Are Border Collies Good First Time Dogs? [Vet Advice]

Are Border collies good first time dogs

The dog you choose will probably be your companion for the next ten or twelve years, so making the right decision is essential. Today’s focus is on Border collie as a first-time dog.

Here is whether Border collies are good first-time dogs.

Since the Border collies are intelligent, loyal, obedient, highly trainable, responsive, alert, affectionate, they are perfect for first-time owners. But, this largely depends on the home environment and the owner’s lifestyle. As a major con, they are energetic that requires a huge time and effort.

Understand, every dog is an individual, just like us. Knowing the breed’s energy level, exercise needs, and grooming needs can prevent your future problems. So, let’s dive in to find all these about the border collies.

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The characteristics of Border collies and how do they affect first time owners?

Now let us focus on some characteristics of border collies and how they affect first-time owners.

Here is the list of characteristics,

  1. An active, athletic, and intelligent dog.
  2. Don’t do well on their own.
  3. Nipping behavior.
  4. Some do not go well with children.

1. An active, athletic, and intelligent dog.

If you are a typical worker from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM away from home, it will be a problem. The border collie is a type of dog that needs a high amount of exercise.

He requires a minimum of 2 hours of physical exercise per day. (Let me highlight the word minimum!).

Also, Border collies are considered as the smartest dog breed, Einsteins of the dog world. So, they need a considerable amount of mental stimulation per day.

A typical worker of 9-5 will not be able to provide it. Lack of exercise can result in anxiety-based conditions. 

2. Don’t do well on their own.

They need a company for most of the day.

Watch these 7 facts, they will be extremely helpful

3. Nipping behavior.

They have a natural instinct of nipping at people and other animals when they feel a lack of attention. Chasing behavior is also common.

4. Some do not go well with children.

This breed is a herding dog from the United Kingdom. So, they naturally tend to herd anything that moves, including children, bikes, cars, other dogs, and other animals.

At first, they lower their head and stare at the subject until the subject obeys his command. If the subject is not responding, they will tend to bark, snarl, nip even bite! So border collies can be dangerous for children. 

As a veterinary student, I would like to advise you that you must think twice before adopting a Border collie if you are a mum or dad of an infant.

What type of the first-time owner would be a good match for a Border collie?

The border collie is a fantastic dog for the first time but only to the right owner. So, now let’s find out what type of first-time owner would be a good match for a Border collie.

So, here is the list of factors that require to be a perfect owner for a border collie,

  1. Your occupation and your working hours.
  2. Members in the house
  3. Financial status.
  4. Children.
  5. Your preference for exercises.
  6. Type of home.

1. Your occupation and your working hours.

If you are a typical worker from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM away from home, it will be a problem. The border collie is a type of dog that requires a high amount of exercise.

He requires a minimum of 2 hours of physical exercise per day. (Let me highlight the word minimum!).

Also, Border collies are considered as the smartest dog breed, Einsteins of the dog world. So, they need a considerable amount of mental stimulation per day.

A typical worker of 9-5 will not be able to provide it. Lack of exercise can result in anxiety-based conditions. 

2. Members in the house.

If there is someone who can take charge of his duties, you can consider adopting a Border collie for the first time.

3. Financial status.

This plays a significant role. When adopting a dog for the first time, you have to get all the equipment needed for him. It includes 

  • Crate
  • Food
  • Water Bowls
  • Dog food
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • Grooming kit, etc.

You must be ready to bear the health expenses. When considering health issues, the Border collie is a healthy breed. But there are some genetic conditions associated with them like Collie Eye Anomaly(CEA).

4. Children.

The Border Collie is a herding dog from the United Kingdom. They naturally tend to herd anything that moves, including children, bikes, cars, other dogs, and other animals.

At first, they lower their head and stare at the subject until the subject obeys his command. If the subject is not responding, they will tend to bark, snarl, nip even bite! So border collies can be dangerous for children. 

As a veterinary student, I would like to advise you that you must think twice before adopting a Border collie if you are a mum or dad of an infant.

5. Your preference for exercise.

If you are spending a sedentary lifestyle, adopting a Border collie is not at all suitable. The border collie is a type of dog that needs a high amount of exercise.

He requires a minimum of 2 hours of physical exercise per day. Lack of exercise can result in anxiety-based conditions. 

Border collies requires a minimum of 2 hours of physical exercise per day. Lack of exercise can result in anxiety-based conditions. 

Ms. Pavithra (Veterinary undergraduate)

6. Type of home.

The border collie is a dog most suitable for a home with a play area or garden for his/her active behavior. I know you have the question, as a first-time owner can they live in apartments?

Although many say that they cannot live in apartments, my answer is it depends. If he has to endure an apartment living alone for about 12 hours a day, it is not at all suitable for a Border collie.

Suppose he has company and a lot of mental stimulations like puzzles and toys. So, there is a chance of him living a contented life in an apartment.

Also, if you working in a workplace that you can take your BC apartment, living can be considered.

Border collie puppy or adult? Which one is the perfect for first time owners?

Border collie puppy or adult? Which one is the best for first-time owners? I think it is most suitable to adopt a puppy as a first-time owner if you expect a good family companion. Then you can train him from puppyhood to a good companion.

What are the pros and cons of owning a Border collie?

