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Gail Posted - 10/24/2007 : 9:19:51 PM
I've currently got two dogs I'm working with that are each about 60 pounds. One's a border collie/lab mix, the other is a rescued mixbreed. I've got a couple of border collie pups that I will be starting (eventually, but that's another question - what age is best?) There's quite a size difference in the pups. The male pup (at 7 months) is about 50 pounds, but his sister is only 38. How will this affect where I put her in the team, or will it? Is it more to do with attitude and running ability or size? They are farm dogs, running around daily off leash with me and she's very speedy and intense, he's a bit more laid back. On leash he walks along nicely, she pulls like a freight train, really digging right in. On the one hand, I'd like her to walk quietly on leash, but I don't want to do anything that will make her reluctenct to pull in harness. She has a very dominant, outgoing personality and if she digs in when hooked up to the sled the way she does on leash I could see running her in lead with one of the other dogs that I've already got going. Can a little 38 pound dog run well beside a 60 pounder?
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MegC Posted - 10/25/2007 : 09:34:21 AM
I have two girls that weighed in just under 30 lbs at the vets this fall. Jeez, I thought for sure they weighed a little more than that!!! Anyway they're not holding us up on speed or endurance and both lead. GREAT dogs. Yeah, it would be nice if they weighed another 10 or 15 pounds and I could get a little more power, but I'll be lucky to own another leader like the oldest in my lifetime.
Gail Posted - 10/25/2007 : 09:28:10 AM
Guess I'd better start teaching her some leash manners. I walk her most every morning, down the road to meet the schoolbus and she's so excited to go that she really tugs. She'll stop when I tell her "whoa", but as soon as we walk on she's pulling hard again.

Originally posted by Cliff Maxfield

Of all the screw ups I've made over the years probably my biggest was underestimating a thirty pound bitch.

I can certainly appreciate that, I was only going to get one pup and was leaning towards a male. Since border collies can range in size so much I figured that a male pup would have better potential to grow up closer to the size of my other dogs and would fit in better. The female pup was just so sweet though that I couldn't pass her up and now it looks like she's the one that could possibly have more potential for sledding. Of course, I won't really know too much until I get working them, at this point I'm judging a lot just by their personalities and the way they interact as a pack. What I'm seeing from her is that she has very much the same kind of personality and drive as Lightning (who will be my lead dog). She also seems to think the sun rises and sets with him and shadows him everywhere. I think they should run well beside each other if the size difference won't be a big issue. He is a pretty leggy 60 pounds. I think he stands about 24" at the shoulder and she was only about 18" last time I measured. She's still growing though. The pups are 7 months now, what is a good age to start working with them? How much work, how often etc.?
Ice Posted - 10/25/2007 : 08:05:29 AM
Hi Gail
What I have learned in past 9 months about pulling and my husky is that they must NEVER pull on a lead. They can get hurt by pulling on lead in their throats. I use a halti/gentle leader collar. I first started to put a white elastic around her mouth and tied it behind the ears, so that she could get use to something being there and then immediataly gave her treats so that she could see that she can still move her mouth. They are super intelligent and she will know that diffrent gear means diffrent activities. So then we went over to the halti and a walking harness. You will also need a "multti" purpose lead for the halti/lead to connect. You won't believe the diffrence. and then a harness for pulling will do that job. Ice is now 9 months old and she knows what we use for what activity, so don't worry it will be fine
Cliff Maxfield Posted - 10/25/2007 : 07:43:39 AM
Of all the screw ups I've made over the years probably my biggest was underestimating a thirty pound bitch. She's nine/ten now and should have been my super dog but I was to blind to see. Her brother weights about thirty eight pounds and is intact still but she is spade. He's good- she is better. I wish now I could clone her.
Especially if running a large team I honestly think the way to go is with the small dog. They load easily, can double up in a truck box, are just quick and light and pound for pound carry as much or more payload than the big dog- 65lb. They eat half as much.
I went back to the drawing board but the other small dogs I have just don't have the good bloodlines Gracie has. Live and learn.
Razor Posted - 10/25/2007 : 07:36:10 AM
I aquired a dog from Tim Hunt this fall that came out of a Doug Swingley dog bred to Tims Border Collie. He is about 40# and runs in lead with my exceptionally leggy 60# dog and has no problem keeping up, he is also probably the most intelligent dog on the team, which is sure to be an asset. Don't worry about size difference to much, most of the time they will figure things out.

Margaret Posted - 10/25/2007 : 07:00:56 AM
We've got a little, 35lb female that is an awesome leader. She will MAKE a bigger dog take the right (or left) turn, NOT let them stop to pee, and bark at them if they don't keep their tug line tight. It can work !
You may have to lengthen her tug line, so that she and the dog she is beside are neck-and-neck, though. Or, shorten the other dogs.
We don't really work at teaching our dogs leash commands, at least until we've worked with them on line (pulling), but that doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be done.
Dogs are smarter than we sometimes give them credit for, and most don't have a problem learning to pull in harness, but NOT pull on leash (especially when they realize pulling in harness provides less choking than pulling on leash !)
Dougskijors Posted - 10/25/2007 : 06:22:49 AM
I use a gentle leader for walks to maintain the distinction from harness pulling.
My little 40 lb husky/border collie is my best dog and outpulls two larger dogs.
odaroloc Posted - 10/24/2007 : 10:09:17 PM
Hi, Gail-
My team has all gone through obidience training. They learn pretty readily to pull in harness, but not on leash if you are 100% consistent with that. No pulling on the leash, always pulling in harness.

We also have a 30 pound shrimp (but don't tell her that) who runs next to a really leggy 60 pound hound just fine. In fact, sometimes she runs UNDER him and they never manage to tangle or even break stride. The little one is such a great dog with a great heart that I'd take a whole team of shrimps if they were like Sally dog!

Hope that helps you.

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