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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys I am looking at getting a dog, I have never owned a dog before but have always been round them and finally i am getting the chance to own one. I already have a cat and I need a dog that is child friendly, I also don't have the biggest of back gardens but i do enjoy long walks/runs so i do need a dog that is quite fit.

I have been looking at pointers, labs, jack russells and border collie I have been hearing mixed things about all these so i am guessing it is purely a training issue. I would really like a border collie but I am not too sure if this is a good idea.

Any thoughts you can throw my way would be great?

Cheers
 

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I would say no to a Border Collie. Honestly, some are OK to live with but some take an incredible amount of exercise and stimulation to just keep them sane. If you are really set on a Border Collie I would find a Border Collie rescue and meet the dogs, talk to the people who work there, talk about what Border Collies need to thrive. Talk to them about their dogs. Go to a dog show, meet these dogs in person. The more Border Collies you meet the more you will get an idea about what they require. Also, Border Collies tend to be more aloof with kids. I could be wrong, but from what I have seen with Border Collies is that hey ignore kids for the most part and don't have a ton of patience for them. Also, their herding instincts to chase and nip can be directed towards small kids which can be difficult to train out of and inadvertently scare kids.

Honestly, you have picked a lot of different breeds. What requirements do you have in particular? Able to run with you? How will you train? How much can you dedicate to training? How much can you dedicate per day to exercise? Throwing a dog outside for 3 hour is not exercising (just making that clear). What about size? Are you renting? Some breeds are generally banned due to insurance which can make renting very hard. Do you have any particular requirements for grooming?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi nil thank you for your reply, I have heard the same as what you have said and thats why I am slightly unsure about a border collie although i do really want one.

I need a dog that i can run with and also is able to go out on full days walking as I enjoy hill walking and going out climbing so i will be out all day long, last thing i need is a dog that runs out of energy.

I will definitely be able to exercise the dog twice a day and thats not just chucking the dog outside that would be going for substantial walks/runs

Not sure yet about training I am happy to do whatever is needed, I would like to train the dog on my own but if i needed help then i would go to classes. I will be taking the whole month of august off so i am hoping to get the dog in time for that so i can spend a lot of time training the dog.

We are renting but have cleared it with our landlord and he hasn't put any restrictions on it, but we would like a small/medium size dog, preferably not too much grooming but again i really dont mind doing a bit i just dont want fur everywhere.
 

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The thing is, you can want a dog all you want but that doesn't make them right for you or your situation. Not trying to be mean or anything but getting a dog your not ready for is bad news.

Before you commit to a Border Collie I would still suggest meeting more of them. Find a local Agility club and check it out, ask the people heir about their Border Collies (Border Collies are used a lot in agility). If you are thinking about getting a puppy keep in mind a puppy can'y run or do any other repetitive movement (jogging on leash/jumping/etc.) until at least 12 months to 18 months to prevent damage to their joints.

Why not something like a Lab or Golden mix? Their temperament are more suited to kids, they both have plenty of energy, they are low maintenance (Lab more so than Golden) and are a little more biddable. Border Collies are smart but they can be too smart. Something like accidentally blinking every time you say sit will cause the Border Collie to think of that as a cue (blink=sit). They are just an intense breed which are prone to some OCD type issues if not properly stimulated.

Why not go on PetFinder and look up Border Collies in your area? E-mail the rescue, see if it would be a good fit. A 3-5 year old Border Collie will have plenty enough energy for you. The rescue could also tell you temperament, commands known, how the dog is with children, etc.

If you are looking to buy a puppy from a breeder, August may be too soon. Most responsible breeders have a waiting list of sometimes a year or more.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thank you for the advice, i know that i might not be able to have a border collie thats why i am here to try to get as much info as possible before i commit. I think i will definitely check out some rescue centres and chat with a few owners.
 

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If you want a lab I would contact a lab rescue and get an older lab(around 2 years). That way you know what there temperament will most likely be and you can take them hiking with you. My yellow lab gets 5 miles of walking a day, 2 hours of off-leash exercise and I run him by my bike for about 1 mile. he is smart but stubborn. He has a CRAZY ball drive and is NOT food motivated so I have to carry a ball with me everywhere,lol.

