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Border Collie

Alert. Energetic. Intelligent. Border Collies are the workaholics of the dog world. They thrive on rural properties where they are skilled livestock herders and enthusiastic family pets.

With never a dull moment in sight, Border Collies are the perfect addition to any farming estate.

Where I'm From

Most of today's pedigree Border Collies are thought to have originated from a congenial and trainable sheep herding stud called Old Hemp, born in Scotland in 1893 and bred by Adam Tefler. The herding dogs soon developed a reputation as intelligent, hard workers that easily understood commands as well as for their calm and focused demeanours.

Old Hemp's descendants, which greatly influenced today's Border Collie bloodlines, entered Australia in the early 20th Century and were bred with earlier imported sheepdogs. Since then Border Collies have earned their keep as livestock drivers and fantastic pets throughout Australia.

What I Look Like

Most often a distinctive black-and-white colour, Border Collies can also be found in chocolate-and-white, tan-and-white, mixed merle and other related shades. They can be medium to longhaired with a thick double coat.

The Australian working dog variety of Border Collie are mainly shorthaired and adaptable to the harsh Australian climate and terrain.

How I Act

Border Collies are extremely smart and benefit from obedience training alongside socialisation from a very young age. Able to work vigorously over long periods of time, Border Collies love mental and physical challenges, and appreciate reward from their human handlers. They will do almost anything for their beloved master but need a strong authority to keep any mischievous streaks in check. Rigorous exercise and doggie sports are a fantastic way to keep them healthily occupied.

As a herding dog, Border Collies' instinct is to gather their flock. If this flock does not include sheep and cattle, people and especially young children are in danger of getting their heels nipped to keep them in line!

Far from a couch potato, Border Collies are sturdy dogs made for hard farm work. They have a lot of energy and if kept as city pets need at least one hour of exercise per day as well as regular participation in dog sports to stay in shape and intellectually challenged. Border Collies can become destructive, especially in urban homes, if left too long to their own devices without any work or company.

Border Collies do not suit a laid-back family with small children looking for a stay-at-home dog.

Looking After Me

Border Collies are a relatively healthy breed. However, some ailments that could cause concern as they age include hip dysplasia, deterioration of eyesight and allergies. It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy's parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.

Life expectancy is between 10-15 years.

Border Collies are not particularly fussy eaters. They thrive on a high-quality, high protein diet and should be fed twice a day.

Depending on length of their double coat, Border Collies need to be brushed a couple times a week. Longhaired varieties require more attention and grooming. Shorthaired work dogs are able to get away with being a little rougher around the edges and only require a weekly groom.

Am I the pet for you?

How do I toilet train my cat

I rescued an adult female, desexed cat six months ago. Apparently she’s always been an outside cat. I have another cat who is mostly indoors and I would only let outside during the day if I was home. Luna didn’t like being indoors and wasn’t using the litter tray properly. I had her confined in the bathroom for a few days to get use to it and she would go next to it, rarely in it. She will sometimes use a tray otherwise will urinate or poop on the floor. I am at wits end. I have two trays, I’ve changed the type of litter, put dirt in the tray, picked up the poop and put it in the tray to show her that where it goes. I’ve used spray in the tray to attract her to want to use the tray. I bought felliway diffuser which is meant to calm cats and have also used the rescue remedy drops in her food. I’ve recently moved house where there is a cat enclosure so she can go in and out when ever she pleases but still goes in the kitchen (as I now close the bathroom door when she started going to the toilet in there), but tonight I noticed she’s been going in the spare room if anything is left on the floor which is carpeted. So I’ve now cleared that whole room to prevent her from going to the toilet. She is still going in the kitchen. I’ve tried cleaning the area and eliminating her scent by using water and vinegar then once dry use bi carb soda and hydrogen peroxide and it has made no difference. She’s been tested for a bladder infection which came up negative. I love animals. I have another cat which she now gets along with and two dogs which she is still getting use to. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give her up but feel like I will have no choice.