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Old March 9th, 2004, 01:32 PM
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Question border collies

Could any one help me out I am thinking of buying a border collie, I know they are active both physically and mentaly but on the medical level what are they like. Are there many health problems and how common are they. I recently lost my bernese x german sheppard to bone cancer he also had OSD when he was 7 months that had to be surgically corrected and he had bloat at 5 years of age which was also surgically corrected, and i know these are all related to the larger breed dogs.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 01:35 PM
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There is someone on this board is who quite an expert on border collies - I hope she will show up!
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Old March 9th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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I'm sorry for your loss.

Here is a link to the health of a Border Collie.

My sister has one along with 3 Siberian Huskies.

They are on a farm,so Abby get lots of exercise.And loves to heard the cows.LOL.


http://www.bordercollie.org/vet.html
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Old March 9th, 2004, 02:15 PM
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There is a border collie dalmation mix at the Toronto Humane society that has been there for a very long time.

Her name is Matilda and I've posted her in the adoption section of this board, please go have a look at her.

She will according to THS make a wondeful dog if shes' the only dog in the home.

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Old March 10th, 2004, 07:54 AM
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Thanks for your help, we won't be getting a dog until later in the summer. As we are going on a trip to the east coast of Quebec to visit my inlaws. This way I don't have to worry about a doggy sitter. My friend use to come in and stay with my other dog when we went there for a visit, but this time she can just come over and feed the cats and lizard. I just trying to reserch this breed, I have read that they arn't that great as pets because of the herding instincts? My Bernese x (Travis) herded sheep once that was loose on our property up north, it was kind of funny since he had no training, but I didn't let him do it for long didn't want to scare the sheep. He crouched down behind them and got up real close then barked at them, interesting to watch.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 08:07 AM
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Actually,they make great pets.

I have watched a dog agility group that puts on a show.It's called Superdogs.The majority are Border Collies.They say as long as you keep the breed active and busy,they make the greatest pets.

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Old March 10th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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I considered getting a BC last year. I saw the cutest puppies and I really wanted one of those fuzzballs!

Someone much wiser then me (thank you Carina) talked me out of it.

BC's are great family pets but they are quite active. Definately not your hiking on the weekend kind of dog. More like your marathon runner type.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 09:14 AM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Quote:
More like your marathon runner type
Yeah! LOL! Someone experienced with the breed had this to say: "Border collies MUST have a job. If they don't, they will find one on their own, and it's guaranteed that you aren't going to like it".
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Old March 10th, 2004, 11:44 AM
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Border collies MUST have a job.
And we aren't talkin' bringing in the morniing paper here! We are talking New York messenger !
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Old March 10th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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I have a border collie x Dal mix. She has the BC traits. You have to keep their minds working. If you don't you won't like what they come up with. They are on alert 24/7. Very energetic hyper dog.

I take mine every day for 1-2 hour walks and sometimes more. Motzi (BCx) will want more. She tries to herd the other dogs (Have Dal and a Heinz 57)...she tries to herd us.

If you want a BC be prepared for the smarest dog ever. They will try to outwit you! But excercise is a must and every day! I agree with give the dog a job.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 07:26 PM
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I was raised with them; my mother had working BCs for her sheep. I believe they are very healthy dogs...epilepsy may be a concern (I'm not sure about that though.)

They can be absolute hellions if they are not kept busy. They are able to easily run 20-30 miles a day. They're incredibly smart dogs, can be quite sharp, and yes they need a job! They can also get vocal if bored, and aren't always great with other dogs because they do that eye thing.

They're amazing dogs though. Hopefully the board BC expert will chime in here...

Oh - read this! It's hilarious:
http://www.laughingdogpress.com/bree...rcollie01.html
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Old March 12th, 2004, 09:16 PM
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WHOA

"Actually,they make great pets.

I have watched a dog agility group that puts on a show.It's called Superdogs.The majority are Border Collies.They say as long as you keep the breed active and busy,they make the greatest pets."

and

"BC's are great family pets but they are quite active."

Hate to burst your bubbles, folks, but border collies are NOT "great family pets." Nor are they "great pets."

They are AMAZING DOGS and they are *fantastic* working companions. They are also fussy, weird, obsessive, neurotic, intense and prone to temperament issues. Let's be realistic.

The average border collie in a non-working (and I define working as working STOCK) home is a dog who is going to demand a few hours of constructive exercise every day. A typical day for my dogs sees them getting a minimum of two hours of hard core aerobic activity every day, on top of herding, agility, flyball and competitions in all three activities.

