Is a Border Collie a Good Family Dog?

Border Collies can be good family dogs. The emphasis is on can, not that he is automatically a good family dog. The Border Collie is a classic herding dog and it can happen that he starts looking after the children in the household if they are too wild or suddenly start running. For this reason, a Border Collie requires the dog owner to be aware that training is not a surefire success.

Border collie looks after the children of the family

That’s one reason Border Collies don’t make good family pets if you have young children.

You have to realize that the Border Collie is a herding dog from England. His job is to look after mostly large flocks of sheep. That’s what he’s bred for, that’s in his blood.

The difference between the Border Collie and other herding dogs is that the Border Collie worked alone over long distances. He is much more independent than other herding dogs and not really comparable to them. So he decides for himself what to do.

For example, if you now have small children, perhaps of kindergarten age, who are constantly running around wildly (we have 2 boys, there is action in the house) it can happen that the Border Collie’s instinct is triggered and he looks at the child as a sheep and tries to herd—that is, to bring back to the flock.

One reads about this phenomenon again and again and should definitely be included in the consideration of whether a Border Collie is the right family dog ​​for you.

A Border Collie is an active family dog

If you have small children and are already thinking about childcare, the next point should reinforce your doubts.

I know from personal experience that when you have young children, one thing you most certainly don’t have, and that is plenty of time. Consider carefully whether you can spend at least 2 hours actively with your dog every day. A Border Collie needs a lot of exercises.

Be it jogging, cycling, Frisbee for dogs, agility, or targeted mental exercise. A Border Collie needs a relatively large amount of exercise compared to other family dogs.

So you need a lot more to tire a Border Collie than, for example, a Labrador or Golden Retriever.

Because if you don’t keep your Border Collie busy enough, he’ll look for work, and then minding your children can definitely happen.

A Border Collie is an intelligent family dog

Most people should know that the Border Collie is easy to train and intelligent. According to Prof. Stanley Coren, the Border Collie is the most intelligent dog of all.

At Stanley Coren, the criteria for measuring how smart a dog is were the number of repetitions until the dog understood a command and the probability that the dog would carry out the command the first time.

The Border Collie took first place on these two points. It learned a command the fastest and then executed it most safely.

On the one hand, this is of course a good quality for a family dog. Because the Border Collie learns quickly and is easy to train. If you invest the time, you have a great family dog. Ideally, when the children are older.

However, the Border Collie’s intelligence can also have the opposite effect. They learn very quickly, but also what they shouldn’t. As already mentioned, it is a very independent breed and will become active itself if not sufficiently challenged.

For example, if you don’t have time and just want to let your border collie out in the garden, over time he will figure out how to escape from prison.

A great alternative if you are looking for an intelligent family dog ​​that is much better suited if you have small children is the Golden Retriever. The Golden Retriever is smart and ranks 4th behind the Border Collie and the Golden Retriever is the perfect family dog.

One person is the focus of the Border Collie

The Border Collie often bonds with one person in the household. Usually, the one who spends the most time with him.

If you as a family want a dog that loves the whole family (which the Border does) it might get weird if the dog only wants to be with one person. In addition, the Border Collie may see other pets or other family members as competitors.

We have the phenomenon in a much weaker form in our dogs. Our youngest and our Cane Corso are a team. If the big one then goes to Malou, it can happen that she gets up in the petting unit because the little one calls her. That there are long faces.

Why do you have to think about whether the Border suits you?

So far I have only mentioned points that certify that the Border Collie is not a good family dog. But you have to think about these points.

It would be fatal if you got a dog and then exactly one of these problems occurs and you give the dog to the animal shelter.

Think extensively in advance about all potential dog breeds so that you make the right choice in any case and in the end, the dog does not have to suffer as a result.

Why Border Collies are good family dogs

As already mentioned, the Border Collie is extremely intelligent, he learns very quickly and wants to please his owners. He would rather play with you than with other dogs.

If you or another family member have several hours, i.e. at least 2 hours a day, to deal with the Border Collie properly, the Border Collie is a good family dog.

In this case, it is of course a huge advantage if the children are older and can also contribute to their upbringing and employment. If your children are of an appropriate age, a Border Collie can be perfect for your family because there is always someone who can train them, teach them tricks, etc.

Conclusion: Is the Border Collie a good family dog?

The Border Collie is a good family dog if you can find the time to interact with them properly. If the children are still very small, you should think twice and carefully consider whether a more relaxed breed might not be a better choice.

All in all, the Border Collie is a great dog for families too. You just have to be aware of what you are getting.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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