Border collies - would love to hear your experiences.

(74 Posts)
Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 09:18:14

Hi dog owners.

We have friends with a gorgeous tricolour border collie bitch who they plan on having pups - they have offered us one as they know we have been thinking about getting a dog for ages (they want the homes sorted before they go ahead with a litter). I would love to hear about your experiences of collies before we commit.

I had a collie/lab X when I lived at home (she was my responsibility to walk and feed) - she was lovely, sweet, clever, a bit nervy and needed lots of exercise and stuff to keep her brain busy. She was extremely loyal, easy to train and soft as butter. So I guess she was a real cross of the two breeds.

DH grew up with GSD and Beauceron so used to quite tricky dogs.

We live in the country and have plenty of open spaces around us, have a largeish garden and I work from home. We feel confident that we could give a border collie a good home with plenty of exercise (we walk and cycle) and understand that they need lots of mental exercise and if possible some sort of 'job'. We have two DC (10 and 8).

Would love to hear your experiences of this lovely breed and any advice on things that we haven't thought of/might not expect. Thank you!

Booboostoo Thu 03-Apr-14 09:39:10

Border collies are extremely intelligent dogs and a pleasure to train and work with, but they do need quite a lot of physical and mental stimulation. If you are up for two energetic, long walks a day, no matter what the weather, and weekly agility/flyball/obedience training classes this may be a great breed for you.

One note of caution about the breeder. Are your friends border collie breeders? Have they been developing a breeding strategy over a few litters and does it fit in with what you want in a dog? How have they selected their bitch and dog and do their ideas of what you'd want in a breeding pair match what you want? Have they carried out all health screening tests available for the breed?

Preferthedogtothekids Thu 03-Apr-14 10:03:24

I have a fabulous rescue collie, he's the most obedient and loving chap ever.

Have you considered saving a life and getting a collie from a rescue? there are tons available who need a home like yours.

Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 10:10:12

Thanks Booboostoo.

Friends are not professional breeders themselves - his parents are and they will be breeding with a male from there, the bitch was from one of the parents litters. We haven't met the male dog yet. Will ask about health screening tests before we commit, would like to think that they do this properly but will definitely check. As far as I know breeding strategy for this line is show dogs rather than working dogs.

Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 10:13:24

Preferthedogtothekids - yes, we considered a rescue (my collie/lab X was a rescue. She was given up because she was too destructive sad she did brilliantly with us and was a wonderful dog).

Only thing is, we live in France and it is unusual to see collie rescues in our area. I know there are loads of the poor things in the UK but they are a quite an unusual dog where we live.

Booboostoo Thu 03-Apr-14 11:48:12

I'm in France as well!

Well worth checking on the screening tests, some French breeders are a wee bit behind the times! I was looking for a GSD and was told by 3 different breeders that they don't check for degenerative myelopathy because their dogs are French and 'clean' so couldn't possibly have it!

Owllady Thu 03-Apr-14 11:51:07

I have always had collies but they have always been rescues, so came with their own sets of problems and personalities smile

I would say research the breed first if this is your first dog together. Do you have the time? Are you about most of the day? And will you be long term? I personally think for a collie you do need to be with them most of the time and they can live until 18 yo (longer in some cases I have heard of) they crave company and mine have always tended to think it's their job to keep a close eye on me at all times! Health wise, mine have always been pretty healthy (touch wood) but they do have a tendency to lose their hearing and go deaf, so bear that in mind when training them. Involve gesture/sign and body language.

How they are will depend on their personality to a certain extent. I have had a bossy collie girl who given her own way would have ruled the roost, and often tried to do so. A collie like this WILL take over if they don't have confidence in you. So you need to research again first and be willing to have to stick to a routine and be quite firm. My other two hitches haven't been bossy though, one was quite stubborn but I think that was just her.

Check out positive based training classes prior to getting her as you will be there for much longer than everyone else. Are collies easy train? I think not myself. They are intelligent and they pick things up quickly, but that's a double edged sword tbh as it means they learn things they shouldn't. You really do have to be one step ahead of them. The more they have to do or think about, the better they will respond. We do agility on top of obedience, but you can do sport with them and its a great breed fir that.

I did laugh at your cycling comment grin you have to really watch they don't herd you on a bike! This will depend on how strong the instinct is to herd as it differs, but they can be right buggers and its useful to know beforehand how to deal with any herding problems that may arise.

They are wonderful dogs though and you do get back what time you out into them and they do become your best friend (I know that sounds corny, but mine have definitely been loyal, faithful companions and I am always devastated when I lose them)

Owllady Thu 03-Apr-14 11:54:03

This is mine. She is sable in colouring. She is a gorgeous girl, very eager to please

Booboostoo Thu 03-Apr-14 11:57:47

I'm in the south (between Toulouse and Carcassonne) and struggled to find a positive trainer down here. It's all dominance and crap about personal protection dogs! I've finally found one trainer but he is the only one in a very wide area.

