Is Richard Simmons a Border Collie?


Your answers to other questions has made me wonder if my 15 month old neutered Border Collie (bred from working lines) has a problem. He tends to get very tired after only 10-15 minutes of vigorous running and he is couch potato. This may be related to hot weather because his stamina is better in colder weather or when he is swimming. But, his energy level is always very manageable (he is a pet and happily lives a pet life). I know that heat slows me down, but after hearing and reading *so much* about the *demanding* exercise requirements of a Border Collie, I am beginning to realize that either my Border Collie has a low energy level or people are exaggerating or making generalizations which may not be valid for *all* Border Collies. I know shepherds breed Border Collies to herd their flocks over many miles. I don't mean to sound ignorant, but do working Border Collies actually *run* for many miles?

Is my dog "normal"? Do mellow, couch potato Border Collies really exist? Should I cut down on his exercise? - he does not seem to need all the activity I give him.


Yes, working Border Collies *run* for mile upon mile. And yes, not every Border Collie is a super-athlete. But I wouldn't say this about your dog until you correct one situation - the part about "he is couch potato". Even the best athletes, if they lie around on the couch all day, are going to lose their stamina. Unfortunately, the more you exercise a Border Collie and the better shape they get in, the more work it takes to tire them out. It's an evil setup.

Regardless, you need to exercise your dog more. You may like a mellower Border Collie but I think it's cruel to the dog. A Border Collie that can only last for 10-15 minutes (even in the heat) has something wrong with it. Not only does this indicate a listless lifestyle but it is ultimately unhealthy for the dog. Exercise for dogs, particularly for super athletic Border Collies, is as important as it is in humans.

Don't cut down on your dog's exercise. Increase it. Human athletes don't get into better shape by cutting down on their exercise. Don't overdo it but it's gonna take work. The first day of a training regime is always hard - (remember the first time you jogged around the block?)

Mellower Border Collies do exist - though I think far more are created than are born. I actually don't know a healthy, in-shape, purebred Border Collie under the age of 10 that can't keep up with ANY human. There may be some medical problem with the dog but as long as your vet has checked it over and given the OK, then GET YOUR DOG OUT THERE. YOU GO GIRL!

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Page last updated June 26, 1997. All material Copyright 2004 Border Collie Rescue, Inc. and Dr. Nicholas B. Carter
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