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Border Collie - v Labrador, come tell me your experiences.

(31 Posts)
CaptainUnderpants Thu 05-Nov-09 14:18:16

Are Border collies just as good family members as labradors ?

Do they need any more exercise than say a labrador would ?

Interested to hear any experinces with Border Collies , know aboout labs but not much about BCs

birdofthenorth Thu 05-Nov-09 15:57:59

My ex-boyfriend had 2 border collies, one young and bonkers that needed lots of short runs, and one old and grumpy that preferred to avoid human interraction, but was none the less a gorgeous and oddly dignified old gal! Both were fine with his young niece and nephew.

DH and I now have 2 labradoodles (lab/ poodle crosses) which are wonderful (cuddled up to me as I type) -need a sensible amount of excersize (one long or two short walks a day) and are just brilliant with children.

birdofthenorth Thu 05-Nov-09 15:58:59

PS the labradoodles don't molt or cause allergies, which is a very pleasant bonus!

wildfig Thu 05-Nov-09 16:08:43

My m-i-l has a rescue collie and he's a sweetie, but does need a LOT of exercise and mental stimulation, as he's quite highly strung and intelligent. I think you have to consider what each breed's bred to do: Labs have been conditioned to follow orders, bring stuff back, and be companionable, whereas Collies will herd anything available, including kids if you don't lay down the law, and they need a 'job', or else they get distressed and make jobs for themselves. M-i-l walks her BC twice a day, with a lot of ball-throwing and training. On the positive side, when he's asleep, he's definitely asleep, and has that incredible delicacy that only Border collies seem to have - he moves around like a white ghost, and his paws don't make a sound when he jumps out of her car.

Theoretically, they probably need a similar amount of exercise, but whereas I've met some tubby old Labs who'd be quite happy to slack off the walks, and just potter round the garden, I've never met a lazy Border collie.

How much training do you think you'd have time for? How old are your DCs? Do you ever watch flyball when Crufts is on TV and feel hormonally emotional at how clever the dogs are? Are you of the Shep or Goldie Blue Peter generation? Etc.

claricebeansmum Thu 05-Nov-09 16:12:28

Our F1 labradoodle does molt. There are no guarantees of doodles not molting. They are essentially a mutt and you don't know what your getting until you've got it.

Mine is snoozing too, as close to the radiator as you could get!

wildfig Thu 05-Nov-09 16:13:51

Every time I see "F1 Labradoodle", I see a dog with a racing helmet and go faster stripes. smile

ShinyAndNew Thu 05-Nov-09 16:14:01

I have no experience of border collies, but Labs eat everything. My mums has eaten her way through two breakfast stools, a kennel, some knitting, numerous shoes, boxes and carrier bags and two of my dads prized pigeons shock

She is however a wonderfull, loving and laid back dog. Great with dd's despite not being brought up with children. YOu couldn't ask for a better family pet imo, than my mums lab.

claricebeansmum Thu 05-Nov-09 16:15:26

wildfig - not far off! except ours does a doodle dash around in circles rather than in straight lines!

wildfig Thu 05-Nov-09 16:16:14

Oh, and collies moult about the same as Labs, if that's an issue. We have a pair of bassets, who moult a moderate amount, but whenever the collie comes to stay, the hoover practically faints dead away. M-i-l has cream carpets and obv turns a blind eye...

birdofthenorth Thu 05-Nov-09 16:16:50

True claricebean, didn't mean to pass it off as a guarantee! Mine love curling up by the radiator too, they take it in turns for the best spot!

claricebeansmum Thu 05-Nov-09 16:17:35

<just mindful of the other thread...>

BellaBonJovi Thu 05-Nov-09 16:18:25

pmsl wildfig - shall always have that mental image now wink

Labs bright, biddable, loving and fun. Used to think they were boring but now understand why so many families have them.

Collies - very intelligent. Behavioural issues if not given adequate mental stimulation. Very strong prey drive and eye-stalk-chase mechanism, so will often chase cars, cyclists, livestock, whatever.

Used to be a vet nurse and we never saw a nasty lab. Did see quite a few nasty collies, tbh.

Good luck whatever wink

MitchyInge Thu 05-Nov-09 16:19:24

think on average collies probably need more mental stimulation and maybe slightly more exercise - lots of variations within and across breeds isn't there? labs in general seem to have a more even temperament but there are always exceptions

argh feel broody for a puppy

CMOTdibbler Thu 05-Nov-09 16:20:03

My parents used to have a pair of litter sister border collies. They needed a lot of exercise, even when they were very elderly, and wanted something going on and someone around all the time.