Owllady Thu 03-Apr-14 12:04:04

Lots of people on here do clicker training through kikopup (?) On YouTube smile but just make sure you socialise in other ways as bc are a bit bonkers and need to learn lots of new experiences

Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 13:02:18

Gosh, thanks for all the replies. Lots to consider. Will definitely see if breeders are up to date on health issues and I'm not surprised to hear that trainers in France can be behind the times! (I find France can be behind the times about lots of things....)

I've been watching some Kikopup videos on YouTube, that woman is ace and we will definitely do positive training with any dog we get. Her collie is amazing.

I see what you mean Owllady about the cleverness being a double edged sword. My collie X was bright as a button and picked things up easily but definitely needed to be 'directed' so that she didn't find herself things to do that were a bit naughty. She did used to herd us a bit sometimes especially if she felt anxious about anything. Don't remember her particularly herding bikes but will definitely remember that and see if we can train a future dog to be ok with bikes or be ready to forget taking dog out with bikes if it triggers too much of a desire to herd! Your girl is absolutely gorgeous and looks a lot like my much loved collie X (who I always had a hard time seeing the lab in physically, but she definitely had the lab love of food...)

With regards to time - I work at home but not full time so certainly at the moment that is ok. Children are old enough that I don't have to be constantly entertaining them. Of course my work circumstances could change in the future and although not looking likely at the moment, does need to be a consideration.

Lucky you finding a rescue collie in france Booboostoo - so many of the ones round here are Beauceron or Beauceron crosses, I regularly check our local ASPA and you see loads of these. I don't really trust this breed and don't think they are family dogs. FIL had one that put me right off them, although I appreciate it isn't fair to generalize about a breed on the basis of one or two individuals. Anyway, they are too big - we want a medium sized dog.

Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 13:24:34

Ooh sorry, see it is Preferthedogtothekids who has a rescue collie and not Booboostoo, who has a GSD and is in France. Got you mixed up!

nuttymutty1 Thu 03-Apr-14 13:35:09

Best dogs ever! They do need a lot of time, usually in the format of mental stimulation. They will not lie quietly at your feet all day when you work for example.

However they are very easy to amuse and tire out if you are prepared to give them time. They do need work to do and I would recommend doing a dog sport with them. They can be quite independent dogs and not want other dog company much so this can need work although others are really party animals.

They learn everything quickly good and bad and despite people saying are not easy to train - they learn what they want to learn first then will ned careful consistent reward based training to learn the rest smile

They can be reactive and highly strung and will need careful and time consuming socialisation.

You could get a rescue collie and take back to France. If buying a puppy check eyes, joints and if any epilepsy in either dogs several generations back

LadyTurmoil Thu 03-Apr-14 13:42:50

SPA Carcassone has a border collie - I know they had 4 recently but at least one has been adopted - they have 2 on the website: Heart and Ako.

and their FB page is

Many of the people running the refuge are English!

Our agility trainer has 8 (yes 8) collies. They are quite simply amazing, but I still think she's mad smile That said, watching her 18 month old pup going round an agility course, with that level of skill, at that age, just shows their potential in the right hands. She's very firm with them, not in a negative way, in a consistent way.

Lol at the cycling, ever walked while being herded smile

17leftfeet Thu 03-Apr-14 13:45:09

Our collie was very destructive as a puppy -she chewed through the kitchen door once

My ex used to be a groundsman and she was out with him all day everyday plus big romps out at weekends

By the time she got to 10 she was quite happy to spend most of the day 'relaxing'

Once we got through the chewing phase she was the most well behaved dog, she did used to round the dcs up but never aggressively

I would love another but don't have the time and it wouldn't be fair

throckenholt Thu 03-Apr-14 13:55:05

we have had 3 border collies (have two currently - one is 6 and the other 18 months).

>lovely, sweet, clever, a bit nervy and needed lots of exercise and stuff to keep her brain busy. She was extremely loyal, easy to train and soft as butter

sums them up - except they don't need as much physical exercise as everyone says - they really need mental stimulation and in my experience they need company. So if you are working from home, and with kids of that age it would be ideal.

None of ours have had 2 long walks a day - but they do have half an acre to race around in at their leisure, and someone always at home (to throw a ball for them grin). When we take them for long walks in the countryside they love the mental stimulation as much as anything (and sleep very well in the evening following).

throckenholt Thu 03-Apr-14 14:02:27

By the way - regarding training - IME young collies are not at all food oriented so treat based training doesn't work (unlike with a lab smile). By the time they get to 5 then they start to respond to food much more.

