NOT every working breed dog will live life as a farm hand (paw?). Border collies, kelpies and koolies are generally good-natured beasties and can make great pets.
But Lisa Bawden says people need to remember what dog breeds were originally designed for when they consider what kind of pet they would make.
Ms Bawden should know. She is the owner of a friendly, bubbly border collie named Wilson, who is just go, go, go.
“They are easy to train and are very loyal. But they just want to run or play more and more. I reckon he’d like to play 24/7 if he could. Border collies just go and go and go,” Ms Bawden says.
“I live in suburbia and the backyard is pretty big, but he still has to get out. You can’t keep them locked up. They need to run and exercise. If you have a small yard and you aren’t prepared to exercise them, then forget about this breed.
“Wilson loves his food and his sleep but he also goes outside and picks up a Frisbee or a ball because he wants you to play with him. If you try to treat a border collie as a lap dog, they’d go stir crazy.”
Ms Bawden adopted Wilson from Border Collie Rescue Australia, which has an association with Australian Working Dog Rescue Incorporated. He is a purebred border collie who is now about four.
“I’ve had him since he was about seven months old,” Ms Bawden says. “I found him on Facebook after the death of my previous border collie, Elly.
“I got Elly when she was about five because my friend Tania was moving to WA and couldn’t take her, so I took her on. I suppose I was surprised how energetic they are, but that is good for me because it has done wonders for my own fitness and meeting new people.”
Ms Bawden works full-time in aged care. Fortunately her father Graeme has time and plenty of things to keep an active dog amused.
“Dad pretty much has him when I’m at work, so he will take him out in the ute. Dad goes fishing and so Wilson went out for a swim in the dam. They’ve become so attached to each other.”