Border Collie – Energy to burn
Many of the most common problems people have with their Border Collies boil down to one simple thing: lack of exercise for the dog. Many owners hear this over and over, but they always seem to be looking for some other way to control their dog’s behavior problems. These dogs are literally born and bred to run all day. While they may be beautiful, they are certainly a pure working dog. Those who choose to ignore or forget this simple fact are doomed to experience obedience problems, destructive behaviors, and sadly some possible aggressive tendencies.
Border Collies have been bred to be herding dogs, not show dogs. You have probably seen videos or photos of them in the fields herding sheep and cattle. It can be fascinating to watch these dogs control dozens or hundreds of head of cattle with little or no command from their owners. In fact, his videos and photos are like the ones that get many people interested in the breed to begin with. The point is, many potential owners think that the dog they see in the field will be different from the dog they bring home with them. They feel that since the environment will be different (a small backyard in front of a farm or field), the dog will behave differently. This is simply not true. The energy level, mental awareness and intensity will be there.
This breed has been bred to do very hard work. It is in their genes. Energy level, herding instinct, and mental awareness are simply part of the package and not something that can be ignored, turned off, or trained. It must be treated every day during the dog’s life. There is no way around it and there are no shortcuts. This is not a breed that will sit in the corner of your bed and look cute all day without some work! It is possible to do so and Border Collies can be amazing pets and companions if you are willing and able to work at it. If you and your family can’t put in at least two hours a day to exercise and time to train and do tricks on top of that, then it really would be a good idea to start looking for another breed.
However, don’t misinterpret my brusqueness as a dislike for race. I have had the pleasure of owning a Border Collie for over two years and this has been the best dog I have ever owned. He has literally become a member of the family and I can’t imagine not having him as part of our lives. However, it has been a challenge to come to understand what our dog really needs. There are several factors to finding a good level with your Border Collie, but the first and foremost is the physical energy issue.
Getting a Border Collie has been unlike any other dog I have had in my life. It has been very difficult and frustrating at times, but it has been worth it. It takes time, exercise, training, constantly teaching new tricks to keep your minds challenged, and more. I would do it again? In a second. Should you get one for your family? It all depends. Talk to Border Collie owners, get ready to train and teach them tricks from day one and do your homework!