Q. I am going to purchase a Border Collie puppy this summer. Are there any specific needs that this breed will require, aside from more exercise and more mental activity?
A. With all due respect, I wouldn’t trivialize these two major Border Collie needs. They are easily the reason most Border Collies are surrendered to shelters and rescue groups.
You didn’t mention your living situation in your e-mail. A fenced yard of adequate size would certainly be an asset so you can toss a Frisbee or tennis ball for your Border Collie, or even set up an agility course for him. Many breeders will not sell a Border Collie to apartment dwellers or owners who do not have a fenced yard.
However, even with a fenced yard, you can’t just put the dog outside and expect him to exercise himself. He might spend his time napping on the deck rather than running around by himself.
Border Collies need the stimulation that comes from having a job to do. That job can be anything from agility and flyball to obedience classes and herding. Those dogs that do not have regular physical and mental activity to occupy them will soon find their own sources of amusement. These might include barking, chewing and other destructive outlets.
You might consider a second dog to exercise with your Border but the dogs will still look to you for daily training sessions and healthy recreation.