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Caitie Merryweather

Share Your Story: Living with a Border Collie

By Laughingdogs

Caitie Merryweather

Miss Caitie Merryweather at 10 weeks old

Caitie Merryweather

Caitie at 6 months old

Dog's Name & Age

Caitie Merryweather, 7 months old

In a Word, My Border Collie Is…

Caitie's a rescue from working lines. She's shy, very high energy and SMART

Best Characteristics of the Breed

Willing to learn just about anything.

Most Challenging Characteristics of the Breed

Will learn anything good or bad!

When, Where and How I Got My Border Collie:

I rescued Caitie from as a 9 1/2 week old pup in California on January 1, 2010. She and her two sisters were dumped in a shelter at about 7-8 weeks old. Her adoption fee was $350.

I'd Describe My Dog As…

As a dog trainer I rescued this pup to ensure she was not going to end up back in a shelter for behaviors that would lead to her being put to sleep. She was VERY cute, already had some food aggression/issues and could tell she was going to be a handful as she was SHY and had a high startle factor. I feared she would be adopted by a family who would not understand how to train a working BC, end up nipping the kids and like so many of these BC's end up dumped at a shelter and would not make it out.

This dog needs constant guidance, exposure and exercise to help her not feel anxious and choose jobs vs being given jobs. She was very easy to housebreak, is quick to learn commands, plays Frisbee, lives with an 8lb dog, cats and birds. Given her base personality aka temperament without strong training what Caitie would do : lung and bark when she sees other dogs, nip at strangers hands that reach for her, chase bikes and cars, fence run and bark, dig, chase wildlife, have separation anxiety, escape and run free..... all the things that land a dog in the pound.

With training however she will not leave an open gate or door without permission. Will not step off a curb until she hears "Okay lets go". She comes every time she is called. Fixes her behavior with correction and praise. She is not a stranger friendly dog, she will not try to lunge at anyone however is not interested overly interested in being social with them. She finds cautious people a bit creepy and will back away from them. She hates the crazy dog park overload environments and would rather have a dog buddy come play with her at her house, play with her humans or be in nature. She is learning to be confident with exposure and building on success.

Advice

  • Choose a pup carefully, as this is a smart, working breed that can have a tendency to be shy, bossy, demanding and is a high energy breed.
  • There is a very big difference in their personalities - some are bred to be pets and others from strong working lines that DO NOT make EASY pets.
  • Puppies need to be raised with children and smaller pets from a young age as BC's can have a strong prey drive and will chase things that move.
  • You need to be willing to put the time into these dogs as they can come up with jobs you do not approve of, such as de-stuffing the couch.
  • A well-trained Border Collie is an amazing companion!
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