Hi there! My name is Giuli and I am 20 years old. I live in St. Louis, MO with my boyfriend (Tim), cat (Zephyr) and three ferrets (Mizu, Samson, and Delilah). I am a pre-vet student and while my future focus as a vet will be on ferrets, i've always had an interest in dogs, border collies specifically.
I've read about border collies since I was 16 years old, and their versitility and intelligence has always fascinated me and drawn me to them. I am a really hands on pet owner, my future career will be dedicated to pets and currently my whole day revolves around school and my animals. My cat and three ferrets all eat a raw diet supplemented with whole prey (like mice, rats, fish, etc). My pets are my life. Having a dog that I could take to agility trials, herding trials, obedience competitions has always appealed to me. My ex-boyfriend had a very sweet but timid lab mix and it always bummed me out that I couldnt go do activities (flyball, agility, etc) with his dog because the dog was too timid.
I know that border collies are VERY high energy and require alot of attention. While that may be bad for some people, that is exactly what draws me to them. I WANT a dog that demands attention. I WANT a dog that I can take to do dog sports like some people take their kids to soccer practice. I want that so badly. I dont just want a dog to sit in the house with me and keep me company.
I currently live in a one bedroom apartment. I work about 30 hours a week and go to school full time (about 12 credit hours). My boyfriend works and attends school the same as I do. Financially I know I am not stable enough for a border just yet (I just moved into my new apartment), and to be honest I dont know if the time I have availble would suit a dog of this energy level and intelligence.
I came here ask some questions. I would love to get a border, but I just dont know WHEN would be the ideal time. I am young, but very dedicated to my animals and I am very responsible. My pets recieve the best medical care and the best diet possible. Sorry this intro was so long. Here are my questions:
1. What is the ideal living environment for a border collie? Would they be okay in a one bedroom apartment AS LONG as they got TONS of exercise each day and lots of activities each weekend?
2. Would my current schedule (which inclues about 45 hours a week of classes and work) not provide enough time for my border collie?
3. I know border collies have a tendency to 'herd' (duh! lol!) if raised from puppy hood with them, would a border be okay with my cat and my ferrets? (NOTE: My ferrets romp and play with my cat, they wrestle with her and chase her and sometimes scare her off! They are NOT prey animals, just small carnivores that love to play, like a perpeutal kitten/puppy)
4. How much daily exercise does a border collie need, and what does this exercise entail (twice daily hour long walk/runs? Daily 30 min fetch in the park? daily agility practice?)
5. I'd like to get involved in activites with my future dog (especially flyball, agility, and obedience. Herding trials would interest me as well if I had the time and ability to do that). How much practice goes into these exercises during the work week? I am assuming that the actual activity/competitions takes place on the weekends?
I am basically trying to get an idea of WHEN would be the ideal time for me to get a border collie. Getting a dog is a lifelong commitment and not something I take lightly. I want to make sure I am doing this at the best time possible, when I am able to best care for my future border. I'd really appreciate it if you guys could volunteer your and expertise to help me out a little.
Thanks in advance!