What do you know?

The intelligence of the Border Collie breed is legendary. They are quick learners and they are able to use inference to make their own decisions! This is one of the traits that make them both so irreplaceable as a sheep dog and so irritating as a household member of the family.

Border Collie owners understand their quirky behavior as being part of their insatiable desire to work and their boredom when not working.

For example, here’s what happens when your border collie gets bored because it’s too cold to go outside and run:

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I sat down today and typed a list of the commands Skyy has already learned. To date, he is almost 2 years old.  I sent this list to my family to both verify and ensure that I had all of them listed.

Here is the current list categorized by his activities:

 # Basic    # Advanced    # Agility   Herding
1 sit 1 front 1 Scramble 1 Away
2 down 2 finish 2 Boat 2 Comeby
3 stay 3 peekaboo 3 Bridge 3 walk on
4 come 4 pretty 4 hoop 4 easy
5 heel 5 standpretty 5 hup 5 quick
6 side 6 ball 6 tunnel 6 that’ll do
7 find 7 pawsup 7 ladder
8 park 8 pawsdown 8 weave
9 ball 9 leave it 9 touch
10 ride 10 high 5
11 go 11 around
12 mama 12 spin
13 daddy 13 twist
14 Jojo 14 put em up
15 Sissy 15 bang
16 Syrah
17 AH!
18 squeaky
 19  outside

That is 49 words!

The combination of verbs and nouns will elicit a response from Skyy, such as “Find ball”. This will have Skyy happily trot to find his one of 50 or 60 tennis balls we have around the house!

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We are continually working on new words for Skyy and new tricks. My daughter has a true talent for teaching Skyy new tricks. I come in later and solidify those commands and make them a daily habit for him.

So how many words does your dog know? Click below to discuss what your dog knows!

DFS

The Many Adventures of Skyy the Border Collie

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…and God sent Skyy to our family to bring us great joy.  Our family, in turn, are sharing that joy.  Skyy, a 2-year-old border collie was destined to do great things. He has beautiful soft fur, bearing the traditional black and white markings of his breed and warm, soft, brown eyes that can melt the hardest of hearts.

Early on, he showed signs of being extra special.  At 8 weeks old, he began his obedience classes.  At 8 months old, he began dual classes of obedience and therapy dog training.  Excelling at all tests and challenges sent his way, Skyy passed his Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International tests with flying colors. He is now fully certified, allowing him access to various facilities, including the VA Medical Center, where he visits each Saturday to the delight and anticipation of what has become his best buddies.

The residents in the VA, who gave much in service to their country, ask for so little—companionship.  The men and women who served so selflessly just want someone to visit them, which Skyy is very happy to do.  Along with his family members, Skyy is delighted to spend a few hours visiting and interacting with the patients, residents and staff.  With a happily wagging tail and a very enthusiastic personality, Skyy makes his rounds to an ever-growing list of must-visits.

According to the facility’s volunteer coordinator and our first-hand accounts, Skyy has made a visible (and remarkable) difference.  Patients who are withdrawn and quiet, openly talk to Skyy and share things with him they don’t share with others.  They find comfort and tranquility in petting him.  He listens without judgment and offers calming support, often bringing the peace the patients need and can’t find through other outlets.  His presence seems to bring out what the patients often keep in—things they need or that are bothering them.  Thanks to Skyy, a patient who was quiet during group sessions is now talking during them about their wonderful visitor.  Some veterans who felt they had nothing to smile about, openly grin when they see Skyy.  Other patients who were not initially happy to have Skyy visit, now can’t resist his kisses and they look forward to him sitting on their lap.  One patient even provides Skyy with his own pillow on the bed so they can watch TV together in comfort.  When Skyy leaves, they give each other high fives.

The best part of Skyy’s story?  It’s just beginning!  Skyy has so many more adventures to go on and much more love and happiness to share.  Skyy truly is a dog who makes a difference.

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