Thinking of Bringing Home a Border Collie Pup?
The most intelligent dog on the planet....paws down
The Border Collie, according to what historians know for certain, developed at least 150 years ago in the border land between England, Scotland and Wales. Of course, that many years ago, they were simply known as a collie, sheepdog or a shepherd's dog. This pretty much tells us their main purpose without a lengthy resume. Border Collies have a work ethic to put all others to shame. Herding, keeping watch, running, guiding, barking instructions and being a SHEEP BOSS, the Big Kahuna of the Hillside....that's a Border Collie.
If you're thinking of adopting a Border Collie, you don't have to own a sheep farm, but you really need to do some research on this complex breed of working stiffs.
I can offer some assistance in your thought process, if you please. I certainly understand an attraction to this handsome & intelligent dog. They are regal in stature, with a thick, dual-colored coat (usually black & white) . Their facial features are distinct.....a long straight snout, and very dark, close-set eyes that focus intently and zero in with a constant stare. These serious-minded dogs are fiercely loyal to their Master, a bit snobbish toward other dogs and totally indifferent to cats in the same household. Never fear though, they are as lovable as can be, because they KNOW to brown-nose and expose their CHARM. I'll say this, if a Border Collie could talk, it would most definitely be with a polished British Accent!
I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE
My three year old boy genius is my best buddy. I remember well, the two little pups remaining from the litter, one that waddled away from me and "Taz," who literally jumped into my lap. Love at first sight. I also remember the Breeder stressing that he will "always welcome the pup back, should I find he isn't my kind of dog." Ridiculous, I thought. Do we return our children to the maternity ward if it doesn't work out? (Parents! Shame on you for what just went through your mind!!)
"Taz," had already been registered and given his official "biblical" name, "Tazmanian Devil." Most people call him, "Taz," I call him "TazMan," and as his Master, I have the right to give him a nickname exclusive to our communications. I can whisper "Tazman," from 2 rooms away and he's at my feet in a shot.......no kidding. Their vision and hearing is keenly sharp beyond belief......what they may not see, they hear and vise-versa. There is absolutely no attempting to quietly tip-toe behind their backs. Their reaction is instantaneous. They follow your feet, closely and unwaveringly. It's their nature, beyond their control, they're HERDERS! If you plan on becoming annoyed at this natural instinct or erroneously believe you can break him of it, you do not want a Border Collie.
TRAINING, CARE & ENTERTAINMENT
Any dog can be trained to do what you want him to do. If you spend enough time and effort teaching your dog to sit, lay, fetch, speak and stay, eventually you may have yourself a talented, obedient pal. Border Collies soak up training in the accelerated mode, often performing a task after one or two short sessions. This makes a lot of sense when you consider their ability to FOCUS as well as the acuteness of their senses. They WANT to work, so they excel in the classroom. They love to perform and aim to please. The next time you're watching TV, pay close attention to commercials with a dog. FACT: 90% of these commercials feature a Border Collie, for the simple reason that they train easily and quickly.
A little side note here for your consideration: If you haven't the time, patience or desire to BRUSH BRUSH BRUSH your dog, at the very least, once a week, skip over the Border Collie and go for a beagle or a weiner dog! These beauties have a coat that run the gamut from rough to smooth, a combo of both, coarse to silky, in THICK, double layers. Hair, hair, everywhere, but easily controlled if you're willing to work at it.
THE JOHNNY BENCH OF DOGS
Border Collies appear to have sprouted wings when it comes to leaping into mid-air to catch a FRISBEE. They literally amaze with their speed and grace, not to mention the timing and focus it requires to NEVER miss. Playing catch is one of the best ways you can help your four-legged pal burn off some of that super energy stash. Which reminds me to tell you that Border Collies are the BEST breed to own if you like to walk or jog....the greatest fitness partners ever. Even when you may try to find another lame excuse to blow off your routine for the morning, it's doubtful Mr. Ants in his Pants will let you slide!
A LOVABLE BIG MUSHY BABY
I can't speak for all Border Collies on this note, but I can tell you that my "Taz," is a lover for sure. Of course I encouraged this and am a kissy-huggy Mom, but being as serious and reserved as they are, it's a surprise to most people, that they transform to drooling babies who want their bellies rubbed and ears ruffled. At 65#, my "baby" is hardly a lap dog, but that doesn't stop him from jumping onto my lap for a cuddle-session. He is ever so gentle when waking me in the morning. Careful not to tromple on me, he nudges the side of my face with his big old cold, wet nose. Oh yeah, and they do NOT give up until you do as they want. I have NO choice but to get out of bed!
If you are the proud Master of this wonderful specimen of dog, nothing that I've said has come as any surprise to you.
And I haven't a single doubt you love him/her as much as I love mine, but never as much as they love US! If you may have considered bringing a baby Border Collie into your family, I hope I've encouraged you to do some in-depth homework on this sensitive and intelligent breed, before signing on the dotted line. Just as we humans are all unique, so too is the vast assortment of Man's Best Friend.
Oh........Taz just reminded me to recommend a couple of great books that will give you all the information you could want. He also said he'll read them to you if you'd like!
Your Border Collie's LIFE Kim D.R. Dearth/Joanne Howl, D.V.M.
The BORDER COLLIE TRACY LIBBY/Wayne Hunthausen, D.V.M.
© 2011 Paula