And they have a tendency to work out their own rules for a game, and morph them over time to suit their inclination. grin

Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 14:15:32

LadyTurmoil thank you for the link, he looks lovely. However we are very far away from Carcassonne.

throckenholt - I have read before that they don't need as much physical exercise as is often said, and that the mental element is just as, if not more, important.

needastrongone - gosh at 8 collies! That does sound quite mad.

17leftfeet - bad luck on the chewing. My old collie lab X wasn't a chewer of big things like doors but she was destructive if left alone for too long. She had a thing about towels and would chew any she could find. I taught her to help putting laundry away and that seemed to 'channel' her towel love.

Owllady Thu 03-Apr-14 14:22:07

They can be reactive and highly strung and will need careful and time consuming socialisation.

God yes. I had forgot all this before I had this one smile

I don't know how anyone can have 8 collies (as bonkers as a collie maybe) Do they all live in the house? I am just jealous as I have always had two but H has said one only now, sniff

Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 14:41:11

Yes, on socialization. It seems that collies can be not great with other dogs if not socialized as a matter of their puppy training.

I think my main worry would be to have a collie that is just too highly strung and we aren't able to provide enough of a 'farm like' lifestyle for a nervy collie.

Lots to think about...

Really want to meet the future father - future mother is very sweet and not too nervy, she is very bouncy though! We definitely won't commit if not sure for any reason and will just keep waiting for the right rescue dog to come up...

Owllady Thu 03-Apr-14 14:45:31

We aren't farmers. We do live rural atm but haven't previously. I don't think it matters where you live. They need time and they need love (like most dogs) sorry if I sounded a bit negative blush it's just lots of people have them thinking it will be like one man and his dog, when so much work has to be done to get up to that kind of level and most of us just want a well behaved family pet, which they are too smile

throckenholt Thu 03-Apr-14 14:56:34

My younger one is very nervy - especially with other dogs. But she is improving slowly (fine after the initial few seconds if she stays around long enough to find out). She tends to make a lot of noise while backing away (shouting loudly I'm not scared of you <honest>). At 18 months now there is a definite improvement as she gains confidence and maturity.

They can also have a tendency to be chasers. The one we had as a child loved wheels - used to attack the wheelbarrow and bike wheels, and the hoover wheels. Two we have had react to passing cars and surge after them - others have been totally oblivious to them.

They can also have a tendency to over think things. My older one is terrified of the hoover - to the extent that he legs it to the end of the garden if he even sees you carrying to dust container to the bin ! And he hates fireworks - shakes like a leaf.

The younger one hates being combed - if you even mention the word (not even to do with her) she will go and hide.

Difficult to predict which triggers any given dog will have - but I am almost certain any collie will have some !

Once they get an idea in their head (and that can take seconds) it can take a lot of effort to shift it.

For me - having lived with collies I find other dogs lovely but somehow lacking in personality.

throckenholt Thu 03-Apr-14 14:59:50

Just read your comment about farm environment. I don't think they need that - they will thrive on that, but also thrive in other environments. They need company, mental stimulation and moderate exercise. You can't over exercise them - they will take as much as you can give them and come back for more - so don't even think about trying to physically wear them out.

They really are not a dog to be left at home on their own for extended periods, especially when young.

Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 15:26:05

Owllady - it's OK, you didn't sound negative! I am really appreciating all the comments. I think with the farm comment I meant not expecting a collie to be 'just' a pet and giving them an environment that doesn't over stimulate them. We are lucky to live in the country surrounded by farms, fields and woods, however one side of our garden is on a country lane that doesn't have loads of traffic on it but does have some and I wouldn't want a nervy collie to find passing cars an issue (we know a collie that runs up and down and barks like a mad thing when cars pass and want to avoid any such behaviors!).

As throckenholt says though, we cannot know in advance what potential triggers might be...

Arf at hoover, my old collie X HATED the hoover and would give you that reproachful look that collies do so well when it came out.

I have heard on the exercise to be careful not to do too much as you never tire them and just end up creating a honed athlete that needs huge amounts of exercise! Which makes sense - I guess you have to get the balance right. We have open space right next to us so would be able to do plenty of fetching games.

Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 15:30:05

For me - having lived with collies I find other dogs lovely but somehow lacking in personality.


I know my old dog was a cross but she was such a person (I don't mean we babied her, just that she was so in tune with me and had so much personality). This is why I really want a collie.

NCISaddict Thu 03-Apr-14 15:33:35

My eight month old border collie.Fabulous dog, very friendly, although respectful with other dogs but quite wary of strange people until they throw a ball for him and then they're friends for life! He has two hour long walks a day, off lead and sometimes a lead walk in the evening. We have lots of interactive toys for him plus we hide food in boxes etc to keep him busy but he's normally very relaxed at home.

LST Thu 03-Apr-14 15:39:42

My collie will be 2 in July. He's starting flyball once a week next weekend which is exciting.

He loves a ball and he is also amazing with my ds who is 2.5 and our 10month old baby.

