Learn About Border Collies
Border collie’s are natural working dogs with high energy and intelligence. They have a need to please and thrive on having a purpose that keeps them physically and mentally active. They were originally bred as a working farm dog as they have a strong natural herding instinct, a desire to please and unlimited energy.
Weight: Male 14–20 kg, Female 12–19 kg
Height: Male 48–56 cm, Female 46–53 cm
Life expectancy: 10 – 19 years
Border Collie’s Behaviour, Health & Nutrition
Generally, Border Collies have very high energy levels that require an outlet or they can become destructive. In addition they are very loyal and protective in nature. They are keen to please, love to follow you, can be very social or require to be alone.
On average, Border collies require more calories than other dogs. This isn’t necessarily because their bodies work differently. Mostly, it is due to them being so active. However, there are several factors such as age, activity level and metabolism that their calorific requirement depends on.
Since Border collies are typically energetic, they benefit from a diet rich in protein. But it is important also to ensure that the diet is balanced with carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. It is the essential fatty acids such as omega-3 that help to maintain their coats from drying out and skin becoming irritated. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties which provide support for healthy joints.
Each of the LeanDog recipes provide a complete and balanced diet that Border Collies require. With a minimum of 50% protein and added Omega-3. Prepared with fresh wholesome ingredients to maximise on those essential amino acids they require.
Spock – Urban Search and Rescue Dog
Meet Spock the Collie – National Urban Search & Rescue Dog
How Spock Started
To enable me to understand Search and Rescue, I started off watching people run away and hide so I knew where to find them and to build my interest in finding them. Then I progressed to searching for people in a short search area. I was taught to bark when I found someone and run back to my handler (dad) and bark again. Then continue back and forth until we had both found the person.
The searches progressed over larger areas, including buildings and rubble piles, because I specialise in urban search and rescue. I had to learn lots of commands such as directions left, right, forwards and backwards and hand signals because I might not be able to hear commands if I’m far away.
Spock’s Fantastic Achievement
I practiced a lot of training scenarios and when we were ready both me and my handler sat our practical exam finding several casualties hidden in an abandoned building and on the grounds surrounding it. We were both assessed separately by several assessors on the team and externally.
Once I passed I became the youngest ever to qualify in National Urban Search and Rescue. We both had to resit the test the following year then every two years thereafter. I am currently working with the Trossachs Search and Rescue Team.
Day-to-day-life When Not at Work
My day starts with a big long walk round the local parks and I usually play ball as well. After that my parents go to work. Luckily I get left a natural chew such as a pig’s ear, chicken trachea, paddywhack or buffalo horn to keep me entertained. I also have a toy box full of toys I can play with and I get a lick mat covered in pate as another way of stopping me becoming bored. Around lunchtime I am out playing with my ball in the garden or go for a short walk. However, I’m happiest in the garden people watching or playing ball with the local kids who come play with me.
So Lets meet Spock the Collie…
How old are you Spock?
I am 2 years, 3 months. I was born 2nd May 2017
How long have you been a search and rescue dog?
I qualified 2 days after my 1st birthday after beginning my training 3 months earlier. It usually takes 18 months minimum to train a search and rescue dog but I passed a lot sooner.
When you are not working, do you have a favourite game that you like to play?
Ball! As a collie I’m ball obsessed and will play all day and never tire.
What is your best memory?
Holidays on the beach. I’ve been really lucky and been on many holidays all over Scotland staying near the coast. My favourite thing to do is go to the beach and chase the waves.
Do you have any bad habits?
If I don’t want to do something I shake my body to tell my parents no. I can be quite the diva. I also like to wake my parents up very early on the weekends because if I’m up they should be up and playing with me.
What is the bravest thing you have ever done?
Getting over my fear of horses. I used to try hide behind my parents legs whenever I saw one! However, after visiting dog friendly farms, country parks and agricultural shows I am no longer scared. I know to lie down and wait for them to pass me.
How many times a day do you get fed Spock?
Once a day at dinnertime. I get a few treats throughout the day.
How much do you like LeanDog and do you have a favourite recipe?
I absolutely love LeanDog! As soon as I hear the bag open I run to the kitchen and sit and wait for my dinner. My favourite one is LeanDog GUSTO salmon and asparagus it makes my coat so shiny and soft and I love the taste.
What is your favourite thing to do?
I love training for work. As soon as my search jacket is put on I go into work mode. When I’m not training or working I love to play ball. I will play ball all day if I was allowed.
What has been your most favourite adventure?
When I went on holiday to Aviemore in the middle of winter and there was lots of snow. I went on so many long walks and loved getting snowballs flung at me 😁🐾
Top Tip from Spock the Collie
“Make sure to have lots of fun!!”
Thank you Spock and your family for sharing your story, what a fantastic and skilled job you do. An outstanding accomplishment to complete your training in such a short time and be able to provide help for people in need.
Best wishes to you Spock on your future adventures!