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A Couple Questions

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Alright i just have a couple questions.


I'm thinking about getting a Border Collie, and already just from the research i've been doing i'm already dreading the obtaining of one. I want to go with a reputable breeder but it seems like none will greet anyone who doesn't live on a ranch with open arms. I'm actually self employed and work from the home so i have lots of free time to spend with my boys. I've also trained and had quite a few labs, which from what i've heard of BC's can be the same nightmare when not excersized and stimulated. I've actually watched a number or herding trails and thought they were extremely interesting and wish i could partake. So are there actual facilities where i can train and excersize my dogs herding abilities without actually owning or living on a ranch? I mean i realize that they might be a ways out but i've searched and searched and i haven't found any concrete facilities where this is offered. I mean i would love to take an hour or two drive once or twice a week out to somewhere we he could get his 'herd-on', and as stated earlier i'm used to the daily runs (i live close to a dog park) so the physical aspect isn't really holding me back. Also if herding is impossible are agility trials and games enough mental stimulation? Some of these questions may be ignorant, if any are taken as such i am sorry. Any help on knowing the answers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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I would recommend rescue. There are a ton of rescue dogs here on the boards. My Rivendell is a rescue and I dont regret it for a minute! Usually shelters always have them, at least around here. Lots of times you can get young dogs, sometimes even puppies! Please do not go to a pet store or to a breeder that you are unsure of. Lots of times they're puppy mills and buying from them encourages the abuse these poor dogs go through, not to mention more likely diseases on the puppies ect. I didnt get the vibe you'd do that, just wanted to say it.


We dont trial or herd Riven due to the remote place we live in. But we do walk, go to the park, do mental stimulation at home. I know specifically people on the board who dont herd at all with their dogs and do agility and stuff. In fact I believe quite a few people here dont herd at all just do agility, obedience, ect.


I am one of theh people that think only unasked questions are ignorant. I dont claim to be a BC expert, just speaking from my experience.


Good luck.

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I have to recommend Mary Ann Lindsay at Inland Northwest Rescue, located in Hayden Lake, Idaho.




Mary Ann has Border Collies and Aussies from shelters and owner turn-ins, and she has an almost mystical ability to match dogs and owners. She receives ten applications for every dog she places, and she has almost no returns. Several people on this board and on the Border Collie Rescue board have gotten dogs from her. Her understanding of her rescues is unique.

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I think rescue would be a great idea, a good recue shelter would have got to know quite a bit about the dog and could give so much advice.

I got badger when he was a year old, i had always had BCs so i new the breed well. They are all so differant, Badger never herds at all, he has no interest in sheep LOL, if they would play with him then yes, he is soooo laid back, but the minute he went to agiltiy he would come alive, he dos'nt do it now but he is with me as as i am a gardener so he is out all day and he has a free run in the forest every day. In my opinion running free and lots of fresh air is a must, and to feel a major part of your day. Its great you are doing so much research first. My old BC Rooney, was a real herder and would herd all day, pidgeons mostly, he was a real nutcase :rolleyes: he was quite typical , Badger is the opposite, so carry on with your resaerch.

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Hey thank you for the quick responses.


I'm feeling that rescue is the way to go. Besides I'm not going to feed the greedy pockets of a puppy mill, i'd rather save a life! So many BC's get along fine with just a lot of daily excersize and love? With a night of sleep and consideration i've realized that i think i'd like the adoration and look of love from a little guy that knows and appreciates the fact that he now has a steady home, as well as steady parents! Thanks for the link. Are all rescue dogs eye and hip tested and everything before you get them? I know this next question prolly depends on the dog but how are they with car rides? I take trips to the store and post office often to break the monotany of the day as well as walk etc... I want me and my boy to be joined at the hip if possible, which is actually why i'm going with a bit of a smaller dog. I'm glad i'm learning this now cause i'm actually going to wait a few months before adding to the family. I just want to settle down from a recent move and i don't want my new friend to feel the chaos of comming to a new home when it's already chaotic around here hehe. So besides 'shaping' which i've heard about are there any other good mental stimulation excersizes, or are games like fetch and hide the ball sufficient? THANKS!


One more thing. The only reason i'm so adamant on the herding aspect, is because a lot of what i've read always talks about 'staying away' from BC's that haven't been bred for working. They constantly talk down people who breed them for anything else. Are these just devout ranchhands who believe in the preservation of the breed as a working animal? Or are they actually saying that BC's not bred for working are inferior dogs compared to those who are? Anyone with a BC not bred for working i'm not trying to put down or anything. I just want the most informed decision possible. THANKS

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Hi, and welcome!


