What has your dog added to your life?

(68 Posts)
SunsetBoulevard3 Thu 26-Dec-19 01:22:45

I have wanted a dog for years. Had a failed attempt to rehome a rescue dog a while ago which put us off.
A border collie has come up. Adult, failed farm dog who sounds ideal for us . I am fearful of making a mistake but also excited that maybe this is the right dog for us. We are meeting her in a few days.
Help me make the right decision!

OP’s posts: |
Twooter Thu 26-Dec-19 01:24:20

I’d be wary of a collie for a firstdog. They can be gorgeous but they can also be snappy and unpredictable. Also need a lot of stimulation.

ChocoholicsAsylum Thu 26-Dec-19 01:26:11

Go for it. If you have the patience and time. Getting a dog has been good for us. She helped my son who was terrified of even a tea cup pooch and shes just so loyal and loving. You obviously have ffs moments and have to clean poop up outside but the good outweighs that x

MustardScreams Thu 26-Dec-19 01:26:22

Collies aren’t easy dogs so I wouldn’t recommend one for a first dog. They can be hugely neurotic and stressed out if they don’t get the proper amount of mental stimulation. They are so clever they need to be thinking constantly.

Have you done some research about the breed?

Twooter Thu 26-Dec-19 01:32:46

But to answer your question, our dog has added an amazing extra dimension to our lives. He’s the first one who the dc go to in the morning or when they get in, he spends hours giving and getting cuddles, and he gets us outside even when the weather is horrendous.

SunsetBoulevard3 Thu 26-Dec-19 01:33:36

I know how tricky collies can be but I love the breed. She doesn’t chase sheep or cats so I am hoping is a big less neurotic than a farm dog that has a strong working instinct but I may be wrong.
I know the sensible thing would be not to get a collie, but there is something about them which really draws me.

OP’s posts: |
SunsetBoulevard3 Thu 26-Dec-19 01:34:54

She is prone to nipping some men in excitement apparently. Though not all.

OP’s posts: |


Aardvarkitsabloodyaardvark Thu 26-Dec-19 01:39:34

The only experience I have of collies is my dearly missed collie/springer cross.
Totally neurotic and highly strung but my angel. I have another crossbreed now and I can honestly say after the initial settling in phase the amount of love and fun my dogs have brought in to my family's lives is unmeasurable. Goodluck Op.

BiteyShark Thu 26-Dec-19 06:36:28

As PP have said be careful about just getting this dog because it seems like fate. If you want a dog and it's the right time then do it. But don't just get one because someone is handing you theirs. Make sure you are prepared for all the negatives about the breed and just having a dog in general.

I adore BiteyDog, he is one spoilt dog. The companionship is lovely and our home feels so empty when he isn't there. BUT it has been stressful, expensive and a tie. Both DH and I have said we won't be getting another dog until we are elderly and don't want to go anywhere anymore.

MustardScreams Thu 26-Dec-19 07:04:13

The dog’s needs and requirements have always got to come first, no matter how you feel about it.

The whole point of rescuing a dog is to give it a life that works for it, and makes sure the rest of their days are enjoyable and suited to them. Being drawn to a breed doesn’t mean you are the right home for them.

I’m not saying this to be harsh, just the realities of owning a working dog is very different to other breeds. Not chasing cats/sheep isn’t a sign of not having a high drive. And the nipping in excitement is already showing signs of a dog that is highly strung.

sippingcoffee Thu 26-Dec-19 07:13:59

I love border collies and have had lots of experience with them over the years , they are all very different , some active , some lazy , some quite sharp and nippy , if yours nips men you will need to monitor her on every occasion a man might go into your house , Garden , wherever she is , you will probably need to muzzle for walks in public etc etc
One of mine didn't like baggy trousers and would arrive from nowhere , nip the trousers and disappear again
Another one wouldn't let people unknown into the garden
Depends upon your setup at home but truthfully a border collie can be a tricky first dog

shoebedobedobedobedoo Thu 26-Dec-19 07:19:49

Happiness and health. Got our first family dog when I was 5 and have tried not to be without one since. Got our latest puppy in July and she is my 3rd child. Life is not complete without a dog.

