The Adoption Process
Thank you for your interest in a rescued Border Collie! Please review the application process below before submitting your application. Please remember that every person working with WBCR is a volunteer, doing rescue in his/her “spare” time, so the first part of our adoption process (our reference checks and home visit) can take 2-3 weeks or longer depending on the dogs in our program. If you’re unwilling to wait that long, we hope that you’ll consider adopting a shelter dog in need, where the wait is much shorter.
Step 1: Do your homework!
If you’re considering/looking for your first Border Collie, please do your homework FIRST! While we think Border Collies are the greatest dogs on the planet, we equally believe that they’re not the dog for everyone. Please read our “About BC’s” page to begin learning more about Border Collies, their temperaments, needs and whether a BC is the right dog for you.
Step 2: Complete & Submit an Application
Please answer all questions completely; incomplete applications will not be processed. Our initial review of your completed application will help us decide whether we may have a dog for you. We know our application is long and detailed, but this information is very important to help us determine if you might be an ideal home for a certain dog in the program. The more information you give us, the easier it will be to do that. Please remember that our top priority is to serve the dogs, and to find the most suitable home for each of the dogs in our rescue. While we enjoy meeting border collie loving applicants, the interests of the dog come first. We don’t have many dogs in our program, which means a waiting game for many qualified applicants.
Step 3: Reference Checks
Once we receive and review your completed application, it’s assigned to a volunteer for reference checks – we will call the references listed on your application, so you’re welcome to let them know that we’ll be contacting them. This initial step typically takes 1-2 weeks, so please be patient!
Step 4: Home Visit
Once the reference checks are complete & approved, a WBCR volunteer will contact you to schedule a home visit. This is an informal chance for us to get to know you, your lifestyle, home environment and determine which dog(s) in our program might be a great fit. The HV volunteer will discuss what personality traits you’re looking for as well as general breed traits and what to expect when bringing a Border Collie home. He/she will also do a short walk-through of your home and yard to ensure its safety and to advise on any areas of concern. All household members must be present for the home visit. Please understand that the HV volunteer may not personally know any/many of the dogs in our program so may be unable to answer questions about specific dogs. Once the HV report is received by WBCR, it may take a few days for us to collate & review all of the information and get back in touch with you.
Step 5: Matching/Phone Interview
Once an application is processed and approved, now comes the fun part! While it’s easy to fall in love with a picture, it is the dog’s personality & temperament that determine whether it may make a great match for you. During the matching process, a WBCR adoption coordinator will contact you to discuss specific dogs within our rescue. We strongly encourage applicants to write down questions they may have about Border Collies, and discuss these questions with the assigned coordinator. We work hard to match your desires with the traits and personalities of our dogs.
Please understand that we only want what is best for our dogs, so if we don’t think a specific dog is a good fit for you, we’re not passing judgment on you/your family but are drawing on years of experience with Border Collies, and, more importantly, experience with the dogs in our program. “First Come First Served” doesn’t apply here as we match each dog in our program with the most appropriate home for him/her, whether that home comes next week or next year!
Step 6: Meet(s)
Once we’ve talked with you on which dogs might be a suitable fit, it is time to set up a meet/meets! Your adoption coordinator will facilitate arranging a meet with your household members, your current dog(s) and the rescued dog. We have experience introducing new dogs, so will help with the introductions of your dog to the rescued dog if applicable. During the meet, keep in mind that rescued Border Collies may be rather aloof/timid at first meeting. While we have seen many meets where there is an “insta-bond” between the new dog and the adopter(s), many times that kind of bonding takes time. The meet is a great time to get any/all questions answered on the dog’s temperament, likes/dislikes, and what will be helpful in establishing a wonderful relationship with your new dog!
Step 7: The Adoption
If both you and the WBCR representative feel the dog is a great match for you, the adoption may be completed after the meet. An adoption contract must be completed, signed and the adoption fee paid to complete the adoption. Please review our contract before your meet; it is available on our website or by clicking here. Please note that if at any time during your rescued dog’s life you cannot/no longer wish to keep it, he or she is required to be returned to WBCR.
