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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im not sure if its in the wrong section or not, but oh well

I today asked my agility teacher what she thought of Australian Shepherds. She told me that they were too heavy, and would be much slower than my current dog (who is a working labrador), and that I would be disappointed, and they were no where near as fast as a border collie.

Im not sure what to think of this. I am sure there are differences in lines and breeders, but I really do love to work fast dogs and am thinking even the working bred dogs still might not be as fast as my current dog.
Since i love running fast dogs, i dont really want a dog that is slower than my boy. Its just a lot more fun and exciting with faster dogs, even if they get eliminated xD

Im wondering what aussie owners think about this?
 

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As a long time agility competitor and trial watcher/worker your teacher is all wet. Aussies are fabulous if generally noisy agility dogs. The best Aussie I've seen beats the best Lab by a mile. Labs generally cannot turn as quickly as Aussies so if you are doing well with your current dog an Aussie might give you a tiny advantage in directing him/her.

If you want a fast dog then get a Papillon. They put up better times than any other dog out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Well, by a fast lab, I am talking the same speed as the working border collies in the class with the same amount of drive. So, perhaps if I said border collie, then maybe it would be better. He is from very strong working lines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHASoDtglFI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijr6ew8fzvw

Im talking this speed here of the Aussies in these videos, im wondering if this is average for an Aussie, or if they are usually faster? or if working lines are faster than show lines, etc.
I dont really know the average speed of an Aussie since they are not common in the UK so I cannot know how fast they are usually.
 

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Times are going to vary with *all* dogs within breeds. What's typical? I don't know. I compete in agility. I see about an equal number of BCs and Aussies these days, with not a few labs and goldens in the mix.

Which breed as a whole is fastest? No freaking idea. I can tell you that the fastest individual dog is a lab, but if you average it all - well, there's a slowish working lab, a slow aussie, and a really slow BC. There is the smoking fast lab, but she's owned by the most experienced competitor. The fastest BC is also the sloppiest and most likely to blow Qs thanks to just being TOO fast for his handler (and he's 4-5 years old now, and the trainer is relatively experienced - there's just TOO MUCH THERE). His claim to fame is racking up *120 Faults* on a single course. The fastest and most consistent dog is probably an aussie, and we have some BCs rocking it out, too, but. And there are probably a half all those breeds falling somewhere between. And this is only a sampling from my local club.

I mean. I know you're looking for a 'usually', but IMO, there just isn't one. The fastest dog I know, period, is a 12" (jump height, actual height isn't far off, though - maybe 13?), absolutely undentifiable little black mutt, and she's also one of the cleanest/has the best Q rate.

So. Um. Look at the lines your individual dog is coming from, is about all I can tell you. That's the only really good information you're going to get, IMO.
 

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If you have an absolute need for speed, then your best bet is most likely a sporting bred Border Collie. Though individual dog is definitely more important.

Aussies seem to vary a lot. Some are very intense, some not so much. I personally think they do pretty darn well as a whole.. but maybe not as fast as the Border Collies on average. My Aussie actually has more drive than my Border and is very fast. She is a little versatile bred 35lb female with nice, light bone. So.. you can definitely find an Aussie with a need for speed but you'll want to work with a breeder who knows how to choose a good drive pup for you. I prefer the overall temperament of the Aussie over the Border Collie. Border Collies are absolute weirdos. Intriguing.. but seriously weirdos.

Note: This is my own experiences only.
 

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Also yes, my experiences only, too.

I just don't think it's a simple equation and since I'm thinking about this lately - I'm going to ramble.

The slow aussie I mentioned - I've known him for years and he's owned by a friend. He trots through the course, at best. I always thought he was older than he was, and he misses a lot of Qs to being overtime. But, then I saw him lure coursing and playing frisbee and lol, no. Dog just tolerates agility but isn't in love with it. Owner runs other dogs who adore it, but it's just not his thing.

I know an aussie who can be crazy fast, but is also really sensitive and can go from blazing fast to basically plodding the course if stress gets her.

I absolutely know a ton of BCs who are blazing fast and drivey but have temperament issues that preclude them from competing (LOL, do I ever), and dogs who either tear down beautiful Qs with really fast times a few times a year but the rest of the time they're faulting out in big ways because their brains fell out. I watched an Aussie do that in my last class because by GOD he was not listening or waiting for his handler :p (I love that dog)

I've seen Brit. Spaniels tearing it up and pulling in beautiful Qs (or failing to pull them in because WHEE, but that's all dogs). Heck, I know a beagle who does really well and goes really fast.

I really think you just need to go to a sport breeder and look at what they're producing and see if it's what you like. OP, do you have a YPS for your lab? What kind of fast are you talking about here, objectively, as opposed to in comparison to other dogs you personally know?
 

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Look at dogs going to World Team and such. How many Labs do you see there? How many Aussies? Working bred Aussies are a lot like working bred BCs, show dogs are probably more heavily built and less drivy. Same thing applies to labs of course.

Some poor handling going on in both those videos. My lab mix went zoomies if I handled poorly, maybe that's the difference between labs and herding dogs. Labs go play on their own and herders face you and bark. I'd get more points than intended in gamblers when Sassy the lab mix went zoomie on course for instance. It isn't easy to get a dog out of your face once you mess up, it isn't easy to get a dog back on course if you mess up. I preferred Max the spaniel mix's way of coming to me to Sassy's away she goes if I lost the dog's focus.
 

