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Just for fun: What one thing do you wish you had known when you got your first BC?

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Can't narrow it down to one. There are a million things I wish I'd known (poor Mer). Three biggest are: don't try to establish yourself as your dog's leader, don't let your puppy run on hard or slick surfaces, and don't neuter until growth plates close at 14 months.

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I wish I had known that one would never be enough. Neither would two. I hope three will be.

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Exactly! My poor husband, I told him about my post, now he knows that there will be another one...some day.

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my husband and I trade cars for dogs. We have 3 VW's 1 truck and now an old (or as he says vintage) bmw motorcycle. Then there's my car. But that one doesn't count! I have 5 dogs. Works for us! ;) I just didn't know we were switching to motorcycles. But...to be fair, Faye is a smooth coat so I guess smoothie trades for cycle!

 

I used to tell him at least I play with my toys but now that my DS is older they both play with theirs too!

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I wish I'd know my knees were going to crap out on me before my dog was 4 years old!

 

My dog gets plenty of exercise with my great dog-walker, who takes her all over that place with a rotating bunch of dogs. She gets to go to our local (enormous!) dog park, up in the hills for long rambles, and other places.

 

I wish I could do it with her. All I can do is leash-walks and Frisbee in the local vacant lot. But between me and the dog walker, the dog gets out every day - usually twice...

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These answers make me remember someone who posted (here, perhaps) how she had taught her Border Collie to fetch her things out of the fridge. One day, sleeping in (sick, maybe?), she awoke to find her bed full of the contents of her fridge. Her dog had brought everything in an effort to entice her to get up and spend some time with him.

 

Smart. Fast-learning. Clever.

:) :) :)

 

 

Ladybug brings Ken toys when he's snoozing - thinking maybe he'll play with *this* one.

 

I wish I knew more about Ladybug. She wasn't our first BC but she is the only one for whom we have no history. She was so well trained - it took us years to ruin her :) and still the only thing approaching misbehavior that she does is point her nose at the cat now and then. I'm still learning new things avout her - when I try something new with the boys, she says "Oh, I know that.."

 

I did try to teach them how to fetch shoes and she got this wary look on her face. "We never touch shoes, dear..." Somewhere along the line - as a puppy perhaps, she must have been a chewer.

 

As far as what I should have known - more about training a herding dog. We could have come much further, much faster if I'd studied the whole thing more seriously before we started. Thankfully, Border Collies have a forgiving heart. I also would have done more math (never my forte) and realized I could have taken a heck of a lot of lessons, and traveled to trials for what I've spent on my spoiled sheep. But then, what would Ken and I do with all that spare time :)

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My first and current- I wish I'd not have worried so much about the dog she would be, and appreciated her more for the dog she is. I didn't allow myself to enjoy puppy-hood. So many sources will tell you what a terror the dog will become without 24 hours of exercise and a flock of sheep on your lawn, and all of the things that can/will go wrong, and how your life will be terrible as your BC destroys your house and becomes the Tasmanian Devil with an endless tank of fuel. I wish I hadn't listened to other people so much, well-meaning or otherwise. The fear that every little undesirable behavior would become a full-blown destructive habit for the rest of her made me feel like a failure, and I took my frustration out on her. I wish I'd known how much more sensitive she is compared to every other dog I've known, and I wish I had adjusted my training accordingly and much earlier than I had. I wish I hadn't become so angry with her imperfections. I regret looking at all the things that were "wrong" rather than things which needed "more work." And so many times, I felt detached from her emotionally and had convinced myself that life was better without her, that I'd picked the wrong dog and she didn't LIKE me. Well of course she didn't! I was the only person in her life who acted like an emotionally-unstable dictator! I fought my way through year 1, and I'm happy I did. I couldn't possibly live without her, and she looks at me with such warmth these days. When I got my first border collie, I wish I had known what an amazing friend she'd become.

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Nothing. I wouldn't change a thing.

 

Even the difficulties and the rough patches are memories that I treasure now. We couldn't have overcome the obstacles and learned together if I had known then what I know now, and I wouldn't give up that experience for the world.

 

I only wish we could have another 12 years . . .

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What do I wish I had known when my first border collie came to me 14 years ago?

Two words: clicker training.

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Hannah did this. I thought it was just the oddest thing. I would walk into the living room where my elderly father-in-law was asleep on the couch, and there would be a line of dog toys on the couch next to him with a few actually on him. This happened a couple of times, with Hannah sitting there quietly waiting for him to wake up. When he did finally wake up, he would throw off the toys as though it were the most natural thing in the world to wake up covered in them. Then he would commence speaking to Hannah and tossing her toys from the pile.

Ladybug brings Ken toys when he's snoozing - thinking maybe he'll play with *this* one.

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Hannah had your Dad quite trained! ;)

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Hannah did this. I thought it was just the oddest thing. I would walk into the living room where my elderly father-in-law was asleep on the couch, and there would be a line of dog toys on the couch next to him with a few actually on him. This happened a couple of times, with Hannah sitting there quietly waiting for him to wake up. When he did finally wake up, he would throw off the toys as though it were the most natural thing in the world to wake up covered in them. Then he would commence speaking to Hannah and tossing her toys from the pile.

 

That is so sweet!

 

Jovi

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Syncrope wrote:

My first and current- I wish I'd not have worried so much about the dog she would be, and appreciated her more for the dog she is. I didn't allow myself to enjoy puppy-hood. So many sources will tell you what a terror the dog will become without 24 hours of exercise and a flock of sheep on your lawn, and all of the things that can/will go wrong, and how your life will be terrible as your BC destroys your house and becomes the Tasmanian Devil with an endless tank of fuel. I wish I hadn't listened to other people so much, well-meaning or otherwise. The fear that every little undesirable behavior would become a full-blown destructive habit for the rest of her made me feel like a failure, and I took my frustration out on her. I wish I'd known how much more sensitive she is compared to every other dog I've known, and I wish I had adjusted my training accordingly and much earlier than I had. I wish I hadn't become so angry with her imperfections. I regret looking at all the things that were "wrong" rather than things which needed "more work." And so many times, I felt detached from her emotionally and had convinced myself that life was better without her, that I'd picked the wrong dog and she didn't LIKE me. Well of course she didn't! I was the only person in her life who acted like an emotionally-unstable dictator! I fought my way through year 1, and I'm happy I did. I couldn't possibly live without her, and she looks at me with such warmth these days. When I got my first border collie, I wish I had known what an amazing friend she'd become.

 

I think this is almost sad. And I see it so often. Not just in Border Collies. It sometimes seems to me that a "breed" group almost appears to make it seem as if they are the only ones that can handle a certain breed. Sure, many high drive dogs are not for everyone. But then again, not everyone even needs or should have a dog, children....you name it!

And often people seem to then go into this with so many rules and fears that instead of enjoying and bonding through normal interaction that happens when normal expectations are worked on, they miss out on all the fun and adventures that come with raising a dog.

I don't take from my dogs any less than from my friends. That is why I said, living with them. I don't tolerate stealing, crowding, You listen, you follow suggestions (not often to I get to give friends instructions although.... :) ), you are part of a unit. Not a slave or lower life form. There is only one chief but many of the indians are welcome to try and we learn even more about each other....and that to me is the fun and enjoyment of sharing my life with these guys.

And that has applied to my Borders, Germans, my fosters who have been Mals, Heelers, Aussies....

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