Adoption Information


In September 2012, MWBCR placed our 300th dog, Bella. Since 2002, Midwest Border Collie Rescue has helped dogs find their forever homes. The dates listed below each dog represent the month they entered the rescue and the month they were adopted. Names in parentheses are their original names or what was used by the foster home, while the other name is what their forever home has chosen to call them.

Please read all the information below on the right about this energetic breed before you fill out an application.

Our Adoption Process

Step 1: Online Application

When filling out your application, please provide enough information so that we can assess what characteristics in our dogs may be a good match for you (e.g., temperament, activity level, and types of activities you enjoy). Even though you are interested in a specific dog, there may be others that more closely meet your needs. Remember that we take in dogs frequently and some newer dogs are not yet on our website. The best thing to do is to begin the application process by completing our application (even if you don’t yet see a dog of interest on our site). Please note that the average time to become approved is 2-3 weeks.  There is an $10 non-refundable application fee at the time you submit the form.

Step 2: Phone Interview & Reference Checks

Be sure your application has the phone numbers where we can reach you most easily. After submitting your application, someone will contact you to discuss your application. We will also check your references and your vet records as listed on your application.

Step 3: Home Visit

After we have talked with you and decided that we can help you to find a dog, we will arrange for a home visit. The purpose of this visit is two-fold: to ensure a healthy, safe environment for our dogs, and to ensure that we match you with a dog that fits your living style.

Step 4: Approval to Adopt

Adopters are approved for two years for an energy level, not specific dog.
Companion- A companion Border Collie still needs to run, play, go on walks and is more active than the average pet dog.
Low Active – A dog who needs regular activities such as hiking, running etc.
Active – Needs more structure and activity. This is a dog that needs larger amounts of mental and physical activity to be happy and avoid potential behavior problems.

Step 5: Meet the Dogs

Here the fun begins: meeting the dogs. Please remember that you may not have been the only family that put in an application for a particular dog. Our dogs will be placed with the best match for that individual dog (not necessarily the first family to apply). All members (human and canine) of your family will meet the dog at the foster home.  Please be prepared to travel to meet the dog.  The goal is to see how the dog gets along with your family and any other pets. This step may take days or even weeks for you to find the right dog for your home. And always we will recommend dogs that we believe will match you and your lifestyle and all the members of your family (human or animal).

Step 6: Adoption

The last step in the process is for you to adopt one of the dogs. Our adoption fee is $400 for puppies up to 6 months old, $300 for dogs 6 months to 8 years and $200 for dogs 8 years and older.  The cost for puppies (up to 6 months old) covers two rounds of shots and first rabies shot (restrictions may apply)!  Please ask your chosen Foster for more information/particulars on our Puppy Policy.  We believe that adoption is a lifetime commitment so we have a three week adjustment period where we stay in touch to see how the dog is fitting in with your home.  Please remember that a new home is a big adjustment for your dog, too, so being patient while providing good consistency and basic training will help your dog feel secure.

Step 7: A Happy Life Together

Please don’t forget us once you and your dog are happily adjusted to life together. Some of our past adopters decide they want to volunteer (even become a foster home), or want to support the rescue via tax deductible donation. We love to hear stories about our dogs, especially the foster families who loved and cared for your dog while on its journey to meet you. Photos of happy border collies enjoying their lives are particularly welcomed. And we’re here for you too…for help with training challenges, advice on ongoing care, how to get involved in dog sports and other activities that border collies enjoy.

Continue onto adoption application.


Before thinking about adopting a Border Collie, we strongly recommend you learn all you can about this highly intelligent breed. Simply put, a Border Collie is not your average pet. They are not cuddly lap dogs content with being indoors.

For centuries Border Collies have been bred to herd sheep and their herding instinct, when not fully understood and given a proper outlet, will result in destructive and undesirable behaviors ranging from chasing cars and incessant barking to “herding” small children or chewing furniture. Border Collies need a great deal of activity, whether in the form of exercise or “work” they can perform, such as herding, agility, obedience trials, or fly ball.

Equally important, Border Collies need human companionship and should not be left alone for long hours each day. If you are considering adopting a Border Collie you must be willing to devote time and attention to meeting the needs of the dog.

Border Collies are an intense and interesting breed. While a group of one hundred Border Collies will probably look as if they belong to the same breed, they will not have a uniform appearance. Since a “good” dog can be judged only by its herding performance, there is no “breed standard” of appearance to which Border Collies should conform. In general, they are of medium size (25-55 pounds), with coats that may be smooth, medium, or rough. Colors are black, black with tan, and, less common, reddish-brown, all usually with white markings as well as blue and red merle. Predominantly white Border Collies, though unusual, also occasionally appear.

The main characteristics of the Border Collie come from being bred to be perhaps the best herding dog there is: “Because their early work was to gather sheep from the hills, Border Collies are, by nature, gatherers rather than drovers or tenders. They can, nevertheless, be taught to drive stock away from the shepherd and even to keep their charges within certain boundaries. They are also sensitive to commands from their handlers and can distinguish slight variations in the many whistles they understand, responding appropriately to each tone.

Border Collies look for exceptional athletic ability, a biddable nature, and superior livestock sense. In general, a dog that is light on its feet, flowing in its movement, quick to cover its stock, and has great endurance is the most valued. The dog’s temperament must be sensitive enough to bend its will when asked, tough enough to stand up to the pressures of training, eager to learn, with enough confidence and determination to carry on with its work without constant guidance. Some Border Collies are reserved rather than outgoing, but they must love to work with and for the master. While innate livestock sense is bred into all good working collies, their working style can vary. Most people admire a dog that works with its head low to the ground, with its hindquarters high and its tail tucked between its hind legs. They can run as fast as the wind, yet stop in an instant or switch directions without stopping. They don’t take their eyes off their sheep. Their intense gaze is focused on the stock, willing them to obey, to go where the dog directs them, to stop if the dog blocks their path. The stock aren’t rushed or afraid, but they certainly respect the dog. A good Border Collie’s obsession is its livestock, and this is as it should be.

Description from the USBCC at