After reading Understanding Border Collies by Barbara Sykes, I now know where I went wrong with Joss. Not that he wasn't lovely but more that I could have done more. The two big problems were -- barking at certain times, mainly when people arrived and pulling on the lead when he felt like it. The thing about border collies is that they do have a mind of their own and a mischievous sense of humour. And Joss was highly intelligent in a one track mind sort of way. If we ever went a different way on the walk, the next time, he'd stop and wait to see which way we'd go.
I was surprised to read about the so-called faults of border collies. Joss never rounded up the children up, never nipped, and did not dig holes. He also did not chew furniture or shoes. He rounded the ducks up. He was very good on recall and would obey my commands to sit or go down even from about 50 yards. After reading the book though, I realise that the minor irritations could have been easily solved. The fault was mine for not thinking like a dog.
I also now know about floppy ears v prick ears, dark brown eyes v light amber ones and even medium coat v rough coats. With Joss, we did manage to make some choices that make for a more easy going border collie. Apparently floppy ears, and dark brown eyes make for a softer more family oriented dog. But as with anything, it is about the training and teaching the manners. I succeeded on some things and with others...perhaps they did not matter as much to me.
I also know that getting 2 puppies from the same litter is going to make training much more difficult in some ways. When they are being trained, the puppies will have to be trained separately. There will already be a pack hierarchy within the group of two, but there again, there is Chile the Labrador to consider.
And the books say -- don't get a border collie when you have children under 10. When we got Joss, the children were 8, 5, and 3. There was never any problems. Perhaps it is why I am willing to have 2. After there are basically 5 adults who will take part in the training.
And of course, the pups will have a job. The ducks are getting restless and although Chile does a good job, it is better if there is two dogs...
I do think owners of border collies and people who are interested in the breed should read Barbara Sykes. She definitely knows her collies.
Anyway, once I get these puppies next Saturday, I will keep an update and will see if my theories work or if we were just really lucky with Joss...