How many busy "families" do you know that can offer that kind of intense physical workout for their dogs every single day? On top of work, soccer practice, ballet class, the flu, homework, cooking, cleaning etc?

When you think about a border collie, think about this: the breed was created to perform a physically demanding and mentally draining task in challenging environments with little reward and only a solitary shepherd for companionship. They are bred to think independently, to have an innate need to control and temperament was never the primary consideration when breeding. They didn't have to be good with kids, nice to strangers, or good with other dogs because when they weren't working on the hills and dales of Britain, they were chained up or kennelled up until needed again.

There's a border collie in a nutshell for you ... demanding, tireless, pushy and controlling, temperamentally suspect and supremely intense.

Does that sound like a "great pet" or a "great family dog" to anyone here?

My dogs are my pets, but they are foremost my working companions. They would be completely unhappy in a home where they expected to laze around, go for a nice walk when the owner feels like it and otherwise just hang around being doggie. Instead, they are in your face, asking to play, obsessing on shadows or tennis balls or the cats. They are smarter than your average bear, and that makes them MORE challenging to train. Give them an inch, they will take a mile. Give them a mile and they will run for President.

It's so unfair to perpetuate the myth that the breed is a great pet, because that myth is exactly why so many of them end up in shelters or rescue. Most people are not prepared to live with a border collie ... as my partner so succinctly put it one day, when the dogs were driving him nuts, "Why couldn't you just get DOGS??"

Before anyone jumps down my throat; there ARE exceptions to the rule. Breed away from working ability long enough and you will dumb down the very things that make a border collie a border collie. Sometimes a laid back individual shows up in a litter for no reason at all. There are some border collies that are just big suck buckets and nothing more - I know, I've placed them. But they are the exception to the rule, not the norm.

Please don't BUY a border collie. The only people who should be breeding them are working and trialling stock people. The only people they should be selling them to are working and / or sport performance homes. If a breeder is willing to sell you a border collie because they've got 'em for sale and you want one, that should be a BIG red flag. I have 19 border collies in rescue right now, 7 of them are 4 week old puppies dumped in a kill shelter with their mum when they were 3 days old. We place almost 100 dogs a year. There is no good reason to BUY a border collie as a pet when there are literally hundreds up hundreds of them languishing in shelters and rescues looking for homes. I got 6 requests in a 3 day period to take in dogs, and that's not unusual, if that gives you any idea just how many there are needing homes.

Talk to rescue. Listen to what they have to say. Evaluate yourself honestly and fairly. If you can't give a border collie what it needs, don't get a border collie.
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Old March 12th, 2004, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Evaluate yourself honestly and fairly. If you can't give a border collie what it needs, don't get a border collie
Excellent advice. This applies to many other breeds too!
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Old March 12th, 2004, 11:04 PM
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Well RDM,along with my sister owning one,I do know of others.And they do think that the BC make great pets.

Abby works very hard on the farm.When her work is done,she will just lay around or play around with the other dogs.She is very calm and layed back.She gets tons of exercise.She is not overly demanding either.And she is a great family dog.There are 4 teenagers in the household also.And it does get very busy at times also.The majority being with hockey practice and hockey games.But Abby still gets her workout.

My best friends parents also had a border collie for 13 years.They lived in a house on my street where I grew up.Mind you this was many many years ago.And her dad till this day still talks about her and says what a great dog she was.And his brother has 2.He brought them over at his open house at christmas.They were very calm,well trained and not hyper.And they have always had this breed.They have a large property that Jake and Sasha love.They get alot of exersise.And are very happy healthy dogs.

And like I said before,the owners of the BC at the Superdog show say they make great pets.
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Old March 13th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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I 100% agree with RDM!!!!!!!!!!

Motzi is on the 24 hours a day. If its not running (Which she will do for hours on end) You have to play ball with her. She is on alert all the time!
I stay at home all day..its a good thing I do because I think she would go squirrelly in the house.

She herds the other dogs. If the move out of her zone she will chase them down and use her body to make them turn. If that doesn't work she barks right in their ear.

You have to be into excercise..and have time for them. I have the dal and they told me how hyper they are. They don't even come close to Motzi. My dal is a huge couch potato!!!!!
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Old March 13th, 2004, 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by mona_b
Well RDM,along with my sister owning one,I do know of others.And they do think that the BC make great pets.
Well of course, you know a couple border collies and "Superdogs" said they are good pets, therefore my 15 years of experience with the breed and the fact that I run a rescue dedicated to the breed doesn't mean anything. Makes sense.

