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BCSnob

Middletown, MD

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Joined: 02/23/2002

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Posted: 04/30/21 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The issue most people have with pet Border Collies is that they only focus on their physical exercise needs and ignore their mental exercise needs. Running a Border Collie only makes them more fit and able to run longer and needing to run longer. Making them work their brains tires them out much faster and the effects last longer. The key to getting a calm Border Collie, work their brains.


RE Jobs for Border Collies

I retired my Nell (15yo in July) from sheep work when she was about 12, since then I haven't given her a job (I suspect she makes up jobs for herself). Recently I've started taking her on a walk to the mailbox (1/4mile from house) so that she gets more exercise (she no longer runs with the other dogs in the yard). During one of these I discovered a new job for her that she's enjoying: carrying the junk mail back to the house. One day I rolled up a newspaper flyer in a tube and play hit her with it; she loved snapping at the tube and then grabbed it and ran off (well fast trot) back to the house carrying the tube. Now it's her job.


RE first time swimming

Our first Border Collie was Duncan; he loved water (swimming, soaking, splashing and snapping at the splashes, snapping at water jets, etc) and with his long thick coat often had a mildew odor. Our second Border Collie was Starr; as a pup she was buds with Duncan. We took both to a county park for a hike to a stream where there was a pool of waist deep water in the stream. When we got there Duncan immediately ran to the water and swam across the pool. Starr followed her bud and also swam across the pool (first time swimming). When they got to the other side of the pool Duncan started swimming back and Starr realized she didn't know how to swim. When she started back from the other side of the pool she disappeared under the water. I ran to the other side of the pool expecting to need to jump in to save a drowning Starr. Instead I found Starr on the bottom of the pool walking around exploring the bottom. She came up on her own and then decided she really couldn't swim (at least for a few more times). She did eventually decide she liked swimming.


Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (semi-retired), Grant, Lee, Fern & Hattie
Sam the Maremma Sheepdog & Wendy the Kangal (at home guarding our flock)
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M

BCSnob

Middletown, MD

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Joined: 02/23/2002

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Posted: 04/30/21 09:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Duncan being our first dog (first Border Collie) and only dog for several years got a lot of our attention and time. We had him for 4-5 years before we started with sheep herding. We learned several key Border Collie owner lessons:

-Border Collies can play fetch indefinitely (at least longer than I am willing to throw)
-Playing fetch has short term benefits for the owner's desire for a tired Border Collie; the dog only gets more fit
-Throwing a toy (or anything, example stick, rock, glove, pinecone, etc) makes that toy a "throw toy" and no longer a self entertaining toy
-Working their brain provides the calm, resting Border Collie the weary owner desires

We discovered that playing hide n seek with one of Duncan's toys was a great way to wear him out. We would put him in a stay (sit or down). Show him the toy and then place the toy out of his sight. Come back to him and then tell him to go find it. As he got better at this game we would leave him in a place where he couldn't see what room we went into, he only knew we left the room he was in. He learned to scent for the toy, following the odor trail through the house as we went from him to the hiding location. This meant we had to get more creative; I started dragging the toy along the floor into other rooms before hiding the toy. He then scented and also had to visually search.


Herding livestock does both (work the body and work the brain) which is why this breed needs so much. I can take a very physically fit young Border Collie (able to play fetch for hrs) and exhaust them in 5min working sheep because of the mental focus that is involved with this activity.

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 04/30/21 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Deb and Ed M wrote:

Re: refocusing: the collie side wants to work. To "help" you. They need jobs - even if those jobs are silly. Jimmy (R.I.P.) was dedicated to carrying my socks downstairs so I could put them on. Augie picks up things I might drop (pen, cars keys, spoon, etc) and carry them to me. He's extended that job, to picking up the house: a scrap of paper or toy lost under the couch? "Here, I found this". His alltime favorite chore is popping those air pillows that come with an Amazon package. The delivery guy thinks Augie LOVES him because he jumps happily every time a package is delivered - while Augie is crazy-friendly (very un-Aussie) he knows what those boxes contain....>LOL!

How to refocus a JRT? No clue.....LOL!


Yeah, if he had more collie, it would be easier. I'm used to shepherds who want to please and can work with that.

The JRT is far less interested in making me happy and very focused on making himself happy. I do keep a big happy belly "rawhide" bone in the bedroom (and extras in the nightstand). He will settle down with one of those at bedtime thank goodness.

He really is amazingly smart...

NEWSFLASH - NEWSFLASH - NEWSFLASH

He has just discovered he can get on the bed without help. My last refuge is gone...


1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 04/30/21 11:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BCSnob wrote:

The issue most people have with pet Border Collies is that they only focus on their physical exercise needs and ignore their mental exercise needs. Running a Border Collie only makes them more fit and able to run longer and needing to run longer. Making them work their brains tires them out much faster and the effects last longer. The key to getting a calm Border Collie, work their brains.