Step 8: Follow-up
To ensure a successful adoption, we have a network of volunteers happy to answer any questions/help you work through issues that may arise while your new dog is transitioning into your home, or ten years down the road! We are committed to each and every dog we rescue for the rest of his/her life, so please stay in touch with us. Plus, we love getting updates!
Chase was adopted some months ago but really struggled in his adoptive home for reasons we are still trying to understand, so now he’s back with his original fosters, is doing well, and is ready for a family to call his own. Chase has so many of those traits we love about the breed: he’s athletic and bright, sensitive, physically capable and loves to join his people on outdoor adventures. While he can be a little unsure and shy around new people, he is sweetly affectionate with his people. He’s great with other dogs and enjoys running and playing with them. He’s not possessive with food or toys but he can be insistent about getting another dog to play. He can be a little herdy with other dogs or chickens; cats are an unknown.
Chase is a tall, leggy young border collie who loves to run after a ball or with another dog. He’s easily distracted though and will break up the game for a splash in a puddle (he’s a water dog – no puddle is safe from him!), a new toy, or to examine a bug in the air or on the ground.
Chase absolutely requires a home that will give him the exercise he needs – he’s on the higher energy end of the spectrum and will need a very good chunk of vigorous exercise daily. Chase is housetrained, crate trained, has a good recall and loves wandering around the backyard. He will need some help learning how to walk well on a leash; once he’s got that, he’ll be a great running buddy. He’ll also need adopters who can work to focus his energy and who can help build his confidence out in the world. Chase is fast and can run forever, so with some work building his comfort and appropriate behavior around bikes (and certain other things that many BCs find very arousing), he could be a great mountain bike partner as well.
All in all, Chase is a happy and sweet young Border Collie who is ready to join a family of his own on outdoor adventures. If you are looking for a potential-filled boy with a smile that can light up a room, Chase may be the one for you!
Cian is a sweet, gentle young lad with a lovely, agreeable and polite nature. He has never known a stranger, adores attention from people like petting and belly rubs, and would be happy to climb into your lap and cuddle. He’s good with other dogs and seems to enjoy the company of his canine foster brother. He’s sometimes playful with other dogs but it seems more than anything that he just doesn’t have a lot of experience and can be easily intimidated if dogs get in his face. Cian is peacefully cohabitating with cats in his foster home too. He loves to go on long hikes and is well behaved when he meets people and other dogs along the way. He enjoys outdoor playtime and is starting to learn about toys but will happily spend some indoor chill time too.
Cian is young but just a moderate energy boy so needs just a reasonable chunk of exercise daily to be his best. Cian is probably only a year or so old and is just learning about the world. He’s a sensitive fellow who will do best with patient folks and a quiet household. He’s house trained, sleeps quietly in his crate all night, and waits patiently to be let out in the morning. He’s likely never been taught anything in the past but is beginning to learn a few of the basics. Gentle, reward-based training methods are a must for this quiet boy, in addition to adopters who will work to build his confidence out in the world.
Cian has made great gains in his confidence already but is still timid with new places, loud sounds, and lots of commotion. All in all, Cian is a lovely young boy who is going to attach strongly to his people and make some lucky family a wonderful canine companion. If you have a soft spot for the quiet soulful sensitive types, Cian may be the one for you.
Like many female BCs, she has a big sense of personal space and needs slow and calculated introductions to new dogs, so is not a candidate for dog parks or off-leash areas where dogs might run up into her face. She can definitely cohabitate with other canines given good and slow introductions and has lived with two other dogs in her home for years. She has also made friends with felines and lives peaceably with chickens, might we add!
Like many BCs, Daisy first and foremost loves to be with her people. She loves to play fetch and frisbee, and go on outdoor adventures like hiking and swimming – fetching in water is her greatest happiness. She is now 10, but is no slouch and is totally game for long walks and hikes and can still go miles. She has a complete “off switch” inside and is at her best with regular outside activity and walks, but is no longer a high energy girl – probably are on the moderate-low end of the spectrum.
