As mentioned at the beginning of the video, the Border Collie is an extremely high energy breed which can be great, or not so great, depending on your lifestyle. These dogs were bred to work alongside humans from the time they get up in the morning until all of the work has been done. Originally they’d been bred to herd sheep and other cattle, so it’s no surprise that these dogs are working dogs to this very day! That need is still very much there. Collies need a lot of physically and mental exercise to be truly happy. So, if you and your family are active and outdoors a lot, this might just be the dog for you! Collies are happiest when they’re given a task to work on. They need a calm, consistent leader to keep them on track. They’ll happily spend hours hiking with you training. This breed is excellent for canine sports such as flyball and agility trials. However, if you’re more of a couch potato all of that energy might not be for you. These dogs need quite the workout or they can become bored and destructive around the house.
So, what about being good with kids and other pets? If socialized properly, Collies can be great with children and other animals that they’ve grown up with. This breed can be rather aloof when it comes to meeting new dogs for the first time, so early socialization is extremely important. The more you can socialize your Collie with other people and animals the better! Though, if your household has small children or pets such as cats your Collie may feel the need to herd them to fill the desire to do so.
Border Collies are also a joy to train with an early start and the proper leader to guide them. Their intelligence means they can quickly learn new commands and are very responsive, but this pro can also be a con. Collies pick up bad habits as quickly as good ones, so it’s always important to start training as early as possible. This breed tends to form a strong bond with one household member, but will be friendly with the entire household, and likes for the home to have structure. A Collie who isn’t sure who their leader is will often start to show a more independent side in the household and can potentially become unhappy. Even with proper and consistent training, if left alone for long periods of time, Collies will entertain themselves even if that means being destructive around the house. They’re also notorious for quickly learning how to open cupboards which is something to consider. A Collie who can get into the cabinets might help themselves to some extra dog food or eat something they shouldn’t.
Grooming for Collies is relatively easy, but needs to be done regularly. They need brushed once a week to help keep their coat healthy and control shedding. They may need brushed more in Spring and Autumn when they shed the most and dogs with longer coats may require a little extra maintenance year round. Some owners opt to have their dog professionally groomed a few times a year to help keep on top of things. Flea allergies are also common in Collies, so regular brushing will give you the chance to look for signs of fleas and treat if it’s necessary.
This breed is relatively healthy, but as with all purebred breeds they can inherit some hereditary issues. Hip dysplasia is the most common hereditary skeletal condition to effect canaines and while it’s more likely to affect large and giant breeds than smaller ones, it’s still a possibility. Proper breeding can help to prevent it, but there’s not sure fire way to keep it from happening. Collies may also be affected by Choroidal hypoplasia, which has earned the nickname Collie Eye Anomaly as it’s more likely to affect dogs with Collie ancestry. It effect the choroid- a layer of tissue beneath the retina- and may cause total blindness in more severe cases. Other health problems to be on the lookout for are: Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome, Ceroid Lipofuscinosis- better known as Storage Disease, Multi-Drug Resistance gene, Imerslund-Gräsbeck Syndrome, epilepsy, and allergies.
So, to recap the pros for this breed they are: great for those with an active lifestyle, loyal and very bonded to their families, wonderful for canine sports, very good at picking up on new commands, and relatively easy to groom. The cons are that they: aren’t good for those who work a lot or are inactive, prone to trying to herd animals and children, likely to pick up bad habits as quickly as good ones, likely to develop separation anxiety over long stretches alone, and prone to some health problems.