RE Jobs for Border Collies

I retired my Nell (15yo in July) from sheep work when she was about 12, since then I haven't given her a job (I suspect she makes up jobs for herself). Recently I've started taking her on a walk to the mailbox (1/4mile from house) so that she gets more exercise (she no longer runs with the other dogs in the yard). During one of these I discovered a new job for her that she's enjoying: carrying the junk mail back to the house. One day I rolled up a newspaper flyer in a tube and play hit her with it; she loved snapping at the tube and then grabbed it and ran off (well fast trot) back to the house carrying the tube. Now it's her job.


RE first time swimming

Our first Border Collie was Duncan; he loved water (swimming, soaking, splashing and snapping at the splashes, snapping at water jets, etc) and with his long thick coat often had a mildew odor. Our second Border Collie was Starr; as a pup she was buds with Duncan. We took both to a county park for a hike to a stream where there was a pool of waist deep water in the stream. When we got there Duncan immediately ran to the water and swam across the pool. Starr followed her bud and also swam across the pool (first time swimming). When they got to the other side of the pool Duncan started swimming back and Starr realized she didn't know how to swim. When she started back from the other side of the pool she disappeared under the water. I ran to the other side of the pool expecting to need to jump in to save a drowning Starr. Instead I found Starr on the bottom of the pool walking around exploring the bottom. She came up on her own and then decided she really couldn't swim (at least for a few more times). She did eventually decide she liked swimming.


I grew up with, and then fostered, Siberian Huskies, so I learned about mental stimulation vs exercise. A bored Husky is major trouble. Not only are they smarter than people (like border collies), but they take a perverse pleasure in proving it over and over - and in a manner that makes man (and woman) look like a bumbling idiot.

The JRT is more on par with the husky in that they don't want to show you how smart they are, they want to prove that you are nowhere near as smart as they are.

Tornado-dog is actually part smooth collie not border collie. His coat is looking very smooth collie-ish now. We're looking at him being anywhere from 60 to 85lbs grown. I have been telling him he can stop growing now - but I don't know if he's actually listening to me. He was 32.6lbs at 19 weeks and growing 2lbs per week.

Tornado-dog wears us all out - his sister, Cat-dog; his cats, The Twooney; me; even his Bird. At the end of the day we are all curled up in our corners and he is running around the place like a crazed ax-murderer.

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 04/30/21 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BCSnob - I like the toy searching. I am considering doing some tracking with him once he's older. Just want to stay away from him having to "get through" things to get the object as a JRT is bred to dig.

Speaking of finding toys, one time I was sitting in the living room on the phone and Looney2 (cat) came down the stairs dragging a throw blanket behind him. He dragged it off the bed, into the hall, down the stairs, through the living room and into the dining room before abandoning it. He was about 6 months at the time. A few days later, he tried to drag the winter comforter off the bed.

I couldn't figure out why until I discovered that at night while I slept, he would bring one of his worms (elastic hair bands) onto the bed for me to throw for him and it would get caught up in the blankets. He was trying to get the worms out of the blankets.

Now, he corrals his worms in the bathtubs.

BCSnob

Middletown, MD

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Joined: 02/23/2002

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Posted: 04/30/21 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I met someone who has working JRTs (go into animal dens); he came to hunt groundhogs on our farm. He raised 2 working JRT pups at the same time. We have several times raised 2 BC pups but I wouldn’t want to raise 2 JRTs.

Here is his website: Terrierman

He has lots of insights on the instincts in jacks.

This blog post of his give a sense of how serious he is about working his dogs
Digging on the Dogs

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 04/30/21 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BCSnob wrote:

I met someone who has working JRTs (go into animal dens); he came to hunt groundhogs on our farm. He raised 2 working JRT pups at the same time. We have several times raised 2 BC pups but I wouldn’t want to raise 2 JRTs.

Here is his website: Terrierman


Cool. I'll be checking that out.

I really didn't expect to get a JRT. I always loved them but preferred not to be in the middle of all that hyperness. I was looking for a shepherd mix puppy when this litter was brought to my attention. They said they were border collie mixes and I didn't know otherwise until they posted the photos the night before my adoption appt. There were 8 puppies in that litter and Tornado-dog was the biggest and calmest of the bunch. Never would I raise two at once.

That's one of the "brain & size" issues I worry about. Tornado-dog really doesn't get that he isn't a 10-20lb JRT. I just know he's gonna go into some hole and get stuck because he's so much bigger than his brain thinks he is.

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 05/01/21 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tornado-dog almost looks collie in this pic...
[image]

And his sister Cat-dog looking beautiful as usual:
[image]


While processing these, I came across a couple shots of Moose-dog and Bat-dog. I still cry...
[image]

[image]

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