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Do Border Collies deserve the bad reputation?

My teenage daughter would like our next dog to be one who can do agility/ obedience/ jogging/ biking with us. We love dogs, have a 4 acre property but not a farm. We work during the week until 3-4 pm but my husband currently comes home mid day to let our senior citizen beagle outside. My daughter is considering the border, an aussie, a sheltie, a golden or a soft coated wheaten. She also wants a dog that is a cuddler, will sleep with her. We want a dog that might warn us of someone at the door, but I don't want an attack dog. If we go jogging, or biking on trails we want a dog that will stay with us or not pull on the leash/ and not stop to sniff every 5 feet. We also want a dog that will enjoy all this! That is why we are leaning towards herding dogs. Border collies get such bad write ups in all the research I am doing. Obviously there are successful border collie owners out there! Can you give me some input?

Best Answers

  • Accepted Answer
    Border collies can make wonderful companions, but they do require a larger time commitment than other breeds, and really aren't for the inexperienced owner. They are extremely intelligent, and highly active and get into trouble when they are bored or not given proper leadership. Sometimes just a game of fetch is not enough mental stimulation. Plan on daily walks/jogs (probably and hour or more) and also stimulating the dog's mind through obedience/agility training. Without this the dog will find its own job to do and you may not like it. For example, I have a mixed breed who is part Australian cattle dog (also an extremely smart breed). Usually I take her for an hour walk/jog every day and put her through her agility training skills. One day I was busy and didn't interact much with her, and I came home to her dog bed completely shredded because she was bored. I hope this helps you make your decision...good luck!
  • Tiffany CarsonTiffany Carson St. MarysPosts: 15,800Member
    Accepted Answer
    (Not a BC owner, but I know a thing or two about 'em. And I am a herding breed owner.) It's because they are a high energy and high drive breed and need quite a bit of exercise daily. Thus they are not for everyone, no breed is. When a indoorsy family/person gets one, they often experience behavior problems because they do not exercise and/or train the dog as they should. Border Collies not only need physical exercise, they need mental exercise. Border Collies make great pets--for people who give them the exercise and training they need. Read up on the breed to determine if it's the right one for you. You should be able to find books on BCs at the library.
  • Linda MatthewsLinda Matthews Plain cityPosts: 6,859Member
    Accepted Answer
    I think they are just maybe getting a negative rap because they are not meant to remain in the house for hours. They become very bored, need lots of socialization, and are very high drive for herding. So, if you family is highly active then it is the dog for you. But, if you want a dog who is a house pet then I would pick another breed. The wheaten is a terrier and has high prey drive for small vermin as well. They need lots of training and make wonderful jogging dogs once they are mature, no pup should be hiking for miles and doing strenous exercise. Successful border collie owners know what to do with the dog. They have to have a job, and you may want to contact more than one breeder to see what their stock is being used for. Meaning some may not have field stock who are into sporting events such as herding.
  • Chris & Brian CrawfordChris & Brian Crawford Posts: 1,879Member
    Accepted Answer
    I am not sure what bad-write ups you've seen specifically about Border Collies, but I can tell you that most herding breeds get a bad rap because of their high level of energy and, in some breeds, high amount of prey drive, which needs to be addressed adequately and isn't suited for homes that are inactive or disinterested in working with that type of dog. It sounds like you live a very active lifestyle, and if you have the time, energy, and money to invest in training, agility classes, and things to do with your dog, I don't see a reason why you would not make a good owner to a Border Collie or Aussie. However, I think that you are expecting WAY too much from an individual dog. You want a dog that will do agility and obedience, enjoy jogging and biking, won't pull on the leash, and will sleep with your daughter. Some of those are a matter of training, not temperament or breed. Not all BCs will be cuddly. Not all will do well in agility. Not all won't pull on the leash.
  • Sarah LundleySarah Lundley OaklandPosts: 894Member
    Accepted Answer
    Dogs don't automatically come preprogrammed not to pull on the leash and follow on the trails. That's your job to teach the dog that. If they were preprogrammed that way, then I've got a defective dog. And not all dogs, no matter the breed will enjoy what you think it will enjoy. I know a dog who does not like to chase balls. Doesn't get it and doesn't care to get it. I know another dog who isn't a fan of going on walks. Would just rather be at home. Your job is to teach the dog good manners, give it the proper discipline that it needs and give it the praise that it deserves. But, you may end up having a well trained dog, but the dog may still not like to cuddle or understand that someone walking up to your front door is his sign to start barking. It's the luck of the draw in the personality of the dog when you adopt them.
  • Brittney OsgoodBrittney Osgood Posts: 40Member
    Accepted Answer
    it seems to me you are an active famialy a friendley calm kind dog that when need be will let you know when something is coming is a beutiful golden retriver but i would go with a 2 year old their easier to handle but if you have other dogs then young is better
  • Jennifer CaldwellJennifer Caldwell Posts: 1,686Member
    Accepted Answer
    I agree with most of the previous answers. One other thing I would be concerned about - your daugher is a teenager; in a few years she will graduate high school. Will she live at home after that? If not, will she take the dog with her or leave it in your care? If you will be responsible for the dog at that point, consider whether you will be willing to care for and exercise a high energy dog that needs a lot of mental stimulation as well. I have seen it work, but only when the whole family is on board. Don't get her a dog you don't want if you will be caring for it at some point. Also, you wrote: "we want a dog that will stay with us or not pull on the leash/ and not stop to sniff every 5 feet." That has a lot more to do with training than the breed you choose. If your dog must enjoy all of those activities, it would be best to adopt a young adult dog that is physically ready and able to do them, and that someone has evaluated so you know it would enjoy them.
  • Melissa CramerMelissa Cramer Elderton/Ford City/IndianaPosts: 20Member
    Accepted Answer
    Higgins is our shaved border collie and Ekans is our mixed. I was never a big dog kind of person, however I love these two dogs. They are very intelligent dogs and love to be cuddled even though they are on the larger side. (they still think they are lap dogs) Our boys have the run of our property and are very good guard dogs, people who don't know them are intimidated by them. They are gentle giants though and one of the things that I am really suprised with is that they will not do their doo doo in the yard, they go to the field to do that. They are a truly loyal breed to the whole family. Higgins are oldest is the lookout over our baby chi's he looks after them and treats them as his babies. I know I already said it but I have to say it again they are truly great dogs.
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