I was with a group today, and was asked a variation of a question I get many times. "Are Border Collies good house dogs?" NO!
They are athletic and attractive dogs, but don't be fooled by the good looks and agility. It comes with a price. Time. Yours. These dogs stay active for most of, on average, a fourteen year life span."Do they make good pets?" Yes - if you walk them four times a day. I mean it! They are work. They look for work. They need work - physical and mental. They are genetically, naturally, historically working animals - whether you want them to be or not. We hosted four 4-H lambs three summers ago, and as soon as Jock got in the corral with them, he had them grouped against the wall, without us giving any commands. We don't know any herding commands!For lack of goats or sheep to herd after the morning chores, Jock "herds" the tractors, quads, wheel barrows, lawnmowers, whatever moves. He runs everywhere he goes. He watches everything for movement, and can't wait for us to start up a motor.Tired is not a condition you often see a Border Collie in, which is why they can easily become a pest or unhappy. By the time he was almost two years old, we had become Jock's third owner. He needed intense attention and probably got those four walks a day - minimum. Winter or summer. Some Border Collies are known to herd people when they are bored. They become intimidating and nippy. We were able to avoid that with lots of walks and play.If you want to learn more about the work going into saving Border Collies and other dogs, visit The Dog Liberator blog. There they talk about the habits and personalities of these dogs, and the work they take to train and make each of them part of a home.Our Jock is a happy dog because he gets to run, chase and herd. Can't you see the smile? But remember, it comes with a price. Hard work.
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