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You are Here >>> Dogs in Care >>> Adoption >>> Companion Dogs

Border Collie Rescue - On Line - Companion Dogs

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Are you looking for a canine companion to share your life with?
Border Collie Rescue always has dogs looking for suitable homes
If you are interested in adopting a dog from us, please contact us on 0845 604 4941 during office hours - 2 pm to 5 pm weekdays.
Please do not write to us or email us about adoption - we want to speak to you before we start the process.
For more information about our criteria and the adoption process go to the next page in this section using the link below.

Criteria for adopting  a Companion dog from Border Collie Rescue

 
Not all Border Collies make good pets.
Often the breed is driven by a need to work, fuelled by its inbred instincts to herd.
Border Collie Rescue has been around for over 34 years and during this time we have learned a fair bit about the breed. From the enquiries we get on a daily basis to take in and re-home dogs, we are aware that the vast majority of problem Border Collies we are asked to take in are from pet homes
Most of these have been young dogs, taken from a farm as a puppy to live in a domestic home as a family pet.
Their working instincts had developed as they matured and frequently that or the environment they had lived in had caused conflicts or frustrations within them that resulted in aggressive or problematic behaviour.
Unfortunately many of the dogs we are asked to take in and many that come to us for behavioural advice have already been re-homed by other rescue groups.
Consequently we have developed a very careful process of assessing dogs in our care to make sure that we only offer suitable dogs to be companions
 
There are many Border Collies that will make suitable companions.

Our experience has taught us that these are the dogs that have little or no working drive or instinct.

Our assessment process ensures that any dogs that wish to herd or possess strong working instinct are detected and re-homed to working homes where they can be trained, putting their instincts and drive to positive use.
 Those with high levels of drive are also detected and offered to homes where they can be trained and participate in some sort of work or interactive discipline like agility, flyball, obedience or working trials that will satisfy and direct that energy in a way that fulfils the dog.
During our assessments we look for dogs that are best suited to becoming companions in a domestic home environment.
If you are looking for a companion dog, it is dogs of this type that we would offer.
Click on a link if you want a - Dog for Herding - Dog for other Work - Dog for interactive skills - or read on if you want a Companion
 
Matters we take into account when selecting and offering Family and Companion dogs

People take on a  Border Collie as a companion for many reasons - they may like cycling, walking or jogging and want a dog that will enjoy the exercise as much as they do - they may want a dog to be a faithful household guardian and be attracted to the extra qualities of loyalty the breed displays - they may find the breeds intelligence fascinating - they may want a dog to grow up  with their children and enhance the childhood experience.

There are many reasons given.
Whatever the reason you may wish to take on a Border Collie it is important that you get a dog with the right qualities to suit your lifestyle and environment.
Our assessments also include understanding the character and temperament of all the dogs that come though our care so we can find the right sort of home to suit the dog and ensure compatibility within the household.
 
Children
Border Collies are not the best breed with young children - in fact many of the dogs we are asked to take in have proved to be a problem with children in the household and we frequently hear stories of how a Border Collie has nipped, bitten or over enthusiastically injured a child when play got out of hand.
Some Border Collies will get along well with children, others may not.
They may regard children as siblings and become competitive in play. They may get over excited and boisterous if there are lots of children or the children are very active. They may simply view a child as lower in the 'pecking order' and try to dominate.
Older children and teenagers stand less chance of becoming victims and are more likely to gain the respect and compliance of a dog than young ones.
A family that has young children should be aware there is a risk in taking a Border Collie on as a family dog, even if it is said to be good with children.
This is particularly true of puppies who will develop instinct as they mature and could just as easily develop a dislike of children by a few months of age.
Consequently we do not rehome Border Collies into domestic environments if there are children under 8 years of age living in the household.
You may wish to click here and read this page of reports about dogs attacking adults and children - Border Collies feature - opens in a new window
 
