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Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:34 pm
by jampot
sorry SPS im with ADG for the most part. tho collies are not ALL mental stock chasers same as jrs are not all snappy ankle biters , (my 2 are about as mobile as cow pats 23 hours of the day :roll: ) but i think if you can cope with depressed parrots you can deal with most odd dogs .
anywho i just wanted to say if there are no little kids in the house have you considered going for a rescue dog you may end up with a complete mongrel and these can be the most wonderful companions

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:45 am
by ADG
sarahkeast wrote:ADG - I believe Jack Russells and Labradors are statistically most common biters. Could be just cos there are a lot of them. Not sure about other statistics.

Largely, but not always, I also believe there is no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owner. Having said that, instinct of breed purpose can be totally intense !

Sarah :flower:
through the 90s when the breed was at its most popular it was the highest reported biter there was one year cant remember which but was reported in farmers weekly, that border collies bit more people than all other breeds put together

and Bonnie girl, how on earth can genuine working dogs not be socialised?

People Collies are a breed I love, just they dont make good pets on the whole, and too many people turn a blind eye to their faults, or live with them making excuses, it does the breed no favours being breed blind

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:13 pm
by prison break fan
Does anyone watch Ceasar Milan, on TV? He trains the dogs and educates the owners. I live in a small village, and when I first got my cross breed Poppy, all the other dog walkers would avoid me, because they thought she was aggressive, but when I explained that it was fear, because at 5 years old, she had never been out or met other dogs, they gradually realised if they stayed calm and ignored her, she soon settled down and now she has lots of friends! But you can't make everyone understand. pbf.

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:40 pm
by oldfella
We have a 1 year old BC and she is quite a handful, and I think that I am going to find that all the things that the good folk on the site say about BCs is true, however I would not change her for a pot of gold. I would point out that I live in a very rural area and the Dogs have a great deal of space to run around, so I do think anyone thinking about getting a dog should consider their own environment and their ability to provide for the needs of the dog.

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:49 pm
by Masco&Bongo
Just some general dog stuff....

Pup will need it's 'first' injections between 8 and 12 weeks - will depend on what brand the vet uses. Socialisation on the ground can begin after that.

Boosters are usually yearly, with wormers at least twice a year (mine eat lots of poop so get wormed more). I don't treat for fleas as my dogs don't seem to get them.

I would strongly urge you to get puppy insured (or set up a savings plan).

My youngest dog has torn a nail from running round the garden like a loony. So far it has cost us about £100 and he is scheduled for surgery tomorrow to remove the offending article :roll:

I'd also advise you to attend basic training classes. They help to socialise your dog; and give you the basic tools for teaching other stuff.

With a Collie, you can (when the dog is old enough) get into agility, flyball, heelwork to music etc, to give some new mental stimulation as well!

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:20 am
by MuddyWitch
Might I make a suggestion I make to the folk I visit when rehoming greys?

BORROW, 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? :lol: ) 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.


Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:23 am
by ADG
wells said MW, I to have trained dogs for the prison service and TV and about 3 years ago got a lot of flack about one of my articles "Not a Collie" but got far more letters of support, I agree greyhounds, whippets, lurchers are almost the non existant pet all they do is sleep lol, theres plenty of places to get a grey , theres lots of lurchers in the dogs homes, thats why when you said a collie I suggested a collie blooded lurcher, the only problem with a sighthound, is the inbuilt desire to chase(beware cats and small dogs)and all terriers are scrappy, except probably the border terrier which is a much more laid back terrier, but then it needs stripping twice a year.All dogs have pros and cons, but the BC has more cons than pros, plus think of the neighbours(if you have them) and your ears, with all that barking when they are demanding more attention.

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:54 am
by Bonniegirl
ADG wrote:
and Bonnie girl, how on earth can genuine working dogs not be socialised?
That isn't what I said, here's a reminder.... Aww now ADG that could apply to any dog not properly socialised.

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:58 am
by theabsinthefairy
From personal experience.

I would never take in an adult BC from a rescue if there are children in a house, as a dog breed they are far too needy and do not respond well to your divided attentions and can be 'snappy'

If you are considering a BC as a first dog (which is not necessarity a good idea because they do have specific demands but I do understand your love for them) then have one as a puppy and preferably a cross breed.

As you have the time to spend with a dog whilst currently not at work, be aware that if you habituate a dog to your presence all day every day, then go out to work that will disrupt their temperament also. BC can also fixate on one person in a household and be unsettled by their abscence. They are a breed that require firmness and authority, and that can be difficult for first owners to develop with their adorable puppies that then grow to be 'difficult' dogs

BC are clever dogs, and they do not necessarily have to be physically exercised to wear them out - play games - hide toys, teach them tricks, this will all help bond you with your dog and will 'exercise' them too.

Find a good breeder who will discuss the specific issues of BC with you, or contact the BC rescue service and talk through with them your home life, the environment you have available and what you want from a dog.

