Border Collie Puppy FAQ

Questions and answers to consider before applying for a puppy.

If you're thinking about buying a working border collie puppy please take the time to study the questions and answers pages before you apply   |   Go to the questions.

Scroll down to read individual questions then click the question to go to the answer. You can read all the questions and answers by clicking the "Next Question"link beneath each answer.

Your home

What makes a Suitable Home for a dog?
What makes Suitable Housing for a dog?
Can I keep a dog in my Upstairs Flat or Apartment?
What if I don't have sheep?
What if I don't have a garden?
Can I keep a dog in my City Home?

Making an application

How can I Apply for a Puppy?
What makes a Good Application?
Do you Export Puppies?
How Much do Border Collie Puppies Cost?
Can I Improve My Chances of Success?
Should I Mention the Bad Points?
Can I Buy Two Puppies?

ISDS / Kennel Club

Are the puppies ISDS Registered?
Are the puppies Kennel Club Registered?
What is the ISDS?

Once your dog's at home

What if I need to Rehome My Puppy or Dog?
Can I Return My Dog?
What if I Don't Like My Puppy or Dog?
Should I Insure My Dog or Puppy?
What should I Feed My Puppy?
How Much Food Should I Feed My Puppy?
How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?
Can I Stop my Puppy Chasing Sheep?

Your Lifestyle

Who Can Buy a Puppy from you?

What if I Work Full Time?
What if I Have Young Children?
What if I am Seriously Overweight or Disabled?
Does my Busy Lifestyle rule me out?

Reserving a puppy

How do I reserve a puppy?
Can I Reserve a Puppy Before It's Born?
How do I Pay for a Puppy or Dog?
Can I Get a Refund if I change my mind?
Can you Refuse to Sell Me a Puppy if I've paid for one?
Can I Can I Visit a Puppy I've Reserved?

Health & welfare

Do you care about your dogs?
Do you vaccinate your pups?
Are your pups wormed properly?
Are your dogs DNA Tested?
Are your dogs Hip Scored?
Are your dogs Eye Tested?

About our dogs

Can I meet your dogs and puppies?
Can I Can I Visit my Puppy before I collect it?
Can a working dog make a good pet?
Can I have pick of the litter?
Should I Choose a Dog or a Bitch (male or female)?
Are Border Collies Good With Children?
What Are The Puppies Like When Grown Up?


Q.   What makes a suitable home for a border collie?

A.   Working border collie's can be equally happy at work on a farm or as active pets . . . FACT.

We love our dogs to become sheepdogs (as long as they are treated correctly) but we're also very happy to see them go to live as pets as long as a few simple criteria are met.

Working Border Collies are highly intelligent dogs. That means they can learn very quickly but of course, they don't always learn good things. Border collies can quickly develop bad habits. They can also be very strong-willed, so they need a great deal of supervision, especially when they are young.

If we know the dog will have its mind and body kept active and have lots of firm but fair guidance, we're very happy to see them go as pets, but please forgive us if we ask you difficult questions before we allow you to buy one.

As with human beings, every single border collie is an individual. They all have different characteristics and indeed, some have a greater work drive than others. A dog with a very strong work drive is not going to find it easy to adapt to life as a pet if it's kept idle for long periods, but one that spends several hours a day running and playing whilst under firm supervision, is much more likely to settle to domestic home life.

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Q.   What is suitable housing or accommodation for a border collie?

A.   It's difficult to define exactly what makes suitable quarters for a dog to live in. Border collies are amazingly adaptable and cope well with living in many different types of accommodation.

Whether it's snuggled up at the end of your bed or outside in a makeshift kennel, your border collie will be happy in most accommodation as long as it's dry, draught free and has fresh water available. The border collie's capacity for withstanding cold is quite extraordinary but draught and damp conditions are not acceptable. If the floor is concrete or a similar heat-draining material, some form of bedding should be provided to keep the dog off the floor and help retain its body heat.

If the dog lives in the house, it should have a bed or caged area which is the dog's own space. Once in this area, the dog should not be interfered with unnecessarily.

A dog which lives outside should have a secure run of some kind and this should be cleaned at least once daily. Even though the dog lives outside, it should still be supervised. Imagine if your neighbour left their dog in an outside kennel and it barked all day while they were away at work. Not a pleasant thought is it?

