The Border Collie
Keep your Border Collie busy!
The Border Collie was originally called the ‘Scotch Sheep Dog' and originated in Northumberland. They are most commonly known for their black and white coats but they also come in tri-colour, red and white, black and grey, yellow, yellow and white and all black.
As a breed, Border Collies are one of the most trainable. Aside from being used as working dogs on the farm, they are utilised in narcotics and bomb detection, police work and search and rescue. They are also very skilled and successful at competitive agility and obedience. Border Collies have even been used as guide dogs for the blind and assistance to the handicapped.
Due to the fact that they were bred to do work and are highly intelligent, they need to be kept occupied if they are not working on a farm. They have to be given enough exercise to deal with their high energy requirements and very active minds. Apart from going for walks, they also need to spend time playing. Overall, owners should ensure they have plenty of time with them - this is not a dog you can just chain up all day, especially if they are not getting enough exercise.
Not surprisingly, they will display behavioural problems if they are left to their own devices. These can include becoming destructive, escaping from the property and trying to round up whatever or whoever is around.
Puppy preschool classes, are highly recommended to ensure Border Collies are very well socialised. This can help sensitive puppies that have a tendency towards shyness. Border Collies are happiest when they know who is boss. A consistent leadership style by the owner is crucial, so that there is no doubt who the pack leader is.
If you can give the time to accommodate their physical and mental health needs, then a Border Collie is for you - they can be a great family dog.