This from her family: “Daisy is happy to follow you from room to room, lay at your feet or on a nearby dog bed while you read or watch TV. She’ll occasionally ask for pets but is pretty chill inside. She’s never had people food and doesn’t beg at the table, doesn’t get on the bed or couch (but would if she was allowed to). She still enjoys playing fetch and going on walks. I walk her at least 1-2 miles every day and on the weekends she gets at least 4 miles per day. Also, a few ball throws and frisbee tosses; she’ll normally start laying down for me after about 3-5 tosses, but with other people, she will go for much longer. If we miss a day of play or walks she doesn’t complain; she is really most happy just being with her people. She loves… LOVES … (can I emphasize this more?!!) to swim and play fetch doing so. Hike to the lake with her and play fetch in the water; other dogs can be swimming next to her and she will not even notice.”
No surprise, Daisy is also filled to the gills with skills. She’s house trained, crate trained, and more. This from her family: Daisy has always been easy to train and has always had near-perfect recall. She knows how to sit, stay, down, roll over, bang! play dead, come; all of these with verbal cues and hand signals. Our trainer had me working on basic leash work; getting her to heel and watching me for every move; so she would follow without prompting or feeling the leash. We worked a lot on u-turns “With Me!”, “Come Front” (sit in front of me, facing me), and “Behind” (go sit behind me, looking at the back of my legs), “Smell it”, “Touch” (touch her nose to an object/hand). Daisy is beginning to lose her hearing, but is quite responsive to hand signals. Her mind remains sharp and Daisy would be happy to learn more! Daisy is just what most of us are looking for in a BC: the desire to be with and engage with her people, the smarts…but the not so over the top energy level.
If you are looking for the already trained, mellower BC package, Daisy may be the one for you.
Posted by Western Border Collie Rescue on Friday, July 19, 2019
This beautiful girl is about 5 years old now and just stunningly gorgeous – a split face with unique brindle coloring. She came to WBCR a couple of years ago from a Utah shelter, terribly timid, and with health challenges as well when she arrived. We discovered upon spay surgery that she was born with a very rare birth defect – she has since undergone two surgeries at CSU to reconstruct her system. She fully recovered and the past couple years she has had zero problems; her adopter and the veterinarians figured out a regime of diet and meds that works very well. Demi’s special needs at this point just include monitoring her condition and delivering medications with meals. This girl will attach strongly to her people, and looooooves to play frisbee and ball, as well as swim, run, hike…she’s a great outdoor adventure companion. She is athletic but completely settles down in the house, and loves to lay right near her human buddy. She is going to make a marvelous companion for some lucky BC lover. More info coming soon.
Finn – Updated Bio!
This eye-catching pup is a typical young BC in many ways – he loves to play with his people, and will often bunny hop around the ball trying to get anyone to play. Finn is a lean, smaller framed boy and perfectly build for active outdoor adventure. With his fosters, he enjoys going for runs and just took his first hike. Due to being undersocialized as a puppy, Finn can struggle with meeting new people and new dogs. That being said, he has come a very long way already and is much improved on both fronts. Although he can take a little time to warm up to human strangers, it depends on the introduction. With good intros, he is quite a happy social fella eager for attention and occasionally flashes a silly grin. With other dogs, Finn does best with neutral and fairly relaxed dogs. If a dog barks or energetically tries to engage with Finn, he becomes fearful and reactive – so like many BCs he’s not going to be a dog park candidate. However, he lived well with his two parents and he currently lives well with a senior dog, engages in play and generally enjoys his company – so we know he can do it! It may take time for Finn to be comfortable with a new dog but we believe he would settle in well given the right canine companion, and would probably benefit from having a canine housemate. Finn is a higher energy kiddo who will be happiest and at his best with a good chunk of daily vigorous exercise.
Although it took some time to determine, this little lad has some neurological issues that we had looked at by a neuro vet. Right now, we believe Finn is stable and healthy but has some limitations. His vision, coordination, and response to sounds (can hear you but not always tell where the sound comes from) are compromised. Because of this, he will not be a candidate for off-leash and should be kept leashed unless in a secured, fenced area. Despite this, this little fella has a good number of skills! He is crate trained, house trained, and is familiar with the basics: he knows how to sit, down and is good on the leash (he wears a head halter which really helps with his to reactivity to sound/dogs). Finn is just learning to learn but is food motivated and ready for more lessons.
