Saturday, March 5, 2016

Farm Hand in Training

Bandit, resting before the round up begins

The farmer has always wanted a border collie. This year we decided was the year to tackle that challenge.   We read that border collies have boundless energy and need a job to keep them out of trouble.  How hard can it be, we said.  They must be exaggerating, we said.  The joke was on us!  Bandit has more energy than any other dog we've ever had and his herding instinct is deeply ingrained.  However, he also has more love to give than any dog we've had. He gets clear giddy when we come out of the house in our barn clothes.

 Bandit reminds me of a two year old.  He loves to join in doing the work, but forgets what task he is doing from time to time.  A firm "back" seems to do the trick of bringing him back to the task at hand.   He'll get there, but it definitely will take time - lots of time.  I'm glad the snow is beginning to melt and the warmth of spring and summer will make it more enjoyable to be out working with Bandit
Bringing in the stragglers
He is very social and loves to be wherever people are.  Each morning about 8:00 he begins looking down the road.  He knows grandma is going to be taking her morning walk to the farm.  And grandma often brings treats in the form of meat scraps!  On the days she doesn't come he actually pouts!

He loves riding in the tractor with the farmer.

He knows that the sound of the milkers coming off means it's time to bring in the next group, and he's all about bringing in the cows!

Waiting patiently
So far we are not disappointed in our choice to adopt Bandit.  For someone deciding whether a border collie is for them, I would say to ask the following questions:

  • Do you have enough space for them to run off energy
  • Do you have the time to train them?  A well trained border collie is a joy.  An untrained one can be a night mare when left to their own devices.
  • Will you be gone most of the day?  If so, a border collie is not for you.  They are very social and need human interaction, otherwise they can be very destructive.

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