10 things to consider when looking to get a border collie
Updated: Jul 2, 2022
Border collies are full of energy and have a colourful personality making them a wonderful addition to your family. However, there are some things you should know before embarking on the beautiful ownership of a one-of-a-kind dog. I have a short hair collie called Daisy and she is the heart of our family, but she does test my patience. These are ten things to consider when adopting a collie.
Energy: Collies have a lot of energy and if you don’t see to their needs, they will become destructive. You need to be a very active person to keep up with a collie, and a true rambler will love spending hours walking with their new four-legged friend.
Exercise: If you want to only walk your dog on the lead once a day, don’t get a collie. They aren’t lapdogs or ones to lounge around they need someone to keep up with them and are an ideal running partner.
Intelligence: Collies are one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. There was a collie that learnt 1000 words and was able to recognise different toys.
Boredom: They need a lot of attention, you can’t leave these dogs for hours and hours on end. If you can’t give them the time and don’t want to fork out for a lunchtime walker it’s not the dog for you.
Destructive behaviour: Boredom leads to chaos, and with an intelligent dog if you don’t leave them a puzzle game you will return to chewed-up shoes.
Discipline: Collies are quick learners and giving them commands will keep them entertained. You can also teach them tricks.
Obsessive behaviour: My dog is obsessed with digging in the water and retrieving a stick or ball. This behaviour can be controlled with some simple commands and persistence.
Anxiety: They can develop separation anxiety and become distressed when you leave and they are also more sensitive to loud noises.
Other dogs: My collie tolerates other dogs, but she prefers playing with her ball. I’m glad I associated her with dogs as a puppy so she didn't develop aggressive tendencies. Aggression is not a common trait in this breed but if they develop this behaviour toward other dogs nip it in the bud. Their trait of wanting to please their owner means their behaviours can be changed.
Tricks: A collie's enthusiasm and ability to learn quickly makes them ideal for learning tricks. Their wagging tail is a clear indication they enjoy learning and want to please you.
A lot of these points interlink with other breeds of dog and researching your breed is key. Obviously, I am biased and would love for you to adopt a collie. Border collies have quirky personalities and an energetic spirit that will make you fall in love with them. If you decide to get one, they will fill your life with happiness and keep you very fit.