Honored Member
(Wasn't sure where to post this....)

Yep, I have a few questions. I found this Border Collie on Petfinder who I think my be the agility dog I'm looking for! My mom is going to call his foster mom today. We need to find out his age too.

Does he look like a purebred BC to you? I'm just curious....

I have animals he could herd. Chickens, ducks... Could I let him herd them, or, should I get lessons??

That's all I can think of at the moment. I'll think of more questions later. All tips and advice is appreciated.


Honored Member
Hard to tell from the picture, but he doesn't look pure-bred to me. Is that a deal-breaker for you, or are you looking for a dog who might be good for agility? And - I wouldn't just assume if he's a B/C that you could just put him with your ducks, chickens, etc - and let him rip. Make sure he doesn't decide he'd rather make them lunch - always consider their safely first. And - lessons might be fun. I've never taken herding lessons, but depending on what he knows (or doesn't), it would be good team-building and bonding for you both.

I recently lost my 15 yr old Aussie - she was turned in to the shelter twice before she was 9mo old. She was supposed to be a working ranch dog and even as young as a couple months old, was chasing chickens - and eventually killed and ate too many. She lost two homes that way (lots of farms and ranches in my area). You can't assume that, because of the breed, they'll herd just everything and anything. My Bailey would herd 'em alright - straight into her mouth (same with cats). :eek:

Find out as much as you can from the foster mom - prey drive? any interest in birds? other animals? does the dog like toys? does he like to play? does he have any herding experience? do they know? etc - just think up any and every question you possibly can. They may know - and they may not .. it depends on where he came from.

He's just gorgeous, by the way!! :love: :) Keep us posted.


Experienced Member
Can't say either whether his pure BC or not. The physical aspect of a BC doesn't really matter, his herding aptitude is more important.
I would not recommend you let him herd by himself. He might get what we call "the eye" and stare foreaver and a day in front of the ducks. Yes you should get lessons and you will certainly love it. Have a look at the sport section in this forum, I talk about herding quite often. Don't hesitate to ask if you want any information about that. And please go herding with your BC, that's the best gift you can offer him :)


Honored Member
Thanks for all of the information!

That dog is 7 years old. :( I was looking for a younger dog, not necessarily a puppy. I don't care about a dog being a mix, just as long as they have the qualities I want. :)

The woman has some baby Border Collie mix puppies she is also fostering. She said she'd send some pictures. I'm a bit worried about getting a puppy.... I'm not sure what is the best age tell if a dog has potential for agility..... I mainly want this dog for agility, but, if he could do other sports like herding, disc dog, ect, I would really enjoy that!

I will wait as long as I have to until I find the perfect Border Collie. (Or BC mix. ;D)

Oh, and, what would you prefer to do? Adopt a puppy,or, adopt an older but still young dog? I just want to see some other opinions.


Experienced Member
I don't know what the others think but agility with a 7 year old seems too old, unless you intend to have a leisure agility practice. But you won't push a dog of that age too far. Now if it's for discovering with the idea to start later with a new dog, it may be ok. But do get the club's advice before you make a decision.
If you want to have a competition practice, a young dog (not necessarily a puppy, I'd say up to 3 years old) is ok. Mind that you can't have them jump before the age of 1 year. I don't know how it goes where you live, but here in France, you can enter level 1 competition with any breed or mix dog but you need to have a proper breed dog with papers to be able to go any further. Now physically, any border collie, mix or not is able to practice agility.

So really think of what you want to do with your dog. Personnaly, my dog is a border collie with no paper. I don't practice competition and I'm having a lot of fun at herding. So it really depends on the practice you intend to have.


Honored Member
I live in the US. Mutts can compete in agility trials. (Yay!)