Believe what you will. But have the decency not to argue with someone who cleans up after the myth of "border collies are super pets for everyone" unless you want to come and do my work for me. I'm not typing his stuff because I like the sensation of the keyboard on my fingertips, okay? I'm trying to present a realistic, honest evaluation of the breed based on the fact that I place about 100 of the of them a year (and could rescue double that number if only I had enough foster homes to take them all in) and about 75% of them are turned in because they were just too much work for people who believed something similar to the hype you're spouting and got themselves a border collie.

I don't do any people, or any dogs, a favour by telling people "yup, the border collie is the ultimate pet" because it's not true. They are not an easy breed to live with, and it takes a certain kind of person to own a border collie.

I think border collies are fantastic companions ... for the RIGHT PEOPLE. Why the heck else would I devote my life to the breed? But they are not what people typically want when they think of a "pet" dog. I think Sue Sternberg is a freaky lady, but one I thing I do agree with her on is that the average adopter is not looking for an intense, high drive, WORKING dog ... they are looking for an easy going, good natured, laid back pal. It's not fair to tell those people that a border collie fits the bill, because despite your extensive experience with seeing Superdogs on television, that's simply not true.

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Old March 13th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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Abby works very hard on the farm.When her work is done,she will just lay around or play around with the other dogs.She is very calm and layed back.She gets tons of exercise
Precisely. The hard work and tons of exercise are probably WHY she is a great pet!

Put her into an average suburban household, with owners gone 8 hours a day and who think a quick walk will suffice, and you might see very different behaviors. Sadly, in this type of home, Abby would probably end up being dumped as well.
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Old March 13th, 2004, 06:44 PM
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Personally, as a Border Collie owner myself, I say unless you have the time, space, and willingness to work with this dog all the time.... Then NO.

If my red and white Border Collie, Queen, could talk, she'd be saying: "Work, Run, chase llamas. Work, run, chase llamas. Pant, rest. Llama getting away, run, work, chase llamas."

She lives on a 212 acre farm, and she is used along with two other "farmdogs" [two black/white Borders] to help herd a large herd of llamas.


She can barely sit still without her eyes following something, she'll look at me whenever I AM resting as if to say "what you doing? works not over yet?"


If Queen was in a town or city, she'd be bored silly. And turn her attention to herding kids [trust me, my uncle has one, and the dog contiunally nips his and his kids on their heels, it isn't nice].

Seriously think about the TIME and ATTENTION you can give the dog before you buy one...

I know they are cute puppies, but that puppy will turn into a working animal that won't stop.
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Old March 13th, 2004, 06:51 PM
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Well having also grown up with BCs, I agree with you guys who say they are rarely good family pets. If you get one that's calm & laid back & doesn't want to herd everything in sight, that's NOT a typical BC!

Personally I adore the breed. Along with Rottweilers they have got to be the smartest, coolest dogs in the world. But I just couldn't deal with that level of hyperness anymore.
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Old March 13th, 2004, 07:20 PM
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RDM is right. You need to think long and hard before deciding you would like to add a BC to your family.

Before our present puppy I have been lucky enough to have a Corgi, a Husky, a Poodle and a Jack Russell Terrier. Our present puppy is a 7 month old male BC. He is a WONDERFUL addition to my family but even all the warnings and reading I did before we brought Murphy home we're not enough to prepare me for the real thing. Murphy is an adorable, loyal, lovable companion. He is smart, quick and tireless. If you want to be able to spend some quiet time with your dog (cuddles while watching TV, a companion while reading) a BC is not the answer. I'm not saying it never happens only that it does not happen often unless he has been well exercised.
Murphy is walked twice a day (minimum 1 hr each time), has run and play time with other dogs, and is in training, which we do for 15 minutes 4 times a day. All if this is JUST enough to keep Murphy satisfied. Should his day lack any one of those things then there is no quiet when he is in the house. He will constantly be under my feet and bringing toys- should I choose to ignore this ( and I would recommend that you don't) he WILL find something to do (whether it be eat the bathroom garbage, chase the cat and just plain get into anything he can).

I am not telling you this to discourage you only to help you be aware of what a non-working BC is like in the oridinary home.

RDM is also correct that not all BC's are like this but the number of them who aren't is very small and hard to find.

Do I wish I had picked another breed? Nope! Murphy is exactly what we were looking for and is an amazing additon to our family.
I did not mention the health problems as the link mona_b gave you was good.

