15 June 2016

Choosing the Right Dog for Your Family

We have had our beautiful Border Collie, Spartan, for 4 years and he has become a big part of our family since his arrival as a puppy. Initially, I did have my doubts about getting a dog while the Mini Mes were quite small but after some persuasion, and a little research, I wouldn't be without my affectionate fur baby now.

He is great company while I work from home, he is always so excited to greet the children when they return from school to play and he gets us all outdoors come rain or shine for exercise. He is like the missing piece to a puzzle and he has slotted in well right from the beginning.


Our Border Collie Spartan


Choosing the right breed

When we decided to get a dog I wanted to ensure we chose the right breed for us but it was equally as important for us to be right for him too. Border Collies are known for being friendly, easy to train, obedient and rarely aggressive, which was ideal being raised around children, but they are also very active so we needed to ensure we could dedicate plenty of time outdoors each day. Thankfully this wasn't an issue as we have many fields and woodland on our door step. Having gardens of our own helps too as he can go for a stretch on his own accord throughout the day between his morning and evening walks.
Spartan generally goes out with the Mr at 5am before he commutes to work and then again at around 7pm upon his return, covering 4-5 miles per day if not more. I sometimes take him out around lunch and we also take him out at the weekends on bike rides, for forest adventures and on holidays in pet friendly accommodation so he is very involved with our daily lives.


A photo posted by Emma (@theminimesandme) on


Our Family in Wellies with Spartan our Border Collie


Grooming

Spartan has a long coat which is rather dense so he needs regular brushing. He actually really enjoys a good comb however and he happily obliges when asked to sit or roll over for grooming. His lengthy fur also means when shedding I have to hoover quite frequently, especially with cream carpets and him being mostly black, as it stands out on both flooring and furniture.

You really need to be prepared for added housework when you pick up your poochie as muddy paws and wet nose prints on windows don't clean themselves but it soon becomes routine. You should bathe your dog around once a month and certainly not more than once a week.  Spartan is generally a very clean pet and he also interacts well with guests, other dogs and even our rabbits. There is a Labrador named Jasmine that walks nearby that he is particularly fond of too!


Play

Border Collies like to be mentally stimulated - they do not like to sit still or they become bored easily. We therefore have a variety of toys for Spartan to keep him busy, although being self-employed I'm able to keep him occupied for the majority of the day. He has a collection of tennis balls, rings, ropes etc but he has some activity products which reward him for use and are slightly more challenging. He has to turn or twist them to dispense treats and these tend to keep him busy for some time. 




Diet

Royal Canin have food to suit the different sizes and weights of various breeds and Spartan is currently eating the Medium Adult which is complete feed for dogs from 11 to 25kg that are also over 12 months old. The antioxidant complex supports Spartan's natural defences while also containing high quality proteins and fibre for maximum digestibility. The resealable bag keeps his food fresh too which is very useful indeed.

Spartan does have the occasional treat too, usually in the form of freshly cooked chicken or gammon but we ensure he stays away from garlic, onions, chocolate etc at all times for his safety.


Our Border Collie Spartan eating Royal Canin

Royal Canin Dog Food


Every dog is different and if you're considering getting one providing the best care for your specific breed is essential to maintain a happy and healthy life. The Royal Family is a great new source from Royal Canin which provides information on the most popular dog breeds, their nutritional needs and more. You can also register to become part of their community.


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*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Royal Canin. 
All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own*

42 comments :

  1. I was exactly the same but as soon as we brought our puppy home he was part of the family. He's a Labradoodle and the friendliest little (big actually) chap with both people and other dogs. I love walking him and I find it quite destressing x

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    1. It is surprising what a little fresh air can do for your mood. I too find it so relaxing x

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  2. So important to think carefully about getting a dog, and what will be right for the animal as well as you and your family. I would love a pet dog but realistically am at work too much and haven't got enough space. It wouldn't be fair on it and it's not right to be selfish about it.

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    1. I think if I didn't work from home that we probably wouldn't have one either, at least not a Border Collie as they need quite a lot of interaction/attention! x

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  3. I think you do need to think carefully before taking on a dog. It's key to find the right dog to suit your family and your lifestyle.

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  4. Oh Spartan is adorable. We really did a lot of research before getting Alvin and we wouldn't be without him.

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  5. Spartan looks adorable , I have never had a pet due to asthma and allergies.

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  6. I remember taking my friend's 2 Border Collies to the park one day, and by the time they were tired, my right arm was hanging off from throwing their ball!