I have two working BCs and sheep. Right now I'm just working my dogs about 3 days a week for maybe 15 min/day and they're doing just fine :rolleyes: . So yes, if you found a place to go for herding training once or twice a week, your dog would be good with that. And games of fetch and hide and seek are great exercise and stimulation through out the week.


You could probably request that a rescue dog be screened for hip/eye problems at your expense before adopting. I'm not positive, but I doubt that many rescues screen like that unless a general health check indicates a problem. Costs add up quickly for a rescue, and the money has to come in through donations or out of pocket.


Have you read the Read This First sticky? That helps answer your question on breeding. This statment may sound a little simplistic, but the definition of "Border Collie" should be "a dog bred for the ability to work/handle livestock". That's not saying it's wrong to do other things with your BC, but that they should be bred only with that working ability in mind - not color, looks, the fact that the dog is a great pet, or a grand champion at agility or flyball.


My 2 y/o BC was bred for working ability. He is a 30# prick ear, smooth coat dog that is ready to work the instant he sees sheep. When we're not working, he loves to play ball, go for rides, and run around the field with my other dog. He is great with kids. He has has lots of new experiences since I got him 4 months ago, and has adapted very well. I am planning on starting SAR training with him this spring.


Breeding for working ability not only preserves the essence of the breed, but provides you with the best chance that the pups produced will be well-balanced versatile dogs.

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Hi, welcome, and good for you for doing your research first.


FWIW, my BCs would LOVE to be joined at the hip with me (though this is not always possible), and are pretty much interested in going wherever I do, even if it's just into the next room. I'd think that most rescue BCs would be just thrilled with being a constant sidekick. Mine love the truck - even if it's just a trip to the store, they seem happy to have the outings whenever possible, and never act disappointed if it's just a trip to the post office or something. They might PREFER we go to the stock pens, but they're not disappointed by a lesser destination.


A rescue group probably will not have the resources to do the hip/eye testing themselves - but sometimes you do find dogs that enter rescue having had some of that done already, and if so, the rescue group might know the results. The other nice thing is that rescues very often know if the dog is good with kids, cats, other dogs, etc. And, as you say - you get to save a life. Always a worthwhile goal.


I'm not sure I'd characterize a BC not bred for work as "inferior" so much as "different" - different from what the breed was developed to do in the first place; different from the original character of the BC. Plenty of people have and adore their non-working-bred BCs and don't think of them as inferior DOGS (although they may not be good WORKING dogs). I have one bred from working lines, but not working PARENTS, and while he's a great dog, he's not a great STOCKdog. I don't think of him as inferior. Just not my best working prospect, and no breeding prospect at all.


I think part of the problem with not getting BCs from those breeding for working ability is that you end up supporting and encouraging the breeding of BCs for reasons OTHER than their working ability - and that's the road to ruin. That's the reason why people are so vehement about getting dogs either from rescue - those dogs are already born and need homes - or from people breeding for working ability. At any rate, it sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck with your search; I hope you find just the right dog for you.

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Welcome to the boards. You will learn so much on here :rolleyes: My Black Jack is a rescued BC. I don't know what his breeding line is but he loves to chase anything that moves. His favorite toy is his Kong frisbee. He would chase it for hours if I would let him. I agree that BC's shouldn't be bred for anything else but working, but most make great dogs even if they don't work stock.


I walk with him once in the morning, once at night. Play frisbee pretty much anytime I go outside, and comes with me when ever I go to town. I train him twice a day for about ten to fiften minutes at a time. He loves just being around me and playing. Good luck on finding the right one, but most times they find you :D

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I'd think that most rescue BCs would be just thrilled with being a constant sidekick
That gets a big fat Yes ma'am!(or sir, I haven't been around enough lately to know who's a what!) from this house. Jacko thinks we need his help with EVERYTHING - doing the dishes, sorting the laundry, absolutely everything.


He also loves bike rides - that's some good daily exercise for any dog, but especially BCs who love to run run run! And of course, chasing just about anything is fun.


We do indoor games like training, and playing hide and seek, tug and wrestling. But mostly he's happy just to hang out with us and be paid attention to. He is a rescue, and we think he didn't get enough attention in his previous life because now all he wants is to be touching one of us, and be petted. If someone is touching him, he's content. A long bike ride every other day or so, some time once a week playing with other dogs at the park or a friend's house, and daily attention and he's a happy camper.


I'm glad you're looking into rescue. If you truly just want a companion, I think rescue is the way to go. The rescues dogs I know are just so happy to be with their families, and so grateful for the life they lead. We don't have much to give J - we don't have a big house, and we're not rich, but he always has a roof over his head, food in his belly, water in his bowl, plenty of playtime and lots of love. What more could a dog want?!

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