Environment
Being designed to be sheepdogs, Border Collies are sensitive to sound and movement. In an environment natural to the breeds purpose this is not a problem, however in a busy human household or in a busy urban environment, Border Collies can often become over stimulated and develop behavioural issues and hyperactivity.
Dogs will have different tolerances of environmental stimuli and this should be considered when taking on a breed as sensitive to such matters as the Border Collie. Some simply will not cope with being over stimulated and are only suited to quiet rural environments, others can cope better without becoming hyperactive.
You may have heard it said that many Border Collies do not do well in kennels because they get wound up and excited by all the other dogs surrounding them - this is often described as going 'stir crazy - and many rescue centres do not like taking in or holding on to Border Collies for long because they quickly develop behavioural issues in a kennel environments which makes it more difficult for them to get new homes.
The same thing happens in towns, on housing estates and particularly in housing terraces. Its exactly the same thing, just on a larger scale. The dog is constantly stimulated by everything that is going on around it and never gets any real rest. It's constantly being triggered and will often develop little quirks of behaviour as a result. Sometimes these little quirks are regarded as amusing by the dogs owners but will frequently develop into bigger behavioural issues if left untreated or encouraged.
Consequently we don't rehome Border Collies into towns or heavily built up urban environments with lots of human activity and background noise.
 
Lifestyle
The temperament and character of a Border Collie needs careful consideration when matching lifestyles to that of potential owners.
 One myth about the Border Collie is that it is a hyperactive breed that requires vast amounts of exercise to keep it content - yet we hear from many owners that they regularly take their dog for very long walks and it still wants to go out again as soon it gets back. Border Collies are not normally hyperactive. Those that are have problems. Individuals of the breed are just as capable of being a couch potato as any human - if they have that inclination. Some are fireside dogs - other prefer to live outside and shun heat, frequently lying close to doors to take advantage of cool drafts in overheated houses. Most require some form of mental stimulation in preference to physical stimulation and are happiest when engaged in some sort of activity with their owners. Exercise is only needed to keep them fit and healthy.
If you live in a fairly busy household with lots of people coming and going you need a dog that tolerates or enjoys such a lifestyle. If you live alone or are a couple in a quiet household you need a dog that enjoys that sort of lifestyle. If you walk a lot you want a walking dog. If you don't you need a dog that is content to stay at home.
We consider these, and many other, aspects of a dogs character when we are seeking a new home for it. Human lifestyles vary so a dog needs to be compatible.
One deliberately enhanced quality of the Border Collie breed is its desire to bond strongly with a single person - think One Man and His Dog. Again, in a normal family environment this can lead to conflicts if there are several people making demands on a dogs loyalty and companionship. The dog may select one person to be its leader and reject the others. It frequently leads to problems if the dog is left home alone for extended periods while everyone is away at work.
Consequently we will not rehome a Border Collie where all the adults in a household are in full time work or the dog is left alone for long periods.
 
Age of dog and age of applicant
As Border Collies are designed to be sheepdogs and as their instinct to herd and work will usually develop in the first 9 months of the pups life we would consider it unwise to place a young pup into a pet home where it stand a good chance of growing up frustrated, developing problems and consequently needing to be re-homed.
Again, examination of the ages and problems of dogs we are asked to take in confirms this as a wise policy as many of these were taken on as pups but failed to make the grade as domestic pets. As a rescue organisation we would be failing our dogs by knowingly putting them at risk.
Consequently we will not rehome a Border Collie puppy under a year of age into a companion home.
We consider this to be acting against the best interests of the pups. This is a welfare issue and we see the placing of untried Border Collie puppies, who have not had the chance to work, into domestic environments as a contravention of the 2006 Animal Welfare Act in respect that the dog has been deprived of its chance to 'exhibit normal behaviour'. Besides, if you want a domestic companion, you need a dog that does not have frustrated working drive so why take the risk?.
We have often heard the arguments - I want a puppy to grow up to get on with my children or - I only want a puppy because I can make it into what I want it to be or - I prefer a puppy because an older dog will be too set in its ways and a puppy will be easier to train.
O.K. that may be true with some breeds, but not with the Border Collie. You cannot train out instinct and attempting to force a Border Collie to go against its nature is disastrous for both dog and owner.  We don't credit these arguments as we spend too much time clearing up the mess created by people who believe them and we are not going to help people destroy the life of a young dog.
We will only rehome dogs as companions that we can accurately assess as suitable and as a young dogs instinct will not have developed, and cannot therefore be accurately assessed,  we will only place puppies into working homes where they can be trained as sheepdogs.
 