He is so well behaved and are really easy to train. Tbh he basically trained himself he was so willing to learn. The only issue we have with him is lead walking he pulls our arm out. He knows he shouldn't but he just wants to be off and running about chasing his ball!

LST Thu 03-Apr-14 15:42:32

(made him sound out of control! He really isn't he just likes to be off in the fields) smile

He has a good 1hour off lead run/ball throw in the morning and night time

Yep, they all live in the same house. I think the agility stuff probably keeps a lid on things, as she clearly trains to a good level (two of hers have been at Crufts, so I assume that's good, I have only just started!)

In fairness, we have a springer and a cocker, the stuff NCISaddict describes above is pretty much the same as I do with my two, so it's not just collies who need a lot of mental and physical exercise.

I have just remembered that one of the dogs at Ddog1 training was a smooth coated collie, who have highly intelligent, but also became ball obsessed, and needed some sessions with the trainer to help with this.

I also walk with a lady sometimes who has a collie, her collie herds you are you walk, which amuses me but drives her batty smile

Beachcomber Thu 03-Apr-14 16:21:06

NCISaddict - your dog is really handsome, lovely markings. Border collies are so beautiful. Your exercise regime sounds good - I keep hearing an hour in the morning and the same in the evening with as much off lead as possible.

LST your dog sounds fab too. Great that he is good with young kids.

needastrongone our neighbors have a ball obsessed dog - I think they are going to have to do something about it as it is all the poor dog wants to do.

Am loving hearing about all your collies.

Booboostoo Thu 03-Apr-14 16:43:37

Oh no I only found the trainer not the GSD! I have a young Tibetan Terrier as well so she's been going to training.

throckenholt Thu 03-Apr-14 16:51:48

If you want to hear collie stories - my little one is obsessed with orange peel (loves balls but prefers orange peel !) - the smaller the better. You have to throw it or flick it with your foot for her. And then she hides it - either in a bucket that she can't reach the bottom of or under something she can't get it out from, or pushed in to a drawer through the handle whole. Then she looks at it intently, and after a while starts to whine quietly, getting louder until you get it out for her.

She will also put the ball down at the edge of the pond, look at you, and then deliberately push it on out of her reach then look at you again.

Any toy she is playing with (can bit a tin y bit of twig, leaf, or paper, or proper dog toy) - she won't put down if you are looking at her - and then when you look away it magically appears near you. If you ignore you it gets nearer, usually just behind your foot. You can feel her staring intently at it so you know where it is (even though you never actually see her move to put it there).

As I said down thread - IME they make up the rules for all games, and morph them endlessly for their own amusement.

Ultra cute piccies of her on my profile - don't look if you don't want to be tempted by cute collie pup grin

nuttymutty1 Thu 03-Apr-14 17:08:46

Mad to live with 8 collies - I do and I'm not mad <well only a bit> smile

I work with all breeds of dogs and love them all but the BC is an extremely special dog. Do be warned that once you have one you will never want another breed again despite all the work that they entail.

Training with food is great and most BC will however, training with a toy is so much more rewarding for them and that means you can ask them to do so much more

look at Nana

I find it really funny to get my dogs to limp every time I take them to the vets - the vet politely laughs with at me. If there ever is anything wrong with their legs he will never believe me smile

BC's are happy, love life and are willing to work all the time just for you and just because you want them to - this is great but can also be knackering!

kitchendrama Thu 03-Apr-14 17:26:21

My tri-colour cross (tiny bit lab, tiny bit springer) is coming up for 11 this month. Without doubt the most intelligent dog I have ever owned.
Initially brought up in a city on a fellow dog walker's advice I made him utterly ball obsessed (get a Launch a Ball... best £10 you'll ever spend) which prevented him from approaching random dogs but also made him love anyone who took the time to throw his ball.
We got him at 5 months and he'd been given a really hard time by his first family who had 3 SN children who'd been quite rough with him. He was/is terrified of small children and was very bouncy knocking over our toddlers. We sorted that out within two days with some positive training, huge fuss when he was quiet and standing still and he soon got it. He is still edgy when small children approach to stroke him but will stand patiently until I rescue him.
He has about an hour a day out with a couple of other dogs and a ball, and whichever large bough (never a mere stick for him) he can find, he also has a large garden to chase birds and squirrels in. He is incredibly quiet in the house and was rarely destructive as a puppy.
We have recently acquire a springer/collie cross who is a delight and easy to train. I would always always want to see both parents wherever possible. Probably the only thing I would have done differently would have been to crate train, as he will always sleep by me because as a puppy he accessed the garden via our bedroom so got used to being close to me. Whenever I've been pregnant he simply will not leave my side, even sitting beside the bath or shower!
Such lovely lovely dogs....

