Finding a Dog

Finding A Dog


In general, there are three ways that one can acquire a border collie for herding: you can buy a trained dog, purchase a puppy to train yourself, or adopt a dog from a border collie rescue organization. I attempt to provide some information about each path, so you can decide for yourself which way is best for your personal situation.

First, you'll need to determine whether you'll want to look for a puppy, a trained dog, or a rescue dog. The table below will show you a quick-and-dirty snapshot of the pro's and con's of each path; for more information about any one of them, click on the links in the table headers.
Table Caption
Pro's
  • You'll be able to concentrate on your handling without worrying about training your dog at the same time
  • You'll be able to start entering trials quickly
  • Quickest path to becoming an Open handler
  • Moderately priced option
  • Training your own puppy can be very satisfying
  • You'll be able to control all your puppy's life experiences, for better or for worse
  • Least expensive option
  • You'll be giving a home to an animal who needs one
Con's
  • Most expensive route
  • Fewer years with the dog, since the dog will be an adult when you get him
  • It can be difficult for a novice without contacts in the Big Hat handling world to identify a really good trained dog
  • Training your own puppy can be very frustrating
  • It may be years before you can start entering your dog in sheepdog trials
  • Your puppy may not have what it takes to become an advanced sheepdog
  • You'll be responsible for all of your puppy's life experiences, for better or for worse
  • If your rescue border collie is of unknown breeding, his potential for herding will be more difficult to predict
  • An older rescue dog who has not been exposed to sheep will be more difficult to train than a young puppy
  • It may be years before you can start entering your dog in sheepdog trials
When Ordinary Humiliation
Just Isn't Enough