7 Things To Know Before Getting A Border Collie Puppy

There’s no question that you’d love a Border Collie for a shepherd dog – that’s what the breed is best for. But a family pet? Let’s go over the specifics.

7 Things To Know Before Getting A Border Collie Puppy

Border Collies are one of the most iconic shepherd dog breeds all across the world. First bred in the borderlands between England and Scotland, Border Collies soon started traveling across the globe together with the British explorers and colonizers.

The breed has been the prototype of many other shepherd dog breeds in Australia, the Americas, Africa, and Asia but has still remained its own breed too.

However, the question remains – would you want a Border Collie for a family pet dog?

There’s no question that you’d love a Border Collie for a shepherd dog – that’s what the breed is best for. But a family pet? Let’s go over the specifics.

What are the key characteristics that make Border Collie special?

Border Collies share most of their characteristics with other shepherd breeds but they do have a few notable differences. Like the German Shepherds, for example, Border Collies are exceptionally intelligent and energetic animals.

However, unlike their German counterparts, Border Collies are much less stubborn and focused. Instead, Border Collies tend to be even more social and trusting, making them easier to train and better with children.

So, while a breed like German Shepherds excels as police or military dogs because professional training can draw the most out of their focus and physicality, Border Collies are much more easy-going which is great for a family pet.

What’s more, Border Collies are slightly smaller and less muscular than other shepherd breeds, which also works in favor of them working as family pets.

But, to makes matters easier and simpler, let’s break all this into several distinct points.

The 7 things you should know before getting a Border Collie

1. Border Collies are a very intelligent dog breed

Like most other shepherd breeds, Border Collies are exceptionally intelligent. They are perfectly capable of learning and understanding many different complex tasks and tricks which is great for work and for fun!

Does this mean that they are easy to train, however?

As we know from other breeds, a dog being intelligent and being easy to train is not exactly the same thing. There are many super intelligent dog breeds that are also very stubborn and self-driven, making them quite difficult to train.

The German Shepherd is a perfect example of that – they are so intelligent that you can teach them lots of fascinating tasks but they are also quite difficult to train.

Border Collies are not like that. This breed is not only intelligent, but it’s also very susceptive to training! This is great for families who are just looking for an intelligent dog to have fun with.

Now, Border Collies lack the hyper focus that makes German Shepherds such expert working dogs but that hardly matters when you want a fun family dog, does it?

Does high intelligence have its drawbacks, however?

That’s a good question. For better or for worse, highly intelligent dog breeds like the Border Collie also need lots of mental stimulation.

What does this mean?

It means that you need to teach them tricks, you need to play more complex games with them, and you even need to get them some puzzle toys to keep them mentally engaged. If you don’t stimulate your smart doggy’s brain, they’ll quickly grow bored, anxious, depressed, or even start exhibiting destructive behaviors toward your furniture.

2. Want a dog with lots of energy? Consider a Border Collie

Naturally, all shepherd breeds have a ton of excess energy and the Border Collie is no exception. And while this is great if you want to run in the park with your doggo every day, there’s a drawback too.

What can be the drawback of having a highly energetic pup?

Well, it’s that you have to help your dog utilize that energy. If you have an energetic breed like the Border Collie at home you can’t just keep them locked up inside all day and just give them a couple of quick walks around the block.

Border collies need to run. They need to play fetch. They need to wrestle and they need to chase stuff. Otherwise, you’ll get them in the same rud as you would if you don’t give them enough mental stimulation – depression, anxiety, destructive tendencies, and so on.

3. Grooming a Border Collie takes very little effort

Looking at a Border Collie, you’d think that they are a pain to groom.

Well, they are not!

Granted, it’s still recommended to give your Border Collie the occasional bath (once or twice per month). Brushing your dog’s teeth once or twice per week is also recommended. But aside from that, the regular vet check-ups are all you’ll need to worry about.

Border Collies don’t even shed that much, believe it or not! Just brush their hair once a week and you shouldn’t have too much trouble with dog hair flying across your home as you would with other medium- and long-haired dog breeds.

4. This is a very child-friendly breed

Not all shepherd dog breeds are great with children but Border Collies certainly are. Their high social skills, great intelligence, gentle nature, and high energy make them the near-perfect companion for any toddler, small child, or teenager alike.

A Border Collie can easily be trained on how to behave around a child. The breed is also sturdy enough to withstand any “damage” a toddler can accidentally inflict while still being fluffy enough for the kids to love playing with them.

5. Border Collies are a relatively healthy breed

Probably one of the most important hidden factors dog owners should be aware of when getting a dog is just how healthy it’s likely going to be.

Of course, a lot of this depends on the individual but many dog breeds have a certain genetic and breed-specific predisposition to some diseases.

Fortunately, that’s not the case with Border Collies!

Because this breed hasn’t been as overbred for commercial purposes as other breeds, Border Collies remain an extraordinary health dog breed to this day.

Now, this isn’t to say that Border Collies are immortal or immune to any diseases, of course! As healthy as they are, there are still some ailments that you’ll need to look out for if you want to prevent them or catch them as soon as possible. Here’s a quick list of the things you want to watch out for:

  • Obesity is not a major problem for most Border Collies but it can be for your pup if you overfeed them and don’t give them enough exercise.

  • Dental and gum problems are more common in Border Collies than in most other breeds.

  • Infections and parasites are a standard problem for all dogs so make sure to vaccinate your Border Collie.

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia are also possible so look out for any injuries.

  • Thyroid problems are also somewhat common for Border Collies so look out for dry skin, hair loss, weight gain, and fearfulness as the main symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

And, of course, whenever you’re getting a Border Collie you should always look for a reputable breeder or a responsible shelter/rescue that are willing to give you a comprehensive health certificate for your pup.

6. Socializing your Border Collie is very important

As social as Border Collies are, they do need a bit of socialization while they’re still young if you want them to get along with other pets, dogs, and people later on. A Border Collie pup that’s been kept in isolation and hasn’t socialized with other dogs and people may grow fearful of strangers which is not ideal for the dog or you.

Fortunately, socializing your pup is easy enough – just give your dog enough regular positive interactions with people, dogs, and other pets so that your doggo can get used to being among strangers.

7. Getting cats and Border Collies to get along can take some time

Now, socializing your dog with a cat can be a bit more challenging than it’d be with other dogs. That’s not because Border Collies don’t love cats – they do! Border Collies are a shepherd dog breed so they are perfectly fine interacting with any other animal as long as they are used to them.

The problem with cats is that Border Collies may try to “herd” them seeing as how they are a shepherd breed. And if you know anything about cats, you know that they don’t like to be… “herded”.

So, if you have a cat or want to get a cat later on, keep in mind that you might have to train your Border Collie on how to behave around said feline.

Who are Border Collies “right” for?

Border Collies are the perfect dog breed for almost any family. The only criteria are that you have to be ready to give your Border Collie enough playtime outdoors and enough mental stimulation.

If you’re looking for a canine pet that can just sit at home and do nothing, you’d do well to pick a different breed.

How to prepare for getting a Border Collie?

The good news is that you don’t need anything overly specific to prep for a Border Collie other than the standard dog items like a leash, food bowls, dog toys, a dog bed, hygiene items, and so on.

You may want to read up on training and socializing your Border Collie pup but they’re not harder to deal with than most other dog breeds so they are a fairly novice-friendly breed.

Just make sure that you have enough free time to play and interact with your new Border Collie best friend.

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