Border Collies – who has one, what do i need to know?

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  • Border Collies – who has one, what do i need to know?
  • See the MTB’ing bike dogs thread and see why I’m so missing our Collie Nip (the best dog in the world incidentally 😉 ) but can be a bit tricky if you don’t keep them occupied. Lots of energy, and fiercely inteligent, and like all dogs, loyal to the end.


    hard work! (Had 2)
    Very very hard to tire out – need LOTS of exercise…e.g. always wanting ball/slipper/stone [anything available] throwing.
    IME not very ‘relaxed’ dogs. Can be destructive if left alone in the house – they like chewing stuff. (can also be a bit snappy)

    I suppose a lot of that could apply to many dog breeds (and could be improved with some more training perhaps) although parents now have a lab which is a bit easier.

    All that said, I loved our first collie (even though he bit me)


    my ex girlfriend used to have one, he’d be out with her and the horses all day, she was a riding instructor, and he’d come out running with me in the evenings and for the odd bike ride at weekends. Great dogs, bags of energy.



    We were in the same position a few years ago. Were all set to buy a collie from a local farm but visited the pound first. We found a collie lab x who came with a suitable sob story so we were sold there and then. Turned out really well – has the characteristics of both breeds (as you’d expect!), she has the ‘trainability’ of a collie – v. intelligent but not as highly strung as some we’ve seen! Bit more of the docile lab genes. Good combo. Plus, it’s nice to think we rescued her from the council pound too – something to be said for it.


    Fab dogs but if you havent got 5 hours at least spare a day for hard exercise then look for another breed.

    Its a viscous circle they need exercise so you exercise them they want more.

    Very clever hounds, will herd things instinctively


    Awesome dogs …if you have the time.

    Living with a BC is like living with a gifted child, and as hard work to boot.
    They will run for hours and hours, but don’t think they’ll be happy with just that, exercising Collies just makes them fitter not sated.
    They need a reasonable amount of exercise and a lot of mental stimulation to keep them satisfied.
    Border Collies are the 2nd most rescued breed (2nd only to Greyhounds) because people run them for hours, get them hyper fit, ignore the mental exercising, then
    can’t cope when they turn destructive because they take out their frustrations on anything they can turn to (shoes, furniture, people).

    Think very carefully before you get a Border Collie, but if you have the time, energy & most importantly patience they are the most wonderful breed on the planet.

    Start by talking to these guys, they’re very knowledgeable and will offer you a lot of good advice.


    I have two Collies, and they are great, Sally is 15 in a few weeks and Meg is 5.

    For the first year both dogs chewed a lot, a cage is a good way to keep the house in one piece during the night and other times when they need to be on their own, but Meg hated being in a cage (understandable really).

    Some males can be aggressive, but not all are like that (same with a lot of breeds).

    Collies need a few 20 – 30 mins lots of exercise a day, and some play time added to that as well, a walk is no use to a collie, they need to run and a ball gives really good focus. Some of them don’t switch off all day, Meg our younger one will play with a ball 24 hours a day is she could get away with it. Meg will run alongside a bike or run with me for ages.

    They are very loyal, Sally has the softest nature of any dog I have known, Meg is a bit more strong willed, but both are very affectionate, and love company, both my dogs go with me everywhere if they can, during the cooler months they both travel round with me in my work van during the day.

    I wouldn’t have any other breed, they can have funny habits, but that is all part of their charm.


    Maybe I’m a lost cause, despite having fostered a Greyhound and him totally detroying our kitchen (no really. it took about 10 hours to fix it all) I love greyhounds, If you give them the time and effort, they are the coolest dogs around. I’m glad to say that Sammy is a very happy boy now instead of the malnourished, mess of a dog that we feared might need destroying. Lurchers (a mix of collie/greyhound) might be a good trailhound, but go in with your eyes open!

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    I’ve always wanted a Border Collie. Never had the time though. 🙁

    As above really BC really need someone at home all day or another dog for company and stimulation. Lots of exercise is a must amd agility or flyball is good as it stimulates them mentally is well. I used to hide treats in the house and the dog would search for them very methodically. Thinking myself of getting another dog and would go for a collie cross, both in terms of temperment and health issues eg hips etc.


    Fantastic dogs, but will need/want more exercise than you’d think possible. They get bored as well which is when they become mischievous so pretty much all day attention/playing.

    Fortunately my retired parents are doing the honors as I’ve just not got the time.

    You can get ‘Farm Dogs’ or ‘breeder’ dogs.
    Farm Dogs can have a tendency to be aggresive.. its built into them..

    I had a collie from a breeder… excellent dog.. lovely natured and was great with my daughter… Oh’ and bloody tireless… 😆

    Boba Fatt

    and who wants to post a pic?

