Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
New Jersey, United States
Posted April 11, 2014
My first shelter dog has turned out to be one of the most wonderful dogs I've ever owned. We believe he is a border collie/australian shepherd mix, however we are a little doubtful- he is not the brightest bulb in the box, and both of those breeds are know for being highly intelligent. Markie is known around my job (I'm a veterinary technician) as ding ding or rocks because they are convinced he has rocks in his head! He was fairly easy to train simple commands (sit, stay, paw, down, and come), but he is very dopey.
Overall, he has been a very healthy dog. The only issues he has ever had is dry, itchy skin which has cleared up with fish oils being added to his food every day, and every fall he has trouble expressing his anal glands. But now that I am aware of it, it is much easier (and cheaper) to take care of.
The biggest downside is the shedding! I knew when I adopted him that I was getting a dog that needed to be groomed frequently, but that didn't bother me because I grew up with poodles who were groomed ever 6-8 weeks. However, they don't shed. If I don't vacuum at least twice a week it looks like I haven't cleaned my apartment in a month (that should give you an idea as to how much he sheds!). Unfortunately, he hates to be brushed and trimming his nails takes at least 3 people. Bathing is a chore as well- he loves to swim but hates the bathtub.
Although he is not very bright, he is a wonderful guard dog. He knows who his family is, and is willing to protect us. I was walking him by myself at night, and someone who he had never seen before started walking toward us. He stopped stared, and growled. I crossed the street, but Markie would not take his eyes off the other person until we were completely out of view. He may not be super smart, but he's smart enough to sense when something is not right and I know if needed he would protect me.
Overall, he is one of the best dogs I have ever had. Even with his difficulties (which are minor), I wouldn't trade him for the world.