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Look at dogs going to World Team and such. How many Labs do you see there? How many Aussies? Working bred Aussies are a lot like working bred BCs, show dogs are probably more heavily built and less drivy. Same thing applies to labs of course.

Some poor handling going on in both those videos. My lab mix went zoomies if I handled poorly, maybe that's the difference between labs and herding dogs. Labs go play on their own and herders face you and bark. I'd get more points than intended in gamblers when Sassy the lab mix went zoomie on course for instance. It isn't easy to get a dog out of your face once you mess up, it isn't easy to get a dog back on course if you mess up. I preferred Max the spaniel mix's way of coming to me to Sassy's away she goes if I lost the dog's focus.
I have absolutely seen BC run off and do extra things as a result of late cues, but honestly only one obstacle ahead/ie: not pulling off in time.

And I finally watched those videos and yeah, there's some bad handling there. Not that I'm great, but there's a lot of frustration barking from the dogs as a result of late or unclear cues from the handlers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hmm, Id love to give a video to show you. I need to get one of him it seems.

YPS, i never really timed it by that, or have never gotten a measuring stick out and done the equasion s=d/t Maybe next week since we're going to a fun competition and I can ask how long distance wise the round is and work out the m/s.

Im personally not really interested in getting a border collie. Ive seen some really sweet dogs that literally look like theyre flying, really weightless! but alas, no border collie has really struck me as a dog i must get. Ive seen a ton from all different lines, but you know...

And yeah, it probably does depend on lines the most. But at the same time, speed is a huge variable too based off the handler and the drive they build with their dog, as well as speed being objective so what someone considers fast would be another persons slow, so who knows really. It is also based off a lot of luck too.
I honestly dont know at all.

Looking at the world teams, I saw Border Collies, a few Malinois, croatian sheepdogs, kelpies and a tervuren. No aussies or labs at all. But then again, in crufts the other day, with an arena for the international competitors full of border collies, there was one lone Golden Retriever that did very well, no aussies, kelpies or mals. I dont consider the WC a good source really :p
 

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Ah, sorry, competitions here spit out YPS. Not sure if that means you're not competing/trialing yet, or if it's just not something you do on that side of the pond.

Honestly, unless you're set on World's - go look for dogs you like personally and would enjoy living and playing with, find out who bred them and pursue the daylights out of that. I suspect from what you're saying you're more interested in 'lively and fun and exciting' more than pulling down super fast Q times and being crazy and highly competitive. Not that you can't be both, but may very well be, but the first step of that is 3000%, IMO, finding the dog you LOVE and makes the game a thrill.

...and I wouldn't hesitate to get an aussie if I liked extroverted dogs :p
 

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Choose first the dog you are willing to live with and enjoy the personality of. :)

If that is an Aussie.. you can absolutely find a breeder that breeds nice performance dogs. I would probably stay away from heavy show lines (heavier/fluffier and usually more chill) but don't assume working lines are the only way to get a good performance dog. Aussies have a lot of middle of the road breeders with really nice dogs.
 

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On average BCs are a lot faster than other breeds. I've actually done some mathematical analyzing of yps and they're an anomaly. (I'm a mathematician nerd) But that's *on average*. And not taking into account the size difference. Individuals vary so much too. BCs also had the most variety in yps of the breeds. (These were just nationals dogs so the best of the best of their breeds too)

Aussies can be fast but to be honest a lot aren't. Some BCs are not fast either. I would just pick carefully with an aussie. Some are pretty clunky in my experience.

I see good aussies and good labs all the time. I know some KILLER labs.

I agree with pick a breed you like and go from there. If you like aussies, pick a sporty aussie.
 

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I think BCs are just built for more ground speed than a lot of breeds. They hit that perfect spot of nice striding and also really flexible for turning. There's a couple other similarly built breeds (Koolies, kelpies). Other breeds may be faster on the straight but can't turn as well. They're weird slinky things.
 

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I think BCs are just built for more ground speed than a lot of breeds. They hit that perfect spot of nice striding and also really flexible for turning. There's a couple other similarly built breeds (Koolies, kelpies). Other breeds may be faster on the straight but can't turn as well. They're weird slinky things.
Agreed. I can't say I've ever seen Aussies (or much of anything) turn as well as a BC. Kairi does turn a bit wide and her stride is more loose and bouncy. Ember turns on a friggin dime and rips up my yard like crazy while doing so.
 

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I really think koolies and kelpies can give them a run for their money but they're just not nearly as common.
 

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Le is really fast. All of Silvia's dogs are very fast though. She's an amazing trainer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, but her PyrShep she says herself is the fastest out of all her dogs ;)
Like I said, I know nothing, but these dogs are indeed amazing!
 

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Thing is that sort of fast isn't just speed. Dog makes decisions and executes them fast too. That's nothing the way that a nice fast lab works. I haven't seen enough Pyrs working, the few I've seen were like timid Shelties. Speed and highly trainable but easily shut down by handlers not quite up to the challenge. Maybe that is something to consider. I haven't seen fast labs shut down but I see fast herding breeds shut down all the time by handlers concerned about dogs getting out of control or not performing as trained. Can you train/trial without getting down on your handling let alone be disappointed in your dog?
 

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From this conversation and a few PMS, she's not looking for fast times with Qs - she's looking for happy, fast, exuberance. Lots of energy and excitement and bounce.

In which case, yeah, BCs aren't it. MAS or AS maybe.
 
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