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Bearded Collie Frequently Asked Questions
The Rescue Option - Is it Right for You?

Why should I rescue a Bearded Collie?

Because you are a good and caring person who wants to do something good for a dog. You are willing to open you home to a dog in need and spend time getting that dog adjusted to his new home. And you will provide that dog with love, companionship, shelter, food and take care of his or her health needs.

Many people approach rescue saying that they want to do something good for dogs. There are too many dogs already and taking a rescue into their home is a way of helping. And this is a good reason to adopt a rescue. There is something special about taking in a rescue dog that makes you feel good. You are part of the team that saves the dog's life, and thus life is great for you too. And that feeling can last a lifetime.

Many people want an older dog - one that is more settled down. Rescue tries to fit the dog with the family. If you provide the information on a questionnaire and discuss with the rescue coordinator, then you will have an opportunity to wait for the dog that best fits your home. In fact, since Beardies tend to have long lives, 14 years or more is not abnormal, a Bearded Collie can be an excellent choice for people who are themselves older. For example, if you are in your 70s and want a really good companion, an older (more than 5 years) Beardie Rescue or Re-home may be just what you need. They may have less tendency to jump up (and knock you over) and be more relaxed around the home. We often note that a 6 or even 7 year old Beardie will outlive many larger dog breeds even if you get them as a puppy!

Maybe you just can not afford a pure bred Beardie from a Breeder? Breeders charge anywhere from $800 to over $1200 depending on the area of the country and the quality of the dog (pet or show quality). You then have all the costs of puppy vaccinations which are frequent during the first year Rescue dogs should come complete with all vaccinations and alterations (neutered/spayed), and thus you can save some medical costs. Older dogs eat more, but the cost of food is relatively small.

You may be adding a second dog to your household and have found that Bearded Collies are usually good with other animals. Or; You are not concerned that your Beardie be show quality, or maybe not even concerned if he is all Beardie. You just want a dog that has the Bearded Collie temperament or shares some of the physical appearance (shaggy dog).

Rescue Beardies can be wonderful Companions and members of your household. The is no doubt about it! We even have one here (plus two Beardies from a Breeder and one Cocker rescue) and can attest to this. Many times a rescue has been neglected, mistreated or abandoned and is very receptive to your love, forming an unbreakable bond with you that is unconditional. The ultimate reward of Rescue.

How do I rescue a Beardie?

First of all, you will not be rescuing a Bearded Collie unless you are actually out visiting shelters or searching dog pounds. More likely you will be adopting from Bearded Collie Rescue or another organization that has rescued the dog in some manner (from kill shelters, abandoned, or even from people who advise they are taking the dog to a shelter and offering Rescue a chance to take it before they do).

Second, by adopting from a breed rescue or other rescue, you are part of the rescue process - and you are a very important part. The fact is, you are the happy ending and forever home to that Beardie, which makes you the most important part of the process.

The basic steps are:

  • Contact the closest Bearded Collie rescue in your area. This can either be the local or regional area coordinator of the national club (such as the BCCA in the US) or a Regional Club rescue. We will provide some links at the bottom of this page to get you started.
  • You will fill out an application to adopt. Be honest when filling out the application as it is used to match the rescue with you and your family. Make sure you provide complete information including your address and telephone number, etc. Provide an Email address if you have one.
  • You will then spend some time waiting. Understand that depending on the area there may be a few to several dozen people waiting for a Bearded Collie Rescue. But - since the rescue will try to match the dog with you and your family, you are not necessarily in a time based waiting list. Some areas rarely have rescues to place, in others they are more frequent.
  • Once you do receive the call that informs you there "might" be a Beardie rescue for you - understand that this may be the second interview to make sure the dog is right for you, and you are right for the dog. Ask questions about the dog and be sure to be honest about your feelings about this particular dog.
  • If you are a match, then you may be asked to travel to the dog, or to an intermediate place to get the dog.
  • You will sign a contract and likely will be asked for a donation (usually about $100 to $150). The contract basically is to insure rescue that if things don't work out you will return it to the Rescue group. The donation helps cover the costs that rescue has spent maintaining the rescue effort - partly for the dog's initial veterinarian costs (vaccinations, heart worm check, spay/neuter, and other medical). Rescues rarely come out ahead monetarily - they average the costs, and occasionally spend hundreds on special medical procedures, kenneling and such.
  • You will then take you Rescue Beardie home. Make sure to get the contact information for the rescue person or someone designated to answer your future questions.

Why all those questions on the Rescue Application?

