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My brother got his wife a puppy...

January 9th, 2006, 11:11 PM
Ok, so against my advise and despite her wishes for a "purse dog" (not that there's anything wrong with small breeds, just her desire for one), my brother "surprised" his wife with an 8 week old Border Collie puppy. So aside from the stroke I had when my mother called to tell me (my brother was actually somewhat scared to), I need some info/guidelines/sanity to pass along so I don't seem like the overbearing first born older sister who has a clue and he being the younger "mom took care of everything" brother who doesn't. First off, how big do these pups get? The breeder (BYB - yeah I know, already blew a blood vessel over it) told him they only get about 25-30lbs and given the circumstance, not sure about that. Secondly, he swears she's already housebroken and she's really smart (that part I already knew from some of the folks here - that they're terribly bright dogs). How does one keep an exceptionally bright dog entertained in a house that simply isn't ready for a puppy (brand new expensive furniture, etc)? And thirdly, how do I phrase ANY of what I need to pass along in a constructive and meaningful way so I don't alienate my brother for his incredible stupidity over what I fear is a whim that will end up with a) puppy goes to live "outside" cuz she's a chewer (maybe) or b) Auntie Jenn ends up with a 3rd dog to join her merry band of misfit animals (which by the way, now includes 2 feral kitties that my pointer loathes and my shepherd adores)

January 9th, 2006, 11:17 PM
No such thing as an 8 week old house trained puppy. My aunt adopted one of those house-trained puppies after it was given up for peeing in the house unexpectedly....

You're going to have to be careful on this one. They got a handful of dog that frankly, I'm not too hopeful about and you are going to have to learn to step back. If you don't want to lose your brother completely, you're going to have to learn to say "I don't want to talk about it. It upsets me too much when you don't listen to a word I say."

That said, I think for now, the major thing is to encourage them to get into obedience as soon as possible.

January 10th, 2006, 07:11 AM
The best policy is to mind your own business and only offer advice when it is asked for. What's done is done, so being the positive upbeat helpful sister is the best idea. It will help them and the pup in the long run.

January 10th, 2006, 07:22 AM
If you have the cash I would purchase their first training session for their puppy. This way they can learn from someone else what to do with their pup.
It is not a good situation when the wife doesn't even want this kind of dog and to get one that is going to need lots of good exercise, hope their up for it. A "breeder" selling a pup and saying it is house broken is setting it up to be given away, not a good start for the pups.
Get them lots of general information about dealing with puppies.

January 10th, 2006, 08:21 AM
I've begun amassing a ton of printouts on Border Collies, training, what to expect, spay info and the like and will be sending it with a basket of toys, chewies and a decent food as well. And Stacey, great idea, I'm going to speak to my parents about going halvsies with me on that, since that leaves me out of the loop but for the cost. Thanks for the support guys, I'm heartsick over this, but have to do what's best :/

January 10th, 2006, 08:41 AM
All you can do is offer as much help as they are willing to take.

I was in this situation quite some time ago..But I won't get into it....:)

As for how big do they get.Not big at all.They are only about 18-20" at the shoulder,and roughly 30-45lbs.

My sister has one.And I tell you,this breed takes alot of work and patience.Training at day one is a must.Abbey is a working dog.And she burns off her energy herding the cows.With any breed,pure or mix,if they get bored they will chew.

I would also print out some facts about health issues in this breed.

January 10th, 2006, 08:52 AM
I placed on my site a few articles that may be of some interest to them, one is about getting through the first few nights after pup comes home, importance of training, importance of socializing, crate training, potty training, etc.

January 10th, 2006, 09:00 AM
Cross your fingers I don't get caught printing this all out here at work on our lovely color laser printer :P Thanks for the moral support, I swear I'll be completely grey before this is settled!

January 10th, 2006, 12:30 PM
Agree with mona_b about the dog's probably size. But you never know these days with all of the genetic mucking about. And, yes, these are very high energy dogs - used to live next door to one. Not that different really from my Eskimo. The only good thing I can say is that I am really glad your brother did not buy a "purse" size dog. Get ready for a new arrival.