I'd say unless you are around pretty much all the time, and are able to let them run free in a largish garden, border collies aren't a great idea

wildfig Thu 05-Nov-09 16:20:41

Would you like mine for an afternoon, mitchy? I can give you the gallon bottle of Simple Solution to take with you...

ilovepiccolina Thu 05-Nov-09 16:30:26

Agree with CMOTdibbler about collies. I take mine out for a good run in the morning, with lots of ball-throwing - her 'sheep-rounding-up' substitute. Then she's fed & has a sleep, then after a couple of hours she's ready for action again, which is a PITA if I'm working from home.

Generally, though, she does a lot of lazing around, but she does need the stimulation of the ball - she is totally focused and 'stalks' it, she's been known to run into trees as she focuses. Collies strike me as cleverer than labs. Mine can appreciate humour, (I make a joke and laugh & she wags her tail!) can dance, and sometimes I swear she reads my mind. And she's beautiful! (But moults all over the house)

MitchyInge Thu 05-Nov-09 16:32:10

always room for one more wildfig!

ilovepiccolina Thu 05-Nov-09 16:55:16

Another thing, my collie is terrified of thunder & fireworks, so can't be left alone if there's a likelihood of either. My freinds lab, OTOH, is totally unfazed. But the lab in Marley & Me hated thunder too, & used to trash the house when terrified. So can't generalise, then!

ShinyAndNew Thu 05-Nov-09 16:58:11

ilove my mums is/was horrified of loud noises and used to urinate with fear. She has gone deaf with age now, though. So this year she is blissfully unaware of all the noise.

CaptainUnderpants Thu 05-Nov-09 17:33:46

Thanks all.

I am around alot at home , either working or day off. have lots of open space within walking distance, dog obdience training just up the road.

Children are 7 & 9 and I have read about BC herding children and gving them a nip if they didn't 'herd' up properly , so both children and dog would have to be trained how to live with each other smile.

We have a large garden and plently of space in house for dog to have its own space.

I had a lab as a kid and although from gun dog stock was scared witless by loud noises !

Not bothered by molting as we only have carpet in one room downstairs .

I think that BC seem to be very clever dogs and wouldn't mid doing some dog agilty with obdience with it . walking the dog the dog would not be an issue with us .

Also read that BC are great frisbee catchers !

BCNSback Thu 05-Nov-09 17:46:17

Used to have a BC.. ( now have a springer cocker cross.. which is just as nutty).... never had a Lab.

our old BC was a rescue because the old owners couldn't keep it him stimulated enough and it all ended in not so nice behaviour by him.

We didn't have any issues with him at all.. long run in the morning, ball throwing included another at lunch and a shorter one in the evening.

Did obedience and flyball with him too.

Flyball is fab fab stuff. BC's are working dogs IME and therefore really need a 'job' to do... but I'd have one again anyday ( when the spaniel gets old we'll think about it again).

ClaireDeLoon Thu 05-Nov-09 17:54:37

DP's mum has a collie cross, lovely lovely dog very intelligent and very well trained, she went to dog training and loved it. Does not like children at all and we don't even take her for a walk in the park if there are children playing with a ball as she thinks all balls are hers and grumbles at children. I stress she is not a bad dog, just we don't trust her to let her near children at all, which can be true of any breed I think. She's also very highly strung I think, gets upset by loud noises etc.

I grew up with labs in our home, plus uncle had labs and brother has a lab now. Never met a nasty one, although met a couple of not very bright ones.

If I was choosing a family dog now I'd go for the lab over the collie.

madusa Thu 05-Nov-09 18:05:09

i had a bc who although was beautiful and very, very intelligent - was also very highly strubg.

A 2 hour walk was the absolute minimum we could get away with, twice a day.

She rarely slept during the day and was always "busy" doing something.

Someone i spoke to said that her BC was still wanting to herd sheep at the age of 16 so if you get one, be prepared for a lot of work for a very long time.

As a family pet, I would go for a lab although they do moult an awful lot more. We had yellow hair everywhere for quite a long time after she died blush

maggymay Fri 06-Nov-09 11:28:08

I had a border collie she was a beautifull loyal dog but, and this is a big but, she was really highly strung no amount of exersize helped and by the time she was three she was dangerous, after speaking to out vet she said this happens to lots of bc in normal family homes due to lack of understanding. We sought help from a couple of behaviourists to no avail and she had to be put to sleep. We where told that she was to full of nervous energy and that we where the wrong type of home for her as we didnt offer enough of the right kind of stimulation even with the four children we had at home. I would think very carefully about taking a border collie I hate what we did to ours and feel awfull that because we didnt do enough research a dog was pts they are working dogs with a huge prey drive and need constant stimulation they are extreemly intellegent and as such take up a hell of a lot of your time so if you cant offer that then not the best dog to take

maggymay Fri 06-Nov-09 11:50:19

If your intrested in collies have you thought about a rough collie totally different nature to borders still needs a fair bit of exersize but is also happy to chill out good, with children they do make excellent pets and are very loyal,they do moult a fair bit but apart from that they are wonderfull

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