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Border Collies - Is it the right dog for you
Member Name: Cafferysmom
Advantages: Loyal, fun, loves to work and be doing something all the time
Disadvantages: Hates been left at home all day
It breaks my heart when I look through the rescue pages and see countless border collies in rescue. Not wanted for one reason or another but mainly because many owners do not realise what hard work you might have to put into a collie and all they see is the lovely little fluff ball at 8 weeks old, looking more like a teddy bear than a dog and then by 6 months old, they start to be returned back to rescues, as I didnt expect the dog to be so active...
I am an owner of 6 Border Collies, all different personalities, and here I will tell you about a few of them and the work that we put into them.. I would like people to know that the Border Collie is a working dog, it wont be happy lying and sleeping 24/7... if your looking for a dog like that, then the Border Collie isnt for you...
Badger Buttons 8 years, Black and White Border Collie, Badger came to us from a rescue in Wales, He has a very sad past and had a bad temper and food aggression, apparently he went to attack a volunteer at the rescue, and he was going to be put to sleep, luckily another rescue was their and they took him on, he stayed their for over a year with no interest at all... well lets be honest who wants a bad tempered food aggressive dog? WE DID.. we didnt rush into this, as we looked at him and thought about how he would fit into our household... he is a stunning lad, and were we the right home for him... We have had Badger now 10 months, hes no longer food aggressive, he no longer needs to bite us... he did in the beginning, although some of that was our own fault for simply ignoring that he was food aggressive as our others are not... When he had the snip, they found his hips were fused together as a result of an accident as a pup where not vetinerary treament was had, we have spent a lot of time training Badger.. In the beginning of the year, he just snarled and growled at me, and it took two weeks for him to come to me, when he did i didnt dare move as i didnt want to waste the moment... he is a welsh dog, he is not a welsh collie just because he comes from Wales, he is happy and settled and is currently sat at my sofa, he is on medication and is fantastic with kids and other dogs and is a winner on the dog show circuit which we are very active in..
Maddoch is 6 months old, another welsh dog, again not a welsh collie but a Tri Colour short haired collie, I was fostering him and when his brother got rehomed I just fell head over heels in love with him.. and he stayed.. His mum and dad are both working sheep dogs and this is where you have to be very careful in selecting a border collie, ones that come from working stock can be a handful, I have a couple of farm collies.. Maddoch is just full of love and went into rescue as they were unwanted.. he is a champion dog at dog show circuits and has won 3 1st rosettes and one 2nd so far.. and another 2nd other week.. not bad for two shows. He is very very athletic, thus my furniture is normally his new agility equipement, hes a very friendly collie, who loves the world, and we have been clicker training him to sit, lie down, paw and he loves this although he is a smarty pants and doesnt always does as what he is told.. next year he will be pulled off the dog show circuit and going forward for agility, as this is where his true achievement will lie...
These are two of my collies, that have come to join our household this year.. two lovely dogs, two totally different backgrounds..
So how do you know if the Collie wants to do Agility or Dog Shows.. ? Well for us this is easy all our dogs are show dogs, when i say show dogs, I dont mean Cruft Standards, all my dogs are rescue dogs with some history.. we do fun dog shows, and all the dogs enjoy them, recently we went to one and it was like a mud field, we had entered Maddoch the puppy in this and everyone laughed... all their dogs were groomed to perfection, my little pup had a whale of a time rolling round in all the mud and went into the ring like that, labelled as a working dog, he won 1st.. However whilst the dog show circuit if fine for Badger, we need to do more to stimulate Maddoch and he is now booked in for basic agility classes at the age of 1 year old. A lot of places wont take on dogs younger than this due to the impact of jumping on growing bones...
Grooming a collie, all my collies are long haired except Maddoch, we groom twice a week and if your a fussy home keeper then a collie has two coats and maybe a long haired one isnt for you.
Bounciness - These little cute balls of fur, grow up big and strong and lots of people say i cant handle them, well this is normally due to lack of training - A border collie is very keen to learn and needs stimulating loads..
Clicker Training - Maddoch is over confident to the point where the other collies chastise him... it was imperative we started training him so he knows his commands, we bought a clicker from pets at home for £1 and started to use this in conjuction with some treats, when he did well he got a treat, although others say always treat them, i dont, that way he learnt very quickly, in fact within 15 mins i had this dog sitting , paw, and down, A few weeks ago I went to a ladies house and she had an eight week old yorkie and i gave her a clicker and showed her how quick the dog would learn, she was stunned the dog was sitting within 10 mins on command.
Stimulation - Very important for collies they need to be stimulated lots, walks, jumps, shows, kongs stuffed with treats if you go out keeps them occupied for a while.. Never leave to long, a collie can be destructive.
Loyalty - If you think your the right home for a collie, you will never find a better loving and loyal dog in the world.. he will lay by your side, recently i was very ill and after coming out of hospital, slept down stairs, only to find one of my collies asleep on pouffe at side of sofa with his paw on me hand...
Rescue/Breeders - their is a place for both, if its a farmer they will prob go to recommended breeders as they need quality working stock.. When Maddoch went to the dog show the farmer wanted him as he has been hip checked and his parents are well know working welsh dogs.. Sadly although he would have had a lovely time on a farm they wanted to breed him, which is a no no when they are rescue dogs..
If you get a rescue dog, check their history, check your lifestyle, go and meet the dog, go and take the dog out, read up about the breed, go on rescue dog pages, ask others.. find out as much as you can about the breed, could you cope with taking them out for a walk and you come back in shattered and if you mention the W word again they would be up for it... Summer is spent travelling round the country to shows and agility, and if you google you will find lots of useful sites...
Heelwork to Music - We have a dog who is epileptic and put weight on due to the tablets, however, she cant do agility is a champion dog at shows and is a large fundraiser in the rescue world, however she loves a bit of heelwork to music, its great fun, she enjoys it and so do i, its something we can both have fun doing together, although most of time we end up on our bums after tripping over each other in a pile on floor laughing like mad..
Been the owner of collies is a wonderful thing and i hope i have given you some insight into the wonderful world of been owned and chosen by some lovely Border Collies
Summary: Probably the Best Dog in the Whole Wide World
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