January 10th, 2006, 12:46 PM
It's important to be the "supportive" sister.:angel: A gift basket is a great idea make sure the toys include a food ball that will help keep the puppy occupied and maybe a book on the breed and pee pads. It's not pos to housetrain a puppy at 8 weeks they should be prepared for that. When they ask you can tell them that "no there's nothing wrong with your puppy it's normal". You seem very knowledgeable, so wait, I'm sure they'll come to you for answers.

That's a handful of puppy she has there, if it's got a herding instinct it will try and keep the whole family in line and they(the dogs) can get very upset if you don't stay together. A woman I knew had one and it drove me crazy, I was there for a visit once and this dog spent all of it's time herding the family cat. This womans house was set up so that you went in a circle from the entrance/livingroom through a hallway into the kitchen and back into the livingroom. The whole time I was there the dog ran from one room to the other (from one side of the couch to the other, the couch divided the entry from the livingroom) following the cat. It would run this circle while the cat lounged on the couch or under the couch. definitely a breed that needs exercise. Great dogs if you can keep up to them, flyball or agility are good activities for this breed.

January 10th, 2006, 12:56 PM
I'm eternally grateful that they don't have any other animals, I too have run into being herded by my old riding trainer's border collie and Rocky Mountain Cur (they were a penning team it seemed). While it was great using them to bring horses in from the upper pastures, I never really got used to being herded myself lol I think now that the initial shock and disappointment on my part has started to lessen, I'm approaching this more rationally but I'll tell you what, it's tough keeping a big sister's mouth quiet!!! :)

January 10th, 2006, 02:51 PM
My sister is the same, she got a dog was advised that it was a breed that needed to be socialized very well and wasn't and now wonders why it wants to rip my dog apart, ok not that bad but sounds like it and who knows if he had the chance. He showed this behaviour when he was only 9 weeks old and then at almost a year it isn't better but worse. I took pictures on purpose of my dog playing with other dogs to show her that it wasn't my dog who had the problem but hers. I still don't think she thinks it is really her dog that has the problem but I think she is starting.
I am also the older sister but try to say things in a friendly way so that it doesn't cause a feud. If it were anyone else I would have told them straight up where the problem lies and what needs to be done.

January 10th, 2006, 03:00 PM
Don't get caught in the cross fire is my advice. A border collie is about as far from a purse size dog breed - it is like the Knesset versus the Iraqi Parliament. Border collies need to work. to herd. My cousin has 2 - but he is very atheletic, they have had experienced training and they get work in films. Very well trained animals - and lovable. But not for someone who wants a tiny dog to be a lapdog, OMG!! I can just picture that! What WAS your brother thinking?

January 10th, 2006, 03:08 PM
He was bent on getting a lab puppy for awhile, and I'd *thought* I'd managed to talk him into an older shelter rescue, since the discussion stopped for a long time :/ This was his idea of a compromise since he didn't one an itty bitty and she didn't want a big dog - she thinks my pointer (at 55lbs) and my shepherd/chow (at 60 lbs) are MONSTROUSLY HUGE. I love her to death, don't get me wrong, but my 2 are NOTHING compared to full GSD's or our cousin's Bernese Mountains (whom I adore hehe)

January 10th, 2006, 03:15 PM

The breeder (BYB - yeah I know, already blew a blood vessel over it) told him they only get about 25-30lbs and given the circumstance,

thats definatley not right my English Cocker Spaniel is between 25 and 30 pounds and is a lot smaller than a Border Collie. I dont know a lot about Border Collies but I know they are really intelligent and are super high energy.

January 10th, 2006, 03:24 PM
my mother had one of these working dogs. unfortunalty mum does not have a farm and could not excersise him enough, so one day he turned on her and attacked, sheer frustration from his perspective. he is now dead.. lets hope she is a runner.....