Quite honestly, Rescue first determines if you should have any sort of dog. Then determines if a Bearded Collie is the right dog for you. Have you read our section reasons you may not want to own one ? Just as with a breeder, Rescue wants the Beardie to have a good home. They don't want to find it at the shelter again. Many of these dogs came into rescue because they ran away in the first place. So Rescue is particularly interested in how you will contain them (do you have a tall fence)? They also try to match the dog with the family - for example: If the Rescue Beardie is known to not be good with small animals and you have a small dog, then it would not be a good match. They would also hesitate to put a young out of control Beardie in a home with an older person who has difficulty with balance (walking). We have had people ask for a Beardie rescue, explaining that their current dog would be dropped at the dog pound because they are tired of it running away all the time. They had to do that with three dogs already and are hoping that a Beardie will be different. Ask yourself, are they a good dog owner? Would they be able to contain a young Bearded Collie? Of course, people lie on applications, and therefore there are contracts as well.

You should be honest with yourself as well as the rescue person. First of all, you should know

  • Why you want a dog of any type and what sort of home you will be providing? Dogs require lots of attention.
  • Are you willing to get up on weekend mornings to let the dog out? Dogs need to go outside to go potty.
  • Are you home, or do you work or travel on business? You need to have time available for the dog if you are to be companions.
  • Do you have other pets (and how will they get along)? This question goes both ways, if you have pets you want a dog that is good with them as well.
  • Are you allowed to have a dog (or maybe the question is another dog or pet). Rescues often find themselves at the shelter because owners get a pet only to find out their apartment, condominium, or subdivision has some sort of restrictions on pets.
  • Do you have the money to pay for veterinary care, grooming, obedience classes and food? Surprising at this may sound, dogs (especially Beardies) have a fairly high cost of living. Some rescues find their way to the shelter because their owners could not afford them.
  • Are you looking for a particular breed just because you think they are cute or have seen them in a magazine or commercial? Rescue asks if you have researched the breed - they want to know if you understand the particular breed's requirements.
  • Do you have realistic expectations? Are you confident you are capable of handling a rescue dog? Be sure that the rescue person understands your capabilities. If you are an older person, for example, can you handle an untrained dog who may be straining and pulling on a leash (until you follow through with an obedience class). In some cases rescues have special needs, find out what they are and decide whether you are willing to put up with them. You may be that extra special person who can take in a shy or fearful rescue for example, realizing they had a terrible life up to now and willing to provide the extra care. On the other hand, you may have a house-full of Children or be too busy to handle a dog with extra needs. The key is communication. Of course, the rescue person will be looking at the application and making some of these evaluations - but you can help by giving honest and complete answers.

I want a Rescue Puppy, how often are they available?

Some approach rescue as an alternative to going to a Breeder, and happily tell the rescue person or fill in an application saying "I want a rescue puppy." You should know that very rarely does rescue get a puppy under a year old. It happens of course, but with Bearded Collies it may be a years between rescue puppies. Owners tend to keep puppies inside and watch them carefully. Puppies don't have the urge to run like some adults do. If they do run, the person who just spend close to a thousand dollars for the puppy and has been providing a loving home is going to look for them.

Puppies do come to rescue under a variety of causes. They may be purchased by rescue to keep them from a puppy mill (through auction), owners may suddenly realize they have no time for a puppy, or owners may suddenly realize they don't know how to care for a puppy. Usually, however, these puppies have a contract from the breeder requiring they be returned to the breeder. Thus it would be more likely that the Breeder have a puppy to "re-home" (place into a new home). And when a puppy does show up, likely there are dozens of others all wanting it, which lowers you chances.

I was told that getting a Rescue avoided all the costs and problems of a puppy. Is that true?

The answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. Lets look at some of the reasoning you might have seen on the Internet or in books.

