She's a rescue, so she's got a couple of hang ups, but nothing too bad at all. She's a dream dog really. We are so lucky to have her.
Like most doggy owners, I was aware of breed quirks. I owned a Jack Russell - most people are very quick to state their breed quirks ('snappy, yelpy, temperamental' - which mine wasn't AT ALL by the way, just so you know. He had a man-bark, never snapped, like, ever, and the only temper he seemed to have was goofy/playful).
Here's a few things I've learned about Border Collies in our first year.
1. You'll never be alone. Ever.
You'll always have a furry friend right by your side. Collies are nosy about EVERYTHING. They love to be in on the action and I reckon they are so good at coming back purely because they are so scared of missing out on anything. They are good at observing from a distance and sitting down, but always near you, always watching to see where you are going next. See 'the collie stare'.
|Oh hey, I'm just coming to see how you're doing...|
2. Obsession is more than a word - it is life.
Kim's particular obsession is the ball and the two other collies who live next door. Combine the two and she is a very happy doggy.
|I might have a ball in my hand...|
Your collie has an obsession. This is their 'thing'. You will find it one day - maybe by accident or even on purpose.
It might be chasing cars (goodness forbid), chasing a ball or chasing a laser pen. It might be herding small things or hoarding socks.
Border collies have an innate urge to 'do' and it can sometimes be ruinous. Their obsession will quickly become yours.
Channel it in the right way, however, and you can work it to your benefit.
Which leads me to...
3. These dogs have smarts...but not street smarts. They will challenge you!
Don't get me wrong, these dogs are clever beasties. It's the main reason why they need at least a 45 minute walk every day, off-lead, sniffing and playing. You know, so they can cover about 50 extra miles while you are doing 6. They are so active. They instinctively know where you are on a walk, so they can take themselves away through fields and far and away and get back to you the instant (or so) after you call them (because they might be missing something important).
But, my dog will sit behind a door until it opens for her - even if it's open enough for her to look through. She thinks it's an impenetrable force. Even if I'm shouting her name and telling her she can do this.
She'll sit with her tongue out, looking at me quizically when I give her a treat.
If she doesn't use her brain or essentially energy, she is a force to be reckoned with, but ask her to push a door open with her feet: nah!
4. You'll never be hugged in the same way by another animal ever.
This might just be a Kim thing, but I have never seen another dog do the 'full body cuddle'.
Collies are very feetsy dogs; they like to use their front feet almost like hands. The result is a lot of lovely hugs and touchy-feely happiness on both you and their part.
Or a paw in the face...
5. You'll never ever again do so much walking as when you are the owner of a Border Collie
I thought a Jack Russell could go on and on...but a Collie can go on and on and on and on!
These dogs are bred to herd. And herding is an all day task. Kim herself was bred (and worked) as a herding dog, so is used to miles and miles and miles and miles per day!
Which is no easy feat! Tiring her out can be tricky. I have also become accustomed to walking whenever I can. Suddenly the school run becomes just another ample opportunity for walking. The farm paths surrounding my house are just different brilliant dog walking routes amalgamated together. Every day is a new challenge to walk and to play and to find the best place to let the collie roam free.
It's great being a Border Collie pal!