select few other roundish balls, lol!! He's getting better, slowly. He is DEFINITELY the 24/7, no-off-switch type dog. When he's REALLY BURNT OUT then he's got an off-switch, but otherwise.....GO GO GO!!! Lol. Incredibly high-drive. Mud sounds more like Buddy. She likes the GO GO GO but doesn't live for it. She likes to snooze or just snuggle but GO GO GO is certainly fun. She won't turn it down but she's not going to bug you for it.
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    ZEkers sounds so adorable! Yeah, Buddy is more like Mud. Buddy does initiate play if he's been waiting too long, Buddy does not like me to be in the computer, but is not a pest and will take no for an answer if i just can't right then. but Buddy can chill out.
    Buddy is kinda like the dog you are training, Tx, he gets bored of a trick, and i sometimes have to drop it and come back to it. Another odd thing, Buddy will not ever do a known trick twice in a row. Once, and then i get: "That is it, gimme something else now!"
    He will work on a trick he is LEARNING for a while, over and over, and i try to end lessons before he gets bored of it, or switch it up.

    But doncha think that is odd, he will never do a trick twice in a row? He won't repeat it for at least an hour or so. If i ask again too soon, he looks at me like, "Cmon! i already just did that one already!!" IF he is all hepped up, all really stimulated and excited and full on, maybe he will, but if he is all chilled out, nope, then he will do a trick only one time.
    I think that is weird, but maybe lotsa dogs are that way?

    Tx, you always crack me up with your way of describing your dogs, lol!
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol. ^^ I guess I feel like I ramble a lot, so making it interesting makes my readings more interesting, lol!! :D Glad you enjoy them though! I can't wait to get vids up, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about in all my posts. :dogsmile:

    Many dogs are that way at first--people who compete in freestyle know exactly what you're talking about. One of the easiest ways I can describe it is with spin. With Mud(and most dogs, really) she would spin the first time, and if she didn't do a fluid second spin with a second command, then I'd pretend she didn't know it. Sometimes they just don't have the time to process it and are expecting a different command, so when you give the same command, they're like, "Wait, does she really want me to do that again? Hey look at the butterfly out the window..." Just don't have time to process the exact same thought again. So by luring her around the second time, it was just a reminder. Yes, I want you to spin again, right after the first one. Now, she'll spin and spin and spin and spin and spin and spin until we're both dizzy. I do this too when I'm teaching them to do quick r spin, l spin, r spin, l spin. This way they know they have to pay attention to what you're asking for and can easily switch directions and it still looks nice. Zeke REALLY doesn't like right we're working on it. But he's gotten to where he'll spin twice to the left. Not as quick and fluid as Mud, but he's getting there.

    As for Buddy, I'd either get him revved up so it's SUPER EXCITING or I'd just remind him what he's supposed to be doing. Depends on the trick. With spin, Mud did it great super-fast, so I got made her REALLY HYPER and asked for multiple spins. Again, at first it took some luring for the second and third, but she caught on pretty quick. From there you can go to spin-spin-spin-SIT or spin-spin-spin-DOWN or even SPIN-SPIN-SPIN-FREEZE! Barby(Xsara) and Sylvia use this to get fast sits/downs because they're revved from the fast spins and quickly go into an immediate sit/down. Don't ask me about freeze....I haven't figured that one out yet. Seems so easy but I haven't got it, lol! That's a question for my trainer that I'll be quizzing her with soon.

    With something like speak, again just try getting him revved up so he wants to bark. Let's say it's for a treat or his favorite toy, tease him with it. Sounds cruel but get him really excited and just desperate for the reward and ask him to speak again. Eventually he'll get frustrated and bark again. With work, he'll learn that if he barks IMMEDIATELY on cue, no matter how many times you ask, he gets his reward quicker. That could be cute.
    "Wanna beer?" Woof.
    "Do you really wanna beer?" Louder woof, or woof woof. Or grrr woof!
    "Do you really really wanna beer?" And so on.