Owllady Thu 03-Apr-14 19:25:58

Nuttymutty, you have eight collies?! Respect! grin

Greyhorses Thu 03-Apr-14 19:26:02

I have a collie x gsd and I have to say he is my dog of a lifetime however I have to say he is so much harder work than any of the dogs I have owned previously.
He is a rescue but due to a lack of socialisation as a puppy he has developed severe OCD and shadow chasing behaviour. He also has nervous aggression to strangers. He obsesses over any toy/ball/stick etc to the point of which he won't react to anything I say...if this is taken away he will shadow chase for hours. He has put holes in my floor and made his mouth bleed through doing this and it shows how deterimed the breed is! It's not a common behaviour by any stretch but it goes to show what can happen if these dogs aren't trained correctly.

He requires lots of mental stimulation and at least one good run a day (as in panting and lying down type run!) otherwise he is worse in his behaviour!

He is however a fantastic dog. He is great with the family, will walk for hours, loves cuddles and is just a good all rounder. He is super intelligent and learns commands and tricks by the second try. I find myself talking away to him as he understands so much- he has even learnt which road I'm driving on leads to which place. He is constantly glued to my side and I have to take him to work as he hates being alone- I think this is something to consider too as seperation anxiety is common too I think?!

As a sweeping generalisation I think collies can be nervous, one person dogs, are too clever for their own good and need a lot of work but it is well worth it in the end and I would consider another if I was ever to look for a dog again!!

This is my beautiful rescue border collie. She has had her yearly jabs today and the vet remarked on how fast they are- they can snap at vets very quickly, so she is always muzzled at the vet. She is also clever enough to get the muzzle off, however.....

We love her, she is hugely loyal and loves to be with her family.

Beachcomber Fri 04-Apr-14 09:57:18

Thanks again for replies everyone!

Booboostoo - Tibetan Terriers look gorgeous, I googled, don't think I've seen one in real life. So many of the dogs round here are Beauceron, Griffon and hunting type dogs

throckenholt - am loving orange peel hiding, I can just imagine the intent stare. I looked at your pictures, she is beautiful. I know I'm biased towards this breed but I do think the pups are just perfect looking. grin at border collie setting rules for the game.

nuttymutty1 - just wow at 8 collies. I bet they are all gorgeous. Is Nana one of yours? She is amazing.

kitchendrama - your dogs sound lovely. Well done on the positive training with regards to children. It seems such an amazing method that is respectful of the dog and its personal history. My old rescue dog had been hit with her lead and was terrified of leads. We trained her to walk perfectly to heel and have perfect recall and then gradually reintroduced the lead. Took a while though - she didn't need it in terms of control but its always about safety.

Greyhorses - your chap sounds really special, poor thing with the anxiety. You sound like a really understanding and caring owner. Taking on a rescue dog with issues like that must be hard work. I take my hat off to you.

QueenofLouisiana - she is really beautiful and looks so secure all curled up like that.

Owllady Fri 04-Apr-14 10:40:18

Oh nana is fab. I am going to show my boys when they get home so they can set themselves a trick challenge over the Easter holidays

Booboostoo Fri 04-Apr-14 10:44:10

Tibetan Terriers suck. Very stressy, destructive, difficult dogs, don't even think about them! Mine is the most difficult dog I have ever had and frankly I have spent the last 17 years training and having fun with my other dogs but I can't get to grips with her.(neither can two dog behaviourists or a vet specialising in problem dogs)!

Have 9 month old bc female. One good walk in the morning and the fidgets are gone all day- evening shorter walk.
Lovely dog, friends with everyone and all dogs, but very bouncy. Not particularly nervy, ok with cat, very intelligent and loves learning new things (jumping through hoop this week!).
Very cuddly easy dog on the whole. Worst of the chewing is over and was no worse than spaniel (and much better than lab who munched his way through friend' s kitchen wall).
Getting calmer every day. Am trying to think of some disadvantages but apart from the enormous amount of mud she wallows in, I can't.

Beachcomber Tue 08-Apr-14 11:02:59

Hi again everyone. A (rather long!) update - our local rescue has just had a border collie cross come in!! Would you believe it!

She has been with them for 3 weeks so they have now just put her up for adoption (legal delay plus a bit of time for them to see how she behaves). I regularly look on their site and saw her picture a few days ago. DH went to see her on Friday and have an initial chat with the rescue about how things work with them and I went to see her yesterday. We both wanted to see her before we get the children involved and now have an appointment for this afternoon to see how she is with our two DC.

She is lovely - on the small side for a collie X and a bit of a mixture, I think collie crossed with smaller mongrel type, definitely a bit of a mutt! They think she is between 2 and 3 years old, so has reached her adult size and temperament. Poor wee lamb was a stray picked up on the street by the dog pound. She is a bit underweight and her coat is quite dull and greasy sad . But she seems healthy and has been checked over by the rescue vet and they have spayed her. I felt so sorry for her - her stitches seem fine but it seems such a trauma for a poor dog to be abandoned, picked up by the pound, moved to a rescue and then spayed, all in the course of a few weeks. Plus of course the poor thing had a lampshade on so that she would leave her stitches.

