The Border Collie

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This page contains:   On this page we want to inform you about the Border Collie and some typical habits of the Border. We also want to give you information on raising a Border and the training of a Border Collie. A very important aspect is working with the Border. House training and the use of a bench are also explained. 

If you are interested in a Border Collie we would like to invite you to read this information thoroughly. If you have any questions after reading this we are happy to answer them by mail, phone or e-mail. We will regularly add and change information on this page, so keep returning to read more!   

Origins of the Border
A Border has to work
Borders and children
House training
The Bench

Origins of the Border Collie

The Border collie is an active, lively and sturdy dog. Originally he comes from the border of Scotland and England, where he was used to herd the sheep. He was bred for his working ability, not his beauty. Because of this a tough, strong dog, capable to deal with the hard working conditions was bred by the shepherds and farmers.  

A Border has to work

Nowadays the Border does a lot more than just herding sheep. Also in other sports you find the Border. Even as a house dog he is much appreciated. But one should keep in mind that the Border Collie is a working dog that needs to work!

And to tackle a much heard misunderstanding: that does not need to be sheep work. Also agility, Flyball, obedience, tracking and that sort of activities are suitable as work for the Border. As long as you do it often. The Border is not a dog for a quick walk three times a day. He will get bored and can be a real nuisance. Herding children and cars, bullying other pets in the house, barking, tearing up your entire furniture and suddenly acting as if he was never house trained are just some examples of complaints often heard.

The Border is no dog suitable for just anybody. But can you spend enough time with your dog, can you take him to the puppy school and do other training with him as well (a must for every Border!), can you give him work and a lot of attention and do you think you will like all this yourself (very important!) than a Border might be the dog for you.

Border Collies and children

Border collies can go together excellently with children. A Golden rule is (and that counts for every dog breed) never to leave your child alone with your dog. In many bite-incidents the dog is not the only one to blame! 

Children are lively and make noises and they approach the dog suddenly, put their arms around it's neck or are rough when stroking the dog. The dog feels threatened and shows his teeth or growls. Many children see this as a sign to go to the dog to play, they don't understand the signals the dog gives. And that's where it goes wrong...  

How do you get a dog house trained?

Border Collies are easily house trained. It is important to take time for it. Usually breeders start house training the puppies. They put newspapers in the area where the puppies are kept and the puppies will use the newspapers to urinate on. An important rule is that dogs usually never befoul their nest. They will urinate and defecate outside the whelping box on the newspapers covering the floor. Slowly the number of newspapers is reduced. Most puppies while still search for a newspaper to urinate or defecate on. They are what we call "Newspaper trained". Most pups are newspaper trained when they go to their new owners. 

Than you have to take over where the breeder ended. Put newspapers on the floor on various places in your house for the puppy to use. Reduce the number of newspapers slowly, until there is one left in front of the door. If you see that your puppy is going to use this as a toilet lift your puppy up and carry him outside to do his thing. Praise him as if he is the best doggy you've ever seen.  It comes in handy to choose a special place for your puppy to use as a toilet. He will slowly start to understand that you want him to do it there. And that's it!

Remind that it is very difficult for puppies to wait for a long time. After sleeping, eating, drinking and playing they need to go. Keep this in mind and take your puppy outside often. If it goes well and he uses his special dog toilet he is the sweetest in the world! And does it go wrong once, or twice, don't punish him, he can't help it that you were to late in taking him outside. Lift him up and take him outside in a clam manner, he will stop urinating as soon as he's lifted up. Let him continue outside. And praise him. Has he done something in the house just clean it up while ignoring him . Punishing him has no sense at all, he simply doesn't know what he did wrong. Before you know it he won't urinate or defecate when you are near, because he's afraid of the punishment! I know it all sounds so simple and actually it really is simple, as long as you are prepared to give it time and pay a lot of attention to it.  

The Bench.

A bench is can't be missed in training your Border (and actually any other dog). A bench is a cage you can use in the house. They are in two variations: a closed one (the Vari kennel) and a cage like variation. The advantage of the cage-one is that it can be folded into a small package and is easy to transport. The Vari kennel is more suitable for in your kennel because it is closed on three sides and will keep the draught and moist out. 

You can put a mat or blanket in it and you can buy special bowls to attach to the door for water supply. Very handy. Benches are in different sizes, for the Border the sizes Large and Extra Large are suitable.

Start bench-training your dog as soon as he arrives with you. Feed him in it and put him in there when you can't have him walking around (by example: you need to go away, you want to go upstairs, u have visitors and you don't want him to interfere, u need to go to the toilet). Give him something nice to eat and not choke in and soon he will think of his bench as a very nice place.  It is important to teach your children to leave him alone when he is in his bench, it is his hide-out where he can go when it is all a bit too much for him. Our Faith voluntarily uses the bench to lie in a few hours a day. She doesn't like noise and especially when we have visitors she likes to be in  there. We leave the door open so she can walk in and out whenever she wants. 

The bench also comes in handy when housetraining your dog. Dogs never befoul there own nests. Your dog will not use his bench as a toilet. When you get him out of the bench take him outside directly, so he can't make "a mistake". This doesn't mean that you can put him in there the whole day when you have to work. You need to go to the toilet often, so does your dog!

This is it for now. Soon this page will contain new information, and maybe will become a question & answer page. If you have any remarks or questions do ask them so we will be able to keep this page updated.