Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted August 11, 2013
We found Bandit at a local Animal Shelter. He was accompanied by his brother when he was brought into the shelter. An hour after we returned home with Bandit our next door neighbor immediately went to the shelter and rescued his brother, Riley.
When we adopted Bandit we had no foreknowledge of the breed. Here is what we’ve learned over the years:
Border Collies are highly intelligent, affectionate, and for the most part friendly. But they are also protective we they need to be. They are not skittish and in my opinion don’t spook easily, which I like because they seem predictable. Bandit lives inside with us participating as part of the family. He sleeps on his back with his tongue hanging out on our couch. He is rather self-sufficient ( I know he's not human but he thinks he is) and basically takes care of himself…and us.
BUT Border Collies instinct is to herd; keeping them inside DOES NOT curb this instinct. The first time we noticed Bandits nipping was when our daughters were young. Whenever our girls and their friends would run Bandit would go berserk and follow on their heels, displaying what we thought were signs of aggression. After researching his behavior on the internet we found out he was herding. This instinct came in handy later when boys starting hanging around chasing after our girls and Bandit went in for the ankles.
As far as aggression, I’ve never seen any. Another instinct Border Collies have is focus. Once they get their mind set on something there is no stopping them. They are relentless. Once I pitched a tennis ball and Bandit, so focused in on the direction the ball went it, ran straight in to a parked vehicle at full speed. Another thing that they can sometimes get focused in on and not stop... is barking.
I don’t recommend a Border Collie if you have small children. Although they are a beautiful, loyal, and intelligent breed they need wide open spaces and something you don’t mind them herding. Would I still adopt Bandit knowing what I know now? Yes. He’s a part of the family.