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Temperament of a Border Collie Dog


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Border Collies are considered the most intelligent dogs on the planet boasting an extremely strong instinct to work alongside men, they are always ready and alert to any commands they are given. This makes the breed highly trainable and Border Collies have proved themselves not only in the working environment herding flocks of sheep but as search and rescue dogs, tracker and sniffer dogs too. They are always a firm favorite in the show ring and boast an impressive track record for winning at many canine sporting activities which includes agility.

They need a lot of exercises and mental stimulation to be truly happy, well-rounded and well-behaved dogs. They are never happier than when they are working or being given something to do. They are not a good choice for people who lead a more sedentary, indoor life because Border Collies are high maintenance in the exercise department. With this said, they are the perfect choice for people and families who lead busy outdoor lives where a canine companion would fit in perfectly with their lifestyle.

A Border Collie’s training needs to start as early as possible and they need to be well socialized from a young age too. Trainers love these dogs because they are so responsive to commands and because they learn new things exceptionally quickly. There is, of course, a downside to their intelligence which is they are just as quick to pick up bad habits as they are good. Providing they are given the right sort of direction and guidance from the word go, Border Collies are a pleasure to live with, but if they get the better of an owner, they can make life in the home very difficult indeed.

 Border Collies like to know their place in the pack and who is the Alpha Dog in a household or they might start displaying a more dominant side to their character which is something to be avoided at all costs. The result is an unruly, hard to manage and the unhappy dog that’s hard to handle. They also tend to form a very strong bond with one person in a household although always friendly and affectionate to the rest of the household.

Being so intelligent means that Border Collies are quick to learn how to open cupboards and doors, something potential owners need to be aware of or they might feed their pet helps themselves to a lot of things which include food they should not really eat. If they are left to their own devices for long periods of time, boredom quickly sets in and dogs find their own way of amusing themselves which includes chasing people, cars, bicycles and anything else that takes their fancy. Other behavioral problems that develop when dogs are left on their own for long periods of time include being destructive around the house, pacing up and down which is a sure sign of a Border Collie being unhappy and bored.

Are they a good choice for first-time owners?

Border Collies are not the best choice for first-time dog owners simply because their needs are so specific and they tend to be quite demanding in many ways. They are better suited to people familiar with the breed and who have the time needed to dedicate to an extremely intelligent and active canine companion.

What about prey drive?

Border Collies were bred to herd and it’s a trait that’s deeply embedded in a dog’s psyche.  They have a high prey drive and will chase an animal whether large or small not necessarily to hurt it, but because they feel the need to “control” anything they herd or chase. With this said, it would be a mistake to let a Border Collie run free anywhere near livestock unless they have been extremely well trained and respond to the “recall” command in an instant.

What about playfulness?

Border Collies have a playful streak in them and thrive on playing interactive games. They excel at many canine sports which include activities like flyball, agility, and obedience to name but three. They remain playful right into their golden years which is another reason they are so entertaining around the home and fun to live with.

What about adaptability?

Border Collies thrive in an environment where they have plenty of space to express themselves as they should. They are not suited to apartment living unless they are in their golden years and need less in the way of daily exercise, but they would still need a lot of mental stimulation to be truly happy dogs even when they reach their senior years.

What about separation anxiety?

Some Border Collies do suffer from separation anxiety because they form such strong ties with their owners which is why they are better suited to households where at least one person remains at home when everyone else is out.

What about excessive barking?

A bored Border Collie would develop unwanted behavioral issues, one of which is barking incessantly to get some attention. It would be fair to say that some Border Collies can be “barkers” whereas others are not. The key to curbing this type of behavior in such an active, energetic dog is to make sure they are given lots of mental stimulation and daily exercise. A tired Border Collie is a “good” Border Collie which describes the breed perfectly.

Do Border Collies like water?

Some Border Collies love being in and around water whereas others don’t like to get their feet wet. Most dogs that do like water are good swimmers, but care should always be taken when any dog is being walked near any of the more dangerous watercourses just in case they decide to leap in.

Are Border Collies good watchdogs?

Border Collies can be quite territorial and therefore can be quick off the mark to let an owner know when strangers are about or when something they don’t like is going on in their environment.

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