    As for getting bored, I guess some dogs are just that way. Plus, we might be more determined to teach them it than they are to learn it. A lot of it is just getting burnt out. With my dogs, I'll do 2-4 tricks or more in one session. I've learned when my dogs will hit their bored point, so I'll get to a great stopping point and I move on to something else. If they're kinda getting the point, that's good enough. They'll remember it tomorrow and we can move a few steps more. I don't care if they learn it in one session. If they do, great! But don't want them to resent it. So I just keep moving on to different things. The next day I'll start on whichever one of those I want or maybe even something completely new.

    Lol, see what I mean about rambling?? Hope this helps.
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I think i know what you mean. See, Buddy does have easily identifiable moods where he is all about doing whatever i want him to, he is all hepped up.

    But, like, if someone visits, or if we are out and about, and i want him to do his trick, he may or may not be "in the mood" at that particular moment, USUALLY i can get him to go along with it, but not every time. More likely to happen if we are out and about...but occasionally, he will ignore trick requests if we have company.

    It is not he does not remember the trick, that is not's like he is bored of the trick or something.

    And there is no way he will repeat a trick. Nope, won't do it twice in a row, so ya better watch the first time!! (he might repeat a trick if he is really hepped up, but usually, no repeats!) What's up with that do ya suppose?
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Wasn't clear, my apologies. >< Didn't mean that he DIDN'T remember the trick, just that I PRETEND he doesn't...this is really hard to explain effectively. o-o;

    If he does seem to work better all revved up, then just go with it. Many working breeds are that way. As for LEARNING things, you don't always want them revved up because then they're all about play and fun and FAST things, rather than concentrating on learning something new. For my dogs, if I want them to put on a performance, I get them SUPER SUPER hyper. It makes the whole situation SUPER FUN and they love it. They do a great job too. This is not all dogs, but LOTS of BCs are this way. Just be careful how you use it. For instance, I have to calm Mud down just a tad before the Kleenex trick. She'll be so enthusiastic she'll just start yanking kleenexes out one after the other---You think one's good, Mom, look at THIS!!!

    You might also try a higher value treat for the repeat trick or for tricks at times he doesn't usually listen. Great high value treats: cooked meats(chicken, steak, venison, etc), rolled dog food, anything STINKY but really tasty. So if you're out and about or have company, bring out a more intersesting treat that he doesn't normally get. He should be more likely to do what you ask him to. Do you use the same treats all the time for training? This could be a problem too. Dogs get bored with the same old things just like we do. I buy many random types of treats(not RANDOM, but you know) and use them alternatively. You CAN mix them, but the flavors and smells can mix if left too long. Or, you can just have canisters for each different kind. I'll give different treats at random as a reward for whatever we're doing, so they're always interested. They're not thinking, "Oh, a Snausage again....sit...another snausage...roll over...another snausage. Man this is boring." The HIGHEST value treat I use is either rolled dog food or cooked chicken, and it is ONLY used in SUPER distracting environment, or on occasion, really tough tricks that need a little better jackpot. Since they hardly ever get it, it's REALLY enticing and special when I bring it out. Even Zeke will take it from time to time!!!

    Anyway, so the reward sequence is completely random. Mud might get treat A, treat Z, treat C in her first three goes, and then maybe treat B, treat B, treat D. I basically just grab at random. She never knows what's coming so she's always interested in what she's gonna get next, so it takes her FOREVER to burn out. Although I never have, I could probably work her for 2-3 hours straight and she'd never get bored.

    Sooo...maybe he's not bored with the trick, but with the reward. Keep 'em coming if I'm wrong again. :)
  13. desertranger New Member

    I had one BC, Bas, who wouldn't do stupid dog tricks for love or money. He was a great trail dog, perfect in public and the only SAR dog I even knew that could be turned loose without a lead to do a search and always returned on call regardless of how far he was out. On the other hand I had another that you could get to do every dumb trick in the book. My current dog Jin is that way. Bow, shake his head, cover his face. Dumb stuff.

    Those of oyu with other breeds there's nothing wrong with your dogs and my trainer tells others in our classes not to compare their dogs to a BC. Despite that people still get upset over Jin. Can't help it.

    On the other hand Jin has already surpassed Bas in beginning search. Give him a scent His Goto is spectacular, just tell him, GOTO or CROSS (the bridge), Climb (rock) and he's gone.

    He's also got weird habits like his vocalizations. He doesn't only bark and growls but barks without making a sound (the mouth moves) and he honks like a goose. There are also the injuries that dogs driven to work get, torn carpal pads today who knows whats next.