I am not adopting him. I'm looking for a younger dog. That's another reason why I'd rather have an older dog than a puppy. With an older dog, you don't have to wait for them to finish growing. (Older meaning 2-3 years old)

I actually just saw an Australian Shepherd online I really like. Who knows what breed I might end up adopting. XP


Honored Member
There are many breeds who can do agility, not just border collies. Lol, i've seen some Jack Russells tear up an agility track!! Many types of dogs love agility.
But, you are right------many border collies do rock at agility.
Since you asked, and since you DO have a specific hope for your next pet,
i myself would not get a puppy.
Lol, i'm too lazy to raise a puppy for one thing, nor do i care to engage in the rug shampooing and replacement of various items that can get destroyed during puppyhood. I'm not up for the up-all-night crying stage, the nipping stage (OUCH!) the ruin your carpet stage, the "can't be home alone too long" stage, etc etc. and all the other stages of puppyhood that don't reeeally fit my life if i can avoid it.
To me, puppies are a mystery-box of 10 to 20 years of a dog you *maybe* did not expect!!! ha ha!! YOur dog could grow up to be a couch potatoe, or a speed ball, and either one of those might be a disappointment. My guy's last puppy, turned out to be 3 times the size he'd expected, lol, and half as energetic as he wanted. But, it sure was a cute puppy!
RE: puppies,
You CAN spot a super-shy puppy in the litter box,
but a dog-aggressive dog does not display that neurobiological disorder til about 9 mos on average. A few report later onsets. but, typically, by one year old, the condition is obvious. Making a one year old dog a nice age to look at.
I'd stick with Petfinders, i do think you are on right track, adoption is the best way to go, imo, for both moral reasons, and for dog overpopulation reasons.
I myself would go for at least a one year old dog, but, that is just me. That way, you can see WHO the dog is. With puppies, there's uncertainties there.....
On petfinders, you can look at
dogs in shelters,
dogs in rescue.
With dogs in shelters, you can have the dog temperment tested, but, really, no way to know if he'd be good at agility, and i do believe,
some of a dog's ability to "be good at" agility,
is in how they are introduced to the sport,
and how they are trained at the sport.
Dogs in rescue, are usually living with a foster family.
That foster family can and will tell you everything you want to know about your dog,
is he energetic?
Does he learn cues easily? (take that one with a grain of salt *if* the fosters are not adept at teaching cues, lol).
Does he get on well with other dogs? cats? kids?
does he get on well with humans, or, is he a fearful/ shy type of dog?
What games does the dog enjoy?
How much excercise does THIS particular dog need to be sane?
How long can he excercise before he tires?
Does the dog show any aptitude for agility? Has he been trained or even exposed to the sport at all?
Just whatever you wanna know,
the fosters can tell you,
so you can bring home a well-suited, no-mystery dog that will fit well into your life.
Adopting a dog in rescue takes a suprising amount of months, there are many steps in the process. Telling the rescue org, you are hoping for a dog who will enjoy doing agility, can help them locate which of their dogs who might enjoy that.
If you have never done agility, it might be great idea, to google your town's name, + word "agility"
and go to a meet,
and talk to those who do agility wiht their dogs, to get an idea of how much training is involved, etc etc.
Even though i do believe, many dogs can enjoy being trained at agility,:) and some of that is HOW the dog is trained,
still, you probably should also assess,
if if if it turns out, your particular pet is NOT great at agility,
will you still be committed to loving it unconditionally and caring for it for life?
Is the dog winning important to you, or just participating for the fun of it is what interests you?
It's a long term commitment.
I admire your willingness to provide a dog a great life,
but always good to consider--------- on the footsteps of a long term commitment, ------------to truly assess what all your expectations are, and how you'd feel if those are not met, is good to be self-aware at this stage of the decision.
BEST OF LUCK!! Getting a new dog is exciting,:D keep us posted!!


Honored Member
Thanks for the response!

I agree with pretty much everything you stated above. :D I feel much more confident now. Thanks!

I've just been looking at dogs on That's where we found Shiloh and Delilah. I'm going to contact this really close shelter about this beautiful 1 year old Aussie. Oh, and thanks for listing those questions. I wasn't sure what to ask.


