Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques, Books, Friends
Posted March 26, 2013
Australian Shepherd and Border Collie Mix
My dog Ozzie was easily the most well behaved and obedient dog I have ever known. The Australian Shepherd in him made him the perfect guard dog and the Border Collie in him made the perfect dog for following orders. He was able to learn tricks with relative ease and was even smart enough to learn tricks he aw other dogs performing. He was always cautious with newcomers (human, canine, and feline) but quickly made friends with everyone he ever came into contact with. (The attached photo shows how generous he was.) He never once snapped at someone or got into any real dog fights, although after he was attacked by our cat once, he started growling at her if she got too close.
The worst thing about this particular mix is easily the shedding. It felt like no matter what time of year it was, you could always get a good clump of hair off his back with just a simple petting. Regular grooming is obviously a great idea for this mix but that can be as simple as a good 5 minute combing which is what we used to do. Most dogs of his size also experience hip problems and typically don't live very long but Ozzie managed to live to age 16 and only had hip issues during the last couple years he was live. This was also the point when he started having hearing loss. He was always a bit of a barker (it didn't take more than a knock on the door to get a good howl out of him) but once his hearing started to go away is when it got to be a little too much. He often barked for no reason or at nothing but we attribute this entirely to the deafness. There were a few occasions when he was able to escape our house/backyard and he definitely enjoyed exploring the neighborhood. This was always a little scary just because no one likes to have their pet run away but we were always confident that he would come home eventually if we couldn't find him.
If you're looking for a safe, well behaved, protective dog with amazing obedience and loyalty, an Ausralian Shepherd/Border Collie mix is the way to go. If you have allergies though, it might be a good idea to seek a less hairy alternative.