Considered to be one of the best herding dogs in the world, Border Collies are well known for their intelligence and instinct. The breed originated on the border between Scotland and England and over a period of many years, was selected for its ability to go out and retrieve livestock. What makes this breed so unique is its ability to go out around the animal and bring it back as opposed to “driving” dogs which push the animal away. They do this by wearing (staring) the animal with a predatory eye.
Border Collies can be found in a variety of different styles. The classic border collie has a long haired coat with black and white markings. However, they can also be short haired and can be red and white. Variations of all of the above are possible and sometimes will contain a little of all the traits. Don’t be alarmed if you see a tri-colored (black, red, and white) medium haired border collie. The looks of a border collie have little to do with how well it can work. Many farmers do not care too much how their dog looks, they simply care that it has strong working ability and instinct.
Border Collie FAQs
At this time, we do not train other people’s Border Collies. If you purchase a Border Collie pup from us, one training session with the dog is included as well as some advice about raising a young dog if you are inexperienced.
By themselves, no. Border Collies are such work intensive animals that they ALWAYS need something to do. Having a Border Collie simply because it is smart or beautiful is the WRONG reason to get one! We strongly discourage people from getting a Border Collie as a pet because they are just not bred for that purpose. Anyone that has gotten a Border Collie as a pet will usually tell you that it turned into a disaster (chasing cars, herding children, etc…). So, if you are thinking about getting a Border Collie, make sure that you either have livestock of some kind or that you do agility or flyball.
If you have found that owning a Border Collie is a bit more than you can handle, there are a few things you can try. There is a Border Collie rescue league that will sometimes take your dog for you and place it in a home. You may also be able to place it in a farm, trial, or agility situation.
It’s like having another child around the house isn’t it? Well, perhaps the best way to go about disciplining your dog is to treat it as you might a child. You need to first make sure that you have formed a trusting relationship with the dog before you start to discipline it. Also, because Border Collies are such strong-willed dogs, you need to make sure that they understand that you are boss and that ‘what you say, goes’! If you let a Border Collie get away with something once, then they will think they can always get away with it. We could go on for pages about how to get your dog in better control, but many others already have. That’s why you might be interested in visiting our training page for list of books and resources on the breed and how to train them.
There’s no exact time when you should start to work your Border Collie with livestock. However, there are some rules of thumb that might help you. One of the most important things to remember is not to put your dog in a working situation too early. Young dogs have not yet developed their ‘eye’ and therefore working situations could result in injury to the dog. It is possible that a dog can be ruined for life if put in with livestock before it is ready. For this reason, we recommend that you watch for when it begins to show signs of instinct. At that point it is generally safe to begin to introduce your dog to working ‘dog broke’ livestock. The time at which this happens varies for every dog, but on average occurs between six and twelve months of age.
We feed our dogs a high energy kibble to support their very active lives. The food is generally free choice so they can eat whenever they are hungry. Occasionally if they’re lucky, they might get some leftovers from our dinner.
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