Loose Eyed Dogs vs Border Collies

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Loose Eyed Dogs vs Border Collies

This is a discussion on Loose Eyed Dogs vs Border Collies within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; I've always been interested in herding as I find it fascinating and would love to have my own herd of sheep or cattle at some ...

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Old 05-07-2015, 12:21 PM
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Loose Eyed Dogs vs Border Collies

I've always been interested in herding as I find it fascinating and would love to have my own herd of sheep or cattle at some point in my life with dogs I'd be able to use to herd them with. As of right now I'm a college student still living at home and my dog Loki, who is a labxpit mix, isn't a herding dog so isn't the best candidate for the job though I've heard some people do herd with pits but they're more of a drover from what I can understand. Loki is a great dog for a college student and is pretty laid back and content to just hang while I'm in class during the day which is perfect and why I have him and not a herding breed at this point in my life, even though that's where my soft spot is.

Anyways, I understand the border collie and the kelpie are both probably the two greatest herders out of the herding breed and it's unlikely any dog breed as a whole could out work them. However, nothing against border collies as they are great dogs, but they don't really do it me. I've personally have a soft spot for the European shepherd breeds (GSD, Malinois, Dutch, Beauceron, etc.) as they match my tastes in dogs better. I also love their ability to tend flocks and act as a living fence.

So the the question is are there any loose-eyes dog breeds that could compete with border collies, though probably not best, in herding ability both in trials and real life farming? I imagine the Malinois or Dutch Shepherd could be contenders but that's just a guess basing off the Mals I know and knowing their work ethic and athletic ability.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:15 PM
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IRL, maybe some Mals. GSDs aren't really herders, despite the name. (Yeah, they have some herding tendencies, but not like collies.) This is like saying you want to hunt with your dogs, but hounds just aren't it for you. Hounds are for hunting, BCs are for herding.

If herding is something you want to do, BCs are where it's at. If you don't want to own BCs, I'd pick something else to participate in, there are tons of dog sports out there.

Have you met working line BCs? They're different from the show lines, the BYBs and the puppy milled BCs. You may find you really like actual working line, herding BCs.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:42 PM
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I actually have someone on my agility team that is doing herding with her rescue dutch shepherd, and they are cleaning up at the trials they are going to. From my understanding they herd completely different then a border collie, but they still have the ability to.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by amaryllis View Post
IRL, maybe some Mals. GSDs aren't really herders, despite the name. (Yeah, they have some herding tendencies, but not like collies.) This is like saying you want to hunt with your dogs, but hounds just aren't it for you. Hounds are for hunting, BCs are for herding.

If herding is something you want to do, BCs are where it's at. If you don't want to own BCs, I'd pick something else to participate in, there are tons of dog sports out there.

Have you met working line BCs? They're different from the show lines, the BYBs and the puppy milled BCs. You may find you really like actual working line, herding BCs.
I don't think that's a fair statement as hounds are an entire group of dogs where as BCs are particular breed. If for example I wasn't a fan of beagles, basset hounds would be an option, etc. But I have been around all sorts of BCs including working line ones and they still aren't a dog I personally would go crazy over. I understand where you're coming from, I feel that way with working GSD vs Show and BYB dogs.

I think another thing that pushes me away from BCs is it seem like a lot of BC people have this attitude that only BCs can herd and every other dog is some how inferior. No offense to any of the owners here and I'm sure not everyone is like that but like you've said "if you don't like Border Collies you should look into a different sport" as in no other dog could do it.

I'm also sure there's a lot of GSD owners in Germany who would take offense to that statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclark343 View Post
I actually have someone on my agility team that is doing herding with her rescue dutch shepherd, and they are cleaning up at the trials they are going to. From my understanding they herd completely different then a border collie, but they still have the ability to.
Beautiful dog! I love to see that, especially where he's a rescue dog!
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:17 PM
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I'd actually suggest a regular collie (like Lassie) from working lines. A lot of sport lines dabble in herding, so that might be your best bet. Unfortunately when the BC came along, they sort of "replaced" other herding breeds, which means a lot of farmers stopped using and breeding other herders. It's harder to find some of them from true herding lines now, being bred for their original purpose.

The rough collie has a much softer herding style...Instead of relying on the stare and the "eye", they use their entire body to control the sheep. They're not as intense as a BC and I think you might like them.

The shepherd family that you mentioned you liked, the dutchies and GSD's and mal's, they're not often bred or used for herding these days...They're bred more for protection work, which is entirely different, and I doubt many still retain much of a herding instinct. I do know there are breeders out there breeding GSD's for herding or for multi-purpose stuff, but it may be hard to get a pup, or find breeders for the other shepherd breeds.

