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Are Border Collies Good Family Dogs? Facts & Care Tips

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Young boy hugging a border collie

Border Collies are classically known for being one of the most intelligent dog breeds to exist. They have historically served as herding dogs across the globe, doing their job impeccably. While you might know a few remarkable things about this particular breed, do they acclimate well into families?

We’re here to tell you why a Border Collie can make an absolutely terrific pet for families. You can learn all of the ins and outs and how to buy a Border Collie responsibly should you choose to add one of these beautiful companion animals to your home.
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Border Collie as A Family Dog: Are Border Collies Good With Kids?

The Border Collie is a brilliant animal with a positive attitude. When they are well-socialized and trained, these dogs make excellent family companions. With their sharp mind and willingness to please, the Border Collie is certainly the right selection for several life circumstances.

First, the Border Collie can make an excellent pet for growing families. However, since they are herding dogs, they might nip the heels of small children. This act is never done out of aggression but instinct. While it might not hurt your child, it could scare them if no one is used to the behavior.

Border Collies need an excessive amount of stimulation. They will want to tag along with you for adventures in the car, and it can become problematic if they are left alone for long periods.

Because they are such busybodies, they prefer families that share these attributes.

If you and your family love to take your four-legged pals out on the town, attending family barbecues, hiking trips, and vacations, these dogs will thrive. They are not the kind of dog, however, that you can keep in a kennel all day while you’re at work.

puppy Border Collie gives paw
Image Credit: Ann Tyurina, Shutterstock

Border Collie Intelligence and Temperament

Border Collies are highly intelligent and very receptive to training periods. They are considered the brainiest of all the dog breeds in the world. A study by Pilley and Reid in 2011 showed that Border Collies have the intelligence of a human child.

On record, the smartest Border Collie in the world is a dog named Chaser. She knows the names of 1,000 unique toys and a large vocabulary of words and retrieves items when asked. It is speculated that she has the cognition of a toddler.

Along with their intelligence, they are incredibly loyal and friendly with strangers and family members. They tend to get along very well with both children and other pets.

These dogs also have exquisite memories. They are incredibly receptive to word learning and command retention.

Border Collie Energy Levels

Border Collies have an extensive amount of energy that can be a lot for some to handle. You should have no trouble keeping up with this lively breed if you’re a very active family.

However, if you plan on putting these dogs in a kennel, locking them up most of the time, we recommend seeking a more relaxed breed. If your Border Collie goes a long time without being properly exercised, it can lead to many unwanted tendencies in the breed.

These might include excessive working, trying to escape enclosures, destructive tendencies, and a laundry list of bad habits from lack of release.

Border Collie
Image Credit By: jsoryal, pixabay

Border Collie Training Capabilities

Your Border Collie was born to learn. These dogs will absolutely thrive in training settings, capable of understanding various complicated and impressive tasks. If you want a dog that will impress you with its desire to work and extensive knowledge, this is undoubtedly a breed to consider.

Border Collies work very well in homes with lots of land and places to explore. At the very least, you need a secure, fenced-in backyard so they can burn off steam when you cannot exercise them yourself.

Your Border Collie should be fine with concepts like potty training and other related tasks. They pick up on things extremely easily, and we’ll impress you with how quickly they can learn. Since Border Collies have such an eagerness to please, they don’t often act indignant during training. Positive reinforcement methods help the process along.

Your Border Collie is so intelligent you could definitely train them for show purposes. They will excel tremendously in agility games and other training courses.

Border Collie Exercise

Since these dogs are so amiable, they make excellent candidates for dog park visits. They get along very well with other canines and enjoy romping and burning off steam. Plus, many dog parks have agility equipment available so you can adequately exercise your Border Collie.

This breed often does better with another canine companion around. They tend to be very amiable without their canines in the home and thrive on the pack mentality and companionship they bring.

border collie dog playing fetch with the male owner
Image Credit: elbud, Shutterstock

Border Collie Diet

Because Border Collies are a very high-energy breed, they require a diet that accommodates their physical exertion. They should have a high-quality, protein-rich diet in the form of dry kibble, wet canned food, or fresh food selections.

You should always check with your veterinarian to determine your dog’s best diet.

Border Collie Health Issues

Border Collies are generally very healthy dogs. With good breeding, they will live long, happy lives with very few health defects. However, certain issues pop up in the breed.

These include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Dental issues
  • Canine epilepsy
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Collie eye anomaly
vet examining a border collie dog
Image Credit: antoniodiaz, Shutterstock

Health Insurance for Pets

Getting pet insurance is an excellent way to ensure you can always take care of your Border Collie when it counts. It’s becoming an increasingly popular thing among pet owners. Different insurance companies offer various rates and comprehensive packages.

Many insurance companies are extending policies to pets. So, you can always see if your insurance company offers a bundle option. Ultimately the goal is to protect your pet in times of emergency, sudden illness, or injury.

Once you pay the deductible coverage, the insurance company will cover any remaining expenses. It’s estimated that most insurance companies cover between 15%–100% of all vet bills—depending on your plan.

Different Colors of Border Collies

You might be familiar with the Border Collie, which is the standard black and white. However, there are several different colors of Border Collie to choose from.

These include:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Blue merle
  • Red merle
  • Lilac
  • Sable merle
  • Brindle
  • Liver
  • Chocolate
  • Gold
  • Red

Specific colors might be harder to locate than others.

Border Collie outdoors
Image Credit: ForeverNaturalPhotography, Shutterstock

Border Collie Price

If you want to add a Border Collie to your family, you might be interested in the cost. Since this is a relatively common breed, you might notice a little lower price than some others. Generally, you can find Border Collies between $700 and $2.000.

Generally, if you’re shopping on sites like the AKC marketplace, these dogs cost between $15,000 and $20,000. on the high end. You can also purchase from private breeders that charge rates based on the quality of the puppies and location.

Always research before bringing a puppy home to ensure you’re buying from a reputable breeder. If prices are too low or the circumstance seems questionable, steer clear of supporting people who might not have a dog’s best interest at heart.

If you purchase a Border Collie from a rescue or shelter, you can spend significantly less and cover all the vetting expenses upfront. There are tons of Border Collies looking for a forever home, some being puppies, juveniles, adults, or seniors.

If you choose this route, you can expect to pay between $150 and $500, depending on the facility, location, and dog.

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So, to wrap that all up, yes. Border Collies make extremely good additions to many families, permitting you have the active lifestyle they need to stay fit and healthy. These intelligent dogs will thrive on family connections and having a job. So, if you have the space and the time, this dog can be one of the most rewarding breeds.

Remember to buy from a reputable breeder. Or you could save a life and adopt a Border Collie looking for a second chance at a forever home.

Featured Image Credit: encierro, Shutterstock

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