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I recently lost my beautiful, sweet Collie/Great Pyrenees. She got sick suddenly at 12 1/2, in the course of a few days, we had to euthanize her after it was clear nothing medically could be done. It was a devastating loss for us.


So, now my husband and I are discussing whether to get a Collie or a Great Pyrenees. We have a chance to get a Great Pyr puppy, but my concern is the size of the dog.

Can anyone tell us if Collies, as a breed, are known for rough play? I'm a little scared to get knocked into or body slammed by an exuberant Great Pyr puppy, even though I was told pyrs don't do this, but collies do.
 

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I can't say I've ever met a Collie that wasn't really gentle and mellow, but I'm sure the more rough and tumble ones do exist.
 

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The only time my border collie would knock you down is if you got inbetween him and his frisbee. Now my daughter had a great pyrnese/lab mix who is the mellowest, sweetest dog ever. Her name is Lucy because my daugher said she is my Lucifers good twin lol

oh and I am so sorry for your loss !!!
 

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All my Rough Collies were gentle, loving, loyal and intelligent creatures ... yet protective if warranted.
 

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Thanks, everyone, for your replies.

I know they are different, the reason why the 2 are being considered is my dog was 1/2 of both. 1/2 Collie. 1/2 Great Pyrenees. She was a gem and I am very lost without her. She was my first dog, too. I want to have my next dog have something of her nature. Her gentleness. Her empathy. Her sense of humor. This dog never left my side when I was sick. She protected me from danger by putting her body between me and the perceived threats. For example, a Shiloh Shepherd puppy playing too rough concerned her so she came between us and pushed back on me to get me away from this aggressive, large puppy. Or, she would put her body lengthwise between me and maintenance men who came to work on my house, etc. She was very gentle with children and elderly people. She liked to hang out with people, whenever people would come over, she would get her bone, take it to one of her beds, and sit happily looking at the guests. I took her everywhere, she went into stores, into bookstores, into hotels, to parades, street fairs, rode on ferry boats, even sat through an entire 1 hour Catholic Mass inside a church at a St. Francis Blessing of the Animals.

The other reason I am asking about collies being "rough" is this was brought up by the Great Pyrenees breeder. He is a good person, has a great, happy family, and his dogs are very happy and have great temperments. However, their size is a concern to me, partly because I have some spine issues. WHile visiting their dogs, one dominant female did knock into me and I felt it go up my spine. When I communicated that we are having reservations about getting such a large dog, because of my back issues and I was remembering my dog as a puppy, with her body slamming me for fun, he said Great Pyrenees don't do this, this is a herding dog, Collie thing.

So, I just wanted to check with knowledgeable people about Collies. I am reading how gentle they are, especially if you raise them in a calm environment with gentle treatment and positive training methods. I know all dogs are energetic as puppies, so I really am not quite seeing how this is only a Collie thing.
 

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Thanks, everyone, for your replies.

I know they are different, the reason why the 2 are being considered is my dog was 1/2 of both. 1/2 Collie. 1/2 Great Pyrenees. She was a gem and I am very lost without her. She was my first dog, too. I want to have my next dog have something of her nature. Her gentleness. Her empathy. Her sense of humor. This dog never left my side when I was sick. She protected me from danger by putting her body between me and the perceived threats. For example, a Shiloh Shepherd puppy playing too rough concerned her so she came between us and pushed back on me to get me away from this aggressive, large puppy. Or, she would put her body lengthwise between me and maintenance men who came to work on my house, etc. She was very gentle with children and elderly people. She liked to hang out with people, whenever people would come over, she would get her bone, take it to one of her beds, and sit happily looking at the guests. I took her everywhere, she went into stores, into bookstores, into hotels, to parades, street fairs, rode on ferry boats, even sat through an entire 1 hour Catholic Mass inside a church at a St. Francis Blessing of the Animals.

The other reason I am asking about collies being "rough" is this was brought up by the Great Pyrenees breeder. He is a good person, has a great, happy family, and his dogs are very happy and have great temperments. However, their size is a concern to me, partly because I have some spine issues. WHile visiting their dogs, one dominant female did knock into me and I felt it go up my spine. When I communicated that we are having reservations about getting such a large dog, because of my back issues and I was remembering my dog as a puppy, with her body slamming me for fun, he said Great Pyrenees don't do this, this is a herding dog, Collie thing.

So, I just wanted to check with knowledgeable people about Collies. I am reading how gentle they are, especially if you raise them in a calm environment with gentle treatment and positive training methods. I know all dogs are energetic as puppies, so I really am not quite seeing how this is only a Collie thing.
My first dog as an adult was a pyr. I can honestly say he never, ever, slammed into anyone - even in his teen years. He didn't jump up (EVER), onto people or other things. He just, quite simply, did not enjoy having his feet off the ground and all that weight on two of his legs. He wasn't even fond of steps, getting onto furniture, or getting into the car. He did run, and he was a nightmare to leash train, but the 'four on the floor' thing was very, very much a trait every pyr I knew in rescue shared with 'my' dog.

