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Border Collie. Could it be for me?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Ellaneza, Dec 10, 2018.


  1. Ellaneza

    Ellaneza PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all,
    I have wanting a dog since the last 3 years and border collie is the breed I always had in mind. I am now looking at a pup (second time this year) and going in internet I started panicking again so I need advice to definitely give up or just go for it.
    This is my life:
    I am 30, I work fulltime, office hours, in medical research. I have my own house, with a medium sized garden, live in a village quite close to open spaces, parks and hiking routes and love outdoors activities (go running 3 times per week in the mornings, although I could make it everyday if that would suit best the dog, like hiking, cycling and walking).
    Also like reading, cooking, meditation and home stays on weekend evenings.
    I am not a couch person myself and enjoy mental estimulation (for what I think I would enjoy training a Collie).
    I don't have family around to leave the dog with, I could be getting a dog walker 3-4 times a week.
    I have to decide this week and need your advice.
    Many thanks!
     
  2. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    Hi there. If you get a pup will you be taking any time off work to help it settle in? Also, when you do go back to work will you be getting someone to come in several times during the day to let the pup out and give it attention etc?
     
  3. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    What sort of Border Collie is it? farm bred/working line ones don't necessarily make the easiest pets.

    Unfortunately you cannot leave a puppy all day when you are at work. So unless you have someone available to look after the puppy all day, then I suggest that now may not be the right time to get a dog. Especially one that is very demanding for time and energy.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  4. Ellaneza

    Ellaneza PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Sairy,
    I will be taking 2 weeks off and joining dog training for basic education.
    While at work I was planning to hire a dog walker for 1 hour. Also I have been checking daycare, I am waiting for the reply but I think it will probably be too expensive.
     
  5. Ellaneza

    Ellaneza PetForums Newbie

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    Hi.
    I appre
    Hi,
    I appreciate the advice.
    Dog is indeed farm bred.
    I would be hiring a dog walker, but just 1 hour daily, that definitely worrys me more than fulfiling its exercise needs. I just queried with a local daycare but suspecting it would not be necessarily affordable.
    Again, thanks for the advice.
     
  6. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Personally don't think 1 hour a day for a working sheepdog puppy would be sufficient.

    My last collie pup is now two years old. I'm retired, she has 3 other dogs to play with plus I trained and exercised her every day but still she chewed the house to bits and it took ages to house train her.
     
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  7. Ellaneza

    Ellaneza PetForums Newbie

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    Hi , thanks for the advice.
    Do you mean 1hour of exercise or 1hour with company while I'm at work?
    In terms of exercising he would have that 1 hour plus another 1h and 30 mins with myself daily, plus loads on weekend.
     
  8. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    One hour with company whilst you're at work. You can't over exercise a puppy but collies need a lot of entertaining as they easily become bored. They need stimulating throughout the day - not just in the evenings and week-ends. Sorry but it doesn't work like that.

    Have you thought of taking on an older rescue? Gill White at the Border Collie Spot has some lovely collies and she is an expert in matching dogs to owners. Have a look at her website.
     
  9. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    I haven't got collies myself but my friend has 2 farm bred collies and one which came from a breeder and was supposed to take her to great heights in agility competitions. (It's done well but not as well as she wanted, very highly strung)

    Her 3rd collie, a farm bred one, has a very independent streak. He is 6yrs now and she has him very well trained but her whole life revolves around the dogs and dog agility.

    He enjoyed the agility but is a large dog and turns like a juggernaut - she had been offered money for him from a farmer who said he had the look of a great working sheepdog. Obvs she wasn't selling him but she tried him with sheep and he wasn't interested in them (this was a couple of years after the farmer's offer when she had him well trained not to chase)
    So she now has him into flyball which is going well.

    I think he gave her a few headaches though along the way - she has her other two dogs trained to a standard where they hang off her every word - always focused on her even when off lead in open country.

    This third dog is good - but he likes to run ahead and then waits for her. His recall is fantastic but he is always pushing out in front.


    Seeing the amount of time (and she is really skilled and a great trainer) she puts into those dogs, i think you would struggle with working collies.

    But that's just my observation from my experience with knowing my friend.
     
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  10. Ellaneza

    Ellaneza PetForums Newbie

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    Hi.
    Thanks for the comment.
    Do not need to be sorry. I am not presuming that it works on an specific way, that's why I am asking for advice and just exposing what I would be able to offer.
     
  11. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    I always think with border collies that it’s not so much masses of exercise they need, more masses of things to do. A bored collie makes its own entertainment.
     
  12. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    If you are still very keen to get a BC, rather then a farm bred dog have a look at a show bred collie which have a tendency to be less keen and more laid back
     
  13. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I do know people that work and have farm bred collies but they are all very experienced collie owners and make huge sacrifices to look after their dogs.