Finn is a sweet, special, charming little Border Collie. If you have a soft spot for the underdog and have the time, energy and experience to help an underconfident dog continue to blossom – Finny boy may be the one for you.
Lookit this itty bitty slip of a dog! This is Liz. Just under a year old, she and her pint-sized sister Roz arrived to WBCR temp foster care a month ago. There they learned the first important lesson in life: that people can be kind and trustworthy. Liz is somewhat timid and fearful; Roz is a little more confident. Both are from a less than good situation and will need a family experienced with the breed plus timid and/or reactive dogs so we can help them learn the world is a good, safe place. They are bright, little, speedy and athletic, and ooze dog sport potential. Toys are a yes and playful with other dogs too. Cats probably not and definitely no kids. More info coming soon!
Currently fostered in western Nebraska
Pip – Updated Bio!
But there’s more than just a handsome devil with Pip. Much like a child entering kindergarten without the expected skills to navigate through the system, Pip entered his previous homes without the skills to fit in. Through no fault of his own, there were no people who understood and so Pip got lost in a shuffle, resulting in his already shaky skills deteriorating.
Enter WBCR. Through trial and error, commitment and love, Pip has been given a chance to be who he is while learning valuable skills. Although the path hasn’t been without its twists and turns, Pip is finding out that home life can be pleasant and safe.
Think again about the kindergartener who needs extra support and some differentiation to be successful. While the other kids can run helter-skelter at recess and then calm themselves upon coming back to the classroom, there is sometimes that little one who struggles with this basic expectation. With the right support, he/she can have just as much fun at recess, but the type of activity and length of participation might look a bit different from the “regular” kids.
This is our Pip! With the right balance of moderate exercise, lots of enrichment activities, routine, structure, positive reinforcement and oh-so-much love, this boy just blossoms!
We have found that slow and steady, short and sweet are keys to success with Pip. What might be a great long walk for most dogs might be too much stimulation for Pip. An exciting outing for an “average” dog might be way more than Pip can handle. He needs for his person to pick up on his cues and be willing to make adjustments when necessary.
Some of Pip’s favorite things are enrichment activities. A towel with food sprinkled on it and rolled up tightly is a big hit. He also enjoys his puzzle toys and eating meals from a Kong. The more mental games, the better! Pip is a great fetcher and catcher. He does choose to stop playing and just observe the backyard world at times. A few months ago he couldn’t calm himself enough to be an observer, but now he is great at it in a comfortable and familiar setting.
Like many BCs, Pip needs careful and well-managed introductions to strangers and new dogs – but once he knows and loves them it’s game on! Pip adores play and toys with both people (he fetches!) and other dogs (goofing around!) but will definitely do best with adopters who will set clear and fair and consistent boundaries, and who can rein him in – he can be a lot of dog!
Like most BCs, Pip also loves to learn and the sky’s the limit with this eager beaver. As Pip continues to have positive experiences and loving support, he will continue to grow and blossom into the dog we know he can be.
Lookit this itty bitty slip of a dog! This is Roz. Just under a year old, she and her pint-sized sister Liz arrived to WBCR temp foster care a month ago. There they learned the first important lesson in life: that people can be kind and trustworthy. Liz is somewhat timid and fearful; Roz is a little more confident. Both are from a less than good situation and will need a family experienced with the breed plus timid and/or reactive dogs so we can help them learn the world is a good, safe place. They are bright, little, speedy and athletic, and ooze dog sport potential. Toys are a yes and playful with other dogs too. Cats probably not and definitely no kids.
UPDATE FROM ROZ’S FOSTER FAMILY: Roz is so responsive and joyful! She’s been quick to warm up to everyone we’ve introduced her to and she’s been easy with other dogs – neutral at first then appropriate play solicitations after she’s had time to assess things. She’s got a great foundation for dog sports – nice engagement, fabulous food and toy drive, and FAST FAST FAST! Possible herding potential as well, although more testing would be good. No cats for this girl unless someone really wanted to devote a whole ton of time and energy into managing and teaching her how to interact well with felines.
