Mainline Border
Collie Centre
Golcar Farm
Spring Lane
Bingley
West Yorkshire
BD16 3AU
01274 564163
Meg
Meg - 1979 – 1992
Nine National trials
English team 1983
The first of our Main Line of dogs
and the inspiration for MBCC
Corporate Collies
Freedom of Spirit Trust for Border Collies
The Perfect Team
Being at one with your dog costs nothing but time and patience and reaps amazing rewards.

The Perfect Team
Whether it is in sport, business or family being able to work as a team is not only important for harmony and productivity but is a great way of learning about those around us, the ones we live with and ones we work with. For a team to be successful each member needs to be able to understand the strengths and vulnerabilities of the others, and not only be able to work with them but be able to balance with those strengths and vulnerabilities in order to form one solid unit.

Watching dogs working together is amazing; round a flock of sheep a team of dogs will work for the good of the flock and getting the job done is more important than personal grievances or insecurities. If a sheep cuts away from the flock the nearest dog will not always go for it, the dog best suited to the task will bring the runaway back and then go back to his job without claiming an accolade. Sadly, being human means that we sometimes struggle with being as forgiving, or as tolerant as our dogs and it takes a huge amount of training and time and patience to get dogs to that standard - although in the wild they would be brought up to work as a team or pack in order to survive.

Where does the domestic dog that doesn't work fit into this? Dogs will always form a partnership, they don't like working alone but sometimes we are so caught up with what we want out of life that we forget about what a dog needs in favour for what we believe it wants. Dogs in the family home can be given toys to keep them amused, balls to play with and to enable them to get plenty of exercise. They can be given treats to help them to understand what we want of them and lots of walks in the countryside where they can swim, chase a ball and in general have loads of fun. But are we providing this entertainment for the dog or ourselves?

Take a child for a long walk, talk to him, teach him about nature and keep communicating throughout the walk and a relationship will blossom, with the walk ending with a tired and happy child. Play football or tag or any other game that involves short sharp bursts of energy and, if the game is not controlled and stopped in time, the child will become over excited and take a lot of calming down. Unless of course the desire is to play with the child until he is so exhausted that he can't run anymore. But who would want to do that to a child! Bringing up a child involves communication and education and the fun part includes educational games with the high energy games being delivered in moderation, at the right time and in the right place. But above everything parents strive to have a good relationship with their children and with good parenting that relationship will go on to a wonderful adult friendship.

Good parenting teaches children how to be part of a unit. We educate, guide, have fun and set boundaries, laying a foundation for the family unit to become a team, all working together, caring for and looking after each other. This same commitment and unity can be found in the workplace where a team looks to its leader for guidance and the more trust and respect that is gained the better the productivity of the team, and where would sports teams be without a good captain and unity within the team!

A dog doesn't have to 'do' it doesn't have to be lavishly entertained and neither does it have to exercise like a marathon runner. A dog needs to have a sensible amount of exercise and some creative mental stimulation but above all it needs to be a part of your unit. Whether that unit is a family or a one on one relationship it is essential that the dog belongs, has a place to be and a role to play. A dog's 'doing' is being part of that unit and having a role to play as companion, friend, ally and even confidant.

Taking a dog out and throwing a ball endlessly is not constructive in creating the essential relationship that a dog needs. Throwing a ball for a bit interactive fun together is fine but the real enjoyment is sitting down halfway through a walk and talking to a dog, being content to be with each other and the realisation that you don't have to worry about a recall because your dog actually loves your company and wants to be with you, not for a ball or titbit but simply because you are you. This amazing partnership with each other is something so special that no amount of gadgets or 'doing' can possibly replace.

Being at one with your dog, knowing what he thinks and needs, and feeling the love and loyalty you get in return costs nothing but time, patience and a desire to give rather than to take.
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