My black lab- he is hyper but due to some medical issues he gets about a 3 mile walk, 1 hour off-leash. he is super smart and very eager to learn. Not stubborn at all. He is very food motivated, not toy motivated. He has a serious prey drive though. If he sees a squirells, rabbit, anything small that moves he will chase. Both my dogs get an hour of mental stimulation too. I also try to take them hiking with me once or twice a week and lots of swimming time in a lake or pond. So see, two of the same breed but different requirements and personality.

They are easy to groom but the shedding is CRAZY!! When they blow there coats(going from winter to summer coat or visa-versa it looks like I killed a billion rabbits.

Another thing you can go to your local pound/shelter and see what they have dont leave out mixed breeds.
 

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An adult Lab rescue or Lab mix (I'm partial to Lab-GSD :) ) is an excellent first dog. They are adaptable, friendly, tough, and very forgiving of new-owner mistakes. And, a good rescue can match a dog to your needs.
 

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I am with the others on the border collie advice.... as a former breeder of borders I would not recomend them as a first time dog .
Labs are great but tend to be " puppies " until about 3 years old
Jack russels can be wonderful , a big dog attitude in a little dog body

Seriously consider an older rescue dog and/or mixed breed. There are sooo many wonderful dogs out there that desperatly need a forever home !!
 

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These breeds came to mind for your requirements of kids, cats and exercise: goldens, labs, collies (Lassie collies, not borders) and Brittanies.

Of course, I'm very partial to collies. I've never met a collie that didn't like kids and wasn't good around cats. They love their people and will basically be happy doing whatever you're doing as long as they can do it with you. Of course, your mileage may vary...
 

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I have to agree with the others on the border collie. Physical exercise is a must for a BC, but it simply isn't enough. They crave mental stimulation, which means that you have to be willing to provide the dog with a job. Mine does agility (weekly classes and competitions at least monthly), disc (regular practice plus competitions when available), and nosework (mostly just for fun). If you're interested in taking up a new hobby like this (agility, disc, herding, nosework, dock diving, flyball, etc.), then a BC might be for you. If not, look elsewhere, because there's nothing worse than a bored BC.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thank you so much guys, i will still chat to some people about border collies but i am seriously thinking about a a lab or lab cross i think its prob the safest option for my first dog.
 

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Every time I find a dog running loose in my yard ... and I live way out in the country ... it is always a Lab or Lab mix .... must be popular in my area as well. :) They must really like to go places and must have a lot of endurance to be out on their own miles away from where they actually live ( they always have ID tags on them)!

I think an adult Lab or a Lab mix would be a great dog for you. With an adult they will already be potty trained and you will know their energy level as well as their personality. There are so many dogs in rescues and shelters just waiting for someone to give them their forever homes. :)

Shelter dogs do not always have information on their background ... but I choose them for myself ... unfamiliar with their issues ... over the rescues ... because they do not always have as long to be able to find homes before they are sent to The Rainbow Bridge. And I can deal with just about anything! Lol! :)
 

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Lab mixes are a dime a dozen in shelters and rescues, you can take your pick.

I'd recommend contacting rescues and giving them your requirements. Since you have such specific requirements regarding cats and children, you need an adult dog that is known to be okay with kids and cats. A rescue that fosters their dogs can tell you that. Plus, you skip the whole peeing everywhere and chewing everything stage that is puppyhood.
 

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the last thing i need is a dog that runs out of energy.
I have an 18 inch, 24 pound rat terrier (this is the very top of the breed standard). They are not one of the crazier terriers. At 5.5 years old, he is still good for several miles of tromping through the woods (we did 6ish, today), uphill and over rough terrain, in the summer. He was pretty pooped by the end, but if you take the time to condition the dog (work them up to the exercise you want of them) then I don't imagine you'd have any issue at all.

I see *Zero* reason they wouldn't work for you as a breed. Rats tend to have good off switches (unlike many other terriers and working dogs), have few health problems (hips/knees that could be a problem for a dog you want to be so active), are small and I can't imagine an easier to groom dog.

Lab mixes are a dime a dozen in shelters and rescues, you can take your pick.

I'd recommend contacting rescues and giving them your requirements. Since you have such specific requirements regarding cats and children, you need an adult dog that is known to be okay with kids and cats. A rescue that fosters their dogs can tell you that. Plus, you skip the whole peeing everywhere and chewing everything stage that is puppyhood.
The only hesitation I would have with a shelter lab or mix in this scenario is that he wants the dog for something extremely specific and physically demanding. Getting a dog with bad hips might be a bit of a bummer.
 
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