  • Rescues are housebroken - They can be or maybe not. Sometimes rescues have lived their entire life outside in someone's yard chained to a fence. Rescue will sometimes foster these dogs, or sometimes kennel them. Even if they learn potty training in that situation, there is no guaranteed they will respect you home the same way. Likewise, they may actually take longer to get used to you home than a puppy. The normal adjustment period is 4 to 6 months.
  • Lower vet costs than a puppy - Rescue does take care of vaccinations, heartworm testing and altering. But, you will want to visit the veterinarian at least once initially. Not all rescues are completely recovered from their ordeal and some need special treatments. You will be advised about these requirements before accepting the rescue. You must then make sure to keep up with flea preventatives, heartworm preventatives, and annual visits and vaccinations
  • Puppies teeth and chew and rescues don't. - This really depends on the particular rescue and how you handle them. Some are perfectly content to leave things alone if you provide them with toys, others will be happy to carry your shoes and underwear outdoors. Generally they are not teething, rather they like to chew things. That may be a result of their past boredom or even how they fed themselves during the period they spent running wild.
  • Puppy's nip children sometimes out of play, Rescues don't - Again, this depends on the particular dog. Rescue will try to evaluate and may even foster the dog to get them past their bad habits. But they may start up again. A few percent of rescues may keep up their bad habits for months after being placed (it usually takes a rescue 4 to 6 months to get adjusted in their new home). You should ask the Rescue person about any known bad habits But be advised, not every rescue or foster has kids or even other pets to test them in all situations. And, in many cases fostering is hard to come by, so the rescue may be moved to its new home before everything is learned about these habits If I even seen it written that a puppy scares children and the adult dog does not - this doesn't make sense to me - the adult is much larger and may need training - they can bounce around and sometimes frighten children. You will need to take care of handling and training of the dog in your own home.
  • Rescue's have Instant Manners - No, no, no.. Some rescues are well mannered, some are not. These dogs are in rescue for a reason. Don't expect that they will come to you completely trained and ready to go to mom's house or into stores and such. Again, some rescues have issues to be dealt with, others do not. A good home, as evaluated by a Rescue Coordinator, is one that has some knowledge in handling dogs and understands what to expect. But you also have an obligation to tell the Rescue what your background and expectations are so that the Beardie will be matched with your situation. You may have to wait longer, but your experience can be much better

There area many web pages on the Internet that try to convince you to get a rescue dog because it will not have all the issues you will have with a puppy. I disagree with that reasoning in general (more on that later). There are, of course, some advantages of starting with an older dog. No puppy schedules requiring getting up all night as usually there is no concern for the adult having to stay in his crate during the night. But you may or may not have to help the rescue adjust.

I hope this doesn't all sound too negative. We are just trying to dispel some things that are misunderstood or are poor comparisons with puppies. Those things are said to convince you to take a rescue when in some cases you may not be right for a rescue or a rescue right for you.

Where do all these Rescues and re-home Beardies come from?

Most are abandoned one way or another. Some simply escape their owners and end up in shelters. Some may have had behavior problems and have been dumped off at shelters. Owners may have discovered they simply don't have enough time for a dog and feel they would have a better life in someone else's home (some of these are re-home, others have been dropped at shelters). Death, Divorce or moving to apartments (where dogs are not allowed) is another frequent source. Finally, some dogs are rescued from abuse or neglect. There also is the possibility that rescue has purchased from auctions attended by puppymillers or commercial breeders in an attempt to remove "breeding stock" and thus reduce the number of Beardies coming form these operations.

It is surprising how many people purchase a puppy and find that they should not own a dog. Many times they keep the puppy for a year or more, and their own problems continue to increase. Sometimes this is impulse buying of that cute puppy. Other times it is purchased as a present for someone (Christmas, etc.). They never used common sense to begin with, and never used it later on. Problems related to obedience or basic house training continue. It is all blamed on the dog of course. They may begin punishing the dog. Then finally they either abandon the dog, or it is taken from them.

Final Thoughts

If you do your homework, and if you advise Beardie Rescue as to what your family is like and your expectations, then a Rescue could be the most wonderful experience in your life. Most Rescue Beardies are perfectly normal, some take a little longer to adjust to their new family than others. This is of course to be expected. They may have been in a nice home and just have been displaced or they may have had a terrible life up until they are rescued. Our personal experience has been through years of working with Beardie Rescue (coordinating, rescuing, evaluating and fostering), and finally taking in a rescue of our own. You can see Rags on his own page. The fact is that Rags stayed with us only after two family's returned him (also his first home, making it 3 families). He had some adjustment problems, and we worked with him for several months. In the end he became one our our most loving family members and well worth the effort. We couldn't let him go then, and we would never give him up now or in the future. And he is special, partly because he is a rescue, partly because he is a Beardie, mostly because he is a wonderful pet.


BCCA - Bearded Collie Club of America - select the below from the menu there
- Rescue Page (then contact the area person closest to you)
- Regional Clubs (check the club closest to you)
Be sure to read the BCCA Public Education Initiative

BONE Rescue - For Bearded Collie Mix

For other Countries, Check in Hobo's Beardie Links in the more information area then select the club nearest to you.

Breeders are a good source of Re-homes. These are Beardies that have to be given up due to some reason, often from good homes, and are taken back by the Breeder. If you read our section on Choosing a reputable Breeder, you would have noted that good Breeders usually will take back or help place Beardies that they have bred and sold. In fact, it is often a requirement in their contract. You can find Breeders in your area through the BCCA web site listed above, or by looking in Hobo's BeardieLinks in the personal pages area. Often the Rescue is informed of the availability of re-homes as well.

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