Owning a Border collie comes with advantages and challenges, especially for the first time. So, it is essential to consider these advantages and challenges before deciding whether they are the right dog breed for you.

But you have to be mindful that most of the behavioral cons can be eliminated by proper training, positive reinforcement, and patience.

ProsCons
Intelligence and easily trainable.Require a lot of time and effort.
Protective.Don’t do well on their own.
Watchdogs.Shedding.
Love to play.Need a job to do.
Forgivable.Nipping behavior.
Territorial.
Need high security.
Outthinking.
Extra socialization time.

So, now let’s understand what are these pros and cons

Pros by owning a border collie

1. Intelligence and easily trainable.

This breed is the smartest dog breed in the world. When using positive reinforcement techniques during the training produces excellent results.

So, border collies are eager to learn new tricks and commands, So their high intelligence makes them easily trainable. They also possess the ability to identify right from wrong.

2. Protective.

They are highly protective of the family and the home. Proper training can further reinforce this nature.

3. Love to play.

The border collie is an active dog breed. If you want a dog that keeps you active, playfully for most of the day, a Border collie is the best option.

4. Forgivable.

This breed is very forgivable.

Cons by owning a border collie

1. Require a lot of time and effort.

The border collie is a type of dog that needs a high amount of exercise. He requires a minimum of 2 hours of physical exercise per day. Lack of exercise can result in anxiety-based conditions.

Read this to understand why do some Border collies whine so much.

2. Don’t do well on their own.

They need a company for most of the day.

3. Shedding.

They shed, but it is less compared to breeds like German shepherd and Husky. They need a medium level of grooming. They should be groomed more than once a week.

As they love to be active, you will have to brush out tangles, matting, and debris quite often.

4. Need a job to do.

They require a job to do most of the time. They can become aggressive due to boredom. Normally they are not many aggressive dogs. They tend to show some level of aggressiveness due to a lack of mental stimulation.

5. Nipping behavior.

They have a natural instinct of nipping at people and other animals when they feel a lack of attention. Chasing behavior is also common. Proper training can prevent these conditions.

6. Territorial.

They are very protective of their territory. Border collies bark when there is a stranger or ring in the doorbell. But some Border collies can act destructively if they feel like their territory is threatened. The best way of avoiding this is proper socialization.

7. Need high security.

If your garden or compound is not secured by a fence or a wall, that can be a problem. Due to their natural chasing instinct, they will chase cars, people, and other animals on the road. 

8. Outthinking.

No hesitation there. They are the smartest dog breed! This can be a problem sometimes. Even if you locked your gate, they would learn how to open it with the time!

9. Extra socialization time.

Usually, They tend to be shy due to their natural temperament. You have to provide him with extra socialization time to avoid this.

How to take care of Border collies?

Remember, there are a handful of important things you need to know as a first-time Border collie owner. So, they are,

  1. Nutrition.
  2. Exercise.
  3. Grooming.
  4. Training.
  5. Health.

1. Nutrition.

Some Border collies are prone to get overweight. So, it is necessary to consider his/her calorie consumption. As they are active dogs, you should provide them with a balanced diet.

It is not necessary to give commercially manufactured dog food; you can provide him with home-prepared meals. It is better if you can get the advice of a qualified veterinarian about his nutritional needs.

You must be careful about your dog’s age when giving any of the food items. Too many dog treats are also harmful as they can cause obesity.

Measure your border collies weight whenever you have free time and make sure he is within the healthy level. Giving a sufficient amount of clean water daily is also an essential factor.

2. Exercise.

Border collies are energetic, acrobatic, and athletic dog breeders who need a high amount of exercise daily. These dogs require a minimum of 2 hours of exercise per day.

It should be vigorous exercises other than something like a walk. Honestly, I would like to emphasize that if you live a sedentary lifestyle, never adopt a border collie. Also, you can participate in events like agility, flying saucer competitions, etc.

3. Grooming.

They shed, but it is less compared to breeds like German shepherd and Husky. They need a medium level of grooming. They should be groomed more than once a week.

As they love to be active, you will have to brush out tangles, matting, and debris quite often. During the shedding season, regular brushing is required. Nails should be trimmed regularly.

Their teeth should be brushed daily, and you must check the condition of his ears during every bathing session.

4. Training.

You must start basic obedience training from his puppyhood. Also, you can hire a professional trainer for this. Border collies normally do not behave well with strangers.

So, socialization from puppyhood plays a significant role in his training. When using positive reinforcement techniques during the training produces excellent results.

Border collie are eager to learn new tricks and commands, So their high intelligence makes them easily trainable. They also possess the ability to identify right from wrong.

5. Health.

When considering health issues, the Border collie is a healthy breed. But there are some genetic conditions associated with them like Collie Eye Anomaly(CEA).

Things to be aware of.

Never use punishments. : Never use punishments during his training.

Positive reinforcement: When using positive reinforcement techniques during the training produces excellent results.

Tend to chase anything that moves: You must take precautions to stop him from going to the road when he is outdoors. Also, be careful about the children.

Conclusion

Owning a dog is a long-term commitment to financial and practical terms. Make it a joy by choosing the breed that is as near as possible the perfect one for you. So, I advise you on all the things mentioned in this article before adopting a Border collie as a first-time dog.