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14-11-2007, 08:49   #1
honestjoe69
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My friend is looking for a rescue dog and has stumbled accross a number of rescue centres dedicated to border collies. He has contacted a few and they have told him that collies can make great domestic pets (obviously not all) so long as you can give them time, the right sort of excersise etc.

However, he has also been told by other people that it is cruel to keep border collies as pets since they are working dogs and belong on farms.

Anyone got any views on this?

(The way I see it if every rescue border collie could only be rehomed to famers or people with acres of land then the majority would never leave the pound).
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14-11-2007, 08:57   #2
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Border collies can make great pets for the right home, but they really do need a lot of training and exercise.
They are a very intelligent dog and a working breed with endless energy so need lots of mental and physical stimulation to prevent them from being bored and problems occurring.
Lots of people get the smaller collies for, flyball and agility, Collies are very intelligent, loving and loyal dogs..... but you do have to work them in some way in my opinion.
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14-11-2007, 08:59   #3
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A neighbour when I lived at home with my parents had two !!

They were lovely dogs, very loyal and obedient but they needed a lot of exercise.

I remember Colin walking them at least 4 times a day.

Very scatty breed with loads of energy.

If you have an outdoor lifestyle they are perfect but wouldn't recommend if you are only intending to walk once a day and don't have a big garden.
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14-11-2007, 09:12   #4
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I don't think it's cruel to keep them as pets as long as you're prepared to do something with them, work wise. (most breeds of dog are working dogs!)

Agility and flyball as mentioned above are great energy burners for collies and they love doing it - that's all you have to do to 'work' your dog.

I 'work' Takara at agility - we no longer go to classes because my mobility's so poor, but I have some of my own equipment and when her distance cues are better we hope to go back to classes using distance cues so I don't need to run!

They make fantastic domestic pets for people who are totally into their dogs and want to do extra activities with them.

If you want a dog as a companion only and don't want to spend too much energy keeping them busy and stimulated, then a collies not for you.
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14-11-2007, 09:14   #5
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When I was a kid I had one, and he needed a fair amount of excercise but was very bright and loyal.

We got him when I was 5 years old, I think, and he died when I was 21 - making him at least 16.

My parents had a second one after him, but he didn't get as much excercise and showed a tendency to put on weight.

But very nice dogs - intelligent, occasionally a bit hyper, need attention and excercise. I love 'em.
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14-11-2007, 09:18   #6
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My friend wants to pass on his thanks....apparently all you guys are 'ace'
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14-11-2007, 09:31   #7
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The only thing I'd add is that my first Collie was actually scared of sheep.

This is why he was given to my dad by the farmer concerned, who was going to bump him off otherwise. This was the mid 1960s, pre 'dog rescue' days in most places.
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14-11-2007, 10:03   #8
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I've seen a few bored, unchallenged, underexercised border collies that have turned into destructive and fed up dogs who continually play up. Then again, I've also seen a couple of those dogs which have been given to experienced border collie owners and have had a total turn around in their natures as a result of training, exercise and understanding where they are in their pack.

I wouldn't have a border purely because of the amount of exercise that they need. That said, I've got a German Shepherd and they're nearly as bad when not exercised and challenged. Molly's particular thing is scenting out her ball, no matter where it's been hidden. Throwing it in 100 yards of heather and not allowing her to see where you've thrown it, then sending her off to 'work' by finding it is the best fun and challenge in the world if you're a Molly monster. She can even do it in the dark (and I mean really dark, like out in the Peak District).
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14-11-2007, 10:44   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medusa View Post
I've seen a few bored, unchallenged, underexercised border collies that have turned into destructive and fed up dogs who continually play up. Then again, I've also seen a couple of those dogs which have been given to experienced border collie owners and have had a total turn around in their natures as a result of training, exercise and understanding where they are in their pack.

I wouldn't have a border purely because of the amount of exercise that they need. That said, I've got a German Shepherd and they're nearly as bad when not exercised and challenged. Molly's particular thing is scenting out her ball, no matter where it's been hidden. Throwing it in 100 yards of heather and not allowing her to see where you've thrown it, then sending her off to 'work' by finding it is the best fun and challenge in the world if you're a Molly monster. She can even do it in the dark (and I mean really dark, like out in the Peak District).

I've always loved Border Collies but also seen many bored ones that just get a couple of walks and nothing more - they need to exercise their bodies and their brains and need a purpose, otherwise they can become destructive and develop other issues. Know what you mean about Molly- our Ailsa makes sure we know about it if she hasnt had enough exercise - even when she has a gammy leg, she needs to do something. My other half takes her out in the dark too and she is a wizz at finding (and occasionally losing) tennis balls.
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14-11-2007, 15:01   #10
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We have a gorgeous Red/white BC and she's great with the kids and other dogs. They are a highly intellegent breed and very eager to please/learn new things. They shouldn't be left to fester, cos then like any dog they will find their own entertainment