Honored Member
well, there's plenty more to ask, as well, lol! not that have anything to do with agility, just about living with you, etc. OH, and is he healthy, has he ever had health or hip problems, etc etc.
Is this dog okay home alone, or will he eat the sofa? For how long home alone?
is this dog get carsick?
What is this dog afraid of?
Is he a barker, or a more quiet dog?
Is this dog an escape artist, a yard digger, or have any bad habits you need to know about? etc etc.
Does he chase cars?
Is he a trash diver, a poop-eater, a bunny killer, or any other ongoing customs you will need to work on? NOt that these are deal-breakers, just good to know ahead of time.
Is this dog "demanding"? is this dog outgoing, reserved, friendly, pushy, what is he like?
Do google, "adopting a dog", tons o info on what to ask, but, most fosters will tell you everything, even things you didn't know to ask, but, i'd start a list. Petfinder home page has lots of nice article to read, too.
Also, google "dogs for agility", too, to learn more what features might be helpful, like a slimmer type dog seems better at running and jumping, imo.
I feel so stupid,:oops: i did not realize, this will be your third dog!!
Do either of your resident dog have ANY issues about getting on with other dogs?
Do either of your current dogs like agility? I see the equipment by both dogs.
Do those two dogs not like agility, or what?O_o
I'd make sure all 3 dogs get on well before getting a 3rd dog, too!!;) A dog-aggressive dog, sometimes "lies low" for that initial "new in the home" stage.
Make sure this 3rd dog is not a DA dog, since you do have 2 dogs already.


Honored Member
This is pretty much what I'm doing. First, I stalk petfinder looking at dogs with potential. Then, I e-mail the foster parent asking about the temperament and important stuff like that. (I was just stuck on questions to ask about the agility part.) So far, I haven't gotten to step 3, which is meeting the dog.

I pretty much know what to ask and to do, I just can't help but ask more questions! I want to do this as correctly as possible! I have a good idea of what I'm getting myself into. XD

Shiloh is my agility dog. :) She loves working with me, which makes her like agility. I go to classes with her on Mondays. I pretty much just play around with Delilah. She loves the attention and learning new things, but, I don't do any serious agility work.

They both had NO problem at all with our foster dog! (She's a wacko Beagle puppy) At first they ignored her, but, now she seems to exist to them. :rolleyes: I can tell by the other dog's personality if they would get along. Shiloh is the one I would have to worry about. She is the big sister and wants to be in charge. Another female dog like her would not mix well..... Other than that, I have no concerns about her and the other dog. (This dog will have to be good with other dogs. I worked with Delilah and my foster beagle with fear of people, but I can't work with any DA or PA dogs.)

Here's a little video of Delilah doing some agility. Delilah is lazy, so I was really proud of her in this video!! (y)

I'm so exited! Sorry if I go a little nuts with asking questions and stuff. I do that sometimes. :p


Honored Member
Like jackienmutts says, not all borders and aussies are good herders... I know a few aussies who have eaten chicken...
I have an aussie, who chases sheep, just to scare them off. He has done some herding on humans though:cool: Not very desirable eather:D
I haven't had Jinx(also aussie) with sheep or chicken yet, so I don't know about her herding skills. She does like to chase them, if I'm not carefull:rolleyes:

I have also noticed that borders are usually faster on an agilitycourse than aussies. Don't know why that is. But good luck in finding your match!


Experienced Member
Herding has something to do with food initially. The dog will gather the herd (potential food) for you (because you are his leader and entitled to have the food first). So that's one of the reasons why, when a dog starts herding, tends to bite if his position is not settled. There are other reasons for biting though : lack of self-confidence, power, and fear. But initially, it's a question of pack hunting. Therefore, a dog has to learn to herd for you and not for himself, even if he is a border collie.


Honored Member
I listened to my parent's advice, which was to get a smaller dog for agility. I'm short, so, I get what they mean. I saw this Sheltie x Spaniel mix online, and I contacted his foster mom, and she thinks he has potential for agility. I'll be the judge of that though. :p We are going to meet him Sunday at Dogtoberfest. Shiloh is coming with us!

(Shiloh meeting a dog out of our house is different than her meeting a dog at our house. She better behave. T.T)

Although I'm very exited, I am still going to use my best judgement.


Experienced Member
A sheltie !!! (y) I love shelties. They're sweet dogs, quiet though active if they are asked to. Easy dog to live with.
The spaniel is full of life. So that dog should gather good qualities for agility as well as good family dog. Let us know how it goes.