The Border Collie is one of the most energetic dogs in the world. He was developed in the Anglo-Scottish border region, primarily for gathering and controlling sheep. He is known for his fierce stare, with which he controlled the flock. The unlimited energy, working drive, and stamina combine to make the Collie a very effective herding dog. In fact, he is still used today for herding sheep on ranches and farms across the world. What’s more, the dog is highly intelligent and trainable, making him very popular in a wide range of canine sports such as tracking, agility, flyball, and flying disc competitions. If you are reading this, chances are you’ve got your very own Border Collie or are considering to get one. In any case, a little information on how to take care of the dog may come in handy. Here are 7 special tips for taking care of a Border Collie.
Dealing with aggression
Border Collies are not usually aggressive, but it can happen. How you deal with the situation will depend mostly on the cause of the aggression. As such, your first step is to find out the original cause of the aggressive behavior, and at whom or what he is aggressive towards. If you feel like things are getting out of hand, take a break and get out of the room. The last thing you want is to make your dog angrier, as this will only derail your efforts. If the cause is dominance issues, then you have to regain the position of the “alpha dog”. The best approach to this is obedience training, which is the exact purpose of the alpha dog role. Once you start teaching, training, and leading your Collie, he will start seeing you as the pack leader.
Housetraining your Border Collie
While most people are aware of the basics of house training a dog, it is still a common issue among owners. One particularly important issue is keeping your dog from peeing indoors. First, make a point of walking him 15 to 20 minutes after every meal and at least 4 to 6 times during the day. Be sure to reward him for doing his business outside, and always clean up the mess when he does it inside the house. Dogs have a very strong sense of smell and can smell where they relieved themselves. They will follow the odor and designate the spot as their place of peeing or pooping.
Trick Training Your Dog
Border Collies are extremely intelligent and can learn things very fast. Regardless of this, you need to be particularly gentle when dealing with a puppy. For 3-6 months-old Border Collies, start with the basics. This includes teaching him how to follow your command, sitting, laying down, and other simple “tricks”. Between 6 and 12 months, you can proceed with medium difficulty tricks like “fetch”, “roll over”, and “speak”. With a good understanding of the basics, learning these tricks should be relatively easy for your Border Collie. Once he reaches 1 year-old and above, you can teach him anything you want – including how to bring you your morning newspaper or how to ring a bell when he needs to go out!
Successful crate training involves taking advantage of your dog’s natural instincts as a den animal. A dog considers his den as his home where he can eat, sleep, and hide from danger. A crate helps to teach the dog his boundaries and limitations, as well as house rules such as not to chew furniture or scratch the floor. However, it is important to limit the use of a crate to just a few hours in order to avoid adverse reaction, which can cause hyper and over-enthusiastic behavior.
Exercising your Border Collie
There are several ways to satisfy your Border Collie’s energy requirements. Some suggestions include:
- Running with your dog – Let your BC accompany you on your morning runs. If you don’t actually run in the morning, this could be a good incentive to start.
- Walking your dog – Incorporate more walks in your Border Collie’s schedule. It is a great way to socialize and keep your dog active.
- Play fetch – Teach your dog how to play fetch. It is also a great way to keep him active while having fun at the same time.
The Border Collie comes with a double coat (an undercoat and the guard coat), with the latter being longer than the former. This double coat needs to be groomed every 4 to 8 weeks during the regular seasons, and more frequently during the shedding seasons of spring and fall. You also need to flush his eyes of any foreign matter and keep them moist. The ears should be cleaned and dried of any moisture on the inside, which can lead to odor and infection. On the other hand, the pads on their paws should be kept soft and pliable to prevent drying and cracking
The metabolism of a Border Collie is average compared to other medium breed dogs. They also tend to be very active and energetic, and need higher calorie foods for maintenance. In particular, active collies involved in lengthy play or dog sports need about 900 to 1,00 calories a day. Senior and less active dogs need around 700 calories a day while working dogs or full out herders require 1,400 calories a day. Follow the feeding guidelines that come with the dog food, and then adjust accordingly for a strong and energetic collie.