My name is Tara Brown and i live in Guelph, Ontario Canada. I will be getting my very first Border Collie next spring. I am here to learn and get on top of things and really really make sure a BC is right for me!
I am a professional trainer and have a school for family dog training here in Guelph. I have a BA in Behavioral Psychology and took a diploma in canine training and behavior after that. I attend many seminars and conferences yearly to keep my training and B-mod skills up to date. But i am still a little freaked out about getting a Border Collie!
I currently own a lab and a newfoundland and i train in obedience, rally-o, draft and water rescue. I did field work with my lab for a bit but could not take the training methods used in that sport! I am a purely positive-reinforcement trainer and was not willing to do the things that seemed common place in the field dog world.
I am just learning about all the 'politics' that the BC breed comes with. I fully understand the fear of the BC losing its working ability. Having two breeds that have succumb to the show ring i fully understand. My lab is a field lab - both parents master hunters, she looks nothing like the lab that won group at the Purina Nationals this year - this lab was so large he could barely trot around the ring! My Newfie is also from working lines with the correct coat and head type. Some newfies are being bred so much like like puffy mastiffs that they can no longer perform their duties as a working dog - very sad!
I love working my dogs and want to add another working dog to my family. I often joke that my lab is a BC in disguise - she has the sensitivity, intensity and drive not often seen in labs. I can throw a tennis ball into a herd of geese in the water and she will go right in a retrieve the ball - nothing else exists!
My goals for my BC are herding, obedience and Rally firstly, then other fun stuff like agility. I would love another great working dog and the BC was really the only breed in the 'working dog' family that i feel a connection with. I love their sweet/sensitive and thoughtful side.
What i am wary of is getting another high-energy dog. At the age of 8 my lab is finally calming down (inside the house) and will relax and cuddle with me. I am hoping i can give my BC enough stimulation that she won't turn into a terror. Although i love to train and work my dogs i also like to watch tv and play on the computer! And i don't relish 8mile hikes! I would be very interested to hear about exercise requirements and what you guys do on a daily basis to keep your BCs happy and sane.
I am looking forward to learning a lot from this group. When i got my newfie i didn't know about all the thinks i should have been doing when she was a pup to get her ready for water rescue work and draft work. I would like to be fully prepared for my BC.
I would like to know where i can find good info on herding; what to do with pups, how to train and so on. Could you guys recommend some good sites and books to start?
Thanks everyone, i look forward to chatting with you!