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So You Want To Have A Border Collie - by Jenni Watson
|Lets start by transforming the breed into an area that could be likened to buying a car.|
|CHARLIE WYANT, who was a great 'Obedience' man, likened the GSD to the Rolls Royce and so they are, but forgive me for I will always be a great GSD lover.|
|The Border Collie/Working Sheepdog is beyond
doubt the Ferrari of the working breeds. The areas and disciplines in which this bred
performs are numerous, but if considering introducing a BC to your family, be prepared to
look at the whole picture with open eyes before acquiring one.
|THE SHEEPDOG - Anyone who has ever
witnessed One Man and His Dog will appreciate the bond between the shepherd and his
working collie. In this context the dog is a business partner, an investment and a member
of a team that a great deal of training time, money and trust has been put into to produce
the ultimate working relationship.
I have never had the privilege of working a dog on sheep, but would surmise that when considering the breeding lines available for this purpose, the shepherd is looking for a dog that has the ability to think for itself, be amenable to training, but have a strong and confident desire, once trained, to work on its own ability without requiring to come back to 'mummy' or 'daddy' every few minutes to be reassured he is a good dog. His eyes should be all over, watching, focused on the stock, ready to take control, chase in a confident manner and think of his sheep as a pack - keeping them together unless instructed otherwise. He is second to none, apart from his master. He is a strong dog.
|THE OBEDIENCE COLLIE - We want to keep
all the attributes that the shepherd has worked so hard to produce, but want to moderate
the breed for our own requirements. We require a dog who is keen, eager, willing to
please, Etc., but we want a dog who requires us to control the close working situation,
look to us for guidance, praise Etc., in other words a dog who is willing to work but has
eyes only for us rather than his sheep and requiring us to return to for reassurance and
In short we need a more sensitive version of the Sheep Dog.
|THE FAMILY PET BORDER COLLIE - This one needs a lot of thought and anyone considering a BC as a pet should weigh up the differences between the two above before deciding on what to purchase.|
|Basically, though the shepherd and working person ( obedience, working triallist, Etc. ) may never consider any other breed, it should be honestly admitted we may be looking for different attributes in the breed from normal pet requirements.|
|What one may think is ideal, the other may consider too weak or too strong.|
|Neither does this issue imply that to purchase a dog as a pet from a shepherd would automatically produce a dog that too hard for the purpose, indeed my daughter will be working a shepherding BC at Crufts in the obedience championships and she is a beautiful pet.|
|Likewise, a dog bred from obedience lines could turn out to be too strong as a pet and round up or even nip the kids Etc.|
|Just be very careful in taking on a BC as a pet and be aware that they come in a variety of models - as all classy numbers do.|
|Look extensively at the breeding and talk to people who are prepared to be honest with you rather than simply seeing a sale coming.|
|Think about what you are looking for, how much time do you have to devote to your dog's needs.|
|In other words :- How fast a sports car do you want to drive ?|
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