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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there!

Since we are getting a new addition to the family next year, I was wondering if maybe some owners of Berger Blanc Suisse, Belgian Malinois, Sporting Lab, Border Collies, and other "working" dogs could perhaps shed me a bit of light on owning the aforementioned dog breeds. Our current dog is quite active, but with age comes more calm as they say, so she's quite an allrounder with temperament it seems. Her drive comes in portions, and since we give her enough exercise and activity/work, she is pretty much always very easygoing once we're back in "non-active" mode. I am currently in training to become a dog trainer, and would like to practice sports more seriously.

I know some breeds are mellower than others, or more hyperactive, etc. but all in all, it comes down to the individual dog. Just thought I might ask you guys for YOUR experience and feedback. Would love it if you could help!

Thank you!
 

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All of the breeds you listed are high energy, high intelligence breeds. What are your plans for the dog? Sports? Work? I would say not a single one of those breeds would do well without consistent high levels of work and training.
 

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Hi!

I have a BC, they're phenomenal dogs and I'll never have another breed - they are seriously amazing. Due to some breeding for conformation/show you can find some very un-Border Collie like BCs - low drive/no eye, tons of coat etc so they're practically not even Border Collies.

Now, they're not for everyone. They can be neurotic, obsessive, and very mouthy. They're also VERY soft. A sharp look can melt your Border Collie into a puddle and make them not want to work with you. The pros are that they're wicked smart, beautiful and take to training very easily.

I know you said your current dog likes to wrestle? Border Collies (in general) do NOT. They like racing/running/chasing games, and can get quite offended by wrestling.

Malinois are...intense. Seriously. They are VERY high drive, and I seriously would only recommend them if you're interested in IPO/protection sports or very high levels of obedience.

I think a lab bred for sports would be an awesome companion for you!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
All of the breeds you listed are high energy, high intelligence breeds. What are your plans for the dog? Sports? Work? I would say not a single one of those breeds would do well without consistent high levels of work and training.
Sports and work mostly. My current dog is a rescue with a very traumatic background, so we had to a lot of work with her with everyday stuff. We do do sports with her, might go into RO competition, but that's it. She's just not that type of dog. Loves to play with other dogs though, and I use a food dummy to motivate her energy levels. Will also have to do obedience exams, and my trainer outworking practice with her.

In general, I will be working with dogs for quite a while, so I want to get a dog that is in general very eager to please with working and sports. I am open to most sports, as I would have to see what the dog loves and excels at.
 

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Hi!

I have a BC, they're phenomenal dogs and I'll never have another breed - they are seriously amazing. Due to some breeding for conformation/show you can find some very un-Border Collie like BCs - low drive/no eye, tons of coat etc so they're practically not even Border Collies.

Now, they're not for everyone. They can be neurotic, obsessive, and very mouthy. They're also VERY soft. A sharp look can melt your Border Collie into a puddle and make them not want to work with you. The pros are that they're wicked smart, beautiful and take to training very easily.

I know you said your current dog likes to wrestle? Border Collies (in general) do NOT. They like racing/running/chasing games, and can get quite offended by wrestling.

Malinois are...intense. Seriously. They are VERY high drive, and I seriously would only recommend them if you're interested in IPO/protection sports or very high levels of obedience.

I think a lab bred for sports would be an awesome companion for you!
I've always loved BCs and Malinois, but I'm very aware of the work that goes with them. My dog generally adapts to most dogs with play, she does have a few BC friends with whom she chases and runs around with. She's very fast and usually likes to be the one that is chased, which sometimes makes me very wary of other playmates, I make sure she only plays with dogs where it's almost 50/50 in who chases who. The only thing is, she's all out when she plays. She gets a lot of momentum and we've gotten very far with her body awareness, but I still would not let her play with a small or brittle dog on an open field. Contained space, yes.

My favorites are either a sporting lab or a Berger Blanc, I know quite a few of either breeds, and I've done a lot of research on them, too. Sports and work, yes, but I would trim the sport variety down to what the dog loves and is good at. I don't want to say "Oh, I want to do Schutzhund" or "Oh, I want to do agility" and then try and force a dog into an occupation they simply aren't comfortable with.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What sports are you considering. Scent work? Coursing? Flyball? That would weigh into any advice we could give you.
I'm open to most sports, but in general probably more things like obedience work and "fast, agile" sports like agility. I don't want to narrow it down, willing to do any kind of work with the dog as long as the dog likes it.
 

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Oh that's hard then. I mean if Obedience, either of the breeds you mentioned could work. If you're wanting to do bite work of course a Mal is the best pick (also versatile so agility, obedience and many others are on the table). If you want to go agility a BC would be the top contender with other sport options being disc, obedience, herding. A field bred lab is great for obedience but can do dock diving, hunting, agility, Have you considered an Aussie?
 

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It sounds like you aren't into any sports right now? In that case, you want the sporting lab.

BCs, Mals, and the other herding dogs are really handler-focused and smart which means that are not good dogs to learn a sport with. They will pick up on every little error you make and take it for fact. It is much less frustrating to learn a sport with the type of dog that can go "Oh. this is different now? Okay" instead of one that insists that the first way is the right way no matter what.
 

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It sounds like you aren't into any sports right now? In that case, you want the sporting lab.

BCs, Mals, and the other herding dogs are really handler-focused and smart which means that are not good dogs to learn a sport with. They will pick up on every little error you make and take it for fact. It is much less frustrating to learn a sport with the type of dog that can go "Oh. this is different now? Okay" instead of one that insists that the first way is the right way no matter what.
I'm sorry I wrote it so vague. Going out and saying it is not my forte, haha, but yes, I've done agility work, RO, longing (lunging? don't know what it's called in English) and am starting more obedience. I forgot to mention, that it won't be for another year or two (more the latter), when I've gotten more training in dog training and sports and such. Depending on the experience I guess, I'll decide when to get much later on. I have other dogs I can do sports with (not my own) until then to gather experience. Mals are off the list anyway, probs. Not until much later in life would I even consider one, I think. More experience with sports and so on. But thank you! I can definitely see what you mean.
 

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Oh that's hard then. I mean if Obedience, either of the breeds you mentioned could work. If you're wanting to do bite work of course a Mal is the best pick (also versatile so agility, obedience and many others are on the table). If you want to go agility a BC would be the top contender with other sport options being disc, obedience, herding. A field bred lab is great for obedience but can do dock diving, hunting, agility, Have you considered an Aussie?
Yes, I've considered an Aussie. :) And yeah, I guess I just have to wait until it's closer to when I'm actually getting the dog (another year or two, more the latter).
 

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I would recommend seeing if there are events near you. If there are go and talk to the handlers. Watch how the different dogs work and see what people with first hand knowledge of the breeds in the area that you want to focus in have to say about the breed. It's also a great place to find and talk to possible breeders.
 
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