The Border Collie is also referred to as the ‘Scotch Sheep Dog’ in reference to its place of origin. Those who share their homes with Border Collies and Border Collie mixes often describe them as highly energetic, intelligent, sensitive and demanding of attention and activity.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise – This is a must with the Border Collie
The most important thing to remember about a Border Collie is that they need both mental and physical stimulation and exercise. A Border Collie can run for hours, but mental challenges (agility, herding, obedience, trick training, nosework, jobs around the house such as bringing in the paper, etc.) are what help a Border Collie be a happy, content family member.
Not all Border Collies are intense working dogs, but many of them are. Their intelligence is great, but people need to be willing to work with it. A Border Collie needs more than just a leash walk or occasional short game of fetch.
If they are not challenged or they get bored they make up their own fun, which you may not enjoy too much. Border Collies also need consistent expectations and rules. They are hard-working and honest dogs who are great teammates. They do best with positive reinforcement.
Border collies are not dogs that can be left in the back yard to exercise. They need more than a walk around the block. Also, training is imperative and they MUST be corrected for bad behavior. Ignoring bad behavior does not work.
This is a highly intelligent and well balanced breed that is happiest and most well behaved when given a ‘job’ to do or provided with adequate physical activity.
This breed is not well suited for apartment life.
It is not for those who desire a lap dog type companion.
The Border Collie is not always accepting of small children, cats, dogs and other family pets as a tremendous desire to herd has been bred into them for hundreds of years. This breed is best and happiest when paired with people who have a very active lifestyle that includes a great deal of outdoor activity.
Border Collies shed heavily and require frequent grooming
Dog breeds that have the thick double coat such as Border Collies will shed heavily at certain times of the year due to changing weather. This normally occurs in the spring and fall when the coat will require frequent brushing and undercoat raking to minimize shedding.
Medical issues with Border Collies
Border Collies may be prone to PRA, which is a Collie Eye Anomoly, deafness, epilepsy or hip dysplasia. Border Collies can also be allergic to fleas or sensitive to some drugs that are safe for other breeds. Make sure your veterinarian is familiar with these sensitivities before they prescribe medication.