Advanced Dog Owner Dog

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maryallen's review of Border Collie

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“Advanced Dog Owner Dog”

Written on: 09/11/2014 by maryallen (1 review written)

BC's can be either the worst dog you ever owned or the best. It depends on how much time you have to put into them. That's why I call them the advanced dog owner breed. If you get a puppy the first two years are critical. They must be exercised, socialized, and trained at something that challenges their cunning minds. And this requires many hours of each day 7 days a week. If you 're getting your first BC I highly recommend getting a female. They tend to be a bit less jacked up and more compliant than the males. BC's were bred not just to be herders but constant companion to their lonely shepherd and hence they demand an intense relationship with their masters. They really need to be kept with you 24/7/365. Other than in the normal course of crate training, you can't expect the BC to stay in a crate all day without suffering psychological damage. BC's are so willing to please that they can't handle any type of negative reinforcement in their training. I've seen BC's ruined by literally one rough correction and turned into a shy, shrinking, dog that wets every time they are approached. They must never be given physical correction and sometimes even harsh words will effect them for weeks or months. Mentally they must be handled with kid gloves. It's call soft temperament and BC's are as soft as they come in this area. On the other hand, if you're looking for the dog of a lifetime and willing to put the time and effort into them you will have the most amazing dog and friend you've ever known. The rapidity with which they learn will shock you and you will see intelligent traits in them that no other dog possesses. Exercise is key. When I'm starting a pup, I get up at daylight and take him on a 2-3 hour hike/run and that bleeds off his excess energy making him much more pleasant to be around the rest of the day. I can't emphasize enough how many hours a day you will need to exercise your BC during his first two years! And he will need frequent, almost daily, off leash runs away from cars and other danger. I never cease to be in awe of how fast and long this breed can work and run! I've never had a BC that showed an iota of aggression towards humans. However when they're young and not getting enough exercise they can be overly exuberant and do their fair share of nipping. If possible, raising them with an older, balanced, well trained dog can take a lot of pressure off you as trainer. I find this key to teaching them to be calm while riding in a car as they're quick to follow an older dog's lead. I raised my first BC with a laid back female black lab and I'm positive she was instrumental in making him the calm, laid-back BC he became. BC's are long lived so all the time you put into them is well deserved. It's not unusual for a BC to live upwards of 15 and do so in relatively good health. BC's require only a small bit of grooming depending on what type of coat your BC has. Brushing them for a few minutes 3 times a week has been more than adequate for the ones I have owned. The BC retains the silhouette, eyes, and crouching stalk of the wolf and your BC will get tons of compliments on his appearance. He's a very handsome dog with the most intelligent eyes that just draws people to him. If you're looking for an amazing canine companion and have the ability to invest lots of hours in them, the BC will be the best dog you'll ever own.

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