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Why Do Border Collies Need Rescue?


Thank you for your interest in adopting a dog from Heart of a Border Collie Rescue.  We are passionate about this breed and are committed to rescuing/re-homing Border Collies in need.  Border Collies are beautiful, loyal, intelligent dogs.  BUT… they are not the right dog for everyone/every situation.  Our goal is to match border collies with the best possible forever home that can safely meet their ongoing needs for both mental and physical stimulation.


PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING before applying to adopt in order to better understand the breed, their specific needs and ensure that a Border Collie is the best dog for you and your current situation.


Our dogs come from a variety of backgrounds – farm dogs, dogs off the reservation, strays, owner previous family pets.  Not all of the dogs have come from typical home life situations. Many have lived outside or in pens or in rural areas. While you may not think of your neighborhood as crowded or noisy, to a Border Collie, it can be overwhelming.


Purebred Border Collies, especially ones under age 4, can be a mis-match for certain home environments. A Border Collie mix or older purebred can adapt more easily into a pet home.


Border Collies have a working instinct, bred to live on huge farms managing flocks of sheep, devotedly carrying out the shepherd’s needs. They are complex thinkers with a need to DO daily work. They were never bred to be pets living in suburban settings, just hanging out.


Most are hard wired to look for movement and control it with their instinct to herd.


The level of control needed for dogs to live in the suburbs or urban areas is completely foreign to Border Collies. Leash walking is not enough exercise. Confinement inside while people work all day makes them insane. Neighborhood settings with kids on bikes or cars going by sends them into herding mode yet they can’t act on it. Heavily social homes with people in and out can cause them to feel crowded, defensive and fearful leading to nipping or biting.


The natural instinct of a purebred Border Collie is high energy, super athleticism and intense mental focus to cover miles and miles over thousands of acres with sheep without heavy human involvement.


The change from working dog to pet companion can lead to behavior issues like car chasing; nipping children on bikes; chewing and destroying inside furniture and aggressively defending their space by lunging, barking and charging people.


Families often fare better with Border Collie MIXES. The more intense herding oriented Border Collies need active adult homes that regularly hike, play ball/frisbee and involve the dog in an athletic life.


It can be very hard for this breed to adjust to a more human oriented world where so much is happening around them. Border Collies often exhibit sound sensitivity issues with the move from quiet, country life to more dense populations. They react to machinery sounds; vehicle related noises; commotion of the neighborhood; crowded dog park settings; and begin over-thinking obsessing on sounds and sights, worrying, developing fears and negative actions.


We cannot emphasize this enough – please, please, please consider your home situation before applying.

Great information on the breed from

Here is an excerpt from

"Living With Border Collies:

If you’ve never lived with a Border Collie, consider fostering a dog for a local rescuer. You can save a Border Collie’s life while deciding if the breed’s mental and physical requirements fit into your family’s lifestyle. Older pups and adult dogs will bond with a new family. Dogs know when they’ve been saved and most develop a deep desire to work with the new people in their lives.

Around seven weeks old, puppies need to make a general attachment to humans as a species, not a specific attachment to a particular human. A young pup raised around small children is not a guarantee the pup will grow up being good around children. Nature is as important as nurture in determining if an individual Border Collie adores children, is intimidated by children, or tries to control children.

Some Border Collies will use submissive behavior to manipulate and control us. Others will bark and carry on like they're having a temper tantrum. Still others will use every expression and gesture you have ever found cute to get their own way. Living with a young Border Collie is like living with an intelligent toddler. It requires dedicated time and effort to survive the experience!

A puppy goes through many stages until the adult age of 2 to 3 years. At age 5 to 6 months, the pup gets his adult teeth. This is a major chewing and destructive period. This is the time when the pup also experiments with guarding and confrontational behaviors. It is similar to a child's "terrible twos."

Read All About It

THE DOG'S MIND by Bruce Fogle"

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