Border collies vs Australian shepherds

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Kasidy, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. Kasidy

    Kasidy Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if some of you who have actually had both breeds could sort of compare and contrast them. Regarding temperments, typical personalities, strong or weak points. We have a dozen cows and 60 head of ewes and "work" them with a small female border collie. She isn't professionally trained, but between her natural instinct, the obedience training I gave her, and her close oberservation of our previous stock dog she learned to do a good job for us. She is getting a few years on her I would like to get another dog for her to train---and to give her a little back up with some of the cows. She is very good for her size (30 lbs), but sometimes a little timid around the cows when they get "on the prod" a little bit. There seem to be quite a few border collies and Australian shepherds available in this area. Advertised as "ranch raised" and "from working parents."
    Are AS as good with sheep as a BC? I don't want a biter. Is an AS smart in the same way that a BC is? Do they tend to be a bit more aggressive? I know I don't want a dog as aggressive as a Heeler around the sheep and goats. I sure would appreciate any input you people who have used both types of dogs on livestock can give me.
     
  2. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    Does it count if we have a Border Collie/Aussie cross?? LOL She is 12 and is a wonderful dog. Still good working instincts, but not as intense as either purebred....still pretty intense though I guess. She is as tough as nails and yet sensitive enough to respond very well to regular training methods. The F1 crosses are more durable with regards to health. We will replace her with another in a heartbeat although we are not looking forward to that day.
     

  3. ranlan

    ranlan Active Member

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    Kasidy,
    I have Border Collies but have never owned an Aussie. From my experience Border Collies are the favorite of people who do stock dog trials. I realize that isn't what you intend to do, but the Border Collie excels at working stock. May I suggest you find someone in your area who works Border Collies, spend time with them, learn how they train their dogs, what commands they use, etc. Personally from seeing both breeds work, I prefer the Border Collie.

    Randy
    SW MO
     
  4. Pops2

    Pops2 Well-Known Member

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    in this case i think the breed is less important than how the parents work. remember although trialing is great fun & does work the dog it isn't identical to genuine farm work & you should look for working farm dogs to have the best chance of getting a working farm dog. just as you should always buy hunting dogs in the field or from parents you've hunted w/, you should see an older dog actually work or the parents of the pup you're considering. they should work the way YOU like or don't waste your money. other breeds you may want to consider depending on where you're at are McNabs, farm sheperds, and farm collies. avoid curs & heelers they tend to be too rough on sheep although they are great on free ranged cattle. my observation of the one aussie i've seen was it only got rough on rough stock like cattle & horses.
     
  5. ranlan

    ranlan Active Member

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    I agree with what Pops has to say about working parents, but here in SW MO, most of the trial dogs are working dogs at home. Trials are a great way to meet people who use their dogs and know about training them, plus they are fun to watch!!!
     
  6. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    I think border collies are more intense. Smarter & have to be kept working. I love Aussies. I have a aussie/heeler cross. Excellent dog. He's my second one. Great guard dog & very loyal.
    I too, believe in cross breeds for the same reason as John S.
    Just my pennies worth...
     
  7. CountryGoalie

    CountryGoalie Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever considered an English Shepherd?

    Visit farmcollie.com to learn more about them...
     
  8. Kasidy

    Kasidy Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the replies. Wish I could go to aa sheep dog trial or get training from someone, but there is nothing like that (that I've ever heard of, anyway) up here in northern Montana.
    I like what several of you said about crosses. Co-incidentally talking to my niece last night she mentioned a friend who has an AS female dog that he breeds once a year to a BC that supposedly has really nice working pups. The main thing was I don't want a dog that has tendencies to get too rough with sheep. (Though I have been known to want to get rough with them at times!)
    Thanks
     
  9. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Contact Judie@amistadaussies.com. She is in Montana. Aussies can do it all but are not as intense as BC's. They are an all around good farm dog. Our Aussies are from Mistretta and Twin Oaks and Slash V lines which herd primarily sheep and cattle and ducks. If you Google search Aussies you can find other breeders and clubs in your area. Email me at hsnrs@localnet.com for more info.
     
  10. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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  11. titansrunfarm

    titansrunfarm The Awesome PT & Friends

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    I have jusy gotten an australian shepherd/labrador retriever cross, don't know wether he'll end up herding my critters or carrying them home. LOL. Either one you choose, Good Luck and Merry Christmas.
     
  12. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    By nature Border collies are fetching dogs - they go to the sheep and bring them back to you. Aussies and Healers are driving dogs that go with you and drive sheep where you want them to go. BC save all the walking and can be trained to drive too.
     
  13. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a dog who's mom is a purebred Border collie. Her dad was a roving farm dog who resembled an Aussie. Zoe is a big dog and our vet thinks her dad was part regular collie also. She is a good watch dog, is not hyper and is good with our goats. My friend has a Purebred Aussie and a Border Collie - Aussie. They are both good with her goats, but the mixed breed is gentler on the whole.
     
  14. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    LOL, you just reminded me of Ben, the Golden Retriever I had years ago. I did NOT train him as a duck herding dog. He trained himself!

    Some mean kids next door kept letting my rather large flock of ducks out of their pen. The ducks would scatter all over the country. When I would discover the ducks were roaming, I would just tell Ben, "Go get the ducks". He would spend hours if need be rounding them all up until he got the entire group together and then herd them home. That dog saved me an incredible amount of time and grief.

    His biggest bad habit was all the baby animals he kept finding in the woods and bringing home!
     
  15. Pops2

    Pops2 Well-Known Member

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    titansrunfarm
    if you're relying on the shelter's assesment, don't. i have seen pure catahoulas labelled exactly that & blackmouth curs as "labs or lab mixes" & every black dog is a lab mix & every brindle dog is a pit mix & every red dog w/ a black mask is a boxer mix. seriously it's like if the breed isn't in my old 1936 dog encyclopedia it doesn't exist to most of these places. i have also seen dogs clearly & (i believe) intentionally mislabelled as something more popular & adoptable.