When Do Border Collies Calm Down? Understanding Dog Behavior
Border Collies are a naturally energetic breed prone to hyperactivity and overstimulation. If you’re at your wits end with your Border Collie puppy, you’re probably wondering when you’ll finally find some reprieve from its craziness. While exuberance is generally considered a breed trait, most Border Collies will start calming down when they’re around four to six years old. Some won’t start slowing down until they’re closer to six or seven.
Of course, it will vary from dog to dog, so it’s best not to rely on age alone as an indicator. Instead, focus on doing what you can do to help manage your Border Collie in its most hyper state.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Causes Border Collies to Be So Hyper?
Border Collies are an extremely competent herding breed, bred specifically to herd sheep. Their strength, stamina, intelligence, and work ethic have been used in farmer’s fields for centuries. Though your Border Collie may not be herding any sheep in its free time, the inclination to do so still runs in its blood. You may find your pup nipping at your heels or bumping you to try and ‘herd’ you.
Without proper physical and mental stimulation, your Border Collie will have no outlet for its high energy. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to suppress the hardwired working behaviors without providing an alternate outlet for this energy.
A responsible Border Collie owner will involve their dog in agility courses, obedience training, or herding. You must be proactive when directing your dog; otherwise, they’ll be hyperactive and “misbehave” for most of their lives. We put misbehaved in quotation as dogs exhibiting fewer desirable behaviors often do so through no fault of their own. These poor behaviors are sometimes due to poor ownership and a lack of training and socialization.
How Can I Calm My Border Collie?
Commit to Continuous Training
Training is non-negotiable when it comes to Border Collies. This highly intelligent breed typically enjoys training, and many commands seem to come naturally.
Training is a lifelong commitment that shouldn’t stop when your pup has learned the basic commands. It engages your dog’s mind, satisfies it, and trains it to be better behaved. Intelligent breeds, like Border Collies, can get bored very easily, so continuous training ensures you’re always challenging its body and mind.
Exercise Twice a Day
Exercising your Border Collie should be a no-brainer. But the amount and time you exercise are key factors.
The best times to take your pup out for physical activity are first thing in the morning and again at night. Sorry to all you night owls, but getting that first exercise session bright and early in the morning is absolutely essential. Most collies wake up bursting with energy, so don’t make them wait hours to release that pent-up energy.
Choose activities that allow your pup to use its strong herding instincts, like letting it run and play in an open space or playing fetch.
Set Up a Safe Space in Your Home
If you can’t be at home all day with your dog, you’ll need to set up a safe space to keep it when you’re away.
Choose a smaller room of your home and put your pup’s bed, toys, and crate (if it uses one) inside. Having a secure space for it will allow your dog to explore and play without giving it free-run of your entire home.
Put a few articles of unwashed clothing in the room if your dog is prone to separation anxiety. Your dirty clothes can provide a sense of calming and give your dog something to chew on if it gets bored.
Socialization is an important part of raising any dog and should be started when you bring your pet home. Proper socialization ensures your pet will be happy, well-adjusted, and get along with other animals and humans. Check out our puppy socialization checklist for more tips on successfully socializing your Border Collie.
Border Collies are a high-energy breed that may not start slowing down until they’re four to seven years old. All prospective Border Collie owners should know this, as there is no way around it. This working breed needs to be exercised, trained, and socialized properly to live harmoniously with their human family members and other pets. But the good news is that the breed’s hyperactivity can be dampened with some time, exercise, and training.
Featured Image Credit: Vera Reva, Shuttterstock