Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: Group classes with a professional
Posted December 14, 2013
My family rescued Bella from a friend of a friend that was not able to afford her anymore. The poor thing was being left all day, for 12 hour days, in a small crate with food and water and nothing to do. She came to us at about 9 months with little in the way of training, zero socialization and a general shyness from being left alone for so long.
My family wanted to make sure that we did what was best for her, so after lots of research we signed her up for Obedience and Socialization classes and started her on a regimen of daily walks and play sessions. To say that she has flourished under all the attention and activity is truly an understatement. Bella is an AMAZING dog. She is super sweet and loves everyone that she meets (except Cats). She picks up on new commands almost instantly. Bella has gone from that first Obedience class all the way through Agility Training. She is also a Certified Therapy Dog due to her good training and kind, calm demeanor.
Bella exhibits all the characteristics of both her breeds. From the Border Collie she has that "stare" where she focuses so intently on one thing that it looks like her eyes will pop out. She is also extremely intelligent. From the German Shepherd she has the ability to be trained and excel at training. She truly LOVES her Agility classes, and she loves learning new tricks. She is also very loyal and loving.
Overall I would say that this is an EXCELLENT dog breed mix, and my family truly loves all the joy she brings to us. However I have to say that if you are not ready to be truly devoted to raising this dog, almost like a baby, then it is NOT for you. Bella requires three walks or play sessions a day in addition to potty breaks. Her coat is long and thick so bi-weekly trips to the Groomers, as well as daily brushings, are a MUST. Despite being very calm and friendly, she needs to be mentally and physically challenged throughout the day or she will find things to play with that you probably won't like. If you leave her home alone thinking she won't get into something, think again! No matter how smart you think you are, Bella is smarter! But that's why we love her so much!
THE GOOD: Smart, playful, energetic, calm demeanor, loyal
THE BAD: Needs a LOT of attention and dedication
THE SMELLY: Only when she's wet