    Have been looking for a dog for a while and the Border collie is one dog we’ve always loved – but we want to go in with our eyes open

    We had two female collies from working stock, one turned out to be the best dog in the world (was kept busy with training/flyball/agilty) with a great temperament, great with kids etc. etc.. the other used to herd the other (as there weren’t any sheep about) and would spend hours looking at the closed curtains, hoping that there might be a CAT! about (this MAY be my fault 😐 ) but both are having lots of fun and doing their own thing these days, we may even have a litter from the best dog in the world in about 6 months. the other is now related to David Coulthard, but faster, obviously 😉


    Dogs from “breeders” can be a safer bet, but there are a lot of puppy farms churning out very unsuitable family pets.

    Be careful if you’re looking for a puppy, try and check out the breeder as much as they should check out you. You should at least see the mother and her environment, and if possible the father too.

    Ask to see hip-scores, and the test results for CEA & PRA, as the breed can suffer from an inherited eye disease (more info here:


    We had a couple of border collie crosses when I was a kid, and the energy and constant need to be occupied, shone through! The nicest was a Border Collie cross Newfoundland, a rescue dog – as all have been. 🙂

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    We had two, before we had kids. Had one to start, needed tons of exercise and stuff to occupy her mind so did the whole obedience and agility club thing. Got a second as company as they would be in the house during the day. Great dogs but tons of commitment. Have a springer now (had a pair but one died) and much more manageable with family and work life.

    Premier Icon Riksbar

    We seem to have a chilled one but still a great biking dog. They need to know who’s boss though, straight from the off. Ours came from a friend who is a breeder and sheep farmer and was one he had had returned as the previous owners couldn’t cope with her. She has been an absolute sweety with us though. She does,however, get bored and destroy thing sometimes 😕



    BCs are super clever / playful / fit / tiring as stated above – however they make very trainable dogs and awesome trail dogs. If you get one with a nice temperment then you cannot lose if you are prepared to mentally and physically entertain them.

    Our collie has an hour of chasing a ball / frisbee minimum a day plus hours of play on top of that. Most weekends 4 – 8 hrs a day walking /running n biking. Dog loves biking and goes nuts when she sees her ruffwear harness. She can easily outpace me and longest day was 10 hours on exmoor carrying her pack and at the end of the day she still wanted to play with her frisbee……..

    At first she was a menace re chewing so I am told but then so were my springers when pups were little devils..


    Premier Icon theginjaninja

    Smart dogs

    Day 142 of 365

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos

    Got one the start of last year – a rescue dog from farm stock. He is utterly ace, doesn’t get enough exercise at the moment due to life just going wrong. Hopefully that is turning around now though as he does deserve better.

    Very intelligent, yet daft as a brush. No road sense, and I can’t get him to understand tha cars won’t just stop for him, which is a real downer as I would love to get him out on the bike. Got to keep working on it! Loads of energy, and he will take as many walks as he can get. I take him out to work quite often and he is great – just sits watching. Loves cats (in a good way, though any that don’t know him get freaked out).

    Fortunatly we have an equally intelligent cat (Maine Coon – stupidly clever felines) so Jake spends all day hanging with his big cat 😉 Tries herding him a bit, and usually gets taken down by a cat that thinks it is a lion and he is a gazelle!

    Oh aye – he is my first dog too. But such a fantastic temprement. My Mother who doesn’t like dogs loves him (he goes on holiday to see her every so often!). My wife’s mother hates dogs… except him, he is okay apparently). Ace pooch!

    Bloody hell! I’ve just looked up Maine Coon!!!

    Got 2, both rescue. One from the dogs trust the other from a collie rescue :Dplace called wiccaweys. Agree with everything everyone else has said, you will never tire them out but I would not be without my 2 hairy black and White shadows for anything


    had a collie as a kid till 20 yr old\ben 16), great pal, needs exercising playing etc but he could always find himself smething to do!
    Got a greyhound now. would love a collie as well they’d get on fine…


    Growing up on a farm with collies working with sheep and then seeing border collies living in the town and not doing what they are bred for I would say it is a cruel breed to keep as a pet. They become alive when working and have a higher level that is just not present when not working. It is a bit like turning on and off a switch. Mind you if you get a stupid one that has the loyal aspect without the other bits maybe you will be ok.


    When we researched getting a dog I seriously looked into Collie’s. From what I gathered they really dont like being left alone. They need to be with people almost 24/7 and if not they become distressed and destructive. Plus, dont forget (as above) they need alot of exercise and can be nasty buggers to some other dogs!

    Not wishing to upset anyone but I’ve come accross pet collie’s and they have all struck me as being a bit mental some much more than others due to lack of stimulation. I used to live/work on a farm and the collies I worked were the most amazing dogs I’ve ever met, loved them but wouldnt have one as a pet. If you do go that way make sure you get one from non-working stock there are almost distinct lines now of workers and pet/agility dogs. Currently have a lurcher pup who is 1/8 border and 1/8 bearded collie, the idea is to get brains from the collie and running ability from the greyhound/whippet blood, she is obviously less clever than a collie (puppy school showed this) but she will happily sleep for 18 hours a day.

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