Good luck with your quest and your decision!! Be sure to let us know when you make the addition to your family!!
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Old March 13th, 2004, 10:00 PM
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I used to own one when we lived in the UK - many moons ago. They are great companions for children - rounding them up all the time. I also had one when I was a child - a X I think - BC and Spaniel - he was a really super dog - and the local farmer used to *borrow* him for herding his cows - never quite sure how that worked out - whether the farmer borrowed him - or the dog borrowed the cattle, in between herding my brother and myself around. The do need a super amount of walking/running - and DO NEED a job - or otherwise you will find feather anything *mulched* while you are out. Both the ones I knew had feather fetishes
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Old March 14th, 2004, 11:42 AM
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LOVE the new signature Murph Smurf
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Old March 14th, 2004, 07:59 PM
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Smile

Wow guys thanks for all your input, and I will take it all into concideration especially
RBD. What type of dog would you concider???????? May be a little info about me? I have grown up and always had dogs from GSD to poodle mixes ect... I have two teen kids very active jogging, cycling and so on, my daughter wants to train agility, I also enjoy long walks. We have a park 5 min away that is no leash park, we also own 16 acres of land up north that backs onto 200 acres of bush, which we stay at often. I am into life time ownership none of my animals have ever gone to Pounds, I don't even send stray animals there I find their homes or new homes. My last dog was taken to puppy classes and Ob. training. I don't want a couch potato, and I prefer herding dogs. So does anyone have any ideas???????
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Old March 14th, 2004, 08:37 PM
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Oh - medium/large breed active friendly dogs - you have a ton of choices! Are you looking for a puppy? There's probably a zillion young dogs in rescue & shelters you could choose from.

Labs, Goldens, Standard Poodles, GSDs, Rottweilers - a kid who works for me has an extremely cool Lab/Chow mix who pulls him on his skateboard with a harness, gets along with everybody, and is cute as can be. I'm of course partial to Rottweilers, they can be just awesome family dogs. But they are more challenging to raise than many other breeds - on a side note they are the only non-herding dog eligible for AKC herding titles, they were drover dogs.

Does anyone know how rough or smooth coated collies (the Lassie type) compare with BCs?
How about Corgis? Despite their little short legs they are extremely hardy dogs with tons of stamina - they are also herding dogs, used mostly in Wales. Plus they are extremely friendly and trainable dogs.
The Cardigans have tails:
http://www.cardigancorgis.com/versatileFrames.htm
Pembrokes don't:
http://www.compupets.com/pwcac/
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Old March 14th, 2004, 08:57 PM
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Oh sorry med sized herding not going into large breeds again for a while love them but their lifes
are too short and yes i know there is no way to know how long your dog could live for
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Old March 14th, 2004, 09:06 PM
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Jack Russells have all that you need - without the major energy level - almost but not quite the same as BC's. I have two and they are the love of our lives. They are both very inteligent - and love running - training and sleeping (well mine do anyway). Having had BC's - I find JR's calmer in most respects - but toned down from a BC
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Old March 14th, 2004, 10:03 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Medium sized herding breed - and high energy goes without saying...what about an Australian Shepherd?

Smooth and rough (Lassie) collies have nowhere near the drive and energy of BCs. They are good watchdogs, not normally aggressive, and loving and loyal companions.

A smooth collie may be the better choice, since the rough - with the massive coats they are bred for now - would not be very active in the summer and would probably spend the whole season lying under the deck, like my collie x did.

Smooth collies are big, but are capable for living quite a long time.

Good idea Carina! I vote for smooth collie.

Oh, and Standard poodle is also a great option, but you must keep in mind the grooming needs.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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i have an 8th month old border collie X ( i think its with a retriever) and he is ALOT OF WORK... but so sweet at the same time-- feel free to ask any questions that you still have!!
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 07:47 PM
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Hi guys it has been a while, we got a new puppy and decided to go with a border collie, we researched, talked to our vet and other owners of bc's and the whole family decided that it was the best dog for us. We have been busy with the new pup he is very busy and we are enjoying every minute of it.
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 08:39 PM
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Nice pup, In another year or two I'm going to get Kona(Golden/BC x) a BC buddy. The red's are one of my favorite colours, but if I can find a good blue merle I think I may get that. Good luck with your new dog, as long as you stay active(sun,snow,rain, hail, hurricane..)and get in some kind of mentally stimulating games you and your dog will do great! Just watch out for "the eye"
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