MarieG10 Thu 26-Dec-19 07:26:26

Dogs can add to your life but really think it through depending on your own lifestyle. For example, do you like going away in holidays, particularly foreign ones. Friends moan when they do that the kennelling fees are more expensive than the individual costs of their own tickets for the holiday.

Dogs are like children. Get up early morning, walk feed, clean up after they mess in the house if not trained. Don't have one if you work full time and there isn't anyone to take them out...I actually think it's cruel to leave them home all day alone.

So yes, if you want a new child then get one, but think carefully about bringing one into the house if you already have small children as no dog can be 100% safe

HollyBollyBooBoo Thu 26-Dec-19 07:27:06

It's really hard to say what a dog adds.

I think it's unconditional love. The excitement every morning when he sees us, the routine of him having a cuddle, having his breakfast, going for a walk, snuggling on the sofa with us.

It's a love like nothing else. I truly couldn't be without a dog ever.

fuzzymoon Thu 26-Dec-19 07:29:05

Collies are hard work. You need to not just walk them but work their mind too otherwise they can get skitty and develop behaviour difficulties.

adaline Thu 26-Dec-19 08:04:58

I would be very wary about getting a collie as a first time dog and I say that as someone whose first dog is a beagle!

A friend of mine got a collie for his first dog - they thought they had the ideal set up. Someone at home all the time, both love long walks - the reality is not the same. He was a bitey snappy neurotic bundle of stress for a good several months as a teenager and they had to get a behaviourist in to sort out his behaviour before he really did some damage.

Please be very careful - they are not easy dogs.

Raffles1981 Thu 26-Dec-19 08:09:12

When I was pregnant, my DP "Surprised" me with a Golden Retriever. I was mad as hell. Due my first baby and here he was, giving me more responsibility! Our dog has been my saviour. He got me out walking every day after having my DS, he's a wonderful dog with our boy and adores us all. He's part of our family and I couldn't imagine life without him. As long as you have done your homework (sounds like you have) and it feels right, I would say go for it OP.

Sprinklemetinsel Thu 26-Dec-19 08:25:47

A friend has only had collies- he thought he was an experienced dog owner, walked his dogs three times a day and trained them properly etc. Then suddenly he got a wilful one. He didn't know what had hit him!

I've had two dogs (as an adult), both rescue, both hard work. Wouldn't be without them, but you rearrange to fit them, it's doesn't happen the other way around. Current dog is prey driven, shouty, and utterly hilarious. Throws up in the car, is fussy about food, headshy and won't sit next to me or on me on the sofa. He doesn't have a placid relaxing bone in his body.
he's adorable, but on his terms.

TheHumansAreDefinitelyDead Thu 26-Dec-19 08:32:57

I wanted (and want) a collie, but they need a certain lifestyle 😁 lots of exercise and lots of mental stimulation. Realistically I did not have time for that...

So instead we took a "failed" lurcher (failed= no prey drive and too meek) from a farm (tge breeder took her back, and we got her from breeder)

What we get is a lot of love but also, she is a couch potato so she is easy really (one decent walk needed) she has given us so much, she makes us laugh, can get a grumpy teen to smile (she is so happy to see them their grumpiness melts away) and it has all been amazing really.

One day, if I get to be retired but very fit, I'll have a collie too grin

Bobstergirl Thu 26-Dec-19 09:02:16

I think your thinking on the farm dog is incorrect.

A failed farm dog is probably anxious, neurotic and unsure hence why a failed farm dog. Farm dogs have to be courageous intelligent and able to work with loads of distractions around them.

I have three collies - the farm dogs are way more chilled than the obedience breed collie.

They have completely taken over my life. I have always had dogs but the moment I got my first collie things changed smile

They need mental stimulation so two walks a day is just not enough for a collie.

I changed career because of my dogs as it was easier to fit their needs into my day , my social life is around the collies (loads of agility).

