Many people have the view that Border Collies come in mainly only one colour – the traditional black and white. Some even believe that if they look different to the “norm” then they aren’t a true part of the breed!
This simply is not true – they come in all shapes, sizes and colour variations as we humans do. You can get different ones from the black and white to the tri-coloured to the merle groups!
Border collies have a variety of natures too. Some are extremely laid back while others can have a lazy streak, but are very excited and happy for a good run in a field or park. Then you have the ones who are very high strung and are in need of “work” or “sports” to help manage their high energy levels.
This breed is not best known for being like some others who will be happy to just lie and sleep in a corner all day! Honestly, the border collie loves a challenge or to have a “job” as such to do. Some are natural born herders i.e working sheep. Some are born for the dog sports and excel in their chosen sport i.e agility or fly-ball or even cani-cross (this is cross country running with your dog). They can and do make excellent “pet” dogs but they need as much early training and socialisation as they can possibly be given. They will also need long walks and good positive mental stimulation each day. This is because border collies are known to be a very smart, but sensitive breed. Problems will surface if this high need is not met early on and in fact throughout their entire lifetime. Some of these problems could be they will use their mass of energy in the wrong ways such as “herding people” – “herding moving traffic” – or becoming very “destructive” within the home environment. This is when a lot of owners decide or find they cannot cope and take the dog to a shelter or rescue centre!
The border collie is portrayed as a very easy breed to train while in most cases this is true – some won’t be so easy!
Some will dig their paws in hoping if they are stubborn long enough, you’ll give up and change your mind – whatever you do, don’t do it!! Some will need far more patience and love than you first thought, as they may have issues if they have come to you from a rescue centre. Mostly all problems encountered with a border collie can be overcome with a lot of love, patience, hardwork and lots and lots of POSITIVE training methods!
All in all the border collie will make a fantastic ‘working dog’ – ‘sporting dog’ – ‘family pet’!
All that’s needed is the research, time, love and patience to make sure this breed is a right fit for your family and lifestyle! The clicker method is a great positive way to train your dog and will only lead to you getting the results you want quicker and a happy dog too. A border collie and in fact any dog, will pay you back a million times over by just their sheer amount of love, devotion and dedication they have to give to you, their owners!
So if you own a border collie, have experience working with them or thinking of getting one – we would love to hear from you! Tell us your experiences and why you love this breed so much. It would also be good to hear any thoughts you have on this blog – drop us a comment in the section below.
Photos supplied by Emma Price.