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Q.   Can I keep a Border Collie in an upstairs flat or apartment?

A.   Normally, it's not advisable to keep a border collie in an upstairs flat or apartment but of course, occasionally there is an exception to every rule.

We usually advise people not to keep a dog in an upstairs flat or apartment because it's that much more difficult for the dog to get access to the ouside and this kind of accommodation doesn't usually have its own garden space but if your lifestyle is such that you normally leave the flat regularly and visit open air spaces (even without a dog), then it may be worth considering.

For the dog's sake, you should be very honest with yourself - if you're in any doubt, it's probably best not to do it.

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Q.   Can I have a border collie if I don't keep sheep?

A.   Border Collies can live perfectly happily without any contact with sheep . . . FACT

There is no question in our minds that border collies can live perfectly happily without any contact with sheep. Even sheepdogs which are used to working every day can adapt very quickly to life as an ACTIVE pet remarkably quickly.

It's true that border collies love to work but they also make wonderful pets. The number one priority in their lives is to be with their owner. Believe it or not, I can take twenty or so dogs into a field of sheep and they'll totally ignore them because they know they are in "play" mode and we don't allow sheep chasing in groups. I can even leave them in the field and provided the sheep stay in the corner, the dogs will continue to ignore them for up to an hour. And as if that weren't enough proof, while I'm out of the field, the dogs will (mostly) wait patiently by the gate for my return.

Border Collie sheepdogs can be the gentlest, most affectionate, clean and loyal dogs you'll ever meet

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Q.   Can I keep a border collie if I have no garden or back yard?

A.   We usually advise people not to keep a dog if they don't have a garden or suitable area for the dog to play and toilet.

In an ideal world every dog would have access to a garden or back yard for it to play and toilet in but in certain circumstances, this may not be strictly necessary. We do however insist that if there is no such suitable area actually attached to your property, the dog must be taken to such a place very frequently.

It may not be easy for you to convince us that you will do this - religiously - several times a day, seven days a week, come rain, shine, sleet or snow.

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Q.   Is it OK to keep a Border Collie in my town or city home?

A.   As long as you ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise and leads an active stimulated life, we see no particular reason why it shouldn't live in a town or city.

Dogs are incredibly good at adapting to their surroundings - much better than human beings so provided there's a local area where you can let your dog run free without lead or restraint on a daily basis, we don't see the city or town as being a reason not to have a border collie.

Dogs that live in the countryside have to live by certain rules - such as not chasing sheep - but dogs in the city must learn to abide by different rules, such as being on a lead for most of their walking time.

Of course, when the city dog visits the countryside, it must abide by the countryside rules too - so no sheep chasing please.

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Q.   How should I apply for a puppy?

A.   We have very high standards and we like to make absolutely sure our dogs or puppies are going to active, caring homes, where both dog and owner can be happy together.

FIRST: Study this FAQ Page! Most of the questions we get asked are answered here.

Once you have read the answers to your basic questions, please EMAIL US with brief, clear details to give us a good picture of the sort of home and lifestyle your dog will have. Including the working and weekend patterns of yourself and your partner if you have one.

Be sure to tell us if you have any specific requirements. Be very honest and we will do our best to help and advise you. PLEASE do not write a long email, we're very busy and we receive a huge number of requests for puppies, so if we don't have time to read your email, it will get overlooked.

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Q.   What do you look for in a puppy application?

A.   First, we look for honesty - so be prepared to be asked questions.

Then we try to decide who will genuinely give the dog an active life. By this, we don't mean fifteen mile runs morning and evening - we're more interested in the dog being able to use its mind and having plenty of human contact, especially in its early life.

If you can provide a happy, healthy and disciplined environment for your dog, with plenty of exercise and above all, human company, you're the sort of owner we're looking for!

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Q.   Do you export your puppies or ship dogs abroad?

A.   Although we are prepared to send puppies abroad under certain circumstances we're very cautious about it because it's difficult (or impossible) for the dog to be returned to us if things don't work out.

However, we are prepared to listen to special cases and may make an exception to this rule if we are totally convinced the dog will have a suitable home for life.

