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Oreo is a border collie mix. We live in a suburban area with a relatively small back yard and we are not the most active people in the world.


Oreo is happy, healthy and a joy to live with. Would he love living on a farm? Probably, who wouldn't? Does he love living with us? Most definately.


I do think border collies require thought, research and involvement and that they are definately different than any other dog I have known.

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Depends on the kind of "pet."


When I was a rescuer, the kind of people I'd look for, had a certain gleam in their eye when they talked about Border Collies. Didn't matter if they lived in an apartment or a twenty acre spread (more often was the first, actually) - what was their attitude toward their future dog? Carpet ornament? Hint: Heavy discussion of coat and colors available, lots of anxiety that the dog not require too much attention, mentions of the high smart factor meaning a quick training period. Or constant companion, particularly in dog-oriented activities? People who had "done their research" were on top of the list (though only if they had the right attitude about the dog - companion, not sports equipment).


When I met people and wrote up evaluations, a lot came from my gut reading of their heart. When you are thinking of a Border Collie versus another dog, you have to do the same kind of introspection. Why will only a Border Collie do? Is it that look in the eyes? Do you love the idea of living with a half-mad, highly needy creature? Do you need that drive, for some reason no other dog will do? Are you ready to commit the next 15 or so years (slightly less in the case of adult rescues) to setting up your life to revolve around the needs of your "pet"? Taking into account schooling, moving out, beginning careers, marriage, kids.


Some things to think about.

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I live in the middle of a big city with two Border Collies -- real Border Collies, mind you, not fluffy Barbie Collies -- and we do fine. However, they require a level of exercise and interaction that would be far easier to deal with if I owned acreage and especially if I had livestock. It takes a lot of extra effort on my part to find the time, space, and opportunities to give my dogs what they need. If you think about what they are bred to do, it makes sense that it can be difficult for an urban dog owner to provide a reasonable facsimile that takes care of those drives and those needs.


It's an investment of time and effort that needs to be considered seriously before taking on a dog like this. I got my first Border Collie essentially by accident, and wow, was it a wake-up call. I was willing to change my entire life around for the sake of my dog and became so addicted to the breed that now I have two. But, most of my dog-loving friends tell me that they would never want dogs like mine, preferring more laid-back breeds. I think any pet owner has to be pretty obsessed with dogs, spending time with dogs, doing things with dogs, training dogs, to enjoy a Border Collie as a pet. Most people I know who have dogs would rather not have to work so hard. It's something to think about.

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When I got my BC puppy, I had very little knowledge about BCs, or even dogs in general. So, I am ashamed to admit that I probably wouldn't look qualified to some people as far as the area I live in and my lifestyle. I live 30 minutes away from Houston, have medium size backyard, some traffic in the neiborhood, I have a 8-4 job.


When I did find out the best condition/life style for BCs, I felt so bad. I did my readings, coming here everyday, I learned a lot! I know now that I can still make her very happy. I can't afford a farm right now but I can do other things she would enjoy As long as she gets extra exercise, lots of fun and love, she should be okay, right?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Naomi, I live in Brisbane, inner city and have two border collies, (mind, one is a 13 week old pup!) but have never had a problem. They are alot of work, but I think the thing that people seem to not mention is, that the 'lot of work' is very rewarding and very enjoyable. I love my dogs, and couldn't imagine life with out them, even though 6 months ago I was living a border collie free existance!

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