Anyway, definitely look into collies!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGXUb53SeGM
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TiggerBounce View Post
I'd actually suggest a regular collie (like Lassie) from working lines. A lot of sport lines dabble in herding, so that might be your best bet. Unfortunately when the BC came along, they sort of "replaced" other herding breeds, which means a lot of farmers stopped using and breeding other herders. It's harder to find some of them from true herding lines now, being bred for their original purpose.

The rough collie has a much softer herding style...Instead of relying on the stare and the "eye", they use their entire body to control the sheep. They're not as intense as a BC and I think you might like them.

The shepherd family that you mentioned you liked, the dutchies and GSD's and mal's, they're not often bred or used for herding these days...They're bred more for protection work, which is entirely different, and I doubt many still retain much of a herding instinct. I do know there are breeders out there breeding GSD's for herding or for multi-purpose stuff, but it may be hard to get a pup, or find breeders for the other shepherd breeds.

Anyway, definitely look into collies!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGXUb53SeGM
I didn't realize there was still working lines for collies! I always assumed they were a breed who was completely absorbed by the show ring. We have a rough collie at my work and she's a really sweet dog who I enjoy working with; listens to me, friendly, loves attention. But I'd probably go with the smooth collie, too much maintenance on that coat lol.

It's a shame about a lot of the herding breeds falling out of favor though. I know in Germany they still hold herding trials for the GSD and have seen some awesome videos on YouTube of these dogs herding and tending flocks of sheep, so I know they are out there.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:29 PM
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old english sheepdogs I have seen them

1)pass instinct tests

2)herd llamas and alpacas and sheep and well despite Vitaes not so favorable birth we want to try to get her in an instinct test because My hubby and I want to own a hobby farm one day and Vitae did show a lot of potential when we visited the in laws with their cattle.
Maybe I'm imagining things but I'm sure if we let her in the fence she would have tried to herd all 50 head of cattle

Not quite loose eyes but not a BC either, would they be an option for you?
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:05 AM
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LokiofAsgard, wha t is it anout the BC you dislike? If you can define that, maybe we can help you better. There are a whole list of herding dogs out there, some better than others, depends on exactly what you want that dog to do.

Try this website: herdingontheweb - sorry my ipad don't want to paste the darn link. They have a whole list of herding dogs. Keep in mind some of those dogs are scarce, a lot don't actually do on a daily basis what they were bred to do so you might have to do some searching.
Have you looked at Australian shepherds? Or australian cattle dogs?
Also remember that within the BC breed you get extremely "sticky" dogs with a lot of eye and you get dogs eho might as well be a different breed altogether they are so different.
Also decide on whether you're going the sheep or cattle route or hoth, as that will also influence the type of dog you want. Not every dog can work cattle.
You get BC's for instance who will gladly work cattle, then you get BC's who like my Meg met her first cow and promptly decided she'll stick to goats. Her father on the other hand tried several times in his life to herd calves, especiallly the milk cows calves. He even herded pigs a few times.
Talk to breeders, meet their dogs, it's the only real way to find out about a breed.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:16 PM
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It is going to depend on what kind of trial in my opinion. AKC or ASCA is going to be better for a wider variety of breeds. They are much easier trials. USBCHA trials (which are the big sheepdog trials) really are built for border collies although every one I have attended has a handful of kelpies entered too. You will not see other breeds competing there.

Keep in mind dutchies and mals are not really bred for stock work anymore but are bred for protection work. I would expect a lot to be not really suited for serious herding.

I think it really depends on what you want, what kinds of trials, what kinds of jobs, what kinds of stock. etc

Australian cattle dog might be a good place to look depending. But yes BCs have replaced many herding breeds in most parts of the world. Other ones I know still are bred for work: English shepherd, Aussies (some), ACDs (some), Welsh sheepdog, kelpie, huntaway, hanging tree cowdog, McNab, bearded collies (rare). Pyrsheps (in native countries, also mostly replaced though), Koolie (probably import)

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Old 05-08-2015, 12:17 PM
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Also from what I know Belgians, GSDs, dutchies, etc never really were drovers but acted more as a fence for stock (I think they call them tending breeds?).

Also around here/in Texas a lot of the ranch dogs are some sort of mix of BC/ACD/Hanging Tree/McNab/Kelpie. Usually you can find them for sale as 'stockdogs'. My great uncle was a cattle rancher and he preferred his dogs to have some BC but also some ACD in them for more grit.

Last edited by Laurelin; 05-08-2015 at 12:20 PM.
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