There's been some threads recently getting some negative attention for the right reasons (I believe anyways)
If you're browsing our forums looking for information before you get yourself a Border Collie puppy please take a few things in to note...
- Border Collies are a high energy dog, and require lots of exercise and mind stimulation or else they will cause problems.
- Border Collies strive on the relationship with their owners, and will want to follow you around everywhere you go, so be prepared.
- Border Collies require extensive training from a young age, or else they will cause problems.
- If they are bored, they will entertain themselves, this could be with your furniture, personal belongings, your backyard, etc.
- If you are looking for a pet simply for a little bit of companionship and not much work, a Border Collie is not for you.
If someone would like to add anything I'm forgetting, then please do.
Please remember, Border Collies are not for everyone. They can be the best pets for the right person though! Please do your fair share of researching and planning before gettin a Border Collie, especially for your first pet!
Excellent thread James!
I cannot stress how active Border Collie's can be, most of the time 1 hour plus of off leash running isn't enough. It certainly isn't for my guy. Physical exercise is great but don't underestimate the power of mental stimulation. Trick training, puzzle toys, kongs, agility etc will exercise their brains and tire them out.
As James said they will follow you around, they were bred to work closely with their handler so if you don't want the dog to follow you into the bathroom and everywhere you go, then the BC maybe isn't for you.
Socialisation and training are SO IMPORTANT! Border Collies are a very sensitive breed and can become scared of many everyday things, so working from an early age to desensitise them to household noises, cars, strangers, children, other dogs etc. However much socialisation you think you need, double it because I think it is so important to end up with a well balanced dog.
They are definitely not a breed for everyone, if you are looking for a low maintenance breed they are definitely not for you.
Excellent thread. Before I got my first BC, I was advised to make sure that before my pup was 3 months old, make sure he met 100 different people, from every walk of life that I would ever want him to meet later in life, and assume that the breeder hadn't let him meet anyone but me. That was some of the best advice I ever got, so for 1 month he went everywhere and met everyone, babies in strollers to elderly in wheelchairs, everyone.
The other thing I was told was that BCs need a job, if you don't give them one, they will create their own, you may not like what they find to do and they are the hardest most dedicated workers at their job that you will ever find, not taking a day off until they drop dead.
Gotta love 'em.
When I got Dax I googled 'socialising puppy' or something, there are loads of websites that have really good lists of things. Alot of stuff I would have neglected due to just not thinking about it, like people wearing different clothes and walking/moving in different ways, different textures of surfaces, different vehicles etc etc. I made sure Dax was introduced to as many as possible and as many times as possible. I knew collies could be sensitive so I paid extra care, and now I think I have one of the most un-sensative collies around, not many things trouble her, so it really paid off.
My adivce would be to research as much as possible before getting the dog so you know what problems could arise, and how to combat this. It is MUCH easier to spot something during your normal day to day activities before it even becomes an issue, rather than let it become an issue and then have to fix it.
Not all Border Collies are the same. I know some who are content to lay around all day and are very hard to motivate. Mine are fine when we are home and they aren't bouncing off the walls. BUT, they are always at the ready to do anything with us.
A "job" to a Border Collie could be as simple as playing ball. Not all Border Collies need a job herding or doing a sport.
IMO I don't believe a Border Collie is the right type of dog for a first time dog owner. The learning curve is too great. Starting with another breed, less demanding would be advised. It doesn't matter where you live as long as you "make the time for the dog." If you are not able to give the dog the proper time it will need then don't get the dog. You will only be unhappy with the end result.
Border Collies are great for singles or families, young or old. The Border Collie is such a diverse dog you can't go wrong with owning one or more.
One Border Collie Is Never Enough
I disagree about border collies not being the right type of dog for a first-time dog owner, I think a first-time dog owner (and indeed experienced dog owners) need to be the right type of person for a border collie. You need to be completely invested in bringing out the best in your dog. A lot of experienced dog owners can by quite complacent and passive about the way they raise and train their dogs.
