An unusual breed.
According to the breed standard this is how a border should look like ...breed standard...
A beautiful dog.
Activity, passion, speed, diligence, ready for action, intelligence, gentleness.
So many advantages which may become a nightmare of an inexperienced owner.
Border Collie was born to work. It needs physical and mental activity more than an average dog.
Imagine a cloudy day in November. It's cold and it’s raining. You’re reading a book in bed. Your dog is quietly lying next to you... but you decided to make a cup of tea.
You move away the blanket and for your ready-to-action, an intelligent dog this means that you’re going to play with it. So it brings you the ball. You go towards the door and your dog’s thinking "finally a walk". It happily wags its tail, brings you the leash, hangs around your feet and finally disappointed follows you into the kitchen. You open the cabinet and the dog’s thinking "he’s taking the treats, finally some training". To encourage you, it does some previous learned tricks. Another disappointment. You go back to bed with your cup of tea. Your dog does not lie next to you. Instead it tosses the ball hoping to engage you in a play. You don’t react. The dog's smart so it comes closer, tosses the ball higher, spilling the tea. The dog’s being punished and it goes away sad.
Now you’re thinking: a well-brought-up dog lies when asked to. And you’re right. But how often will you forbid your intelligent, active, watchful and sensitive dog to do any activities? You’ve decided for a border collie. Dog shelters in the UK are full of beautiful and active dogs that the owners couldn’t take care of. Mop up the spilled tea, put on a sweater, a cloak and wellingtons. Take care of your dog, give it what it needs. Believe me, it won’t be that bad, the joy of your border collie will become yours.
For a moment you may have wondered what does “more activity” for your dog mean? The answer is difficult. For some, a daily walk means going out for a half an hour, talking to a friend and cover the distance of 500 m. Possibly a few more ball-throws. For others it means 2 hours of fast pace which gives 6 km. But such a daily walk is not enough for a border collie!
I think that when choosing this breed you should also start training canine sports. Professionally or recreationally. The choice is quite big:
- dog trekking
- dog-sledding (canicross, bikejoring, skijoring)
There’s, of course, an alternative which is the work on a farm but the vast majority of the owners have no such possibility.
Mutual activity, preparing for a competition, competing and ambition are a huge motivation. Most people engage their dogs also mentally.
Don’t expect that after buying such a dog it will be motivating enough for you to finally take up running, cycling or to lose weight because it won’t!
Don’t expect your border collie to become a couch-potato or a mellow animal. Without the appropriate dose of activities, at home it’ll go on a rampage, run away and it can even become aggressive towards your friends. It will dig the holes in your garden and become a little devil. A border collie isn’t mentally able to cope with boredom.
Our story about a rainy day and spilled tea highlights another feature of a border collie This dog requires attention from its owner. You're in the centre of its attention for the whole time, it spots your every move. This dog perceives every gesture as an encouragement for working together and having fun. It intelligently focuses your attention on them even if you provide your dog with lots of activities. That’s how a border collie is.
A border collie cannot be a supplement to a mellow life of its owner, it wants to be their priority. Keep that in mind when buying a border collie.
Border collie is our favourite breed! :-)