Herding, not to be confused with hoarding which requires therapy and professional junk removal, is a natural instinct for a border collie. Just watch them the next time they’re in with a group of dogs. They instinctively circle the pack and will always chase or follow any straying dogs.
Our Border Collie, Ladybug, is a rescue dog from the local SPCA. She was found in northern British Columbia chained to a fence. When we adopted her she was about 8 months old. At first they weren’t going to let us adopt her, she had a tendency to bite and our kids were younger. But we were persistent, and after spending time with a behaviourist at the shelter, they let her come home with us.
And yes, she did bite. She was afraid and needed to learn how to trust again. So we loved each other through that stage, and now she is truly the best dog ever! And really smart. Say the words, walk, run, leash, boot, jaunt or any version of putting two feet in front of each other and she is standing in front of you with a rather eager look on her face!
And so I take her running with me. But now we have a dilemma. I recently trained for a half marathon. We started slow (I was coming back from injury) and gradually worked our way up to 20k runs. Yep, that’s right, 20k with a border collie. So the race is over and I’m not running too many really long runs right now. And that’s not a good thing for Ladybug. No longer satisfied with a 15 minute walk around the neighbourhood, she needs vigorous, frequent play times… So we’re trying to wean her from the long run. We’ll see how it goes.
Today she chased down balls while the boys played tennis – rather convenient for the boys since balls seemed to be flying around… And though it may be a lot of work (most pets are), it’s great having a smart, personable, friendly and snuggly dog!!