Border Collies Proper Training
Work is an attitude, not necessarily a specific task. Obedience competitions, agility contests, Frisbee events, flyball, visits to nursing homes, throwing a tennis ball in the backyard all can be considered work by your Border Collie. Observe the dog; if his body position is in a working pose, then he considers that particular task to be work. Add Sits, Downs, Waits, and That’ll do’s into the routine as added mental stimulation. Unlike some breeds, Border Collies love to learn new things throughout their lives. When it comes to Border Collies, you can teach an old dog new tricks! However, there is a downside to this attitude. Never teach a Border Collie something you don’t want to live with for the rest of his life. That “cute” puppy trick can be extremely irritating or even dangerous when your darling little puppy becomes a workaholic 50 pound adult.
or centuries, the Border Collie has toiled tirelessly in his service to us. As the premier herding dog in the world, he has gathered large flocks from great distances and found lost stock in the worst of weather. But more than a herding dog, he has been a war dog, a sled dog, a therapy and assistance dog, a competitive sports dog, a search and rescue dog, a hunting dog and, always, a companion dog. Whatever we have asked the Border Collie to do, he has done. He has never wavered, never faltered, never quit, and never said no to his human partner. It is only fair that we return the favor.
A Border Collie can be anywhere from 25 pounds to 65 pounds. The coat can be rough (long coat), semi-rough, or smooth (short-haired). The coat colors vary. The typical colors are black & white, but Border Collies are also red & white, tri-colored (brown, black & white), liver, blue merle, red merle, yellow, or white with small amounts of brown, black, or red. Freckling on the muzzle and legs is common. The eye colors range from amber to dark brown and sometimes blue. The ear carriage can be pricked, semi-erect, dropped, or a combination. The bone structure ranges from lightweight and graceful to heavy-boned and majestic. In herding, Border Collies circle and stalk the object of interest.
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The herding pose is head and forelegs lowered, eyes intense, tail down with bottom third of tail upturned. They can become focused on any moving object, even tiny insects. It is the attitude toward life and work, not looks, that distinguishes a dog as being a Border Collie.
Border Collies should be selectively bred for intelligence and working ability. To herd sheep on the mountains and moorlands of the British Isles, a Border Collie needs to meet certain criteria. He has to be independent enough to make his own decisions when he is at a distance from the shepherd. He must control his predatory instincts so he protects the sheep instead of killing them for food– as a wolf must do for survival. He also needs to nip or grip, at times, to control and move his sheep. He needs the stamina to work in heat or cold, to dart up and down steep hills, and to ignore minor injuries in the course of a workday. He also must be bred with a desire to work with, and subordinate to, his human companion, regardless of whether he is at a great distance or striving to save a newborn lamb.
The United States Border Collie Club, Inc. (USBCC) is dedicated to preserving the Border Collie as a working stock dog; opposing the showing, judging, and breeding of Border Collies based upon their appearance; promoting only careful breeding for the preservation of working ability and the avoidance of genetic defects; and helping Border Collie owners and the public generally to better understand and appreciate the traditional Border Collie, bred for work.
Description of the Border Collie
Living with Border Collies was developed in an effort to ensure that people who decide to live with these wonderful dogs understand them and their unique qualities, so that all Border Collies will have homes where they are loved and appreciated. Val Maurer, founder and director of BCRO (Border Collie Rescue Organization), researched, wrote and re-wrote this pamphlet over many years, drawing on her own experience and that of rescuers with whom she worked. The United States Border Collie Club is grateful for the opportunity to distribute this pamphlet. We do so in large part through funds raised by Val and donated by her many friends and colleagues as a memorial to her good dog Moss.
Teaching your Border Collies.