aussie vs. bc, part 2

I went to my Grandfather’s funeral yesterday. After the funeral we had the wake, and during both these I learnt a lot about a man who is known throughout the sailing world as having ‘done it all’ and gotten to the top of the game. I could go to any yacht club in Australia, tell them who he was, and they’d know. But before he got into sailing, he raced speed boats and cars, and one day he fell in love with sailing, and poured everything into becoming the best. And it made me think that he didn’t get sentimental about giving up one type of racing for another, he didn’t get sentimental about changing the design of his boats when he needed to, he did what he needed to do to have the best gear for the job.

Which brings me back to my former debate. Well… no, I was back on this debate before the funeral but this just added to my thoughts.

So, the kennel that breeds a large number of the agility borders has a puppy available. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he’s available now. He’s black and white, he looks remarkably like Badger (I joked with Penny that I could name him Badgertoo), and is described as being very high drive, confident, with a great toy and tug drive, goes crazy for food, already has great acceleration, is athletic in build and has long legs. Said that he has the potential to be a top agility dog.  Sounds pretty good…

So I saw him and I started thinking about borders again. I thought about how some people suggest that you should get a dog that fits your personality. Here’s my personality: serious, a thinker, driven and focused, a perfectionist, hard on self when I get things wrong, ponders problems and tries different solutions.

Here’s a border collie personality, as far as I know: serious & intense, a thinker, driven and focused, willing to keep working even in the face of being wrong, ponders problems and tries different solutions.

Here’s an Aussie shepherd personality (except Lu, she’s just weird): Laid back, more ‘goofy’, driven but not extreme, happy-go-lucky, will do a job ‘well enough’, doesn’t like being wrong but would rather shut down than try again and again.

See my point here?
So then, in my analytical kind of way, I made a list of the differences between BCs and Aussies in general (and I know, these don’t all apply to all BCs or all Aussies or whatever.)

+ and -s for BCs:

+faster in agility

+more stamina, more drive, more intensity

+just more willing to work, and do it at high speed

+less ‘hunt’?

+less guard barking (some)


+better stride and jumping style than the typical Aussie

-not so much personality toward people when out in a group situation

-don’t know how to play with other dogs? 

-tendency to knock bars

-more intensity/drive means more work to wear them out?

-can’t breed/develop my own lines with this dog if I were to get him.



+fun personalities. You can’t help but love an Aussie.

+the potential for breeding and developing my own lines (but do I want to with Miss. “Could give a crap” Lumen?/Can’t jump properly Lumen?)

+don’t tend to knock bars

-bouncy, inefficient stride

-don’t tend to ‘give their all’ in training

-love to guard bark

-love to chase wildlife

-certainly not as intense as a BC, more laid back


Yeah. So… that’s where I’m at. 


Sometimes I look at Lu and I wonder what I did wrong. Did I overtrain her (probably), do to many cik/caps (yes), not make toys and playing fun enough? Is it something that I did to make her not the dog I thought she’d be, or is that just how she is? Maybe it’s a mix of both. But wouldn’t it be nice to just get a dog who fricken loves to work. Who’ll throw itself into its job and run full speed to a static toy, and think that a shitty tug is wonderful and who actually does the things I want to do? Like running really fast and not having to stand around at a tunnel because if I start to move they’ll launch bars. And wouldn’t it be fun for Lu to have a friend who plays with her and maybe they’ll play the crazy BC-running game where I can say “GO GO!” and they just run together. And wouldn’t it be great for Lu to not be the only agility dog, and maybe the dog I want to breed with and maybe that means she has to prove herself doubly as much as if she was just a random dog. 

So I sent the breeder a message. Who knows, maybe somebody’s already taken him, maybe I just want to know more and then I’ll decide no. No harm in asking though, right?


4 thoughts on “aussie vs. bc, part 2

  1. ooooh, I really like the story about your grandfather and the love of one sport, but then changing it all up to do another. I wonder if that’s a building into something else, or a complete 180? You know? like… did he build up to the yacht thing by starting with cars, etc…? or are they so totally different that you just leave one… to be with the other. Hard to say.

    But yeah, there’s NO REASON to feel like you’ve abdicated something for something else. They’re still dogs, and it’s still agility.

    Let us know what you hear from the BC breeder!

    • Em says:

      Thanks Rosie. 🙂 There’s this fear in me, as you know, that I’m ‘abandoning’ Aussies, but there’s also the practicality in me that says: “If you want to be at the top, you need the right dog”. Maybe there’s an Aussie that’s the right dog, maybe there’s not.
      I think Grandpa had his love of racing and competing with the speed boats and then the cars. One day he was invited to join the crew of the Winston Churchill (A sailing boat) to do the Sydney to Hobart (a very famous yacht race that’s held every year starting on boxing day). From that moment, he stopped racing cars and took up sailing yachts. So I think that competitive, racing spirit was already there in one form but it was the actual sport of yachting he fell in love with. And designed his own boats, built them in his factories, etc. He was lucky enough to have the resources to be able to do so and dogs are different because they’re not machines, but I still like the story. 🙂

      I heard from her last night- the boy is still available, and I’m giving her a call today to chat about him.

  2. He sounds like a very interesting man! You are lucky to have someone in your life like that for inspiration. People who follow their joy? THOSE are the luckiest people (and we know it’s not luck… it’s that faith in doing what feels right in your heart). I hope you find that faith too.

    As for abandoning the Aussies. Pfft. Many many many people will still get them, train them, let them get fat! (lol!!) and enjoy them. Funny eh? How we’d feel like we’re leaving “our people” when in fact, they’re just a dog breed, much like any other. I know there are many people who feel that way about rescue too… like if they get a puppy from a breeder, they’re abandoning rescue dogs altogether. But I don’t think that’s fair. Pfft, opinions.. we all have them!

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa. He sounds like a pretty inspiring guy!
    So… yeah, many more pluses on the BC side. Badgertoo sounds like a very promising puppy. I can see why this is tempting!

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