General Question

Supergirl's avatar

Owners of Australian border collies?

Asked by Supergirl (1669 points ) April 20th, 2009

We are interested in getting an aussie border collie puppy. We have done a lot of reading on the dog—but am wondering if anyone has one that can give more personal information on the breed.

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18 Answers

crisw's avatar

There is no “Australian” border collie; there are just border collies.

Border collies are awesome dogs- in the right hands. They MUST have a job, and it must be an intellectually stimulating and active job, or they – and you- will be miserable.

Read this before committing yourself to a BC.

syz's avatar

Are you referring to Australian Shepards or Border Collies ? In either case, these breeds require a higher than usual commitment of time and energy. My rescued border collie has some significant behavioral issues. We currently attend an agility class once a week, have herding training once a week, and hike the park about once a week in an effort to keep him stimulated and build his self confidence. Unless you are into some type of activity like flyball, frisbee, agility, or herding, I’d pick a more appropriate breed.

Judi's avatar

I have a Queensland, which might be similar to yours. Just remember that they like to bark. It’s their job to be in charge of things and Molly gets mad if the grand babies cry (We must not be treating them well in her eyes and she thinks she can do a better job) And she will drive the neighbors crazy if we try to just put her outside. She (being old and not socialized with other dogs early) Thinks she is the only dog in the world and will challenge any dog that comes around.
She is also the sweetest thing in the world. I love her dearly. But she is a bit neurotic and if I had it all to do over again I would probably have chosen a more laid back breed.

phoenyx's avatar

What are you looking for in a dog?

I agree with the above. If you don’t give border collies something to do, they’ll find their own way to entertain themselves (that you probably won’t like).

crisw's avatar

@Judi
Queensland heelers (also known in the US as Australian cattle dogs) are a very different breed than border collies. As they were bred to work tough, stubborn cattle, not flighty sheep, they are bolder, more vocal, and more inclined to dominance problems and aggression than border collies. Both breeds, however, are extremely intelligent and need work!

casheroo's avatar

A border collie is the breed I really would love to have one day, but no way would we get one without having a huge yard. They need lots and lots of exercise, all herding dogs do. That’s just one little factor to consider. It seems @crisw and @syz know a lot more about them!

crisw's avatar

@casheroo
Just to be clear for the OP, a “huge yard” isn’t enough for a border collie. It doesn’t matter how big the yard is, if there isn’t human interaction and a job for them to do, they will do thing that make you miserable, like frantic digging, tearing out sprinklers, herding bugs or sunbeams- they will literally go crazy from lack of intellectual stimulation.

In my years of competition in many dog sports, I’ve known a lot of border collies. I’ve known BCs who lived happily in apartments- but whose owners spent hours devoted to agility, herding, flyball, obedience, rally, etc. to keep the dog’s mind and body occupied.

In reality, BCs are horrible pets for most people. The average person owning a BC is something like giving a 16 year old boy who just got his license a Lamborghini. The average dog owner doesn’t have a clue what to do with all that power, and doesn’t need it!

casheroo's avatar

@crisw I’m sorry it came across like that was the only thing they needed, that’s why I said it was a small factor. I know a lot goes into them. Sadly, I know that’d make me a bad owner to one :( they’re so beautiful but I would want them to be happy, you know?

jonsblond's avatar

@crisw You are right about a huge yard not making a difference. We have two blue heelers that will jump the fence if we leave them outside by themselves. During the summer, my husband takes them to the farm that he works at and they sleep the entire night once they come home. They don’t get out as much during the winter. That’s when they chew everything in site and jump the fence.

filmfann's avatar

CrisW is right on the money.
Especially when they are puppies, they will have nervous problems if they don’t have something to do. These dogs are control freaks, and you need to be prepared for a lot of work.

crisw's avatar

@filmfann
“These dogs are control freaks”

One of my favorite funny sights in agility is a BC whose owner is just a millisecond too slow in giving a command, so the dog thinks the leadership position has been abdicated and he needs to now make up his own course!

RedPowerLady's avatar

I have an aussie collie mix. I will be honest in saying I don’t know much about the breeds in general and have only owned this one dog. I will tell you a bit about her though so you can get an idea of what this type of dog may be like.
She is a fantastic dog!!! She is a herder by nature and we find it quite cute. She is very hyper in the sense that she LOVES getting her energy out and as a pup it was difficult but now she is quite calm most of the day (she is only 1.5 years). Also she is very gentle, she loves other dogs and all ages of human. She does not like cats or smaller animals, lol. Also many people tell us that these types of dogs are really smart. So far I haven’t found that to be too true. She certainly isn’t stupid but she certainly isn’t too smart either, lol. She barely ever barks (i saw someone say they like to bark so i just thought i would mention that). And she was quite easy to train. I would also agree that she can be quite stubborn but she is so gentle and loving that it is worth putting up with some stubbornness.

