Updated: Aug 1
The border collie is one of the most popular of the herding breeds that people look into getting when they are looking for an active breed for their household. If you are thinking about getting one of these dogs, here are some pros and cons to help you decide if this is the right type of dog for you. With this in mind lets look at the positive aspects to owning a border collie:
1. Border Collies are arguable the smartest breed:
There are many different articles on the internet disputing the amount of words the border collie can remember. From what I can tell from my research, that number is somewhere between 250-1,000 words. Regardless of the number, it is still mind blowing how fast border collies can learn new things.
2. Border Collies love exercise
If you are looking for a running buddy, this dog is perfect for it. Border collies were bred to herd sheep and enjoy running for hours. Hiking, biking, and running will be great for you and will also fill your border collie's need to be active.
3. Border Collies come in two types of coats
Border collie can come in a short coat or the more popular long coat. Although the types of coats really are meaningless when it comes to shedding, if you want a specific look, border collies of lot of options.
4. Border Collies love to learn
With the intelligence also comes the want to learn new things with the border collie. They have a constant need to be mentally stimulated and love puzzle game and trick training.
5. Border Collies cost less
Border collie are an AKC registered breed but didn't become recognized until the 1990s.
This means that their market value isn't as high as most. On average collie are worth anywhere from $600-$1200
Now that the positive things about border collies have been stated, lets talk about some of the negative aspects of the breed:
1. Border Collies have a constant need to be busy
Border collies can be very restless dogs. They have the need to want to do something and are often described as "jittery." Being able to constantly mentally and physically drain these dogs can prove to be quite challenging. If you live a busy lifestyle I do not recommend getting a border collie.
2. Border Collies are naturally territorial
When owning a border collie, you might have to be cautious if strangers come over. Additionally because they are a working breed they find jobs to do if you are incapable of providing them with one, they will find something to do. In most cases that job is protecting the house. I have trained several border collies that gave themselves the job of protecting the house and wound up in my board and train program because of it.
3. Border Collies can nip, especially kids
I do not recommend getting this breed if you have small children. Border collies like to herd fast moving things like sheep and often nip at their legs to get them to move. Kids can be fast moving and might be a fun herding game to a border collie.
4. Border Collies NEED exercise
Stated many different times in this article. Border collies NEED exercise. A quick walk around the block will not cut it for these dogs. If you do not have at least an hour to exercise your dog then a border collie is not the right dog for you.
5. Border Collies NEED to be trained and socialized
This is the most important thing about owning a border collie is training them and socialize them. Start with socializing young with dogs and people that are low and calm energy. Make sure you have time to train your dog, like I have previously stated, collies need to be mentally stimulated too. If you are too busy to train and socialize a border collie then do not get one.
Devon MacDonald is the founder of Next Gen Aussies Collies and Shepherds which serves the Bay Area. Her business specializes in obedience, advance obedience, trick training, agility, leash reactivity, anxiety around people, and dog aggression. Next Gen ACS most popular program is it's board and train program which is available for both well-behaved dogs and ones with behavioral issues. Devon currently lives in Morgan Hill, California with her Mini-Australian Shepherd Cypress. Besides dogs, she has a passion for swimming, traveling and great wine.