You don't want one.
#1
I love Tasha and Mattie.  I wouldn't trade them for the world.  But they aren't easy dogs. 

I love the challenge of keeping them exercised and of working their brains.  But they aren't easy dogs.

If I'm lucky enough to live a long and healthy life I will have more border collies.  But they aren't easy dogs.

I can't tell you how many times someone has asked me about having a BC and I will go on an on about all their great qualities and then say, "You don't want one."

I know a lovely young woman that works for a doggie daycare and grew up with a BC.  She adores Tasha and Mattie but she will tell me how she is so happy to have her lazy dog.  She goes home from a long day at work and they sit together on the sofa and she gives him bites of her dinner and they watch a movie together.  A few evenings ago we had a guest for dinner and he once owned a BC/Lab mix.  He was asked to foster a BC puppy.   She was destructive and had way more energy then he was able to handle. He ended up sending her back to the rescue.

Last summer I stayed at the home of a friend of my mom's.  Friend was away having to have surgery and my mom was house sitting and puppy sitting the two resident Shih Tzu pups.  The friend came home a couple of days before I left to go home.  On the day I left I was packing up to leave.  Packing up suitcases and crates and managing my two young collies. My Mom's friend said, "That is a lot of work.  How does she manage those two dogs?  I would be exhausted!"  My mom replied, "Well, she recommends people get Shih Tzus".  

Dogs take work.  And some dogs take more work than others.
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#2
I understand everything you said. In the early years of owning Border Collies I wondered why I was doing this to myself. 

The first two were the hardest. Me getting to know and understand the breed and learning how to work through their quirks. After having the first two, litter mates, foster failures, and my two Westies, I knew there was no turning back. I haven't had another breed since my Westies went over the bridge and probably never will.

What I get from my Border Collies is something I haven't had from other dogs. I have had a few different breeds and even mutts in my life and none have gotten to the level of my Border Collies. IMO, there is something very unique about the breed. 
With that said, I have told people not to get a Border Collie until they have owned other dogs. They need to know it can be a challenge and have to be up for anything. 
I heard a vet tell a client, when she expressed she was thinking of adding a Border Collie to their family, not to do it. He said "Border Collies are not your dog to own, they own you." 

Some dogs do take more work than others but what we get back is completely worth it for me. I feel blessed to be the one who is able to care for my Border Collies.
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#3
I guess I'm just the sort of pre-owner who you'd advise against a BC LOL. I've never had a dog (only Gerbils & Hamsters as a kid and then cats), I had no intentions of getting a dog, never mind a BC but Bronwen picked me. Bred by my physiotherapist I saw her every week and from 3 weeks old she made a beeline to me when none of the other pups did. OH and I have been together over 20 years and we had more 'words' about getting her than we've had about pretty much anything! Has it been hardwork - absolutely! But its also been life changing in a good way - My OH (who's disabled) has lost weight and become more active. It was actually his decision to get Mabli when we found out that my physio was having one last litter with her other dog (Bron's Aunt). Of course things haven't been smooth sailing - the fact that Bron and I won 'most improved' at our dog class at the Xmas party in Dec shows we had some issues (she got really over-excited and hyper in class). But despite the issues I guess we're a 'right' type of owner (I say a as I'm sure there are many!) because we're willing to ask for help when we need it and I like to think OH and I are reasonably intelligent with a sense of humour and we like the mental challenge (and sometimes mental battle!) of trying to stay one step ahead of the girls!

All that said, I've already found myself saying to people who've chatted to me and I think they don't 'get' what's involved "don't get a BC". I'm sure I'll own others and having had them the nuances of other breeds also appeal (but am concerned that I'll miss the BC intelligence!).
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#4
This thread is really interesting.  I tried to adopt a rescue collie a couple of years ago, and had to give him back because he was too challenging for me.  I now volunteer at another rescue centre where the dogs are mainly Labradors, German Shepherds and the odd Husky.  I still feel the pull of a border collie, but I'm starting to see the appeal of an 'easy' labrador.......

I'm hoping to get a dog this summer (I'll be stopping work and moving out of the city).  I live on my own, so it will just be me and the dog - and I wonder if that might be a bit intense both for both of us. Are any breeds more suited to that kind of one-to-one relationship?  Are some dogs happier in a big lively family environment?

Sorry, I didn't want to derail the thread - but the two posts above have made me wonder about a collie being 'too much'.....
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#5
It's funny at times when reading other forums I'm on and people ask what is better to get, a BC or an Aussie. Surprisingly a lot of people say to not get the BC and get an Aussie instead. My thought is the other way around, especially with the mini Aussies.

When I got my first BC I wasn't necessarily looking for a BC, I was looking for an easily trained medium size dog and everything I read pointed me to a BC. There wasn't much in breeders in my area so I had phone someone 13 hours away and she gave me a number to someone that had a litter. I lucked out and she had one female left. I bought this pup site unseen, no info on the parents except that they where working dogs and no really idea on temperament on the pup except the word of the owner. She turned out to be the best dog I've ever had. With raising and training her and raising three litters, keeping a pup from each litter, I never figured out why people had issues with them. Nara and the pups where quiet, easily trained, had enough a drive that you had to keep them busy, but also had an excellent "off switch". Finally when I got Maya I realized why people said that BC's need so much work, she was hyper, for a lack of a better word. She was very easy trained, very loyal to me, but had so much more drive then my previous BC's. With Maya I have learned more ways to tire her out. She has caused me stress at times and worries, but even with how difficult she can get, I look at it all positively. It's all a learning experience.
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#6
I love your words and relate well. I have given it thought and have concluded that I actually NEED the extra work and challenge. It is said that after retirement and as you age you need to keep your mind active and challenged. I could do as others do and play suduco (or whatever it is) and crosswords etc, etc and watch my butt grow bigger and bigger from being idle or I can immerse myself into the complexities of amazing breeds like Border Collies. I think they and all that you aspire to do with them are a pretty fine mental workout. Someone or something else has to necessitate me doing all the physical exercise because if it was only for me there are probably many things I wouldn't put myself through for no other reason than the fact that it hurts so much. If it were just for me I think pain would win over the fact that with or without dogs I still should do the exercise if I want to not become frozen with arthritis. Yep, without these boys I could easily be in big trouble.  I'd be in a hopeless mess and getting messier faster without my boys.
Thank you, Thank you to my boys for keeping me on my toes mentally and physically.    5170
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#7
I love this thread so much. But I have to chime in and say....

