Before deciding on having a Border Collie, you need to ask one question, “How much of myself am I prepared to give?” Border Collies are very intelligent and sensitive and providing time for a game with a ball, a half hour walk or a weekly training session is not enough, they need to be part of your life. Taking a dog into your home is a big responsibility and the more information about the breed and its requirements you have, the easier it will be to understand your dog.
If you are considering applying to give one of our Trust dogs a home you may need to be prepared to spend at least one day, and possibly two, with the dog you have chosen to make sure you are certain he or she is right for you. This will also give us the opportunity to assess you both together and to help you to understand each other.
We do not insist you become involved in any dog activity or go to training classes. But we do need to know that you are dedicated to the welfare of your dog, can provide a calm and secure home and are prepared to put in the time needed initially to get know each other.
We don’t rush our dogs out into new homes. we give them time to settle and we assess them. We have full time behaviourists and trainers who work with them and who will spend time with you discussing the dog you would like to adopt.
We try to ensure that our guardians have the best possible dog for them, their family and their lifestyle, and this may mean that sometimes we may recommend a dog to someone they hadn’t previously considered.
While we appreciate people may have work and family commitments we don’t let our dogs go into homes where they are going to be left alone for long periods of time, and some of our younger dogs may not be suitable for families or couples with part time work commitments. This does not necessarily mean we will refuse to home a dog into such circumstances, but we would need to discuss the options of adopting an older dog, or of a family member sharing the responsibility of caring for the dog.
We do not refuse to let our dogs go to families where there are young children but please do not be offended if we turn down requests to look at some of the dogs you may think are suitable, or if we suggest older or steadier dogs. We don’t always have dogs in that can be placed with families with children, and we do sometimes have to say no to families with very young children.
We like all our dogs to go to their new homes with a foundation set for good manners and training. We teach them to wait at doors and gates, to walk nicely on a lead and to have the beginning of a recall. We show our adopters what their dogs knows and how to progress with their training and we are always there as back up for our dogs for the rest of their lives. We are always there to help with advice or further training.
We are intending to extend our services to do inhouse training for people with problems dogs. This is only available at the moment on a small scale, but we will be developing it further when we expand.
When dogs come in to our rescue they may have behavioural issues, have been abused or be simply confused at being in a rescue and not at home. We allow them time to settle and by studying their actions and body language they start to tell us about their past, which helps us to understand how to prepare them for their future. We train with body language to teach our dogs to ‘wait’ at gates and doors, to ‘leave’ anything they become fixated on and to walk sensibly on a lead. Whenever possible we also start them on recall on a long line and we teach them how to chill out on their own special mat.
All our dogs and their adopters have full back up from the Trust and its trainers, this is not an ‘extra’ chargeable service this is part of the adoption contract.
For more information on TLC Training and the breed www.bordercollies.co.uk