Border Collie

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by greyfields, May 13, 2008.

  1. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    We're going to look at puppies tomorrow. *gulp*

    It's a breed I've always been afraid of, due to their high energy and intensity. But, not a day goes by here where we're not moving sheep, cows, geese, goats, etc. and it seems my wife and I are always saying "Don't they make dogs that do this?"

    I think we will be the right kind of home and farm for a border collie. It's also cool because my wife and her family are from the "Border" between England and Scotland, so maybe that's our subconcious draw to them?

    I've only ever had retired racing Greyhounds, so you get to avoid the whole puppy stage. My wife has been through it, though, and assures me we'll survive. Advice? Wish us luck?
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    My son has a border collie/aussie mix that he rescued from a very abusive owner and he is the best dog. High energy and very smart. It didn't take him long to learn not to chase my barn cats....his previous owner sicced him on any cat he saw. He's very obidiant and I wish he were out here more...I'd see how he did on herding our cows.
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    You were right to be leery of border collies, only because if they're not "working", they can cause a lot of mischief. They are wired to work, and live to work. It sounds like your farm would be the perfect place for them. More work than your collies will know what to do with, and they'll love it!

    (PS: I've never had a b.c., only read books about them, so that makes me an expert, right?)
    Last edited: May 13, 2008
  4. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Well, I have some advice for you for once greyfields. First off is, when you pick out your pup, don't pick the most aggressive or the most sumbissive/shy one there. You want one in the middle. Second, a very wise idea is to bring the pup into your home and raise it there. This will be very beneficial to you when it comes time to train the dog on livestock. It will feel like it is a part of your "pack". Also, it is wise not to start pups on livestock until they are about 8 months to a year old. This way, the pup is large and mature enough to deal with the initial exposure to livestock. There are many opinions about this and it comes down to the the individual handler and dog for the most part. In the time before the initial exposure to livestock, it is a good idea to train the dog completely as you would any other one, ie: sit stay, lie down, come, leash train it, etc. These will prove very valuable later when you go to working livestock.

    There may happen to be a stock dog association of some kind in your area. You could check the classifieds, online, or check with county or local fairs in your area for more info on where they are. I wish I had found the one that I am currently a member of much sooner. It would have helped so much in training my first two dogs.

    By the way, border collies are great for herding goats, sheep, geese, etc, and some lines do cattle very well also. Good luck! I have my eye on some smooth haired border collies at the moment and it's only a matter of time I think. I have a heeler currently but I want a dog that I can trial with.

    Also, a book called "Herding Dogs: Progressive Training" by Virgil S. Holland, has been a valuable source of information for me. Here is a link to what it looks like:

    Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions!
  5. Just be ready for a super-high energy dog that HAS to have a job ALL of the time. They tend to get into trouble (chasing livestock/cars, killing chickens *gasp*, wandering, digging holes, chewing on stuff, etc) when they're not constantly working.

    I'm on my second 1/2 Border collie now....

    My first, I had for 15 years. She was a German Shepherd x BC, VERY sweet, VERY SMART and not so high energy. But epileptic...which tends to run in BCs. She was about 75lbs.

    My second I've had for almost three years. He's Anatolian x BC and SUPER smart, friendly, 90+lbs, protective, SUPER busy body. He's ADHD/ADD, I SWEAR. He does okay if he's tired and it takes A LOT to tire him out. My dad took him on a 23 mile bike ride last summer, averaging 13 miles an hour for the duration of the ride. Afterwards, Cash came back, drank some water, laid in the shade for three minutes & then brought over his frisbee to have me throw it! [​IMG]

    Overall, he's an awesome dog...but if we didn't have the time or energy for him, he could be pretty destructive.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2008
  6. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    I have a border collie...maybe with some aussie in him, not sure. He just showed up here one day. I posted ads about finding a lost dog and no one claimed him.
    He's a great dog. Someone took the time to teach him basic obedience. He sits, does a down stay, rolls over and heels. He probably does more that I don't know about.
    I have had him for a couple of years and he works well bringing calves in...when I had them...he herds the goats if I need to get them inside in a hurry. He knows which goats belong in which pen and I can tell him to send them home and he does. My goats are all pets so I don't use him too upsets the goats. But if bad weather is moving in fast he is great about getting them inside in a hurry.
    What I like about him is that he doesn't nip at the animals that he is herding....he bumps them with his nose. I never saw that before in a herd dog.
    The thing with working dogs is that they need a job to stay out of trouble. It sounds like you will have plenty of work for him.
    Good Luck!
  7. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    My sister got one when she was in high school, now that shes in college the dog is with my dad or grandmother. She raised her in her bedroom and I swear that dog thought she was human but oh so smart. She taught her to lay down "dead dog" in about 15 minutes. Shes getting older now but as a younger dog she chewed everything. once a day they just let her run thru the farm, she comes back in about 1/2 hour. I think one would be perfect for your needs, they definately need a job and they bond to family very well.
  8. ncgnance

    ncgnance Songster

    Aug 22, 2007
    Iredell County, NC
    I went to a field trial for border collies once, and it was one of the most moving and beautiful things I've ever witnessed. There must have been 100 border collies there, most of them off leash, but unbelievably behaved. And when a man/woman and dog was working the sheep, EVERY dog there was sitting at the fence, eyes and senses riveted to the sights and whistles of the pair at work. I could almost SEE the border collies thinking. They are so intelligent, you can see it in their eyes. They are also very neurotic and high tensioned. It takes a special kind of person to live with an animal like that. Good luck to you.
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:Ordered! Thanks for the tip.

    I'm going to go to as well and try to get a perspective from that side of the pond, too.
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:There is a TV show in the UK called "One Man and His Dog" which is televised competition sheep herding trials. I was pissing myself laughing the first time because I couldn't believe what I was watching. They surely must have been re-runs from the 1980's based on the hair styles. But, it was my frist exposure.

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