January 11th, 2006, 01:09 AM
And thirdly, how do I phrase ANY of what I need to pass along in a constructive and meaningful way so I don't alienate my brother for his incredible stupidity over what I fear is a whim that will end up with a) puppy goes to live "outside" cuz she's a chewer....

Send him over here! There's lots of help to be had on the site and on others. Beating him up over his obviously poorly thought out choice won't help, so at least wait until the dog is grown and trained and has benefited from the help you can offer. THen you can beat him up over it to make sure he doesn't make a stupid choice like that again!

Also there are a lot of inexpensive 'breed guides', inexpensive books with information about the background of the breed and its basic needs that maybe you could pick up as a "puppy warming gift." Just having an understanding of the origin of the breed and what it has been bred to do can help a lot. Too bad he didn't do some reading first!

Substituting a border for a purse dog is one of the most bizarre choices I have ever heard. If I were you, I'd start making room for a third dog!

January 11th, 2006, 07:55 AM
if they have a computer, give them this addy, tell them it's for "helpful" hints, and let everyone else be the fall guys, as for house broken, it is possible, my last dog arrived on my doorstep at 5 weeks and by six weeks she was asking for the door and never had an accident. She just followed the lead of our beagle and went out when she went out! My new pup is now 8 months and was fully house broken at 8 weeks, no accidents in the house since. The dog they bought will need tons of exercise and training, they need to learn and be busy, they need a "job".

January 11th, 2006, 03:17 PM
How does your sister-in-law feel about this dog, Jawert? Does she resent that your brother chose a non-purse dog to suprise her with? Is it going to an issue between them, or is she happy and postive now that its there?

Dont know anything about this breed other than they are highly inteligent an highly active. Great advice put forth here so far.

I wish them all good luck... think they will need it.

January 11th, 2006, 03:36 PM
I guess she's ok with her, she was the one who sent me an email with a picture (like I said, my brother was apparently terrified to call me) saying the pup was adorable and they named her Jasmine and all was well. I've amassed a few books (including the Monks of New Skete collection) and intelligent toys, and a very nice card that's middle of the road (I hope) and will be sending it all north tomorrow. :)

January 11th, 2006, 03:38 PM
Sounds like everything is ok, now all you need to do is help them to do right with this pup.

January 11th, 2006, 09:38 PM
The average of a Border collie is 18-20" and 30-45 lbs. Give or take a bit.

January 12th, 2006, 12:41 AM
Border collies can have a wide range of appearances/weights if they were used as active herding dogs instead of show dogs. My labrador / border collie mix weighs about 50 lbs. (Of course, I imagine a lot of that weight was from her lab side.) I would not count on the dog being too small--the border collies I've seen are what people think of as "large" sized dogs, but slim. Or at best medium-large.

They are very smart, very active, and can get VERY destructive if not given a job. I am praying your sister will take an interest in agility training.

I will say that my border collie mix was a snap to housetrain. Not at eight weeks, no no, but she only had a few accidents after we got her at three months old, and that was without crate training.

I'm crossing my fingers that all goes well! I agree, what a weird choice considering she wanted a "purse" dog!


January 14th, 2006, 10:10 AM
Well the care package is soon to be sent this morning. I have included the following and any additional suggestions are very welcome (I couldn't have survived this without all of you!!)

4 woobies
- one fleece bone, 2 fleece bears, one fleece dog catcher (hehe couldn't help myself)
1 Kong Ball
1 Kong treat toy and pack of Kong treats
1 ball on a rope
1 rope
1 package of Mother Hubbard Puppy bones
1 box of Natures Miracle puppy pads and bottle of Natures Miracle
1 copy of How to be your dog's best friend
2 chicken flavoured nylabones

January 14th, 2006, 11:19 AM
Sounds like a great package. I hope they sign their pup up for training.

January 14th, 2006, 11:21 AM
Yep Stacey, my folks and I went in on training and her first class is next week :)