BCMan's avatar

YES, there are Aussie Border Collies!! They are called ‘Barbie Collies’.
I have one. A Barbie Collie is a Border Collie who’s blood line is from Australia/New Zealand and they are smaller and shorter than a ‘working’ Border Collie. The Barbie has a calmer temperament and usually dominate the Show Rings. If you see a BC on a shirt or in a book with full hair and tail hanging straight down, that would be one. Working BC’s are leaner and long legged. I have one of each, both do Flyball, Agility and Obedience. The working BC is faster and stronger, both are gorgeous. My Barbie is from RisingStarBorderCollies, there you can see his bloodlines are all from ‘Down Under’.

filmfann's avatar

@BCMan welcome to fluther lurve

RedPowerLady's avatar

@BCMan Thanx for the information. I wonder if that is what I got then. I’m sure she’s not pure barbie collie as she was adopted but still she looks like a collie/aussie mix and acts very much like one.

Traceyuk's avatar

I have a collie /blue merle Aussie mix, I found her as a pup, she is 11 now, very loving dog, but recently started having seizures, so she is on pheno- barbitrol, which helps, very good companion but sheds alot

Magicmare's avatar

A lot of people are telling you what to do and not do. I don’t think you need ‘correction’ – or to be sent automatcially to the pound – especially if your needs are specific. Breed improvements of pedigrees are an ongoing practice of people in the AKC, and in clubs over the world. There is intense dedication in both breeding better pedigrees, as well as developing new – better ‘built’ breeds of dogs. . Note – attend a dog show and you’ll learn that not all breeders are puppy mills, but because some are, a general ‘magpie’ knee jerk response happens the moment someone admits to being willing to purchase a deliberately bred dog. It’s okay. You’re ALLOWED, to look for a breed or specific mix. Disadvantages to pound pups – is that you only hear the success stories. I believe wholeheartedly in pound adoption but at the same time – without actual breeders – eventually there would be no well bred dogs. I also know how breeds came to be, and how deliberately crossing breeds in search of something better IS a very valid quest that has historically produced some amazing pedigrees – including today’s Doberman, Beauceron, English Shep.etc.
Due to the intense nature of the Border Collie (but also his brilliance) farms and ranches, as well as urban dog fanciers have discovered that by crossing the less intense Aussie Shep with a Border Collie, an amazing hybrid dog is emerging. Similar body types of the two breeds and there similar size also helps keep the bitch safe in whelping – and offers a promising body structure for the future breed as well. These breeders – by selecting the smarter but calmer hybred pups for future breeding are currently working toward a new breed both Border smart and Aussie manageable So – your search is valid, and the name of the cross is valid as well.
I own a calm beautiful and brilliant Aussie shep Border collie mix (50/50). We got her as a 7 week old pup from a local ranchette here outside of Phoenix. Cassie is 12 years old now but this week our new vet did a full physical (and a xray to check on some swelling that turned out to be a simple yeast infection) He was visibly blown away by the xrays and emphasized on how he’d never seen a 12 year old dog of any breed with the perfection of innter structure she has as well as her youthful appearance. She also chews toys and plays like a six year old. Our hybrid Cassie is low maintenance, cleans herself, self manages food amounts – leaves it if she’s full, runs laps in our huge yard if someone cant play frisbee that day, and is Border Collie smart but Aussie ‘reserved’.
I encourage your efforts if you are looking to be a part of the quest to develop even better breeds. This BC/AUS cross also is producing dogs with less health issues than either of the two origninal pedigrees do. Finally, knowing breeds, learning about them, is a great way to give yourself an edge when purchasing any dog. Pound pups are wonderful ‘surprises’ – and in many cases offer the challenge of undoing someone elses mess up (which can bond you beautifully when it works) but pedigress, or well planned hybreds, I emphasize .. when well bred…., have certain reliable traits that are more likely to come as a kind of ‘hard wired’ program in the dog. Yes, all are different to a degree – but well bred pedigrees do help one toward successful ownership, especially if one’s needs are specific.
Our two pedigree dobes are amazing – and share correct dobe family ‘protection’ and social tendencies, while gentle with family as breed type indicates, yet one is a couch potato and the other a ball playing nut. You’re smart – to seek advice – and thus I think you will be able to recognize a ‘mill’ from a valid breeder. Follow your brain, your gut and your heart. Everyone here did as they thought best for themselves – and so should you. Good luck. If you have more questions or would like to see photos of our hybrid AS/BC let me know Magicmare

jazmina88's avatar

I have an aussie BC mix who is 16 and 5 months next week. Her brother got into trouble and died at 6, but my dear Maggie is the best dog anyone could have!! smarter than me, obedient. frisbee playing in her prime.

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