Canines have been man’s best friend and companions for generations. There are hundreds of dog breeds available today, but very few compare to the Border collie in terms of elegance and energy levels. Originally a herding dog, these dogs have found homes in millions of houses across the world in this current age. However, many people still seem to have inadequate knowledge about the dog, asking the question, Are Border Collies good family dogs?
Luckily, this article will provide a detailed answer to that question and give some additional facts about these adorable dogs.
History of the Border Collie
The Border Collie is a relatively old dog breed, as people first discovered it thousands of years ago. Initially, this dog breed was used by farmers and livestock owners between Scotland and England as herd dogs. They were responsible for gathering the farmer’s sheep and keeping them safe from danger. They were widely admired by people worldwide due to their high energy levels and intelligence, stamina, and work rate.
Over time, people began to ship these dogs to several parts of the world, making them participate in activities like racing and sheepdog trials. Now, these dogs have been domesticated and are owned proudly by many homeowners.
These dogs are rather unique in size and build. They are medium in size, which is a large contributor to their agility. In terms of weight, they range between 30-55 pounds, depending on how old they are, what sex the dog is, and the kind of lifestyle they lead. They aren’t so tall either, with their height being between 18-22 inches, depending majorly on the sex and age.
These dogs have a relatively impressive life span of 12-15 years due to their active lifestyles and endless love for exercise. However, the most remarkable attraction when it comes to the Border Collie is their beautiful coats which are soft and full. Also, these dogs have two sets of coats because of the harsh weather they had to endure while herding sheep.
Are Border Collies Good Family Dogs
Border Collies are among the most friendly dog breeds in the world. Thus, they make excellent family dogs for the following reasons:
1. Very Affectionate Towards Family
It is well known that the breed of your dog strongly determines their affection towards your family. Some species will behave nonchalantly towards you even if you’ve been with them since they were little. Some are even violent while in the midst of too many people at once. However, the Border Collie is a highly social dog that can be enormously affectionate towards people they know.
They are excellent companions for you and your partner regardless of time. Also, due to their high athleticism and energy levels, they can play with your children for an extended amount of time without getting tired. Border Collies are strong enough to take all the hugs your toddlers, and little children give.
2. They Could be trained to be friendly towards strangers
Border Collies will gladly receive all kinds of guests with wagging nuzzles and tails and open paws. They appreciate interactions with humans and other animals due to their history with them. If you plan to have many strangers coming to your sanctuary, you should consider making your Border Collie gets accustomed to this at a young age.
Dogs that are socialized at young ages tend to relate a lot better with guests than dogs that stayed virtually isolated.
Additionally, no matter what dog breed you own, it is vital to keep your dog on a leash when multiple strangers are coming to your home. Even the friendliest canines can act up for unexplainable reasons.
3. Grooming them Provides Family Bonding
Border collies require a lot of grooming because of their coats. Their genes make them grow hair at a fast rate. This means that if you don’t groom them for a while, they look unkempt because of the ingrown hairs.
Their nails are also essential to clean and file regularly. This dog’s claws contain large amounts of dirt and germs, and Border Collies tend to pick at their nails. If they do this while germs and grime are still present, it can lead them to develop life-threatening diseases.
Thus, they need to be groomed thoroughly. On the bright side, grooming a Border Collie provides a big chance for your family to spend time together, strengthening the pre-existing bond.
4. They Have High Energy Levels and Good Health
The energy level of your dog largely depends on what breed they are and their size. For one, a large dog is more likely to have significantly lower energy levels than smaller dogs. Border Collies are dogs that are medium in size and are genetically energetic. This combination makes them excellent play partners for you and your family.
Additionally, Border collies generally boast of good health and a strong immune system. However, before you purchase one, make sure to obtain some knowledge on common diseases these dogs contract and how much it costs to treat them.
5. They Can Be Trained Easily
Your dog being straightforward to train provides you with many benefits. This attribute would mean that they are more skilled in linking words with actions and are more likely to respond to reinforcement. For example, they will easily be able to easily associate the phrase “rollover” with the act.