Roz will need adopters who will continue to work with her on the basics and introduce her wisely to all the world has to offer, but she sure has all the makings of an outstanding canine companion for the true BC lover.
Currently fostered outside Denver, CO
We have heard bits and pieces about some of his past but most of it remains a mystery. Whatever it was hasn’t soured Tren’s love for life. He is so happy it’s contagious! He is super social and outgoing with humans and he loves being with and engaging with his people. He is very confident and loves new places & meeting people; he doesn’t shy away from the environment either in the country or in town with all its busyness and sounds. This guy is the higher energy type – and as an excitable boy, it doesn’t take much to get him jazzed up. He needs a very good chunk of vigorous exercise daily to be at his best and to chill in the house or on the porch. In his foster home he is enjoying going on bike rides (working on staying beside and not pretending he’s a sled dog!) and hikes on a long leash. He will play some fetch and tug and squeaky balls are his favorite thing to squeak and run around with it in his mouth. His foster mom is dabbling some in agility with him, and he shows a good amount of herding instinct. Rumor has it he worked cows in a foster home in Texas, but we have yet to officially test him on livestock, although he is going to a herding clinic in the near future with his foster mom so we will know soon! That being said, he currently resides in a home with 2 cats and horses and is showing typical herding tendencies on all of them. Although his foster mom is managing him with the cats, a feline-free home may be best for Tren.
Tren is also residing with a mellow dog, but he does require slow and methodical introductions to other dogs because he is unsure of how to react when dogs rush into his space or pass by him closely. Due to this, he is not at this time a dog park candidate. His foster mom is working with him on how to react appropriately when a dog passes by (stay calm and look to her). In open spaces on trails or doing something where the focus isn’t another dog but being around them engaging in his surroundings is totally workable. Tren could live in a house with other dogs if the introductions were slow and steady, and it would probably be good for him to have a canine companion, although not necessary.
Tren is house trained, crate trained & respects trash without smells & doesn’t counter surf or get on furniture. He can bounce greater than 3 feet when excited but hasn’t ever used it to launch himself over a loose gate in the house or a 4 foot fenced in yard. He can be in the house all day without trouble, as long as he has been able to get some really good exercise. He loves riding in vehicles, whether for errands or to go somewhere to adventure. Tren really enjoys being engaged mentally and interacting with his human, and like any bright and sensitive dog, he does best with positive reinforcement reward-based training. He and his foster mom are working on a handful of skills and a handful of tricks too. Tren does show some resource guarding, and although his foster family has worked to lessen this dramatically, he is not a choice for homes with kids due to this guarding of food and bones.
He has made great strides on so many other fronts as well in his foster home – with basic manners, impulse control, living in a home, living with felines, learning about bike rides – and he continues to make progress in what is probably the most consistent and stable home he has known in his life so far. All in all, Tren is a fabulous young fellow who will continue to develop into a marvelous canine companion. If you are looking for a handsome and happy dog who loves to be with you, loves to learn, and who is up for any and all adventures, Tren may be the one for you!
This is True. He’s an incredibly special little Border Collie. Born with deformed front legs and an irrepressible spirit, his smile can light up a room. True loves nothing more than meeting people and spreading happiness. Being a shop or office dog would probably be his dream come true. He adores kids, is great with other dogs, gets along with cats, potbellied pigs and livestock, and has become a registered therapy dog. He enjoys walks, occasional hikes, and loves toys and the snow. He thinks visiting his foster mom’s brother’s family, with two kids and lots of people coming and going, is fabulously fun. True’s perfect family is out there, and if you are looking for an incredibly special little guy who brings joy to everyone he meets, we’d love to hear from you.
Currently fostered near Jackson, WY
This handsome classic rough coat boy came to us from a Utah shelter. Picked up as a stray, we don’t know anything about his past, but Tobin is proving to be an agreeable, pretty laid back boy. More info coming soon.
Currently fostered in Wheatland, WY