I agree with the above, get into flyball, it's huge fun for both of you. Failing that teach it tricks, keep the brain busy
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14-11-2007, 15:33   #11
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I have a 3 yr old Border Collie bitch and like most people have said, it is definately not a breed to have if you dont want to be taking them on 2 and 3 walks a day or going on very long walks.
They are extremely intelligent dogs and can be wonderful pets but you have to put in the time and effort to exercise them both physically and mentally whether it be agility, flyball or just playing endlessly for hours making them use their brains!
If you're friend is willing to go out in all weathers with a dog and willing to have a dog who is almost always on the go then by all means fo for a border collie.
I love my BC to bits and she is so clever and loyal but it can be hard work.
The fact that there are so man BC rescues and that normal animal shelters are often full of BC's shows how much people under estimate how hard u have to work with these dogs.
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14-11-2007, 16:14   #12
Gemima
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Originally Posted by sam1984 View Post
I have a 3 yr old Border Collie bitch and like most people have said, it is definately not a breed to have if you dont want to be taking them on 2 and 3 walks a day or going on very long walks.
They are extremely intelligent dogs and can be wonderful pets but you have to put in the time and effort to exercise them both physically and mentally whether it be agility, flyball or just playing endlessly for hours making them use their brains!
If you're friend is willing to go out in all weathers with a dog and willing to have a dog who is almost always on the go then by all means fo for a border collie.
I love my BC to bits and she is so clever and loyal but it can be hard work.
The fact that there are so man BC rescues and that normal animal shelters are often full of BC's shows how much people under estimate how hard u have to work with these dogs.
Rescues are indeed full of BC's and many are thrown out for being "nasty" caused by being cooped in a flat with no mental stimulation. Wiccaways Border Collie Rescue are always looking for new homes. There is some interesting reading on Border Collies on the home page...
http://www.wiccaweys.co.uk/start.html
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17-11-2007, 19:04   #13
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BCís are not your run of the mill pet dogs - they are very hard work if they are to be kept happy and ultimately healthy. Of all working dogs, I would place them in the higher intelligence bracket and unless someone can provide the mental stimulation and exercise that they really do need, Iíd advise to choose a different dog.

Itís easy to say there are lots that need homes but being in the wrong environment could be so cruel for the dog. Please advise your friend to speak to as many people as possible, particularly agility people who tend to give excellent, honest advice about them, before rehoming one.

I hope I donít sound negative about BCís in homes, because I have known quite a few happy house dwellers but at the same time, Iíve seen some screwed up in rescue too.
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17-11-2007, 22:25   #14
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I have a border collie and I wouldn't part with her for a million pounds. I did a lot of research before getting her. They don't need loads and loads of exercise, this is a myth they need a good walk everyday but you don't have to be out for 4 hours lol!

The main thing is they are kept mentally agile, teach them tricks play with them etc.

Mine loves a good play but she equally loves snuggling up and having her belly rubbed.
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17-11-2007, 23:56   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babyboom View Post
I have a border collie and I wouldn't part with her for a million pounds. I did a lot of research before getting her. They don't need loads and loads of exercise, this is a myth they need a good walk everyday but you don't have to be out for 4 hours lol!

The main thing is they are kept mentally agile, teach them tricks play with them etc.

Mine loves a good play but she equally loves snuggling up and having her belly rubbed.
My dog at home was a border collie, and I have a collie x now and both have needed a lot of exercise... no not 4 hour walks but maybe a couple of hour long ones with free running/chasing a ball seems popular with collies, and especially so while they were young.
But I do agree with you in that they do need lots of mental stimulation and a dog finds that more tiring than a walk, so need lots of training, they really enjoy working with people its a shame not to.
Both of our girls were/are really loyal and loving dogs, and really cuddly too.... but really hard work when young.
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18-11-2007, 08:07   #16
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my nan had a border collie when i was growing up and she was so good, but im not sure is any one else has encounted this but i always rember her when there was loads of people in the house or garden she would try rounding us up.
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18-11-2007, 09:23   #17
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i have a collie and a lurcher saluki x my collie needs loads of excersize i got him from rescue when he was approx 5 or 6 and have had him 5 years and their is still not enough hours in the day to tire him,he comes hunting most nights with me and the lurcher and loves it,but unless you use the dog for something ie agility,flyball or something to stimulate them i dont think they are the best choice for a pet
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19-11-2007, 14:31   #18
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I had one for a couple of months, taken on from a friend who found him to be a handful. I thought he would keep my own dog company and they would play and exercise together. It couldn't have been further from the truth.

The collie quickly, through bullying and biting the other dog, established itself as pack leader. It wouldn't respond to any form of training given, being far too easily distracted and hyper. It wanted permanent attention when in the house but as soon as you let it out into the garden it would break out by digging its way through hedges and under fences and refused to come back until it wanted to. I've never known such a demanding animal.

My original dog became a recluse, afraid of the collie. It lost all of its spark and personality and began to look ill.

I made a decision to rehome the collie. I had persevered but it didnt work out as expected. It needed to have a home where it was the centre of attention with no other dog in the equation. It also needed an owner who would give it 100% attention as this is what this breed needs. I found an owner who promised all this and had experience of collies and let him go.

Within 30 mins of the collie leaving, the original dog began to regain his personality. Even to this day if you say the name of the bully to him, his ears will go flat and he puts his head down!
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19-11-2007, 23:03   #19
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I usually take ours out for an hour an half walk in the woods, and she runs about with our other dog, she's only young still. At home we play with her and train her. I am at home all day so that makes a difference. I do have to keep an eye on her for pinching stuff!
I think they make great pets but you must be prepared to give them a lot of attention. :-)
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19-11-2007, 23:19   #20
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We found a pup couldn't be more than 7 months old on a trip to Bridlington a few year back, We put found posters up but no one came forward for her, My uncles have had her for the past 4 years and she is totally mental. Loves to play ball but spends most of her time upstairs on the bed, she is spoilt rotton but a very funny little thing, sometimes she will come down to eat other times he has to take her food up to her, same with walks sometimes she's there waiting to go out other times she can't be bothered and will sulk away back upstairs. I guess all dogs have their off days but her offs are very often every other day so it would seem. They love her to bits, but I don't think I would ever choose to have one.
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