10 things to consider when looking to get a border collie
Border collies are full of energy and have a colourful personality; making them a wonderful addition to your family. However, there are some things you should know, before embarking on the beautiful ownership of a one in a kind dog. I have a short hair collie called Daisy and she is the heart of our family, but she does test my patience. These are ten things to consider when adopting a collie.
Energy: Collies have a lot of energy and if you don’t see to their needs, they will become destructive. You need to be a very active person to keep up with a collie, and a true rambler will love spending hours walking with their new four-legged friend.
Exercise: If you want to only walk your dog on the lead once a day, don’t get a collie. They aren’t lapdogs or ones to lounge around, they need someone to keep up with them, and are an ideal running partner.
Intelligence: Collies are one of the most intelligent breeds which brings good and bad qualities. There was a collie ‘that learnt, 1000 words’, and was able to recognise different toys.
Boredom: They need a lot of attention, you can’t leave these dogs for hours and hours on end, if you can’t give them the time and don’t want to fork out for a lunchtime walker, it’s not the dog for you.
Destructive behaviour: Boredom leads to chaos, and with an intelligent dog, if you don’t leave them puzzle games, you will return to chewed up shoes.
Discipline: Collies are quick learners and giving them commands will keep them entertained, while training can also lead to them learning tricks.
Obsessive behaviour: My dog is obsessed with digging in the water and retrieving a stick or ball. This behaviour can be controlled with some simple commands and wearing out the dog.
Anxiety: They can develop separation anxiety and become distressed when you leave; this is fixable if you practice leaving ‘the house for ten minutes at a time’. They are also more sensitive to loud noises, so natural medication may help calm them.
Other dogs: My collie tolerates other dogs, but she prefers her ball to playing with them. I’m glad I associated her with dogs as a puppy, so she isn’t aggressive. ‘Aggression is not a common trait in this breed’, but if they develop aggressive behaviour toward other dogs, nip it in the bud, their need to please and learn means their behaviours can be shaped.
Tricks: Their enthusiasm and ability to learn quickly makes them ideal for learning tricks. Their wagging tail is a clear indication they enjoy learning and want to please you.
A lot of these points interlink and researching this breed more, will educate you in the wonderful world of collies. They have quirky personalities with an energetic spirit that will make you fall in love with them. If you decide to get one, they will fill your life with happiness and keep you very fit.