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Paolino

Border Collies

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I've had my border collie for about 6 years now--we got her when she was about 6-12 months old from a shelter. She was extremely sick and severely underweight when we got her. Today, she's a healthy, happy, active girl that I can't imagine my life without.

I've done a good deal of reading up about her breed, and most things fit. However, every now and then there's a question I have about a behavior she exhibits.

Most recently, her behavior towards people diving in the pool.

Anyone have border collie experience?

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Well, border collies are herding dogs, whose primary function has always been to keep the herd together and moving in the same direction. Her behavior could stem from the fact that, in her mind, a member of her "herd" is doing something out of line by diving in the pool.

What does she do when people are diving?

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Well, she herds if we get out of the pool. Actually, she herds ALL the time... we were very careful when my goddaughter was just learning to walk because we noticed she'd steer her if she looked unsteady (but we didn't want her to nip her ankles which she never did). But when someone dives, she whimpers until the person swims to the other end and stops to say "It's okay" to her. I should probably add she refuses to go in the pool... and supposedly her breed LOVES to swim.

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A neighbour had a border collie when I was a kid. The dog loved to run so much that it actually created a footpath all the way around the outer perimiter of a 1/2 acre backyard. I mean a real trail, grass completely dead in a stripe, just like lots of human foot traffic does in a park.

That dog also proved that a fence like this:

Cow-fence-green-grass-300x281.jpg

...was not enough to keep a border collie in the yard. I remember helping to build the fence - we stuck a bunch of round 6" diameter posts in the ground, then stapled that fencing to them. Right after we were done they let the dog out, and he ran full speed at the fence, tucked in his legs and went right through one of the holes. Owner looked like he wanted to kill somebody.

He chose that type of fence so it would be easy for people to climb, because his son and I were friends and our houses were back-to-back.

In the end he put chicken wire up on top of that fence.

This dog really didn't seem to be too interested in people unless they were running. I remember them putting in an inflatable pool, and the dog didn't seem interested in that either.

That dog eventually went a little crazy and started getting agressive with the father. He had to be put down. :(

That about sums up my border collie knowledge.

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She sounds like a sweetheart, Paulie.
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She sounds like a sweetheart, Paulie.

Ocn... she's my angel. She watched over my goddaughter like it was her own child. No one other than the people living in the house (this is back when I lived with my friends while getting my masters), was allowed to come near the baby unless we told her it was okay. She laid down and guarded when my goddaughter was put down for naps, etc. It's truly amazing. And all she does is love.

YellowDart, as for creating a trail, yup, there are a few in the yard. One in particular is around this large bush/tree combo in the corner of the yard. She gets so excited while you're playing, she has to run to get the excitement out. And as for fences, we had to be careful. She opens doors in the house. She can jump 4 feet high from a seated position, so baby gates didn't work to keep her out of a room. And well, let's just say rabbits and chipmunks are well aware to not go to the area anymore :)

This is her:

desktopsc4.jpg

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Smart and very child friendly. We had them when I was young. The only thing I hated about them was when I was running and the damned things would come up behind me, run alongside and body-check my legs into each other with its instinctual desire to herd sheep. Oh, how many flippin' face-plants I had because of those dogs.

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Haha, yeah, we got her out of most of her herding habits when Eve was born because we read when the child begins to walk, the dog will yank her ankles out from under her if it feels the child is in danger of going somewhere it shouldn't.

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body-check my legs into each other with its instinctual desire to herd sheep.

I had an Australian Shepherd as a teenager/college student, while living at home with my parents. It is probably the most closely related breed to a Border Collie. I was considering both breeds and this good deal on unpapered Aussie puppies came up in the L.A. Times. The dog was what they call a "blue merle" and there was no doubt she was authentic, seeing her parents and litter mates. She was extremely smart and ultimately succumbed to hip dysplasia (age 12), an ailment that takes down many herding dogs later in life.

Yes, she would also go for the heels/achilles tendons on people that she didn't like. It wasn't often, but if she was angered, I had to watch her. Once she made peace with you and you were admitted to the house, she would find her way under the visitor's arm so he or she would pet her. One of my best friends as a kid had 2 of them. The female was friendly to strangers and the male was a bastard, going straight for the heels/achilles tendons on ALL visitors. Still, I really liked the medium-sized herding dogs because they are both beautiful dogs and smart.

Anyone who has a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd is lucky. The next time I get a dog, it will only be one of these.

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What? No teacup chihuahua?:)
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What? No teacup chihuahua?:)

Who are you talking to?

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Only problem with Border Collies is that they need an insane amount of exercise or they become mischievous. Kelly has been good, but she's taken her new "job" to alerting us of any activity going on that isn't the norm. At times it can be frustrating, but it's better than the horror stories I've heard of people who own border collies and don't give them proper exercise/attention.

She LOVES to be pet... I believe she can get pet 24 hours/day and still ask for it. She just gets under your hand and looks up at you with those big eyes and just begs for "love". I love how she moves her body to exactly where she wants to be pet/scratched.

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