Please understand that if you live outside the UK and wish to buy a puppy or dog from us, it is YOU and not us, who must do ALL the research into export rules and regulations, and you must be prepared to either collect the dog from us (often the cheaper and more convenient option) or make all the arrangements to ship it to your country.

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Q.   How much do your border collie puppies cost?

A.   We find it annoying to receive a very short email saying "we want to buy one of your pups - how much are they?".

We're very happy to tell you the price - our pups currently sell for £350 to £450 but such emails suggest to us that you're first priority is price, rather than the welfare and suitability of the puppy for your home.

Of course, we realise that price can be a problem to some people but we don't like to see it at the top of your priority list, so if you apply for a puppy, try to tell us as much as you can about the sort of life and home you can offer it, so that we can give you the best advice and make an accurate decision.

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Q.   What's the secret of a successful application for a border collie puppy?

A.   When making an application to buy a puppy, remember that we have little or no control over the puppies we get, so the more specific your requirements, the less your chance of buying a puppy here.

We rarely have red merles, blue merles or even red and white border collie dogs, but we sometimes have tri-colour dogs - and we even had a tricolour merle once!

Normally, the more fussy you are about gender, markings, coat length (rough or smooth) coat colour (black and white, tri colour, red and white, red merle, blue merle) dog size, ear carriage (pricked or lop ears) or even eye colour (the occasional dog has one or even two blue [wall] eyes) the more your chances will be reduced.

So don't come to us if you're looking for a designer dog to match your curtains! We believe the right temperament and personality are far more important than looks. Do you want a loving, intelligent, fun, pet - or an ornament?

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Q.   Why should I mention the bad points about the home I'm offering a puppy?

A.   If you really care about the pup you're applying for, you'll tell us the good and the bad points.

We think far more of an application which points out possible negative issues (such as long working hours) and asks our opinion, than we do of those which gloss over such things in the hope that we won't find out.

We'd like you to have a puppy, and if we can help we will. And if you REALLY care, you'll be grateful even if we point out the home you're offering isn't suitable.

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Q.   Can I buy two puppies at the same time?

A.   If you already have a well behaved dog and you'd like a second one, that's a great idea, both for you and your dog but you should avoid buying two puppies at the same time (particularly litter-mates).

Two pups will bond with each other, rather than with you and this can make them very difficult to train properly. Unless you have lots of spare time and are prepared to train the young dogs seperately it's a far better idea to have one puppy, and then after six or better still, twelve months or more, when your first dog is really nicely under control, buy a second pup.

If you do it this way, the first dog will help you train the second one!

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Q.   Are your border collie puppies ISDS registered?

A.   The dogs that we breed from are ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) registered and normally their puppies are ISDS registered too.

We understand ISDS registration is recognised by the Kennel Club (for anyone who feels the need for KC registration).

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Q.   Are your border collie puppies and dogs Kennel Club registered?

A.   NO!   We have nothing to do with the Kennel Club, nor do we approve of their shameful breeding standards. (Yes that was meant to be blunt).

We understand ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) registration is recognised by the Kennel Club (for anyone who feels the need).

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Q.   What is the ISDS - International Sheep Dog Society?

A.   The ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) is a member organisation and registers over 6,000 Border Collie pups every year on behalf of its members.

The ISDS Number and Dog Certificates are a guarantee of pedigree that, for most dogs, can be traced back over 100 years.

The ISDS also organises the National Sheepdog Trials for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales that take place each Summer, along with the International (four nations) Trial. Every three years, the society stages the World Trials.

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Q.   What if I need to rehome my dog or puppy in the future?

A.   If we sell you a dog or a puppy, it is on the strict understanding that if you need to rehome the dog for any reason whatsoever, you will offer it to us first. If you your application is successful, you will be asked to sign an official form to this effect.

For as long as we are possibly able to, we will always take back any dog that we have sold but if there's any doubt in your mind whether you'll be able to keep a dog, you shouldn't consider having one.

Depending on the circumstances (it's never happened yet) we reserve the right to ask you to make a contribution towards the care of the dog if you bring it back.

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Q.   What happens if I return my dog?

A.   Occasionally, things don't work out (for a variety of reasons) and a dog comes back to us.

The first thing we do with the dog is allow it to settle down and make friends with our other dogs. Then we assess the dog and decide what to do with it.

