Border collies

Lawrie Masterson

Lawrie Masterson

Lawrie Masterson is an award-winning journalist from Melbourne Australia. In August 2018 he and his partner Kirsty Carter sold everything they couldn't fit into two suitcases, told their families not to wait up and embarked on an open-ended tour of the world.

BORDER collies are most closely associated with being working dogs, especially around sheep. Highly intelligent, obedient, loyal and swift moving, they were bred on the Scottish Borders specifically for that purpose. But they can also make great pets, although the few we’ve cared for seem to have needed plenty of “work” — that is, a really good run at least once a day and some time spent fetching sticks or balls so they can burn off their energy. They can also be one-person dogs, so if you’re thinking about getting a border collie as a family pet some research is recommended. 

We cared for Skye and Mollie on Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, and needed to be able to match their exuberance. They were a lot of fun and we slept well!

More recently, we cared for Cracker in the village of Saint-Yvi, in Brittany, France. Unlike Mollie and Skye, who were the traditional black and white border collies, Cracker was red and white.

He had the most beautiful nature and, despite being about 12 years old and having only recently recovered from some health problems, Cracker loved chasing his tennis ball and a cylindrical rubber toy around the garden or the park. He would bring both back and drop them at our feet without being asked, then crouch in readiness for his next chase.

hlouse sitting border collies

And, being French, he had specific tastes when it came to his dinner and snacks. While his main diet was dry food, he also liked baguettes and cheese.

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