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Remind me of a few things?

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I should know all this, but it has been a long time since I had a border collie pup in my home. 

I am considering adopting a 6 month old pup. She is probably not purebred, father unknown, but except for her ears she looks like a border collie. I am attaching a photo, but when I met her in person her ears did not look like the photo, and were instead part-way up, doing an airplane thing most of the time, not down and floppy.

Would someone please remind me of a few things?  At what age do border collie ears usually settle on how they are  going to be?  I know this may not apply to her, not being a purebred, but am still wondering, since her ears seem to be going up a bit.

And, more importantly,  how far/long is it safe to hike with a BC at 6 months? I am going to be training for a major hiking trek I am planning next year, and hope if I adopt the dog she can become my hiking companion for that training and into the future as well (although not for the trek itself, as that is in a foreign country). I know she is too young to go on a long hike right now, but I want to get her conditioned. My typical hike is 4 to 6 miles total, up and down a mountain side. I also sometimes do longer hikes, 8 to 10 miles.  But of course, I will do less while she is growing. My own serious training for the trek will start in the fall.

Maybe you can advise me on the best plan and timing if I should decide to adopt her, and at what age it would be safe for me to take her hiking 4 to 6 miles round-trip. 

Thanks, all. :-)



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What a sweetheart.  She's got the border collie eyes, I'd say.  My dogs' ears have usually been 'set' by about 6 months.  She's got a lot of ear there, so the muscles that control them may continue to strengthen for a little while longer.  Others may disagree, but I'd take a 6 month old on a 4-5 mile hike as long as she can set the pace.

Keep us posted!  Are you by chance training for the Camino de Santiago, or is it some other overseas adventure?

Take care,


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Thanks, Amy.   I thought she had border collie eyes, too. She's pretty dang cute. I usually go at a pretty good clip on those hikes, but of course I would let the pup decide on the pace, and rest when she wanted to. Actually I am training for the Inca Trail, which I expect to be a challenge, but for me it is a long-held dream. :)

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     I love the puppy!!!  Usually the ears of mine were set by six months.  But . . . . Years and years ago I had a female Border with airplane ears whose ears became prick at 9 years of age!!!!  I have no idea why!  Only a Border Collie :D.

       I hike a lot with my dogs but I'm very cautious with puppies.  I had a co-worker who got a husky from a rescue and took him on a long hike when they got him.  He was a year old but was neutered at 4 months.  His growth plates weren't closed and the hike damaged the growth plate in his carpus and as he continued to grow the leg became crooked.  He has never been sound.

     At six months with no prior hiking experience I'd start with a mile on soft turf and do that for a few weeks.  I'd gradually build up distance and add hills but I wouldn't go over 3 miles, do rough terrain or hard surfaces until her growth plates were closed.

     I figure, God Willing, I will have my dogs for many, many, years and I want them to be as sound as possible for as long as possible. 

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