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Updated: March 20, 2021
ARE YOU READY FOR A BORDER COLLIE?
So, you may be thinking about getting a border collie (BC) and you're doing your research. If you are ready to step up to a BC here are a few things to keep in mind. Choosing a BC is a big step with pros and cons. Please remember to be completely honest with yourself. Keep in mind the smarter the dog the more personal attention they will require and these little guys require a great deal of personal attention.
Just how smart is a BC? “The Intelligence of Dogs” a book written by Stanley Coren, a professor of canine psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, covers the differences in intelligence between different breeds of dogs. Dogs were ranked on their working and obedience intelligence. Here’s Professor Coren’s top ten Brightest Dogs:
10.Australian Cattle Dog
The BC is a highly trainable dog indeed but be careful. They will learn bad habits just as easily as they learn good ones. You need to be smarter than your dog or they will train you. Typically not a breed recommended for new dogs owner, but if you have the drive and willingness to be extremely involved they will be an excellent choice. The BC is a high-energy dog that requires lots of exercise. These little guys have energy for days and they need a daily workout. Bred for herding sheep and cattle they are well known workaholics. They need a job to do and they can do it all - scent detecting, search and rescue, bird control in airport runways and golf coarses, as well as agility, frisbee, flyball, dock diving and lure coursing. I sometimes find it easier to teach a BC how to catch a frisbee then it is to teach their owners how to throw one.
There's a lot to be said about introducing an extremely smart dog into your family. The BC is a loyal friend and he will always want to follow you everywhere you go. They have a strong desire to please you and feel like they are part of the family. Plan to have a basket on the floor with tons of toys for them to get into. It will be like having a 3 year old around the house. They will have toys spread from one end to the other. They will destroy some of those toys, but remember it’s their toys or your shoes. They are not lazy dogs and for the most part will want to be outside running around. While they can be high-spirited outdoors they can be very calm, cool and collected indoors when train properly. Not suited for apartment living.
Here’s a little story about one of our experiences. It's a perfect representation of this breed. It’s about our very first experience with our oldest BC "Blur". We very quickly discovered Blur absolutely loved this little orange rubber ball we purchased the same day we brought him home. The day after we got him, I had five pallets of sod delivered and placed in the back yard. As I put the first piece of sod down, Blur put down his little orange ball next to it. I picked up the ball and threw it. Well, this was where it all started. Every piece of sod I put down was accompanied by a little orange ball. 5 pallets of sod x 170 pieces of sod on a pallet = me throwing that little orange ball 850 time. I had never seen a dog move so fast in my life. To this day, he will bring you his little orange ball non-stop, all day long. Welcome to the BC world. Hope you are ready.