They dig. They drool. They bark. They are protective. They shed. They aren't safe off leash outside a fence (dis-a-pyr is a thing - they roam). They can be aggressive with strange animals. They're stubborn and independent - they'd rather think for themselves than let you tell them what to do. They're also sweet, protective and extremely gentle dogs. Puppy zoomies, yes, and maybe running into someone along the way. But deliberate body checking? Um. No. Jumping? Definitely not.
 

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Most puppies will be hyper and rude until they grow up a little. Even without deliberate body checking or jumping, they can still hurt you without meaning to. With a back problem, I wonder if any puppy is a good idea. Maybe check with breeders to see if they have an adult who needs a home? Or breed-specific rescue?
 

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Well, we aren't ruling anything out. A shelter dog is definitely a possibility for us. My dog came from a shelter.

Maybe the term "body slamming" is too harsh. My dog, as a 4-6 month puppy, seemed to like, for a while, to run at me when we practiced "come" in the backyard. A few times she did run straight at me and it seemed like what you see in ice hockey. So, I had to put my knee up to get her to stop. And, she would do the fast figure 8's. But, she, as a grown up, was a very sedate, lady-like dog. My concern for the Great Pyr was to go through that again with a much larger dog. Now I know how to deal with it, if it happened. I would turn my back and walk inside to say "the fun is over until you behave!".
 

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What about rescuing an older collie or pyr? Then there would be no teenage puppy antics that might lead to getting taken out at the knees :S (which is not fun believe me) lol.
 

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Thanks, everyone, for your replies.

I know they are different, the reason why the 2 are being considered is my dog was 1/2 of both. 1/2 Collie. 1/2 Great Pyrenees. She was a gem and I am very lost without her. She was my first dog, too. I want to have my next dog have something of her nature. Her gentleness. Her empathy. Her sense of humor. This dog never left my side when I was sick. She protected me from danger by putting her body between me and the perceived threats. For example, a Shiloh Shepherd puppy playing too rough concerned her so she came between us and pushed back on me to get me away from this aggressive, large puppy. Or, she would put her body lengthwise between me and maintenance men who came to work on my house, etc. She was very gentle with children and elderly people. She liked to hang out with people, whenever people would come over, she would get her bone, take it to one of her beds, and sit happily looking at the guests. I took her everywhere, she went into stores, into bookstores, into hotels, to parades, street fairs, rode on ferry boats, even sat through an entire 1 hour Catholic Mass inside a church at a St. Francis Blessing of the Animals.

The other reason I am asking about collies being "rough" is this was brought up by the Great Pyrenees breeder. He is a good person, has a great, happy family, and his dogs are very happy and have great temperments. However, their size is a concern to me, partly because I have some spine issues. WHile visiting their dogs, one dominant female did knock into me and I felt it go up my spine. When I communicated that we are having reservations about getting such a large dog, because of my back issues and I was remembering my dog as a puppy, with her body slamming me for fun, he said Great Pyrenees don't do this, this is a herding dog, Collie thing.

So, I just wanted to check with knowledgeable people about Collies. I am reading how gentle they are, especially if you raise them in a calm environment with gentle treatment and positive training methods. I know all dogs are energetic as puppies, so I really am not quite seeing how this is only a Collie thing.
Your dog sounds just like my collies, especially my rough boy. He's calm and gentle with all people and animals. But he's come between me and a bear twice. He protects me from other animals, people and dogs that he doesn't like by putting himself between me and them without being aggressive about it. He's completely attuned to my feelings. As a puppy he was a little bouncy, but not crazed, like some other pups. Most collies I've met have been pretty close to this, too. I've never heard about collies body slamming people.
 

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I know they are different, the reason why the 2 are being considered is my dog was 1/2 of both. 1/2 Collie. 1/2 Great Pyrenees. She was a gem and I am very lost without her. She was my first dog, too. I want to have my next dog have something of her nature. Her gentleness. Her empathy. Her sense of humor. This dog never left my side when I was sick. She protected me from danger by putting her body between me and the perceived threats.
Each dog is an individual and you have to take each dog as such. No dog will ever be just like your previous - many dogs won't even have many or most of those qualities.

I think you got lucky with your mix with how great of a dog she was. But you aren't necessarily looking at what you can offer one of these breeds - there are plenty of breeds (and mixes) that have most (all?) of these qualities that might be better suited for you rather than an LGD like a Pyrenees or a herder like a Collie.

I think - and this is just my opinion - that you are set on either a Collie or either a Pyrenees because that was just the mix of your first dog. But in reality the breeds are vastly different as individuals.
 

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I would definitely look into rescue. I got my 4 year old collie as a rescue earlier this year. Never realized how many there are that need homes. Oh, if noise is an issue for you, I'd run the other way from a collie. Mine is a barking machine. We're working on it but it is going slow.
 

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I have been owned by many Collies....all roughs. They are truly a gentle breed, and the term "rough" refers to their coat, not their demeanor. My current owner is a Therapy Dog...so gentle she visits ICU's at the local hospital.

Some collies, however, have a very strong herding instinct. I have known some to herd my spouse away from me when we were being playful. Perhaps this is the trait that was being referred to. A collie very well may slip beside you and use her body to herd, but it is normally fairly gentle. If your back is especially fragile, this may not be acceptable, and you may prefer a smaller dog yet. It would be unfortunate to miss the gift of what a Collie is because of back problems, but it is certainly understandable.
 
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