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Border collies/English Shepherds vs. the World

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:24 pm
by Jeano
Every single border or ES that Ole and I have met, has, in varying degree, been super snarky or even out and out wants to KILL him. (Ironically one of the therapy dogs in our organization, so frustrating).
It happened again yesterday with a border and I really want to know what is triggering this. I considered getting an ES, but not if it means these breeds will be no fun to have around other dogs, since I do therapy dog work and they need to be great with other dogs.

Ole is Mr. Happy, is submissive, but is not shy. With any other breed that is normally friendly, he is fine and they play like old friends.Including little dogs, terriers, mutts, really bitey puppies, big, small, no problem. He has never even squinted at another dog, much less growled.

However he does want to walk up, sniff noses, and since his buddy Sofia passed, he IS a little desperate for friends to play with. He's 12 but acts 7.

So, is it maybe that he is too eager? He doesn't jump or paw...he will play is ONLY those two breeds that seem to hate him. What am I missing? I am developing fear of those breeds myself if I have Ole with me. At this point, avoid avoid avoid.

Re: Border collies/English Shepherds vs. the World

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:20 pm
by connie
I haven't met enough English Shepherds to comment, but I sure have met enough Border Collies, and taking exception to Ole is not what the breed is about. You may have met some jerk BCs.

However, as the owner of a Finnish Lapphund who arouses antagonism of un-met dogs at a distance, I'd bet that Ole shares characteristics that Alex has that account for that: A very upright stance, a tail that falls forward and curls over, prick ears, and a direct approach. Your comment that he likes to meet and sniff noses is part of that. Herding dogs want an oblique approach, in general. Ole is too direct. :grin: Alex doesn't share the approach, but he does share the physical characteristics that cause other dogs to think his stance is too direct and verging on confrontational.

Re: Border collies/English Shepherds vs. the World

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:52 pm
by Jeano
Connie, I think that's pretty right on. My neighbor, also a dog nerd person, reflected and said maybe he looks too feral/wolfy to a dog that has been bred to guard lifestock. Or smells too "wild." Elkhounds are an extremely old breed, so there's that. Maybe...

The problems have come when someone says, "Oh, my dog loves other dogs," and then the Border collie starts growling. Not a play growl. Yesterday the owner was surprised, but put her dog back in her car when I asked. Ole was 6 ft away from the dog and it was clear she growled. I didn't want to risk having her 2 yr old beating up my 12-yr old.

This is the third time it has happened. The BC that is part of our therapy dog organization literally stalked Ole for an entire meeting of the group. Lunging and snapping if we got near, and during the entire hour meeting totally stared at him with unfriendly intent. BCs do stare, and stalk, it's what they do, it's their job. But not to a dog 25 feet away. The owner was talking with other people, just holding the leash. Meanwhile her dog was totally fixated on Ole. I'm a board member, I couldn't leave. It was unnerving. And yes, I did bring it up to the organization, the dogs are supposed to be dog friendly. So that was the worst experience by far. This dog has always snapped at him, even when he's not paying attention to her.

Re: Border collies/English Shepherds vs. the World

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:14 am
by connie
Border Collies don't stare at and stalk other dogs. Prey animals, and cats, but not other dogs. That's a neurotic Border Collie you met, and I would bet that its owner is complicit in its emotional state. And why was she allowing that behavior by her dog as she just stood talking to someone? Jerk alert ...

One of my trainers says she has never met so many anxious and fearful dogs as she sees now. It makes sense, though: dogs are the canaries in the coal mine. WE are anxious and stressed to a level we never have been before. We are afraid of other people, of unknown threats, and of our very environment -- and with good reason. Dogs, who are so much more emotionally attuned to their surroundings, of course would reflect that, and share it.

No offense, but anyone who takes the word of someone that their dog is friendly, is not really paying attention. Those dog owners don't know from 'friendly' and as with the BC owner, they will let their dogs engage in all sorts of unwanted, rude and threatening behavior AT THE EXPENSE OF YOUR DOG. I've had people tell me they think donald trump will be a fine President, and my eye-rolling response is the same as my response to 'oh, my dog is friendly!' 'You're a delusional nitwit, get away from me' is how I would summarize it.

In the nature preserve where I go frequently with my dogs, members' dogs can be off-leash if they are under voice control. It's rare that we meet other dogs out there, but even once or twice encountering someone who thinks that 'under voice control' means shouting their dog's name eighty-five times as the dog bounds around riling up my dogs has made me wary. Now, whenever we see another dog and owner at the preserve, I ostentatiously step OFF the trail, call all my dogs around me, and put them on sits that I reward with treats until the other dog and owner are past us. The people who know us just say hi and keep going, the people who don't know us might say 'oh, my dog is friendly!' thinking I will release my dogs, but I don't. I say 'how nice for you, we are working here' and we let them get out of sight before I release my dogs back to the trail.

I wish I could take the word of people who say 'oh, my dog is friendly!' but I can't. And I won't make my dogs pay the price for that.