Might I make a suggestion I make to the folk I visit when rehoming greys?
, one that is trained, house-trained and socialised for a couple of days. Make sure you follow it's owner's instructions to the letter, (no extra food 'because he looked at me' for example) and see how you get on.
I have trained dogs for the police, prison service, guide dogs and hearing dogs, but I wouldn't take on a boarder collie as I don't have the time or inclination for a dog that will need attention 24/7. They can also become a one-wo/man-dog very easily and really take against the other partner, becoming very aggresive.
They were bred to work, so you need to work them. You need to provide huge amounts of exercise, 15 miles a day is a good idea. (This is true of most hearding breeds). They are highly intelligent dogs so they need lots of mental stimulation too, such as agility work, seeking work or hearding work. Not to give them this is as cruel as not giving them the proper food.
As this will be your first dog I highly recommend adopting an older dog, that has a known history. Your local RSPCA shelter will have older dogs that are house-trained, socialised and trained but who need new homes though no fault of their own. Maybe their old owner died or developed a serious illness, or a baby came along.
Many lovely older dogs are ignored, and destroyed, each week because every-one wants the cute puppy. If that cute puppy isn't properly trained, whatever it's breed, it can easily become a nuisance, or worse, a danger. So many people fall into the trap that you teeter on the brink of; picking the breed for it's LOOKS not it's temprement.
Get to know your vet. S/he may well know of a dog that needs new home that will be ideal for you.
1) How much can you afford?
The vets' bills will be around £40 per year just for your dog's annual boosters (and the puppy jabs can come to approaching £100). To feed a Collie you can expect to pay around £5-10 per week. Then there's pet insurance, which I'd highly recommend, around £20 per month for a BC.
2) How much space do you have?
Each dog needs it's own bed, is you lounge/kitchen/hall big enough for a BC bed? Is your garden big enough to allow a BC to run around? Nice to have the 'outside the fence' space, but what if your bitch is in season? Or you have to quarentine your dog?
3)How much time do you have?
With a BC you need to be around 24/7 or you'll have a neurotic dog on your hands when you get home. As previously stated, they also need huge amounts of stimulation, so hours spent hiding stuff, throwing stuff etc.
4) Are your fences high enough for the dog?
A BC can easily clear a small fence, you'll need a 2M (6ft 6in) high barrier all around your garden.
5)What are you going to do with the dog?
Not such a daft question; do you want to learn agility? Do you want to do obedience trials? Do you just want Fido as a friend & walking companion? Do you want a guard dog?
I am truly not trying to put you off dog owning, it's one of the most rewarding things you can do. BUT only if you choose the right dog for you, and you are right for the dog. You can't do that just by looks. You need to know the temperament of your perspective pet.
Don't rush into this, chat to other dog owners in your area. Ask them why they chose the type of dog they have. What are the good & bad points? More importantly, would they choose that breed again?
A few pointers;
All shepard breeds, German Shepards, Collies of all types, Ridgebacks, Shelties etc will need HUGE amounts of exercise & stimulation and company 24/7.
All Terriers are fighters, they were bred to chase &/or kill. In a domestic setting they can become very over protective of their owners and therefore aggressive.
'Hair' dogs, such as poodles & Old English Sheepdogs need to be clipped regularly as they can't shed their coat. (Useful if you're slightly allergic)
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, (Staffies) are ver boisterous and will knock a grown man off his feet.
Greyhounds (you didn't think I'd forgotten THEM did you?
) have no subcutaneous fat layer so need coats, extra bedding and a vet with experience in the breed. They do, however, sleep 23 1/2 hours a day and only require about a mile's walk. They make wonderfull pets and 8000 a year are looking for homes after their racing career is over.
Husky types rarely make good indoor dogs. Common sense really, but you'd be surprized how many are made very ill by our need for central heating!
No dog should be left alone for any length of time as they are pack animals, but some breeds tolerate this better than others.
It would be such a shame for both you and the dog if after a few months the dog ended up at the RSPCA because it had become unmanagable, and you were put off dog-ownership for life.
Please try living with a dog for a few days at your home or some-one-else's to check that neither you nor hubby is allergic to dogs too.