We took her for a gentle walk (lampshade off which she was very pleased about!) and she was very sweet. She was quite shy with me in the beginning, but by the end was rolling on her back so that I could tickle her tummy. She pulled a bit on the lead but not too badly and was pretty calm all things considered. There were other dogs around and she didn't show signs of aggression with them, she was cautious and a bit shy with them but wagged her tail and wanted to be friends. We also just sat quietly for a bit and she was very good and really just looked at me with that dog look that says 'please love me'. There is definitely a sadness to her - she reminds me of my old rescue dog when we first got her.

The rescue man seemed to think that we get on well and thinks we would be a good home for her. She needs lots of gentle care and security and then he feels pretty sure she will be a happy fun family dog who will be very devoted and love playing - just what we want.

So! Fingers crossed that it goes well with the children today, she seems very gentle so I just hope she is the same with the children and we can adopt her!

Rescue place would let us reserve her and we can come and visit her and walk her until her stitches are out and then she can come home.

I so hope it works with the DC today, as she really is lovely and I just want to rescue her from what obviously hasn't been an easy start in life. I can't help feeling the timing is a sign - we had just about given up on the idea of a rescue as so many of the dogs they have are too big for us or ex hunting dogs which we didn't feel we could take on (we live in a part of the French countryside where lots of people have hunting dogs and they aren't really pets. They abandon them when they get a bit old or if they aren't good hunters sad )

Spoke to the family who are planning on having border collie pups over the weekend to let them know what was going on - they have quite a few people already interested in a litter if they do go ahead and just said to let them know what we decide.

Will let you know how things go. I so hope rescue dog and the DC get on....

Beachcomber Tue 08-Apr-14 11:04:55

Picture of her - wish me luck for this afternoon!

Bettythree Tue 08-Apr-14 12:48:12

She looks beautiful! Look forward to hearing how she gets on with your children.
We have an 18 month rescue collie x who is just the best dog ever. Have always had dogs but this is the only one who has just fitted in perfectly. He is great fun, always ready to play with a ball, Frisbee, leaf etc etc......
He is easy to train although I'm not always convinced if I'm training him or he's training me!!
Good luck x

Livvylongpants Tue 08-Apr-14 12:49:24

We got a collie before as had kids, she takes a lot of walking and work which is hard now with 2 under 21/2 but give. The age of your kids it should be fine

Owllady Tue 08-Apr-14 12:54:09

Oh she's just lovely smile

Beachcomber Tue 08-Apr-14 12:57:53

Thank you!

I'm fretting that someone else will have swept in and adopted her between me seeing her yesterday and going back today. Can't settle to do anything and am clock watching until it is time to get DC from school and head to rescue.

Until you have officially reserved the dog it is possible for someone else to adopt/reserve. Aaah am all nerves - am no doubt just being silly but in France they let you adopt/reserve really quickly and don't insist on a home visit so in theory it would be possible for someone to snap her up. Roll on end of school day....

Booboostoo Tue 08-Apr-14 16:49:01

She looks lovely, hope it all works out!

Beachcomber Tue 08-Apr-14 19:45:00

We have reserved her!

She was absolutely fine with the DC - behaved the same with them as she did with me, a bit shy but happy to be stroked and played a bit of ball with us. Rescue man perfectly happy with how she was and so was I. She was gentle and obviously neither afraid of children nor aggressive with them nor overly excited by them. Phew!!

The DC loved her and think she is beautiful.

We have put down a deposit on her and need to wait until her stitches come out and then we can bring her home. We are going to try and visit her a few times between then and now so that she has a chance to get to know us a bit.

Going shopping for collar, lead, bed, etc tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for your posts and friendliness on this thread - I will no doubt be starting others about food, etc...

Owllady Tue 08-Apr-14 19:46:54

Oh how exciting! I think fate has had a hand to play smile

Beachcomber Tue 08-Apr-14 20:28:13

I think so too Owllady - I'm so glad things have worked out like this as it feels right to rescue a dog. smile

Also to be honest I really don't mind at all not doing the puppy thing, I know rescue dogs have their own issues and we have no way of knowing what lies ahead WRT how she will be once she gets home but I think she is a good choice for us. Puppies are so much work in the beginning (cute as they are) so I'm quite happy to be having an adult dog. I just so hope that she is going to be happy with us and that we are right for her.

DC have gone to bed brainstroming names for her.

EasyToEatTiger Tue 08-Apr-14 20:40:27

We have 3 bcs. Fab fab fab!!! Lovely dogs. Willing to work, willing to play, never complain... A huge responsibility yes, but absolutely worth it. I don't work any of our dogs which is silly because they are all very able and willing. They are also fabulous companions and a joy to be around.

