There are hundreds and hundreds of rescued Border Collies and Working Sheepdogs out there looking for homes, so please check out your local rescue or shelter to see if you can help a dog in need.


Border Collies come into rescue for all sorts of reasons - the majority of the time, there is nothing wrong with the collie, simply that their owner didn't understand their behaviour, and would rather send them into rescue than learn about their dog.  Most 'problem' behaviour in collies can be solved with a little understanding and patience.

If you visit a normal rescue, you will find that the collies are kept in kennels.  Typically, these kennels are made of brick or concrete, and are very oppressive places.  When you look through the bars of the cage and you see a collie, don't let your first impression sway your view of the dog.

Border Collies do not react well to kennels.  For generations of breeding, Border Collies are used to wide open spaces - being able to roam and herd in their natural countryside environment. 

 When they are transferred into a small kennel, they often develop a kind of claustrophobia.  The noise and amount of people looking through the bars often increase the stress for the dog, and they will react in one of two ways:

1) They will internalise that stress, sitting in a corner, being very quiet.  Don't mistake this behaviour to be representative of how the collie will behave in your home - the dog is stressed and is staying very still trying to cope with the claustrophobic atmosphere and noise.

2)  They will externalise that stress, by barking and running round the cell like a lunatic.  Again, don't mistake this behaviour to be representative of how the collie will behave in your home - the dog is stressed and is trying to cope with the claustrophobic atmosphere and noise by 'burning off' the stress by barking and being a 'loony'.

This behaviour makes it difficult for rescues without specific knowledge of how the collie reacts in kennels to assess the dog properly.  If you would like to adopt from an 'all-breed' rescue who use kennels, please take the dog out for a walk, and allow plenty of time for you and your new friend to get acquainted with each other.   It's important that  you see how they react when they're not in that stressful environment.  It gives you a much better idea of how the dog will interact with you.

 Having said that, don't be afraid to say "no".  You may take a dog home with the best of intentions, but if you know in your heart that it isn't likely to work out, then please be patient.  

The dog that will steal your heart and make you fall in love IS out there somewhere, but don't home a dog out of sympathy alone.

Taking a collie home for the sake of getting them out of a kennel may seem a noble thing to do, but if you have to take them back because they aren't right for your family you will do more harm that good.  Who is to say that if you hadn't taken them from the kennels, that their 'forever home' may have been visiting just half-an-hour after you?

Taking on a dog is a long-term responsibility, and you must make the right choice for yourself and your dog.  It is a sad fact that there are dog owners who simply 'give up' their dogs when simple problems arise instead of working at it.  If they applied the same standards to their children, we'd need to build thousands more Children's homes!


There are specific Border Collie Rescues, and they try their best to make life a little easier in care for our Collie friends.  Border Collie Trust for example do not allow people to 'browse' around the kennels, but instead talk to you about the dogs they have and bring a dog who may be suitable into the reception area so that you can take them for a walk near the centre.   

At our rescue, 'Wiccaweys Rescued Border Collies and Working Sheepdogs' we  reduce the stress on Collies by not having kennels at all.  The collies all live as part of the family, and this approach helps many nervous or dogs who have previously been believed to be a "problem" to interact with other collies, and learn their collie manners.  It is this experience with rescued Collies who need specific behvioural help and assistance that has made this site, and our behaviour advice service possible.  When you consult us for advice, our fee goes toward helping more Border Collies who need extra special attention. 

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.


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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.