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Archive for working dogs

Breed Review: Border Collie

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Who couldn’t love a Border Collie? These loyal, clever, hard-working and energetic dogs warm the heart of anybody who has chanced upon sheep dog trials broadcast on TV.

 

These handsome dogs are not just working animals but also make good pets owing to their intelligence and adaptability.

 

If you are thinking of introducing a Border Collie to your household, the following facts about this breed may help you make a decision about whether this type of dog is ideal.

Border Collie Puppy

Appearance

 

The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog with a body which is a bit longer than its tail.
It has a fairly flat skull with an equally-proportioned snout. Its eyes are set widely apart and are usually brown although they can occasionally be blue. Ears are medium in size and set far apart on its head.

 

A border collie has a double coat which is waterproof; a feature which enhances its suitability as a working dog. The variety of fur colours is quite extensive; coats are black and white, yellow and white, tri-colour, black and grey, red and white, yellow and pure black.

 

Long-haired Border Collies have a bushy tale and a little mane although the facial hair on all types is always short.

 

Character

 

Not surprisingly for a dog which has traditionally been a farm worker, the Border Collie responds well to praise! This is a sign that it is easily-trained so a perfect dog for anyone who has sights on entering competitions which show off skills like agility and obedience. The fact that it has a great deal of stamina is also a bonus for competing. A Border Collie will not let you down.

 

If it is a family pet you are looking for, Border Collies can fit in well but a few factors need to be taken into consideration. Firstly, they are bursting with energy so in order to be happy within a home and to get on with other pets and people they need a lot of activity. You need to be sure that you can give them plenty of tiring exercise. They love to serve so you need to be in a position to give them loads of attention.

 

Border Collie

Secondly, their need for leadership is a key factor to their happiness so make sure that you are prepared to put in the graft to exercise authority. For example, if you have another dog of the same sex, a Border Collie may become aggressive towards it if you haven’t shown them who is boss – you! This goes for other pets as well. A collie will be happier with them if it knows someone is in charge.

 

A point worth noting is that they have a strong instinct to herd children and people. You could say it’s in their genes but they must be taught that it is not on.

 

Vital Statistics

 

Border Collies generally live an average of 12 to 15 years.

 

Males usually weigh from 30 to 45 pounds while females are lighter at 27 to 42 pounds.

Honouring our military working dog units

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It’s hard to imagine a dog in a warzone and it’s probably something you’ve never considered, but their special skills and heightened senses make them the perfect partners for soldiers carrying out certain tasks that humans cannot.

 

They can protect and aid our forces like the loyal best friends we know them as at home.

 

So, as we remember our soldiers this Remembrance Day, it’s worth a thought for the working dogs of the military for their amazing work that helps our troops.

 

army dog

 

The regiment

 

The army has five military working dog squadrons in the regiment, made up of 284 soldiers and around 200 dogs. The soldiers of 104 Working Dog Regiment returned home from Afghanistan last month, after a seven-month tour.

 

The regiment consists of highly trained army dogs and their handlers. The dogs carry out tasks including base patrol to protect British soldiers, searching vehicles, and patrolling the front line. They play a key role in the detection of explosives (IEDs).  

 

Veterinary officers are on hand to maintain the health and well-being of the dogs in the regiment with annual health checks and routine care.

 

Search and protect

 

Their role in Afghanistan is to contribute to the protection of bases with the dogs searching for things that can cause harm.

 

Major Ian Razell from the dog unit said:

 

“The explosives and weapons that our dogs found have made Helmand a safer place for our troops and the Afghan people.”

 

Corporal Tamara King worked as a ‘Trainer-Maintainer’ in the regiment. She worked with the dogs to keep their search skills sharp enough as they came back into the camp.

 

Understandably, like humans they take a bit of time to adapt to the different conditions in Afghanistan. She said:

 

“The dogs have found some significant caches of arms and explosives and it’s great to know that I’ve helped train the dogs that made Helmand a safer place.”

 

Man’s best friend

 

The work that they do is built on great relationships between the dogs and their handlers. They build uniquely close relationships which they maintain while in barracks and when out on operations. A handler and their dog could be working together as a pair for a few weeks or even up to a few months.

 

Army dog handlers find it a rewarding role, with the satisfaction that the dog they train or handle might make a big contribution to military operations but it can also be a challenging role as soldiers must first train as a soldier, and then complete training for dog operations.

 

They also need to take care of their dog as well as themselves, looking out for health problems they might have.

 

The dogs need to be trained to the extent where they can respond to the body language and commands of their handler while off a lead, and can sniff out arms and explosives with their keen sense of smell.

 

One thing is for sure army dog’s work to protect our soldiers and country so for that we are extremely thankful.

 

police dog