Beachcomber Thu 10-Apr-14 08:26:59

Gosh EasyToEatTiger I bet 3 BCs keep you busy.

I went back to the rescue yesterday with the DC to walk what will hopefully soon be our dog. I think she may have recognized us as she was much less shy. She is good as gold (apart from a bit of lead pulling but only for the first few minutes). We had her off the lead in an enclosed space for about half an hour and she was just lovely with the DC. She seems to understand at least the basic cues of 'come' and 'sit'.

DC2 tried 'lie' with her which is 'coucher' in French and she reached out a paw and put in on DC2's chest (DC was sitting on the ground). We wonder if someone has taught her to do that with the cue 'toucher' because she did it again when DC1 tried smile was the sweetest thing ever.

When we took her back to her kennel we had the lampshade back on her (poor thing has actually pulled one of her stitches out so now has a more rigid one on) and she kept turning round to check that we were with her as she couldn't see/hear us properly with the lampshade.

We have been shopping for bed/lead/a couple of toys/etc and I have some old blankets looked out for her bed. So looking forward to her coming home, I just hope her stitches heal well as she has made a bit of a mess of herself on one side by pulling at them. Rescue won't let her go until their vet is happy though.

Thanks again to you all for your lovely collie stories.

ally1toby Tue 15-Apr-14 00:05:40

Very intetesting breed. Got my first one two years ago from dogs trust at 8 weeks. He is a delight. We have done many training classes. Puppy nursery to start where about 20 or so pups between 8 weeks and about 16 weeks meet twice a week in a controlled environment and wizz around together for half an hour. I have an eight month old lab as well and she recently met up with another pup she had not seen for about four months and they definately remembered each other. Brilliant for socialising. Back to my collie Dooghal he does grad class kennel club working towards his silver award and is in a flyball team. He has done doggy conditioning classes with a physio slant to improve his muscle tone and conformation to lessen risk of injury and long term damage. He absolutely loves his flyball team mates dogs and humans. We all learn to handle all the dogs in the team so they get used to any one of us helping or catching them. Doighal also loves swimming in our local pond, diving in enthusiastically and swimming at top speed. He loves long bike rides also on our local disused railway foot and cycle and horse track. He is an energetic dog. Probably the most Ihave ever owned but so much fun to own and love too.

Beachcomber Tue 15-Apr-14 08:16:06

She's here!!

We picked her up yesterday, she is currently lying on the kitchen floor staring at me. grin

She has been fab. She didn't want to get into the car at the rescue so DH lifted her in. Was fine in the car, just a bit drooly but not sick or afraid. Last night we just took her for a 10 minute walk and a few runs round the garden. She slept in her bed in the kitchen with no barking, chewing, etc and DH took her out in the garden for a wee early this morning.

The DC and I took her for a 20 min walk before school so that I could leave her alone whilst I did the school run. It's only a 10 minute walk and she will be able to do it with us but I didn't want her to have a crowd of school kids descend upon her this morning! Also wanted her to stay in the house alone and see that It Is OK as she is a bit anxious and follows me around. The rescue advised that from the first day we leave her for short periods, gradually increasing.

We are trying to 'ignore' her as much as we can so that we give her a bit of space to relax and explore in. (This is hard for the DC but they understand that we mustn't constantly give her attention as it is stressful for her and we don't want her getting into the habit of constant attention...)

So far so good. She is really lovely. Of course she is on her best behavior just now as her world has just been turned upside down - we'll see what the following days and weeks bring...

The DC adore her and I think she is finding us to be not too bad so far smile

Thanks again for telling me about your lovely collies. Ours is definitely a mongrel but collie enough for me (she herded us a wee bit on our walk - she definitely likes us all grouped together smile )

Owllady Tue 15-Apr-14 08:24:56

This has made me very happy grin
I would like lots of pictures and updates pls beachcomber over the coming months grin

Beachcomber Tue 15-Apr-14 08:28:14

She has stopped staring and gone to her bed and has actually properly gone to sleep (with cute gentle snoring). Poor thing must be exhausted after all she has been through in the last few weeks. Looking forward to rebuilding her confidence so that she can be a happy relaxed dog.

Right. I must now go and do some work. I promise not to keep up a running commentary of our every move grin

Beachcomber Tue 15-Apr-14 08:29:49

Thanks Owllady.

I promise to witter on constantly about our gorgeous girl update.

CQ Tue 15-Apr-14 08:31:37

Awwww what a lovely outcome!! Such a beautiful dog - I'm sure fate had a hand in her finding you.