I am happy to make the changes but having a collie will mean you have to put their needs first or you will have a stressed collie and your life will be hard very hard.

A collie that is not stimulated will go self employed and that is very hard to live with.

Collies can be noise sensitive - which can be hard to live with, they can find adjusting to new places hard, can not always like people, need space, can be very herdy (hence the nipping that your dog is doing and that is very hard to train out of them).

Collies are without doubt very intelligent dogs but do you ever wonder why they are not used for assistant dogs smile

whiteroseredrose Thu 26-Dec-19 09:12:46

Another warning against a Border Collie unless you're at home with them all day and can go for very long walks. They are very intelligent and need lots of stimulation.

There were a couple on our dog walking field who would need to do three hour long walks a day with theirs otherwise they'd get edgy. It's a big commitment.

But to answer your question about what DDog has brought to our lives ... love, companionship, solace, laughs, and some worry. He's a reason we have to get some exercise and air every day.

He's the best decision we made. When DS was having a bad time at school DDog was his friend and confidante. When DH or I get home from work he comes running to greet us while DC are still in their rooms. He makes us laugh by running round like a loony with his bone or chew or when he rolls round on the carpet in glee when he is given a treat. He's someone I can talk to when I'm home on my own without feeling too daft. We've also met other people to chat to on our dog walks. People seem to talk to other people with dogs. I found it odd at first but soon got into the swing of things.

The worry is because ours is a bit accident prone so has cost us a fair bit in vet fees. He also seems to get into scrapes on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning so we have to pay for emergency vets fees 🤣.

He is a commitment though. He's family so I wouldn't dream of putting him in kennels. He has accompanied us on most of our holidays or stayed with my mum. That has meant driving to Spain rather than flying and holidaying in the UK. We also can't just go for a long day out because we don't want to leave him alone for too long. He has a dog walker every day while we're at work which is £40 a week. He hates being alone in the evening or night time so we feel guilty when we go to the theatre or out to eat - even if we leave lights on he's frantic when we get back.

He's the best decision that we made - but we have to think of his needs just like if he was a child!

villainousbroodmare Thu 26-Dec-19 09:19:57

Listen to Bobstergirl. That dog sounds like a ball of stress and is unlikely to bring the nice aspects of dog-ownership into your life. Things like leisurely off-lead walks are not possible with an animals who bites people randomly.

JustaScratch Thu 26-Dec-19 09:29:20

I don't know much about collies, but I do know that big dogs (well, all dogs) take time and patience and energy. We got a lab cross almost two years ago and he has been absolutely fantastic. We love him dearly, he is well behaved, affectionate and fun - he's been great for DD(6yo) and has been a huge help to my DH who suffered a life changing injury shortly after we got him - the walks helped a lot with his rehabilitation. It has been incredibly hard work for me and we only did it because have a large garden and I work from home most of the time, so we can give him what he needs. He keeps DH company when I travel for work. We've never left him alone more than five hours, and then only once or twice. It IS like having a kid in a way - you can't expect them just to fit in with your life - they are creatures who need care, exercise, love and your time.

MrsZola Thu 26-Dec-19 09:59:53

Ours is an ex puppy farm breeding bitch - staffie/boxer cross. We got her aged 7 and she has given us so much. DH is disabled and she is great company for him while I'm at work - she has him totally at her beck and call! 😁 We've been through a rough few years, including me having bad depression and she has been one of the reasons I pulled back from the brink. She loves so unconditionally, is so snuggly and so funny - the fact that she hates every other furry thing in the world doesn't matter.

bigbluebus Thu 26-Dec-19 10:22:25

My DH was bitten by a dog last week for the 1st time in his 58 years - it was a border collie! DH loves border collies - always dreams of owning one! All we were doing when he was bitten was walking past a country cottage/farmhouse on a public road where 2 border collies were sitting on the doorstep. As we passed by (3 adults) the dogs came up behind us barking and then one of them took a snap at DHs leg! Totally unprovoked and DH was showing no signs of fear - just walking on by ignoring the dogs! I would be very careful if you are considering rehoming this 'failed' dog!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in