TxMom Posted March 25, 2015 Report Share Posted March 25, 2015 Hi folks! I'm yet another hopeful future Border Collie owner coming to pick your brains. I've been reading here for a little while, but thought I'd go ahead and post something so y'all know who I am when I eventually come up with some specific questions that aren't so easily findable in the archives. Or, if my introduction inspires any particular advice, I'm all ears. We're looking at adopting a dog (young adult, from a rescue -- looks like All Border Collie Rescue is the place to go in central Texas) around January, so we're still trying to learn as much as we can and make sure we turn up any red flags that are out there saying this isn't a good fit for us. The dog is for me -- my husband likes dogs but wouldn't go to the trouble to own one for himself. He does understand the responsibility (that's WHY he wouldn't own one for himself) and is willing for us to take it on, but by and large I'll be the one doing things with and for the dog. We have three kids who will be 3, 5 and 7 this May. They'd like a dog, and they have pretty good animal manners. We have two indoor cats and they and the kids get along well -- the kids pet them nicely when the cats are inclined to seek attention, and leave them alone when they aren't. We talk about how to recognize when an animal does or doesn't like what you're doing, and letting animals have their personal space, and so on. I figure I'll also include the kids to some level in some obedience training -- enough that they can effectively communicate no, leave it, drop it, sit, and that sort of thing. I've also started explaining to them that a lot of their toys look a lot like really fun dog toys, and we're practicing keeping things picked up so we can minimize that particular issue. We homeschool, so the kids and I are home during the week aside from an hour or two of outside lessons or errand-running a few days a week. The most we're regularly gone from home is Sundays -- about three hours in the mornings and two more in the evenings, less during the summers and on holidays. Our weekday morning routine is that we have breakfast, do a little bit of school, go walk a mile or so (hoping to increase it to at least two miles), then come back and finish school with backyard play breaks to keep us all fresh and sane (believe it or not, 6-year-old boys don't sit still and think about spelling or math for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a stretch). On nice days, we do a lot of our reading-based work outside. My thinking is that a dog would be in and out with us during the school day. It wouldn't be a lot of really intense exercise, but there also wouldn't be any really long periods of inactivity/boredom. We do have a quiet rest time for a couple of hours in the afternoon (usually from 2 to 4) and I'd like the dog to learn to settle in the house for most of that time -- most of the year it's too hot to be outside then anyway. But we'd probably also do a bit of training while the kids are all quiet and out of the way, and I'd be up for trying a puzzle toy or stuffing a kong or something to give the dog something to do. When we get a dog I'd like to start with a basic obedience class and eventually move on to something like agility -- not necessarily on a competitive level, but for the exercise and the fun of working together. I figure we'd also do regular short training sessions throughout the day, whether refreshing on obedience, doing silly pet tricks, games, or working with a few jumps in the backyard. Just things to keep the mind busy. I could take more vigorous walks or bike rides in the evenings without the kids at least a few times a week. We're specifically looking at a Border Collie for a few reasons. Mostly, I had one growing up, and he was a dog I really connected with. We got him as a puppy when I was 8 and I did a lot of his obedience training homework and eventually got started in agility with him for a few years before my family moved (the course was across the street from us, but once we moved I didn't have a way to get there). Officially, he was the family dog, but as far as he was concerned he was my dog. He liked everyone else just fine, but I was the one he worked with. And for that matter, we had other dogs and I liked them just fine, but Oreo (original, I know) was the one I worked with. I know a lot of people who have nice dogs that hang around in the house or the backyard and sit in their laps or go for walks, but I loved having a dog I worked with. (Just to be clear, I'm unfortunately not talking about work with livestock, but training together and challenging ourselves -- having focused tasks and goals.) In addition to that, the average size is good for us, we feel confident a good rescue can help us find a dog who will be good with the kids, and while I know some Border Collies can have trouble with cats I also know it isn't universal (especially with training). I think that more or less covers things. Again, just wanted to say hi and introduce myself because y'all have been very helpful so far and I hope to continue learning from you! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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