Before You Bring Your BC Home
It is suggested that you be prepared for your new dog prior to the day you bring him/her home. The following are suggested items you may want to have available ahead of time.
CRATE: We suggest that you obtain a Vari-Kennel or other name-brand shipping crate. The "Large" size would be a good fit for most Border Collies, depending on the dog you adopt. Crates are not jails, but rather a safe secure peaceful place to rest, and are often a spot sought out by dogs to get away from household activity. If you need to leave the house - put the dog in the crate (don't leave her loose in your home alone). If you take the dog in your car - you may want to put her in a crate while driving - for safety's sake.
During the first few days, even the most house-broken dog could have "accidents". The crate is an excellent assistant in the housebreaking training period.
Many dogs will already be crate-trained and may seek the crate out for recognized peace and comfort, so you will want to have that quiet place available. You may choose to wean your dog from needing a crate in the future. If that happens, you could donate or sell the crate to BC rescue or Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue - we always need crates. Purchasing secondhand from ads in the newspaper is a good possibility, as well. You probably can borrow one from Border Collie Rescue, if needed.
FOOD: You will want to purchase a good quality highly-digestible dog food - in a small quantity. The recommended dry kibble diets are: Natural Balance, Cannidae, Natures V ariety, Solid Gold, Wysong and Flint River -- most available at the specialty pet supply stores. A little added canned dog food may add interest for a dog with discriminating tastes and poor appetite. I suggest that you only purchase small quantities of dog foods so that you can "test" them out and let the dog help you select which one your dog prefers.
COLLAR: Every dog needs a properly fitting collar and a quality leash. A nylon martingale-style collar (or a "slip" collar) that tightens when the leash is taught will not pull off over the dog's head and thereby avoids untimely escapes while walking on leash. Avoid collars with plastic clips, snaps or buckles as well as harnesses or head-halters. Once strongly bonded (30 days or so), the risk of escape is minimized. A good buckle collar will probably be just fine once the dog is reliable on a "come'ere".
LEASH: A good quality, stitched 6' leather leash - not too wide, maybe 1/2 inch or less - is my preference. Your leash should have a strong, spring-loaded snap. Leather is nicer on your hands than nylon, especially for any dog that pulls a lot. Flexi-Leads are wonderful, too. Choose one at least 26' in length and with an appropriate weight allowance. The Flexi's avoid tripping the dog as he goes out and back, plus it gives you a nice handle to hold onto while walking.
BEDS: Most dogs love their own cushy beds - even the cedar filled ones sold inexpensively at Costco. The outer cloth should be washable. Allowing dogs to sleep on your own family bed is a personal choice, but is not recommended for strong-willed, dominant or aggressive dogs.
BOWLS: Your new dog will need her own food bowl and water dish. Dogs can consume quite a lot of water during a day and should be provided daily fresh supply. There are reports that some plastic bowls can cause facial or mouth sores in some dogs.
SEPARATION ANXIETY: Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety; they become upset when left all alone. When they see you preparing to leave home, they become agitated and excited, in anticipation of you going out the door and leaving them behind. Please ask for more information on how to work through Separation Anxiety issues.