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  7. I have to admit that I would never own a dog as they scare me but he is very handsome

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  8. Such a huge commitment and needs a lot of consideration as a dog is for life, I love yours he's so cute and my favourite breed. I really want one but the time is not right for us unfortunately

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  9. Such a huge commitment and needs a lot of consideration as a dog is for life, I love yours he's so cute and my favourite breed. I really want one but the time is not right for us unfortunately

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  10. What a lovely post. I was lucky enough to have a Border Collie when I was young. Your Spartan is gorgeous.

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  11. I have never had pets and I admire people who have them especially dogs as they do need lots of exercise.

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  12. I'm a cat person but love dogs too, i just know they take a lot of work so couldn't ever commit to one, i do love Border Collie's though! x

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  13. What a beautiful dog! I've never had a pet other than fish.

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  14. Dogs are like children, you cant leave them alone, not feed them, not exercise them. So you need to be fully committed to all the time and expense they bring

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  15. Great advice - we wouldn't be without our pooch - she is one of the family!

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  16. I find myself watching dog rescue programmes more and more on TV even though I'm a cat person!

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  17. I really want a dog, just trying to persuade hubby!!!

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  18. Our dog was a rescue dog and that can be a risk but we wanted a certain size dog as we have a fairly small house and gardens but a playful dog and We got a gut feeling when we met Lizzie. she was older, about 4 or 5 but was a perfect choice for us and we love her to bits!

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  19. I love the picture of all your shoes and the dog included too :) We have a collie too she is fabulous with my boys but sadly doesn't like other dogs anymore after a bad experience :( Hopefully we can retrain her to like them again! x

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  20. We have a labrador and we actually had her before we had our girls but she is so amazing and loving with them! Shes especially close to our youngest!

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  21. Awww Spartan is adorable! He is a lucky boy getting out so many walks that is great! I bet he has no problems catching up with you all whilst you are out on your bikes :) Super!

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  22. we have 2 Border Collies, they are our life, fab pics! *woof woof*

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  23. I accidently came to own a Beagle, but I couldn't imagine my life without him now and he fits in great with our life. He's an older dog, so is already trained, but he's very demanding in the cuddle department, it's hard work, but someone's got to do it!!!!

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  24. Unfortunatley we cannot have a dog as we live in a rented house and they don't allow pets, but it's a great blog about it :)

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  25. We have two dogs, both chosen because of knowledge of the breed with children and temprement .... One Papillon who is less than 10 inches high and a Border terrier .. both little dogs who still need exercise and can handle the hustle and bustle of the house x

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  26. Unfortunately we couldn't possibly have a dog as the house we live in isn't owned but I agree that you do need to find the right breed for your family. We had a dog many years ago when I was younger and when my younger siblings were born the dog changed and really didn't like the babies. He was a lovely dog but I think he felt jealous.

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  27. I think I'll stick with my cats and chickens!

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  28. My daughter wants a dog but I don't think that it is the right time for our family

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  29. i'd love a dog in the next year or two.

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  30. We debated whether to get a dog or not but decided that our lifestyle/work at the time it wouldn't be fair to the dog so got a cat instead! Hubby & son really want a dog not our circumstances have changed but it wouldn't be fair on the moggy. Great advice though.

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  31. What a beautiful dog! We have a gorgeous little kitty, a Torty, called Seraphina and as much as me and my daughters love and would want a dog, in particular, a Papillon, my husband is not a dog person at all, and we are fighting a loosing battle!

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  32. probably the best dog food in the world

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  33. I always had dogs as a child but not any more..
    My 3 kids are hard enough!

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  34. I grew up with lots of different animals (lived in Africa) but since coming to the UK it is a very different place to have an animal

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  35. I rescued a little dog 10years ago now, and we wouldnt be without her

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  36. I grew up in a family of pet lovers. We had various pets over the years. Whilst I had Brothers who bred some of the pet animals, which was nice to see young and how their parents care for them etc. We are fond of dogs and as you say it is important to ensure you choose correct breed, correct dog for family and dog. We had Cairn Terriers years ago, really friendly dogs. As small easier to exercise and manage in comparison to larger dogs. Also they do not caste like most dogs, so easier on the housework. We very much enjoyed them as pets, and they seemed so happy, they loved company. Like other breeds also, though as you mention, need to know how to care and interact with breed and particular dog. Well covered topic.

    Rachel Craig

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  37. I love a big dog, we had golden retriever, bullmastiff and St Bernard (but not all at the same time)

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