As a first-time dog owner myself, I came to it with an open mind, a willingness to learn; I researched every aspect in advance, I attended puppy classes and then continued onto intermediate, advanced and agility classes because I could see how my BC thrived on the experience. I have continued to focus on my BC's development, knowing what she needs to work on in different areas and having the patience to take the long, slow path with her to get her there, without expecting any shortcuts, cheats or quick-fixes.
I think it's also worth mentioning that even with good socialisation and training from an early age, some BCs are still going to be sensitive to certain situations, people, sounds, dogs and/or environments. I think to be a good BC owner you need to be able to understand your dog, accept them and love them for who they are and give them the best quality of life that you can.
Great thread, excellent posts with which I agree, but I'm most definitely with Jewels on this one. If you want to bring one of these dogs into your life then yes, " you need to be the right type of person for a border collie. You need to be completely invested in bringing out the best in your dog."
If you are not very familiar with these dogs and the attraction you feel towards them originates in all the amazing BC's you've seen doing stuff like Heel Work to Music, Agility, Flyball etc, etc, and you're drawn to the idea of being able to do things like this with your dog, please, please think again. These dogs and their handlers have put in thousands of hours of training and teaching to produce performances like this and their lives revolve around their dogs.
In my experience there is no doubt that Border Collies are right up there at the top of the pile in terms of intelligence, but while this has untold advantages it also has a significant downside. All this intelligence does not mean they are necessarily 'easy' to train, in fact, it can work the other way around and produce a dog in the wrong hands who is very, very difficult to train. Border Collies are always thinking, indeed, you must expect this as they have been selectively bred for hundreds of years to do just that, to think independently when it is required and make fast, accurate, applied decisions.
Unfortunately these beautiful dogs are also very, very easy to ruin. My most recent dog Bo had four other homes before he came to live with us. I do not believe for a minute that all his other people were mean and cruel to him, but rather just lacking in knowledge and experience of the breed and totally overwhelmed by the reality of living with him. This however created a dog who, through no fault of his own, acquired the kind of challenging behavioural issues which could have had him euthanised and have required enormous amounts of work to change.
Do lots and lots of research beforehand, find other border collie owners and ask them as many questions as possible and listen carefully to the replies. If you have no access to observe these dogs in their original environment then watch as many youtube videos as you can find of border collies working sheep, to get a feel of who they are and just what traits have been bred for and why.
None of the border collies, in the UK at least are very far away in terms of genes from the working sheepdog you can see on the hill or in a field any day of the week. This IS what these dogs carry in their genes, and if you want to have one or more as part of your family Jewels is spot on, you must be prepared to work hard enough and continually be willing to learn in order to meet the needs of these beautiful and amazing dogs.
My border is the first dog I have owned and he's turned out great! I agree and think it's more the type of person you are. I knew I would fit a bordercollie as I can hardly ever sit still myself and wanted a dog I could really walk not just stroll round the block with. They really are the most amazing breed! Totally agree on them being super sensitive and socialising as much as possible! My boy wasn't apart from me unless I was at work then someone else had him and I took him everywhere I could think of! He's now ridicuously friendly to both people and other dogs and I would happily take him anywhere
Gideon\s mom','index.php?page=Thread&postID=174317#post174317 Wrote:Excellent thread. Before I got my first BC, I was advised to make sure that before my pup was 3 months old, make sure he met 100 different people, from every walk of life that I would ever want him to meet later in life, and assume that the breeder hadn't let him meet anyone but me. That was some of the best advice I ever got, so for 1 month he went everywhere and met everyone, babies in strollers to elderly in wheelchairs, everyone..
Amazing! I read the same thing! As soon as Cash gets his shots he will be visiting the nursing home once or twice a week! I will take him everywhere and work on getting him used to sights and sounds he might come in contact with. He will also go to doggie daycare so he get used to being around other dogs.
Visiting a nursing home. What an awesome idea! We've had Tango and Ozzie visit Susies aunt and the residents absolutely loved it! Maybe we should take Lance (solo of course) It may be a win-win for everyone?