Border Collie Rescue - On Line - Criteria - Herding Dog Adoption
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Criteria for adopting a Herding dog.

The information below applies to applications to adopt Sheepdogs and Stock dogs.

Before you proceed to make an application, please read this page.

Border Collie Rescue can re-home dogs anywhere in the U.K. but we do not rehome into Ireland or overseas

Border Collie Rescue is set up to benefit dogs we rescue and provide sanctuary for. This is our primary consideration.
Dogs lead a normal life in foster homes while in our care. They are not kenneled as is more common in dog rescue.
Applicants are matched to dogs and priority is given to the needs of the dogs when selecting homes.

Border Collie Rescue will not place a Sheepdog or Stock Dog in the following circumstances -

  • In homes where the dog is to be kept on a chain when not working.
    We have no objections to a dog being kept outside the house, as many BC's prefer this style of housing.
    A properly adapted outbuilding with attached run is most suitable if the dog is to live outside the house.

  • In homes where dogs are housed in an outdoor traditional freestanding kennel, enclosed or otherwise, other than for the purpose of holding the dog securely during the day, but not for the purpose of overnight sleeping accommodation or use in inclement weather.
    Dogs must always have access to a clean, dry, draught free sleeping area with adequate, suitable bedding in which they can keep themselves warm. Our guidelines for the housing of working dogs can be found at the bottom of this page.

  • To a Business, Firm or Corporate body. Dogs must be adopted by, and be the responsibility of, one individual or handler.

  • Outside of the country in which it was rescued. (England, Scotland and Wales are all regarded as one country for this purpose).

  • In any City or Urbanised area

  • To anyone under 18 years of age.

  • For the purposes of breeding, profit or commercial exploitation other than the herding and control of domestic livestock by the person adopting the dog.


We would like to point out the following conditions imposed for the safety and well being of all dogs we re-home - 

  • Puppies under 9 months of age are only placed in homes where they can be trained to work Sheep.

  • An applicant taking on a puppy or young, untrained dog, must be in the position of being able to offer the appropriate training and time to develop the dogs potential.

  • We cannot accept applications in joint names or on behalf of third parties.

  • Dogs re-homed by Border Collie Rescue are not allowed to be passed on or sold by the applicant to any third party, but must be returned to Border Collie Rescue if the applicant is unable to keep the dog.

  • Applicants must keep Border Collie Rescue informed of any change to their address or contact details during the time they have a dog from the organisation and any address at which the dog is to be kept for more than 21 days, including a contact telephone number, if different from the address and contact details they registered with Border Collie Rescue at the time of their application.
    The only exception would be that of licensed boarding kennels for temporary accommodation during holiday periods or similar.
    If a dog is to be placed in boarding kennels for a period exceeding 14 days, Border Collie Rescue should be informed in advance.

  • We do not re-home dogs outside of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales).
    Dogs must not be taken to permanently live abroad without the prior consent of Border Collie Rescue, however temporary trips abroad for the purposes of holidays or work are acceptable providing the country visited is part of the accepted 'passport for pets' scheme and the dog is fully compliant with the terms of the scheme.
    Border Collie Rescue must be informed when a dog is placed on the 'Passport for Pets' scheme and each time it is to travel abroad for more than one calendar month.

  • Dogs re-homed by Border Collie Rescue must not be destroyed by the applicant or on the instructions of the applicant, unless for reasons of health and then only upon the advice of a qualified veterinary practitioner, without the prior consent of Border Collie Rescue..

  • Registration of a re-homed dog with a qualified veterinary practice and Annual Booster inoculations are a requirement of EVERY placing - if this becomes a problem, applicants must inform Border Collie Rescue.

  • Dogs cannot be used for any commercial purposes other than any agreed by Border Collie Rescue at the time of homing a dog to the applicant, without the prior consent of Border Collie Rescue

  • Dogs placed by Border Collie Rescue must not be kept on chains or tethered in any way unless a safe running line is used and then only on a temporary basis for a short period of time.


The submission of an application implies acceptance of the above conditions and criteria outlined on this page.
If you have any problems with any of the above - please do not apply.

If you are happy with these conditions, follow this link for details of our adoption process

If you are interested in adopting a Border Collie from us, please phone 0845 604 4941 during office hours.
(2 pm to 5 pm weekdays)

Please do not write to us or email us about adoption - we want to speak to you before we start the process.

Guidelines for the housing of working dogs outside the home.

As part of our adoption process, Border Collie Rescue will carry out a home visit in order to ascertain the suitability of a home for a dog and the suitability of a dog for a particular home. Although we do not require a dog we re-home to be accommodated in the house of the applicant, we are concerned to ensure that the housing provided meets standards suitable for the well being of the dog and comply with, or exceed, the criteria of the 2006 animal welfare act.

When looking at accommodation for a dog on a farm, or in any home where it is to be kept outside the house, Border Collie Rescue seeks to ensure that the accommodation provided is substantial enough to protect the dog against the elements and provide means for the dog to keep itself warm or cool in extremes of weather. We are also seeking to ensure that the accommodation is free of hazards that may injure the dog or endanger the health of the dog. In addition, we seek to ensure that the dog will receive sufficient attention, care and company to ensure good physical and mental health and meet the social requirements of a pack animal.

As such, we do not regard a traditional outside kennel or oil drum, in the open, to meet these requirement and seek homes where our dogs will be accommodated in an outbuilding or purpose built unit that offers substantial protection against the elements. The accommodation needs to have sound walls and roof, be dry, draught free and secure, have access to natural light and free access to an outside, secure, run and be sufficiently large to allow the dog to have space to move around outside its bedding area and remain within the protection of the building. Additionally, if the accommodation is unheated, the bedding area needs to be constructed in such a way as to ensure the dog is able to keep itself warm, by containing its body heat.

The construction of a bedding area inside an unheated outbuilding should take into consideration the following.

It should be raised above ground level and - have high walls of suitable material and sound construction to protect from draughts and with suitable depth and bedding for the dog to be able to burrow in and keep warm or, - be fully enclosed and be made of a material that offers some insulation against loss of body heat. It should always contain sufficient dry and suitable bedding material to enable the dog to keep itself warm, which should be changed regularly or when it becomes damp or soiled. A traditional dog kennel will often meet these requirements if used inside an outbuilding, but not in the open. Some dogs may chose not to avail themselves of such facilities all the time, however they must be provided with the option to make use of them if needed. Bedding areas must have free and easy access so the dog can come and go as it pleases.

An alternative, when an outbuilding is not available, would be the provision of a purpose built outside, waterproof, accommodation unit consisting of a secure covered run and attached sleeping area which has adequate insulation and space to meet the required criteria.
The bedding area of such a unit should also meet the required criteria. Any such unit should be located in a sheltered spot, perhaps adjacent to another building where it gains protection from the elements and where it is not directly exposed to prevailing weather.

For daytime use only, and not for permanent, overnight or extreme weather use, Border Collie Rescue is happy to accept an additional option of an outside traditional kennel within a secure run, yard or enclosure where a dog may stay while it's owners are absent for short periods or when it is appropriate for the dog to be placed away from hazards in a working environment. Again, the placement and construction of such shelter should take into consideration its ability to insulate a dog against inclement weather and extremes of hot and cold and suitable bedding should be provided within the shelter according to the condition at the time.