    Regarding hi-value treats the stinker the better. I found Real Meat training treats to be among the best. The new Milk Bone training treats make your dog fart.

    So now the question becomes just how much can yo teach a border collie. I've often wondered that but never had an opportunity to try. Well now I have a pup and over the course of his life I'm going to find out because he's very eager to learn what ever I'm teaching him.
  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    In terms of number of mastered cues, the record is over 300 by a BC. Knew over 300 object names or something like that. I think the sky is the limit, depending on both dog and trainer.
  15. ruffmuttk9z New Member

    Not ALL border collies are easy to train. I've house upward of 200 of them and let me tell you, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors...and brain sizes.
  16. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    TX, I SURE like the sound of "Mastered Cues" vs. "dumb stuff"!!! :msnwink: Uhm, this IS the Dog TRICK Academy!!:msngiggle:

    MY dog would probably enjoy doing worthy causes if he had a chance, but, since he doesn't have the chance, he actually DOES enjoy using his lil dog mind to figure out the riddle of what i am asking him to do. He DOES!! The look in his eye, i can actually SEE the lightbulb go on when he gets it, "Ah HA!" kinda thing. Maybe it IS something "dumb", BUT, it kept him from being bored on a rainy afternoon, gave him something to think about, and figure out, helped him gain confidence, and self control, and excercises his mind, he gets EARNED praise, and attention, some tricks he even gets to be creative, some require some balance, etc, and some tricks he even feels useful, cuz he does not know it is just a trick.

    And it DOES bond us up even closer every trick we learn together, hard to explain, but i am more plugged into him, appreciate him and i understand his mind even more, and he is more attentive to me, he seems happier, it IS hard to explain, but it is there when we learn stuff together...... Buddy HAS to figure stuff out. He gets STOKED when he sees my clicker...follows me around in obvious anticipation withhis happy face on.:dogbiggrin:

    And thanks for the further advice, i will try that!!:msngrin:

    PS--that border collie you mentioned, with > 300Mastered Cues, was on cover of Nat'l Geographic, in March 2008, article was called "Inside Animal Minds" FASCINATING read if you can find it....... and my neighbor gave me her copy, LOOKS JUST EGGZACTLY like my Buddy, so i framed it and hung it up next to our kids' pictures!!! I tell people it IS Buddy on the cover!!!! :msngiggle:
  17. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Hehe. ^^ Indeed, it is the Dog Trick Academy.

    As for Mud, she has literally almost no sense of smell, so SAR dogs are great but she'd be hopeless. I'm perfectly happy teaching her millions of tricks--and she's perfectly happy learning them. Many of the tricks she knows could easily be used as service tasks anyway, so they aren't pointless. LOL funny you mention Buddy's excitement when you pull out the clicker...Mud too. Very excited.

    RuffMuttz is right, not all BCs are one and the same. Had some toughies before. Seems with BCs, they'll either be super easy or a big challenge. Very few in the grey area.

    Yay for National Geographic for recognizing our intelligent BC buddies. ^^ Lol!
  18. snooks Experienced Member

  19. snooks Experienced Member

    post url and picture

    desertstranger- you can post URL's and pictures. Two guesses either since you are a new member there is a minimum number of posts before you are able to do so. Or you didn't hit the right icons above and temporarily enable scripted windows. Your picture can be uploaded from your hard drive or easier if loaded somewhere online like picasa. R click and properties, copy the URL, click the pickture button above, enable scripted windoes, click picture icon again and paste the url in the popup. To post URL's alone hit the link button onthe globe and you'll get a pop up.

    I'm not sure what the threshold for new posters is but it's not a huge number. :doghappy:
  20. joeymydog New Member

    No just border collies are fast learners studies show that mix breeds are more intelligent that purebred. My dog learned 30 tricks in 2 months! So i wouldnt say that. And my dog is the one of the only dogs that actually pay attention and do great. The border collie that's in my class is stubborn and the little boy( well the boy's 10 years old os not 'little') that handles her has to drag her. She's only a puppy! So I wouldnt be bragging about Bc's that's a little rude to other people who dont have them. But anyhow.

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