|Firstly, and probably
most importantly of all, before you decide to have a Border Collie, you
should research the breed, and come to a level-headed decision about
what you want in your new doggy companion.
Even if you've had a Border Collie before, it's worth remembering that Collies have a wide range of types and personalities in the breed. A dog with a strong working instinct is much different from one without a working instinct.
|Border Collies are
extremely intelligent dogs, and are easily bored. In dogs with a
strong working instinct, the level of mental stimulation they need is
even higher. If you don't keep them amused and entertained, they
WILL find their own things to do. This is often misinterpreted as
being "destructive" or just a "problem dog".
To give a working type collie the right home, there needs to be plenty
of activities and human contact so that they avoid this
In Border Collies, mental stimulation is often more important than physical exercise. If you go on a four hour walk, the likelihood is that your Collie could walk for another four hours. If you play some games that stimulate their brain too, they tire much more easily.
|One way to combat
this boredom (and channel any working instinct your Collie may have) is
to go to training classes with your new friend, or even take up doggie
sports such as Agility (like show jumping for dogs with just a hint of
"It's a Knockout" style mayhem) and Obedience (dressage for
dogs - much more serene!). There's also Flyball, where a team of
dogs race each other to collect Tennis balls. The balls are in a
'Flyball Machine', the dog has to run over a few small jumps, touch the
Flyball machine to release the ball, and then bring the ball back
through the small jumps. When they return, the next team member
goes. There are usually four dogs to a team, and two teams race
against each other. It's rather like a doggie relay
Border Collies excel at these sports because of their athleticism and mental acuity. These doggie sports are great as long as you do them for fun. Sadly, some people take it too seriously and live vicariously through their dogs success.
It's a great way for you and your best friend to have a great day out, and get lots of much-needed exercise and mental stimulation.
|So, if you would like
a Border Collie, you need plenty of time, effort and love to spend on
your new best friend. They're super dogs, but aren't suited to
everyone. For example, if you have young children, you don't want
a working type collie because you'll find he or she will start herding
them and nipping at their ankles. This isn't aggression - and many
hundreds of Border Collies are put to sleep each year because these
signs are being misread - but simply following their natural instincts.
So, before you decide to have a Border Collie, please consider why you want one, and whether you've got the time you need to spend on them. Remember that Border Collies can be very much like human toddlers - they're intelligent, inquisitive and can pick up bad habits very easily.
|If you're okay with everything we've said above, and are still keen to own a Collie, then click on the link on the right, or clicking on the Border Collie SOS logo at the top of the page will take you to our introduction page. If if you'd like some BC advice, then you can get in touch by clicking on the Contact Us link below.|
The advice given in this site is no way to be taken as a replacement for professional advice either by a Veterinarian or a Behaviourist. Situations of individual animals vary greatly, and what causes problems in one Collie can be different for another. If you would like one-to-one advice, then please get in touch by using the 'contact us' link. This site ©2004 Border Collie SOS.