|Barked: Sat May 17, '08 6:07am PST |
|You're right there, Collies can be destructive; but like any other dog, it's a lack of occupation, not a will to destroy. Often, something as simple as a Kong (if you're not home) or a pat will way-lay this behavior. Many Collies are such big sucks that they can forget whatever they were after for a pat- though, I suppose, equally as many are driven and need a true job.
All puppies have horror stories; it's their job, I think. They leave you with a whole collection of things destroyed (I know Indigo gave me memories of three pairs of shoes- and the heels off a fourth- as well as a book, the entire bottom of my bed (he had made a fort he could crawl up inside) and the legs of my grandmother's coffee table). The most difficult time to try to amuse a Collie or other herding breed is while you're sleeping; it's easy to wake up and find them with something they shouldn't have. Older puppies are worst because they don't do "puppy drops" any more, where they lie down any old place and nap, and they aren't mature enough to stay interested in one thing to long. That' s when plain old getting them tired becomes a life-saver.
I share my home with an Australian Shepherd (if you don't know what they are, think Border Collie. xD) and a rough Collie and, though he's old and came in less than a week ago, I have to say the Collie (Woodie) is charming and unquestionably in charge of the animals. Bear in mind, though, that the Collies you will be choosing from have been bred as pet and show dogs for many generations. These types have proved to be highly trainable, gentle, loyal, and well suited as pets. Their gentleness and devotion also make them quite compatible with children. They are often more suitable as companions than as watch dogs, though the individual personalities of these dogs vary. That is a promise, if you trust your breeder and she is good.
However, I caution against working Collies in a home environment; to quote a favorite...
"Working collies are extremely energetic and agile dogs with great stamina, well able to run all day without tiring, even over very rough or steep ground. They are intelligent, and are instinctively highly motivated to work. These characteristics generally make working strains unsuitable as pets, as few owners are able to give them the mental and physical challenges they need and, if not well fulfilled, they may become unhappy and badly behaved".
I know that when I was younger, all I heard from my father were glamorous stories of his own rough Collie, Marley. Growing up, they were the dog I wanted most, and then, when I was told our house was too small, Shelties. Then, when told they were too timid, I fell in love with Australian Shepherds; now, having the chance to own my own Collie, I will never regret it. Given the opportunity, Collies (and any dog or puppy) can surprise you in new and wonderful ways.
Good luck, whatever you choose,
Darcie, Woodie and Indigo
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