I love my BC but he does need stimulation and exercise, he was our first dog as a family and we had him from a puppy from a farm. We have been very lucky with him, as he has a very gentle nature but we were also lucky that we moved to our smallholding in France with him at the age of 6months so he has grown up outside accustomed to our stock and to our fields.

I, like you would not consider any other breed, but I did a lot of BC specific research before finally taking one on.


Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:37 am
by Annpan
Not read all the posts ... I know, I'm rude.... sorry.... :oops:

One next door neighbour of mine has a BC, the other neighbour has a lab and a jack russel.

The BC is the most faithful and dedicated of the 3, she could do with job but chasing a frisbee around their acre seems to be enough for her. When there was a death in the house she wouldn't leave her owner's (mum's) side and never barked, begged or made any demands for several weeks.... she now spends a considerable amount of time 'shouting' at my builders, who are clearly causeing her mum stress.... she looks on me scournfully too (I must buy her a bone :mrgreen: ) If I was to get a dog and I had the energy I would consider a BC too.

The jack russel is like a clambering toddler, always needing attention, curious and cheeky.

The Lab is still a pup (about a year) she is the only one who has ever bitten me - it was playful but it drew blood - but she is a right sweetie, just to jumpy and rough for me.

Oh, and the girl (who lives with the Lab and JR) who has trained them all, has trained and shown dogs at crufts so they are all trained to exacting standards.

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:41 am
by StripyPixieSocks
I'm a bit tired right now so I will just say this... when I said *I* hadn't had BC's before my family have and my OH's have had several so I have been around them I just needed MORE advice about getting a BC.

I do not like other dogs... there's no way I would even consider getting a Greyhound, small yappy dog nor any 'fighting' breed dogs, I just do not feel comfortable around them.

I'm not some bimbo wanting a cute fwuffy puppy, I am an adult who has spent all her life around rescued animals, dogs, birds... you name it but the ONLY dogs I have ever enjoyed being around are BC's.

I have 24 hours a day to spend with them I have hundreds of miles of countryside and coast to walk them and play with them in I also have a garden he / she could play in and a complete spare room he / she could spend 'quiet time' in.

Having had a Collie when I was small which my Dad rescued after it was beaten, starved and just basically mistreated and injured in every way you could possibly imagine and who was brought back to wonderful health and had me as a toddler sticking fingers in its mouth, nose and ears and never had a snip from it I'm sure I could bring up a BC dog in the same manner (the care and exercise, love and everything else it's heart could desire).

Having had Macaws that the 'awww here's a cute fwuffy bird lets take him home brigade' have absolutely screwed up and led them to become psychotic bone shattering screaming beasts and managed in 4 months to turn into the cuddliest, happiest, quietest bird you could ever want to know I think I would have the patience and ability to care for a needy dog. So, I understand your reticence for a dog newbie to buy a dog but I'm really not just going to buy it and dump it in a corner.

I myself know either through my Dad and have had friends who have been Police dog handlers so I KNOW about training that these dogs get at the hands of the Police and the dogs owners, I'm really not daft where it comes to these things.

I have taken al your advice into consideration but I think you underestimate me and my OH somewhat perhaps. :dontknow:

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:54 pm
by theabsinthefairy
StripyPixieSocks wrote:
I have taken al your advice into consideration but I think you underestimate me and my OH somewhat perhaps. :dontknow:

I don't think anyone is underestimating your ability, merely trying to give helpful advice as originally requested without causing any offense, which is always hard to do with limited initial information - your recent post gives much more in depth dog ownership background which was not clear in your initial question.

My apologies if my advice was misconstrued - like I said, I am with you, I would not have considered taking on any other breed of dog but a Border Collie.


Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:59 pm
by pelmetman
Phew just read through all the posts, all I can say is I tried every trick in the book not to get a dog,
but eventually ran out of excuses, and I remember clearly to this day collecting our first from a rescue in Essex, and all my worst fears were realised when I was faced by a big black slobbering hooch, he was always Sue's dog, sadly now gone, but I will never be without a dog as they add so much to your life. We now have Troy another rescue :iconbiggrin:

Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:52 pm
by MuddyWitch

If I can be of any help once you have your dog please feel free to PM me. I'd be happy to help.

Now that you have 'filled in the blanks' so-to-speak, I think, with a bit of guidence, (like a local dog training class) you'd be very able to manage any dog. Said dog would certainly be very loved, of that there has never been any doubt!

(& for the record, I didn't recommend you get a greyhound, or any other breed specifically, I just tried to give you an outline of the pros & cons of a few breeds so you could see that all breeds HAVE both pros & cons.)

Just a last bit of information: certain drugs, taken by humans, can affect dogs' behaviour. I mention this, because if you do go & spend time with some-one who has a dog whilst you're still on anti-depressants this can make the dog act oddly. I truly wish you both speedy good health so that this will quickly become irrelivant.


Re: Need advice about getting a puppy...

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:04 pm
by Millymollymandy