You can get this result faster by using reinforcements like giving them treats. Being one of the most intelligent, Border Collies are one of the easiest dog breeds to train. They need relatively less time, effort, and even treats to learn new commands and prompts, making them excellent family dogs.
Their Compatibility With Other Pets
Border collies are positive dogs that appreciate social interaction with humans and all sorts of animals. They are generally receptive towards other pets in the home.
However, one pet they may or may not get along with is cats. Due to their history, Border Collies like to herd other animals. They want to monitor other animals, follow them around, and order them to protect them. Some cat breeds have nonchalant natures towards other animals and humans, so pairing them with Border Collies is not much of a problem.
However, some felines naturally have feisty attitudes, making them less likely to comply with what your Border Collie wants them to do. Adversely, this can anger your canine and make them more aggressive towards your cat.
Hence, it is essential you get both of them accustomed to the company of other pets before you pair them up.
How To Make Them More Compatible With Cats
Adopt at a young age
Adoption at a young age is the first and best option for people who want their Border Collie to get along with their cat. If you don’t have either, it would be best to adopt them both at young ages.
Presently, multiple pet shops offer dogs that have been “cat-trained” by numerous trainers. Taking one of these dogs may cost more in the short-term but will save you a lot of capital and effort in the long run.
If you already have an adult Border Collie, you can also hire a professional trainer to teach them how to tolerate more animals, but you may need to spend a few extra bucks.
Make them perform exercises
Exercises are crucial for your border collie due to their high energy levels. Making them perform activities can keep them from becoming bored and passive and keep their bodies and brains in shape.
Additionally, exercises can quench their boredom, which reduces the chances of them herding other pets.
However, many Border Collies tend to take this to the extreme and overwork their dogs. Doing this can make them exhausted and aggressive, which is the opposite of what you want to do. Hence, try to make them perform exercises in moderation.
Keep them occupied
Keeping a dog occupied naturally means a less troublesome dog. Ultimately, this would mean they are less likely to obsess over other pets. You can keep them occupied in various ways:
- Play Fetch
All you would need to do when you play this game is to throw a disk, and then your dog instinctively dashes to get it. You can decide to run around with your dog or wait around for your dog to bring it back.
When you’re using this method to keep them occupied, try as much as possible not to throw the disk too far, or somewhere that’s too dangerous for your dog to retrieve. Otherwise, you could end up with a mildly or severely injured dog by the time you’re done playing the game.
- Tug of war or hide and seek
Both of these are good indoor games for your dog to play with your whole family. Tug of war involves a piece of cloth being tugged around, while hide and seek involves your family hiding and making your dog trying to find where you’re all hiding.
The best way to play this hide and seek game with your dog is by occasionally calling out their name while being concealed by something, and occasionally switching positions.
- Food puzzles
Food puzzles are available in several stores around you, and they are good ways to keep your dog occupied. They involve your dog trying to get treats by solving various puzzles, which also keeps their mental health in good shape.
Food puzzles come in many shapes and sizes, which means they also come in versions that are very affordable. However, make sure not to use this method of distraction excessively, as it may cause your dog to become obese and unhealthy.
Allergies To Watch Out For In Your Border Collie
Allergies are often hard to deal with, and sometimes they are even life-threatening. As a family, there are several allergies you need to watch out for in your Border Collie. The allergies you should watch out for when taking care of a Border Collie as a family are food, contact, and inhalants.
Watch out for what your dog eats, and see if they have any negative reactions to it. Never feed them substances that are hazardous substances to dogs such as chocolate.
When choosing grooming chemicals like shampoo and soap, make sure you carefully deduce what flavors, smells, and chemicals your Border Collie is allergic to. You can do this by close monitoring and taking them to the veterinarian.
Inhalants such as pollen, mildew, and smoke are generally harmful to dogs, so make sure you keep them away from these.
Border Collies are one of the most adorable pets around. They are extremely friendly and are highly intelligent, making them excellent family dogs. So, to answer the question, “Are Border Collies good family dogs“? Yes, they are.