    As Tabelmabel has already said even with experienced owners like her friend and me they can be difficult. I've owned and trained collies for over 40 years and competed very successfully with them. I've also handled, trained and judged thousands of them.

    At the moment I have an 11.1/2 yr old that has just undergone major surgery to repair a ruptured cruciate ligament. Even at her age she is being a nightmare and is still not allowed off the lead even to toilet. The reason she is being a nightmare is because she's a farm bred collie (her dad was an international sheepdog trials champion) and she wants to run. She doesn't care that she's injured, she just wants to run. My other dogs are being exercised but not trained because I simply don't have the time to walk Barley on her own several times a day as well as walking and training them and it's beginning to show. Basically I have four very bored collies at the moment and not enough daylight hours. That's collies for you.
     
  14. Ellaneza

    Ellaneza PetForums Newbie

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    I am sorry to hear about your dog.
    And I do take your advice and your experience on board.
    Thanks.
     
  15. Ellaneza

    Ellaneza PetForums Newbie

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    Hi.
    Of course. I want to be realistic. I know I have the commitment and necessary fitness but might lack the time during the week. It is heart broken for me cos I really think there is somethibg special on that breed but it might not be my time yet or, as somebody mentioned, I should try with a different breed first.
    My brother has a mixed collie and he works fulltime, does not do agility and he does not hike or run. Dog is happy with park runs but having said that, he was raised with my grandma in the farm and only old(er) made it to an apartment, so I thought there might be a chance for me to be a good collie owner.
    Thanks for the comment!
     
  16. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    There is something very special about Border Collies and I couldn't live without one. Are you in the UK because there are many collies in rescue and there is probably a very suitable 2-3 yr old out there which would be ideal?
     
  17. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    A puppy will not be able to do one hour long walks until they are a year old, so that would not work. They need to be taken outside to toilet constantly throughout the day which obviously cannot happen if you only intend to arrange for someone to come in once. Now the BEST case scenario here would be that you have dog will be very slow to toilet train (as they would be forced to soil in the house), but the puppy is laid back enough and just sleeps when you are gone. However the MUCH more likely scenario, especially with a working bred puppy, is that they are distressed, destructive, and bored out of their brains with this routine. The very intelligent breeds tend to keep the bad habits that they pick up at a young age.

    What you are describing can work for the RIGHT adult dog. I really emphasis the 'right' because a lot of rescue dogs are going to require a period of adaptation much like a puppy would in order to get used to your routine.

    What I will say is that as someone who has working type dogs and works stupid hours is that it's hard work. Like, exhausting hard work. Expensive too as you really do rely on hired help. So I would really be considering my breed choice so carefully as there are breeds out there that are less demanding than the one you are interested in.
     
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  18. Ellaneza

    Ellaneza PetForums Newbie

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    So would you advise I might be able to own an older dog instead?
    I am in the UK. I will check with the rescue site that was suggested at some point in this thread. Thanks.
     
  19. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    I would say a BC puppy would be a difficult fit for you. Ideally you need longer off work than 2 weeks for a puppy, and that’s any puppy really. It won’t be toilet trained by then so will still need seeing to throughout the day and won’t be able to join a dog walkers group walks at midday when it’s young. You’ll need someone coming in to visit it frequently throughout the day.

    An older dog could work for you though. A BC is still hard work, and it’s not all about the exercise, it’s their brains that need exercising and being left throughout the day may not fit a BC as they could get bored and will make their own fun.
    Another breed of dog could more easily work. Why not go to some rescue centres and see if there are any that fit? Some of the bigger centres won’t rehome to full time workers but smaller ones will. Or look at a specific border collie rescue as they might be able to advise of a more laid back dog that would suit being left.
    We got our rescue when we worked full time. He was a year old when we got him and we took 5 weeks off between us (time off and working from home) to settle him in, toilet train him, teach him to be left and he was perfectly fine. He’s a mix of lots of breeds but a podenco cross mainly we think (Spanish sighthound). He’s great because he is intelligent and can be taught tricks but he has the sighthound snooze button so sleeps a lot when we’re out and during the day so we don’t need to mentally stimulate constantly. But we still take him to training classes (agility) and my other half competes in canicross with him so he is more than capable of doing more active things!

    I’d love a border collie, but I know that i don’t have the lifestyle to give it all the simulation it would need so we picked a dog that suited our lifestyle :)
    Border collies are great at training, dog sports etc and I know why they’re so desirable but with such an intelligent, driven breed can come lots of difficult traits too.
     
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  20. Ellaneza

    Ellaneza PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you very much for this extense advice... and alternatives.
    I will definitely take it on board.
    Thanks for sharing your experience, as well.
     
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