If the dog has been a pet and is well behaved, we will usually look for a good home for it, but if we feel it would be happier as a sheepdog, we'll train it to work sheep and then find it a really good home on a farm.

Depending on the circumstances (it's never happened yet) we reserve the right to ask you to make a contribution towards the care of the dog if you bring it back.

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Q.   What if I don't like my puppy or dog when I get it home?

A.   If we sell you a dog, it's a condition of the sale that if you need to rehome the dog for any reason, you offer it back to us first.

We don't want our puppies to go to people who don't want them and we realise that occasionally things won't work out or circumstances may change, so within 30 days of the collection date, we're prepared to give you a full refund of the dog or puppy price (but not veterinary checks, microchipping etc) if you bring it back in good health.

After 30 days, we will still take the dog back if we possibly can but we will negotiate a refund amount.

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Q.   Should I insure my dog or puppy?

A.   We don't cover any costs whatever after a puppy or a dog leaves here, so please be sure to take immediate steps to cover veterinary fees and other costs for your new dog.

Many people take out pet insurance, but we know others who invest a similar amount each month in an interest account, in the hope that it will build up enough to cover and veterinary fees that occur.

This is a gamble, but so is insurance. Arguably, if you choose the investment route, you should save quite a useful sum of money if your dog stays healthy.

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Q.   What food should I give my puppy?

A.   We have absolutely no connection with Purina but we recommend their Beta Puppy - Lamb and Rice flavour.

It's so good, it's the only food we feed our puppies apart from their mother's milk and we never soak it. Even very small puppies eat it (or we suspect, suck it) when they first start to take an interest in solid food.

Assuming you collect your puppy when it's eight week of age (this should be the minimum age) the pup may not have had its mother around to top it up for some time, but it will still need between 3 and 5 meals at regular intervals through the day.

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Q.   How much food should I give my puppy?

We recommend you feed your puppy a little and often for best results but don't over feed it. Put some food down for the puppy (say a mugful at first) and watch. If the puppy clears the food up quickly, you might consider giving it a little more NEXT feeding time. If the puppy does not clear all the food up quickly, pick the remaining food up and dispose of it, then give the puppy less food next time, again, clearing away any that is left, and reducing the amount next time.

Do not leave food down for the puppy between meal times and do not give more than the pup will clear up quickly. If the pup wanders away from the food (even if it's eaten very little) it is no longer hungry and you should clear away any remaining food.

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Q.   How often should I feed my puppy?

A.   Your puppy's mother will have fed it several times a day, often right up to the point of weaning.

We recommend you feed your puppy a little and often for best results. At first, you could try feeding the pup four or five times a day but reduce this within a few weeks to three times and then eventually to twice a day at approximately nine months.

Adult dogs usually only need feeding once a day but it's perfectly acceptable to feed twice a day if you prefer.

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Q.   How can I stop my puppy or dog from chasing sheep?

A.   Unless you have an absolutely 100% reliable recall on your dog the best way to prevent it from chasing sheep is to keep it on a lead at all times when near livestock.

Sheep chasing is a terrible habit. Even the mildest-mannered single dog chasing sheep can become more and more aggressive, eventually inflicting terrible injuries on its victim. Two or more dogs chasing sheep are many times more deadly. Each urges the other on and very quickly, disaster ensues.

We cannot stress enough that every possible measure should be taken to prevent dogs from worrying sheep.

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Q.   Who can buy a border collie puppy from you?

A.   Anyone who can provide an active, happy and healthy environment for the dog!

Of course we like to see our pups go to work sheep (after all, that's what they're bred for) but we also appreciate that some farmers keep dogs in appalling conditions so we're equally careful whoever applies for a puppy.

We're more than willing to let our dogs go for obedience or even pets if they'll be kept active. It's certainly worth asking for a pup if you want it as a pet - as long as you can give it a secure, active, happy and healthy life.

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Q.   Is it OK to have a Border Collie if I'm working or employed full time?

A.   If you're working full time, we don't advise you to have a border collie or any other dog.

The vast majority of canine behavioural problems are caused by people not spending enough time with their dog. If you're not there to supervise, the dog will provide its own entertainment and often the resulting behaviour will be unacceptable.

