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Border Collies- Personality and Traits
Member Name: Bouncytime
Advantages: Super fun, super energysed!
Disadvantages: Must give them ample opportunity to RUN!
I have personally owned several Border Collies and growing up on a sheep farm been around many more. As there are many reviews and much general information available about breed standards and care, I am going to concentrate my review on the breeds traits and personality as I feel it is on these merits that you should decide if this is the dog for you. Really, if you are considering this dog as a pet these are the things you need to know (but no-one tells you)....
Every collie I have everknown has been very energetic. These dogs require a LOT of off lead exercise to keep them happy and out of mischief. Our dog can easily run 8 miles with me and then go out with my husband as fresh as a daisy a couple of hours later. For this reason he suits our lifestyle, we are out hill walking and running most days and we have found he is the only dog to be hassel free at keeping up with us and willing to do long distances day in day out. However, beware, if you do not have the time for at LEAST a half hour a day, or do not have the means to be able to let the dog off to run freely he will manifest behaviour such as destructiveness or barking.
Border Collie LOVE toys. By toys I mean, rings, balls, squeeky ducks, sticks... anything is a toy to a Collie. We have had great fun with our dogs as all of them have enjoyed a game of fetch. They can however become obsessed with the game. My last collie insisted on chewing a ball untill it was nice and soggy and then putting it on my mums legs while she was sunbathing... of course her reaction was to throw it! This clever and devious plan is common of the collie who once learns the fetch game has many cunning ways of getting you to throw things.
There is not one collie I know of who has developed obsession about something. My current collie is obsessed with sticks. He tries to pull heather up from the ground, and if nothing of a suitable size is handy he will pick up something the size of a tree trunk. This is a particular problem when he then comes past us at 90mph on a narrow path, as he never takes into account his new altered width... the inevitable happens and all our household permenantly have a selection of scratched and bruises to the back of our knees. My previous collie was addicted to a blue rubber ring. One day the ring was lost in a deep, soft bottomed pool. Not only did my dog develop the ability to be able to hold her breath and swim underwater for long periods of time, but for the rest of her life she developed the habit of staring into pools of water, puddles, in fact anything that held even a tiny bit of water.
Obviously this breed has the instinct to chase animals (particularly sheep) it is for this reason that they make excellent sheepdogs. However, sheepdogs have been specially trained to have a certain amount of restraint. The pet Border Collie will also have this instinct and until you are sure that you have total control he must be kept on the lead while around lifestock. Indeed some Collies are not physically able to control this instinct regardless of the amount of control you have at other times, the thrill of the chase is just too much.
Overall we have had great fun and enjoyment out of our Collies, they have very obsessive personalities and love to have fun. They are very intelligent dogs and will respond to training well. However, they need LOTS of excercise and will be difficult pets to keep if you dont always have the time of inclination.
Summary: Fantastic pets for fit families!