Bringing Home Your Border Collie Puppies: A New Owners Guide
Bringing home a Willowcreek Border Collie puppy is an exciting and rewarding experience. Border Collies also come with their own little ‘traits’ and behavior’s that can often leave you wondering if they are human or dog, lol. Border Collie puppies are intelligent right from the start and more often than not, one will never be enough once you fall in love, that’s another day’s topic!
Willowcreek Border Collie Puppies make fantastic companions and are bred to be medium drive, with trainable off switches. Having said that, as you’ll hear us say in almost every parent live video, socialization and continuous training, and care is needed. In this mini-guide, we’ll take you through the journey of welcoming your Border Collie puppies into your home, from the first day to their developmental milestones.
Preparing for Your Willowcreek Border Collie Puppies
Before you bring your Border Collie puppy home, it’s crucial to make sure you’re well-prepared. Here are some essential steps to take. Each parent receives a Willowcreek Border Collie Puppies welcome email with important puppy checklists and development timelines, this is an overview.
1. Puppy-Proof Your Home
Border Collies are curious and active dogs, so puppy-proofing your home is essential. Remove any hazards, secure electrical cords, and keep toxic substances out of reach, this includes marijuana (keep it off the table) and many foods including grapes, pits of pretty much any kind, apple seeds, chocolate and your sugar free gum!
2. Create a Safe Space
We do not champion putting your puppies in crates all day, it’s simple a lot to ask of them. Having said that, crate training is critical and should be done from day one. If your puppy is showing signs they are tired (over stimulated, nipping, biting, zooming!), it’s is time for a nap. Set up a comfortable and secure area for your puppy. A crate can be a valuable tool for this, providing a safe haven for your pup when needed.
You can opt for a simple crate like this one, a minimum of 36inches and comes with a divider to grow with the puppy. Crates have come a long way, and this beauty is just that, heavy duty and meant to last but you can find an array of furniture crates that will work with your personal tastes and budget, just make sure you read the reviews!
3. Gather Supplies
Make sure you have all the necessary supplies, including food, water bowls, a leash, collar, toys, grooming tools, and a crate. Willowcreek Border Collie Puppies come home with a bag of Purina Pro Puppy Food and we recommend you setup a subscription for it on Amazon (you’ll save $24 on the first bag and it’s delivered to your door, so it’s a win-win!)
Your puppy will also come home with a toothbrush, seat belt and a few toys/treats to get you started!
Socialization: Building | Well-Adjusted Border Collie Puppies
Border Collies are known for their intelligence and ability to learn quickly, but they can also be sensitive and prone to anxiety if not properly socialized. Early socialization is key to raising a well-adjusted dog. This means sitting in the park, watching children, watching cars and building your relationship with them through reinforcement. It also means introducing them to people, uniforms, stores and unusual noises. I recently watched a trainer on Instagram suggest that socialization creates division between the puppy and the owner, let’s just say – she is dead wrong and I won’t be naming her or recommending her anytime soon! Socialization builds confidence in your puppy and working with your puppy in socialization development BUILDS your relationship, it certainly does not damage it. Start the moment your border collie puppy comes home, that can be as simple as feeding him or her breakfast outside in the morning by hand watching the world go by.
- Start Early: Begin socializing your puppy as soon as you bring them home, ideally between 8 and 16 weeks of age. This is a critical window for social development.
- Positive Experiences: Expose your puppy to a variety of people, animals, and environments in a positive and controlled manner. Use treats and praise to reinforce positive behavior.
- Obedience Classes: Enroll in puppy obedience classes to provide structured socialization and basic training.
- Consistency: Be consistent in your interactions with your puppy to build trust and confidence.
Training Your Border Collie Puppies
Border Collies are incredibly trainable and thrive on mental stimulation. Here are some training tips to help you start on the right paw:
Crate Training and the “Off Switch”
Crate training is essential for Border Collies. It provides them with a secure space and helps develop an “off switch” for their boundless energy.
- Positive Association: Make the crate a positive place by offering treats and toys inside. Never use the crate as a punishment or as a babysitter.
- Gradual Introduction: Start with short periods in the crate and gradually increase the time. Ensure your puppy associates the crate with relaxation.
- Scheduled Naps: Puppies need plenty of sleep, so use the crate for scheduled naps to prevent over-exhaustion.
Obedience Training: Sit, Stay, Drop It, and Leave It
Obedience training is essential for the safety and well-being of your Border Collie. These commands are fundamental:
- Hold a treat above your puppy’s head.
- Move the treat back over their head, encouraging them to sit.
- When they sit, praise and reward them with the treat.
- Start with your puppy in a sitting position.
- Hold your hand, palm out, and say “stay.”
- Take a step back and wait briefly. If your puppy stays put, reward them.
- Offer a toy to your puppy.
- When they start playing with it, say “drop it” in a calm but firm voice.
- When they release the toy, reward them with praise and another toy or treat.
- Place a treat in your closed hand.
- Show your puppy your closed hand and say “leave it.”
- Wait for them to stop trying to get the treat, then reward them with a different treat from your other hand.
While Drop it and Leave it are the ‘bottom two’ to start with, I will be honest with you, they are the most important training you will do. You need to have confidence that your puppy will drop it no matter what it is! I don’t care if it is the juiciest steak, you say drop, they drop it. Same with leave it, this is critical for their safety, don’t minimize these two commands. Reinforce them using sit and stay and make sure you build up to confidence with all four commands.
Development Timelines for Border Collie Puppies
Understanding the developmental milestones of your Border Collie puppy can help you set realistic expectations and provide appropriate care.
- Rapid learning and socialization.
- Housebreaking starts.
- Introduction to basic commands.
- Teething begins.
- Heightened curiosity and energy.
- Continued obedience training.
- Increased exercise needs.
- Puppy teeth fall out.
- Adolescence begins, which may involve testing boundaries.
- Advanced training in obedience and agility.
- Consistent exercise routine required.
- Begin transitioning to adult food.
12 Months and Beyond:
- Young adulthood.
- Full physical and mental maturity.
- Continued training and mental stimulation.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Bringing home a Willowcreek Border Collie puppy is a joyful adventure filled with opportunities for bonding and growth and we are always, ALWAYS here to assist you!! You are family now and that won’t change. Our family supports each other on social, in email and many have built real friendships and relationships. As breeders, we are here for you. We may not always have the answer but we will do everything we can to get the answer for you!
Remember, patience, consistency, and love are the keys to nurturing your Border Collie into a loyal and well-behaved member of your family. Enjoy the journey!