5 Reasons Why YOU SHOULD Get A Border Collie!
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5. ENERGY LEVELS Few dog breeds can be considered hardworking to the same level as the Border Collie. He was bred to herd, and oh boy, does he. A life without constant activity is no life for a Border Collie. He gets nervous and frustrated if he can’t use that brilliant brain of his, and let’s be honest – how many of us can keep our dogs busy all day long? And that is what a Border Collie requires. As much activity as you can possibly provide, and then some. A bored Border Collie takes it upon himself to create jobs for him to perform, and these jobs may not always be along the lines of what you had planned. If you don’t live on a farm with the possibility to let your Border Collie herd, you can always entertain him with canine sports such as agility, rally, obedience – but be prepared to a lot of physical exercise to make up for the lack of herding. If you want to live with a Border Collie, you need to know beforehand that you can help him release all that energy the breed has. If not, you really should get yourself another breed, or you’ll make yourself and the dog very unhappy.
4. MENTALITY Don’t be fooled by the cuteness of the Border Collie. They are pretty to look at, but they are quite strong-willed and can’t abide with weak-minded people. It’s not very pleasant for the human no matter which breed tries to take over as the leader, and there’s no exception with the Border Collie. Therefore, to share your life with a Border Collie, you need to be a stronger leader than he. Being a strong leader doesn’t mean being angry, mean or violent; it just means you need to know how to stand up for yourself and the decisions you make, and push back when your dog tries to push your limits. So if you know that you are more to the timid, soft side of the spectrum, I strongly suggest you start looking for another breed. It’s a waste of your time and the dog’s life if you choose a breed that doesn’t suit your personality and your lifestyle.
3. INAPPROPRIATE HERDING If your Border Collie does not get to do what he was bred for – herd, it is very likely that he’ll find other opportunities to do that. He’ll herd the children, the other family pets, he’ll start herding bikes, skateboards, cars, when you’re out walking. This is not good for him, and to be quite frank, it’s a pain in the arse for you. Considering his genes, however, it is not surprising and if you want to avoid this behaviour you need to either give him the opportunity to herd for real, or you need to put in enormous amounts of time and effort into training your dog not to herd at any given time just because he’s bored. Herding, for a Border Collie includes “the stare” – a quite unnerving stare they do while herding, but also chasing, poking and nipping. If you have younger children, the nipping part can be an unpleasant experience for them. If you are not ready to do this, please consider finding another breed that’ll work better for you.
2. GROOMING There are other breeds who require more time for grooming than the Border Collie, but let’s face it; he does have a fur that needs to be brushed through a couple of times a week. Especially if he spends a lot of time outside, it’s important to keep his coat free of matts and tangles, and rid it of stuff that gets stuck in that fine hair. When they shed, you’ll need to do even more brushing. While it is true that you get used to whatever needs your dog have and most likely perform them without thinking, some people dislike having fur all over their house. Not only does it take a lot of brushing; you’ll also need to clean and vacuum the floors more often and regularly. If this does not sound like your cup of tea, perhaps it’s time to start looking for another breed that doesn’t require quite as much work with the grooming part.
1. YOU AND YOUR LIFESTYLE This has very little to do with the breed itself, but is extremely important that you take a good, honest look at yourself and your lifestyle when choosing which breed to move forward with. I have discussed some of the things that comes with a Border Collie, and it is up to you to think this over. Are you the perfect human companion to these glorious dogs? Can you provide all the physical, and more importantly, mental stimulation they need? Are you capable of training a dog who can outsmart you in seconds, who is always on the move forward? Are you willing to let that kind of energy into your home and your life for many years to come? Are you willing to make the changes needed to give a dog like this the chance to excel and be brilliant? If you are the slower, more timid kind of person, I would suggest you think not only once, but twice, even thrice, before you make the decisions. Getting a dog like this can be rewarding, but before rewards come challenges, both practical in terms of learning how to train and raise a dog, and for you as a person to evolve and become the leader the Border Collie needs.