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Why should I not have a Border Collie?

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Haha, good old Multiple Border Collie Syndrome. That's what happened to my aunt, so it's a very real possibility ;). Anyways, I'm just wondering how much is nature and how much is nurture. I would guess it depends on the dog?

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Haha, good old Multiple Border Collie Syndrome. That's what happened to my aunt, so it's a very real possibility ;). Anyways, I'm just wondering how much is nature and how much is nurture. I would guess it depends on the dog?


Yes, it really does depend on the dog. There isn't really a set "this much is nature, this much is nurture". So much has to do with the dog's underlying temperament, and that will vary from one dog to another.

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I just got a BC from a shelter and I feel like I won the lottery. I was concerned about being able to provide the mental and physical stimulation I read they need. My daughter wanted one - she thinks BCs are cool and cute. So after visiting a few shelters we found a 5 month old beautiful smooth coat BC, and i couldn't say no. She is very submissive, listens well, and she's incredibly intelligent. She rarely barks. In about 2 months she knows more than 10 commands. She's found trouble - rarely. She only needs to be told not to do something once and then she never goes back to it. She likes to "herd" or chase bugs - but not the kids. Before I hurt her shoulder from too much exercise she was staying out of her crate while we were gone (up to about 4 hours) and no problems at all.


Now she did come with shelter dog problems - pneumonia, hook and tape worm. Which has cost us about $1200 or so for her vet bill. You will hopefully side step that with the rescue dog.


I can't even know for sure my dog is a BC- I think she's one, and I'd get another one in a heartbeat. In fact, my wife has already caught me looking. I should probably wait a year or so though.


I say - go for it!

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ISTM that there are sport folks who like really amped up dogs, for whatever reason, and those folks will have amped up dogs no matter what, because that's what they choose.


This is true - and they pretend to complain about their dog's behaviour while really feeling proud that their dog is a nut job. Masochists.


However (and I can't speak for North American sport handlers/dogs - or for anything other than agility) here in the UK those people are most likely to be the wannabes rather than those who have made it to the top because those who have know that to get there the dog has to listen and respond quickly, not blow it's mind.


I spend a lot of time queuing for my daughter with the great and the good of agility here and the main thing that stands out is how calm and controlled most of the dogs are - until they get on the line. Still controlled, but the On switch has been flipped.


Undeniably there are dogs like yours (and ours) with self control issues that are difficult to get a handle on, but most don't seem to be like that unless they are allowed or encouraged to be, or, as you say, specifically chosen because they are manic.


If a dog has got to young adulthood without displaying those tendencies the odds are that it will be fine with a sensible owner.

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I won't tell you why you shouldn't have a BC because I don't know you :)


I think Sue R's initial post was really good.


Ollie is my first BC and was a rescue...


He had been purchased by a bunch of students in a share house as a pup (irresponsible breeder) and had completely destroyed the house and their sanity and he was listed in a classified ad on the internet. He was 7 months old.


He is now 15 months old and turns out (surprise!) he is from working lines - we are not on a farm!


The point I want to make first, is that he is literally a MACHINE.


Motivated by anything that moves or makes a noise.


We have had to overcome problems with barking, chasing cars/bikes etc (like i said, anything that moves), over excitement around other dogs (which you would swear was aggression if you didn't know him) etc etc


When I leave work, he is doing laps of the backyard, jumping to the top of our 6+ feet fences chasing birds - exactly the same when I get home - hasn't stopped. He has warn tracks into the grass where his bird chasing course occurs, and he has on several occasions, torn his front pads off from leaping up the fences and pushing off the middle rung of the fence for extra propulsion.


I found out the hard way that there is no amount of exercise that will have him magically ready to "submit". Cesar Millan, get your choker & scateboard out with this dog and we'll see you on the other side of the universe cause he will drag you there and back and ask when the fun is starting...


When he does sleep, he is constantly at the ready to explode into action should the slightest stimuli appear (thank heavens for crates)


I hope I've made that point...and now you should know that he is a highly intelligent, sweet, responsive, eager to please, good-natured (not aggressive at all) dog who is almost fully under control.


This is a result of a HEAP of work in the form consistent, committed training over the past 8 months.


He is starring in obedience and having almost completed the required level will soon be starting agility.


It has been so rewarding to see his transition and he is a much loved member of our family who is fast turning into the perfect pet.


We wouldn't change our decision to rescue him for the world, but I have to say that it was tough along the way and I am under no illusions as to how some people get out of their depth and so many of these amazing dogs end up in shelters.


Good luck and be sure to keep us updated!

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Thanks y'all for your input. I've definitely got a better understanding of what I may be getting into now. I mean, before I knew the facts (well, most of them anyways), but hearing personal stories of real owners and Border Collies means a lot more to me than a bland list of facts.


And don't worry, I'll keep you guys updated. Actually, I have an update today. I turned in my application, and they called and talked to my dad (while the dog is for all intents and purposes mine, I'm paying for all doggie expenses as soon as I get a reliable source of income and I will have the full responsibility of training and caring for the dogs, I'm adopting it as a family dog because I'm still living under their roof and I'm not quite old enough to adopt alone anyways). It happened a lot quicker than I thought it would, so we may end up adopting sooner than I thought too. Anyways, they're contacting another rescue that we fostered a couple of dogs from to get a reference, and we'll see where it goes from there.

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Why should I not have a Border Collie?

................................ hmm:


A) They can roll in defecation and dead things at any point in the day. Leashed or not - doensn't matter.

B) They think skateboards, fans, razers, motorcycles, wind surfers, boats, the guy who wears a toque in summer are monsters and must. be. destroyed.

C) They are afraid of stuff suddenly - metal grates, elevators, grass, their own bed....

D) They'll mess with skunks or rattlesnakes after everything drug store or vet closed or you're many miles from town. Leashed or not - doesn't matter.




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