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Hello everyone,



I'm new to the forum! And new to getting a border collie. I'm on the list for a pup in 4 months, from a very reputable breeder. I'm so excited, but I've also been doubting a lot about my choice and I would love to get some input from experienced border collie owners. It would mean a lot!



For years , it's clear to me that I will get a dog. My family always had Border Collies and I love, love, love the energy of these dogs. The problem is: I live right in the center of Amsterdam (Netherlands), and I'm in doubt if this is the right environment to make my dog happy.



I have a home with a (small) garden. I live near a large dog friendly park. I have my own company and can schedule my time the way I want it. He can come along to the office if I have a long day, which is also next to a huge dog friendly park. I don't live alone: my boyfriend desperately wants a dog as well, and so the dog wouldn't have to go to the office every day. I have a dog school around the corner that offers puppy courses, agility, obedience and frisbee classes.



Amsterdam is a very crowded city, but it still has the feel of a village, with small streets, low buildings and lots of green. But it's packed here, and there are lots of cars, and more bikes than there are people. So Im afraid of intense herding instinct, which could lead to him getting hurt.



And like any city: it can be noisy and hectic at times. My dog should be able to handle this. He should be relaxed walking around. It should be possible to sometimes have him be alone at home, for a 3 or 4 hours. He should be calm when people walk by the house. The forums are full of stories about border collies becoming nervous wrecks when there are sounds/noises.



Long story short: I don't want my greatest wish to turn into my greatest nightmare.. What do you guys think?



I appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance!



M.


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Sounds like it would work to me. Make sure you tell breeder or rescue what you are going to be doing, where dog will live. A older rescue may be perfect as you see what they are. Amsterdam....sounds like a pretty town.

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Welcome to the forum! My first suggestion is to stick around here, and read up as much as you can about the experiences of others with their dogs in different places. This forum is a treasure trove of information and support.

 

You can make it work with a border collie no matter where you live if you are dedicated to doing so. Remember that mental stimulation ( any kind of training, games of hide and seek, and so on) is just as important as physical exercise for these dogs.

 

If you are getting a puppy read up thoroughly on socialization and make sure that you socialize the dog and get him or her accustomed to different sounds, places, surfaces, and so on, once all the puppy shots are completed. And even before the shots are all done you can carry the pup to different places, always making sure that it is a good experience.

 

I am sure you will gets lots of good advice here.

We will want to see photos once you get your new dog!

Best of luck. :-)

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My first thought is to tell the breeder everything you posted here. They know their dogs and their pups. They will be best able to tell you if their pups will be suited to this living situation and will be able to pick the pup they think will do best in this situation. It always takes effort from the owner though to put in the time to make the dog what they want.

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I agree with the advice above ^^^.

 

Definitely speak with the breeder you will be getting the puppy from and hopefully s/he will be honest about how well her pups will do in such a chaotic atmosphere. There have been pups that, despite the best socialization practices, will still be reactive. In such a case, will the breeder take the pup back and refund your money?

 

Another thought is to investigate rescues. Do you have border collie-specific rescues in your country (or in neighboring countries)? Once a pup is 9-12 months old, you will have a better idea of personality (and size) and will be able to find one that has a less reactive character.

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Definitely speak with the breeder you will be getting the puppy from and hopefully s/he will be honest about how well her pups will do in such a chaotic atmosphere. There have been pups that, despite the best socialization practices, will still be reactive. In such a case, will the breeder take the pup back and refund your money?

 

Wow, thanks everyone for the advice.

 

The breeder is very open and nice about everything. She works with a buyer contract that says I have to sell the dog back if it doesn't work out or if I can't take care of him anymore. But giving up my dog is not what I would quickly consider.. So if it becomes difficult, I will have to handle it.

 

I made an appointment with her in two weeks to meet her dogs and to ask her everything about the upcoming litter. From what she told me: the dame is an easy-going dog without much drive. the male excels at agility, but doesnt have enough 'eye' to excel in sheep herding.

 

If anyone else, living in the city with a border collie, has any more advice, I'd love to hear it.

 

Thanks again!

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One thing I'll add is all border collies are different and have different needs. Some need mental exercise more than physical exercise, some crave constant affection, etc. I have two border collies and neither need a lot of exercise.

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I live in New York City with a Border Collie who works as my service dog. She's the third BC I have lived with in a very noisy, crowded city. My best advice is to bring your pup home when he is 8 weeks old. That's the best time to have a pup adjust to a new environment. In addition, in the beginning, take your pup out, alternating a quiet block with a busier one, and watch for him to signal you that he's uncomfortable. When that happens, pick him up, tuck him inside your jacket and continue walking. After a while, put him back down and see how he does. This has always worked for me. If someone wants to pet him, and that's a person you'd happily talk to, encourage it. If someone wants to pet him that you wouldn't be happy to talk to or touch, decline. Short walks, lots of praise, picking up when overwhelmed and your pup should get used to the city in 3 or 4 days. Start gentle training, in the house, right away. It will give your pup confidence. I always start by having a pup follow me around the house. We are all here to support you and can't wait to see pictures.

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If anyone else, living in the city with a border collie, has any more advice, I'd love to hear it.

 

Thanks again!

I lived in LA in one room with no yard with a two year old very active border collie. It worked because I was dedicated to the dog, and I was dedicated because I wanted to spend time with my dog doing dog things more than I wanted to do anything else. I didn't want to do a City of Angels night life, I wanted to get up early and go hiking with my dog on the weekends.