It's almost worth getting a "real" BC now so I can see what the heck you guys are talking about LOL! My lazy couch potato bum of a pup is so atypical - but I have to admit, she's also super perfect for me. Just active enough to keep me guessing, but handles a long work day without complaint (as long as dinner's on time).
[Image: e5Qmm5.png]


Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#8
Between my working GSDs and my working BCs, they both train equally easily, but the GSDs work for you because they love you, the BCs work for you because they love the work. Don't get me wrong, the GSDs love work and the BCs love me, but the GSDs wouldn't work the same for anyone else and the BCs will work brilliantly for anyone. I see the difference in everything we do, not just work.
Gotta love 'em.
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#9
I really enjoyed reading everyone's perspective.  By the way, there were no negative feelings toward the guest that had to return the foster to the rescue.  He was doing a favor for a friend that was in charge of the rescue and had too many dogs and found himself overwhelmed by an untrained and very young BC with no manners.  

(02-05-2018, 12:10 AM)Ember Wrote: I love this thread so much. But I have to chime in and say....

It's almost worth getting a "real" BC now so I can see what the heck you guys are talking about LOL! My lazy couch potato bum of a pup is so atypical - but I have to admit, she's also super perfect for me. Just active enough to keep me guessing, but handles a long work day without complaint (as long as dinner's on time).

I wish I could meet Ember.  My two are the opposite.  Always ready for action.  I have even had other BC owners tell me they have never seen collies with so much energy.  Sometimes at the end of a three day agility trial people will tell me how their dogs will sleep for a couple of days to recuperate and they say, "Tasha doesn't do that, does she?".  No, she doesn't.  In fact, she naps on the drive home from the trial and is ready for another adventure once we get home. 

You need to give yourself a lot of credit because even though Ember is low energy she came with a ton of issues and you have worked through those and that is amazing!

Tasha came from a cattle ranch.  Mattie is a rescue but was found wandering as a stray in ranch country so I think she was also a ranch dog.  They are very high energy but have an "off" switch.  They are both sleeping right now.... but had a trip to the park for a game of fetch and a long trick training session and will get one more training session today.  But I love that.  It keeps me on my toes and gives me a schedule to my day.  I can be super stressed about something but the collies need exercise so I take them to the park.  And then I am happy and not stressed.  How can I be stressed with two happy dogs chasing a ball at the park?


(02-04-2018, 01:07 PM)UKPete Wrote: This thread is really interesting.  I tried to adopt a rescue collie a couple of years ago, and had to give him back because he was too challenging for me.  I now volunteer at another rescue centre where the dogs are mainly Labradors, German Shepherds and the odd Husky.  I still feel the pull of a border collie, but I'm starting to see the appeal of an 'easy' labrador.......

I'm hoping to get a dog this summer (I'll be stopping work and moving out of the city).  I live on my own, so it will just be me and the dog - and I wonder if that might be a bit intense both for both of us. Are any breeds more suited to that kind of one-to-one relationship?  Are some dogs happier in a big lively family environment?

Sorry, I didn't want to derail the thread - but the two posts above have made me wonder about a collie being 'too much'.....

UK Pete, I am trying to remember why your rescue BC didn't work out.  Was he reactive?  Am I remembering correctly?  I don't think you are not a good owner for a collie but if you are an inexperienced owner then I would think you need a dog without any major issues.  Tasha has a ton of energy but her 1-2 times a week agility classes, fetch at the park a few times a week with the Chuck-It, and a trick training or obedience session daily keeps her happy.  I live in the desert so a huge portion of my year the dogs can't be off leash because of rattle snakes but if I lived in an area without venomous snakes my collies could be off leash with a good recall for long walks in the country.  That is all it would take.  They just aren't couch potatoes.  And please consider a German Shepherd.  I have had two and they are amazing.
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#10
(02-05-2018, 06:22 PM)Gideon\s mom Wrote: Between my working GSDs and my working BCs, they both train equally easily, but the GSDs work for you because they love you, the BCs work for you because they love the work.  Don't get me wrong, the GSDs love work and the BCs love me, but the GSDs wouldn't work the same for anyone else and the BCs will work brilliantly for anyone.  I see the difference in everything we do, not just work.

This is exactingly what I have experienced. Tasha will work for anyone.  If you came to visit and wanted to run Tasha on an agility course she would run for you.  My GSD would only work for me.  It is why I have Tasha.  My daughter tried to train my GSD in agility and he would listen to her for only so long and then would ignore her and run to me.  He was my dog. It is why my collies are trained with German commands.  It is how my GSD was trained and I didn't think it would work to have dogs in the same household with different commands.  My daughter would give a command and my GSD would look at me as if to say, "Mom, is this what you want?"
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