Looking forward to regular updates once she settles in.


basildonbond Tue 15-Apr-14 08:52:59

What a lovely outcome - we had a collie x and 'proper' collie growing up and they were fab dogs (if slightly manic as pups/younger dogs)

Your dog has such a lovely face - definitely need more pics smile

EasyToEatTiger Tue 15-Apr-14 10:37:02


Beachcomber Wed 16-Apr-14 08:07:23

Mini update!

She slept in her bed fine again last night, went out for a wee early with DH and has just done her first poo!! (never thought I would be excited to post that but with her being pretty anxious I feel a poo is a good sign grin )

She is a bit less shy and submissive this morning and there is more tail wagging and she even had a wee maddie moment in the garden. I think she likes us smile

Thanks for all saying she looks nice.

About to take her for a walk, it is lovely and sunny here but windy. Have a lovely day all with your dogs.

NCISaddict Wed 16-Apr-14 08:20:59

She's lovely, my Border Collie is off to the vets today for neutering sad so he will be feeling a little sorry for himself no doubt.

Beachcomber Wed 16-Apr-14 12:51:42

NCISaddict, thank you! She is lovely. She is quite a bit more relaxed today and less nervous of everything. Lots more tail wagging!

Good luck with your boy being neutered I hope he's OK.

Owllady Wed 16-Apr-14 16:22:38

She sounds a poppet smile

Beachcomber Thu 17-Apr-14 10:20:30

That's exactly the word for her Owllady, a poppet.

She is ace. Sleeps in her bed, toilets outside, lovely with the kids, very affectionate and gradually relaxing a bit. We had to leave her for 2 hours yesterday and she didn't chew anything and was asleep in her bed when we arrived back (I can see her bed from the kitchen window).

Her main 'issue' that we have discovered so far is that she is afraid to eat sad. I have to give her permission to eat by telling her that it is for her and encouraging her. She was eating so little so I gave her some turkey and then a raw pork bone with plenty meat on it - she obviously so wanted to eat but kept looking up to me for reassurance that she was allowed to do it. She was OK once she got going though and crunched the bone up. She did eat by herself when we left her yesterday, it seems if we are there though that she really needs to be sure that we are letting her eat. Poor wee lamb. She is a little nervous of DH too and at first hid behind me when he was about - she is getting much better with him already however, he takes her out in the morning for an early wee and gives her a treat.

She enjoys a good walk but actually seems relatively unfit at the moment (I guess after nearly a month of being in a kennel in the rescue and probably not getting walked a great deal). I took her out for an hour this morning and she is sleeping now.

She is wonderful smile (although rather smelly, looking forward to freshening her up a bit with a bath once I feel she is confident enough with me. Going to brush her this afternoon so that might help a bit).

Owllady Thu 17-Apr-14 11:16:25

Oh bless her smile she will learn to trust your dh. It's so sad so many rescue dogs have obviously been mistreated by men. Do you think she was taught to wait for food? I wonder if she is waiting for a release word? Though it could just be fear and insecurity, but you are dealing with that fine anyway smile

I would give her a bath. I felt the same as you when we had this one, she stank awful! But on day 2 I couldn't stand it so bathed her any way, quickly. She was fine grin

ender Thu 17-Apr-14 14:17:24

Not really relevant but just saw this border collie with grudge against cars bbc link. Owner said dog had been run over in the past, not surprised if its allowed off lead by the roads.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 17-Apr-14 14:23:12

My sister has one and they wouldn't be without him. He's fabulous with children especially the toddler. He's never needs a leash he's totally clever and independant. Loves physical activity and keeps the whole family fit. They really would choose any other breed.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 17-Apr-14 14:25:10

Of course the use the lead near roads but generally he stays by the side of the pram without one and know immediately when he gets to the park he's free to run as much as he wants.

Beachcomber Thu 17-Apr-14 22:16:33

Hey Owllady, I think we will bath her at the weekend, we'll try to be quick and just get it over and done with, I bet she will feel better for it.

DH brushed her out in the garden for ages this afternoon, they had a real bonding session with him gently grooming her. He had to cut out quite a few matted bits of fur and found two ticks which we removed with one of those tick turner fork things - they came out quickly and entire and we put some antiseptic on where they had been.

She has been eating a bit better - I really think it is down to anxiety rather than her waiting for a release word. I gave her dinner outside and she ate it much more comfortably, she is more relaxed outside than in the house.

She is sleeping now, another big day for her in her wee life. It's going to take a while to build her confidence up. We'll get there though, we're not in a hurry, just want her to be happy.

Owllady Thu 17-Apr-14 22:23:16

Aww bless her, she sounds really really lovely, you all do smile

Sorcha1966 Fri 18-Apr-14 20:06:15

I have a 16 week old pedigree border collie bitch. I have never had a proper dog before and have 3 kids 15, 11 and 9.

She is bred (carefully) for temperament and is soft and kind. She needs stimulation and gets bored easily but she is very easy to train. You do need to be consistent, but she picks up commands quickly and is very keen to please.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now