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The Border Collie: Excelling at Herding, Search and Rescue, Competitive Sports and Much More

Scout is a Border Collie we were given four years ago. He is a beautiful tri-colored dog that is full of energy. The first two years we had him he hardly stopped running.  His family hated to give him up but they had moved from their home with two acres to a house with a very small yard. Scout was going crazy, and driving the neighbors crazy as well.

He loves our large yard and can run the 100+ foot distance from one side to the other in two seconds flat. He is beautiful to watch as he seems to hardly touch the ground. Scout, like most Border Collies, gets along great with everyone and is never a problem with other dogs. He is also gentle with all the animals we have: cats, chickens, rabbit, guinea pigs and pet birds.

For four years he has been a wonderful companion and excellent pet. Now at six years old he is calming down and enjoys laying around the house for most of the day. He is very content as long as he is with one of us. Border Collies are amazing dogs. Besides being used to herd sheep they have been used as war dogs, sled dogs, therapy and assistance dogs, in competitive sports, as search and rescue dogs, as hunting dogs and, always, as companions.

They come in various colors: black and white, tri-color, blue merle, red and white, liver, red merle, yellow, or white with small amounts of black, brown or red. They can weight anywhere from 25 pounds to 65 pounds. Since Border Collies are so highly motivated to work many are enjoying the growing sport of Agility. This sport enhances the relationship between dog and handler and creates a confident, bold and motivated dog.

Border Collies also excel in Fly Ball and Frisbee competitions. In northern climates they make up sled-dog teams that are competitive in middle-distance races. Like all Border Collies, Scout sheds during the spring and summer months. Ones with thick fur, like Scout, develop thick undercoats in winter which must be combed out at the beginning of summer.

Be careful in the hot summer months. Heat exhaustion is a killer. A typical Border Collie doesn’t slow down in the summer so provide him with a little pool to cool off in when he is outside. Even though Scout has the choice to be inside or out, if anyone is in the backyard he is out there with them, running and barking for the fun of it. He loves being able to jump into his little pool and splash around for a few seconds before he takes off on another run around the yard.

Scout is a great dog and we are very fortunate to have been given this beautiful and bright creature. But they are not for everyone. Before you acquire a Border Collie puppy or adult make sure you have the space for them to run and that you want to spend two years training and thirteen more enjoying his high energy.

If you are interested in adopting a Border Collie consider fostering one from a rescue. You’ll learn if a Border Collie is for you, save a life, and maybe even end up adopting your foster dog.

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Wednesday, 05 August 2020

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