Border Collie Rescue - On Line - Adopting an Interactive Dog
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How to Adopt an 'Interactive' dog from Border Collie Rescue

Do you need a dog for Agility, Flyball, Obedience, Working trials, Jogging, Running, Canicross or other Interactive Disciplines?

To differentiate from working dogs such as stock dogs, sniffer dogs, SARDA dogs, etc., we refer to non working disciplines for dogs as Interactive Skills. Basically we summarise Interactive Skills as any form of disciplined training where a dog and handler work together, as a team, for competition, sport, exercise and personal fitness or simply just for fun.

Most Border Collies need a mission!
Our interest is getting dogs into the right sort of homes where they can be happy and realise any potential they have, thus also becoming fulfilled. We also know they do best where they have a one to one relationship with a handler and the two of them can share a common interest and activity that the dog and handler both find stimulating and rewarding.

Border Collies, being designed and bred to be sheepdogs, will normally have a strong instinct to herd.
Dogs with such instinct we assess and re-home to herding homes where they can do what comes naturally to the breed.
Others may lack the instinct or ability to herd, but still have a strong work ethic and need to be trained to a life where they can work on a daily basis, with a handler, in order to fulfill the drive they have to be active and mentally stimulated.
Dogs such as these we assess and rehome to appropriate working homes where they can do the job best suited to them. This could be Search and Rescue, Police or Prison Service sniffer dogs, Pat or Therapy dogs, etc.

Other Border Collies need more than an ordinary companion home can offer but are not suited to be trained to work, however they have drive and a need to do something with a handler in some sort of activity that and this is where Interactive homes come in.
We assess dogs for suitability for a range of different disciplines and offer them to homes that can provide them.

Not every Border Collie is suited to every discipline.
There may be reasons why an individual dog is not suitable for a particular discipline - for example - temperament, physique, level of stamina, lack of concentration, overstimulation, pure laziness or simple lack of ability or inclination.
Some Border Collies simply do not bond well enough with their owners to want to go the extra mile - but the right Border Collie for the right discipline will work as a team and try to please their handler.

There is a saying in agility circles - "If you want to win - get a Border Collie"! - Not really true, but a good selling point for breeders........
Quite a lot of Border Collies doing agility are not winners.
They are either too hyped up to focus properly, have the wrong body shape and build, can't keep up the pace or can't really be bothered.
Other breeds win many competitions even though they are up against Border Collies.

We come across a proportion of ex agility and flyball Border Collies that have developed hip, shoulder, spinal and leg cartilage problems.
Dogs can develop premature arthritis as they get older simply because they were the wrong physique to be doing very active and repetitive sports, but their natural enthusiasm to interact with and please their owner, often encouraged, pushed them too far.

Some Border Collies are not temperamentally suited to agility or flyball because they are naturally too sensitive and revert to hyperactivity, losing focus when they get too wound up. These more sensitive dogs would more likely excel at obedience.
Certain dogs, with strong drives but short attention spans, may be better doing some search and scent work and get involved in working trials where there are a variety of different activities to stimulate their brains. Some will play all day and will quickly learn tricks and skills
Whatever you chose to do with a dog it should not damage the dog and should stimulate its brain. Get a Border Collie that is best suited to the dicipline you want to share with it so you make a good team and get the best out of what you both want to do.

As dogs go through our assessment process we look at their potential for a variety of Interactive Skills.
Many dogs we re-home go to Interactive homes for various disciplines, but they have to be suitable in all respects to the discipline they are intended for. People coming to us for an agility dog, a flyball dog, an obedience dog, a dog for working trials, etc, will only be offered dogs suited to these disciplines.

We don't have our dogs KC registered under our name or insist on them entering competitions under our prefix or suffix.
We are interested in the homes, not the glory! Anyway - the folk that take them on do all the training so they deserve all the credit.


If you are looking for such a dog for competition, sport or fun, we invite you to get in touch.

For more information about our adoption criteria and process for companion and older dogs follow the link below.

Criteria for adopting an Interactive 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 are fully vaccinated, wormed, parasite treated, microchipped and when appropriate neutered or spayed.
Under no circumstances would we allow dogs to be bred from or used for breeding purposes. 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 adopting a Border Collie from us, please phone 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.