Is a Border Collie right for me?
I don't have any livestock, but I want a good companion. Is a Border Collie a bad decision?
For the average pet owner a Border Collie is a bad idea, but if you lead an active lifestyle and are willing to incorporate a dog into that lifestyle a Border Collie might work out fine. Even if you don't have livestock, your Border Collie will need a "job" to keep mentally and physically fit. A Border Collie who is well-raised and gets adequete activity can be a joy to own, but without activity they can make your life hell - literally ripping through walls if they get bored. You have to be brutally honest with yourself about the amount of time you have to invest in a dog. You may consider getting an young or older dog rather than a puppy, as dogs raised in the sheepdog lifestyle are usually calmer. Take the time to research the breed and talk to people who own BCs and ask for their opinion.
Is a male or female a better choice?
We usually tell people to take the usual male/female stereotypes and turn them around for Border Collies. At least in our kennel, the females are the tougher, harder to handle dogs and the males are more the motherly, Lassie-companion types. The most important thing is to make sure you like the individual dog you choose, regardless of sex.
I have livestock - how do I pick a pup that will be tough enough/not too tough on my stock?
The first consideration in picking a pup is whether the parents can work the type of livestock you have. Not every sheep dog is a decent cowdog and vice versa. If you buy from an experienced breeder/trainer, they should be able to help you pick out a pup with a suitable personality, and be able to tell you possible problems you may encounter when you start training your pup.