Exercise
We also consider a dogs age and need for exercise and the applicants age and ability to provide for such needs.
We are not ageist and do not discriminate or refuse an application because of the age of the applicant - as long as they are adults - over 18.
We do take an applicants age into consideration when offering dogs so that we can ensure a dog goes to a home where all its needs can be fulfilled, so it is unlikely we would offer a young dog to an elderly applicant. We would certainly never offer an active dog to an elderly person but would try and match energy levels so everyone's a winner. One other consideration is that we want the dog to go to a home where it stays for the rest of its natural life. We do need to consider if a dog will be likely to outlive its new owner and need to come back into our care and be re-homed again. It's a question of being sensible and considering the dog.
We take in dogs of all ages and would encourage an elderly applicant to take on a dog of compatible age and ability.
 
More about Older dogs
 We often have older dogs looking for homes - in fact we do run a special scheme for older dogs - we call it the 'Oldies Scheme' and it is designed to enable people to give a permanent supervised home to an older dog that may otherwise be passed over in the normal run of homes we are offered.
If you can offer a home to an older dog or want to find out more about the Oldies Scheme click here.
 
If you come to Border Collie Rescue to take on a companion dog we will not take 'Pot Luck' with you and offer you any old dog and let you and the dog take your chances - that's not rescue - that's exploitation - especially if you pay a 'non refundable' donation and have to take the dog back later. We want to get it right first time, for dog and owner, so we go to a great deal of trouble to do so.
If you are interested in adopting a dog from us, please contact us on 0845 604 4941 during office hours - 2 pm to 5 pm weekdays.
Please do not write to us or email us about adoption - we want to speak to you before we start the process..
For more information about our criteria and the adoption process go to the next page in this section using the link below.

Criteria for adopting  a Companion dog from Border Collie Rescue

 
Other relevant information
We do not sell dogs - we offer dogs for adoption, to remain in their new homes permanently, but with the assurance that if anything goes wrong we will want to take the dog back and look after its interests. In an uncertain world this can be a reassuring safely net for people who care about their dogs.
Dogs offered for adoption are fully vaccinated, wormed, parasite treated and microchipped. Where appropriate they are neutered or spayed. In any circumstances we do not allow dogs to be bred from or used for breeding purposes and annual booster vaccinations must be maintained by the new owner to protect the dog from infectious disease.
Adoption is a formal agreement between us and an applicant that they will give a home to a dog and look after it properly for the rest of its life, however we are aware that life sometimes throws up problems and part of the arrangement is that we will always take a dog back, at any time, if the new home is unable to keep it - for any reason.
The full terms and conditions of our adoption agreement can be read here - opens in a new window
If you are interested in taking on a dog as a Companion, please contact us on 0845 604 4941 during office hours - 2 pm to 5 pm weekdays.
Please do not write to us or email us about adoption - we want to speak to you before we start the process.
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Copyright - Border Collie Rescue - 3037504. Registered Charity No 1128983 (UK). Charity No SC040796 (Scotland). All rights reserved.
The border collie rescue society is a specialist canine welfare charity based in the uk to help the border collie dog breed and the working sheepdog.
Border Collie Rescue On Line is the official website of this breed rescue organisation.
The society stands against puppy farming, animal abuse, animal testing, animal cruelty and dog exploitation of any sort - we trust you all share our concerns
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