We're amazed by the number of people who seem to thing that if one partner is employed in the daytime and the other works nights, that will be OK - but it's not. If you think about it, it means that when one is out working at their full time job, the other is sleeping. That's hardly stimulating and supervising the dog is it?

If you both work in full-time employment, don't have a dog unless you're lucky enough to be able to take it to work with you.

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Q.   Is it OK to have a border collie if I have kids, young children or toddlers?

A.   First, let's get this straight . . . border collies are no better or worse with children than any other breed.

  1. You should never leave any child alone with any dog.
  2. If you have very young children, you don't have time to look after a dog properly.

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Q.   Should I keep a border collie if I'm seriously overweight or disabled?

A.   It's our opinion if you're so seriously overweight or disabled that you are unable to move around easily, it's probably better not to have a really active dog such as a young border collie.

We appreciate that many less overweight and disabled dog owners can give dogs a great life and we're very happy to listen to what you have to say about the way you would keep a dog. Having said that, up to the moment of collection we reserve the right to refuse to supply a puppy or dog if we have any reason whatever to suspect they might be unable to look after it properly. This applies to all applicants, large or small.

Working dogs need physical and mental stimulation. If they don't get it, they'll make their own entertainment - and you may not like the result. To keep a dog constantly on a lead is unfair to the dog.

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Q.   Should I buy a border collie if I have a busy lifestyle?

A.   Like most other dogs, Border Collies need quite a lot of attention. It's no use shoving a dog out into the garden in the morning and leaving it to its own devices because it will provide its own entertainment - and you won't like the result.

All dogs need supervision and firm guidance. Otherwise, they can become a major problem for their owners and others.

Unless you can spend a lot of time with your dog - particularly while it's young, we don't recommend you buy any dog. (Maybe a cat)?

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Q.   How can I reserve a border collie puppy?

A.   You can only reserve a pup if we approve your application first.

Because people have abused our trust in the past, we now only take reservations from people who've either paid a deposit of at least £100 GBP or made a firm appointment (at our invitation) to come and visit us within 14 days of our communication.

Once you are here, if you wish to confirm the reservation, we would then expect you to pay a deposit. This is to make certain people will tell us if they've changed their mind. The only exception to this is when the puppies are not yet born.

All reservations are refundable. We use reservations only to encourage people tell us if they no longer want a puppy.

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Q.   Can I reserve a puppy before it's born?

A.   Subject to approval, we will take (on a strict first-come basis) paid reservations for a total of two male and two female unborn pups (one puppy per approved applicant) per litter.

This includes puppies that we keep for ourselves and once this total has been reached, further reservations for unborn pups in that litter will have to be unpaid reservations.

A few days after the whelping (whelping is when the puppies are born) we will contact anyone who has an unpaid reservation and if puppies are available, invite them to confirm their reservation by paying.

Of course, if your choice doesn't materialise you can choose between a full refund, or an early reservation on another litter if one's available.

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Q.   How can I pay for my puppy?

A.   Reservations can be paid by cheque (UK bank only - our bank won't process foreign cheques) PayPal, Cash (GBP) or Bank Transfer (GBP).

Cheque payments must be made in full at least ten days before collection of your puppy.

The only method of payment we can accept on the day of collection is cash.

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Q.   Can I get a full refund if I change my mind or the sale falls through?

A.   YES! If you change your mind (for any reason whatever) the payment for the puppy is fully refundable without question.

We don't want our puppies to go to people who don't want them.

Extra payments, such as for veterinary checks, microchipping etc at your request, are not refundable if you cancel but normally, up until a month after you collect your puppy, if you are not entirely happy with your purchase, please bring it back for a full refund (subject to the above and the pup or dog being in good health).

In the unlikely event that you have paid and we decide not to (or are unable to) sell you the puppy, you will be entitled to a refund of any payment you have made for that puppy.

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Q.   Can you refuse to sell me a puppy even if I've paid for it?

A.   Yes. We can cancel your reservation at any time.

In the interest of our dogs' welfare, we reserve the right to refuse to sell a puppy at any time and for any reason, even if you've paid.

In this (very unlikely) event, you would of course, receive a full refund of the puppy price.

