Intelligent, agile, active border collies will not be able to sit still if the owner does not provide them with the opportunity to meet their physical demands and their herding instinct at an early age. Without timely training, lack of trust, pet behavior can become a real problem.
How to Choose a Border Collie Puppy
Before buying, you should study the breed standard in order to understand how a purebred dog should look. Usually, border collie puppies are given to a new family at the age of 2-3 months.
The Border Collie is a relatively healthy breed, however, one should inquire with the breeder about the health of the puppy’s parents and ancestors. The breeder must provide medical evidence that there is no condition that can be detected by genetic testing, such as collie eye abnormality.
It is important to pay attention to the parents, or at least the bitch. Observe her, evaluate her temperament and condition. And also assess the living conditions of the bitch and litter. Studying the pedigree gives an idea of the possible potential of the puppy, health, performance.
Interaction with the puppy is important. It is worth observing the kids, examining them, making sure that they are healthy and well-groomed. Puppies should already be socialized, should not be afraid of people, behave aggressively. Otherwise, if the puppies are not socialized before 8 weeks, then it will take a lot of effort to adapt the dog.
If a pet is needed for work purposes, then one of the main criteria for choosing a border collie puppy is temperament. Do not give preference to shy toddlers who whimper or growl when picked up. Gender depends on personal preference, but the color and length of the coat do not matter.
Safety: Border Collie Dog Breed
It is important to ensure the safety of living in the house. Given the puppy’s curiosity, you should consider possible dangers for him. Dangerous items should be removed that could attract the dog’s attention. First of all, such dangers include electrical wires that dogs like to gnaw, as well as sharp objects that are lost on the floor and can be accidentally swallowed by a puppy (pins, buttons).
It is necessary to remove plants poisonous to animals, household chemicals, plastic wrap, foil, which the dog can pull out of the trash can if there are food particles left on them. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, so don’t leave it in a room where your dog can reach.
If the house has a staircase, then you should not let the puppy move along it. Such exercises negatively affect the formation of joints, the skeleton of a growing organism. It is important to exclude the possibility of movement on slippery surfaces.
Border Collies are very excitable, their attention can be attracted by the sound from the street, a bird flying, after which the dog can jump and fall over the side of the balcony if the access to the balcony is free and not glazed.
It is important to provide a safe resting space for the dog. Purchase a comfortable couch, bowls, and accessories for walking and games.
Border Collie Puppy Care
At first, they feed the same food that the puppy ate from the breeder. Then gradually change the diet or transfer to another dry food. It is important to feed on a schedule, formulate the correct feeding ration, provide free access to drinking water, and never give food from the human table.
In the period from 4 to 6 months, teeth change. During this period, puppies begin to chew on everything, while appetite may deteriorate due to inflamed gums. It is important to monitor the growth of new teeth, because if the old tooth is in no hurry to fall out, and a new one is already growing in its place, then in addition to curvature, the infectious disease may develop, the puppy may experience painful sensations when eating food. If possible, do not neglect a visit to your veterinarian to make sure your teeth are developing normally.
It is enough to comb out the puppy’s coat once a day, thanks to which the baby will get used to the procedure. And also regularly examine the ears, oral cavity, gradually accustom to cutting the claws. Bathe the puppy as needed, while protecting the ears from getting into the water. The ears are cleaned carefully, without trying to penetrate deeply into the ear canal.
The first vaccinations are usually given when the puppy is still with the breeder. In the future, having a veterinary passport in hand during the first year of life, it is necessary to make a number of vaccinations. Vaccinations are done as directed by your veterinarian.
At the age of 6-9 months, puppies are spayed, unless offspring are planned in the future. It is important to have the surgery done before puberty. Timely surgery will help you avoid future behavioral and health problems.
For the physical and mental development of a Border Collie puppy, games and toys are needed. Moreover, the puppy needs to be shown how to play with toys correctly, to motivate him, to encourage him to play independently. Physical activity should be present daily. Walking the puppy is enough for 20 minutes, gradually increasing the walking time to 2 hours a day. During the walk, it is advisable to play with the puppy using a ball, a flying disc. By the way, walk only on a leash when it comes to the city. The dog can be released from the leash if there is confidence in its safety. Animals, driven by instinct, can rush after the car, explore a new place, which is fraught with negative consequences.
Dog Training: Border Collie Puppy
The border collie puppy should start training as soon as he was in the family. The correct approach to teaching, which consists of consistency, encouragement, accuracy of commands, short lessons, built in the form of a game, will allow you to achieve high results. The puppy should master basic skills in the period from 3 to 6 months. During this time, the border collie masters simple commands: “Sit!”, “Lie down!”, “Come to me!”, “Stop!” etc. In the period from 6 to 12 months, exercises of average difficulty are practiced on the basis of the main teams studied. From the age of one, you can teach the dog complex tricks, for example, actively prepare for sports competitions, studying the elements of the sports program.
Given the intelligence of the Border Collie, basic training will not be difficult. However, it should be borne in mind that curious border collies find everything new to be interesting, having mastered one skill, they are ready to master the next. It is important to learn how to work with your dog to achieve your goals. The pet should not be allowed to consider itself smarter than the owner.
Already at an early age, the shepherd’s qualities of a dog are assessed, and if there is an opportunity or need, then efforts are made to develop working qualities. If the instinct is there, then the puppy begins to drive and graze toys, children, cats. Therefore, control is important, otherwise behavioral problems will develop. If the development of herding qualities is not included in the plans, then at least the dog needs to provide an active lifestyle, including long walks with exercise, games, or play sports with the pet, in particular agility, dog-frisbee, flyball, and other active sports.
Socializing the Border Collie
With the arrival of a puppy in the house, the first step is to make an effort to build trust and socialize the border collie. The first 6 months of a puppy’s life are important in shaping the psyche. Therefore, you need to pay attention to socialization so that the baby grows up as a balanced dog adapted to life among people.
For this, in addition to constant contact with the puppy, he should be introduced to the world around him. The kid must learn to interact with other dogs, other animals, and with people. To do this, you can invite friends to your home, go to events with the participation of dogs, and walk more often in public places (where walking with dogs is allowed).
You should take your dog with you outside if you need to go to the store, go anywhere by car. But only on the condition that there is someone to leave the dog with during the absence. Do not leave your pet alone in the car or tied near the store. Let your pet get used to the city noise, otherwise, it may develop the fear, which in turn leads to unwanted behavior.
To reduce stress, it is recommended to interact with the Border Collie puppy, give him chew toys and study tricks. Exercise and mental stimulation improve the dog’s overall health and reduce anxiety and nervousness.