You might have heard that Border Collies should be owned only by people who live on farms or train dogs professionally. The breed is widely known as being over-the-top crazy, having endless energy and requiring enormous amounts of physical and mental exercise. They are said to nip everything that moves, chase cars and only love their owner and nobody else.
Training dogs as a living and competing in dog sports, I have met my fair share of Border Collies (and I also own two myself). Here is what it’s really like to live with them!
Puppyhood is … intense.
The scary part first … Border Collie puppies are not for the faint of heart. Never sleeping, never tired; always on the go and ready to turn your life upside down. If you have ever owned a puppy, a Border Collie puppy is like that puppy, but times 100. I have never met a single puppy of the breed who was calm or easy-going. You will need to stop the puppy biting while at the same time rescuing him from the kitchen counter and taking the dozen shoes away that he stole.
However, if you are able to pull through the puppy stage, you will discover that…
Adult Border Collies Actually Appreciate Comfort
Who would have known! Once your puppy is about a year old, you will notice a sudden change. Adult Border Collies actually really enjoy snuggling, snoozing, resting and being comfortable. They seek out the softest, biggest dog bed, enjoy laying in a sunny spot and will sneak under your covers (if you allow them to!).
Once a Border Collie is out, he is out — they love long naps and will make sure to take some every day.
Training Goes A Long Way
Border Collies do not need to be the nipping, car-chasing menaces that people think all herding dogs are. They are highly trainable and, if taught consistently and positively, can understand very well that herding humans and vehicles is a big no-no.
They can also be trained to settle and calm down, because…
Border Collies Do Not Need To Be Exhausted Daily
Of course, you should only own a dog if you are willing to engage with him every day, take him for walks and play with him. Border Collies need that as much as any other breed. It is however wrong to assume that they require a daily 15 mile run to be happy and not pester you at home.
Physically exhausting your dog constantly can in fact turn him into a super athlete who will just crave more and more exercise.
Instead, Border Collies require a balance of mental challenges (such as food puzzles), training times (for obedience, tricks, agility, frisbee, etc.) and also social interactions, at parks for example.
They Are Amazing Sport Partners
Border Collies shine with their ability to learn new skills rapidly and they love to work together with their owners. They are stars in any dog sport, ranging from competition obedience over nosework to dog dancing, high jump, agility and more.
Once you start a sport with your Border Collie, you won’t want to stop.
You Will Definitely Love Them
Don’t be put off by their reputation: Border Collies are dogs just like all others (albeit, a bit more energetic and smart!). With a dedicated owner, they can become amazing companions.
Once you have a Border Collie, you will always want to have one!