Photo tale of two dogs
He Working    

From an amazing breeder from her bitch that works her herds. He got compliments on his looks but people rarely asked to pet

Keller from what I believe is from mixed lines. He gets compliments and requests to pet. I see a large difference in the expressions in the eyes. And I think Keller has a more goofy look to his relaxed face. As both photos are of the dogs in a relaxed state


I may be nuts or imagining it but I see a difference in the expression in their eyes after you look past their physical differences. There is also a difference in how people interact with them. Especially children.
I definitely see the difference. It's the difference between "Hell YEAH!!" and "Uh, ok." The first dog is not just ready to go when ever you say so, but actively looking for any clue that it's going to be time to go any time in the next 2 hours. Or maybe he could just go ahead and start something. He'll think about it.

Keller's look is more like "Sure, I want to go if you do, but if you don't, that's ok. I'll be fine."

Both of mine frequently look like the first dog, but they are also able to completely relax and just watch you walk past without jumping up. I suspect the first dog is too. For mine, it's the difference between knowing there might be something for them to do versus knowing there is nothing I will allow them to do, so they just stay turned off. People do walk up to me all the time and want to talk about my dogs, but it isn't often that someone other than a kid asks to pet them, which is ok with me, because neither of mine really want to be touched by complete strangers.
Gotta love 'em.
Zeb from what I understand now travels with a large animal vet and works his sheep. Keller continues to be a circus clown. Who will calmly be pet but prefers if a kid chucked a toy. He will tolerate low activity but needs interaction emotionally and can become depressed. Not to humanize as all of us who know our animals can sense where they are physically and mentally to ensure they are well cared for.

I am assuming he is what also be labeled soft eye. I always tease him sheep would laugh him right out of their sight,
GM I have a feeling you would have liked Zebulon. I would have trusted you with him if I had met you then.
It makes a difference in the type of farm you go to!!! I researched ....thinking she put out one litter every couple of years all the testing. ABCA registered only. Had sheep. Great breeder ignorant consumer. Knew the breed... people with them...have experience from shelter work.
I'm sure I would have loved Zeb. I really enjoy those really intense dogs.
Gotta love 'em.
Tasha looks like Zeb, so intense all the time. Thankfully, I have a kid that loves agility so Tasha gets lots of work.

And Tasha loves people, even small children, but she is too intense. I think she might make a nice therapy dog many years in the future. For now I have to keep her from jumping on everyone she meets (in spite of the fact I have spent hours and hours attempting to teach her to not jump on people).
Tasha and Mattie's mom it has taken four years and ritual daily walks to elementary school for Keller to learn to just sit in exciting human situations. Throw a dog in the mix and all bets are off. I can get him to settle but I have to pick my moment exactly or I become invisible. Even then you can see he is fighting his urge. Tasha may be young and faster mentally to get her before she goes for it. Keller really is slow where I can see and implement a plan before he does. Does not mean it always work but it is possible. He is big boned and mellow for agility probably could excel at rally or obedience. He would probably turn himself inside out to go everywhere to watch over his human.In the service or therapy capacity. But working dog he is not.
Zeb on the other hand I got to try my hand at agility not realizing that agility would not work as treatment for social anxiety. Then throw a high drive dog with anxious person. Disaster. Know yourself know your dogs know your breeders. Can't stress it enough...
I understand what you are saying. I don't know why Tasha worked out with us, she is so intense. Genetics and the fact that my daughter used to play with her like she was a stuffed animal or a baby doll (dressing her up and pushing her around in a doll stroller). I talked to a woman that had an English Setter that was certified as a therapy dog at 18 months. She told me most of the therapy dogs she met were around nine years old and I thought, "Well, that might work with Tasha". Tasha has no social anxiety, every person she meets she expects to be her best friend but she is so energetic and jumps on everyone like that is what they want. If she never works out as a therapy dog that is fine with me. I read online about a school for the blind that wanted therapy dogs for the children to read to and I thought Tasha would be great at that IF she could be calm.

I think many times breeders don't take enough care in selecting the parents for their puppies and also don't take enough care in choosing who should get their puppies. Out of all six dogs I have owned the only time I felt I had an extensive interview was with the rescue that Mattie came from.

I tend to be anxious but thankfully my kid isn't and she is the one with the high drive dog.
By the way, I love Keller's look. He looks a lot like our agility instructor's dog, handsome, sweet, and kind. And I agree with you, if I met Zeb I wouldn't assume that he would want me to pet him where Keller looks like he is inviting me to reach out.

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