Border Collie ownership. FULL commitment required EVERYDAY!

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CalvinCompton's review of Border Collie


“Border Collie ownership. FULL commitment required...”

Written on: 22/06/2015 by CalvinCompton (1 review written)

My fiancée and I purchased our first home around 2 years ago and decided to get a dog. My family had always owned miniature dachshunds and she had a border collie when she was younger. We both love dogs and she convinced me to get a border collie puppy. We both thought we knew what we were getting ourselves in to by researching/previous dog experience but we really had no idea.

Our border collie's name is Violet and she is now around 1.5 years old. These dogs are definitely only for people who are willing to commit at least 2 hours a day, everyday of your life, to dog related activities and bonding.

A border collie can be the best dog you will ever own if you are the right type of person. No dog is as intelligent and demands as much attention. They will become an active and alert member of your family and will want to be involved in every aspect of your daily life.

My life has completely changed since we got Violet. Unlike other breeds that are happy to stay home and around the house, border collies are always wanting to play and work and will only tire after hours and hours of sprinting, swimming, jumping, chasing etc.

I have always kept fit playing sports and exercising 3-4 time a week but nothing could prepare me for the amount of extra hours of activity I would need to put in on top of this to be a good collie owner. There is no more sleeping in a little on weekends as I am unceremoniously woken once it gets past about 7:30 as Violet knows it is morning park time and has been eagerly waiting outside my window since 6:30 and is telling me I have slept long enough.

We try to ensure she gets at least one hour of activity before work and in the afternoon she can sprint around chasing the frisbee non stop for 2 + hours until its dark easily if we choose to stay at the park that long.

This amount of exercise can really drain you after a while and this really needs to be considered before choosing a border collie. They get bored very easily and will turn destructive if not given enough attention and physical stimulation. Once they get in a routine they will not forget it and know when it is their walk/park time. My fiancée works from home as a beauty therapist and Violet patiently waits outside occasionally looking into the window in the afternoon while keeping an eye on the time. She knows when it is 4:30 almost to the minute and when there is a rare day a client starts taking up her walk time she will start to protest with rude barks and digging. We have some fine gravel between some pavers and a retaining wall. She rarely causes any destruction in the yard but this gravel has been dug out about 15 times. The same spot every time and only ever when she thinks she will miss out on going out that afternoon. It is very annoying and she knows it, but we can't help but laugh at her response to what she feels is a terrible injustice.

Border collies love swimming and being around water. She goes crazy with the hose, snapping at it closer and closer until it is spraying straight into her mouth. I have seen other border collies react like this as well.
When you go anywhere if there is water she will always want to lie down in it. At the park we go to there is a very large, muddy basin of water that is permanently there and fills up every time it rains. She has been to this park nearly everyday for over a year and has lay in this mud at least 5 times each day for that year. It seems like it is in her instincts to want to be in water and get filthy in this stinking mud and has become a joke amongst the other owners. At first I thought she may just be too hot and trying to cool down but she goes in there whether it is hot or too cold for me to feel my hands. She really does not seem to feel the cold at all. If you want a clean dog that you can have inside most of the time, a border collie is not for you!

They are all action when out and about and would rather be chasing a ball than being fussed over. But at home we have found Violet to be the most affectionate and loving dog we could have ever asked for. They are very licky. She is always so excited to see us first thing in the morning and when I get home from work. Border Collies have such soulful eyes and seem to understand what you are thinking at all times. They are very eager to do and learn new things and are always happy to earn approval form their owner. When they know your routine they will anticipate what is about to happen on certain days of the week. There are so many funny and quirky behaviours that we love to observe and laugh at and we can't imagine life without our border collie anymore. If I had known how much work it was going to be before we got her I would have probably reconsidered but now we have her it's hard to think back to before she came into our lives.

Some closing points to consider before deciding on a border collie:

- You must be the type of person that considers your dog a member of the family unconditionally and want an athletic life companion with an insatiable appetite for exercise.

- You must be able to commit to at least 2 hours per day of activities with your dog and be willing to adjust your life around this.

- You must have a very secure yard as we have learned. Border Collies are amazing at finding ways to escape.

- You must want a dog that is always aware and analysing all your movements and whereabouts.

- You must be able to accept that your dog will actively seek out mud and water and love getting dirty.

- You must be ready for an extremely demanding dog that will expect excitement and attention every day. They will also get annoyed when they don't get their own way.

Please consider these very carefully as many dogs end up in the pound because people are not prepared for this or think their dog will be an exception. For those who are prepared for all that border collie ownership entails you will have the most loving, funny, athletic and loyal friend you could ask for.

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Solideogloria's Comment

Written on: 26/06/2015

Your dog is only young still - she will start to calm down a bit after she is 2 - 3 years old, depending on whether you got a dog from a working or a show line.

I have had two BC's and now have 2 BCxSpaniels and each one was different in terms of liking water and mud, being clean, being licky and exercise.

You are correct in saying that they have boundless energy - a good collie does the work of 5 men on a farm and can operate on just a few hours of sleep. They also attach themselves to one person in the family but are quite obedient to all members of the family.

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