While this doesn’t exactly fit with the overall “theme” of my blog, it’s still something I feel like I need to talk about.
It happens to me all the time. Whether I’m out running, at the park, or in a gas station parking lot, people want to know about my dogs. That’s not really surprising though. They’re good looking, generally friendly, and obviously well behaved. That doesn’t bother me. I like talking about my dogs, they are basically my children. What bothers me is when people see how well behaved and obedient my dogs are and then say “maybe I should get a border collie”.
No. No. No. No. No. No. No! This goes for any breed of dog, but I’m obviously talking specifically about border collies; A dog that is well behaved DOES NOT equal a breed of dog that is going to be easy to train or handle. I hear this all the time, “border collies are super smart, so they must be easy to train”. That’s not necessarily true.
Yes, they are super intelligent dogs, but you have to remember they were bred to work hard for long periods of time. Because of that, border collies don’t typically make good house pets unless you are 100% prepared to give them the physical and metal stimulation they need. Every. Single. Day. If you won’t be able to do that, they will go a little crazy, they will destroy your house, they will become a problem.
I’ve heard countess “border collie horror stories” from people who assumed they would be easy to handle because they are so smart. Hell, my dog Lily was one. My friend got her from a guy who bred them to herd cattle, but he didn’t know what he was getting into and she ended up chasing cars, chasing his sheep and pony out of his yard, digging, tearing things up, barking at all hours of the night, the list goes on. He ended up giving her to me because he just couldn’t deal with her anymore. After A LOT of hard work on mine and Luke’s part, she is probably one of the best dogs you’ll ever meet. Ok, so I’m probably a little biased, but she is really is a fantastic dog.
By now you might be thinking “Ashley, you just said that ‘border collies don’t typically make good house pets’, but you have two of them living in your house. So it must not be that hard, right?” Well, you’d be kind of right. It’s not hard for us because they fit in really well with our active lifestyle. They get to go on multiple walks a day, I run with Dean, they play/hunt squirrels with each other in the back yard, I feel like I’m constantly playing fetch, we’re always making them do their tricks and teaching them knew ones, and when all of that’s not enough (because it’s never enough) we take them to a huge off leash dog park where Lily digs for moles and Dean chases birds.
Since they are working dogs and they both come from hardcore working bloodlines, especially Lily, they both have multiple “jobs” to keep them busy. For example, Dean keeps birds and squirrels out of the garden and Lily has taken it upon herself to guard the house from any activity she finds suspicious (meaning she watches out the windows all day and barks at people/things she doesn’t like).
Basically what I’m trying to say is do some research and be honest with yourself before getting any kind of dog. So many border collies end up in shelters and in rescues because people get them just because they are smart, or pretty, or whatever, and then don’t take the time to consider that they require a lot of work. Seriously, these dogs can’t just hang out with you in your house all day and be happy about it. If you want a dog like that, get a lab.
So yeah, I guess I’m done with my little rant. But if you want to talk about border collies or dogs in general I’d be more than happy to! Haha I’m not kidding when I say I could talk about this kind of thing for day!! 😉