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12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get A Border Collie

Updated 03/09/2024 – Are you considering adding a Border Collie to your family?

Border Collies are admired for their intelligence, agility, and dedication. Known as one of the smartest dog breeds, they excel in problem-solving and can learn commands faster than many other breeds. This intelligence, combined with their high energy, makes them standout performers in dog sports and ideal working dogs on farms.

They’re also fiercely loyal, forming strong bonds with their owners, and have a natural drive to work and play that is both impressive and endearing.

However, the very traits that make Border Collies remarkable can also make them a challenging fit for most homes. Their need for constant stimulation and ample space, along with a pronounced herding instinct, requires a specific living environment and lifestyle.

Join us as we take a look at some of the many reasons you shouldn’t get a Border Collie

15 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Get A Border Collie - title pic with sage background and pic of brown and white collie jumping
Why You Shouldn’t Get a Border Collie

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get A Border Collie

1. High Energy Levels

Border Collies are super energetic, needing lots of exercise every day—not just a short walk, but lots of running and playing throughout the day. They are a working breed that loves being busy, whether it’s learning tricks, playing fetch or herding sheep.

If they don’t get enough activity, they might chew or dig out of boredom. They’re great for active people that have the ability to be around their dog most of the time. But might be a handful if you can’t keep up with their extensive activity requirements.

2. Needs Mental Stimulation

Border Collies don’t just have energy to burn physically; they’re also smart and need to keep their brains busy. This means they enjoy learning new things, like tricks or commands, and playing games that make them think.

If they’re not given enough to do mentally, they might start figuring out their own games, like escaping from the yard or finding out what’s inside your couch.

Keeping a Border Collie mentally stimulated requires a significant investment of time, which can be challenging for most people.

Collie with training stick in mouth
Border Collie with toy

3. Not Suited for Apartment Living

Border Collies usually find apartment living tough because they need a lot of room to move around and burn off their energy. These dogs are happiest when they have access to large, open spaces where they can run freely and play to their heart’s content.

4. Not Suited for a Home With Small Kids

Border Collies, with their strong herding instinct, may try to herd small children by nipping at their heels or circling around them, which can be intimidating or unsafe for kids.

Their high energy and need for constant activity might also be overwhelming for young children. Additionally, the breed’s sensitivity and need for a calm environment can clash with the loud and unpredictable nature of a household with small kids.

5. Shedding

Border Collies have a thick double coat that sheds throughout the year. The shedding is heavier during spring and fall as they prepare for the changing seasons.

This leads to a significant amount of fur around the house, requiring regular and frequent brushing to manage the shedding. Without routine grooming, their fur can mat and tangle, causing discomfort for the dog.

Additionally, owners will find themselves vacuuming and cleaning their homes more often to keep up with the fur.

If you would prefer a low shedding dog check out our post on 17 Big Dogs That Don’t Shed, But Still Have Fur

Border collie buddies - Two border collies; one black and white, one brown and white
Two Border Collies

6. Herding Instincts

Border Collies are bred for herding, and this instinct runs deep in their behavior. This means they often try to herd anything that moves—kids, other pets, even bikes or cars. While it can be amusing, it also requires active management.

In play, they might nip at heels or circle around, mimicking their herding strategies. This instinct is not something that can be trained out of them; it’s a part of who they are.

For owners, understanding and finding positive outlets for this behavior, like herding classes or agility training, can help channel their instincts in a constructive way.

Without proper management, however, their herding behavior can become problematic, especially in households with small children or other pets.

Why You Shouldn't Get A Border Collie title pin with brown and white border collie jumping in the air
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7. Prone to Separation Anxiety

Border Collies are known for forming strong attachments to their families, which, while endearing, can lead to separation anxiety when they’re left alone. This breed thrives on companionship and activity, and without it, they can become stressed and anxious.

This predisposition towards separation anxiety means that Border Collies are not well-suited to households where they would be left alone for long periods regularly. They need a consistent presence and engagement to feel secure and happy.

For potential owners with busy schedules or those who are away from home frequently, managing a Border Collie’s separation anxiety can be challenging.

8. Requires Early and Consistent Training

Border Collies need early and continuous training due to their high intelligence, making them quick learners but also prone to picking up bad habits if not consistently guided.

Alongside their need for intellectual stimulation, these dogs are shy, standoffish by nature and territorial, necessitating extra time for socialization with a variety of people and dogs to become well-adjusted.

Their training and socialization demands time, patience, and a solid understanding of dog behavior, making them less suitable for first-time dog owners or those with busy lifestyles.

Without dedicated training and extra socialization, Border Collies can become challenging to live with. Thus, requiring a level of commitment that might be overwhelming for potential owners seeking a more laid-back pet

Why You Shouldn't Get A Border Collie - Black and white collie running
Border Collie Running

9. Genetic Health Issues

Border Collies, like all breeds, come with their own set of genetic health issues that prospective owners should be aware of. Understanding these concerns is crucial to ensure that you’re prepared for potential veterinary care that your dog may require. Here are some of the most common health concerns found in Border Collies:

  • Hip Dysplasia: A condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit together perfectly, leading to arthritis and pain. It’s common in many dog breeds, including Border Collies.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): A genetic disorder that can lead to blindness. It affects the development of the eye and is prevalent in Collies.
  • Epilepsy: Border Collies can be prone to seizures caused by epilepsy, a condition that requires lifelong management.
  • Deafness: This breed can inherit deafness
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD): A condition where improper growth of cartilage in the joints occurs, leading to stiffness and lameness.

10. Sensitive

Border Collies are sensitive dogs, tuned into their owner’s emotions and environment changes, which can be a double-edged sword. Their sensitivity means they can become easily stressed or overwhelmed by loud noises, chaotic households, or inconsistent routines.

For potential owners living in busy urban areas or those with unpredictable schedules, managing a Border Collie’s sensitivity and ensuring they feel secure can be challenging.

This breed thrives in stable, calm environments, making them less suited for those unable to provide this type of setting.

Merle collie
Merle Border Collie

11. Long-Term Commitment Required:

With a lifespan of 12-15 years, adopting a Border Collie is a long-term commitment to their care and well-being.

12. Escape Artists

Border Collies are known for their problem-solving skills, which can extend to finding ways to escape from enclosures or yards. Their intelligence and agility make them capable of overcoming physical barriers, requiring secure, high fences, and vigilant supervision to prevent escapes

Why You Shouldn't Get A Border Collie Brown and white border collie looking ahead
Brown and White Border Collie

Should You Get a Border Collie?

In essence, while Border Collies are incredible dogs with a lot to offer, they require a specific lifestyle that not everyone can provide. They’re not the kind of pet that’s content with just a casual walk or occasional playtime; they need a job to do and space to run.

This breed demands time, energy, and engagement, making them a commitment that potential dog owners need to seriously consider before bringing one into their home.

Do You Have a Border Collie in Your Life?

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