 

The dog got a one hour walk every morning before I had coffee or breakfast, and the same in the evening when I got home from work before I did anything else, regardless of weather. I found that those walks were just as good for me as for the dog, and I was glad that I had to do it; it was a sort of meditative time for me to ease into and out of each day.

 

My greatest challenge was finding a grassy space large enough to throw a frisbee within walking distance of my house and where I would not get arrested for having my dog off leash. I found places, though. Yard in front of a church, that kind of thing. And I love training dogs, so I did a lot of trick training just for fun. Also I would recommend taking the dog to classes of any kind - trick class, obedience class, agility, herding, anything that is an activity that the dog can do.

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I'm with the others; dedicated owners (and it sounds like you're one) can usually make things work, assuming the dog doesn't have an unusually fearful temperament. Specifically, most owners of Border collies, with careful training (and the ability to anticipate potential issues!), can work through things such as reactivity toward moving bicycles, cars, etc. As Carole Lea Benjamin noted above, a lot of it depends on careful socialization when dogs are young. I used to take my pups to parks where I knew they'd encounter lots of kids running and screaming, bicycles, and so forth. One of them had a tendency to pull at first on leash when he saw cars, but we eventually worked through that. My dogs come with me to work each day; until recently we lived in an urban or suburban environment (though now we've moved to a small farm complete with sheep).

 

Temperament is a matter of both "nature" (genetics) and "nurture". Although experiences can scar any dog, there are also dogs that just are wired to be fearful. These dogs will require an awful lot of effort from the owner, and you might never be successful. If you're set on a puppy, try to meet both parents before the pups hit the ground. Evaluate them critically. Ask to go on a walk with them (and their owner), even.

 

I'm curious about the breeder you've identified. They don't sound like they breed working dogs, and that is the standard that these BC Boards supports. I do have several friends who live in the Netherlands - it does seem to me that there is a small (but not nonexistent) working Border collie community there. Have you checked into finding a puppy bred *for working ability*? These Boards believe (and I concur) that this is where you will find "the complete package".

 

You probably don't know the breed well enough to be able to evaluate pedigrees. Not long ago one of my friends was looking at an upcoming litter, and shared the pedigree with me. I was surprised to find a dog from the U. S. not far back in the pedigree, one from a breeder (Lock-Eye) that is not well respected by the working Border collie community here (and also a breeder with a reputation for a high incidence of epilepsy in its lines!). To be sure, there are *never* any guarantees for health when you're dealing with a live animal. But I found it odd that a Dutch breeder was using a dog that (in my opinion) was poorly bred.

 

If you want a "sure thing", you could look into obtaining a dog from rescue. They'll be able to tell you whether a dog exhibits aggression towards other dogs, humans, etc. I could probably dig up contact info for Dutch Border Collie rescue if you were interested in considering this option.

 

Best of luck! You sound like you're a dedicated future Border collie owner. One last warning - these dogs can change your life!

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Welcome to the Boards.

 

I'm curious about the breeder you've identified. They don't sound like they breed working dogs, and that is the standard that these BC Boards supports. I do have several friends who live in the Netherlands - it does seem to me that there is a small (but not nonexistent) working Border collie community there. Have you checked into finding a puppy bred *for working ability*? These Boards believe (and I concur) that this is where you will find "the complete package".

 

I had noticed and questioned this as well, but didn't want to be the first to point it out.

 

Have you read the "READ THIS FIRST" post included with the welcome announcement (http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showannouncement=1&f=7)? Or the BC Basics pages (http://www.bordercollie.org/basics/)?

 

If not, I'd encourage you to read both to get an understanding of the USBCC's philosophy.

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I'd suggest to get a wider choice you would do better to look at breeders further afield, especially in the UK. But wherever you look, research is needed.

 

It's perfectly possible to get a well bred working dog that will adapt to every situation and that will be a willing partner in any activity you choose to pursue.

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Yes. This. The UK isn't that far away, and you could certainly find well bred working dogs there.

 

Julie

I'd suggest to get a wider choice you would do better to look at breeders further afield, especially in the UK. But wherever you look, research is needed.

It's perfectly possible to get a well bred working dog that will adapt to every situation and that will be a willing partner in any activity you choose to pursue.

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You probably don't know the breed well enough to be able to evaluate pedigrees. Not long ago one of my friends was looking at an upcoming litter, and shared the pedigree with me. I was surprised to find a dog from the U. S. not far back in the pedigree, one from a breeder (Lock-Eye) that is not well respected by the working Border collie community here (and also a breeder with a reputation for a high incidence of epilepsy in its lines!). To be sure, there are *never* any guarantees for health when you're dealing with a live animal. But I found it odd that a Dutch breeder was using a dog that (in my opinion) was poorly bred

 

Well, it just so happens that I thoroughly checked the lineage going back a few generations and I was really shocked to find out there is epilepsy in it. So I got my name off that list.. and I have to take back the 'very reputable' part of my first post..

 

There is indeed a tendency in the Netherlands to focus on looks and show instead of working ability. There are a few great breeders here however, that value working ability and health above everything else. I just have to be a bit more patient and wait for these breeders to have a good litter.

 

I love these boards. All the advice given here, also about how to socialise in the first weeks, is really of great value to starting border collie owners. It means a lot!

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