Border Collies out all day?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by protodon, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. protodon

    protodon Songster

    Mar 3, 2009
    Here's a silly question. I have yet to get a border collie but I would like to get one to help me control my flock of birds and also my goats and keep them where they need to be. I have an acre and it is all fenced with mostly split rail covered in chicken wire. I was wondering if a well trained border collie would hang outside all day doing his job instead of say running off. I know they are dogs but I know they can be [retty committed to their work. That being said my hound mix and my lab mix will be gone in a flash if I don't keep an eye on them because they know how to get over the fence. I assume they do it because they like to explore. I know border collies are high energy dogs but are they also explorers?

  2. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    My neighbor claims that their Border Collie never leaves their yard and stays with their herd. However, it can be seen running on everybody else's property when they aren't home. It was even caught terrorizing another neighbor's chickens and trying to get into the run. Of course, they were sure that it couldn't have been their dog. [​IMG] Border collies are high energy. Some may stay close. Some may get bored and look for things to do elsewhere. There are exceptions, but herding dogs often try to herd chickens. That can easily lead to chasing and nipping, which leads to a rather exciting game of "kill the chickens." I'm sure it can be done, but it will most likely take a lot of work.
  3. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Border Collies instinct is to herd,not guard. They are SMART dogs,so anything is possible. May I suggest a guarding breed,like a Pyranese or Anatolian . My neighbor has 2 Pyrs & 1 Ana to guard her goats & flock, & they do a FINE JOB!
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I so agree with this. A border collie for protecting chickens? Not when they find out how much fun chickens are to chase. Chased chickens get really spastic and come out on the losing end.
  5. thebritt

    thebritt Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    We have a border collie that would jump our 4' fence and harass passers-by until we added lattice to heighten the fence. She helps us herd the chickens in @ night, but is not interseted in "guarding" them beyond barking at anyone walking by. We have 2 fenced/dog-proof acres. We also have a GP. He, on the other hand, does indeed guard the yard and anything in it. If he wasn't fenced in...well, they don't call them "Dis-a-pyrs" for no reason!

  6. protodon

    protodon Songster

    Mar 3, 2009
    Sounds like they're not really great to be left alone, just like any other dog I guess. I don't need one for guarding I need one to help me herd. Although part of the reason for me wanting to leave the dog outside is that the presence of a dog outside helps to deter the hawks which have become an increasing problem for me. My dogs have done a great job keeping the hawks at bay while I am at work but I only leave them out occasionally(the day after a fatality) and on a line which I don't like doing whether I am at home or away.
  7. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    Most herding breeds were developed to work in unison with a 'shepherd', and therefore crave the companionship and direction of a human. Left to their own devices, herding breeds can be very destructive. Most guard breeds were bred to be more independent, enjoying the companionship of humans, but happy with the 'family' they are guarding. Hunting breeds are focused first and foremost on the scent (or sight in some cases) of their 'prey.' While there are exceptions to every rule, it is best to get a dog bred for your needs and then educate it for your specfics.

    Border Collies are generally extreme in the energy department. They herd more by 'eye' rather than by 'bark.' They are very intelligent and need to have a job. Belgians are a close second, being a bit less intense, less eye, more bark. Shelties, Collies & Corgis tend to be more bark, almost no eye. None are truly happy alone ... they like being with their people.
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I would say your BC will scale that fence in short order. I have a BC/lab mix that helps my GP/lab mix guard the chickens. They have a good perimeter fence but this would never keep them from wandering if they chose to do so....I added a wireless electric containment system that has worked wonders! I have had it for 4 years now without one incident. I can move the boundaries to suit our current situation, I can take it on vacation with me if I choose so the dogs can't wander away from camp, and it seems to be much stronger than an in ground system.

    My BC is very high energy, so it helps that he has another dog to take out his excess energy upon, plus sheep to play with also. Because he is high energy, he creates the illusion of much activity going on in this yard, which seems to help repel hawks and eagles.
  9. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    DD rescued a border collie/cattle dog mix this past summer. We had to take her out on a leash because her instinct was to herd the birds. One day she slipped out the door faster than we could catch her. She grabbed every bird with her mouth until we screamed; let go and caught another one. I think at one point she had mouthed every bird. To her credit she did not hurt them but given the chance I think she would have. She's found another home now so I'm a bad one to ask about this breed. I do have to highly recommend a lab though. Our lab was excellent with the birds and never bothered them at all. He did bark when there was a problem and he kept the predators away just by being there. DD moved out and took him with her and now I'm having predator problems :-(

  10. Brody's Broodello

    Brody's Broodello Songster

    Jan 9, 2009
    We have 3 border collies. My male is an obediance champion. He has a get working attitude. He will wait to be told what to do and is on the more layed back side. He herds well, my females on the other hand. We they have a very high drive. One works more off of eye(tries to stare things down) the other will grip stock(bite them in the butt!) I can never let the females out with the birds. They will work the birds into exhaustion, constantly gathering them into tight bunches. That is if the birds don't try to scatter. If so the feathers start to fly. If the girls are out in the yard & the birds are in their run. Well the female BC's will go round & round the runs for hours trying to "herd" the birds. Now we have a Golden Retriever that is our Gaurdian livestock dog. He never bothers the birds at all. He has the run of the property at night. You can find him laying down with the sheep & goats or even the horses as they eat. He partols and barks at anything, especially strange dogs,which he doesn't like. Since he has been on duty we haven't had a problem with night prowlers. He has even chased off foxes during the day. He was raised with the BC's, so if a sheep is out, he runs mad dash up to them, when they turn and run, (that's a trigger for BC's to start moving the stock) he just stops and stands there, looking very confused. As a pup, he would chase them with the BC's, but on his own, with no instinct to trigger him, that is as far as he get's. Poor thing!

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