Jo Wilkins took the time to speak to us about her experience of living with her Border Collie, Lilly.
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Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your Border Collie please?
A: Her name is Lilly and she's 4 years old. I've had her since she was a puppy of about 8 weeks. She was an accidental litter and I bought her from a private seller. She's a Border Collie.
Q: How easy was Lilly to train?
A: It was very easy for giving a paw, tricks, etc. Took a little while for recall as she just wanted to play with everyone and everything and loved loads of attention!
Q: How much exercise does Lilly need?
A: She gets about an hour a day, which consists of long runs and lots of ball chasing - not just walking as that doesn't do a lot for her. She needs to be running around as she has loads of energy. Would definitely take more exercise if I could give it to her!
Q: Does Lilly have a particularly "doggy smell" and how is her coat in terms of shedding?
A: Sometimes she suffers from the doggy smell, but it's not too bad - only when she rolls in fox poo, which she has a terrible habit of doing! Her coat is not too bad for shedding either.
Q: Is Lilly an excessive barker?
A: Lilly will bark at cars, people at the door, etc and is very protective of the home.
Q: Does Lilly have good recall off-leash?
A: Yes, very good. She always stays close and is trained to stay with us, rather than the other way around!
Q: What is Lilly like around other dogs?
A: She's good with dogs. She tends to focus more on her ball, rather than other dogs! She can take them or leave them really.
However, she doesn't like to be pushed about, especially by pups - she finds them too overbearing and irritating.
Q: What is Lilly like around children?
A: She is fine with kids, although I wouldn't leave her with a toddler due to their tendency to pull and tug dogs around. Lilly wouldn't be too keen on that!
Q: Would you class Lilly as high maintenance or a fussy eater?
A: No, Lilly has the constitution of an ox and can eat anything! My previous border was also the same, very hardy breed and a dream to have.
However, I would not recommend this breed to anyone who is not likely to walk their dog daily and give them the exercise they need. They are a working breed and need lots of exercise, so owners need to have loads of energy and the longer the walks, the better! Boredom makes this breed become naughty, not the breed itself.
Q: Can Lilly do any tricks or have any funny quirks?
A: Lilly picks up tricks very quickly if it gets her attention. About 3 years ago, we put the Xmas bells up over the fireplace, Lilly accidently knocked them with her nose and made them ring, we all laughed and ever since then every time she wants attention she rings the bell over the fireplace (we have now put one up there just for her!)
She is also extremely vocal and "talks" to us when we wake up and when she wants something such as dinner, walks, wee, etc. If she's told off, she answers back - I think she really believes she is talking to us in our language - a real part of the family. She also sulks when told off and won't talk or interact with us for a while.
She definitely makes me laugh every single day and is full of character, not to mention extremely loyal. Shouting at her does no work, she needs to be managed in a calm and understanding way.
Border Collies do not respond well to anger or aggression. They are an intelligent breed and I believe having a loving partnership rather than master servant relationship with them works best. It's all about the respect and trust they have for you as their owner.
I would not be without my Lilly and feel as though she is a part of me and my life. I love her to bits and would not change her or choose another breed. I love her for her intelligence and sense of humour!
Big thank you to Jo for a little insight into life with the adorable Lilly! :)