If you cancel your reservation for a puppy, we only refund the puppy price but in the case of our refusing to sell you a puppy, we would also refund any payments you have made to us in respect of any costs incurred by us on your behalf (such as microchip or pet passport costs). We will not under any circumstances reimburse you for any other expenses whatsoever.

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Q.   Can I visit the puppy I have reserved?

A.   Yes. You can visit your puppy once it's seven days old but we recommend you wait until the pup is at least four weeks old before visiting if you want to see it running around.

Puppies eyes do not open until they are two weeks old, and then it takes them a couple more weeks to get used to running around. Sometimes people are disappointed if they visit the puppies before they are old enough to be active and playing.

Please note:
We allow a maximum of three visits for any one puppy. If you visit before the pups are born, you can visit once more while the pups are with their mother, and your final visit will be to collect the puppy at eight weeks.

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Q.   How much do you care about your dogs and puppies?

A.   We care very much indeed about our dogs' welfare, especially after they leave here, so we do our very best to ensure they go to good homes.

If you just ask us to sell you one without giving the information we need, we'll simply refer you to the FAQ and ask you to read it properly.

If you've studied this website and still need convincing that we really care for our dogs, we recommend you watch our 80 minute DVD.

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Q.   Do you vaccinate against canine diseases parvovirus leptospirosis distemper hepatitis?

A.   It's vitally important that you vaccinate your dog against canine diseases such as parvovirus leptospirosis distemper and hepatitis.

Puppies allocated to leave here at 8 weeks are not vaccinated but they are microchipped. All of our adult dogs are vaccinated.

It's advisable to make an appointment for your new puppy to be checked by a vet very soon after you collect it. This is an ideal time to give the pup its first vaccination against canine diseases such as parvovirus leptospirosis distemper and hepatitis.

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Q.   Do you treat your puppies properly to prevent intestinal worms?

A.   All our dogs are wormed properly using Panacur liquid.

The pups are wormed (at 2, 5 & 8 weeks) and the bitch is wormed daily from day 40 of her pregnancy (again with Panacur liquid) until two days after whelping.

Apart from this, we encourage the pups to get outside as soon and as much as their age and the weather permits so that they can build up their immune system and become strong, healthy puppies.

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Q.   Are your dogs DNA tested?

A.   No. DNA testing is something we intend to learn more about and possibly undertake with our younger dogs in the near future.

We would appreciate comments from qualified people with experience and knowledge of DNA testing.

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Q.   Are your dogs hip scored?

A.   Hip displasia is extremely rare in ISDS registered working sheepdogs.

We believe this is due to the fact that working dogs, particularly ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) registered dogs have for a great many years, been bred mainly for fitness, stamina, intelligence and their work drive.

If you compare this with a predominantly show-oriented organisation who's main criteria for breeding appears to be looks alone, you may understand why we don't feel it necessary (or worthwhile) hip scoring at the present time.

We are always prepared to listen to any qualified person who has evidence to the contrary though.

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Q.   Are your dogs and puppies eye tested?

A.   All our adult dogs are ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) registered.

All those over two years of age are fully eye tested for CEA (Collie Eye Anomaly) and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy).

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Q.   Can I come and meet you and the dogs?

A.   A short while ago, we produced a wonderful DVD about our dogs. It's called Border Collie Sheepdogs - Off Duty!

If you apply for a puppy, buying the DVD won't actually influence the outcome of your application but it will give you a first class insight into what our dogs are really like. It will also show us that you care enough to want to know as much as possible about our dogs and the way we treat them, so watching the DVD's a good start.

Of course where possible, we invite successful puppy applicants to visit us and meet the dogs in person but the DVD's a great first step.

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Q.   Can a working border collie sheepdog become a good pet?

A.   It's true that our dogs love to work but they also make wonderful pets.

The number one priority in their lives is to be with their owner. Believe it or not, I can take twenty or so dogs into a field of sheep and they'll totally ignore them because they know they are in "play" mode and we don't allow sheep chasing in groups.

I can even leave them in the field and provided the sheep stay in the corner, the dogs will continue to ignore them for up to an hour - and as if that weren't enough proof, while I'm out of the field, the dogs will (mostly) wait patiently by the gate for my return.

Border Collie sheepdogs can be the gentlest, most affectionate, clean and loyal dogs you'll ever meet.

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Q.   Can I have first pick of the litter of puppies?

