Thinking of bringing home a dog? Yay, you! While the idea of adopting one is exciting, it can also be confusing given the number of breeds and personalities there are out there. Speaking of different breeds, people seem to absolutely love Border Collies. First bred in the borderlands between England and Scotland, they are essentially herding dogs. They are super cute and an incredible breed, no doubt, but are they right for you? Here are some things you should know before adopting a Border Collie.
They Are Super Energetic
Remember the Duracell Bunny? Think of Border Collies as the canine version of this bunny. They are athletic and have unbelievable endurance, which is the reason why they make great herding dogs in the first place. They NEED an active lifestyle so long walks, runs, and even hikes are a must. If they’re kept cooped up in a small space and don’t get enough exercise, you will end up seeing destructive behavior. If you do decide to bring a Border Collie home, make sure your new friend has plenty of space to run and burn off excess energy. A sedentary life is not for these guys!
They Are Incredibly Smart
If it’s an intelligent breed you’re after, it doesn’t get any better than the Border Collie. They can easily pick up loads of words and commands as well as complex tasks and tricks. The best part is that they really enjoy learning. While dogs like German Shepherds are also known for their brilliance, they can be stubborn and difficult to train. Not the Border Collie though! They love to make their humans happy. Of course, this means that you need to take time out to teach them new tricks. Complex games and puzzle toys also work wonders. If they don’t get enough mental stimulation, they could act out, get anxious, or even depressed!
They Are Kid-Friendly
Border Collies are big on affection! Praises, treats, pats, cuddles, scritches…they’ll take it all. Sure they’d appreciate it more if a treat is also involved, but they will love you either way. They’re also loyal, gentle-natured, and extremely kid-friendly, making them perfect for families. Just remember to teach smaller children how to play properly with them and treat them with care
They Are Easy to Groom
Considering that Border Collies have a medium-length coat, you would think that they require tons of grooming, but you’d be surprised to know that’s not the case. They actually don’t shed a lot unless it’s shedding season, which is when you need to brush them daily, otherwise, weekly brushing is more than enough. Baths are recommended once a month and of course, whenever they get filthy after playing outside. You could brush their teeth twice a week but it’s not necessary. A dental chew will also help remove tartar and prevent buildup. All in all, they are super low maintenance!
Socializing Them is Important
As with other dog breeds, it’s also important to socialize your Border Collie pretty early on in life if you want them to get along with other pets and people. Any dog that hasn’t socialized enough may become wary of strangers and aggressive towards other pets and you don’t want that. Thankfully, it’s not hard at all to socialize your Collie. Just ensure that they have plenty of positive interactions with other folks, dogs, and pets. Speaking of other pets, they can take some time to get along with cats. It’s not that they don’t like them but their herding instinct may take over and that’s something kitties definitely don’t appreciate!
Possible Health Issues
The good news is that Border Collies are a relatively healthy breed. Having said that, they are genetically prone to certain health conditions. Keep an eye out for signs and symptoms related to hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, and Collie Eye Anomaly. I recommend reading up on each of these so you know exactly what to look out for. Collies are also prone to bad eyesight, hearing loss, dental and gum problems, and seizure activity. A mixed-breed rather than a purebred will definitely have decreased chances of developing any of these conditions.
Here’s What You Should Feed Them
Since they are an energetic breed that thrives on physical activity, a diet that is high in protein is best for them. This will provide their muscles with all the nutrients that they need. Carbs are also important to keep them healthy and strong. Ideally, you should provide them with two meals – a high-carb, high-protein meal in the morning and a high-protein meal in the evening. Premium-quality dry food is a great option. Typically, they should be given between 1 ½-2 cups of food split in two. Of course, you should modify these quantities if you see your doggo putting on or losing too much weight.
They’ve Broken Many Records
Border Collies are certified superstars! There’s one named Chaser who could very well be the world’s most intelligent dog. Apparently, she knows the names of more than 1000 objects. Another by the name of Striker set the record for rolling down a manual car window. What’s next, driving? Then there’s Jumpy who holds the Guinness World Record for dog skateboarding 100 meters in less than 20 seconds. Lastly, there’s Sweet Pea who balanced a can on her head and walked 100 meters in just under 3 minutes! Is there anything this breed can’t do?!
There you go. That’s everything you need to know before adopting a Border Collie. Eager to please, a heart of gold, and unmatched loyalty make this breed a great addition to any family. Besides, their energy is contagious and will motivate you to get off the couch and go to the great outdoors more often. Do you think the Border Collie will make the ideal furbaby for you? Let us know what you think in the comments section.