If you intend to take a Border Collie as a family pet, consider that the breed is not known for its tolerance of babies and young children.
Frequently asked questions:
- Do Border Collies come in colors?
Border Collies are most traditionally seen in the black and white variety, however they do come in other colors. For example, black and white tri, red and white, red and white tri, blue merle, blue merle tri, red merle, white with black markings, ticked, mottled, and sable. Border collies should be bred for their ability to do their job, versus breeding for looks. This is why border collies come in such a variety of looks.
- What are BC's like as pets?
As a rule, BC's are not easy pets. They require a lot of attention and training, typical pet owners find them too intense or energetic. BC's are workaholics and require a lot of attention and training.
- I have a yard for the dog to run in, isn't that enough?
No. BC's are extremely intelligent animals and they need much more mental stimulation than mindless running. If you cannot provide them a job to do, oftentimes they will find their own things to keep them busy, i.e. digging, jumping fences (many BC's can easily jump a 6' fence), chewing, and other destructive behaviors.
- What is Living with a Herding Dog Like?
Be sure you know what you're getting into if you think you want a Border Collie. Border Collies have been bred for hundreds of years to hone and refine a very strong instinct to herd sheep. Border Collies herd everything that moves: livestock, birds, other dogs, cats, children, and even bugs. Many people have absolutely no patience with the way the herding instinct displays itself and operates in a family situation, and many Border Collies end up abandoned at the local dog pound because of it. Border Collies run hard, they chase children (sometimes biting them because they won't stop or move in a certain direction), they throw toys at you nonstop, they are continually underfoot trying to herd, they jump up on people, they bark a lot when they are playing, they love to chew and dig, they rarely lie down and sleep when they are young, and they mature very slowly. Many, many young Border Collies are killed each year trying to herd cars by running in front of them.
- Are Border Collies Good with Children?
Though some individual Border Collies are very gentle with children, one of the most common reasons people give when they turn a Border Collie over to rescue or a shelter, is that they nip or snap at the children in the family. This is most often not a sign of viciousness, but rather a problem caused by their intense herding instinct. To a Border Collie, children are often livestock. When a Border Collie wants a child to do something and the child doesn't cooperate, the dog's instinct tells it to push harder, and they often nip quite hard. This instinct cannot be eliminated, but can and must be controlled by consistent training.
- Is a Border Collie Right for Me?
The people who make the most satisfied Border Collie owners are people who enjoy spending a lot of time with their dogs and are willing and able to make the commitment to exercise and train in some way every day...who are very active, who don't mind living with a dog that never really settles down, even in the house, even after a lot of exercise, even when the owner is tired from a long day at work...most important, who have a real job for the dogs to do, whether it's one of the dog sports at which these dogs excel or, of course, herding a flock of sheep.
Some of this information was obtained from: http://bcrescue.dogsaver.org/