About Border Collies
Top Ten Myths About Adopting a Border Collie
(If you are interested in adopting a Border Collie, please read this!)
Our goals at East Tennessee Border Collie Rescue:
- To rescue and rehabilitate Border Collies that have been abused, abandoned, neglected, or placed in a situation where it is no longer appropriate that they stay in their present home.
- To find loving, permanent, and appropriate homes for these dogs, ensuring that the right match is made and our rescued Border Collies will have a second chance at a loving family for life.
- To educate the public about the characteristics and needs of our special breed, making them aware that this is a highly motivated, work-oriented breed. A bored and neglected Border Collie will often become destructive, neurotic, and, because of its strong herding drive, potentially a nuisance around children.
- To encourage spay/neuter of all family companion animals and to discourage irresponsible breeding practices.
- To provide advice to Border Collie owners who are experiencing problems, in the hope that they can be persuaded to work with their dogs and ultimately keep them. (Can we help you keep your pet?)
- To work in harmony with other Rescue groups, always bearing in mind that the dogs' needs come first.
Over the past few years, the Border Collie has become one of the most over bred and misunderstood breeds in this country. Its prominence in movies, TV shows and the press, and its unfortunate rating as "the most intelligent breed in the world" has made it a target for puppy mills, back-yard breeders, and thoughtless but well-meaning individuals who insist that they need to reproduce the family genius without giving a thought to the future well-being of the puppies. In the U.K., the Border Collie is the second most common breed to be turned into Rescue, even to the point where the British press has printed several articles about the situation recently. We fear that the same thing will happen here unless energetic steps are taken to educate the public about this most work-oriented breed.
About the Border Collie Breed
Selectively bred over hundreds of years for its intelligence, herding ability, and intense work ethic, the Border Collie is considered by most to be the world's No. 1 working sheepdog.
However, its very abilities as a working dog has meant that this wonderful breed has often been misunderstood and mistreated by those who have not understood its basic needs and instincts. The Border Collie's intelligence and desire to work have often landed it in trouble in situations where it is bored and restless. Even as a family pet, this is a breed that needs to be given a job to do, whether it be obedience training, agility, frisbee, flyball, or even going to long walks and playing ball. A Border Collie will make a wonderful and loyal companion for an active family as long as it is understood that they are workaholics who do not react well to being unemployed!
Until recently there was no specific AKC breed standard for the Border Collie, and even now, they come in such a variety of types and colors that often it is very difficult to make a distinction between a pure bred and a Border Collie mix. In weight, they can be anywhere from around 25 to 60 lbs., and come in rough, semi-rough, or smooth coats with pricked, tipped, semi-erect, or drop ears, or anything in between! Coat colors, although typically black and white or tri-colored, can include any combination of black, white, and brown, ranging from almost all white, to all black or brown. Merles, both blue and red, are seen but are fairly uncommon, and freckling often occurs on the face and forelegs.
Although basically a healthy breed, Border Collies are very prone to a number of eye disorders such as CEA (collie eye anomoly) and PRA (progressive retinal atrophy). Epilepsy, thyroid problems, and skin allergies are also very common in the breed. Hip dysplasia is a problem in some lines, and OCD (osteochondritis dessicans), a form of lameness usually found in the front shoulder joint, is becoming more prevalent.
Border Collies are extremely sensitive dogs, and although personalities can range from hard-headed to submissive, they react strongly to the human voice, and are in general very noise-sensitive. It is common for them to be very nervous of gunfire or thunderstorms, and I have seen dogs hiding in all kinds of unlikely places before I was ever aware of a storm's approach.
Before considering a Border Collie as a companion, try to learn as much as possible about the breed and its needs. I have heard many frustrated owners say that their dog "needs to be on a farm". Actually, this is the last place that an untrained young Border Collie needs to be. With an understanding, loving family who is aware of his needs and is willing to give him the time and attention he deserves, the Border Collie will make a wonderful pet and will be just as happy living in a sub-division as on a 100-acre farm.