Anyone have a border collie in a city?(15 Posts)
We lost our wonderful working cocker boy on Friday. He was only 7 years old, but deteriorated suddenly from a spinal problem.
We're now looking for a second dog and are considering a border collie. We live in London Zone 4 in a tiny two-bedroomed house with barely any garden near a large deer park (Richmond Park for any Londoners). We're in the process of trying to move closer into London, again near a park, to a larger house with a ~60ft garden near my husband's work.
We have a three-month old baby, have no car, and I routinely went running up to 13km daily with our working cocker. Upon moving to the new house, I was planning to do agility with him in east London as the new park is smaller and more crowded than our old one.
I don't want another working cocker as I think I'd compare him unfavourably to the dog we've just lost. As we have a young baby, we'd be looking to rescue an older dog who was familiar with kids.
Does anyone have a border collie with young children? And in an urban area? I've read they don't like noise, are anxious around strangers, and herd children/traffic.
Honestly? I don't think a collie is the right dog for you (nor you the right home for it). Also, I think you would struggle to get any rescue to rehome one you with such a young child.
I do think you shod also wait until you have actually moved house before making a decision.
I've known 2 people with border collies who live near Richmond Park and my parents (very near park) had a rescue springer/collie cross from Battersea. I don't think living in London is a barrier to having a border collie - all dogs need to be well trained wherever they live and many parts of London are more immediately accessible to green space than many rural areas.
However, I think you might struggle to find a rescue collie who is guaranteed to be good with young children.
If I were looking for a child friendly rescue dog, I would be less specific about breed. Also, while I think collies are manageable in London, I've never come across one that wasn't high maintenance in that they need lots of stimulation and training to keep them happy.
Echo pp - definately wait until you are in new house, it wouldn't be fair to take on a new dog knowing a move is imminent. I also doubt any reputable rehoming centre would let you take a dog with such a young child at home so that might not be an option. Collies are also known to be a bit unpredictable, especially if their exercise/mental stimulation needs are not being fully met. I would not be in a rush to bring a collie (esp rescue) into the house with such a young child, personally.
Why is it you want a collie out of interest?
We had a border collie growing up and he had long walks in Richmond Park every day. He was a bit neurotic and didn't really calm down until he was about 7 or so but he was a lovely dog. However being able to romp around a huge space like Richmond Park where you can avoid too many people if you choose your spots carefully is very different to a smaller, more crowded and enclosed space. Plus you have a very small baby and an imminent house move to consider too. In your situation I would a) wait and b) rethink the breed
I adore my bordercollie, but I wouldn't recommend one with a very young child. Their herding instinct is still very strong and can get twitchy if the things they herd (or crawling baby) don't behave!
I have three collies and they are all very different but do have similar traits. Do be aware if you have a collie you will have a dog that wants to be doing things all the time. That is not just exercise but brain work. You could take your collie out for a 6 hour run but they will still want attention and things to do on your return.
Of course you teach them to chill out and that is a vital skill to have with a collie but a collie will need to be doing things, brain work etc for many more hours than most dogs - that will be hard with young children in a small area.
One of mine would be fantastic with kids but some will herd and although they can be trained this will take time and commitment from you.
You would have to choose your dog carefully as collies can be wheel chasers and some can be noise reactive so could find city life stressful - I personally think there would be a better fit for you and your family than the average collie.
Having said that look at Holly and Ace on facebook - they are two border collies leaving in an apartment block in Australia BUT also look at all the time and enrichment Dai the owner spends with them.
Collies are amazing, special, loyal, intelligent, crazy dogs that do need an owner who is able to spend a lot of time and commitment on them and this commitment could last for 16 years or more - it is a big ask for many people. Also why bother when you can have an easier life and still enjoy dog companionship with a dog that would be happier in your situation.
I was looking at a collie because I want a dog that can do a daily half marathon, is smart and has initiative, has the attention span to be entertained in the house, and has the reduced health problems of a working dog. I'd met some collies in the past and they're among the few smart working breeds I know.
Bear in mind, our last dog was a working gundog who needed two hours exercise a day plus brain work. He was only marginally a 'pet' dog. We had him for 7.5 years, including the first few months of our baby's life, and his only problem was mild fear-aggression that a behaviouralist said was temperament and not training. We lost him due to illness. Given working cockers are regarded as too energetic for the typical home, I felt I would be disappointed by a lot of dogs seen as suitable for a family (kid-friendliness excepted).
Our vet friend has now recommended a poodle. We're also considering a rescue that fits the criteria. Vet friend agrees with everyone here that border collies are too skittish on average to be around a young child.
In your situation I'd wait and then look for collie crosses that aren't breed typical
Collies are fantastic dogs but it doesn't really sound like it's the dog for you - they really aren't a breed compatible with small children, and due to their instincts they would need a mammoth about of training before you could even consider letting them off-lead anywhere near the deer park.
I wouldnt have a border collie as a pet at all, but collie x lab mongrels are the best pets, great all round. go to the dogs home
as to the running, i would imagine that as long as you dont start too young most dogs would love it
Our local Dogs Trust always has a lot of collies. And they all have issues. Because people have taken them on without any idea quite how much work and stimulation they need. My DSD brought her 9 mth collie pup to stay for a couple of days recently and I made a mental note to never get one! She was relentless, adorable but relentless. And we're used to large breed working dogs. I thought my Lab boy could go all day on the exercise front but she knackered even him out in the end. With a baby, unless you're totally committed, I'm just not sure it would work for you or the dog.
Re: training collies, it depends what you want. People with young children breed and train dogs for a living and keep animals and own horses.
Just be honest with yourself about how much time you want to spend on your dog and how much time you really have.
Cross breeds can be unpredictable because you can't guarantee which traits they will inherit, although obviously older rescue dogs are more of a known quantity.
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