Collies are superb dogs to keep in a home environment but you have to remember they are workaholics. Collies just love to be busy, they are wonderfully active creatures that need to be kept entertained. There are many people who think collies need to be kept on farms as working dogs and that they do not make very good pets – there is a saying 'no sheep, no collie' but this is not necessarily true.However, you have to remember that collies are bred to herd sheep so with this in mind, if you are considering owning one of these gorgeous creatures, then be prepared to give them all the time in the world so that they get the right amount of both physical exercise and mental activity.
Because they are such active creatures, and this includes mentally, you have to set certain rules down with collies and then combine it with the correct amount of exercise – this is what collies love and it certainly helps them develop into well behaved members of your family rather than unruly creatures that can at times drive you mad.If a collie thinks they have a job to do, they are happy. Very often a collie will create a job for themselves. This can be a good thing but then it can often develop into a bad characteristic and habit that turns out to be hard to stop. One thing you need to become familiar with is something known as 'collie persistence', they will never give up until they think or are told, the job is done.
Collies love to play ball – many will give up their food dish to go off to play ball and the farther the ball goes, the happier collies are. Remember a collie has tremendous energy – a characteristic they are well known for and which is called 'collie energy'. Something all collie owners are aware of.Collies have to be busy, this is when they are at their happiest. They have to round things up because this is part of their make-up which means they need constant mental stimulation. They also adore any interaction with their owners they can get. This forms a very strong bond between man and dog which is something we all admire in working sheepdogs when they take part in competitions.
Choosing to own a collie takes a lot of consideration and evaluation. You have to be sure your own lifestyle will suit the nature of this particular breed of dog. If you are going to be out of the house a lot of the time and your collie left at home, then you have to rethink your plans and choose another breed of dog. A collie left for long periods of time would be a very unhappy creature - no matter how well trained they happen to be.Once you've established that owning a collie can be a challenge that you know you can cope with this fact and you've established your lifestyle will suit their character, then the next step is to find one. You have a few choices which includes re-homing a retired farm dog, which can be wonderful if you live in the country but not an option if you live in a built up area. The other is to contact a reputable breeder but let them know that you are going to be keeping your collie as a pet and not a working dog.
Once your new ally is comfortably ensconced in your home, you need to think about entertaining and training them. You will need to get hold of some high quality chew toys because if your collie takes to them, they will destroy them very quickly. You might find that you spend a lot more money in the long run if you buy cheap toys for your new friends than if you invested in good ones in the first place. One toy that seems to work really well for collies is the Nylabone – aggressive chewer pacifier.Collies need loads of exercise, so you have to be prepared to go out on walks with your new pet at least twice a day. Walking at a faster pace works well with collies as it relieves a lot of their nervous energy.
This is a must for you and your new collie, they find the whole experience really invigorating and so will you because you will learn a lot about your collie when you are involved in these classes. It's also a great way to teach your collie how to socialise with other dogs. You get to interact with your dog too which is something that all collies absolutely adore.
If you are out at work a lot during the week, then find out if there is a dog day care facility in your area. This is a great solution because you can drop your collie off on your way to work and then pick them up on the way home. Your collie will have a great time interacting with other dogs which they thrive on. You might find a very tired, docile creature when you pick them up to take them home with you – and a very happy dog to boot.
One great game to play with with your collie is to hide goodies and treats for them all over your house. This is a great mental challenge that keeps a collie happy for hours on end. You could also play hide and seek with them – this is another game they truly love and which you enjoy playing too!
If you have enough room in your garden, set up an agility course so you can play with your collie whenever you can. By enrolling into a dog agility class you will soon see how quick collies are at learning things – this will keep them stimulated and very, very happy.Having a collie around the house will keep you fit too. As mentioned above, collies can be very persistent which means when they want to play, they will not leave you alone until you join in the game (or take them for a walk) this is just one of the wonderful characteristics of this gorgeous breed of busy and very entertaining dog.Collies do make great pets, they are wonderful to have around the home but you have to be prepared to give them all the time they need so they remain healthy and happy. If you don't think you can afford the time they need, then you should definitely think about getting another quieter breed of dog.