A.   NO!   We always have first choice of the puppies.

We're sheepdog trainers, and we primarily breed puppies to work sheep but we can't train a whole litter at one time, so we normally keep one or two pups from a litter and sell the rest to help pay our huge feed bills.

We will always choose the puppy or puppies we think will make the best sheepdog. Of course, we try to keep everyone happy, but if we happen to choose the puppy that was your first choice, that's just the way it goes.

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Q.   Should I choose a dog or a bitch puppy? (Male or female).

A.   There's not much difference really. Unless you want to breed your own border collie puppies, we see no valid reason for insisting on a bitch pup.

Dogs are just as wonderful as bitches, equally house-trainable and clean. We don't keep sheepdogs in the house but in our experience, dogs living outside in pens are much cleaner than bitches.

Bitches come into season (which is a nuisance) - but dogs can be a pain if there's a bitch in season nearby.

Bitches also ruin the grass on your lawn.

After dogs have established their heirarchy, they tend to accept the situation but bitches don't. Any inter-dog aggression we experience here is usually between bitches! We also think dogs can be more of a "character" than bitches.

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Q.   Are border collies good with children?

A.   You should never leave any dog of any breed alone with a young child.

Border Collies are no better or worse than any other dog when it comes to kids - mostly they're absolutely fine, but you can never be totally certain, so it's just not worth the risk.

Having said that, are your children good with dogs? In our opinion, dogs get the blame even if the child has done something dreadful like poking its finger into the dog's eye.

Properly supervised of course, our dogs get on very well with (well behaved) children.

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Q.   What are border collie puppies like when they grow up?

A.   If you'd like to know what our pups will be like when they're grown up, we recommend you watch our DVD.

But really, once your puppy leaves here, it's behaviour is largely down to you.

If you treat the pup in a calm but firm manner, you will have a calm, well behaved dog. But if you or your children encourage the dog to get excited all the time, and let it do as it pleases, you're going to get a badly behaved "hyper" dog.

4 Replies to “Border Collie Puppy FAQ”

  1. Hi we have your d v ds bought for me as gifts we have a small hill farm 30 acres and keep shetland sheep Our collie is a red and white isds reg. dog 2 yrs old and is the best border collie we ever had .we are surrounded by sheep farms so we are always very busy we are looking for a bitch puppy to train up to work sheep and also compete in local trials wit a view to breeding in a few years. i am full time on the farm and my wife is a nursing sister we share our farm with my daughter who has an hons. degree in equine science and her husband x bomb disposal dog handler and trainer We are very impressed wit your methods and re run dvd and utube videos constantly REGARDS JIM RITCHIE Brodoclea Farm Dalry North Ayrshire

  2. Hello Jim, thanks for your kind words about our DVDs and videos. I’m sorry we have not been able to reply to you by email but the address you gave was not valid.
    If you are enquiring about a puppy from us, please consider the distance you’d need to travel. We are about 25 miles south of Birmingham – it’s a long way from North Ayrshire!
    However, if you are still interested, please use the contact form at the top of any page on our website, to get in touch. We currently have a few puppies which will be available to suitable homes by early June.

  3. Hi there I was wondering if you can give me some advice, I have 2 border collies one female age 3, one male aged 5 I have had them since pups.in my female is a house dog, but my male dog in the past year has become agressive in the house he sleeps in the kitchen but when we enter he shows teeth and growls really bad and starts barking non stop, my male dogs parents are working border collies .and in the house if we tell him off outside the kitchen he growls.he loves outside he is a different dog he listens to me and does not growl we have tryed everything we got him castrated as we are not mating him and it made the agression worse, we have tryed muzzles. Collars with lemon spray in them, and a whistle but nothing works.maybe I should put him in a kennel outside but I really dont want to as it may make hi unsociable. What advice can you give me

    1. Hello Lorraine. I don’t think I could begin to address your collie problem here, but can recommend two DVDs that we sell that you might find helpful. Jan Fennell’s The Dog Listener and Denise McLeod’s It’s A Dog’s Life will both help you to understand what’s happening in your household, and what you can do to improve the situation.
      Your male dog’s behaviour has clearly developed over a period of time, and so will take some time to correct, but I’m sure you’ll be able to do it.

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